If you anything like me, picking keywords for your website is a big hassle, especially if you run a dynamic website. You might start thinking “Search engines don’t really care why should I?”…Don’t! The moment you think this, your website will crash and burn. Even though the keyword Meta tag is redundant you do need optimise a page for certain words.
Let me explain, Say you page has the following text:
PHP is a scripting language used for making fun websites. It was made in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf and currently it is very popular with people new to programming website. I like it as it is easy to make cool websites.
This text is fulgy to read and to spider. But we can clearly see how we can fix it up, it should be optimised for the the main keyword “PHP”. The first thing we should do for this piece of text is change all the “it’s” to our keywords and add a nice little definition.
PHP stands for Hypertext pre-processor and is a popular scripting language used for making fun websites. PHP was made in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf and currently PHP is very popular with people new to programming website. I like it as PHP is easy to make cool websites.
As you can see the keyword PHP has gone up from 1 reference to 4, which should improve its ranking. However we could improve the text a lot more, I have used lots of simple words which make for dull reading and poorer optimisation. Let me try again
PHP (Hypertext pre-processor) is a popular scripting language used for making dynamic websites. PHP was created in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf to help maintain his website. Currently PHP is very popular with freelance web developers and large technologies companies. PHP is very easy programming language to learn, as it is very well documented and their are many tutorials on programming with PHP on the net. Current PHP is the most popular programming language for making a dynamic website.
As you can see, I’ve increased the amount of times the keyword “PHP” appears, put in words such as “dynamic”, “website” and “programming”. This should help search engines realise the page this text would be on should have something to do with programming dynamic websites with PHP.
Getting statistics about your site is always useful and interesting for every type of site, be it personal or an e-commerce money making machine knowing who, how, what, when and even why your visitors decided to take a look at your site. For e-commerce this can be vital and for personal/non-commerce sites its just interesting!
So today we are going to take a look at Google Analytics this is probably the best service for providing easy to read information about how your site is doing, like with Awstats and Webalizer which is provided with XDnet’s cPanel accounts, watch this space for articles about how you can use these to take a look at your site stats soon.
What browser are your visitors using?
Check out exactly how many visitors have been looking at your site.
How fast is visitors connections?
Look at how people navigate through your site and where they exit.
How do people find your site? What keywords are they using to get to your site?
These important facts about your site can help you make informed decisions about the direction of your website, find problems users face and fix them – notice users aren’t finding that page you want? which pages make users leave? whats wrong with it? All these questions and more can be answered with the information gathered after just a few months of using analytics tools.
For basic web statistics, you can download your site’s log files. Access is included with all our packages. Log files are simple, they take a note of all page accesses, but the downside is they are not user friendly. There are software available to make them into a more friendly format, but why bother when there are tools which are easy to understand and more importantly use “out of the box”.
Using Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool, and one of the many great sites which we have and will look into on XDnet, which really can help make your site great.
Small catch, unlike with Awstats and Webalizer which comes with XDnet’s hosting, you will have to do a little more than just activate it in cPanel, you have to add a code snippet to the bottom of every page on your website… which can be a long and tedious process, especially if your site is not template based.
Many people simply do not have the time (or patience) to do this, especially if they are not code litterate, and can end up paying a lot of money for this to be done. However XDnet offers this service for a fraction of the price - Just open a Technical ticket.
Now this could be one of the most helpful and interesting features that comes with Google Analytics, and appears to have incredible accuracy most likely because Google is a multi-billion dollar company which can afford the very best Geo-location databases I am sure.
With this tool you can see exactly where visitors come from instantly, but of course that’s not all, you can get even deeper and get close up views of what town or city your users are from, and of course like with colour coding you can easily see which cities have the most visitors, to the right is another screenshot of a website i run. London obviously has is the most visitors which will probably be the case with most sites simply because London is a very big city, but second is Swindon (home of XDnet) and also where the sites organisation is based.
Of course you can break this down even further and take a look at how many visitors you get per day for an individual city and much more.
How users view your site:
You can also check out how your users are viewing your site, find out what browsers they are using, what screen resolution, what colours and so much more.
Google Analytics takes everything you can possibly know about your visitors and makes it into an easy to read, easy to understand and most importantly useful format.
With useful information like user connection speeds, if you find 99% of your visitors are on dial-up, maybe you should think about streamlining your site to be more low-band friendly? And vica versa, as much more likely in today’s market you find all you users are on Broadband (or higher) then maybe you can start thinking more about quality, use a slightly high resolution of images – your users are unlikely to notice a great difference so long as they have a fast Internet connection, but they will notice shiny new images where pixelated pictures used to be, however don’t forget to use caution everyone wants fast websites, and only sites with good, interesting and useful content are worth the wait of loading images.
I feel like I am starting to repeat myself a little so all i can say is, check it out, give it a try!
