Check If Your Site is Indexed by Google

Many new bloggers are usually very concerned about being indexed by Google and try various means to check if a site has been indexed by Google or not.

site_indexed_by_google

There are few ways in which you can do it, one is using the site operator to search Google, for example site:techie-buzz.com. Indexed by Google is a dedicated site which tells you whether or not a certain site is indexed by Google. Just enter your URL and it will display a simple Yes or No Answer for your query.

Indexed By Google? [via Tech Spikes]

Google to Notify Webmasters about Outdated Software

There are tons of free CMS available today including , Drupal and Joomla. Though most of these are free, a webmaster who uses them has to constantly keep upgrading the software to make use of new features and plug security holes.

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Upgrading is always a pain, one of the reasons we are coming out with WordPress Remote Manager shortly. In addition to that, Google Webmasters Tools has decided to introduce a new feature where they will alert users whenever their web software is out of date.

One of the ways we identify sites to notify is by parsing source code of web pages that we crawl. For example, WordPress and other CMS applications include a generator meta tag that specifies the version number. This has proven to be tremendously helpful in our efforts to notify webmasters. So if you’re a software developer, and would like us to help you notify your users about newer versions of your software, a great way to start would be to include a generator meta tag that tells the version number of your software. If you’re a plugin or a widget developer, including a version number in the source you provide to your users is a great way to help too.

Google Webmaster Tools basically rely on the version numbers included in the HTML source of a webpage to identify if a website requires and upgrade. However, there have been known cases of people attacking a website because of including the version number in the page. It is always better to rely on your own process to keep your software and plugins up-to-date.

This initiative will definitely help many users who usually do not have time or are unaware about new versions and will complement Google’s role on alerting users whenever their website is hacked or compromised.

New software version’ notifications for your site [Official Google Webmaster Blog]

Google Image Search Users Don’t Like Watermarked Images

Watermarking images is a very popular way of thwarting image thefts. In the past, we have covered several and services which allow you to watermark images for free. However, if you are a webmaster, a recent post on the official Google webmaster blog might change your thoughts on watermarking your blog or website images.

watermarked_images

Peter Linsley the product manager of Google Image search talks about some pros and cons of watermarking images.

Pros of watermarked images

  • Photographers can claim credit/be recognized for their art.
  • Unknown usage of the image is deterred.

Findings relevant to watermarked images (Cons)

  • Users prefer large, high-quality images (high-resolution, in-focus).
  • Users are more likely to click on quality thumbnails in search results. Quality pictures (again, high-res and in-focus) often look better at thumbnail size.
  • Distracting features such as loud watermarks, text over the image, and borders are likely to make the image look cluttered when reduced to thumbnail size.

Google Image Search like the regular Google Search is a huge traffic puller. The findings above or the cons of using watermarked images are definitely worth noting. The reasoning is also quite appropriate as images with watermarks are not that enticing when you actually view it in thumbnail format. However, these findings do not say that you should not watermark your images. Although, it is definitely worth knowing how users react to watermarked images.

Would you as a webmaster stop watermarking your images to get better search engine clicks in image search? It would be interesting to debate on this topic as image theft is rampant, however on the other hand every bit of search engine juice is always welcomed by a webmaster.

Google AdSense Tip: Disable Image Ads

It has been a long time since I did a huge list of useful tips and tricks to increase your AdSense income. Though it has been over a year since that post, I have posted more useful information under the category, so you might want to check that out too.

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As always sharing tips with webmasters is something I like to do. Here is another tip to get more click through and better income in Google AdSense.

Disable Image Ads in Google AdSense

Yes, you heard it right. From my experience I have seen image ads perform poorly when compared to text ads. And I am speaking based on my experiments.

In my AdSense experiment, I rotated between two sets of ads. The first one was a image only ad and the second one was a text only ad. The ads were rotated on a 50-50% basis. I ran the entire test for a week on several sites and saw that Image ads had a 0.5% click through rate, whereas text ads had a 4% click through rate.

Earnings were slightly better on the image only ads, but the lack of clicks are a definite dampener.

Reasoning to do Away with Image Ads

There might be several reasons, but I will stick to few important ones. Most of your posts contain images in some form or another, when you run image ads, they look like a part of your actual post instead of information that a user would find useful, within the scope of your article.

In addition to that, when you use image ads, there is a 25% lesser chance that a user will click on it, when you compare it to the 4 links a usual premium Google AdSense unit displays on your blog.

Image Ads can be Misleading

Quite sometime back, I had posted about some misleading ads by Google AdSense. I have been having several personal email conversations with both Google AdSense and Google web spam team members since then, with regards to both the quality of image ads and misleading information provided by the ads.

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Thanks to the quick responses from the Google team, most of the issues are resolved, however, there are times when some image ads can contradict what you write, so keep your eyes open and check for them.

