Posts tagged Here’s
Google has published some SEO best practices for scrolling websites that gives advice on what you should do to ensure all your content is being crawled, indexed, and ranked correctly, including tips on how to structure URLs and pagination.
View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest
The agenda is live, and we’re now accepting submissions to speak at Search Marketing Expo – SMX London 2014. To increase the odds of being selected, be sure to have read the agenda. Understand what the sessions are about. Ensure that your pitch is on target to the show’s audience and the session….
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Facebook would always rather you share more, not less, on the social network. Its latest tweak now puts your friends to work to cajole you to part with personal information you may not have wanted to put out there.
Users who have not disclosed their phone numbers, home addresses or personal emails on their Facebook profiles will start getting notifications from friends who want to know more.
In 2010, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people.”
He added, “We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are.”
This latest change, however, seems more like an attempt to alter users’ behavior than to cater to it.
Share And Share Alike
Previously, any information that wasn’t shared on a person’s profile simply wasn’t listed. The prompt to share is new, Facebook confirmed to ReadWrite, a change that’s been slowly rolling out since late last year but “ramping up” recently.
“This feature provides an easy way for friends to ask you for information that’s not already in your profile,” a Facebook spokesperson told ReadWrite in an email. “For example, a friend could ask you where you work, or for your email address.”
When you get the request, you’ll get a prompt to share the information with the friend who requested it—or add it to your profile for all your friends to see.
It’s long been possible to adjust your settings to show your personal contact details to the public, friends, or no one, but those involve complicated privacy settings that most users avoid.
ReadWrite editor-in-chief Owen Thomas first encountered the new setting when he was looking for a friend’s email. What he saw was a link on her profile that said “Ask for [friend’s] email address.”
Curious, we then visited my profile, one that I’ve carefully crafted to show as little personal information as possible. We saw similar links, such as “Ask for Selena’s address.”
Facebook’s latest attempt to get you to share as much personal information is clever. In the past, Facebook has prompted users to fill out their work or school information—but the request came from Facebook itself, an impersonal approach that may have proven ineffective.
When Thomas asked for my address, I was prompted to fill out the location information, then choose whether to share with just him, or all my friends. While I might not mind my editor knowing where I live, the other 411 people I have as friends on Facebook—some I consider only mild acquaintances—I’d rather not know my location. And it requires only a simple inattentive click to share that with all of them. Reversing the decision requires a hunt through privacy settings.
A Very Quiet Change
The change is subtle. Facebook can argue that it’s just making it easier to ask friends for their contact information. It’s common for people to send a Facebook message asking for a friend’s email address, for example.
And Facebook is competing with a host of social startups, like Snapchat, that rely on the address books in users’ phones to match them up, vitiating Facebook’s advantage in having an authoritative list of users’ friends
I received no notification letting me know friends could now request my phone number or address. The request just showed up.
Here’s why that’s a problem: To put it plainly, Facebook is using your friends to guilt you into sharing contact information on the social network.
It’s unclear whether you can prevent friends from requesting your information—after a cursory review of my privacy settings, I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. We asked Facebook if there’s a way to prevent these requests, and the company has not yet responded.
This feature may help cut down on messages bugging you for contact information. It might even help users who didn’t realize they could efficiently share their phone number or email address with their Facebook friends.
But Facebook should notify users that it’s coming, and create a setting that lets people opt out. That’s better than turning our profiles into one long list of fill-in-the-blanks.
View full post on ReadWrite
Google’s Matt Cutts, in a personal blog post, declared that “guest blogging is done” as an SEO tactic, setting off a firestorm. Here’s a full recap of why this happened, how the industry reacted, and what it means for future of guest blogging.
