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Why Should you Optimize your Site for Mobile Devices?

Mobile devices

The trend of using mobile devices to search for content online is steadily on the rise, and gaining momentum. And tablets really seem to be advancing the cause, since more and more people are buying and using them. So how are these evolving trends changing things, and how does it effect you as a website owner? The focus is now centering more towards responsiveness and adaptability, which means that more content needs to made and optimized for mobile devices.

What the numbers say?

In the last quarter of the year 2012, almost as much as 11% of the internet users were using mobile devices, more than 6% of which came from smartphones whereas less than 5% came from tablet devices. And although tablet devices nowadays have a computational power comparable to desktop devices (well, so do smartphones, but screen size matters a lot here), users still want the content optimized and rendered specifically for tablet devices. Hence, in a way, smartphones and tablets can be treated in a similar way.
But what about now? According to a study, from the first quarter of 2012 to now, mobile internet usage has gone up by a staggering 26%, whereas tablet usage has grown by 19%, both very impressive figures in themselves.
Desktop figures, however have taken a beating, with a decline of 6%. This, considering the size of desktop users, is a large decrease. but then again, who has the time to start up a computer everytime they need to Google something, right?

What should you do?

These stats indicate that it is probably time to give more thought into optimizing your website, and aligning it more towards mobile devices. Here are a couple posts we have written that should help you out.

So, have you got any questions? Feel free to ask any in the comments below. And leave your feedback to let us know how we're doing. Cheers :)

Why Google Search is Faster than your own computer?

How is Google so fast?
Have you ever wondered how come Google is as fast as it is? When you enter a search query in Google Search, you see the time taken to return your results, and that time isn't even measured in seconds, but rather, milliseconds. How can it be so fast? Searching for a file on your computer or a local area network can take minutes. Surely, the internet can not be faster than your own computer's storage? That's a really good question which I am sure some of us have pondered over at one time or another. So what actually is going on?

How Search Engines work?

To understand the answer to the question, you must first get a very basic idea of how search engines actually work. At its core, a search engine consists of a crawler and an indexer (let's leave the headache ranking pages for now, shall we?)
The crawler's job is to crawl the web, and I mean literally! It crawls from one page to another through hyperlinks. That is why if you build a new website, building links to it from other sites is a quicker way of getting it noticed than submitting it to Google's index. The crawler reaches into every accessible corner of a website (if it is linked from another page).
Once the crawler has found a page, it is the indexer's job to index the page's content. Indexing means processing and parsing the data on the page, and then saving it in a statistical, more meaningful form, something which the search engine can understand easily. This data is saved on the search provider's web server.
So once a crawler finds a page, the indexer processes it and stores it on a server. The search engine now has nothing more to do with the page in question, unless it wants to re-crawl and re-index that page (in case of updates. Google indexes webpages every second or every day, depending upon the ranking of the website). Now, when a user requests a query, the search engine doesn't actually search the web. It has already done that! It simply searches from the index found on its own servers, and returns relevant results.

What else?

So how is it still faster than your local hard drive? Well, Google isn't the best search engine for no reason! It employs some really efficient algorithms and data structures that help in the quick retrieval of data. Google also has huge 'farm' servers that have index data stored in them. And the computational powers of these machines is immense, nothing like your ordinary desktop microprocessor. So when all these factors add up, you really get a solution that's faster than your Personal Computer's hard drive.

There is a way to speed up search for your hard drive too. Applying the same principle of indexing, we can find files and content much quicker. Windows XP, 7 and 8 have built-in drive managers that give you the option to defragment or index your hard drives. This will optimize your hard drives, and make search much quicker. Windows 7 and onwards has tried to implement this by default too, which is why you can write anything in the search menu search bar, and see results displaying instantaneously. This has been achieved via the Windows Search Index. Hence, indexing is the key to speeding up search results.

Did you enjoy this post? Please share your opinions in the comments below. And if in doubt, feel free to ask us questions. Cheers :)

Facebook New API for Monitoring comment Replies

Facebook Comments API
As you might have noticed, Facebook introduced threaded comments to posts on Fan Pages. And I must say, it was a long-awaited and much-needed feature indeed. It made conversations much more organized, and readable. But what if you wanted to integrate this functionality, and fetch & deliver comments and their replies from your page onto your website? If you're a developer, you'd know that you need an API for this sort of work. Fortunately, you are in luck, because Facebook just rolled out  a new update for its API for comments and replies on Facebook pages. Using this, you can monitor and respond to comments and replies on your Page.

