Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Gmail Service Outage

Google spent much of the day today fighting problems over at Gmail, noting a service outage. As of the time of this writing Gmail was still down, and had been for several hours.

Gmail OutageOn their apps status dashboard they note that they expected a resolution for all users in the “near future”, followed by a note that this time frame was an estimate. What does an estimate of “near future” really mean? Does that mean that its possible that Gmail will still be down a week from now?

Its all pretty vague, and no word yet as to what has caused the outage. Apparently some users have had their access restored already, so it is expected that it wont be too long before services are fully restored for all.

PostScript: Only a few minutes after this posting, Gmail was back online for me (as of aproximately 2:30 PST). Is it still down for you? Please drop a comment and let us know.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

New Look for Yahoo Homepage

Yahoo search may soon be just an extension of Bing – this is not a given as of yet, but something that is looking very likely. All that said Yahoo is also not giving up.

Yahoo has recently launched a new look. While not active on the home page just yet the look is available for a sneak preview at, and at a first glance, it does look a bit cleaner and slightly less cluttered.

yahoo-mouse-overWhile I have not yet had a chance to fully explore the new features offered through the new Yahoo home page, the integration of video is a nice addition (although be sure not to mouse-over the extra thumbnails, or your video will stop – this really should require a click not a mouse-over, but I suppose little glitches like this are why this main page is not fully operational just yet.)

If you are a techy and interested in learning just what went into creating the new Yahoo home page be sure to check out the following video. (here is a link to the video at Yahoo Video, but they don’t currently offer the option to embed the clip, so we have turned to, none other than, Google owned YouTube)

With the recent deal made between Bing and Yahoo one must ask them selves, what impact will this have on my search rankings. In this case, it may have a significant impact – at least eventually.

Let’s assume that all legalities are settled, and everything goes ahead as planned. What we will eventually see is a full transition of Bing results displayed when one does a search over at Yahoo. This will have the effect of there only being two major search engines out there, Google and Bing. Yahoo algorithm based results as we know them will cease to exist (at least on the organic level). Read more…

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

A great analogy for SEO

SEO is like gardening. You plant the seeds and hope that you achieve a good harvest within a few months. If the conditions are just right, planting the seeds will bring you results without much trouble, just a little watering. If conditions are not right, you need to take extra steps such as adding extra fertilizer. If all your ducks, or seeds, are in a row you will get a great harvest. Read more…

Its been nearly 2 months since the launch of Microsoft’s highly advertised and anticipated Bing, and the market share figures for the first full calendar month since its launch are in. Microsoft is likely less than thrilled. Read more…

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Google Strips Beta Label!

It was bound to happen sooner or later – mind you I suspected it may be many decades away. The use of the “beta” label has been stripped from many of Google’s properties!

Gmail has been around now for just over 5 years (since April 1, 2004). Five years of beta, and at last we get a version that Google feels confident enough to call complete!

The official Google Blog posted earlier today that Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk are now officially out of beta! Some of these applications still have the beta label in place, but they will be removed sometime today.

What does this mean for the average user? Well – nothing really – just the confidence in knowing that Google is finally comfortable enough with some of their products that they can call them complete.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to all our American friends, clients, and readers!

We will be open, business as usual, on Friday July 3 & Monday July 6 for those of you not taking a long weekend.

From all of us at StepForth we wish all of you a safe and enjoyable holiday!

marketshare-may-2009Earlier today Nielsen Online (pdf) released the latest search share rankings. Figures are pretty much what one would expect, Google far in the lead followed by Yahoo and MSN, but this past month Google has taken another small hit.

April and May of 2009 each saw Google lose a bit of ground. Back in March their search share was 64.2%, and in April it was down to 64%. May has seen another drop, bringing them down to 63.2%, a full percentage point in 2 months. In these same two months, Yahoo has increased a total of 1.4% to 17.2. Read more…

Google Webmaster Tools has recently seen a few updates. Posted on the Google Webmaster Central blog yesterday, here is a summary of some of the changes.

The vast majority of users will not be affected by this, but now you can submit up to 2.5 billion URL’s with a single sitemap index using up to 50,000 child Sitemaps. (previously Google only supported 1,000 child Sitemaps.) This is rather interesting considering that back in 2000 Google had only 1 billion pages indexed. As of last year Google has more than 1 trillion URL’s indexed. Read more…

Bing is out of the gates and running. The new search platform from Microsoft was reported to have seen approximately 11.1% search share for its first week out. This compares to the previous week at 9.1%, (according to comScore). Not bad for a brand new engine. Read more…