Category Archives: Webmaster Tips

Google to Notify Webmasters about Outdated Software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Webmasters Tools has decided to introduce a new feature where they will alert users whenever their web software is out of date.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.

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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.

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.

blogger_dmca_complaint_processed

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.

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.

google_website_translate_gadget

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.

google_translate_gadget

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]

Live Tracking Of Your Website Visitors Using Site-Pulse

Google Analytics is a great utility. It has tons of metrics and provide plenty of information about your users. The only feature that is preventing Google Analytics from being perfect is real-time results. Google Analytics is very limited when you require information about the visitors you have on your website right now.

However, there are other applications that allow you to do that and one of them is Site-Pulse. Site-Pulse is not free, but it will definitely be worth your money. Won’t you simply love to see how many visitors are on your website right this moment, and then be able to click any of them and see how they got to your website, which keywords they used, which search engine they used, which geographical location they are from and how did they navigate within your website?

You can even see which operating systems and browsers your visitors are using and see your visitors on Google Maps. You can also try it for free before purchasing a plan, and if you don’t like it, cancel anytime.

See The Technologies Behind A Website With Sitonomy

If you have ever wondered what ad-networks your competitor uses or what kind of server technology is used by that popular website, now is your chance to obtain that information for free.

Sitonomy is a web application that lets you see all sorts of technologies that power a particular website. Simply go to Sitonomy.com and enter the URL of the website. You will be able to see the advertisement networks used by the website, the server technologies, the kind of widgets used, and even the analytics software that are used by the website.

If it is a blog, Sitonomy also tells you about the blogging platform and the subscription tool being used to manage RSS feeds. If the website uses any external libraries such as jQuery, that information will also be listed in the Sitonomy analysis.

Another great feature that Sitonomy offers is the ability to look up alternatives to any of these technologies. Simply click the alternatives link for any technology to see the possible replacements.

Find Unused or Redundant CSS Selectors

If you work with stylesheets you will often find redundant selectors in your document. If you set about identifying them manually, it would take a lot of time and effort. Gladly, there is a web application that does this for you within seconds.

CSS Redundancy checker identifies the unused elements of your stylesheet. Simple specify the URL of your stylesheet and the URL of your HTML pages. The application will then search your stylesheet and find selectors that are not being used anywhere in those HTML pages. It is a very useful tool to clean a stylesheet.

It is also a good tool to identify which selectors are being used on which HTML pages. However, for that purpose you will have to try one HTML page at a time.

Disable Right-Click On Your Webpages With Aevita

It is a continuous struggle for webmasters to prevent their content from being stolen. You never know when one of the users would right-click on your web page and do a “save image as” to download images or other content that you spent so much time putting together. Even though, nothing can provide you 100% protection against such violations, Aevita is a tool that can help tremendously!

Once installed on your website, Aevita disables the right-click option on your pages so people cannot steam images and other multimedia. It is easy to set up on any HTML file and doesn’t require you to write any code. It works on any java enabled browser and supports .htm , .html and .txt pages. The setup wizard makes it simple for you to choose from various optional features like disabling opera users, displaying warning messages, inserting copyright notice e.t.c.

Aevita also prevents others from viewing and reusing your source code and scripts. The protected pages appear exactly like the original pages but make it nearly impossible for anybody to get access to the images or code behind a page. The best of all things, Aevita is 100% free to use.

You can download Aevita here.

Have User Generated Content? Here is What Can Get Your Banned From AdSense? [AdSense Policy Updates]

User Generated Content or UGC is the norm of the day, there are some sites like the Fail Blog and other’s that solely run on user generated content, and blogs like Techie Buzz, where user comments constitute user generated content.

is a big revenue stream for everyone including UGC blogs and regular blogs, however un-moderated UGC may not always be safe for work and may include nudity or links to blogs related to them or for that matter spam blogs.

The Inside AdSense blog posted a few guidelines for User Generated Content, however here is a glaring note on what can get you surely banned from AdSense solely based on user generated content.

As a quick note before we head into the tips, remember that inappropriate content can come in many forms — images, forum posts, comments, links, and so on. For example, adult content isn’t only limited to pornographic images; it can also be sexually explicit forum posts or spam bot comments with links to adult sites, which aren’t permitted by our policies.

