Category: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)



Members of the European Parliament are readying a motion calling for the break-up of Google, by separating its search engine functionality from other commercial services, according to news reports.

A draft resolution calling for the break-up should be finalized early next week, with a vote potentially on Thursday, according to a report from The Financial Times. While the European Parliament has no formal power to break up the company, a vote to split Google could put pressure on the European Commission, the EU’s executive body.

The motion is backed by several German politicians and by the Parliament’s two largest political blocs, the European People’s Party and the Socialists, according to the newspaper. The Reuters news agency also reported on the plan.

A Google spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comments about the proposed break-up motion.

Google currently faces a long-running antitrust investigation in the EU. Google and the EU’s previous antitrust commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, agreed to a set of terms back in February, but after complaints from online publishers and other groups, the commission demanded more concessions from Google.

Consumer Watchdog, a consumer rights group and long-time Google critic, applauded the move. “This is exactly what needs to happen,” John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director, said by email. “Search should be separated from Google’s other businesses. We called for this back in 2010 and the need to do this has become even clearer as Google’s power has increased.”

In 2010, the group called on the U.S. Department of Justice to split Google’s search service from other lines of business.

News Source : (itnews.com) | Image Source : Searched via Google Images


Four prominent members of the Debian community have stepped down or reduced their involvement in the project as a result of an increasingly bitter argument over the future of the widely influential Linux distribution.

The battles center on the recent decision by Debian’s governing technical committee to replace the venerable sysvinit startup module with systemd in the forthcoming release, dubbed “Jessie.” Systemd is a more sophisticated, complex piece of software, which supporters say is a necessary update to a badly outmoded part of Debian, while critics accuse it of being needlessly complex and suffering from serious feature creep.

Anti-systemd developers have proposed a general resolution sort of a ballot initiative presented to the Debian community. If the vote succeeds by a more than 2:1 margin the Debian constitution requires a supermajority to override a technical committee decision Debian software will need to become init-system-agnostic. In essence, the resolution is an attempt to prevent Debian from becoming tied too closely to systemd.

The criticism has hit a fever pitch in recent months, with systemd creator Lennart Poettering taking to Google Plus to talk about receiving death threats and other online abuse.

The latest departure is Tollef Fog Heen, a Debian systemd maintainer, who said he felt overwhelmed by “continued attacks” in a mailing list message posted Sunday announcing his decision. Contacted via email by Network World, Fog Heen said that part of the reason that tempers have gotten so out of control is that Debian’s complex decision-making procedures aren’t satisfactory to many it’s been a problem before.

“You saw a much milder version of this when udev was introduced a long time ago: A vocal, conservative group opposed it very strongly, but over time various components essentially made udev mandatory,” he explained. “I think systemd will follow much of the same pattern.”

Fog Heen said that he plans to concentrate on other projects he’s involved in for the moment, but didn’t rule out taking on something new in the future. He follows in the footsteps of several other recent high-profile departures, which have included three members of Debian’s technical committee effectively, the distribution’s governing body. Joey Hess and Colin Watson stepped down on Nov. 8, though Watson remains in place on an interim basis, and Russ Allbery resigned Sunday evening.

In his announcement, Allbery cited the same stress over community decision-making as Fog Heen as a reason to step down.

“Nearly every [technical committee] decision is now very fraught, and expressing those decisions, at least in the current framework, requires more skill, care, attention, and caution than I currently have mental or emotional resources to do,” he wrote.

Hess said much the same thing in a blog post, though he went out of his way to emphasize that systemd was not the reason for his resignation.

“Debian used to be a lot better at that than it is now,” he said. “This seems to have less to do with the size of the project, and more to do with the project having aged, ossified, and become comfortable with increasing layers of complexity around how it makes decisions.”

Both Hess and Wilson insisted that the systemd issue alone didn’t drive them out of Debian, although Wilson admitted that it didn’t help.

“I’m sure the general stress resulting from it was a contributing factor somewhere, in that without it I wouldn’t have felt that my [technical committee] duties were something I needed to drop,” he told Network World.