Updates to the API

This update comments API now provides developers with different 'views' of the comments on your page. There are three basic views; Top Level Comments, Replies and Comment Streams. These views can be accessed by the Graph API as well as through Facebook's FQL table.

Threaded Comments
Top Level comments - These are individual comments to the post itself, and not replied to any comment. This view is called "top level". The comments in this view might be ranked on the basis of their quality, replies, and some other factors.

Replies - This view, called "replies" fetches replies to an individual comment of a post.

Comment Streams - "stream" will return all top level comments and their replies in a chronological order, so the top level comments here won't be ranked.

FQL Commands

You can get data using both FQL ad Graph API. If you're using existing API, you need to keep in mind that the 'comments' column in the 'stream' FQL table has been depreciated. Instead, use 'comment_info' field to fetch data from 'can_comments' and 'comment_count' fields. Here are the FQL queries for the three views.

Top Level comments

SELECT id, fromid, time, text, likes
FROM comment
WHERE object_id={object_id} AND parent_id='0'


SELECT id, fromid, time, text, likes
FROM comment
WHERE parent_id={comment_id}

Comment streams

SELECT id, fromid, time, text, likes
FROM comment
WHERE object_id={object_id}
(almost exactly the same as Top level Comments query, but ordered by time, and no check for parent_id being 0;

Missing out on something?

If you're wondering why you don't see threaded comments on your Facebook Fan Page, then that's because Threaded comments have only been enabled for popular pages with a lot of fans (1,000+). If you're not quite there yet, then don't worry. This option will be turned on by default for all pages by June 10.

Do you like the new changes? You can read the Facebook Developers Blog for more information, or check out the documentation for this API for detailed instructions. You can also ask us questions in the comments below. Stay tuned :)

Brand New Google Analytics Features for better Real Time Reporting

Real time reporting
Monitoring analytics is integral for the success of any website. Businesses use this data to improve upon their products. And if you're a website owner, you might be using some analytics program to monitor your progress. Some analytics programs such as Google Analytics also give you the real-time reporting. This data can be invaluable to optimization efforts, since it can give you insights into how well your users are interacting with your website instantaneously. It lets you respond to immediate changes that are a result of time and are temporary, such as trending and viral topics, limited-time traffic (holiday traffic etc), and so on. If you're looking for an effective real-time reporting solution, look no further than Google Analytics, because it just got better with 4 latest improvements to its real-time reporting!

Real-time events

Real-time event reporting will let you see the top events as they occur, which you can then filter as well based on event categories. Furthermore, you can see whether particular segments of your visitors trigger different events.
Click on the Real-time section in Google Analytics, and then click on Events to get this feature. You can click on any event category to see Event actions and labels for that category. You can also add filters, which will then be saved. And you can use these filters to see events that a particular segment of visitors trigger, for example, events triggered by traffic coming from social media etc.

Breakdown of real-time traffic by user agent

Google Analytics will now show your traffic broken down based on user agents. In the right now section, you can see your current traffic, and its breakdown based on whether the users are using Mobile, Desktop, or Tablet devices. Clicking on any segment will display detailed analytics.

Realtime vs overall data

You can view your overall pageviews and compare them with segments of visitors in real time. For example, you can compare your total traffic with your mobile traffic after a particular post on social media to see how well do social media users who are on mobile devices pick up your content.


Last, but not least, you can now set up shortcuts for your real-time segment filters. Once you look at your data through a particular filter, you can save it, so you won't have to create that filter again and again. And you can easily access all your shortcuts from the navigation menu on the left side.
Like these new features? Do share your experiences and opinions with us in the comments section below. And if in confusion, feel free to ask. Peace :)

Upgrade To Mobile App Analytics with Google Analytics

Mobile App Analytics

Measuring the success of a mobile app is crucial for any mobile app developer. If you are an Android or iOS app developer, you must be using some kind of analytics program to help you determine how your apps are received. Have you considered using Google's Mobile App Analytics for that purpose?  You might already be familiar with Google Analytics, or at least you may have an idea of the vast repository of features it brings to the competition. With the Mobile App Analytics, you can get all the rich functionality you get with Google Analytics. And now, Google has upgraded the Mobile App Analytics, so you get even more features now!

