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A blog devoted to all things geeky, including PHP, Web Development, Photography, Design, Gadgets and Gizmos.

January 18 2009

Google Knols best?

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Interesting article this morning in Mashable, mentioning the fact that Google Knol has passed 100′000 pages. Knol is Google’s answer to the VERY popular wikipedia. Wikipedia is somewhere around 2.7 million pages, so it has a few more pages to create just yet.

I hadn’t visited Knol for a while, so it kind of perked my interest. I went to the site and noticed the different style many of the knol articles have. Some of them read like how-to articles or have more of a Yahoo Answers vibe to them. Some articles tackled how particular cultural habits have been established, which is pretty interesting. Opposed to wikipedia which is straight out factual data (citation needed), knol has a broader take on what is valuable information.

As it has grown it has turned into something which is ‘more’ than wikipedia is. Perhaps in a year or two, when Knol has reached the million page mark it will be putting up some serious competition to wikipedia, which it’s how-to + dictionary/reference style. Knol.

December 14 2008

Slowing Googlebot

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If you have a relatively large blog on a shared host, sometimes you get performance issues from Googlebot hitting your website.  The fix is now relatively simple thanks to google webmaster tools.  Go sign up at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ (or use your existing Gogle account).  Add your website to webmaster tools then verify it.  Click on settings and you will see the crawler speed slider at the bottom of the page.  Set it to want you want, if you have crappy hosting like me, dial it way back.

Slowng googlebot

September 24 2008

Google seeking more innovation

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Google is fostering innovation again, not by simply ecouraging their workers to spend a day per week thinking of new projects in a wide variety of niches, but also encouraging the public to innovate.  Project 10 to the 100th is a competition aimed at taking some great ideas from people around the world and realising those ideas.

The categories Google is accepting ideas in:

  • Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures? Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?
  • Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?
  • Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem? Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?
  • Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?
  • Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?
  • Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.

Check out out

September 17 2008

Google buying Valve!!

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Rumours abound that Google might be buying game maker and distributor Valve in the next few days.  Various media sources have indicated that it is a pretty substantial rumour and should go ahead shortly.

Why would an Internet giant like Google buy a gaming company you ask?  Well it has something to do with the fact that Valve also operates ‘Steam’, one of the best online game distribution networks around (..well probably the best).  I use steam everyday to play online games including Team Fortress, Call of Duty 4 and ET: Quake Wars.

With Google’s power behind the great idea/implementation that is Steam we could see buying/playing games online becoming even more popular and widespread over the coming years.

August 22 2008

Google supports Enhanced Geothermal Systems

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Google recently announced $10 million USD worth of investments and grants for Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS).  EGS is a subtly different process to traditional geothermal energy production.  EGS fractures hot rock, circulates water through the system, and uses the resulting steam to produce electricity in a conventional turbine.

I find it particularly interesting because Australia has a lot of hot rocks (geothermal hot spots), in South Australia.  There are some disadvantages to using EGS, but nothing compared to the current costs of using oil and coal as primary power sources.  It’s great to see Google supporting this technology, it’s one of the forms of ‘nearly’ renewables that will help solve the inevitable power crisis that will occur before long.

August 22 2008

Matt Cutts of Google on Big Site Bans!

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This is an interesting video I found at the seo-space site over at blogspot.  It’s Matt Cutts of Google’s search engine development team talking about their removal or penalization of big sites who break Google’s ethical SEO rules.

One of the common beliefs in the SEO industry is that the big blokes get away with grey hat and black hat techniques without penalty because… well they are big players in their industry.  However according to Google, big names are not immune from penalties for using dubious promotion techniques.  After all Google banned the German BMW website for using blackhat techniques.

The SEO at the German BMW site was fired.  I have a feeling that the SEO was probably compelled to take such action because a manager somewhere in the German division wanted drastically higher results in a short period of time.  It’s possible the SEO was incompetent and used the techniques, ignorant of the potential penalty, but I don’t think an SEO working for a large company would be ignorant of Google penalties.

Anyway, the video!