View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest
Matt Cutts Says ‘Stop’ Guest Blogging for SEO: Here’s Everything You Need to … – Search Engine Watch
Matt Cutts Says 'Stop' Guest Blogging for SEO: Here's Everything You Need to …
Search Engine Watch
We've been seeing the writing on the wall for quite some time when it comes to the viability of guest blogging as an SEO tactic. As the quality declined and the prevalence of poor quality content through guest blogging increased, it was only a matter …
Yes, Guest Blog Posting is Still a Viable SEO Tactic for Growing Your Business
Guest Blogging, Matt Cutts And A Whole Lotta Hoo-ha
View full post on SEO – Google News
Facebook recently introduced a new feature to the desktop version of their site that’s a lot like Twitter’s trending topics. Simply called “Trending”, it’s a new box added to the right sidebar designed to highlight popular conversions. Chris Struhar, Engineering Manager at Facebook, describes: Today we’re announcing Trending, a new product that’s designed to surface […]
The post Facebook Introduces Trending Topics, Here’s How They Differ From Twitter’s by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
View full post on Search Engine Journal
Facebook’s mobile apps are built for specific operating systems. No longer solely dependent on the Web, Facebook has finer control over mobile app development specific to your iPhone or Android. But by switching to native development two years ago, the company could no longer run A/B tests. So developers built Airlock.
Facebook just released new details about Airlock, the testing framework that allows its developers to compare data from various app implementations and decide which version of the application works best.
The narrative describes challenges many developers face when it comes to fixing the inner workings of applications to best perform for customers. But by going under the hood with its own A/B testing platform, Facebook shows its users how, exactly, it builds a UI people Like.
“We’re one of the biggest app developers and encountering new challenges,” a spokesperson for Facebook told us. “So we’re sharing our experiences so that when other companies hit these challenges they can learn from our process and understand how we did it.”
Even Facebook Makes Mistakes
Things are always changing at Facebook HQ. Every four weeks, iOS and Android teams at Facebook coordinate and produce a new executable file with updated features and bug fixes. And with each update, the teams track how new features perform, fix performance and reliability of the app, and make adjustments the user interface that change how and where people spend their time on Facebook.
The company exposes users to two different versions of the app—an A version and B version—and uses Airlock to compare data collected from both to decide which version to ship to all users.
In its post, Facebook noted that, for instance, one of the first experiments the company ran was changing a chat icon to the word “chat.” Using the A/B system, some people saw the word chat while others still saw the icon, and Facebook determined which version of chat users were most engaged with.
Implementing the word “chat” seemed like a massive success as more users were engaged with that version of the app. Unfortunately what developers found was a pile of bugs and a component incorrectly caching data.
As the experiment wore on, developers discovered an incongruence between the information the device was told and a delay during which the UI was incorrect. The company eventually added a “two-way handshake,” meaning the device requests data, and the server logs the response that sends it out.
At first only able to support two experiments, the Airlock project evolved to support 10 or 15 variations of a single experiment that affects millions of people.
There are a variety of Facebook designs and interfaces lying on the developers’ cutting room floor that were never implemented to the masses, as A/B testing proved users didn’t like it. Though as the testing platform continues to scale, developers have to make sure different tests don’t pollute one another, and keep some Airlock experiments exclusive in order to deter bugs or incorrect logging in the control group.
Airlock started as a project with the goal of improving the navigation within its applications, and eventually, after constant iterations, we have the left-hand navigation drawer that enables us to use Facebook with one hand.
Although Facebook released details of how and why they use Airlock, it is not available to the open source community just yet. But a Facebook spokesperson told us the company “is always evaluating if it will provide value to the open source community.”
View full post on ReadWrite
If your website sometimes has minor duplicate content issues, how can you avoid being caught in Google’s duplicate content filter? Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts explains when you should use rel=canonical in such instances.
View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest
My grade school experience with computer classes didn’t expand far beyond Spooky the Ghost teaching me how to type and clipping Word Art onto Powerpoint slideshows. Now it seems as though every education initiative includes computer science to get kids geared up for coding and programming for the future.
It’s clear that the Zeitgeist has determined knowing how to code is the new factor for success. Your kid takes violin? Well my kid built her own website.
Hour of Code is an engineering and programming initiative born from Computer Science Education Week, which took place December 9-15, 2013. Backed by the likes of President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg, this program encourages students and educators to include one hour of coding education per day through various tutorials. Many of those tutorials can be found on the Computer Science Education Week website.
See also: How Coding Went Mainstream
Hour of Code hopes to encourage further coding exploration. As someone who’d never touched a serious line of code and was terrified by stories of my peers dropping university programming courses left and right, I figured I’d be the perfect candidate for an hour of code. So I grabbed a cup of tea and sat down with Code.org’s tutorial on how to “Write your first computer program.”
