Fewer and Better Ads in Gmail

Who likes irrelevant ads ? If you have EVER observed ads in Gmail, you could have seen some irrelevant ads and that might have made you install some adons to remove ads from your GMail or you might have started developing a sense of ad blindness.

But Google Gmail team is taking more efforts to make those ads as relevant and useful as possible.

With the introduction of priority mail, Gmail algorithms can now track what’s important mail for you and what’s not. And they also know what goes to your inbox, and what label you apply to your mails and what kind of messages are marked as SPAM.

GMail intelligently using these signals to track your interests, tastes and will start showing lesser and more relevant ads which will make sense to you.
And you may have to overcome your ad blindness, as these ads may start giving you coupon codes / discount codes from your local store for the things which you are interested in.

Ex: If you’re exchanging mails with your friends about gifting flowers for your girl friend for her upcoming birthday, then GMail algorithm may track your interest and may start showing discount coupon for ordering fresh flowers from your local flower store, for your girl friend.



Some years back I had seen people complaining about these ads reading the personal emails! lol [But back then, it was a serious issue]. So here is Google’s small disclaimer:

As always, ads in Gmail are fully automated-no humans read your messages- and no messages or personally identifiable information about you is shared with advertisers.


Gmail-improved-ads-coupons

And as always, you can enable or disable this feature by visiting your GMail accounts Settings -> General Tab -> Importance signals for ads.

This feature is also enabled in your Google Apps email accounts. It’s interesting to see that, this feature is enabled by default, once it is rolled over to your account.

+1 For You, By Google! [SEO]

In direct compitition with Facebook LIKE button, but with a even bigger impact, if executed as expected by Google.

Basically, Google will start showing this “+1” button for it’s adword ads, search results and eventually let websites/blogs add these “+1” buttons and help share/recommend good content to your friends or your “Social Circle“.



Source: Google Blog

If you are a webmaster and want to get invitation to get these +1 buttons for your site/blog, then signup for this newsletter from webmasters site.

Social Circle
Google Social Search helps you discover relevant content from your social connections, a set of your online friends and contacts. Content from your friends and acquaintances is sometimes more relevant and meaningful to you than content from any random person. For example, an online movie review is useful, but a movie review from your best friend can be even better.



Well, since this +1 signal will be one of the signal in determining the page rank or SERP position, some people will surely get prepared to trick it. Now have to wait and watch Google’s strategy to block it and give genuine search results and to be fair with the adword ads ranking.

Add Google Language Translator To Your Website: AJAX

No more playing with API. No more complex hacks.

We all know how weird translations these automated translator tools can make. But still we use machines for translation when there are no human beings sitting beside us for translating the wisdom words!

If you are into content publishing, it doesn’t make sense to skip/ignore the majority of non-English speaking audience.

We have analyzed our analytics data and we realize how important this Google Translation can be interms of traffic. Not everyone will be using Google Chrome which automatically asks for language translation when you visit a website written in some other language than the one set default for your browser.

After analyzing our blog’s analytics, we found that, people are less likely to translate and read theoretical stuffs, rather they will translate and read stuffs which are practical and solve their pressing problems.
Ex: If someone wants to install this Google Language Translator on their website, then they are more likely to translate this page and read it in their language and try to implement it. But if I only talk about how important the Language translation tool is, then people are less likely to translate and read. Hope you get the point.

The how-to’s kind of articles are more often read even though it’s in other languages. Because, people are not much worried about the language and the fluency, rather they want to know the easy steps to get some work done immediately.

1-2-3 steps to install AJAX Google Language Translator on your blog
1. Visit Google Language Translator page.
2. Configure the script as you wish.

You can select the translation of only a particular section of your blog/website, like the content section and leave off the sidebar, header and footer.
You can select the placement of the translator tool, which appears on your blog/website.

google-translator-guide

and make sure to include your Google Analytics web property ID, so that you can track the translations and the geography of the translation request etc data.
3. Add the javascript code to your blog and you are done.

Animate your story or create a video slideshow: YouTube

YouTube has made creating memorable slideshow’s and video’s even easier by integrating GoAnimate, Stupeflix Video Maker and Xtranormal Movie Maker.

Now capturing/creating that nostalgic moments of your life, like, the last day of your college, college trips or family trips or your baby’s birthday or anniversary slideshows or videos is at your finger tips.

Goto http://www.youtube.com/create click on your favorite app and authorize it. Now create your slideshow or remix video and directly publish it via your YouTube account.

animate-video-slidshow

slideshow-animate-services

authorize

To revoke any unintentional authorization, goto “My Videos” -> “Account Settings” -> “Authorized Sites” Manage third-party access to your YouTube account.

