Does PageRank Matter?

As many of us has experienced, Google has finally slapped everyone who has paid links on their site. PageRanks have been stripped off by as much as 2 on most sites. A good example would be this site which has been penalized from PR4 to PR2. I am not complaining, since I never have any good chance to analyze my site to abide by all of Google’s quality guidelines.

This event makes me think on how PageRank really matters for websites. It matters because all of us make it so, by acknowledging the authority of the scheme. Hell, I know I will be happy if my PageRank gets a certain boost.

Google has announced for quite some time now, that they don’t like paid links. This is understandable because this kind of link will effect the PageRank and search results. However this is a critical move for many bloggers who makes money via paid posts where they are not allowed to include the rel="nofollow" tags in the links inside the paid posts. And to make things worst – there is a cyclic dependency: PageRank will be lower for paid bloggers, and paid bloggers are ranked by PageRank.

Being an occasional paid post writer myself I realize that many paid post operators uses and acknowledge the authority of external ranking systems such as PageRank and Alexa. The higher their rank, the better chance they get to grab those high value posts. Alexa is still alright, since it is based purely on traffic but stricter schemes like PageRank is sure a pain for those who have been seriously blogging for money.

And do not forget: advertisers seeking to put paid links on your site will also look at your PageRank! 😉

Once obvious thing for this site is the occasional paid posts, and the sponsored links. For now, I shall only put links from advertisers who agrees to allow the rel="nofollow" tag on their links. This way they will benefit from clicks and not from search engines. When I have the time I think I’ll look into the guidelines and use the Google Webmaster tool to ask for reconsideration.

How about you? How much does PageRank matter to you?

Firebug and Gmail

When I log on to my Gmail today, I received an error bounded by a red box that says “Firebug is known to make Gmail slow unless it is configured correctly”. I didn’t know that!

And as always, Gmail is nice enough to provide a simple workaround.

Firebug is an excellent add-on normally used by web developers so most people will not see this warning at all.

By the way did you notice that there’s a very big improvement in Gmail in terms of UI and also speed?

Google AdSense Allowed Sites

Have your publisher ID ever been used in other sites than yours, without your knowledge? I have never experienced the same problem but I guess some prominent publishers must’ve experienced this.

AdSense now have an Allowed Sites feature where you can specify on which sites your publisher ID will be considered active.

This is indeed a very useful feature, especially if someone decides to use your publisher ID with bad intentions such as to get your account suspended!

Read more about it in Inside AdSense: Allowed and clear.


To create your Allowed Sites list today, visit your AdSense Setup tab, click the Allowed Sites sub-tab, and choose the radio button for Only allow certain sites to show ads for my account. You’ll then be able to enter allowed URLs for all your sites. Make sure to keep your list up to date when you add your code to new sites, too.

So if you decide not to use it, no change is necessary!

Google Referrals 2.0

Have you checked in to your AdSense account lately? Try and see the Referral setup page and see whether you have been upgraded to Referrals 2.0. I was surprised by this notification when I logged on to the AdSense account of one of my clients. This is what I saw:

Google Referrals 2.0

Some of us are lucky enough to be given the chance to test this out, like Auntie Lillian a.k.a. 5xmom. I am not as lucky, though. Maybe because my AdSense performance is not so well. 🙁

With Referrals 2.0 you can select targeted ads to display on your site, and not the boring old banners to refer to Google products and services. This opens a lot more doors and endless possibilities for you to customize the ads that will be displayed. They look just like normal AdSense ads, with the only difference is the tag Referrral Ads by Google.

Google Desktop for Linux

Hooray! Google Desktop has finally reached Linux users. It is the first release, and contains a subset of features from the Windows version.

Obviously no source is provided, but two package types is ready to be downloaded – .rpm for Red Hat/Fedora/Suse/Mandriva x86, and .deb for Debian/Ubuntu x86

No 64 bit version yet, though.

However I do think that it is useful if Google provide a binary archive (.tgz or .tar.gz or .tar.bz2) for those who like to extract the software instead of installing them.

After installation, Google desktop lives in /opt/google/desktop and user data is all stored in ~/.google/desktop. It requires / utilizes GTK engine for rendering.

One interesting thing I just found is that Google also have its own Linux repository for users of these distributions:

  • APT (Debian, Ubuntu, etc.)
  • YUM (Fedora)
  • urpmi (Mandriva)
  • YaST2 (SUSE)
  • RPM (Red Hat)

Click here for instructions. Now you can use your favorite packaging tools to retrieve Google Linux software.

Cool eh?

My AdSense PIN Has Arrived

Despite of a shadowy day (the shadow is in my head) today, I am thrilled to learn that my AdSense PIN has arrived safely at my home. It felt good.

