Friday, April 24, 2009

Yahoo to Shut Down GeoCities Free Web-Hosting Service

Yahoo Inc. on Thursday has declared that it would shut down its GeoCities free Web-hosting service. The company's second-biggest acquisition behind Inc., which lets users design personal websites to show off photos, promote local clubs or publicize business services. The $3 billion acquisition in 1999 is finally getting closed after running it for the last 10 years. We have already noticed that Geocities is no longer accepting new accounts for the last few months.

Chief Executive Carol Bartz is trimming costs as Yahoo copes with a slowing online-advertising market. The company said this week it will cut about 700 jobs, or 5% of the total, after eliminating about 1,600 in the fourth quarter. 

Yahoo pointed GeoCities users to its paid Web-hosting service. The company will give users more details on saving GeoCities' data later this year.

U.S. visitors to GeoCities dropped 25% to 12 million in March from the year-ago period, according to research firm ComScore Inc. in Reston, Va.

Other services Yahoo has closed include travel-search site FareChase and online storage service Briefcase.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Two-Column Sitelinks VS One-Line Sitelinks

Google started showing sitelinks in their search result from the year 2006 (around Aug or Sep). They have now introduced a new and unique feature that is beneficial for the user. I always wonder how they come up with such nice ideas everytime. It’s the user that they always think of and which motivates them to provide such great stuffs. Yet another successful feature got added to their repertoire. Anyways, you might have already started thinking all about sitelinks? What it is? How do they work and many such questions must be already flocking around your mind.

Sitelinks are links that are shown below the first search result. All the links shown are internal links of the website which is ranking number one for a particular search term. The main objective of showing sitelinks is to allow users navigate and move to the other relevant sections of your webpage that might be of their interests.

Advantage of Sitelinks
  • Saves time for the users.
  • User can quickly find the information that they are looking for by quickly navigating to the important pages of your site.
  • Useful for large and complex websites.
  • Gives users an overview of a website's content by highlighting some of the popular parts of the site that users may not know about.
The entire sitelinks system is fully automated and an algorithm is running behind it. Google will show sitelinks only when they think that it will be beneficial for the user.

Sitelinks Depend on
  • Website internal linking structure
  • Content
  • Fast navigation
  • Relevancy
Google Pulling Sitelinks names from:

It is still unclear from where exactly the Sitelinks names are pulling from, since they are not an exact match for
  • on-page anchor text,
  • page titles or
  • alt attributes.
Most likely it is using a combination of those factors, but then stripping out “stop words.”

are not shown if
  • The structure of the website does not allow the sitelinks algorithm to find good sitelinks.
  • The sitelinks are not relevant to the users’ search query
  • Have a minimum of 3 sitelinks available
Manage and View your Sitelinks
  • Login to the Webmaster Tools Dashboard and
  • Click the site for which you want to see the sitelinks.
  • In the left menu, click Links
  • Then click Sitelinks. (will display a list of sitelinks if Google has sitelinks information for your website)
Sitelinks in Google Webmaster Tools Dashboard
Sitelinks are generated periodically from your website content on account of which the lists may change from time to time. If you want, you can block a sitelink from the Webmaster Tools Dashboard. It may take 1-2 weeks’ time to remove a link as a sitelink. Sitelinks that are blocked will not appear as a sitelink for the next 90 days until you unblock it. The 90 days blocking period may extend everytime you visit the Sitelinks page on Webmaster tools.

Exclude a page from sitelinks if
  • The page has become outdated or unavailable
  • The page that contains information you don't want to emphasize for users.
One–Line Sitelinks:

One – Line Sitelinks
We have witnessed till today that sitelinks are normally shown for few search terms and for websites that are ranking number 1. Now Google has started showing one-line sitelinks instead of usual two-column sitelinks. On April 15th, the day before Google announced it, the one-line sitelinks or alternatively "Mini-Sitelinks" are getting displayed even for results that are not in the first position. This means that for a single search query, multiple websites can have sitelinks in the search results. Up to four sitelinks can show up right above the page URL, instead of the usual two columns below the URL of the first result.

One–Line Sitelinks Advantage:
  • Website will start showing sitelinks for a number of search queries where it previously didn't.
  • Will increase the visibility of and traffic to your site.
  • Improve user experience.
One–Line Sitelinks Vs Two-Column Sitelinks:

The main differences between these so called One-Line Sitelinks and Two-Columsn Sitelinks are:
  • Display of this abbreviated version of Sitelinks is not limited to “branded” searches.
  • One-Line Sitelinks are not just reserved for the #1 result and can appear in results at the bottom of the SERPs.
  • One-Line Sitelinks are appearing on more than one result at a time.
  • A single domain can have more than one set of Sitelinks per page.
  • One-Line Sitelinks (aka "Mini Sitelinks") display four links in comparison to 8 links displayed by Two-Column Sitelinks.
For webmasters, this new feature might help them attract more visitors to their website. It is now just a matter of time to analyze and come to a conclusion, which is better, two-column sitelinks displaying 8 internal pages or one-line sitelinks displaying 4 internal pages. Only time can say.

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