The tutorial, which features familiar characters from Angry Birds and Plants Vs Zombies, could easily be mistaken for just another computer game. The goal for each of the 20 puzzles in this program is to get your character from point A to point B. Different commands like “move forward” and “turn right” that you link together direct the path your character takes.
These commands represent lines of code, which you can see at any time by pressing a “Show Code” button. Get your character successfully to point B using the right number of commands and you’ve solved the puzzle.
As you complete each stage, the puzzles and commands grow more complex. Zuckerberg, NBA player Chris Bosh and Bill Gates appear in videos to introduce new commands like repeat-loops, if-statements, and conditionals. These commands let you issue more compact instructions that avoid repetition (i.e., “move forward three times” instead of “move forward, move forward, move forward”) and allow your character to follow more complex patterns.
Puzzles 1-10: Got This
My ego inflated as I attached one block to another block for a grand total of two blocks in the first few puzzles. “Move forward” plus “Move forward”? I can totally do this. The complexity of the beginning levels were as difficult as counting the spaces from Point A to Point B and then just connecting the appropriate instruction blocks together. The angry bird’s Aheeyah war cry accompanied by the green pig’s soft poof of defeat was more than enough incentive to move forward.
The “Show Code” button on the puzzle page sat small in the top right corner—I pressed it occasionally out of curiosity and a desire to associate the bird’s movements with the actual lines of code. For example, pressing the Show Code button on a “Turn Left” will reveal the line as “turnLeft();”.
But that was about it. Otherwise, the tutorials didn’t present much actual code in a way that made much sense to a novice like me, which I found confusing. It was a coding game, so where was all the code? The initial puzzles felt more like a normal computer game and not a code-related one. Then I advanced further.
Puzzles 11-14: Why Is This Taking Me So Long?
You get new blocks and commands in the middle section of the coding tutorial. By putting one or more blocks into the larger “Repeat Until” block, the commands inside the bigger block will repeat until the angry bird hits a wall or reaches its goal.
Things started to get a bit stickier here. Because I could insert simple commands into other commands, the tutorial began to restrict the number of blocks I could use in each puzzle. For example, in the beginning stages where I could use four “Move Forward” blocks to advance four times, I now had to use two blocks; “Move Forward” inside a “Repeat Until” command.
Then the scenarios switched to Plants vs, Zombies, and in came an even more frightening option—”If” statements. The idea of the If statement as presented was simple enough—if it’s raining outside, then I need to wear a jacket. If the zombie sees a path to the left, then he’ll turn left. But it introduced a level of complexity I found hard to get my head around.
Puzzles 15-20: Help, Please
By puzzle 15 I was officially stumped. The numerous possibilities of “Turn Left/Right” inside “Repeat Until” inside “If Path ‘Turns Left/Right’” was just too meta for me. The more complicated the possible combinations of blocks became, the more I overthought truly simple actions and commands. I just could not get the zombie to the plant without wrong turns, running into walls, or exceeding the number of allowed blocks.
So I sought the help of a fellow ReadWriter with more coding knowledge and less Angry Birds fatigue to help me complete what had for me become “Couple of Hours of Code.”
In working through the last few puzzles, I realized that the blocks of code needed to be parsed out and thought about individually first, and then put together as a whole command. Sure, I know that’s the whole point of the exercise. But it’s harder to get that straight when you have just four commands to lead your zombie through a trap-infested labyrinth. The game is truly not as simple as it seems.
Code.org’s coding tutorial is delightfully challenging. It is fun in all the aspects of a computer game, but difficult enough to make you sit and really think about how commands and series of actions affect each other. What I gained most of all were some foundational coding concepts. For coding-novice adults and children alike, learning and understanding language like “Repeat commands” and “If statements” is a valuable start.
In order to get a clearer idea of what code actually does from this tutorial, you probably ought to take the time to open the “Show Code” options and see how the lines affect the character’s movements.
Will every single student need to know the ins and outs of coding to find a career in the future? I can’t say. But Code.org’s program for Hour of Code does give its participants a headstart in algorithmic thinking. You learn that organizing simple commands in certain ways can lead to complex behavior—in this case, by making a character move the way you want it to. That may not be “real” coding, but it’s certainly a conceptual foundation for further exploration.
View full post on ReadWrite