Google AdSense PIN

I’ve been busy and tired lately, this is a very big hurdle for a non full time blogger like me. Less and less time (and energy) to get online and write! The good news is that the cold is going away little by little.

Plugin: Import New Blogger To WordPress

Update #3 (26 April 2007): This plugin has been broken by changes made to feeds on Blogger, and is pretty much unusable anymore. The download links are still there so if you want to try it anyway you can do so. Try to see the method described in TechCounter (the last one) for a good method. Theoretically this would work but I have not tried it. Good luck!.

Update #2: Only 500 posts can be imported via RSS (Blogger limited the RSS feed to only contain 500 max posts). Check out comment 181 and 191 below for suggestions.

Update: This plugin is now known as Blogger RSS Import instead of New Blogger Import.

Back in December, I created a stand alone script to import Blogger Beta to WordPress. I didn’t really expect that many will benefit from it until I received so many comments and bug reports. So here is the improved version, as a plugin. Many improvements were done especially at the database side where WordPress functions are utilized, and there’s no security issue anymore.
Continue reading Plugin: Import New Blogger To WordPress

Blogger Moves Out Of Beta


Blogger is now out of Beta: However I tried my Blogger Beta Importer and it still works 🙂

I think this is because the importer depends on the RSS provided by the New Blogger. Perhaps I should change my importer’s name to New Blogger import?

My true wish is that to have that importer being able to integrate with WordPress importer control panel officially or unofficially but I just don’t have the time to look into WordPress code yet eventhough I periodically checks out the code from the subversion repository. One of my blogs run 2.1-alpha3 and there are many improvements I do like a lot such as the image push to editor and the visual and code editor on the same screen!

IMHO importing from RSS is much efficient than the legacy method of logging into Blogger, publishing the template and extracting from there. But of course, a simple change on the RSS output and the importer will not work 😉

Missing AdSense Pages

A client friend of mine complained that he can’t see the pages when he clicked on AdSense links, which is quite weird. When I tried, they all loaded fine. Anyone experience the same problem?

By the way you should not click on your own ads too many times as Google will think you are trying to cheat. I am not sure it will show up in your stats as clicks anyway.

Google AdSense Under Maintenance

For AdSense users out there who are not subscribed in the blog update, Google AdSense site is down from 10am to 2pm PDT:

This Saturday, November 11th, our engineers will be performing routine system maintenance from 10am to 2pm PDT. Although you won’t be able to access your account during this time, ads will still be served to your pages and we’ll continue to track your earnings as normal.

AdSense Maintenance

However by the time I am writing this, it’s already 2pm+ PDC but I think it’ll be up soon. As they suggested, maybe this will give you a chance to clear away those cobwebs you told friends were “Halloween decorations.” 😉

Google In Malaysia

While playing around with some Google caches today I found this intriguing page. It’s an opening for Malaysia Country Consultant for Google Inc. I wonder if they are planning to open up an office in Malaysia, or better still, a research center perhaps?


Digging deeper, Azidin found out that Jeff mentioned that this position has been filled by Hanson Toh in his CNET Blog, Lemak Lemang.

Google Calendar With Holidays

Anyone else uses Google calendar? It’s my favorite web calendar, and I will like it more if it can sync with Outlook 2000 that my workplace still uses. One great feature that have been added a while ago is an option to add your country’s holidays in your calendar:

Google Holiday Calendars

Of course, I immediately added Malaysia Holidays to my calendar but I found an incorrect entry. Awal Ramadhan (Ramadhan Begins) is shown as 15 October 2006 instead of 24 September 2006. However, this date is shown correctly on the Islamic Calendar:

Google Calendar

It’s not really a big deal, but I just wish I can correct the almost perfect calendaring system. I’ve tried to look for the person to notify but can’t find any 🙁

Anyway, that’s just one wrongly entered date. I don’t really check the other dates. However the birthdays of YDP Melaka and Sultan Pahang, and Deepavali is correctly set. It’s just that Sultan Pahang is now also a YDP 😉

Well done, Google.

Google ‘in talks to buy YouTube’

According to this news in BBC News, Google is reported to be in talks to buy popular video-sharing website YouTube for $1.6bn (~856m).

For me, it would mean less choice for video bloggers and sharers for them to upload their videos. From the business point of view, Google is once again acquiring one of its ‘competitors’. In Alexa, at the time I am writing this is ranked 3 with having 3% of the traffic while YouTube is ranked at number 10.

It’s not like Google needs to do it, but they can. Especially if combining both of the techologies (Google Video + YouTube) could possibly increase the reliability and features of the service.

The same goes for Yahoo! acquiring (…) and FeedBurner acquiring Blogbeat (…).

Nothing personal, it’s business. As a Google fan I might be a little bit biased. Anyone having comments are welcomed to do so.