Source from : (itnews.com) | Image Source from: Searched via Google Images


Apple, Microsoft, and Google are among 10 top tech companies that this week signed onto a letter backing passage of a bill that would curtail bulk collection of Internet metadata by government agencies.

The USA Freedom Act also requires transparency when the government demands user information from technology companies.

Freedom of Information Act requests by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have revealed that the U.S. government claims the right to read personal online data without warrants.

Online companies regularly receive requests from federal agencies to hand over user data.

Google, for example, has created a transparency webpage that reports on government requests for user data; the site claims tens of thousands of requests have been received over the past couple of years.

Microsoft has also received more than 100,000 requests affecting even more user accounts — more than three times the number Google received.

Last year, the 10 tech companies formed the Reform Government Surveillance coalition to increase transparency involving government surveillance programs that seek user data.

“Now, the Senate has the opportunity to send a strong message of change to the world and encourage other countries to adopt similar protections,” the coalition’s letter states.

The U.S. Senate is expected to take up the measure as early as tonight.

Even if the USA Freedom Act passes, the Reform Government Surveillance coalition said it plans to continue to work with Congress, the Obama administration, civil liberties groups and governments around the world to “advance essential reforms that we set forth in a set of principles last year.”

The reforms include preventing government access to data without proper legal process; assuring that providers are not required to locate infrastructure within a country’s border; promoting the free flow of data across borders; and avoiding conflicts among nations through robust, principled, and transparent frameworks that govern lawful requests for data across jurisdictions.

“Now is the time to move forward on meaningful change to our surveillance programs,” the letter states.

Source from : (itnews.com) | Image Source from: Searched via Google Images


Cisco will package and deliver enterprise collaboration capabilities via a mobile and Web app built to replicate the ease of use of consumer software but designed for ad hoc, workplace team interaction.

The app, called Project Squared, joins a growing number of “consumerized” enterprise mobile and Web apps built by startups and designed to put a spin on collaboration, messaging, productivity, video conferencing and communications.

Some of those include Cotap for enterprise mobile messaging, Quip for word processing and spreadsheets, Slack for chat room-like communication, SmartSheet for project and task management and Vidyo and Blue Jeans Network for cloud-based video conferencing.

Gartner analyst Adam Preset views Project Squared as competing more directly with enterprise mobile messaging apps modeled after consumer messaging apps, like Whatsapp. “Cisco seems influenced by this trend and, like competitors in the enterprise mobile messaging space, can make a good case that Project Squared can help the workforce be more agile, respond more quickly to change, and reduce some the friction that comes along with more formal and structured enterprise IT solutions,” he said via email. “This market is still developing and dynamic and there’s room for competition.”

A beta version of Project Squared is being announced at Cisco’s Collaboration Summit on Monday and made available for free download for iOS and Android devices. The app, which will also be available for MacOS computers and whose Web version works on Chrome, Firefox and Safari, lets users communicate via text chat, audio and video, hold multi-party meetings and share content.

Cisco’s motivation in building Project Squared, according to analyst Tim Banting from Current Analysis, was to develop a tool that is as familiar and friendly to use as the consumer apps people use for their personal lives.

“Vendors such as Cisco, have recognized the Consumerization of IT and are taking steps to replicate the simplicity and usability of these apps without having to compromise on business requirements such as security and manageability. Cisco’s Project Squared is such an example,” Banting said via email.

Project Squared users can launch “team” rooms, invite fellow employees or outside collaborators and begin to interact in the various ways made possibly by the app. Files shared via the app are hosted in the Cisco cloud, which also provides what the company describes as “end to end” content encryption.
“It is definitely a move in the right direction. Cisco needs to pivot to the cloud from a product and platform perspective. They need to remain relevant when the easily attainable and ‘good enough’ competitive products are able to meet users’ immediate needs,” said Vanessa Thompson, an IDC analyst.

Project Squared gives Cisco a place at the enterprise mobile app table, since it’s free for anyone to download, so employees can start to use it without necessarily getting approval from their IT departments. However, Cisco is developing an IT administration and management console for Project Squared. “It’s a critical part of our roadmap,” a Cisco spokeswoman said via email. “We have an early stage version in development and expect to start limited trials soon with IT admins and partners.”

