TopCat’s Experience and Thoughts on Adsense Referrals 2.0

Google announced Adsense Referrals 2.0 three days ago. I am now writing about it three days later because I want to talk about my experience with it, rather than just repeat what Google said.

Not all Adsense publishers will see Referrals 2.0 right away. Once your Adsense account is upgraded (Google is upgrading accounts as we speak), you’ll be able to tap into the greatly expanded Referrals inventory. As we know, previously only Google products were on the Referrals inventory list.

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Google Buying Feedburner for $100 M

Techcrunch reported that Google is close to buying Feedburner for $100 M. This deal has been rumored for a while now, but today Techcrunch said definitely that a deal will happen.

What does this mean? The comment board at Technorati is already buzzing with the possibility of seeing Adsense ads in Feedburner feeds in the not-to-distant future. Additionally, it is very likely that there will be some kind of integration between Google Reader and Feedburner.

I also think that this will help Google Blog Search to include more blogs in its index. Furthermore, other blogging service sites, most notably Technorati, will probably feel the need to quickly partner up with someone else. A Google-Technorati marriage is also possible, although it’s not as obvious as the Google-Feedburner marriage, where there is little overlap between the two.

List of Official Google Blogs

Today Danny Sullivan posted an entry in SearchEngineWatch that lists all official Google blogs. Coincidentally, this is a piece of information I’ve been looking for myself. The links listed in that post were XML files, which are difficult to read for most of us. So, I am listing these sites in a more friendly format below:

AdWords API Blog
Blogger Buzz
Blogs of Note
Google AJAX Search API Blog
Google Analytics Blog
Google Code – Featured Projects
Google Code – Updates
Google CPG
Google Custom Search
Google Talkabout
Google Web Toolkit Blog
Google Webmaster Central Blog
Inside AdSense
Inside AdWords
Inside Google Book Search
Inside Google Desktop
Official Google Base Blog
Official Google Blog
Official Google Checkout Blog
Official Google Docs & Spreadsheets Blog
Official Google Enterprise Blog
Official Google Mac Blog
Official Google Maps API Blog
Official Google Reader Blog
Official Google Research Blog
Official Google Video Blog
The Writely Blog

Google asking for feedback on Adsense / Google Analytics

Google is soliciting feedback on how Google Analytics can help webmasters be successful in AdSense. The feedback is running on Google Groups, so you’ll need a Google account (if you are using Google Analytics, you already have one), and your comment will be public.

Back in SES San Jose, I asked some of the Google people on the possibility of tracking AdSesne clicks within Google Analytics. At that time, I did not get anything definitive. I am glad to see that Google is offering this ability now. Personally, I’d like to see how clicks on Adsense ads correlate to the entry source (referring domain, keywords, etc). That type of information would be very helpful in telling webmasters which channels they should focus on optimizing.

Google-Youtube deal announced

Google announced its acquisition of Youtube after the market closed today in a stock purchase valued at $1.65 billion. I’ve outlined why I thought this is a good purchase for all parties involved in the previous post.

The fallout with this purchase is that Yahoo will most likely speed up its courtship of Facebook, which is the next biggest Web 2.0 site that is available on the market. The Google-Youtube deal, however, does give Facebook more leverage in its negotiations with all suiters. Expect Yahoo to announce its purchase of Facebook soon, and at a higher price than the $1 billion that has been mentioned recently.

Google Code Search

Google released Code Search, a search utility to find computer codes across the web. Users can type in a snippet of code they are looking for (including regular expressions), and Google Code Search will return the codes that contain that particular snippet. People can also search by specifying the file name, package name, language, or license they are looking for.

I tried it out and did not find it to be very useful. True, if you know the exact line of code or the exact file name you are looking for, this can be useful. However, I am usually more interested in finding code that performs a certain function in a certain computer language, such as “I want to find a piece of code that sessionizes raw web log data in perl.” To be able to accomplish this type of search, people will either need to tag their code (probably not happening anytime soon), or the search engine will need to be able to decipher the information hidden in the comment field within the code (this is more likely).

Google Webmaster Tools: Part 3, Statistics Reports

This blog talks about the reports available under the Statistics tab in Google Webmaster Tools. The 4 main sections are: Query stats, Crawl stats, Page analysis, and Index stats. Let’s take a look at each one below:

Query stats

This page displays two main reports:
1) Top search queries (queries that most often return a page from your site), and your site’s position for each query.
2) Top search query clicks (queries that generated a click to your site), and your site’s position for each query.

You can also drill down by search time (web, image, etc) or search location (google.com, google.co.uk, googl.ca, etc — note that does not represent where your user is coming from. It simply indicates which Google search engine the user used).

Crawl stats

This report shows PageRank distribution of the pages in your site, as well as which page has the highest PageRank. This is a functionality that I can do without — Google should either provide PR information on all the pages, or just get rid of this report.

Page analysis

This page has two sections: Content, which shows the type of documents Google found on your site, as well as the distribution of language encoding for the pages on your site. Common Words, which shows the words most commonly found on your site, as well as the anchor text most often found in links pointing to your site.

Index stats

This is simply a list of commands that you can use to find more information about your site. For example, site:www.yoursite.com can be used to find the indexed pages from www.yoursite.com.