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You can always disable certain ads that you don’t approve of, make good use of that feature. To disable certain URLs from advertising on your website, go to AdSense Setupand click on Competitive Ad Filter. Scroll down and enter the URL of the site you want to block from advertising on your website.

How to Disable Image Ads In Google AdSense

While creating a new ad or editing a existing one, select Text ads onlyfrom the drop down list for Format.

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If you are editing a old ad, it should take around 10 minutes for the changes to take effect. Don’t forget to play around with the fonts and font size of the ads.

Image Ads Alternatives

If you do plan to run image or banner ads on your website, try to use a CPM based network like Tribal Fusion or Burst Media, which pay you a CPM on 1000 impressions. If you have a blog which gets good traffic, these networks will be able to offer you with better CPMs than AdSense.

What works for Me, Might not work for You

Well, to state a fact, you will get millions of tips to optimize your income on the Internet. Don’t take them at face value. What works for someone, may not work out for you. The best way to actually optimize your income is to experiment and come up with the best strategy that works for you.

I have based this tip on a exclusive experiment I ran on several blogs, and have seen ads perform much better. So don’t hesitate to experiment, rather than just going by what someone says.

And don’t forget to read the earlier post on some really good tips to optimize Google AdSense income. We have tons of other to help you out with your website too.

Google Scanning RSS Feeds for More URL Discovery

Google Webmaster blog has made a official announcement, that they are using RSS feeds to discover content:

Google uses numerous sources to find new webpages, from links we find on the web to submitted URLs. We aim to discover new pages quickly so that users can find new content in Google search results soon after they go live. We recently launched a feature that uses RSS and Atom feeds for the discovery of new webpages.

I am not sure, but Google has been scanning RSS feeds for quite sometime now. In the past few months, I have seen our feed URL http://feeds.techie-buzz.com/techiebuzz being indexed faster than the regular URL.

What has your experience been with Google indexing RSS feeds? Do let me know about them through your comments.

Filing DMCA Notice Against Blogger/Blogspot and WordPress.com Spam Blogs

Splogs or Spam Blogs are a nuisance in every sense. The lazy people buggers running these sites, leech content from Techie Buzz and hundreds of other blogs and pass them of their own, making money in the process. So in short, it is we who do all the hard work for them these scumbags.

Out here at Techie Buzz, we provide readers with full feeds, to make it convenient for them to read content at their own leisure, in their favorite feed readers. However, some lazy bums also use the same feed to leech content and add it to their own site effortlessly.

I have had a choice of taking an easy way out by changing our feed to a partial feed. However, that is not an option for me, since it will cause inconvenience to our readers. That is not something we want to do, to just to get rid of these lazy bums.

In the past month, I took a hard stance and have been reporting these spam blogs and making sure that they get suspended. Though, this may sound harsh, please note, that these blogs add no value to the internet, and don’t deserve to be there in the first place. As a added note, if you are a splogger who leeches our content, please make sure to read our terms of use, anyone found to be violating these will be dealt with appropriately.

If you are a blogger, don’t sit back and let these sploggers use your hard work just like that, here are some ways in which you can report spam blogs on .com and file DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) requests for Blogger/Blogspot blogs.

Reporting WordPress.com Spam Blogs

WordPress.com has the best spam reporting option for blogs, the response is pretty quick and if a blog is found to be offending, they are immediately suspended.

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To report a offending WordPress.com blog as spam, just visit the blog, and hover over Blog info. In the dropdown menu, click on the Report as spamlink.

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Clicking on that link will open a new page, where you will have to fill out information about Whyyou are reporting a blog as spam. Once you have added relevant information, click on the Report Blogbutton. That’s it, the WordPress.com support staff will evaluate your request and suspend the offending blog.

Reporting Blogger/Blogspot Spam Blogs

Majority of spam blogs, that leech content from other sites exist on the blogger network. One of the major reasons for this is that, unlike WordPress.com, Blogger allows their free blogs to advertise on the site using .

Blogger has a much more lengthier process for reporting spam blogs on their network. The process is also a bit slower, compared to WordPress.com, but they eventually get to it.

To file a DMCA request against a blogspot blog, visit the Blogger DMCA page and fill out the lengthy form. You will need to provide all the details of the infringing site, which has copied your content. In addition to that, you will also have to provide links for your own content in the request.

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Once a DMCA request has been filed, expect a wait time of anywhere between 48 hours to 1 week for your issue to be taken up. Once your request is taken up you will receive an email, similar to the one above.

Summarizing

Dealing with spam blogs is a tough job, they are just a waste of time. I have put in lot of efforts to track and deal with such blogs, but no efforts are guaranteed for success.

We would really appreciate, if you would contact us, whenever you come across splogs reproducing content from Techie Buzz. We spend hours and hours to find softwares, news and then convert them into presentable content. We certainly hate people leeching our hard work.

