Posts tagged "gmail"

A Week in Google: Surviving the Algorithm Change and Updating Chrome OS

How Websites Can Survive the Latest Google Crunch

Late last month, the great Google significantly tweaked its mysterious search algorithms in an attempt to lower the rankings of low-quality, SEO'd-out-the-wazoo content aggregator sites.  

Though the change obviously targets content farms, practically anyone can be negatively affected — even sites that use legitimate optimization methods. So, we asked: What is a quality website? What is quality content? Does your webpage need perfect grammar, diction, punctuation and spelling to qualify as good content? Or, is it the discussions and the subject that matter?

In the end, our own J. Angelo Racoma boiled down surviving Google's algorithm change to three tips: 

  1. Focus on loyalty
  2. Watch your link neighborhood
  3. Write for people

Check these out in full detail here

Google Fudges Up Gmail Accounts, Messages go AWOL

Last weekend, 150,000 Gmail users came face to face with a nightmare to end all nightmares: Their inboxes were wiped clean. No e-mails, no themes, no folders, no labels. Nothing. Said Google:

…a very small number of users started having difficulty accessing their Gmail accounts, and in some cases once they got in, trouble viewing e-mails," a company spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. "This is affecting less than 0.08% of our Gmail user base, and we've already fixed the problem for some individuals. Our engineers are working as quickly as possible and we hope to have everything back to normal soon. We're very sorry for the inconvenience to our customers.

Yes, Gmail is a free service and yes the affected percentage was fairly low, but the crash still doesn't bode well for the company's hopes of becoming a viable competitor in the enterprise space. "Well—what if the cloud fails?" asked one user. "If, ultimately, Google does not make this right in a timely way and I lose the main record of the last seven years of my life …that will forever affect how I view trusting an anonymous server farm somewhere with my critical or even not-so-critical data." 

Chrome OS Updates

Chrome OS version is here, and primary tweaks include better trackpad functionality for Google's pilot programme Cr-48 notebook. Now quality testers can test the user experience with added control settings and sensitivity before Google releases the hardware, which it's been touting since December of last year. 

General updates include:

  • 3G modem activation fixes
  • 3G connection to the carrier fixes
  • Wi-Fi connectivity/Out of the Box fixes
  • Auto update engine and debugging improvements
  • Power optimizations
  • GTalk video/chat optimizations
  • Audio CPU utilization improvements
  • Improved on screen indicators: brightness, network status, update icon

If you own a CR-48 Chrome Notebook, let us know what you think about the updates in the comments below.

Facebook Chat Now Available in Hotmail Inboxes Everywhere

When it was first announced that Hotmail would offer Facebook chat access from within the inbox, it was only available to six different regions.This week the Hotmail team has expanded the feature to reach customers worldwide.

Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager for Windows Live Hotmail, fully admits that Gmail beat them to bringing chat to the inbox, but Hotmail hopes to earn some kudos back by offering the integration of Facebook chat as well.

If you're a Hotmail user and you want to try it out, first connect your Facebook account to Windows Live and confirm that the “Chat with my Facebook friends in Messenger” box is checked. Once the two accounts have been linked you can start a chat from Hotmail by clicking on the name of a Facebook contact.

Says Hotmail's official announcement

Since announcing the availability of Facebook chat in Messenger worldwide two weeks ago, nearly 2.5 million more people connected their Facebook accounts to Windows Live, bringing the total to over 20 million customers. And with three out of four Hotmail customers using Facebook, we expect that many more people will want to take advantage of this feature, now that it’s available from your Hotmail inbox.

Google's Soft Spots

It's a fairly clever move on Hotmail's part. Consider the alleged battle between Google and Facebook, which was most recently highlighted when the social network nabbed the Internet giant's place as the most-visited website in the United States.

Spokespersons from both sides of the fence will tell you that there's no real competition here, as the companies are inherently different. These claims haven't quelled speculation in the slightest, of course, and we would personally be scratching our heads in wonder if the Facebook chat functionality suddenly appeared in Gmail.

Hotmail's addition further supports the idea that Google might want to watch its back when it comes to Zuck's kingdom, as well as the social media movement as a whole (something Google seems continually unable to latch onto). 

At the same time, it's also a feature that could bring some life back to both Hotmail and Messenger if it's successful. If Facebook chat within Hotmail is something you plan on trying, let us know in the comments below how it turns out, and whether or not you think it has a lot of pull.

Google to Add Facebook-like Features to Gmail

Yesterday we reported that Facebook was taking a tiny slice of Google’s pie by adding a webmail feature. Today, it looks like Big G is taking that slice back by adding status updates to Gmail.

According to The New York Times, Google is slated to announce some social add-ons this week (possibly today). It’s rumored that the new features will allow Gmail users to post short status updates about whatever's on their minds. 

Though Google already allows users to post status messages via their chat service, this week’s addition is aimed at a larger audience—much like the way status messages were once the driving force behind Facebook's popularity, or Twitter's entire method of operation. 


The addition is yet another move in the social direction by Google, which already has a social network called Orkut, a profile service and, most recently, a social search function which allows users to search terms within their Gmail friends' connected media (Twitter, Yelp, Facebook, etc.)

Unfortunately, these moves have done little to grab the kind of social attention Google is seemingly looking for. Will the addition of status updates do the trick? 

Meanwhile, Facebook is holding its own. Last week it was announced that the popular platform is working on a full-blown webmail client to replace its current messaging service. The client — codenamed Project Titan — will work to keep users under the Facebook umbrella for all their daily activities, while Big G's status move will work to do the same for Google. 

“It might look like a minor feature advance, but this is another blow in the war against Facebook,” said Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at Altimeter Group, a technology consulting company.