Monday 29 August 2011

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Google Plus One & Other News

The past week has been a busy week on the news front, what with the resignation of Apple CEO Steve Jobs for example. Here's a quick rundown of some of the topics that has hit the news recently...

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Resigns

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs resigned last Wednesday as chief executive of the technology giant and will be replaced by chief operating officer Tim Cook. Mr Jobs, who underwent a liver transplant following pancreatic cancer, said he could no longer meet his chief executive's duties and expectations.

The 56-year-old has been on medical leave for an undisclosed condition since January. In a short letter to the board of Apple, Mr Jobs wrote: "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's chief executive, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as chief executive of Apple."

He continued "I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role."

Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in the 1970s with Steve Wozniak, and thanks to innovative and hugely popular products such as the iPod, the iPhone and more recently the iPad, Apple has become one of the most sought after brands in the world. His extraordinary vision and leadership has guided it to its position as the world's most innovative and valuable technology company.

Although no longer CEO, Steve Jobs will still play a vital role in Apple's future with Tim Cook at the helm.

Do you think Apple will be as successful without the former CEO? I would love to read your thoughts on this.

Google +1 Button New Features

Internet search giant Google have added two new features to the +1 button, including the ability to directly share a webpage to Google+.

In a recent post on the Official Google Blog, Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra announced: "Beginning today, we're making it easy for Google+ users to share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. Just +1 a page as usual and look for the new 'Share on Google+' option. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share."

The second new feature added to the button is the +snippets. The +snippets feature will automatically include a link, an image and a description of the webpage you've shared using the +1 button. These +snippets are a great way to jumpstart conversations with people in your circles.

To encourage more sharing of content on the Google+ social network, Google have made is easy for publishers to customise their +snippets. More details on this can be found on the Google Webmaster blog.

Since it's launch in June, the +1 button has gathered momentum and is now installed on more than 1 million websites with over 4 billion daily views, according to Google. These numbers are very impressive and only time will tell how successful the +1 button will become.

Note: If you're on Google+, you can add me to your circles by visiting my profile at:

Do you like these new features? Please let me know.

Bing Webmaster Tools Now Includes Yahoo! Data

The Bing Webmaster team have recently announced on the Webmaster Central blog the integration of Yahoo! traffic data into Bing Webmaster Tools reports. Bing Webmaster Tools will now be showing integrated data from Yahoo! within certain areas and reports.

The areas you will notice the changes are on the Traffic Tab. The "Traffic Summary" and "Page Traffic" reports will be impacted with Impressions, Clicks and Click Through Rates (CTR) increasing based on combined data numbers across both search engines.

As a visual reminder that data is now combined, you will see both the Bing and Yahoo! logos directly above the graphs shown on these pages. At this time, the data will be combined and not selectable with September being the first full month of combined data. The data will also update in any market where Bing is powering Yahoo! search.

Facebook New Sharing Improvements

Facebook announced last week a bunch of new improvements that makes it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want.

According to Facebook, the main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect. There are several other updates that will make it easier to understand who can see your content (or your friends') in any context.

Here's a quick rundown of the improvements (courtesy of

  • The privacy settings are moving toward individual post windows and profiles.
  • Users are gaining the ability to approve tags of themselves in others' posts and photos.
  • All tags will include an attribution of the person who did the tagging.
  • Places no longer require physical check-ins, so people can add locations to posts, even from the desktop.
  • You don't need to be friends with someone to tag them in a post or photo.
  • You don't have to like a brand to tag it in a post or photo.
  • Facebook has changed the word "everyone" to "public" in privacy settings, for clarity.
  • You can customize privacy, or visibility of information, on a post-by-post basis.
  • Users can edit the visibility of individual bits of content anytime after they post.
  • The changes don't affect mobile users, at least not for now.

These changes, according to Facebook, have already started to be rolled out across their system. Once your account has been updated, you'll see a prompt for a tour that walks you through these new features from your homepage. You can read more about these changes from the links that are available on the Facebook blog.

Do you like these new improvements? Do you think Facebook is copying Google+ by changing the word "everyone" to "public" in the privacy settings. I would love to read your thoughts on this.

