WooRank – Free Site Rank with SEO tips

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Technology, Web News

WooRank is a brand new service designed to let website publishers and marketers evaluate the SEO-friendliness and other aspects of their Web sites on the fly, free of charge. If this reminds you of what HubSpot built with its Website Grader tool, it’s because the concept is extremely similar.

WooRank evaluates Web sites based on 50 criteria in an automated fashion, free of charge, and provides helpful SEO and other tips. A premium version will be offered in about 3 months: for a yet-to-be-determined fee, publishers and marketers will then be able to screen Web sites based on up to 120 pre-defined critera, get served more personalized tips as well as references to online tools that they can use to increase the findability and performance of their Web sites.

Update: site seems to be down or at least terribly slow due to our coverage, so hang in there.

Update 2: seems to be back and more stable now

I gave the tool a spin and generated a report for techcrunch.com – turns out we’re worthy of a WooRank of 82.4. While I have absolutely no idea what that means exactly, according to these statistics we’re well above the average. In the overall ranking, we even made the top 50, ahead of sites like the Apple Store, MySpace, ESPN.com and NYTimes.com (take that, New York Times, we haz bigger WooRankz!).

Apparently, we need to work on our headings, immage attribution tags, meta description and keywords, XML sitemap(s) and other aspects like Web standards compliance. We score pretty well on content (number of indexed pages), off-site SEO (particularly on the social media level) and website usability and load time.

Frankly, that’s a lot of valuable information available free of charge, so I’ll be curious to know in a couple of months how WooRank will try to entice people to pay for more detailed information and improvement tips.

WooRank was built by fellow Belgians, namely digital marketer Jean Derély of BetaGroup and the founders of interactive agency 1MD.be. Since soft-launching the service a couple of days ago, 27,000 reports have already been generated by some 7,500 visitors.

For more online tools, check out Website Grader but also HitTail and LotusJump.



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Mozilla’s Raindrop – Your Inbox Revamped

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Technology, Web News

Mozilla Labs, Mozilla’s innovation group, has developed a new open-source, experimental email and communication platform called Raindrop. Mozilla says that Raindrop was built to be focused on highlighting and breaking out personal conversations, making it easier for you to see all of your conversations in one client. It is designed to “bubble up” the important conversations from your messages

According to the site, Raindrop “is an effort that starts by trying to understand today’s web of conversations, and aims to design an interface that helps people get a handle on their digital world.” Still in prototype form, the platform is very young but it aims categorize messages and then separate the personal messages from bulk messages, so you know what to respond to vs. just noting a communication. So Raindrop will import all of your email, but break out your personalized email from your mailing list emails and will portray the personal emails higher on the page. Raindrop will also separate direct messages and @replies from your stream, acting like a Twitter client And you’ll be able to Tweet from the platform and pull in RSS feeds.

I briefly spoke with one of Raindrop’s lead engineer’s and the CEO of Mozilla Messaging, David Ascher, who told me that in the future iterations the platform should include all types of messaging, including IM, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube and basically, any communication with an open API. And according to the site, content with in communications, such as links from YouTube or Flickr should be shown near or as part of the message, rather than in a separate tab. Ascher said that Raindrop doesn’t really aim to replace your Gmail account but add to it with an intelligent way to understand your communications. The application works on Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

Mozilla also wants to developers to build applications off of Raindrop and is releasing its API to help users customize their communications experiences. The back-end of the platform is a non-relational database (CouchDB) which was optimized for massive web interactions. The front-end, says Ascher, uses high-powered JavaScript libraries, modern CSS to give your best browser with the platform. Ascher told me that Raindrop is still very, very early stage but the platform will continue to evolve with time.

It takes page from social media messaging aggregation services like FriendFeed but with a strong focus in filtering. It will be interesting to see what two-way interactions the platform will feature and what content it eventually will bring in. Because its a modern communication system, it could compete with open communications platform Google Wave.

If you’re confused, take a look at the video. It explains the purpose of Raindrop pretty well.

Raindrop UX Design and Demo from Mozilla Messaging on Vimeo.


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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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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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View All Domains on a Single IP Address With Bing

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

Here’s a great tip via Google Blogoscoped (even though this tip has to do with Bing). Want to find out if any other domains are associated with your domain’s IP address? Bing allows you to find out.

Use a site that looks up the IP address of a domain such as IP-Address.com. Then plug the IP address into Bing, preceded with “ip:”.

To try it out, I used a local tv site, WRAL.com. Their IP is 216.27.85.170. You can see other sites share the same IP. (The sites are associated with sites that the parent company of WRAL.com owns.)

bingipotherdomains081709.png


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New Version of Google Chrome Web Browser

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Technology, Web News

A new release of Google Chrome is out and there are quite a few features you’ll want to know about.

First up, it’s faster. When you open a new page while other pages are loading, Chrome prioritizes requests for the new page. (I usually want the older pages to load first, but whatev.) DNS caching, more efficient DOM bindings and using V* or proxy auto-config should also contribute to a quicker browsing experience.

You can customize your New Tab Page to set which sites you would like quick access to. Drag website thumbnails to give them a spot on the page. The change will remain permanent no matter what your browsing habits are.

The Omnibox, which provides suggestions based on keystrokes is optimized to help distinguish between keyword searches and websites. New themes let you dress up your browser, and HTML 5 capabilites are being built into the beta.


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YouTube Call-to-Actions for Promoters

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Online Marketing, Technology

YouTube is now allowing advertisers to incorporate a “Call-to-Action overlay” on their videos. With the overlay, advertisers can drive traffic to their sites where they can make purchases, sign up for email newsletters or whichever action an advertiser wishes.

The Call-to-Action overlays are available for Promoted Videos only. Promoted Videos, you may remember, are essentially the paid search of YouTube. They were once called Sponsored Videos, similar to paid search listings called Sponsored Listings.

In order to set up the overlay:

1. Set up your Promoted Video campaign like you normally would in YouTube
2. Under My Videos, go to the Video Details page
3. Fill out the fields for the Call-to-Action overlay section

You’re all set. Once the campaign is in full swing, you can check YouTube Insight to see how many people are clicking on the Call-to-Action overlay.


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Tweets are silenced in China

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Technology, Web News

Seems the Chinese government is not a fan of Twitter. Access to the social media site has been blocked in China, according to ASSME.

Free speech is not an option in China and the blocking of Twitter is another instance of this. One wonders what impact this will have on the user numbers globally. Over a third of the world’s population lives in China and they represent a major growth area for the internet.


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Google Scholar: a Plagiarist’s Dream?

Author: Quikclicks  //  Category: Email Marketing, Graphic Design, SEO, Search Engine News, Technology, Web News

Google Scholar – in beta since 2004 – epitomizes the problems of the internet. It provides easy access to advanced research that can be used by students – but whether it is used for citations or to plagiarize is the deeper problem.

The site uses an academic approach to ranking. “Google Scholar aims to sort articles the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each article, the author, the publication in which the article appears, and how often the piece has been cited in other scholarly literature. The most relevant results will always appear on the first page.”

What plagiarists must know is that professors know how to use it as well to check if they are cheating. There are even sites like turnitin.com where teachers can submit papers and have them checked for originality.

Without a doubt Google Scholar helps improve access to academic research for students, and students are becoming well aware that teachers are tech savvy as well. If used properly it is a great example of the benefits the web provides.

Google Scholar has even released a toolbar plug in for Firefox browsers.


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