Seems everyone in the blogosphere has made comment on Google turning 10 years old.
So keeping with tradition Google had a spacial logo for their big day.Google has had an interesting and diverse history as shown in their timeline.
However i have picked out a few key points below, and want have a small scratch at the surface of what Google has and is doing.
Here comes Google!
On 15th September 1997, the Google name first comes to light, Larry and Sergey decided the original name (BackRub) needed a new name.
After a while they came upon googol, which is a mathematical term for the number 1^100 (1 with 100 zeros after it), as this represents their goal of organising what is an infinite amount of information.
In 1998 Google received its first cheque for $100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim, Sun Co-Founder. This was before the guys had even properly set Google up as an incorporate or even had a Google bank account!
Ever since their first joke in 2000 when Google announced MentalPlex, which boldly claimed Google could now read your mind and produce the perfect search results – all you have to do is stare at the swirly circle…
And of course, it didn’t stop with reading your mind! In 2002 Google explained the advanced technology behind how exactly PageRank (or PigeonRank) actually worked… a whole lot of trained pigeons finding you great results.
In 2004 Google went even futher and expanded to yet another location, the Moon and best of all they needed you to staff it. – Lunar Job Offers
Over the years Google has been quite the comedian with instructions on Google Maps which included “Swim across the Atlantic Ocean” (now removed) if you asked for directions from North America to a location in Europe.
Gmail Paper Archive, where Google will print and post your emails and attachment for free and Tisp, the Toilet ISP from 2007 being one of the ones which really makes me laugh as i look back.
More recently (2008) of course there is Virgle, when Virgin and Google team up to take us all to live on Mars… Yes, Mars.
The application form on the site alone can really make you laugh, with questions like I am a world-class expert in – physics, medicine and first aid, engineering or Guitar Hero II.
But thanks to Google now owning YouTube.com they joined in the fun too by bringing a new term in the blogosphere, RickRolling where on April 1st where all featured videos on YouTube instead lead to the Rick Astley music video – Never Gonna Give You Up, i bet the video uploader was thrilled!
The list goes on with each new wakey idea topping the last, and i can honestly say i look forward to April the 1st, just to see what Google might do next.
No I am not talking about Google Inc, an “avid” Google “enthusiast” Elias Kai decided to name his new bored son Oliver Google Kai.
Google Tops 1 Billion
26th June 2000 Google Index hits 1 Billion pages (URL’s) indexed, and in the beginning of 2006 Google’s Image Search tops 1.1 Billion Images indexed.
What doesn’t Google own?
Over the past ten years Google has become massive with the acquisition of companies/sites like Blogger.com, YouTube.com (9th October 2006), Keyhole (a digital mapping company), Urchin – a web analytics company which is behind Google Analytics technology,Writely a web-based word processing app which is the basis for Google Docs (9th March 2006), and this year even google completed their deal with DoubleClick (the online advertising company), JotSpot which was a collaborative wiki platform which has now become Google Sites, dMarc which was a DAB advertising company and so many more, Google is taking on many different aspects of online markets, but is this good? – Leave a comment, or send us an email with your views.
Google is doing and has done so much for technology, and it shows what billions of dollars can achieve, but I, as always, am interested in your views on Google what do you like/dislike?
Google is getting ever closer to their goal “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” Google has developed arguably the best technology for indexing text, they have developed the idea of the Google Image Label which frankly proved to be rather addictive when i first came across it and now they are in the beta stages of developing technology to “listen” to audio in videos, convert whats said into text and then use their search technology to display the most relevant content.
Of course there’s a little snag, at the moment all videos must be uploaded to the Google owned video sharing site YouTube, and they are only indexing political videos and still with bugs in the conversion from speech to text which could prove difficult, for instance:
If shows a video where instead the speaker actually says: “What I have learned from the pain of
my loss and from my journey…”
However this is something new, one day not so far in the future we can expect to be able to find videos not on tags or text around the video but words spoken by people in the video, and when mixed with Google’s advanced search technology this brings us ever closer to their goal… World domination… i mean to index the worlds content.
So will video without sound soon follow? will technology ever get that far? that a computer can “watch” a video AND understand what its about?
Hopefully soon this technology will open up to the whole of YouTube, so everyone’s videos will be able to be indexed using this, but is that a good thing? remember it is this very technology which means your home-made video of you and your friends with that clip of music to go with it is being taken down for copyright infringement… as with all things there’s the downside.
Google Chrome is here, but what is it like? Is it really better than Internet Explorer 7, FireFox or even Internet explorer 8 (which passes the Acid test BETTER than FireFox 3)? Let’s take a look…
Now I have to admit I am not my usual self and have been wrapped up with starting new things and developing XDnet more recently and have not been reading much from my RSS gadget and it slipped my attention Google’s Browser was even close to release, so when a friend began questioning me about it I thought it best to download and check it out! However my first thought was “O no, not another browser to worry about!” however so far I have not come across any browser compatibility issues with Google Chrome… yet.
