Google Adsense non contextual ads

Google Adsense no offers Ads that are based on your search history too. Formerly the ads were more focused on context. You could define areas for the bot to look for keywords in your webpage. For example on this site you would see more ads related to Computers Software etc. Not anymore though. Google has started showing ads in a different way now.

Instead of contextual ads, Google will now show ads based on your Google search history and Youtube history. Here is a screenshot of the ads shown to me on this site.

Ads shown to me on this site was based on the Youtube history

The page is about how to save protected images from Flickr, but the ads are all about electronics. That is because I had viewed a lot of videos on Youtube related to electronics and done some searches too.

Google voice rates.

Skype has been around for so long that people take it for granted. Well, Google has decided to change the whole scene with their own low tariffs and other features. Right now Google also offers free calling to numbers in the US and Canada. Google has been offering Voice services for quiet sometime now. Only recently did it open restricted. You can find out the Google voice tariffs here.

Bowser Size from Google Labs

Browser size has been integrated into Google Analytics and would soon move out of Google labs.

This handy Google Labs tool will allow you to see your website as seen by users with different screen resolutions. One of the major challenges while designing a website template is to design the template so that user can read the relevant information at the very first glance itself. Sadly this depends on the visitors screen resolution. This tool from Google Labs will overlay a transparent ruler like layout to the web address you give it, thus enabling you to see how your web site looks at  screen resolutions other than yours.

Google Labs browser Size Screen cap
Screen Shot of Simple Informations on browser Size by Google Labs

The tool allows basic settings such as transparency adjustment of the ruler. You can use Google Analytics to know what resolution is used by most number of your visitors. Then you can head over to Browser size and see what all portions of your website is viewable at that resolution. This will allow you to make your web site more accessible and improve the “page views/visit” as well as “bounce rate”.

The following is a screen shot of my Google Analytics page showing the details of this blogs visitors and their screen resolution.

Visitor by resolution chart
Statisctics of visitors to this site by resolution – Google Analytics

Link : Browser Size | Google Labs | Google Analytics

Setting a preferred domain for your blog

The preferred domain means the address you want your visitors to see when they come to your site. That is or in my case. you can do this easily if you are on Apache. edit the .htaccess file as follows :

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

If an htaccess file doesn’t exist, add the above code to a text file, name it .htaccess and save it at your root directory.If ReWriteEngine On is already in your htaccess file the ignore the first line.  Replace YOURDOMAIN with your sites domain name. There can be problems if you use this along with

RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

If you use them together some problems may occur during file access.

RewriteEngine on
This line starts the mod_rewrite module
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
If the request is for a real directory (one that exists on the server), index.php isn’t served.
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
If the request is for a file that exists already on the server, index.php isn’t served.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php

There can be errors. I faced them while rewriting my .htaccess file but doesn’t remember the error correctly.

Analytics account open to stream lined login

Analytics LogoGoogle has opened streamlined login to analytics also. If you don’t know what this is read the second tip given in the previous post – Logging in to Blogger. If you login to one Google service (like GMail) and open another service like Blogger then you will automatically be logged in to Blogger also.

Till recently this was not allowed for Analytics (although the facility was available fro Adsense). So you would have to enter your password a second time to login to Analytics. From now on you can login to Analytics by logging in to any of the other Google services.

(Analytics is the free Web traffic and site data Analyzer from Google.)

Adsense refferal program being withdrwan by Google

After a major policy change for Adsense in January, Google is finally pulling off their Adsense referral program. In January Adsense had shocked many of its customers by withdrawing the Adsense referal program completely but had changed it after customer complaints.

But this time it is final. You will have to remove the Adsense referral code from your site before August first week. After that the referral will not be shown. Google has provided an alternative for this by pointing out Google Affiliate Network. Sign up for Google Affiliate network here.

Start a personal or group web site for free at Google sites

Google Sites” is now available for free public registration and use. With Google sites you can start a personal or group managed web site.

Google sites overview

You can upload content and manage all your files from one location. You can also decide who all could see your site and files uploaded. You don’t need to know HTML or other coding to build your own site. So if you were looking for one good reason to start a web site why wait, start it right now.

I have made a test page on Google Sites. Check it out and post your comments there.

Themes –

Although the sign up process is simple the default themes available really sucks. You can edit theme, images used in template, colors and fonts from Appearance in site administration. Even the repeat options are provided for background images. Also you may change the home page to whichever you like as far as it is on the site itself.

Attach files –

Google sites has the ability to attach files to specific pages. So if you attach a file abc.def to a page you will get the file link as under this page.

Page history –

the author of the page is provided with the ability to view or revert a page to an earlier version.

Google sites provides version history - click for full size image.

For this a detailed history is provided including Author, time of edit, time after edit etc. Also you may subscribe to page changes.

File editing –

Editing the file has been made too simple so to say. Even if you know nothing about web page coding you will be able to create really good looking and attractive pages. The ability to insert Google docs, Google calender, Youtube and Google videos are major plus points. You can also insert Picassa sideshow directly to a page.

Automatic site map generation (not for search engines) –

A site map is generated automatically as you add more and more pages. The site map is not the one used by search engine bots. It is intended to make human navigation easier. You can add Google Analytics with the click of a button.

Search –

Web site search is built in. The search results page is rather neat and functional with the sidebar shown and results easily navigable.

Bottlenecks –

You cant use <embed>, <script>, <iframe> or <style> tags even while editing HTML code of the site as they are considered to be unsafe tags. So if you need to add a video you are forced to upload it to Youtube first. Pretty thoughtful from Google.

Over all Google sites is a great combination of functionality and ease of access for those who don’t want to get deep into the troubles of managing a site. You are provided with almost all the tools for basic site management. As always  uploading of an exe file is prevented, but after ZIPPING it can be uploaded. And at 100Mb although the storage space isn’t so much to boast about you will be satisfied for sure.

Yahoo search suggest, a step ahead of Google

Google had added a Search suggest feature in their Google Labs some time ago. It will show autocomplete terms as you typed in your search term. But the feature was never added to the standard google interface. Here is a screen shot of Google Suggest feature in Google labs.

Google suggests search terms

But this time Yahoo has added autocomplete feature (as they call it) to their standard Search page. You may turn this off if you find it irritating though.

Yahoo search autocomplete

Adsense section targetting for better contextual Ads

Google Adsense has been a money maker for many of the bloggers out there. but many a times we have seen really nonsense ads appearing on our blogs, may be of medicine on a blog about computers etc.. Well this can easily be prevented by using ad section targeting in Adsense. By section targeting what we do is tell the ad producing script to consider only the text lying between the

<!– google_ad_section_start –> <!– google_ad_section_end –>

tags for keywords. Then the ads will be related to the words in the the text lying between them. So what you need to do is put

<!– google_ad_section_start –>

Your Post (article) Body Here

<!– google_ad_section_end –>

and see the difference.