How Is Bounce Rate Calculated in Analytics?

If you have been using a web analytics service to track visitors on your website, you might have noticed an attribute called Bounce Rate. Bounce Rate basically tells you how many users visited your website and left immediately.

However, don’t take that as a full-fledged definition. The Google Analytics blog had a rapid fire question and answer session, where they answered several questions, including:

  • How is bounce rate calculated
  • Effect of search bots on data collection
  • Finding a benchmarking category for sites that don’t fit into any particular benchmark category
  • What is the best way to identify landing pages with high bounce rate
  • How to find new keywords to improve content performance
  • Effects of private browsing and incognito mode on data collection

Watch the video below to find answers on how bounce rate is calculated in analytics, and the other questions discussed in the session.

Visit our section to find more handy and useful tips, which will help you to manage your blog/website better.

Rapid Fire Web Analytics Q and A [Official Google Analytics Blog]

Optimizing Images for Organic SEO Traffic

Images can speak a thousand words. This quote is so true. However, there is a condition to it, images can only speak a thousand words, if someone can see it. That though, is not the case with Google Image search robots, or for that and other image search engine robot.

Optimizing images for SEO involves adding proper metadata and giving the images proper names. So naming images as 1.jpg or 2.jpg will not earn you any points from these blind robots.

According to Matt Cutts, Google Image Search considers the metadata in images, as well as the URL of the image. However, like always he also advices against using black-hat SEO techniques and spamming the URL with too many keywords.

Watch a short video to see how Google considers the URL of an image to include it in organic image search results.

In addition to that also consider using altparameters in images. Search engines like Google consider the alt tag, to understand and get more information about an image.

Are you optimizing your images for search engines? Do let us know. Don’t forget to check the huge archive of to enhance and optimize your website.

Create Magazine Style Widgets For Your Blog Using Netvibes

When I redesigned the theme, I added a few magazine style widgets to the blog. Many of you emailed me to ask, how you can add a similar magazine style to your blog. In this post, we will look at how you can create your own magazine style widget using Netvibes.

Magazine Style Widgets

The entire tutorial consists of two processes. The first process involves creating your custom Netvibes widget. The second process involves customizing and adding the widget to your blog.

Creating a Netvibes Widget

Step 1: Sign in to your Netvibes account. You will need to create one if you don’t have an account.

Step 2: Once you have signed in to your account, click on the Create or submit buttonin the navigation bar.

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Step 3: Click on the Create widgetbutton in the overlay that pops up.

Step 4: Choose whether you want to create a Blog/News widget or a Multifeed widget. In this tutorial, we will deal with single blog/news feed widget.

submit_new_feed_netvibes

Step 5: Enter the feed URL into the text box and click on the Next step button.

Step 6: On the next page, enter all the details about the feed and choose whether or not you want to publish the widget to the ecosystem, and click on the next step button.

Step 7: If everything goes fine, a link to your new custom widget will be displayed to you. Please make not of the link as we will be using the link in the future.

Adding a Netvibes Widget to Your Blog

Once you have created the widget, you can now add it to your blog. Follow the steps given below to customize and add the widget to your blog. For this example, we will make use of the Techie Buzz Netvibes widget.

Step 1: Copy and paste the link you got from Step 7 in a new browser tab or window.

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Step 2: Click on the Share link in the widget sidebar, this will take you to a new page where you can customize the widget.

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Step 3: You can customize the widget by adding a title to it, changing the height and modifying its color.

Step 4: Under Widget preferencesselect Magazine from the view dropdown to create a magazine style widget. You can also configure other things such as, number of items to display, whether links should open in new windows.You can also choose to display the post data and excerpt.

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Step 4: Once you have configured the widget, go to the bottom of the page to get the widget code. You will need to paste the code into your website for the widget to be displayed.

Using the above steps you can build as many magazine style widgets you want and customize them using several options. Of course, Netvibes also providers users with many different styles to choose from.

Looking for more for your website? Don’t forget to visit the section to learn more.

Google Translator Gadget For Translating Your Website

If you write your blog in one language, don’t expect only people who know that language to stop by. Some visitors to your website may not understand the language you write in.

In such cases translation tools help those readers to convert the webpage into a language they understand. This makes reading information much more easy for them.

There are several ways in which you can offer translations to your users. If you are looking for a even better tool, Google has just announced a website translator gadget that is definitely much more smarter than the regular ones right now.

To install the website translator gadget to your blog, visit this page and copy the text to the header of your template.

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After you have copied the text to your template upload the file to your server for the changes to take effect.

Once the code is in place, Google will automatically detect the users language based on the browser settings and display an option to translate the page to their language.

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Once they click on the translate button the webpage will be translated without the user leaving your site. Google Translate currently supports translation between 51 languages making it a good fit for webmasters with traffic from several countries.

Translate your website with Google [Official Google Blog]