Google Meets Teenage Angst

Google turns 13Today marks Google’s 13th birthday. No longer a tween, Google’s a teen!

To celebrate, Google’s home page sports a tribute doodle 3D birthday card. The card features a retro-inspired birthday party scene complete with party hats, balloons and nanna’s flowery tablecloth. Clicking on the doodle takes you to SERPs for, (unsurprisingly) Google.

Seems like just yesterday that Google was still in diapers, clutching lovingly at the legs of it’s users at every opportunity. Teething was tricky, with quite a few painful months sucking on everything across the web in an effort to stop the pain. Independence came early, with Google spending less time with it’s family of users and more time with those naughty shareholder kids in an attempt to grow up too fast.

Then Google went through that greedy stage, eating everything in sight, including smaller competitors. No wonder it’s grown so large, although we did warn it.

Last year was a challenge, with Google getting bullied by the neighbor kids Bing and Yahoo. But this year has been the hardest of all, with Google getting all emo over Facebook status updates.

Let’s hope the rest of Google’s teenage years aren’t full of angst and acne.

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Google Tool Shines Light on 200 Years of Cultural History

If you fancy yourself a bit of a word-smith, you’ll love the latest plaything to come out of Google Labs.

The Books Ngrams Viewer is a search engine that enables you to trawl the 500 billion words making up the 5.2 million digitized books in Google’s Book Search. The viewer lets you look for specific words or phrases – and here’s the fun part – it graphs the frequency of their written use over time, giving you a historical snapshot of word usage since the year 1800 and up to 2008.

Just before Xmas, I spent a fun few hours testing out the new tool and tracking down the earliest reference I could find to the term *Lord of the Rings* – way back in 1815!  You can check out how I did it via the article I wrote for SiteProNews about my experience.

Happy New Year to you all!

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Educating the Non Geeks in Your Life

teach-parents-techThis time of year can be a bit of a challenge for computer geeks.

If you’re anything like me, you get bombarded at every Xmas function or family get together with the dreaded “Will you fix my computer?” question.

While there are tshirts you can buy that tactfully state your opinion on the matter, they don’t actually address the problem itself, which is the computer issue keeping your friend / colleague / relative awake at night.

Never fear geek friends! Some Google staffers with too much time on their hands have put together the solution in the form of the web site Teach Parents Tech.

Now you can simply avoid awkward technical conversations by sending helpful tech support videos to all the non-geeks in your life. You simply choose the most appropriate wording for your email care package (with tone ranging from condescending to helpful) and attach one or more video tutorials.

There are over 50 basic instructional videos available, divided into the following categories:

* The Basics
* World Wide Web
* Communication
* Media
* Finding Information

Now, instead of dreading a drunk Uncle Dave cornering you after Xmas pudding with the question “I want to be an Internet zillionnaire. How do I schtaart my own webblog thingy *burp*?”, you can simply pre-empt it by emailing him a helpful How to Make a Blog video tutorial.

When your school secretary contacts you complaining that her computer is broken because nobody in her 2000 member email list has received her 20MB newsletter attachment, you’ll be ready with a helpful How to Share a Big File video.

When your elderly neighbor asks you to switch out her David Hasselhoff screensaver for one featuring Justin Bieber, you’ll be able to send her the perfect video instructions to do it herself.

Geeks Unite! Now the only thing you have to dread is the awkward silence next Xmas when Uncle Dave asks why nobody is visiting his blog.

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Google’s Tribute to John Lennon

A visit to Google this morning reveals a new Google Doodle – a tribute to John Lennon on what would have been his 70th birthday.

But today’s Doodle, (Google’s nickname for their holiday logos), includes a little extra surprise. When you click on the Doodle itself, a short audio clip from Lennon’s haunting ballad Imagine plays, accompanied by an animation sequence inspired by the music.gg-john-lennon-final

The Doodle itself incorporates the famous self-portrait hand drawn by Lennon from the ‘Bag One Portfolio’, an artistic chronicle of his wedding ceremony to Yoko Ono, their honeymoon and their plea for world peace.

After the animation clip plays, the Doodle morphs into a drawn style and then you are naturally redirected to search results for “John Lennon”.

A fitting tribute and much more inspiring than some of the more recent Doodles being churned out from Mountain View.

Nicely done Google.

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Win a Tag Cloud T-Shirt in Search Engine Wiki’s Birthday Competition

Ms-Parker2Three years ago, staff at Search Engine College launched Search Engine Wiki BETA, the world’s first vertical wiki dedicated to search engines and search engine marketing.

Search Engine Wiki is basically a collaborative online library of search engine marketing (SEM) resources. With the search community’s help, Search Engine Wiki has now grown to include thousands of SEM resources, freely available to the public.

Some of the most popular resources on the Wiki include:

  • Lists of regional search engines categorized by country, type and industry.
  • A glossary of definitions for common terms used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) and Search Engine Marketing.
  • An extensive library of search engine marketing articles.
  • Employment resources where you can find SEO, PPC and SEM jobs.
  • A collection of popular search engine marketing blogs and newsfeeds.
  • Frequently Asked Questions about search engines and SEM.
  • A list of popular search engine marketing tools and time saving software.
  • Links to upcoming search industry conferences and events.
  • A list of social media sites and related tools.

View the entire list of wiki categories.

Search Engine Wiki is now out of BETA and celebrating three years of activity. Read our official Press Release.

We’re so excited about Search Engine Wiki’s birthday, that we’re giving away a geeky Search Engine College tag cloud tshirt every (business) day this month to the first person to find Ms Parker on the Search Engine Wiki website.

You can see a picture of Ms Parker on this page. She’s always on the move, tidying up resource pages and messy aisles of ebooks, so she can be very hard to spot. If you see her first, make sure you tweet the phrase “I found Ms Parker!” and a link to the page that you found her on to: @sewiki.

So what are you waiting for? Go Find Ms Parker!

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