Google’s WebP Image Format to Kill JPEG?

Google has announced today the WebP image format that they hope to kill the JPEG file format on the web. The WebP file format is lossy, just like JPEGs, but up to 40% smaller than a comparable JPEG image. And since images make up 65% of the web, a decrease of 40% for that 65% is significant, and will make the overall web that much faster, which is obviously something Google wants to help make happen. Like Google’s proprietary open source WebM video format that they hope will become the standard video format with HTML5, I strongly believe WebP will eventually make the JPEG obsolete.

This article on Mashable brought this up to my attention and asks the question whether Google will have enough clout to make it happen. Just as Google will be sure to convert all YouTube videos to WebM, you can be sure that they will push to make WebP the standard on their own properties such as Picasa, even if it isn’t as popular as Yahoo’s Flickr. Yet!

Cannot Use Adobe Reader to View PDF in Your Web Browser – Firefox Windows 7

Cannot Use Adobe Reader to View PDF in Your Web Browser. Reader Will Now Exit. Please Exit Your Browser and Try Again. Does anybody else get this pesky error message when trying to view a PDF in Firefox? I have no idea what is causing it but it has only happened recently… and the only changes I’ve done is upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows 7 and upgraded the latest version of Firefox. HELP!

Google AdWords Keyword Tool Previous Interface is So Much Better Than New “Beta” Interface

The previous interface for the Google AdWords keyword tool is so much better than the new interface that is turned on by default. The previous interface is much simpler to use and even better, it provides suggestions for related keywords, which the new interface does not offer. Who knows how long the previous interface will be available, but it currently is available for the time being. You can access it by simply clicking “Previous Interface” from the Google AdWords keyword tool dashboard or you can access it directly by clicking the link below:

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordTool?forceLegacy=true

Digg v4 is Losing Website Traffic at an Alarming Rate

Digg.com used to be one of my favorite sites on the web to check for breaking news, random interesting stories, funny comments and the occasional LOLcat. However, since they released the new version dubbed v4, it has been nothing but a colossal clusterf*ck. Kevin Rose’s cavalier attitude about how “nobody likes change at first”, which is true for the most part, but not when you completely abandon the fundamental core of the site. Anyways, the whole point that I started writing this post was to show how I am not the only person who does not like the new version of Digg. In fact, according to Alexa, Digg v4 is turning into a disaster and is actually losing website traffic at a rapid rate. Here are few snapshots from Alexa today:

Digg’s Alexa Traffic Rank:

Digg’s Daily Pageviews

Digg’s Pageviews Per User

Digg’s Time Spent on Site

Digg’s Bounce Rate

Now it doesn’t take a genius to see that the numbers shown in the graph below are not good. At all. And since Kevin Rose proudly proclaimed that it is impossible to switch back to Digg version 3 and that we will have to just get used to Digg version 4, it looks like we will be watching the demise of Digg as users flock to sites like Reddit or create their own sites to pick up where Digg v3 left off.

Here are my beefs with Digg v4 at the top of my head:

1. Publisher accounts – Digg was founded on community. Users submit stories and other users vote for them to make them popular enough to reach the homepage. But now with v4, so-called “publisher accounts” for selected partner websites are able to automatically syndicate every single one of their stories on Digg through an RSS feed. This change alone will be the ultimate downfall of Digg.

2. Trying to be too social – Digg made these changes to hopefully reach the mainstream status of Facebook and Twitter. And so they attempted to emulate them by turning Digg into a social network. The problem is, Digg is not a social network. Most of the users on Digg do not care about what their so-called friends are digging, mainly because nobody is actually friends in real life with anyone on Digg. And that’s perfectly okay. I don’t care about “following” anybody. I just care about interesting stories and links. A website can still be an enormous success with 30 Million visitors a month and doesn’t need to hit mainstream status to be insanely profitable.

3. New layout sucks

4. No bury button

5. Still has tons of random errors even 3 weeks after the launch of v4.

And on and on.

Micro Niche Finder vs Google AdWords Keyword Tool

I just purchased and downloaded the popular keyword research software Micro Niche Finder and have been playing with it the past few days. It seems to help with automating a lot of the tasks I normally use when doing keyword research and competitive analysis, but I’m still not quite sold on the accuracy and thus usefulness of the tool. For example, consider the two screenshots below. One is the keyword data from Micro Niche Finder and one is from the Google AdWords keyword tool for the exact same [exact match] keywords:

Micro Niche Finder

Google AdWords Keyword Tool

As you can see, there are huge discrepancies in not only the volume of Global and Local searches, but even more troubling is the huge difference in the actual trend for Local Search Trends. What is the deal with the MASSIVE SPIKES in Micro Niche Finder’s data? This particular keyword is not any kind of hot seasonal item that would warrant that kind of crazy spike during a certain time period, so obviously something is amiss. Either Micro Niche Finder is completely worthless or they both are.  Without knowing which set of data to believe, I’m essentially not any better off now than I was before when I started doing the keyword research.

