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Posts Tagged ‘geo:lon=172.63354293837892’

Google Plus One Clicks ‘Not Important’.

When Google launched the Google Plus One button, many webmasters and SEO professionals were curious as to how this tool would affect their web page rankings. Most bets were placed on it being important; after all,  the social signals coming out of popular social networks like Twitter and Facebook carry so much weight these days. But no, Google Plus One clicks carry very little weight and, according to a recent interview with Matt Cutts (head of webspam at Google), have very little effect on your rankings:

In the short term, we’re still going to have to study and see how good the signal is. Right now, there’s not really a direct effect where if you have a lot of +1s, you’ll rank higher.


The failure of the +1 clicks to provide accurate social signals stems from Google’s dismal  social network. Over a billion people now use Facebook and its ‘like’ button to give search engines a wealth of social data. In contrast, hardly anyone uses the Google Plus social network and its associated +1 button. Search engine users may be confused by + 1′s, which differ from the Facebook ‘like’ button which directly shares content to a user’s social stream. They may also be put off by the spammy nature of the buttons, which appear next to search results in Google and on websites fooled into teaming up with Google Plus.

The +1 feature was designed by Google to help people discover and share relevant content from the people they already know and trust. However, because so few people are using the feature to give their vote to search results, websites and advertisements, Google has no choice but to largely ignore its own creation.

Although Google +1 clicks have no direct impact on your ranking in search engines, they may offer a very slight indirect benefit by helping to increase click-through-rate (CTR). The logic is that people will be more likely to click on a search result that display a higher number of +1′s, or click links that are recommended by your friends (the catch being that you have to be signed into Google Plus and your friends have to be using the service for this to work).

This is not the first time Cutts has downplayed the significance of the +1 button with regards to ranking. At the SMX Advanced conference in June, he said:

When we look at +1, we’ve found it’s not necessarily the best quality signal right now.

Matt Cutts comments on authorship show that this could be a more important signal in rankings factors in the future. If your website contains content that can be attributed to a particular author, author verification could help your site:

There are things like, we have an authorship proposal, where you can use nice standards to markup your webpage, and you’ll actually see a picture of the author right there, and it turns out that if you see a picture of the author, sometimes you’ll have higher click through, and people will say, ‘oh, that looks like a trusted resource.’

So there are ways that you can participate and sort of get ready for the longer term trend of getting to know not just that something was said, but who said it and how reputable they were.

If you look further out in the future and look at something that we call ‘social signals’ or ‘authorship’ or whatever you want to call it, in ten years, I think knowing that a really reputable guy – if Dan has written an article, whether it’s a comment on a forum or on a blog – I would still want to see that. So that’s the long-term trend.

However, the effect of a verified authorship on the rankings of your website seems to be quite low at current and could simply be an attempt to get more Google+ users.

Robots Outdo Gotye

Watch an HP scanner perform lead vocals for Gotyes ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’.

robots sing gotye somebody that I used to know

Running out of uses for that old HP Scanjet 3C scanner in the office? Why not team it up with an oscilloscope, a xylophone and a couple of hard drives to make beautiful music?

There have been many remixes of Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ but none have tickled out tech fancy as much as this charming remix done by an HP Scanjet 3C scanner and its digital band members.

YouTube user bd594 beautifully fuses pop music melodies with electronic noises, all produced from throwaway computer parts found in an electronic parts stores in Toronto, Canada.

With the HP Scanjet 3C on lead vocals, it lags a bit due to the fast paced rhythm. In order for the stepper motor to play a note it has to be moving its large carriage, creating an almost ‘duel noise’ which echo the duet parts of the original song, sung by Gotye and Kimbra. Programming helps to compensate for the lag but leaving it there gives the song an added layer of character for the digital band.

An Amiga 600 Bass is used on the left audio output and a guitar on the right audio output. Each audio channel is then feed in to the oscilloscope and two hard drives are used as drums and cymbals. A xylophone (played by a robot, of course), makes an appearance as the only ‘natural’ instrument. Both the hard drives and the xylophone are controlled by one PIC16F84A micro-controller.

The robot band also covers Maroon 5′s song ‘Move Like Jagger’ and features Stephen Hawking on vocals (well, it uses the ‘Vocals Digital DECtalk Express’, which is the same unit as Stephen Hawking used back in the 80′s).

We’re not sure if this is a new genre of electronic music or a new form of recycling. You be the judge!

Myspace want you back

Are you ready to give Myspace another chance?

Who am I to say I want you back / You were never mine to give away / I was waiting for a long long time / For you to feel the same

The lyrics to the “New Myspace” promotional video tug on our heart strings. We all had a love affair with the once-sexy social network in its heyday (2003-2008). But our attention span was short, and we were having multiple flings on the side. Of course, some of those flings–with Facebook and Twitter in particular–turned into long-term relationships. We dumped Myspace in late 2008 when we became bored with customising our profile pages and annoyed by the heavy use of banner advertisements.

But Myspace want us back. The sleek 2-minute promotional video tells the story of new myspace justin timberlakeDavid–an indie hipster from LA–enticed back to Myspace. David is prompted to enter his Facebook or Twitter details to get his profile started, hinting at the ability to merge all the existing content posted on these networks.We are then shown a sleek new interface that has a Pinterest feel, dominated by images and video. The ability to search for music is highlighted with a cameo from Justin Timberlake, now a major investor in the company:

… with every obstacle comes an opportunity and I see this, as it speaks to somebody like me, as bridging the gap. It’s just bringing the connection that much closer while still making the artist feel comfortable that they can make their art, lock themselves in a room and torture themselves as they do, and still find a way to comfortably connect with their fan base

Timberlake is also heavily involved in the business end of the company and has been leveraging his 14 million twitter followers to spread the word about the new Myspace.

The biggest concern about the new Myspace will be its use of ads. The signs don’t look good as Myspace is now owned by an advertising agency. Along with Timberlake, Specific Media bought Myspace for a measly $35 million from News Corp. last year (News Corp. paid $580 million in 2005). Specific Media is a digital advertising agency that helps marketers buy digital ads across the Web, online video, mobile and TV. Tim Vanderhook, chief executive officer of Specific Media:

We’re thrilled about the opportunity to rebuild and reinvigorate Myspace. We look forward to partnering with someone as talented as Justin Timberlake, who will lead the business strategy with his creative ideas and vision for transforming Myspace. This is the next chapter of digital media, and we are excited to have a hand in writing the script.

As people are becoming dissatisfied with Facebook due to its poor protection of private information, it’s overuse of paid-for ‘targeted ads’ and a myriad of other reasons, there is certainly room to fall in love with Myspace again. However, as the catchy song “Heartbeat,” by the group JJAMZ proclaims in the new Myspace promo:

If you break my heart a second time / I might never be the same