Project Squared also complements Cisco’s collaboration and UC (unified communications) product stack by extending it to mobile devices. Cisco already offers voice communications, video conferencing, IP telephony, IM and Web meetings via a variety of hardware devices and cloud and on-premise software for desktops, small and medium-size meeting rooms, and large conference rooms.

“Cisco is filling in a gap in their portfolio, the use case for small, agile teams that want robust mobile apps but don’t need more complex services and tools like WebEx or dedicated hardware endpoints for every bit of work, even if they have them,” Gartner’s Preset said.

Still, he was somewhat surprised that Cisco decided to build a brand new app instead of extending existing collaboration and UC products.

“One might expect Cisco to continue to make incremental improvements to existing platforms and clients, so seeing them build something new is not altogether expected. What makes it fit well in Cisco’s portfolio is the real-time communication element, the ability to spin up an ad hoc video chat in the app. Seeing Cisco as a player in mobile messaging and collaboration will take getting used to,” he said.

Many of Cisco’s collaboration and UC products have mobile components, including most notably the desktop Web conferencing tool WebEx and the Jabber enterprise IM system. It’s unclear whether Project Squared will overlap and eventually possibly replace some of those existing mobile apps.

Preset doesn’t view Project Squared as a WebEx replacement. “Project Squared is really a blend of mobile messaging, working with files, and real-time video in a room metaphor. I can envision a scenarios in which small, highly mobile teams use Project Squared for quick, ad hoc messaging and video, but still lean on WebEx for more complex, scheduled, and larger meetings,” he said.

For now, Cisco is saying that the Project Squared app integrates with WebEx, as well as with third-party calendar apps, Microsoft’s Active Directory, and Box’s enterprise cloud storage and file sharing service. Specifically for Box, Project Squared users will be able to call up files from their Box repositories and view them within the app’s team rooms without having to download them.

The Box integration is a good first step, but enterprises will also expect similar links with other cloud storage repositories where their employees keep their content, including Dropbox, Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business and Google’s Drive for Work, Preset said. Similarly, enterprises invested in Google Apps, Office 365 and other collaboration suites need to determine just how extensible and interoperable Project Squared will be.

“It is not yet obvious how well something like Project Squared will play alongside or augment those experiences. Squared users might be siloed unless there’s integration,” he said.

While the app will be free, it will have fee-based premium features. “We intend to have a free version for casual use and a competitively priced professional version with enterprise licensing and administration controls,” the Cisco spokeswoman said. Cisco expects to release a finalized version of Project Squared in the second quarter next year.

At its Collaboration Summit, being held this week in Los Angeles, Cisco also announced the Telepresence IX 5000 Series, a high-end video conferencing system with three 70-inch screens, three 4K ultra high-definition cameras and a “theater quality” sound system with 18 speakers, a subwoofer and a microphone array with more than 17,000 micro holes.

Thanks to H.265 compression, the IX 5000 requires half the bandwidth and less power than prior three-screen systems from Cisco. Cisco estimates that two people can set it up in eight hours, again half the time of previous, similar systems. It’s scheduled to ship in December.

Source from : (itnews.com) | Image Source from: Searched via Google Images


Small businesses in selected neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri now have the opportunity to get in on Google’s fiber Internet service, the company announced today.

The Google Fiber program had previously been limited to residential customers, and its expansion into the business market signifies the partial fulfillment of Google’s long-standing plans to elevate a fiber-enabled Kansas City as a shining example of what very-high-speed Internet service can do for a metropolitan area.

Google’s Kansas City field team manager, Carlos Casas, wrote in an official blog post that local businesses could realize a number of benefits from the company’s 1Gbps service.

“[W]hether a business uses their connection to move to the cloud, get closer to customers on Hangouts, or bring more transactions online, we’re excited to see what happens when Kansas City businesses say farewell to slow speeds and hello to all the tools and technologies that they need to grow,” he said.

According to the program’s official website, Google Fiber for small businesses costs $100 per month, and at least for the moment customers won’t be charged the usual installation fee that Google levies on residential users, in exchange for running a fiber line to their house. A static IP address can be purchased for $20, or five static IPs for $30.