Adsense Ads With New Label

This is a quick short post about the upcoming changes in the adsense ads.
Hope you have noticed the “i” icon that expands to an “Ads by Google” label in the bottom corner of some of the adsense ads. This icon will soon change to an arrow icon which expands to show “AdChoices” label.


adsense-new-label


adsense-new-shoe-store-ad

Here is an except from Google blog:

We’ll soon start to change our in-ads notice icon to a new icon that expands to an “AdChoices” label. These notifications were developed by the online advertising industry‚Äôs Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising to more proactively give users notice and choice about the ads they see. With the change from our “i” icon and “Ads by Google” label to these new notifications, we hope to show our support for this cross-industry initiative, and to increase our users’ understanding about ad choices through adoption of an icon they’ll see on ads across the web.

Source: Adsense blog

Not Able To Login After Enabling 2-step Verification: Google Account

If you are not able to log into your YouTube, Android, iPhone, GoogleTalk/Pidgin client, POP/IMAP, Outlook – home computer, Thunderbird, Google TV, Picasa desktop client etc accounts after enabling 2 – step verification for your Google Account, then here are simple 1-2-3 steps to solve your problems. Step 1: It’s very simple, so stop worrying!

Log into your Main Google Account.
Goto “My Accounts”.

OR

If you are inside GMail, at the top right corner there is a link for “Settings”. Inside Settings -> “Accounts and Import” tab -> Under “Change account settings:” -> Click on “Other Google Account settings”.

Now follow the screen shots below:
Click on “Authorizing application & sites”

authorizing-applications-and-sites

Verify your Google Account once again use your regular Google username and password.

verify-access-to-google-account

Some applications that access your Google Account (such as Gmail on your phone or Outlook) cannot ask for verification codes. To use these applications, you will not use verification codes. Instead, you’ll enter an application-specific password in place of your normal password. Common applications and devices that require an application-specific password include:

1. Enter the application name, that you are not able to login. Hit “Generate Password“.

enter-application-name

2. In the next screen you will get a password and you can use this application specific password and log into your account.

accounts-2step-ASP-generated

3. You can click on revoke link to remove the application specific password previously generated.

If you check the “remember password for this computer” check box, then you need not remember this complicated password.

Secure Your Google Account

Most of us are so much dependent on Google services: Google Search, YouTube, Google Docs, Gmail, Picasa, Analytics, Google Places, Google Apps, Checkout , Google Friend Connect , Orkut, Feedburner, Adsense, Adwords, Google Webmasters Tools etc etc to name few.

Some people who use Adsense, Adwords etc might have sensitive business data. And with Orkut and Picasa you may have your private pictures. Hence, securing it makes sense.

Google has comeup with 2-step verification, similar to that you have for your online bank accounts and shares(demat) account.

Basically, you have two steps for successfully signing into your Google Account. First, you need your regular username and password. Second step, you need to generate a verification code from your mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. If you use any other device to login, then you can simply request a verification code which will be sent to your primary phone number or secondary phone(backup) number as an SMS OR you can request for a quick voice call to get the code.

Here are some screen shots which illustrate the process of setting up the security:
For login:
login-sms-gmail

For activating this security:
Log into your Google Account, click on “Account Settings”.

account-settings-page

phone-verification

backup-phone-setup

printable-backup-code

application-specific-password

If you choose “Remember verification for this computer for 30 days” option while logging in, you won’t need to re-enter a code for another 30 days on that computer. You can also set up one-time application-specific passwords to sign in to your account from non-browser based applications that are designed to only ask for a password, and cannot prompt for the code.

You also get 10 back up verification codes, which can be used to log in once in case you do not have access to your primary or secondary mobile number that you have connected to your Google account. So it’s advised to have a print copy of these backup verification codes and keep it safely.

All these may take 10 minutes to set up, but I think its worth it especially if you are using Google Account for storing any of your business or private information/data.

View 12 New File Formats On Google Docs

Not everyone uses Google Docs, but most of us use Gmail. Now Google Docs supports 12 new file formats. This is not a good news for just professionals who use Google Docs, but also to those of us who use Gmail for file sharing.

Google-docs-Gmail

Now you can send
Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
Apple Pages (.PAGES)
Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
TrueType (.TTF)
XML Paper Specification (.XPS)

via email and it can be viewed directly on your web browser and need not be downloaded to your hard disk drive.

You can even upload all the files with above mentioned format to your Google Docs account and share the link across the web.

Source: Gmail Blog

if you have a file on your desktop with above mentioned file format and don’t have proper software to open it, then simply goto your Google Docs account, upload it, view and/or edit it.