What's new?

The Mobile App Analytics has been redesigned especially for app developers and marketers who need to access information about their app. The Android and iOS analytics SDKs have been rebuilt from scratch to be more lightweight and efficient, and provide a good experience to developers, while keeping it easy to understand and use.

Change history

When you have multiple users for an analytics account, it can become confusing when people are making changes to that account, changes such as account info, profiles, properties, filters etc. You can't seem to figure out who changed what. Google has now included a new feature, the Change History. This feature will show you a summary of all such important changes made to your account over the past 6 months - plenty of time to track activity.

Multi-currency support

Now, you can track transaction metrics such as total revenue, shipping/handling costs, tax etc in multiple currencies within a single interface. Google has added this support in eCommerce for a multitude of currencies. And you can convert all those currencies into one currency of your preference. This makes things really easy for brands with a diverse international fan base, since everything can be managed from one place.

Tag Assistant

This is a Google Chrome extension designed by engineers at Google. It aims at simplifying the task of troubleshooting tag installs, and helps find problems. Tag Assistant will highlight warnings and errors, and will give you useful suggestions on Google's most widely adopted tags such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and so on. This extension will alert you of tags installed on a page you are currently on, and will also tell you whether there are any problems with the implementation of those tags.
Are you excited about these latest features? Leave your interesting responses in the comments section below :)

Now Access the Webmasters Academy in Over 40 Languages

Webmaster Academy

When you really want to achieve something, then the limit of your knowledge no longer becomes a hindrance. This has held true for a lot of webmasters, who are self-taught, and rely on their ambition to learn and implement new things that they consider useful. But whether you are a beginner, or a seasoned veteran, there's always room for some improvement - for learning something new. That is why Google set up a Webmaster's Academy to teach everyone from a total newbie to an advanced user on how to better understand Google, and how to perform better in search results. This Academy was set up last year, but was only available in the English language up until now. Now though, thanks to Google, the Webmaster Academy has gone international, with support for more than 40 languages!

The purpose of establishing this Academy was to educate and guide webmasters into creating websites that perform well in search results. For any blogger, this can serve as the ultimate guide or a complete roadmap that webmasters and bloggers can follow towards success, since the ultimate goal is getting the best performance in search results. So if you haven't still heard of the Webmaster Academy, then you should start off with it immediately.

What it has to offer?

The Webmaster Academy is a fully-fledged academy in the sense that it covers a huge scope of topics, vertically as well as horizontally.
Webmaster Academy
There are various sections in the interface for different type of users. These include Beginners, Advanced users, and Small business owners. Each section has a checklist where you can place a check-box next to each resource that you complete, and you will see your overall progress at the top. These steps are organized in a logical pattern, so you can move from one to the next in a sequential manner.
Once you're done with one section, you can move on to the next. It's a really well organized resource that you can master within no time at all. And now, it is available in a wider ranger of languages. Google says that the Academy is available in over 20 languages, but that number is actually 43, including English.
So what do you want to learn today? Head over to the Webmaster Academy, and start your training as a webmaster from Google itself! You'll be the master of your game in no time at all! All the best :)

How To tell Google to Remove your Content or Site from Google Services?

Opt out of Google services
Google, as you might well know has a wide, vertical range of products and services served along the main course that is Google Search. Such services include Google Shopping, Flights, Hotels, Google Advisor, Google Plus Local Search, and so on. Sometimes, some of the content on your site also gets included in these services if relevant. But in some cases, you might not want your content to appear on such products and services. Now you can ask Google not to include your content in search results through your Robots file, but that doesn't really solve the problem does it? It'll take your content off Google entirely. So how to exclude your content from the extra Google services only? Well, Google has now given you a solution in the form of an Opt-out Tool, where you can choose your content to be not included in such products and services.

How to Opt-Out?