Google Translate For Google+

Ever wanted to read posts and comments written in another language on Google+? Well now you can.

As of writing this post, Google have just released a Chrome Extension, Google Translate for Google+ that translates posts and comments into more than 50 languages.

In an update on Google+, Josh Estelle (Leading frontend and mobile development for Google Translate) writes "We've heard from a lot of Google+ users wanting an easier way to understand posts written in other languages. I'm an engineer on Google Translate and thought we could do something about that. That's why I'm happy to announce our Chrome extension, Google Translate for Google+, that using the power of Google Translate, can automatically translate any post or comment into more than 50 languages.

Once you've installed the extension, refresh Google+ and you'll see Translate links next to posts and comments. Click the links to instantly see translations."

Although still in the experimental stage, this is a very helpful extension and one that I'll be using quite regularly. You can get the extension by visiting:

HootSuite Adds Friendly Facebook Features

HootSuite (the popular social media management system) has today added new Facebook features to it's dashboard. The social media dashboard is now equipped with even fuller Facebook functionality which means you can do even more in the dashboard than ever before.

Now you can manage your Facebook Groups and Events, along with your Profiles and Pages from within HootSuite streams. You can also attach and upload photos directly to Facebook, search all public updates for brand mentions and even geo-locate your campaigns.

All these new features are now readily available the next time you login to HootSuite.

If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to +1 or share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar below or by using the "+1" and "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

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 wonderful week!

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Is Getting Listed On Technorati Worth The Effort?

Many blog owners will tell you that one of the main directories you should submit your blog to is Technorati. Getting your blog listed on Technorati once it's claimed can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks but it's well worth the effort.

There is a problem however...

Back in February and March of this year, I had to change the domain for my blog due to problems with the free domain and Facebook (see Related articles below). This change resulted in updating various directories of which I'm a member of with the new domain. With most of these directories, the change is immediate with the rest taking anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks to be manually approved.

Technorati have a different system however and one that doesn't work too well.

When you change the URL of your blog, you have to submit your new blog URL as a new listing on Technorati and claim it. Once it's claimed, you then have to inform the Technorati technical team using their temporary support system to transfer the authority (a kind of ranking system) from your old URL to the new URL.

I requested for the transfer of authority over 6 months ago (on the 14th March 2011) and after posting numerous messages over this time period, the authority from my old URL to my new URL has still NOT been transferred, even though I was given assurances back in April that this was in progress by their technical department. I've also been receiving a HTTP 500 Internal Server Error on my new URL during this time which basically means that my new blog URL is still not listed on their system. You can see this for yourself by visiting my Technorati profile and you will notice that is not listed.

I'm not saying that you should not list your new blog on Technorati but if you're thinking of changing anything on your current listing, you could be in for a long wait. Why is Technorati taking so long to approve blog changes? I'm not entirely sure but it's certainly very frustrating for us bloggers and something they need to look into and rectify immediately.

Have you had problems listing your blog or making changes to your current listing? Please let me know.

Note: For a comprehensive list of blog and RSS directories to submit to, see our post: Top Blog and RSS Directories

UPDATE 20th September 2011: After 6 months of waiting, Technorati's technical team have now finally transferred the authority and my new blog URL ( is now listed on their system. You can view the listing at:

UPDATE 23rd October 2011: I am pleased to announce that Technorati have finally changed their system to self-service and you can now update your blog URL (and feed URL) on your current listing without the need to go through the long and tedious process as mentioned above. To make changes, simply login to your Technorati account, click on the "Edit Site Info" button on your claimed blog listing and enter your new blog and/or feed URL.

To protect your blog, any changes to the blog or feed URL will include a verification process similar to that of the original claim process. Once the verification (claim) process has been completed, your listing will be updated and the authority from your old URL will automatically be transferred to your new URL.

Related articles:
Move To The New Domain Now Complete
Derek's Home & Business Blog Is Moving
Facebook Website Blocking Update
Has Facebook Blocked Your Website?

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, enjoy the rest of the week!

Saturday 20 August 2011

When A Friend Becomes Your Enemy

This post may seem slightly out of the ordinary for my blog but given the serious events of what happened to my friend in the early hours of last Thursday morning, I just had to post this story and my feelings on it.

