Google

WordPress Sitemap Auto-discovery via Robot.txt File

Last November, I wrote that the Google Sitemap Protocol (open-source protocol based on XML) had become the de facto Standard in the search engine industry. Webmasters no longer had to submit sitemaps in different formats to different search engines. However, only Google and Yahoo! had sitemap submission sites. In a recent post on Official Google Webmaster Central Blog, What’s new with Sitemaps.org?, Vanessa Fox announced that Google will ‘discover’ your sitemap from your robots.txt file. All you have to do is add a single line to your robot.txt file in the following formatYou must use the complete URL. Put this line at the very beginning of the Robot.txt file.:

Google

Add Bling to your AdSense Ads with Backgrounds from adClustr.com

Using Google AdSense on your blog? Probably! AdSense seems to be everywhere these days. Everyone is blending their text ads using the same color palette producing similar and sometimes exactly the same ads resulting in a new form of ad blindness. A new site (established Dec. 2006) called adClustr is offering free innovative ad embellishments. According to the webmaster, “adClustr is a place where you can find new and innovative ways to blend those text-based ads provided by such services as Google AdSense, Yahoo Publisher or Text-Link-Ads. Successful ad integration is the top priority here at adClustr. We will show you how to combat ad blindness and increase your CTR, all in legal fashion without the use of any nasty banned practices”.

Amazon

SanDisk Sansa Connect Wi-Fi based MP3 Player

Sansa® Connect MP3 player is the first Wi-Fi based MP3 player from SanDisk. Designed as a flash-based player, it keeps you connected to your music, friends and fresh new entertainment streams via WiFi (if available). The Sansa Connect plays music, photos and Internet radio. It has a very attractive, sleek design includes a 2.2″ TFT color screen with advanced navigational features and an easy to use interface. For now, there is only one version available with 4GB of memory. SanDisk’s recent partnership with Yahoo! Music means that Sansa Connect owners with a Yahoo! ID will be able to listen to LAUNCHcast Internet radio and browse Flickr albums and photos, as well as purchase and download songs from their subscription music service. The unit also works with Microsoft PlaysForSure subscription music service.

Yahoo!

New Version of Yahoo! Site Explorer

[tag]Yahoo![/tag] [[YHOO]] has announced a new version of [tag]Site Explorer[/tag] that addresses some of the top-rated suggestions from users. The key features are: Site Authentication using META tags: You can now authenticate your site in Site Explorer by including an authentication key as part of a META tag on the home page of your site. This is in addition to the existing mechanism of putting a file on your site home directory. Detailed Authentication Errors: Yahoo! now provides detailed errors on authentication failures, making it much easier to diagnose possible problems. Delete URLs: For your authenticated sites, you can now delete any URLs from the index. Simply locate the URL in Site Explorer and click on the ‘Delete URL’ button. The URL and all its subpaths will be deleted shortly thereafter. Yahoo! suggests making permanent changes via the robots.txt file. Site Explorer Badge: Get a Site Explorer badge for your…

Google

Give your Commenters a Backlink

Commenters do us a favor by participating in our blogs, the least we could do is give them a followable/indexable backlink. However, all versions of WordPress adds the rel=”nofollow” attribute to links inside the comments box. The major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN etc…) all obey this rel attribute (nofollow) which when used on a text or image link tells them not to index the link or pass link benefit to PageRank (Google). Both the comment author url and links inside the comment box are blocked.

Google

Google announces Free Real-Times Quotes

Google [[GOOG]] deals a serious blow to [tag]Yahoo[/tag], online brokers, and financial data providers by announcing free real-time last-sale prices across all Google properties including Google [tag]Finance[/tag], Personalized Google, Mobile, and Google.com. The Google service will be similar to Yahoo who offers free ECN quotes but charges $9.95 per month for streaming real-time quotes through its MarketTracker service. It’s not a done deal yet as Google is waiting for approval from the SEC. Also, ZDNet points out that Google is not mentioned anywhere in the documents they referred to in their article. Therefore, the changes to be made could be global in nature rather than simply creating an exemption for one specific company. This fact was verified by a Reuters article that revealed the plan will allow websites to publish real-time prices in return for payments of $100,000 a month (original source – WSJ). Clearly, this deal is only for…

Amazon

Tweaking your Blog for Holiday Sales

Recent polls show that online shopping will soar this year with 80% of internet users buying gifts online ($33 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006). Traffic in some niches run 10x in December as compared to September. Is your blog ready? If you are an advertiser, publisher, or both (like me), you need to prepare your sites for the holiday rush. Both advertisers and publishers should expect delays in getting updated stats as servers will be jammed. Get everything set by early December at the very latest. Then, sit back and relax!