Before we talk about the background behind this initiative, let me first tell you how you (publishers) can opt out of these five select Google services, namely Google Shopping, Google Flights, Google Hotels, Google Advisor, and Google Plus Local `Search.
This tool can be found within Google Webmaster Tools. Follow this link to the Opt-Out Tool, and choose a website you want to use this tool for. You must be logged into Google Webmaster Tools to access this tool.
Remember! This tool is only available for domain level sites. Sub-domain websites (such as won't get this option. You will need your own domain ( to access this option.
After selecting a site, and clicking on the Opt Out button will result in the removal of your site's contents from the aforementioned Google Services. However, this won't result in the immediate deletion of the records Google has of your site. That won't happen until another thirty days, giving you ample time to re-think your decision, and roll back the changes if necessary.

Notice that as yet, you can only opt out of all of the five services, or no services at all. An all-or-nothing approach, if you will. You can selectively choose a single service.

Why would you want to get your contents excluded?

Interestingly, not all of these listed services are free. Some require you to pay in order to get your content listed in them. So what exactly is the use of this tool, and why would people want to use it?

From some sites, Google picks up more than just their raw content. It also gathers things like review data from the web, and associates it with product or place listings. Not all publishers would want Google to collect such data, and deliver it in its own way, such as summarizing it, and so on.
Previously, if such publishers wanted Google to not collect such data, then the only option they had was to opt-out of Google altogether, and that includes Google Search as well. And as you might know, Google enjoys more than 66% of the search engine market share. So opting out completely would mean that publishers would lose more than two-thirds of their organic search traffic. So clearly, such an option is out of the question for most publishers.

Google took this initiative in response to its agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over anti-trust charges. Publishers were worried about Google's policies, since they didn't want to get de-indexed from search. Yet at the same time, their appearance in other products wasn't acceptable either. So the FTC won this battle for such publishers.
Google will give websites the ability to “opt out” of display on Google vertical properties. Under the same commitment, Google also has promised to provide all websites the option to keep their content out of Google’s vertical search offerings, while still having them appear in Google’s general, or “organic,” web search results.
So as it appears, by applying its all-or-nothing policy with its services, Google is trying to merely satisfy the FTC, without actually considering the Publishers' concerns. But at least it's a start. Further enhancements might be on their way.

Have you got any question? Feel free to ask in our comments section below. Here's to hoping Google will orient itself towards publishers better in matters like these in the near future :)

Publishers can now review Ads Landing Pages in AdSense

Google AdSense

Google AdSense empowers you with a host of options and features with which you can keep your ad-marketing campaign going smoothly. You have an Ad Review Center, where you get various controls that help with the management of ads on your site. Among other features (see a list of latest AdSense features here), you get the luxury of finding and reviewing quickly and efficiently, hence saving you a lot of time. But that's something we all already knew about. However, Google has very recently introduced a new feature in their Ad Review Center. Previously where you could only review ads themselves, now you can also review the landing pages they lead to.

How would this help?

Some of you might be saying 'meh, big deal' at this point. But if you've guessed the implications, then I'd like to congratulate you on your wit :D. Anyhow, this feature will help publishers align their website (content and ads) towards the users (we all know how big an issue user-friendliness is with Google).
Previously, you could only review ads, and see if they weren't irrelevant, or not suited for your audience. Now, you can also review the landing pages they lead to. This way, you can gauge your users' reaction ahead of time, and make adequate adjustments. For example, if you see a landing page that you think your users won't like, you can opt out of that ad.
Examples of landing pages where users might not comfortable can be irrelevant pages, cramped and spammy landing pages with a lot of ads or calls to action, inconvenient pop-ups, difficult navigation, and so on. As a general rule of thumb, if you don't like the page after clicking on the ad, then your users won't like it either.

How to get this feature?

Log into your AdSense account, and click on the Allow and Block Ads tab. Here, you can review individual ads. Hover over any ad, and you will see a magnifying glass appear on its bottom-right corner. Click on this to see the ad and the landing page it leads to. Easy as pie :)
Do note that this feature is currently available only to those accounts which have their language preference set to English. Google, however, is trying to add more language support. In the meantime, please feel free to ask questions in our comments section if you have any confusion. Stay tuned for more updates :)
P.S. Please try to keep your comments and questions as relevant as possible. This ensures easier and faster replies to your individual queries. Thank you for your cooperation :)