A good friend of mine (let's call him Bob for the time being due to legal reasons), was woken up on Thursday morning at 4:00am by two unknown thugs who entered his home and then proceeded to rob him at knife point. The shocking reality of this situation is that one of his closest friends may have had something to do with it as the robbers knew exactly what they were looking for. Not only did they know what they were looking for, but they knew exactly where he lived and what kind of car he drove.

Thankfully, Bob (who's in his early sixty's) was unhurt in the ordeal and the robbers fled without the item in question. They did however, get away with a large sum of money and some valuables.

After speaking with Bob on Thursday morning and after the police had visited his home, I was informed that only four people knew about this item. Three have been eliminated of their involvement so only one person remains.

The person in question who we believe may be involved, has been a friend of Bob for many years. Bob is a kind hearted, generous man and there's no reason as to why his so-called friend would do this. Although there's no proof as yet, all the evidence seems to point to this person, more so now because this person hasn't been seen or heard from by Bob or myself since the robbery.

Although this person never actually carried out the robbery, it does look as though he's provided quite a lot of information for the robbery to be carried out. This is certainly no accident given the amount of information that was released and only time will tell if this person is truly involved and the legal system catches up with him.

The question that haunts me is what makes a person, a friend turn into an enemy like this for no apparent reason? What kind of mindset does a person have to do something so terrible to a good natured, kind-hearted friend?

I wish I could write more on this and give you a more detailed account, but I have to restrain myself as I don't want to jeopardise the legal process. I'm also in disbelief (and so is Bob) that his friend could actually be involved. I just hope Bob gets justice for what these thugs did to him and that he fully recovers from his terrible ordeal.

I'll keep you updated on events as and when they occur but for now, here's to you Bob...may your recovery and the justice to those who robbed and possibly betrayed you be swift!

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 wonderful weekend!

Tuesday 16 August 2011

What Does Google Plus One Button Mean For SEO

Each week, I will be doing a featured article on the blog. This week's featured article is by Rich McPharlin which explains what the new Google +1 button will mean for search engine optimisation (SEO)...

What Does the Google +1 Button Mean for SEO

Google +1
Google, the internet giant based in California, has had a strangle hold on much of the online market for the past decade. Most would struggle to find a single person in the Western World who is not yet familiar with the Google Search Engine. In fact the search engine is so popular that the phrase 'Google it' has been adopted by many Gen-Yers.

In addition to their massive presence in the search marketplace, Google also commands a large percentage of the online advertising industry, generating revenues in the region of US$35 billion per annum.

Facebook, a relatively new comer to the internet, and center of popular film The Social Network, is quickly closing on Google's market. Currently Facebook ranks as the 2nd most visited website online globally and holds over 750 million member accounts. Facebook is beginning to threaten Google's market dominance in online advertising due to the huge volume of data that the social network holds about its members. While Google's advertising model focuses around what people are looking for, specifically using search queries, Facebook's model allows advertisers to utilize behavioural targeting. A Facebook advertiser can select very precise advertising audiences by focusing on:

- Age
- Gender
- Location
- Employment Type
- Education Level
- Likes and Dislikes

By selecting a narrow cross section of the global audience by one or all of the above variables, an advertiser can see significant improvement in their ROI when compared with search or conventional marketing.

This is where Google Plus enters the scene. In May Google released a limited Beta of their new social network, to approximately 10 Million users. Google Plus, similar to Facebook, allows users to create profiles, enter personal details, connect with friends and join a global community online. The Google +1 button is the equivalent of Facebook's Like button - allowing users to show their approval of an idea, concept, website or product and broadcast this to their network.

It's not a new concept that Google uses a number of user specific factors to influence their search results. These have historically included the user's location, past search history, bounce rate from certain sites, browser setting and a host of other signals to indicate whether or not a search result is likely to fit the user's specific requirements or reason for search.

While not officially announced as yet, the Google +1 button will affect the manner in which search results are returned to users. The very nature of a social network suggests that people who are connected will share similar likes, beliefs and ideas, and consequently are likely to be interested in the same websites, resources and search results.

