Google to Send Out 100,000 Google Wave Invites

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Search Engine News, Technology, Web News

Beginning tomorrow (September 30), Google will send out 100,000 invites to Google Wave. The product has received a lot of buzz, both for being innovative and not quite ready. Actually, Google admits it’s not ready for prime time, which is one of the reasons why the invites are limited.

If you’re not familiar, Google Wave is a collaborative tool that features real-time features. They’re still working on features, including group definitions, draft mode and permissions.

Those who can expect an invite are developers who participated in an earlier preview, the first people to sign up for invites and select Google Apps customers.


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RedesignGoogle: Revamp The World’s Most Popular Search Engine

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Search Engine News, Web Design, Web News

There’s no question about it: Google is great at search, and its huge lead over competitors is well deserved. But the site’s spartan design can sometimes leave something to be desired — sure, the company gradually makes tweaks to it, but we haven’t seen many radical changes in a very long time. Now WebMynd, a Y Combinator startup that launched back in early 2008, is looking to help spur the search giant to make itself a little better, or at least give it a few ideas to help. Tonight, WebMynd is launching a contest appropriately called RedesignGoogle.com that invites designers from around the world to give Google a makeover.

WebMynd has posted all the details details on its blog, but here’s the gist of it: designers are invited to revamp Google using any CSS modifications they’d like. The contest starts accepting submissions today, and will run through November 1. Then, a number of judges (which include Y Combinator’s Paul Graham, the WebMynd team and — full disclosure — myself) will pick the best designs. The winners will take home a brand new MacBook Air.

The nice thing about the contest is that it isn’t purely theoretical — you’ll actually be able to start using the new design in your browser, using a stripped down version of WebMynd’s browser plugin. The Plugin, which launched back in March, gives users the ability to customize their search experience and includes a number of other features, like a comprehensive browsing history (advanced features won’t be enabled by default on the streamlined contest plugin, but users will be able to turn them on).

Here is an early submission to the contest. You can see a full gallery here.


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Google Acquires reCaptcha For Google Books And Google News

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Search Engine News, Technology, Web News

Google has acquired reCAPTCHA, an open source technology that provides CAPTCHAs to prevent spam and fraud. Captchas are those security questions you find on Web sites that require you to decipher and type words or numbers and detects whether the user is a human.

Here’s what Google wrote in a blog post about the announcement:

CAPTCHAs are designed to allow humans in but prevent malicious programs from scalping tickets or obtain millions of email accounts for spamming. But there’s a twist — the words in many of the CAPTCHAs provided by reCAPTCHA come from scanned archival newspapers and old books. Computers find it hard to recognize these words because the ink and paper have degraded over time, but by typing them in as a CAPTCHA, crowds teach computers to read the scanned text.

Google says that reCAPTCHA’s technology improves the process that converts scanned images into plain text, known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR). It sounds like Google will be using the technology to power massive scanning projects for Google Books and Google News Archive Search as well as for fraud and spam prevention.

In May, the New York Times reported that Google was developing their own type of captcha and also took notice of the potential of reCAPTCHA’s technology. Sounds like Google found it more effective to acquire reCAPTCHA’s technology instead of reinventing the wheel.


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Google Aims To Halve The Cost Of Solar power

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Technology, Web News

What a market leader and major dealer in capital does publicly with their money is revealing. One of the things I admire about Microsoft is that through their Labs and Research initiatives, they’ve done a lot of good work in fields only tangentially connected with Microsoft markets. Google has some initiatives of their own (if you didn’t know), and green power has been among their favored funding targets for a few years now.

Recently they’ve decided that solar power isn’t efficient enough. Well spotted, Google! They must have Binged it. Of course, they’re no stranger to the green. They’ve got millions invested in renewable energy, two solar power firms in particular (eSolar and BrightSolar), but they’re also calling for backup from the government and other major investors.


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How to Optimize Web Design for Bing

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Online Marketing, SEO, Search Engine News

Over at the official Bing blog, Principal Group Program Manager Rajesh Srivastava is offering up some tips on how to conduct search engine optimization (SEO) for their engine.

Much of Srivastava’s advice is your basic SEO tips that you would apply for Google or Yahoo! But for you beginners out there, drill these SEO principles into your head:

  • Develop great, original content (including well-implemented keywords) directed toward your intended audience
  • Use well-architected code in your webpages (including images and Sitemaps) so that users’ web browsers and search engine crawlers can read the content you want indexed)
  • Earn several, high-quality, authoritative inbound links

Bing has a Webmaster Center, similar to Google’s Webmaster Central. Use it to help Bing index your site and improve your results even further. Here are tips for using Bing’s Webmaster Center:

  • Review the Bing official guidelines for successful indexing document for various recommendations on technical and content issues as well as known problems that can affect your site’s rank
  • Visit the Webmaster Center blog to keep up with the latest information from the team (you can even subscribe to our blog’s RSS feed to automate this process)
  • Register all of your websites with Bing Webmaster Center tools, where you can use our tools to see all sorts of data to your website pertinent to webmasters
  • Participate in our Webmaster Center user forums to ask questions and provide us with feedback


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