So if you run a user generated site, or allow comments on your blog, make sure you follow the above guidelines to the core.

All is not lost for such blogs or websites, you can clearly have a category marked as adult and add those stories there, however you cannot place AdSense codes on those category pages. AdSense policies also bars users from adding AdSense code on adult sites, so if you have a site that only caters to adult content,we highly advise you not to use AdSense on those sites.

Here are some general prevention tips published by the Inside AdSense blog.

  1. Publish clear content guidelines and policies that your users will have to accept and adhere to in order to sign up and use your site’s services.
  2. If you own a photo or video sharing site where users are permitted to upload adult or other non-compliant content, clearly structure your content to avoid placing your ad code in sections/categories containing this type of content. The same idea could also be easily applied to online stores with adult sections or to classifieds sites which offer adult dating classifieds.
  3. Ask users to tag their inappropriate content (e.g. sexually suggestive pictures or videos) as being non family-safe. This can help you perform human evaluations of potentially inappropriate content for AdSense ads. You can also try installing keyword filters for content related to adult topics, violence, or drugs, for instance. While we’re unable to provide you with details about setting up these filters for your site, we recommend searching for terms such as “keyword filtering” or “content filtering” on Google.com.
  4. Implement spambot protection for your comment forms, forums, and guest books. If you need more information on this topic, try a Google search for “spambot protection”.

There are several other things you should be careful for, but yes moderation is very important so make sure you moderate those blog comments and check the links of commentators before approving them.

Tips for maintaining an AdSense-friendly site with user-generated content [Inside AdSense Blog]

PageBoss: Website Analysis Through Search Engines And Social Media

PageBoss is an easy to use web application that allows you to analyze any website quickly. The analysis is performed over a number of areas and starts with providing owner information, loading time, domain creation and expiration date and the IP address of the server.

Next comes the search engine analysis that includes page rank information, number of pages indexed,  backlinks, blog and directory submissions e.t.c. PageBoss also analyzes the website for activity on social media and social bookmarking sites including Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Friendfeed. Moreover, details from Alexa, DMOZ, W3C Validator and the WayBackMachine are also included to help understand how the website has performed historically.

Main Features:

  • Analyze websites quickly.
  • See how the website is doing on Social media.
  • Check how Google and Yahoo! rank the website.
  • Check website performance over Alexa, Quantcast and Technorati.
  • Available in multiple languages.

Rank Your Website Against Competitors With InstantRankMeter

You have done a lot of SEO work for your website and now you want to know where it stands in search engine ranking. Or may be you want to see exactly how you compare to competitors in Google, Bing and Yahoo! InstantRankmeter is a super easy web tool to do that. InstantRankmeter simply asks you for your website, couple of your competitors and up to 3 keywords. Their powerful script then creates visual graphs to help you understand how you rank against your competitors.

Here is an example where I tried to compare three major tech blogs, Lifehacker, Techcrunch and EnGadgadet using the keywords Firefox and iPhone:

The first set of charts represents the position of the websites in search engines.

The second set provides you with a visibility score matrix.

The third set shows you actual search engine results based on your keywords.

Via [FeedMyApp]

Backup Your MySQL Database To Email With Backup2Mail

Disasters are just around the corner waiting to happen without any intimation, and due to ignorance many of us have lost enormous amounts of data and also spent lots of money to recover things we would have better off keeping of.

A blog or website is no different, you update it regularly and have written 1000s of articles, but what if there is a hardware crash? What if there is a problem with your server? Do you have ample backups to fall back on?

In the past we have written a tutorial on how you can backup your blog in less than 10 seconds and some more options to .

However we came across another interesting script that will allow you to your MySQL DB and email it to you for future use.

Backup2Mail automatically creates regular backups of your database and sends them to your mailbox on a given schedule, the script is PHP based so you can install in on any blog or website.

The author of the script also has a set of instructions to get you started, however you will need to have the ability to setup cron jobs to schedule database backups to be emailed out to you on a regular basis.

Definitely a must have script for webmasters who care about their data and want to be prepared for any unforeseen disasters lurking around the corner.

Download Backup2Mail [via Ghacks Tech News]