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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

How to get Ratings Stars in Google.

get stars in googleLooking good in Google is not just about vanity. By having Google ratings stars, you are telling search engine users that they can interact or vote on your content or products. This shows visitor engagement on your website and will likely lead to an increase in your click-through-rate (CTR) within the search results (i.e. people are more likely to click on your site link when a star rating is applied versus a search engine snippet that has no stars). And because the stars that appear in the search engine pages take up an extra line of space, it draws extra attention to your listing, especially if your competitors don’t have stars. Search engine users also attach more trust to companies with search engine snippets ratings, even if they only achieve a one-star rating.

Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex all support star rating in search results, also known as rich snippets. A collaboration between these search engines has lead to the creation of the project, whereby a shared markup vocabulary has been developed to help webmasters to easily add structured data to their web pages that all  search engines should be able to understand.

Most webmasters are familiar with the HTML tags on their web pages. The HTML tags tell the web browser how to display the information within the tags, but they don’t give any information about what the text within tags mean. This is where markup comes in – the extra tags, along with microdata format adds information to HTML content.

For instance, if you hosted a web site that sold Stanley Kubrick DVDs, you might have the following HTML tag on your web page:


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Google Sitelinks

Sitelinks are those little clustered links to the inside pages of a top search result on a query term considered by the search engine to be navigational in nature. They are links under the main listing that deep link into a site by category or topic. So, for example, if you did a search for “IT Itch” in Google a few weeks ago, you would have seen our website in the top spot, with a link to our homepage and underneath it you would have seen six sitelinks -SEO, Marketing, About, Web Design, Contact, Web Hosting – and “more results from IT Itch”. See picture below.


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How Many Times Has Google Lied To You Today?

Google sent me mail today. Real mail. Actual paper in an envelope with my home address kind of mail. It was sent from ‘Google New Zealand’, which is actually Google Ireland Limited and, of course, sent from Switzerland.

The reason ‘Google New Zealand’ is actually Google Ireland Limited (based in Switzerland) has made the headlines recently. Dubbed the “double Irish” and “Dutch sandwich” tax avoidance scheme, Google avoided about US$2 billion in worldwide income taxes last year by moving $9.8 billion in revenue into tax havens. Despite making an estimated AU$1 billion in advertising revenue from their Australia and New Zealand AdWords and AdSense advertising platforms last year, ‘Google New Zealand’ posted a financial loss. By deviously booking their Australian and New Zealand search ads through the tax haven of Ireland, ‘Google New Zealand’ has drastically reduced its local tax liability, to the point of being morally criminal.

Now, back to my mail from Google New Zealand aka Google Ireland in Switzerland. It was from their AdWords advertising platform which I occasionally use when clients request it. As a search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist I never advocate for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising over organic SEO – the economics and return on investment (ROI) just don’t add up. But every now and then, like when a client wants to be seen immediately online, I cave in and let them have their way.

Here’s where the lies start to set in, and they are starting to be a daily occurrence from the overlords at Google. The letter reads as follows:


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Google Sued for Defamation – and Loses

Google has successfully been sued by an Australian man after a six-person supreme court jury found the search engine Goliath guilty of defamation charges.

Michael Trkulja, of Melbourne, decided to take legal action against Google when requests to remove content from Google’s image search was ignored.

Mr Trkulja first became upset with the search engine in 2009. Whenever his name was typed into Google’s image search, photos would appear of Mr Trkulja alongside a well known gangland figure – Tony Mokbel. The Google search results also linked to a now defunct Melbourne Crime website where photos labelled with his name could be found.

Google’s lawyers used the “innocent dissemination” defence, arguing that it was not the publisher of the material and only indexing the links to the website and images. Google claimed it was merely providing links to the content without realising it was defamatory.

The jury rejected Google’s defence because Mr Trkulja had contacted the search engine in 2009 asking for the images to be taken down. However, since Mr Trkulja had incorrectly filled out the form for reporting offensive material by not including the URL of the images, the jury did not hold the search engine liable for the search results themselves.

Mr Trkulja, who also won a similar case against rival search engine Yahoo! earlier this year, is said to be “over the moon” with the decision. In an interview with an Australian newspaper, he had this to say:

I feel great, I feel vindicated. It was a David and Goliath battle, a single man standing against a giant using all money and power available to them to squash an innocent person.

The images are no longer indexed by Google’s search engine, but being wrongly associated with a gangland figure has caused much distress to Mr Trkulja:

I wouldn’t wish to my worst enemy what I went through

The judge is expected to make a ruling on damages next Monday but may be similar to the $225,000 he was awarded from wining the Yahoo! case.

Google refused to make any comment on the case.




Take a peek under Google’s hood

Google has given us the first glimpse into its data centres, showing off an impressive array of servers, cables and pipes that power much of the online world.

The search giant today launched a website where users could take a peek inside ‘where the internet lives’.

Very few people have stepped inside Google’s data centres, and for good reason: our first priority is the privacy and security of your data, and we go to great lengths to protect it, keeping our sites under close guard.


smtp server, dns server


While we’ve shared many of our designs and best practices, and we’ve been publishing our efficiency data since 2008, only a small set of employees have access to the server floor itself.


google mail, google server


Google has hundreds of thousands of servers around the world, and shows off its data centres in Hamina, Finland and Iowa, United States.


dns server


Today, for the first time, you can see inside our data centres and pay them a virtual visit.


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You’ll get a never-before-seen look at the technology, the people and the places that keep Google running.


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As well as photographs, ‘Where the Internet Lives‘ also features a virtual tour of Lenoir, North Carolina’s data centre.


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