Today’s official blog post emphasizes that this is an early access period Google has not announced when more general access to its small business fiber service will become available for Kansas City businesses. Nor did the company provide any information on whether the program could expand to its other two residential markets for Google Fiber, which are Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas.

Source from : (itnews.com) | Image Source from: Searched via Google Images


Google is paying US$1.16 billion over 60 years to lease from NASA the Moffett Federal Airfield in California.

The Internet giant plans to renovate and use the historic Hangar One, originally built to house airships, for research, development, assembly and testing in the areas of “space exploration, aviation, rover/robotics and other emerging technologies,” NASA said Monday.

The other two hangars at the airfield will be used for similar purposes, it added. A Google spokesman declined to provide more details.

NASA has estimated that the lease will save it about $6.3 million each year in maintenance and operation costs besides providing the $1.16 billion in rent over the initial 60-year lease term. MFA is at present maintained by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

Google is also spending over $200 million to restore the hangars and to set up a public education facility on the airfield, focused on the site’s legacy and the role of technology in the history of Silicon Valley.

MFA has about 1,000 acres of land located on South San Francisco Bay, which includes besides the three hangars, an airfield flight operations building, two runways and a private golf course, NASA said.

NASA said in February it and U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) had selected Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures as the preferred lessee to run the Moffett Federal Airfield and restore Hangar One, and began negotiations with it.

Under a request for proposal in May 2013, the airfield will also support government and controlled public and private flight operations.

The airfield is used by H211, a company controlled by Google executives who use it for their private jets, and the company was criticized for getting fuel at a discount from the government for running the jets.

Consumer Watchdog, a long-time Google critic, on Monday criticized the lease of the airfield to Google, claiming that it gives the company “unprecedented control of a federal facility to use as its own playground.” Google has said it plans to test its driverless cars at Moffett, which would allow it to escape California rules that require that such vehicles must have a driver capable of taking over control, the consumer group said. Google declined to comment.

U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo, a Democrat from California, said the lease agreement “honors Moffett Field and Hangar One as part of U.S. Naval history, while looking to the future by promoting research into space, aviation and other emerging technologies.”

Source from : (itnews.com) | Image Source from: Searched via Google Images


If you think your Facebook feed has a lot of video now, just wait.

“In five years, most of [Facebook] will be video,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday during the company’s first community town hall, in which he took questions from the public on a range of topics.

He was responding to a question about whether the growing number of photos uploaded to Facebook is putting a drag on its infrastructure. But Facebook’s data centers have it covered, he said. The real challenge is improving the infrastructure to allow for more rich media like video in people’s feeds.

Zuckerberg took questions from a group of users who were invited to its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and people also submitted questions online.

One of the most popular online question was why Facebook forced users to download its Messenger app for mobile.

The 30-year-old acknowledged not everyone was thrilled with the change.

“Asking everyone in our community to install another app is a big ask,” he said. But Facebook thought it could provide a better, faster messaging product if it split it off from its own app.

“We really believe this is a better experience,” Zuckerberg said.

One user in the audience asked him if Facebook is losing its charm or becoming boring.

The question of Facebook losing its “cool” gets raised from time to time, Zuckerberg said, but “my goal was never to make Facebook cool,” he said. Instead, he wants it to be a helpful service that just works.

Another asked why he always seems wear the same t-shirts and hoodies. Zuckerberg said he wants to spend as much time as possible on things that matter, like how to build products, even if it means thinking less about what he wears.

“Steve Jobs had the same approach,” he said.

Source from : (itnews.com) | Image Source from: Searched via Google Images


Facebook received nearly 35,000 requests for user data from governments around the world during the first half of 2014, up 24 percent from roughly 28,000 requests made during 2013’s second half.

The uptick indicates the value governments place on the personal information Facebook has on file for its 1.35 billion users who log in at least monthly. The majority of these requests, Facebook said Tuesday, relate to criminal cases like robberies or kidnappings, targeting data like subscriber information as well as IP address logs and actual content.

The U.S. dominated in the number of requests, with 15,433 queries targeting 23,667 people, or well less than 1 percent of Facebook’s total users, according to the company’s third report on such requests. India clocked in second with 4,559 requests, with France, Germany and the U.K. each having more than 2,000 requests.

