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TAG: Google

Google Gets Wise To Guest Blogging For SEO

Guest Blog RequestAs a blogger, you probably see it more than you’d like. Sometimes, you’ll even entertain the request. It’s the email that starts off with some promise of a blog post “Written specifically for your site”, that “Won’t be duplicated” anywhere else. This type of guest blog request, and the subsequent posts, are used to build links from a more popular site to a less popular one, in an effort to gain traction with a search engine. Google appears ready to clamp down on this practice.

Finally, Chromebooks released in Canada

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Here in Canada, we’ve missed out on one of the bigger new trends in technology south of the border. Namely, that of the Google Chromebook. Well, thankfully Google announced today that it would be offering the Chromebook in Canada at retailers like Best Buy and Future Shop.

With the Chromebook, we want computers, and the wealth of online content, to be accessible to everyone around the world. So today we’re pleased to announce that our latest Chromebooks from Samsung, Acer and HP are now available in Canada.

Google To Retire Google Reader

Google Reader LogoIn a recent blog post about “spring cleaning” Google, rather slyly included a point that they’d be closing the RSS reading tool called Google Reader on July 1st, 2013. As you probably know from reading other articles here, I’m a big fan of the tool. In fact, it’s one of the only things I use and have  running on a daily basis. When I heard the news that this was happening, I checked to see if it was April 1st (nope) and then sat stunned that Google would retire such an essential tool without alternatives. While Google isn’t offering it, I’m going to give you some alternatives to ease the sting of losing this great tool.

The Curious Chromebook Pixel

Chromebook PixelRecently Google has released a new laptop in the “Ultrabook” category using the ChromeBook name. This new product, named Chromebook Pixel, is a new,  $1,299 [1] computer with very high pixel density and touch screen features (to name a few). One of the core differences between the Chromebook, and other laptops, is the use of a cloud-based operating system named Chrome OS. Because most (if not all) you do on this computer is likely in the cloud, they usually include small, fast hard drives, like a 32 GB solid state drive in the case of the Pixel. I’ve previously looked at a Samsung Chromebook ($250 at the time), but the Pixel appears to be an odd bird. At a hefty price for what amounts to a general (but enhanced) web browser, can this device work?

Switch Your Google Mail iPhone From Exchange Sync To CardDav, CalDAV And IMAP

GoogleSwitch-3Recently, Google has announced that Google Sync about to hit end of life. Google Sync is designed to let users of Google’s Mail system access and synchronize mail, calendar and contacts as if the server was an Exchange Server. Probably the most popular use of this is setting up an iPhone for Google’s Mail and choosing the “Microsoft Exchange” option from the beginning. What Google plans to do is only allow new “paid” users into this service starting Starting January 30, 2013 (Update: Google has amended it’s previous announcement to extend parts of this to July 31). Those that already use it will continue to function. What I wanted to do, in anticipation of this change, was switch an iPhone from Google Sync to Google’s preferred method of syncing. Here’s how it turned out.

A Look At Google Maps For iOS

Google-Maps-iOS-1Downloaded 10 million times within 2 days of release, it’s quite easy to say Google’s new Maps on iOS is popular. When Maps was released for iOS, I immediately installed the app just like what seemed like every iOS user. What happened next was a complete shift from using Apple’s maps to this new offering from Google. While it would be a stretch to “technically” call the map details more accurate, using Google’s maps when driving feels better.

It does seem more accurate too. In fact, everything feels better in Google’s mapping application, from the routing, to the sound of the voice to the simple but effective interface. It just works, and is perhaps something we’ve become accustomed to. As you might expect, traffic, satellite and transit information  can be included on the map. These options are pretty heavily spaced suggesting Google might be planning to add new options in the future.

The End Of An Era: Google Apps No Longer Free

It’s being widely reported today that the Google Apps Standard product is no longer offered as a free product. Released in 2006, Google Apps offered, for free, the ability to host mail, web, and other tightly integrated Google services up to 100 users. Over the years, the product has improved, while the number of free user allotment has decreased. This is generally bad news since the barriers to connecting and fully using a custom domain remain very daunting for small businesses. Google Apps offered a great starting point for the very small company in much the same way Gmail offers home users a great starting point for home email use. 

The Google Tableaux – The Nexus Of Tablets

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It’s interesting that we may (or may not) look back on this point in history and think of it as: “That time when Google really joined the tablet market“. Well, perhaps not as seriously, but we’ll definitely paint a picture of Google telling everyone that they’ve jumped head-first into the tablet market. What Google announced on this storm-swept, Sandy-barraged East Coast was a number of new devices and update to the Android operating system. Google had planned an event to announce all of this on Monday October 29th, but had to cancel because of the coming hurricane Sandy.

Review: Samsung Chromebook Series 5 – Ready For Business?

Samsung Chromebook Series 5Opening the box, this Chromebook felt very light. So light that in some ways the screen and body felt almost too plastic. The screen itself is bright, but very thin and some may think this is too flimsy. The keyboard is nice, large and feels great when typing. I didn’t find myself accidentally hitting buttons and causing issues and the trackpad stayed out of the way (for the most part). The included USB port was useful for adding a wireless mouse to the mix and detected the Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 I tested without issue.

Truly, this is a Google ecosystem device – so you’ll find better integration and power when you use a Google account (on Apps or merely just a free Gmail account). Other options for mail access are possible, however, the integration you should expect is little more than accessing web mail. In the future, I’d like to see every mail provider offer an HTML5 web mail interface – making the ChromeBook a great option for that future.

With a Chromebook Series 5 in hand, it’s time to test and review this new and intriguing option from Google’s engineers – here’s what I thought of it.