It follows then, that the connections of a user who have historically +1ed any given search result will have these sites promoted up the list of future search results due to perceived validity and relevance of that result.

So, when will this new ranking factor, or as Google now refers to them signal, start influencing search results?

That's a tough question, and it's likely only to be once the Google Plus and +1 button programs reach a critical mass. That is where the number of +1s reaches a volume and velocity that indicates considerable adoption by the searching public.

You can already see the impact of +1 within your search results, i.e. complete a search; navigate to page 3 of the results and +1 a single result Google returned. Now complete the same search again, it's likely that the result you +1ed will be elevated within the new set of results. This is exactly the same behaviour we expect to see once Google brings +1 and Plus into full swing.

We expect that this will become a ranking factor around the end of the year, likely in time for Christmas shopping season.

What can you do to gain the maximum benefit from +1?

At present the +1 signal is only being used to influence a user's personal search results, but this is likely to change late this year so it's time to get started on a strategy to make the most of this opportunity. This way when Google flicks the switch you will receive all the benefits of being +1ed and you will surge ahead of your competitors within specific market segments.

By now your web developer or SEO firm should have already contacted you offering +1 integration; it's a good idea to get Facebook Like done at the same time. If not, get in touch with the team that manages your website and request them to place the +1 button prominently on your site. The button is pretty funky and modern and is not likely to do any damage to your branding or design. Make sure you are communicating with your clients, visitors and connections to ensure they +1 your site. The earlier you start work the sooner you will see results.

About The Author: Rich is head of SEO Perth for Zen Net Solutions, who are a leading Online Marketing Strategy agency.

You can learn more about the impact of Google +1 on your SEO efforts by reading the article: Social SEO Is Coming With Google Plus One

Do you like this article? Please let me know by using the comments section below.

Would you like your article to be featured on the blog? Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch 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).

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 Tuesday!

Monday 8 August 2011

Happy Birthday Blog: We're One Year Old Today

Happy 1st Birthday
I'm happy to announce that Derek's Home and Business Blog is now one year old and therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my followers and visitors for your continued support and for making the blog a soaring success. You make this blog and the work that goes into it all worthwhile.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of Bloggers Network who have supported me and my blog for the past 8 months. Thank you to all the wonderful and talented authors who I'm proud to be associated with.

When I first setup the blog on the 8th August of last year, it's primarily aim was to provide a more personal approach with a little bit of business banter thrown in. In fact and one year on, business banter is now an's now more highly business orientated than I first anticipated.

Business, SEO and marketing (plus social media) has always been my passion and when I see something really interesting (which is daily), I just cannot help myself but to blog about it. I do try to add personal posts about myself but the business, SEO and marketing side always seems to win. This is not a bad thing as blogging on a personal level is all about something you are passionate about and the topics mentioned above are certainly the case.

Given this, I'm going to make some changes to the blog over the next few weeks. First and foremost will be the description of the blog. Having business banter in the description just doesn't cut it anymore or do the blog justice. Another change I'm looking at is a new layout. Since I'm completely hopeless at design, this may take some time :)

Anyhow, I'm so happy to see how the blog has progressed over the past year and it's through my dedicated followers, my friends at Bloggers Network and the amount of visitors I receive daily that makes me so proud that people enjoy my blog and the posts I provide. I will continue to bring you more of the same for the foreseeable future.

Again, thank you for your continued support and for making the blog a soaring success. Here's to the next 12 months :)

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:

To celebrate the blog's birthday, I couldn't resist publishing this post at exactly 08:08am :) Until my next post, have a fabulous week!

Monday 1 August 2011

Top 5 Services To Monetise Your Blog Or Website

Top 5 Services For Monetising Your Blog Or Website
Monetising your blog or website is something that every new blog owner and webmaster should do if they want to earn revenue from their site. However and with so many advertising and affiliate networks and programs to choose from, finding the right one to suit your site's content can sometimes be confusing.

To help you, I've compiled a list of my Top 5 services for monetising your blog or website. Some of these services can be combined to help maximise your earnings potential from your site.

1. VigLink

VigLink is a content monetisation company that makes affiliate marketing very easy for bloggers and website owners. In one easy step and with over 12,500 merchants, VigLink automatically monetises your blog or website without the need to spend time and effort joining affiliate programs, installing and maintaining affiliate links.

