Google buys YouTube

The rumor is over, the deal has been accepted. Google bought YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars.
I really don`t care about their copyright problems as long as that doesn`t influence the end user. All videos should be for free!
By the way Google should buy Yahoo with it`s Flickr, as It`s a tough decision to choose between Flickr and Picasa for photo sharing. Now I decided to use Flickr (my Picasa album is full, and I cannot expand it from outside US) as Flickr is more flexible, but I know that someday Google will make Picasa better and better and someday we could switch..

full article: http://www.boingboing.net/2006/10/09/google_buys_youtube_.html

Celebritysnap

In summer I created a website Celebrity Gossip. Time has come to move on. For that time I chose a domain name celebrity-gossip.org which was really for the keywords. Optimizing every single bit for keyphrase “celebrity gossip” soon I was #1 on MSN and got almost 1000 unique views daily from MSN Search alone. Time passed and MSN lost its users, so that still I was #1 on MSN but received only 20-100 unique visitors daily. But Google had increased importance of my site that I had ~1000 uniques per day. Continue reading “Celebritysnap”

E-mail protection when posting online

Email protection comes to your mind whenever you`re writing something on the net. There is always caution for posting your e-mail address online as spam robots cruise your site and other sites that you leave comments on. While analyzing Google Groups I noticed a nice implementation of securing emails. When you post a message containing an email address (e.g. “denied@recordings.ru”) the email address is changed replacing part of it with “…” (e.g. “den@recordings.ru”) where these dots are linked to “unlock” page where you enter letter/number code from distorted image. If it is correct, you are brought back to the previous page and see the email address normally. Pretty smart :)
(Sorry if this is old news :P)

Anti-virus update

I just wrote a post at information security awareness blog about anti-virus comparison test at virus.gr. It had some suspicious results that were extremely positive for Kaspersky competition (Norton at #22). On 2nd place was Active Virus Shield by AOL which is the same engine of Kaspersky`s, but uses AOL brand and is completely frēe! Might be a good thing to those that have difficulties choosing among freeware anti-virus software. I`ll give it a try tomorrow and if it will get one nasty virus out of my laptop (DrWeb doesnt detect it, AntiVir! detects it but doesnt cure), I`ll post it..

Search engine optimization for Flash

I was reading some articles about Flash SEO (like this) and some of them recommended using SWFObject to make some text visible to search engines. The trick is that you put text in HTML format inside

layer and then you put your flash over it (SWFObjects javascript code changes innerHTML of the

layer). While this works and I am still using this technique at sites like djnet, the technique is also kind of cloaking – showing one text to search engine, other for the user. Spammers can implement this method in their sites and sooner or later Google will create algo that will ban these sites. And the good ones too.
While this problem persists, you can put TITLE and DESCRIPTION in your flash files – in Flash IDE choose Modify > Document (or Ctrl+J). This is the part that gets indexed by search engines. Though this is better than nothing, again using SWFObject hides the flash file from search engine, thus making this piece of metadata useless.
I`m still thinking of rebuilding my best project (djnet) in php, just for SEO purposes. But what I know fur sure is that search engines will try to give better support for Flash because it won`t go away in the nearest decade – Internet cannot live without Flash video (though internet should get rid of flash advertisments).

Microsoft Soapbox video service

Microsoft has started a new service – Soapbox. It`s a YouTube future follower, as Soapbox is still in beta and available to limited invitations (you can go to the site and request an invitation). Funny, that once again Microsoft announces a product way before it`s ready, and once again only a product that follows some other market leader. For example, previous it was (maybe still they hope) for Adobe Flash, which Microsoft tries to compete with its Avalon products. Check out – on soapbox.msn.com the video player is in Flash! I have no idea why is Microsoft spending so much money on probably worthless products, though they still keep a big part of internet users on MSN.
Just my 2c.

Tutorial: create animated favicon

Animated favicon is supported only by Firefox, for now. (Are you still using Internet Explorer??
)
If you don`t know how to create a simple favicon – just put an icon file with name “favicon.ico” in your web root folder (e.g. www.yourdomain.com/favicon.ico).

Animated favicons are stored in .gif image. You can see an example of animated icon at information security awareness blog , it shows in the address bar and on the tab. You can create it yourself using some gif animation software or exporting from Adobe Flash (I do it). When you have your gif icon ready, upload both “favicon.ico” and “favicon.gif” to your web root folder, then add this code to your webpage somewhere between and tags:


That should do it! You can also create both static and animated icon files from any image (favicon from jpg, jpeg, gif, bmp, tif, png, etc) using a favicon generator available here.

Information security and lot of traveling

Information security awareness will be my main target phrase on my screen for the next three months. I have come to Slovenia to work as an intern in a company that deals with information security awareness training. My main objective is to get their site on the top of Google SERP`s on keywords “information security awareness”, basically without any money investments. It`s a challenge for me as this site isn`t even in top100. I also set up a security awareness blog (go google, index it! :)) that i will promote extensively to support the main site.
On the other side I will be much traveling around Slovenia, Italy and maybe somewhere else, so I`m posting photos of my adventures on my private blog at www.briinums.com. It`s really fun here and the nature is beautiful around here! Love the new Flickr.com/map feature as I use it to see places before visiting them! :)

Google`s fight against spam

Google search engine results depend on some defined behaviour or algorithm. There have always been some clues in patents on how these algorithms work. There have been thousands of patents and you never know if they will be implemented in search engines algo, but you can definitely see the direction that Google is going – human editorial approach.

To get better SERP (search engine result pages) results, algorithm will not count on links or page rank only, but on human reported sites like Dmoz.org directory entries and others. so the system is semi-automatic.

In an implementation consistent with the present invention, the set of favored and non-favored sources may be automatically determined. To accomplish this, exemplary queries in the query theme may be classified into a set of topics (e.g., an online topic hierarchy, such as Yahoo!, Open Directory, or Google) using the approach for classification described above. Web hosts that appear in the URLs associated with the best matching topics to the query theme may be taken to be favored sources. For example, if the query theme is “sites that help in finding accommodation,” then web hosts listed under the Open Directory category “http://dmoz.org/Recreation/Travel/Lodging” can be taken as favored sources. (..) For example, for the query theme “sites that provide frëe downloads,” web sites that actually provide frëe software downloads would be considered “favored sources” and web sites that mislead search engines with words such as “free” and “download” (popularly known as “spam techniques”), but do notin fact provide access to frëe downloads, would be considered “non-favored sources”. The patent application infers that sites have a brighter future in the search engines, especially Google. Therefore, don’t be afraid to link out to other sites. The more value you provide to your visitor, the more you will be rewarded in the end. Your ultimate goal is to become an authority in your particular topic.

This is good and bad.

The good is, of course, we get more relevant results. Spam sites get lower results, spam blogs will be fought, but still there will be ways to avoid banning from SERPs. I have created an example of a “spam blog” which simly takes content from other sites – www.music-video-blog.com – if someone from dmoz editorial looked at the site, it wouldnt be included, but if I added manually some good posts so everything didn`t look the same, then it could go in some consideration. I still could convert that site into something useful, right now it just sits there :)
The bad for publishers is that more and more people will avoid clicking on ads like Google Adsense:
. Ads will be overused by spam site creators as they would get low results from organic referrals. Like crime is always one step ahead of police, spam will always be ahead of internet algorithms.

Afterall, publishers should take notice of such patents and recognize where the real value lies – now it seems it`s dmoz directory. Google also takes the title and decrtiption of your page from dmoz.org, so it has to be taken seriously!