Google, in comparison, received nearly 32,000 government data requests worldwide for the first half of the year, and over 12,000 in the U.S.

Facebook says it pushes back against requests that are overly broad or not legally sound. But still, it hands over data to varying degrees depending on the country; the company produced some user data for more than 12,000 of the 15,433 requests in the U.S.

The report does not provide much useful information about requests related to national security matters, due to U.S. laws that prevent Facebook and other companies like Google and Microsoft from revealing anything more than a vague range.

For the first half of 2014, Facebook says it received between 0 and 999 National Security Letters, a type of request commonly used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation seeking metadata such as names, e-mail addresses and time and date of messages. Facebook reported the same range during the first and second halves of 2013.

The constitutionality of NSLs has been debated in court, with a recent hearing held in an appeals court in San Francisco.

Facebook must wait six months before it can disclose the number of data requests it received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is a different type of request typically targeting actual content such as email messages.

Tech companies have sued the U.S. government to become more transparent, which led to declassification of the ranges earlier this year.

“We continue to work with our industry and civil society partners to push governments for additional transparency and to reform surveillance practices necessary to rebuild people’s trust in the Internet,” said Facebook Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby, in the firm’s announcement on Tuesday.

Legislative efforts to reign in government surveillance include the USA Freedom Act, which has yet to become law.

Source from : (itnews.com)


Google today released a variety of new features for its public cloud in an effort to take on its two biggest rivals in the industry – Amazon Web Services and Microsoft – and perhaps even more importantly, to position its offering as a viable destination for enterprise workloads.

With features such as new networking options to connect directly into Google’s cloud, along with new VPN functionality and yet another price cut, Google is priming itself to compete in the enterprise market. Analysts say that Google has traditionally focused more on developers compared to its two chief rivals. But with announcements made today at Google’s Cloud Platform Live event in San Francisco, Google is clearly aiming for business users.

Google will have an uphill battle compared to Amazon and Microsoft when courting enterprise end users to its cloud, analysts say. As the market leader and the first to offer public IaaS cloud services, AWS has a lead in not only features of its cloud, but enterprise customers as well. Microsoft, meanwhile has a long heritage of selling to enterprise customers so the company’s Azure platform is a natural fit for enterprise workloads.

Google thus far in the IaaS market has focused its cloud as being developer-friendly and the best performance-for-value cloud in the market, its executives say. During the past year or so it’s been building up features that position itself to appeal to more large business-type workloads though.

“As Google itself acknowledges, they’re coming from behind with respect to the enterprise,” says Stephen O’Grady, principle analyst and co-founder of research firm RedMonk. “Amazon was the early market pioneer, and Microsoft has a lot of account relationships to exploit. The key for Google will be relying on developer pull rather than account or marketing push.”

Google today continued the drumbeat of new products and services aimed at the enterprise market. Perhaps the most significant are in the networking realm. The company announced Direct Peering, which will allow large businesses to directly connect their infrastructure with more than 70 Google points of presence in 33 countries across the globe. Google also released a program named Interconnect with partners Equinix IX Reach, Level 3, TATA Communications, Telx, Verizon, and Zayo. End users who host workloads with one of these companies can directly connect their data to Google’s cloud now. Google announced that it will soon support VPN capabilities in its cloud too.

In an introductory video before the GCP Live event started, an executive gave a video tour of a Google data center in which it highlighted the many security measures the company uses at its facilities, including the multiple layers of security checkpoints and eye-scanners to verify the identity of the select few employees who are authorized to access the servers Google uses to hosts its cloud. Not everyone is convinced Google is appealing to enterprises though.

Meanwhile, Google is not giving up on developers; quite the opposite in fact. In addition to many of the enterprise features it announced today, Google also made a variety of announcements that will appeal to developers. These include a new engine that runs containers, auto-scaling for virtual machines, local solid state storage drives that can be connected to any VM, expanded mobile application development tools, and a tool that alerts coders to bugs in software. Google also announced across-the-board price cuts to its cloud products today.

