links for 2011-02-25

  • Odds are your nonprofit has a “Company Page” on LinkedIn. If any of your past staff, interns, or volunteers have a personal profile on LinkedIn and they have added their position at your nonprofit to their work “Experience,” then your nonprofit does indeed have a LinkedIn Company Page. If not, then you can easily create one.

    Either way, LinkedIn is now the 12th most visited website in the United States and with almost 100 million active users, you should claim, enhance, and monitor your nonprofit’s Company Page. For example, the Taproot Foundation has uploaded a logo, a description, their location, website, Tweets, and utilized the “Services” functionality:

  • Want to learn how everything works in Photoshop? We'll help you make your photos better, draw vector graphics, and design a web site.
  • Web forms play a big part in every day web use. If you build and/or run websites, chances are, you have a web form in it, whether it’s a simple contact form or a rich and robust web app. There are several ways to make sure your web forms are optimized for your users. Here are some tips for making sure that your form submission process is user-friendly.
  • Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.

    Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

    We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down.

  • Google just changed its search algorithm and effectively declared war on Content Farms like Demand Media.

    In a blog post, Google search engineers Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts write that the update, which will effect a whopping 11.8% of all search results, "is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful."

    "At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on."

    Google does not mention any specific domains in the blog post, but we can confirm that Demand Media and other "content farms" are a target of the adjustment.

  • In January, Google promised that it would take action against content farms that were gaining top listings with “shallow” or “low-quality” content. Now the company is delivering, announcing a change to its ranking algorithm designed take out such material.
    New Change Impacts 12% Of US Results

    The new algorithm — Google’s “recipe” for how to rank web pages — starting going live yesterday, the company told me in an interview today.

    Google changes its algorithm on a regular basis, but most changes are so subtle that few notice. This is different. Google says the change impacts 12% (11.8% is the unrounded figure) of its search results in the US , a far higher impact on results than most of its algorithm changes. The change only impacts results in the US. It may be rolled out worldwide in the future.

    While Google has come under intense pressure in the past month to act against content farms, the company told me that this change has been in the works since last January.

  • With the internet being used more and more by your average consumer, you may be wanting to start your own online shop so you can unleash your products to all those potential customers. I’m sure you know that there are countless ways to do just this, but here I’m going to talk specifically about e-commerce plugins for WordPress.

    Maybe you’ve heard about the odd plugin that allows you to sell products from your WordPress blog, but you might not know exactly what they are. To help you on your way to selling your products, I’m going to tell you about the five best e-commerce plugins for WordPress.

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