Angry Birds Walkthrough – Android Angry Birds Golden Eggs & Cheats

Angry Birds Walkthrough – The insanely popular iPhone game Angry Birds has finally made its way to the Android Marketplace. Apparently, it’s still only in Beta so you cannot buy the full version just yet. So I downloaded the free Beta last week on my HTC Droid Incredible and was instantly hooked. It took awhile to get the hang of it, but once I did, it was pretty easy and a lot of fun. Here are some Angry Birds tips & “cheats” -

1. You first start out with a regular Red bird that doesn’t have any special powers. You just use the slingshot to shoot them over to knock over the blocks and the pig looking monster things.

2. Once you make it past a few levels, you will gain access to a tiny blue bird that breaks up into three different blue birds once you tap the screen again. These are probably the most effective angry birds of all, at least in the first 10 levels of the free Beta.

3. Win a few more levels and then you’ll gain access to a yellow triangular looking bird that speeds up once you tap the screen a second time. These are best for busting through the metal beams and killing the pigs with helmets.

4. The last new bird you get to use is a bird that turns into a bomb once you tap the screen again. Obviously this is very powerful and comes in handy on the harder levels.

Well, that’s that. Hopefully the full version will hit the Android Market soon!

Yahoo Domain Name Registration & Yahoo Web Hosting Plans

The first domain name I ever bought was through Yahoo’s Domain Name registrar and the first web host I ever used was through Yahoo’s Web Hosting services. I initially bought the domain name back in 2002 after the website I built on the free webhosting site Angelfire (or it could have been Geocities or Tripod?) kept going down whenever I had more than what seemed like 10 visitors on the site at one time. I believe the domain name cost was similar to what it is nowadays, around 7-10 bucks for the year.

But the most expensive part by far was the webhosting plan on Yahoo. I think it was something around 10 bucks a month for 25 MB of bandwidth a month. And here’s the kicker – they charged like 10 bucks for every 100 megabytes of bandwidth you went over! So after my website started to get featured on big college entertainment related websites, I oftentimes found myself with webhosting bills for a couple hundred bucks a month, which is a shload of money for a college freshman! So as time went on, bandwidth became cheaper and cheaper and now if I had the same website and same amount of traffic today, I probably would have been able to host my website for less than $10 total!

Anyways, just felt like writing this because I’ve dealt a lot with different websites and web hosting companies over the years and was just thinking about how expensive bandwidth used to be and tried to remember exactly who my first web host actually was.

Google Instant Makes SEO Obsolete

Today, Google announced Google Instant, which is a pretty major change in functionality on their search results pages. The search results will automatically change instantly as you are typing a search query. As with anytime Google makes a significant change to their service, many bloggers rush to proclaim that SEO is Dead! And today is certainly no different. Here are some of the SEO is Dead blog posts springing up around the web:

SEO is Dead and/or Irrelevant With Google Instant?

Google Instant Makes SEO Irrelevant

Google Instant – “The Death of SEO” or SEO Reborn?

Doomsday for SEO

Google’s Customer Service Sucks

Google’s customer service sucks so much. Apparently they can ban any website or domain name from their search engine index and they never have to tell you why. Simply because there is actually no possible way to contact a human that works at Google who can give you an answer. All of the Google “customer service” websites and FAQs point to asking questions in the Google Webmaster Help Forum where other helpless non-Google employees try to help each other out even though nobody actually has the real answer. There is no customer support phone number that you can call or Live Chat services or ticket system or even just an email address that a real human actually uses.

Yes, I know that Google is a huge company and they would need to hire thousands of customer support staff to handle all of the questions. Well, newsflash, the majority of other huge companies offer customer support so why should Google be any different? They literally make billions of dollars and can easily afford a call center. I don’t care if it takes 2 months for a real person to actually respond, as long as it’s a real person that doesn’t give me a vague non-automated answer. Ugh, so fucking frustrating!

/rant

103Bees Tracking Code Causes Significant Lag Because 103Bees.com Went Out of Business

Just a heads up to any websites that have used the 103Bees analytics tool before. The company is no longer in business and if you have accidentally left the 103Bees javascript tracking code on your site, then the site will take forever to load since it is trying to load a script that will never load since the site 103Bees.com is down. I haven’t used it in years but one of the sites I occasionally manage was having severe loading problems and then I discovered that the 103Bees tracking code was the culprit. So moral of the story, always keep an eye on your sites!

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