Monday 11 July 2011

Google Plus, Facebook Chat & Blog News

It's been a busy week on the news front, what with announcements from Facebook for example. Here's a quick rundown of some of the topics that's hit the news recently and what's been happening on the blog...

Google+ Private Profiles

Google have announced that they will be deleting all private Google+ profiles after 31st July 2011. If you have your profile currently set to private, you will need to make it public before this date or it will get deleted. Here's an explanation from their help section on why they are doing this:

"The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity. Today, nearly all Google Profiles are public. We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don't allow this, so we have decided to make it a requirement that all profiles are public.

Keep in mind that your full name and gender are the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; you'll be able to edit or remove any other information that you don't want to share. If you currently have a private profile but you do not wish to make your profile public, you can delete your profile. Or, you can simply do nothing. All private profiles will be deleted after 31 July 2011."

Do you think this will have a negative impact on Google+ when it finally launches to the public? Let me know what you think.

Facebook Group Chat and Video Calling

Last Wednesday (6th July 2011), Facebook announced three product announcements: Video Calling, Group Chat and a new Chat Design.

The new chat design includes a sidebar that lists the people you message most, so it's now even easier to find your friends and start a conversation. The sidebar adjusts with the size of your browser window and will automatically appear when the window is wide enough. The Group Chat is an exciting feature. Within the chat window, you can easily initiate Group Chat by simply adding friends to the conversation by selecting "Add Friends to Chat".

The Video Calling feature which is powered by Skype, is built into chat. To call your friend, you simply click the video call button at the top of your chat window. Facebook have indicated that Video Calling will be available to everyone over the next few weeks in over 70 different languages. However, if you cannot wait until then, you can get it now at:

Do you like these new Facebook features? Let me know what you think.

Blogger's New User Interface

The popular blogging platform Blogger have just made available to all users the new user interface in draft. This new interface is clean, easy to navigate and most importantly, has good statistics reporting. If you have your blog hosted on Blogger, you can see the new interface by visiting:

I'm not entirely sure when this new interface will be rolled-out, but given the fact Blogger have now made the draft available to all users, it shouldn't be long before it replaces the current interface.

What's your thoughts on the new user interface? Please let me know.

Google Blocks 11 Million Websites

Google has blocked all websites from its search results because the domain has been found to be too "spammy".

In a statement from Matt Cutts, head of Google's web spam: "We absolutely do try to be granular, but I wanted to mention that if we see a very large fraction of sites on a specific freehost be spammy or low-quality, we do reserve the right to take action on the freehost as a whole. I think most savvy search/SEO folks would understand this completely, but I figure it's better to over-communicate than under-communicate."

The .cc top-level domain (TLD), which belongs to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and regular .cc websites are unaffected by Google's changes.

The company said in a recent post on Google's Online Security Blog: "Over the past few months, Google's systems have detected a number of bulk subdomain providers becoming targets of abuse by malware distributors. Bulk subdomain providers register a domain name, like, and then sell subdomains of this domain name, like Subdomains are often registered by the thousands at one time and are used to distribute malware and fake anti-virus products on the web. In some cases our malware scanners have found more than 50,000 malware domains from a single bulk provider.

Google's automated malware scanning systems detect sites that distribute malware. To help protect users we recently modified those systems to identify bulk subdomain services which are being abused. In some severe cases our systems may now flag the whole bulk domain."

In response to the block, the General Manager of Korea-based CO.CC, James Kim has today posted a message on Google's Webmaster Help Forum stating that the decision to block is unfair because out of the 10 million domains that are registered, only 0.01% are malicious. He also challenged Google to block Blogger (blogspot) and Facebook pages from search results since it chose to do the same with all the websites. You can read more on this here.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recently released a 29-page report, "Global Phishing Survey: Trends and Domain Name Use in 2H 2010" (PDF) which revealed that the .cc top-level domain hosted 4,963 phishing attacks in the second half of 2010, almost twice the number found under any other extension.

It is unfortunate that quite a lot of innocent people are going to be seriously affected by this move...I do have some idea of how it feels. Given the fact that my blog was once hosted on a domain and the problems I had with Facebook because of it back in February (see post: Facebook Website Blocking Update: All CO.CC Domains Blocked), it was lucky that I moved my blog to the new purchased domain ( before this happened.

Have you been affected by this? Please let me know.

Blog News

1. Blog Gets Google PageRank 3: Since the recent update, I am pleased to announce that Derek's Home and Business Blog has now got a Google PR3. It looks as though all my hard work is finally starting to pay off! Let's see if I can get it higher :)

2. Increase in Traffic: I've noticed a major increase in traffic to the blog over the past 2-3 weeks which may have something to do with my newly acquired PageRank. This is good news and therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all the new visitors to the blog.

3. Google+ Icon: I've now installed a Google+ icon on the blog which will enable you to connect with me on the new social networking platform. You can find the icon with the rest of the social icons on the top of the side-bar under the heading "Follow & Share".

4. Business Network Tab: With the creation of the new Facebook page for small business owners and affiliate marketers (see post: Introducing The Mirage Business Network), I've now added a Business Network tab to the top of the blog. This tab gives information on the new page and how to access it. If you're a business owner or affiliate marketer and have yet to advertise your business on the page, you can do so now by visiting:

5. Blog Directory: If you're a blog owner and have a good quality blog, you can now list your blog in the newly created directory page. Information on how to do this can be found on the Blog Directory tab above. Don't forget to also join the Bloggers Network at:

6. Guest Posting: I'm always on the lookout for good quality, informative articles to offer my readers. If you write business-related articles or articles on the topics of Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM), I would like to hear from you. Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch.

Finally, the sun is shining here in the UK so I'm off for a long bike's orders :) If I take any more scenic pictures while on my travels, I'll upload them later on Facebook under the album: Bike Ride Photo Collection.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on Facebook or subscribe to our feed at:

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:

Until my next post, have a great week!


  1. Great post Derek. Thanks for sharing this useful info. Andy

  2. Congrats on the PageRank! And thanks for the handy information!

  3. Congrats on the page rank Derek...I recently got a page rank 4 and traffic also increased from search engines.Keep sharing useful information.
    The Invisible Art

  4. Thank you Bec and Abhisek! Congratulations also to you Abhisek on your PR4. Keep up the great work :)

  5. Google is reconsidering the requests made by innocent non spamming bloggers regarding blocking of co[dot]cc domains.

    But fortunately or unfortunately I moved my blog to a purchased domain before they reconsider my blog even I have the Google page rank of 2.

    Now my blog address is


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