Archives for December 2013

Google’s Location History Browser

Quick! Where you were last Wednesday at 7.30 PM? If you carry any Android phone or tablet, Google now can automatically figure out where you work and warn you about traffic.


Google launched the first version of this tool around the same time that they launched Latitude. After they killed latitude off, they kept their location browser around, polishing it up and adding new little tricks as time went on.

It’s mind-blowing to think about how much data they’re gathering, if you’re suddenly realizing there’s location or two that you’d rather weren’t sitting in your history, you can wipe it on a day-by-day basis or clean your entire location slate in one fell swoop.

Google Released Android Device Manager To Track Missing Gadgets

Google released Android device manager for locating and remotely wiping your missing phones and tablets. At that time, the service was available only on the web. Now it’s available to your mobile devices. Android device manager contains all the functionality from the website in a mobile friendly package and it is of course free.

The same functionality came to Android devices in August, but it was a cumbersome browser based solution that wouldn’t help anyone in a panic. The setup forced users to visit a website with an extremely long URL and it didn’t have the option to lock the phone or tablet at first. It was either “ring” or “erase everything” with no in-between locking measure.


The web version works fine on Android devices through the browser, but a native app is still a preferable experience. The UI scales to both tablets and phones and there is a handy drop down menu for switching accounts. It’s also much faster than the mobile web.

The Android app is obviously only of use if you have more than one Android device, like a phone and a tablet. But if you misplace one of them, you’ll be happy to have the ADM app at the ready. Google has sense of humor, if you locate the device you are running the app on, it says “in your hand.” Oh, Google.


Google Shares Four New AdSense Features That Strengthens Your Strategy

Google shared some product updates with new features for responsive ad units and a multi-screen optimization score to complement and strengthen your strategy.


Following are the new features for responsive ad units:

  • Product manager says “If your responsive page changes its layout following a screen orientation change, we’ll request and load a new ad to fit the new page layout.”
  • Smart sizing based on the space available: The ad code will automatically adapt all newly created responsive ad units to fit your page layout.
  • Your ad unit reports can now be broken out by the size of the ad served.
  • Multi-screen optimization score in publisher score card: A new multi-screen category –for example, if a user need to zoom and/or scroll often, this may negatively impact their experience. Your score will measure what percentage of your pages are multi-screen optimized and compare this percentage to that of other AdSense publishers.

Note: You may not see this category in your scorecard if you have a low percentage of mobile traffic on your site. This new score will be visible in the scorecard on your AdSense home page.

Twitter Launches Broad Match For Keywords

Twitter announced a new feature that it calls “broad match for keyword targeting” which allow advertisers running keyword targeted campaigns to reach users who are using synonyms alternate spellings, or “Twitter Lingo.”

For instance, if the coffee shop sells lattes but not espressos, it can use the “+” modifier on the broad matched terms to prevent broadening and targeting the wrong users. Targeting “love + latte” will match to users who tweet “luv latte,” but not those who tweet “luv espresso.”


Twitter says broad match is now available through and its advertiser API. Furthermore, broad match will be the default matching type for targeted keywords moving forward. Existing campaigns will remain unchanged and will be automatically opted into the “+” modifier to prevent broadening.

None of this is new, yet on social networks like Twitter, features are of utmost importance as users interact with the service in unique ways after all they only have 140 characters to work with.

How To Recover From Google Penalty That You Have Incurred As The Result Of Spammy Links

Google has provided few suggestions in a new webmaster help video regarding how to recover from Google penalty due to spammy links.

Matt Cutts answered to the question

“How did Interflora turn their ban in 11 days? Can you explain what kind of penalty they had, how they fixed it, as some of us have spent months trying to clean things up after an unclear GWT notification?”

Interflora is a major UK flower site that was hit by a Google penalty early this year, but Google didn’t call out this company publicly, after the reports of penalty came out, the company wrote a blog post warning people not to engage in the “buying and selling of links.”

Matt Cutts proceeds to try and answer the question in more general terms “Google tends to looking at buying and selling links that pass page rank as a violation of our guidelines and if we see that happening multiple times then the action that we take more and more severe. We’re more willing to take stronger action whenever we see repeat violation.”

Cutts says “It’s not something that I would typically recommend for everybody to disavow every link that you’ve gotten for a period of years-but certainly when people start over with completely new websites they have bought-we have seen a few cases where people will disavow every single link because they truly want to get a fresh start.”

In other words, if you’re willing to go to such great lengths and eliminate such a big number of links, Google is going to notice.

If you’ve got links from some very spammy forum or something like that, rather than trying to identify the individual pages, that might be the opportunity to da a ‘domain:’ . So if you’ve got a lot of links that you think are bad from a particular site, just go ahead and do ‘domain:’ and the name of that domain.  Don’t try to pick the individual links because you might be missing a lot

Google Now Lets You Export Gmail and Calendar Data

Google announced that it is adding a feature to Gmail and Google calendar that will let users download their data from the services. Google also offers the option to download a single archive of all account data across Gmail calendar, Google+, YouTube, Drive and more.

As announced in a post over at the official Google blog, users can now export their calendar data in the iCalendar format and Gmail archive in the MBOX format, both readily acceptable by Apple’s OS X/iOS calendar app and the stock OS X Mail program respectively.

Gmail-and-Calendar Data

It’s also possible to choose a subset of labels and/or calendars to export, for Gmail and Calendar respectively, if there’s only a particular part that you’re interested in keeping. That’s handy for maintaining separate work and personal archives, for instance.

As before you can also download a single archive file for multiple products with a copy of your Gmail, Calendar, Google+, YouTube, Drive and other Google data.

Google says that the option to download Gmail data will be rolled out to all the users over the next month, while the calendar data is available to download starting today.