Over the past few months, I am pleased to say that I've helped over 120 blog and website owners monetise their sites using the VigLink service. More information about this service and how you can easily monetise your blog or website can be found on my post: Monetise Your Blog With VigLink.

2. Google AdSense

Google AdSense is the most popular free advertising network that allows you to earn revenue by displaying relevant ads on your blog or website and on other online content including RSS feeds, site search results and mobile webpages and apps. Once enrolled into the Google AdSense program and the code installed, your site will show highly targeted textual and/or image ads, based on your site's content.

3. Amazon Associates

One of the leading affiliate programs, Amazon Associates allows you to make money from your blog or website by recommending Amazon products to your visitors. You can earn up to 15% in referrals and if you have your blog hosted on Blogger, you can use Blogger's built-in tools to easily add relevant products to your blog.

4. Skimlinks

Based in the UK, Skimlinks is another content monetisation company that makes affiliate marketing very easy for bloggers and website owners. Similar to VigLink above, this service will automatically monetise your blog or website without the need to spend time and effort joining affiliate programs, installing and maintaining affiliate links.

5. BidVertiser

Popular with many bloggers, BidVertiser is an advertising network that pays you for every visitor that clicks on an ad. Their goal is to enable you to make as much money as possible by letting advertisers bid on your advertising space.

Other services worth a mention:

Chitika - This advertising network allows you to display ads on your website, blog, app or mobile site, with content from high-quality network of advertisers. Chitika offers search-targeted, mobile and local ads to best target your site visitors.

Infolinks - A contextual advertising program created to monetise sites with reader interests in mind. Infolinks In-Text Ads help publishers earn money from advertising on content they're already developing for their site. Ideal for websites and blogs rich in content.

Affinity - Similar to Infolinks and with over 75,000 advertisers, publishers can easily monetise their website traffic through Affinity's customisable and easy-to-implement contextual ad formats. Ideal for websites and blogs rich in content.

ClickBank - The web's most trusted marketplace, ClickBank is a secure online retail outlet for more than 50,000 digital products and 100,000 active affiliate marketers. Simply select the products you wish to promote and they will handle all the tracking, accounting and payouts automatically.

Top Affiliate Networks:

Commission Junction - CJ operates one of the largest and most highly regarded affiliate networks in the world. Since 1998, Commission Junction have led the industry with breakthrough platform innovations, and with the establishment and implementation of game-changing quality and compliance standards.

LinkShare - Each day, hundreds of publishers join the LinkShare Network to help build their business. When you become part of the network, you have an opportunity to establish and sustain profitable relationships with some of the most recognised brands in the world.

TradeDoubler - Become part of the affiliate network and you'll gain access to TradeDoubler's extensive pan-European reach of over 1700 big brand advertisers. With over 138,000 active affiliates, their expert publisher teams can help you to monetise your website, add content and optimise inventory through partnerships with top advertisers.

ShareASale - Established in 2000, ShareASale provides award winning technology and service which will enable you to connect with a network of over 2,500 merchants. Each of these merchants has a different type of product that they are selling and each is ready to commission you on that sale if you bring a customer to them.

Affiliate Marketing Training and Tools:

If you're new to affiliate marketing, here's a couple of recommended resources which can help put you on the right track. You can also choose from a great selection of books on affiliate marketing direct from Amazon.

Niche Profit Classroom - NPC is the premier destination for learning how to become a highly paid super affiliate. Gain immediate access to high-quality video training that walks you step-by-step through building your affiliate business, exclusive software tools that practically build and market your websites for you, "done-for-you" affiliate businesses you can launch right away for fast profits and live ongoing training with some of the most successful Internet marketing coaches online.

The Internet Marketing Advantage - Get immediate and on-going access to over 200 videos, 80 manuals, case studies as well as thousands of dollars worth of software with IM Advantage. You'll have direct access to two of the most successful Internet marketers in the entire industry which essentially means that by following their instructions to the tee, you should be able to start making money almost immediately.

What services do you use to monetise your blog or website? Did you find this article helpful? Please let me know by using the comments section below.

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 wonderful week!