Now with as with any new software comes a whole host of new exciting features. Google realised “the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications” and have come at creating Chrome from a whole new angle, it’s very different to most browsers, and from my experience so far makes the browsing easier.
Under the hood:
Okay so unlike most I will go through a brief over view of what is under the hood.
I won’t try to give a balanced view here. Google has done it.
The tab structure is perfect, and incorporates a feature I myself have been greatly anticipating from a browser, the ability to detach a tab, you can either detach and just drag into an empty space where it will open into its own window or if you drop it over an existing window it will attach to that, it’s simply superb.
EDIT: Yes i know FireFox can get a plugin to do the movable tags, but still surly having it built in is better?
Of course this ability is greatly to thank for because of the independency of each tab, each tab has its very own process so when a page decides it will munch a little too much CPU you can terminate the tab and (in theory) the browser should not crash and cause you to lose other tabs (and work), you can also easily manage the processes using Google Chromes Task Manager which shows each process as well as plugins’ enabling you to easily see the offending part and terminate it accordingly. You may also notice on the Task Manager you have a small link which says “Stats for nerds” … so me being a nerd I checked it out, this opens up a new tab with full memory stats not only for the Google Chrome tabs but also for other browsers you may be running at the time, as you can see in the screenshot – Please note my IE7 had 10 tabs open, Google Chrome 4 and FireFox 1 hence the hugely varied memory usage.
Compared to other browsers:
Personally, design wise Google Chrome beats all others hands down, it’s sleek, simple and flows nicely, and because Google has used Mozilla FireFox as part of Chromes base you will notice some similarities between the two browsers.
Both FireFox and Google Chrome share an almost identical remember passwords bar,
Because virtually ALL browsers on the market have grown from back in the day when there was no viruses, no threats and geeks ruled the web security wasn’t such an issue, however as we all know… times have changed, and Google took this approach when building Google Chrome the glass isn’t half full, it’s half empty you will get attacked at some point by malware, virus and many other nasties lurking on the world wide web, it’s a fact of life when using the Internet. So once again we come back to Chromes multi-process feature, each tab has its own process which has had its rights stripped away, meaning it can’t access your personal files, can’t write to your hard drive. Your browsing tab is happy playing in a sandbox with armed guards on each side.
However while Google Chrome itself is in a jail there is one small problem… Plugins. Google simply has no control over how high the privileges these run at, a plugin could easily let in the nasties, Google is trying to work with plugin makers to get them to run at lower privileges meaning they can run more securely making a safer browsing environment.
Google Chrome automatically downloads two lists of harmful websites, Phishing (ones which try to steal your information, and in the long run your identity and or money) and those which will damage your computer, if you come across one of the websites on the list while browsing you will be alerted of the danger.
One of the great things about Google Chrome is when you open a new tab you are presented with a useful page, not a blank page, not your homepage which you have to wait for it to load, instead you are shown a page with the top 9 sites you visited book marks easily accessible making it easy and fast to find what you want.
Possibly Google’s answer to Microsoft’s Sliver Light, Google Gears aims to make browsers better for developers, in their own words there is no point on browser being able to have all the bells and whistles if another one can’t and this is where gears comes in gears can help developers get the most out of their web apps.
Google refers to their URL bar as an “omnibox” simply because it does everything, this one text field displays suggested searches, top pages you have visited as well as pages you haven’t visited but which are popular to others this is one of the many features aiming to make your browsing experience easy, quick and painless.
As I mentioned above Chrome is completely open source, it uses open source elements and Google are giving this to the world and other developers, and are actively encouraging developers to take the good parts of it to use within their own browsers and to tinker and play with this interesting new browser.
The down side:
Nothing perfect and neither is Google Chrome, while I have only been using Chrome for a few hours over the past few days and I have noticed a few problems and for me, they are big two of the key functions which I use video streaming and RSS.
So far every time I have tried to watch programs on iPlayer it has worked but seems to lag and stop and start and just doesn’t work, where as in FireFox or Internet Explorer 7 this works fine and works perfectly, so possibly some buffer issues or it could just be Chrome not quite handling the process smoothly.
And as for RSS… where is it? Google claim this browser is to lead the web and is designed for today, so why not include Google’s feed reader or something to enable users to read feeds within the browser environment. Personally I like the RSS features and reader included in Internet Explorer 7.
“Started from scratch and built on the best elements out there.” Google Chrome is here, and it looks like it has put its feet up and is here to stay.
But I am eager to hear your feedback and find out what you think about what you like, dislike and what you would like to see in Chrome in the future.