Google is clearly looking to compete with the big guns of the IaaS industry in AWS, Microsoft and a whole host of other vendors, including VMware, HP, Verizon and others. While Google has a strong developer focus to it’s cloud, the company is expanding its services to appeal to enterprise end users, while also pushing the envelope in rolling out cutting-edge features on its platform, particularly for using containers.

Amazon will have its chance to respond to these Google announcements when it kicks off its AWS re:Invent conference next week in Las Vegas.

Source from : (itnews.com)


Introduction

In part 6 I showed you how to promote your site by writing e-mails and articles. In this, the final part, I will show you how you can benefit from banner and button exchanges.

What Is An Exchange?

The most common type of exchange is a banner exchange so I will concentrate on this first. Basically a banner exchange is a large system where you can have your banner displayed on other sites.

You sign up to the exchange and give them the URL of your banner. Then you receive some code to put on your site. This code will display another banner from the exchange on the site and log the view. You will have an account where all the times a banner is viewed on your site is logged. These are known as banner impressions.

For every impression you earn you will be given a number of impressions on another site. This is usually done at a ratio of something like 2:1 (for every 2 banner impressions you display on your site you receive 1 impression of your banner on another site). This sounds a bit unfair but the site running the exchange needs a lot of bandwidth and resources and the spare impressions are used to display advertising banners. You may find rates as good as 10:9, though, where only 1 in 10 banners are taken by the exchange owners.

Why Should I Join an Exchange?

Some people wonder why a banner exchange is worthwhile if you only receive 1 banner impression for every 2 you display. You could be using this space on your website for paid advertising, making you money.

The main reason for doing an exchange, though, is that you are getting for free what could cost you a lot of money, advertising on another website. You are almost sure to benefit from an exchange, especially if you can design a very effective banner.

Another reason for joining an exchange is that you do not always have do give up your banner or prime advertising space. It is because of this that many new exchanges have been set up dealing in button and box advertising. These are much smaller and can be placed in navigation bars or just at the bottom of pages.

Banners, Buttons and Boxes

With all the different options for exchanges, what are they all. Banners are the standard 468×60 pixel images you see at the top and bottom of most websites. They are by far the most popular way of advertising on the web.

Buttons are 88×31 pixel images. Being very small, they are usually found under navigation bars or in clusters at the bottom of pages. They are becoming more popular as a method of advertising.

Boxes are usually 120 pixels wide and can vary in height. They are usually found in navigation bars or next to the banner at the top of a page. They are not particularly popular way of having an exchange but are an excellent form of advertising.

Exchange Tips

There are literally hundreds of exchange programs on the web, going from large networks, with millions of member websites, right down to tiny exchanges with a few members. Their display ratios vary greatly also, sometimes even being a 1:1 exchange!

Finding the right exchange program for your website can be difficult but it is usually better to go for a specific exchange which is related to your website because you are likely to get a much higher click through rate (the chances of your banner being clicked on (usually around 1%)). With the big exchanges, although you are categorized, you have less of a chance of having your banner clicked on.

Another useful tip is to get as many impressions as possible. Even if you think that your advertising space is too valuable to give up you are never going to get a decent amount of visitors through the exchange unless you get a lot of impressions. Put the code on every page of your site so that you get as many as possible.

If you don’t have one already, you should get a counter or tracker which tells you
the referring URL of your visitors (the site they have come from). Sitemeter is an excellent option. Although, this will allow you to see where your visitors have come from it will not tell you if they came through the banner exchange. If a site appears that you don’t think you have a link on, visit it. If you see a banner or button from the exchange you are a member of then the visitor probably came through the exchange. Most exchanges also offer statistics that will tell you the number of impressions and clicks you have received.

Finding Exchanges

Finding exchanges is actually the easiest part of using an exchange effectively. You can just do a search on a search engine. Another way of finding them is by looking at the banners and buttons on other people’s sites. These will sometimes have a link under them to the exchange. You can also move your mouse over the button. The URL displayed in the status bar will tell you where you can find the exchange.

What Now?

After these 7 parts of the promotion tutorial you should have a very good idea of how to promote your site. Now you should just continue the promotion process, as if you stop your visitor numbers will fall. If you work hard you can be assured of having a popular site.

You must not forget, though, to keep developing your site and adding new content to make visitors want to come back again.