Archive for November, 2009
Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks” and “most of the user experience takes place on the web.” That is, it’s “Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel” with the web as the platform. It runs on x86 processors (like your standard Core 2 Duo) and ARM processors (like inside every mobile smartphone). Underneath lies security architecture that’s completely redesigned to be virus-resistant and easy to update.
What this means, is that with this operating system, everything will be based upon online services and not things that you install onto your hard drive. A good example, is 3dCart. Our shopping cart is managed via a web browser, much like google docs, and Gmail.
Now on to the juicy details which have been dissected by Gizmodo:
What It Is
• It’s basically just a browser: meaning that it’ll be based around preexisting web services like Gmail, Google Docs, and so on. There are going to be no conventional applications, just web applications—nothing gets installed, updated, or whatever. Seriously.
• It only runs web apps: It’s going to integrate web apps into the operating system deeper than we’ve ever seen before, meaning that a) they’ll seem more like native apps than web apps and b) they’ll be able to tap into local resources more than a typical web app in Firefox, for example. They’re web apps in name, but they’ll have native powers.
• How, exactly?: With HTML 5. This is the next version of HTML, which gives the browser more access to local resources like location info, offline storage—the kinds of things you’d normally associate with native apps. More on that here.
• Chrome is Chrome: The user’s experience with Chrome OS will basically be synonymous with their experience on Chrome Browser. Technically speaking, Chrome OS is a Linux-based OS, but you won’t be installing Linux binaries like you might on Ubuntu or some other Linux distribution. Any “apps” you have will be used within the browser. Chrome OS is effectively a new version of Chrome, that you can’t leave. There are a few reasons Google’s pushing this, which we’ll get to in a bit.
• And as you’ve probably guessed, it’s super-light. It starts up in a matter of seconds, and boot straight into the browser. Likewise, the Chrome browser is apparently very, very optimized for Chrome OS, so it should be faster than we’ve ever seen it.
• It won’t support hard drives, just solid state storage. I mean, hard drives are dying, sure, but this is pretty bold. Hardware support sounds like it’ll be pretty slim, because:
• You’ll have to buy a Chrome OS device: You might be able to hack this thing onto your current machine, but you won’t just be able to install it to replace Windows, or opt for it on your next laptop, for example. You’ll have to buy hardware that Google approved, either component by component, or in a whole package. They’re already working on reference designs.
• For now, it’s for netbooks. It’s not intended for desktops, to the point that Google is saying that the first generation of Chrome hardware will be secondary machines.
Read more [Everything You Need to Know About Google OS]
This holiday season, each and every visitor to your online store is a crucial opportunity for revenue. With the economy in its current situation and many of Americans dealing with unemployment or other financial burdens, you’ll have to make sure that you do everything you can to convert window shoppers into buyers. Here are 5 things that you can do to your online store that should have a direct impact:
- 1. Category Cleanup – Deleting empty categories will cut down on the clutter and remove any frustrations your shoppers will feel by coming up empty when browsing for products. Another great tip is to create 2 categories; New Products and On Sale. By manually adding these and then adding products to the appropriate categories, you’ll have total control over what products are shown as new and will be able to put all of your products that are on sale in their own category. This technique is also useful for Clearance items as well.
2. Write for Humans – You may be creating content and product descriptions for the search engines, but they’re not going to buy your products. Make sure that your product descriptions are relevant, well written, and speak to specific audience. By cramming them with keywords and SEO content, you are going to confuse and turn away customers.
3. Tidy up the Homepage. - Having a lot of featured products, promotions, or out of stock items on your homepage will give the impression that you are disorganized. Clean it up and updated the featured products monthly.
4. All Reviews are Positive – When moderating your product reviews, its important to take the good with the bad. When you have nothing but positive reviews, it sends the message that you created them yourself or that you have padded them with only positive reviews. Having a good mix of positive and negative reviews will give merit to them.
5. Don’t hide – If you have a customer service phone number, display it proudly on your home page. Never let a customer search for a way to contact you because they’ll just go to another retailer that will be more accessible.
One of our most creative and interesting clients, baconsalt.com, has released 2 innovative and exciting new products.
So, after thousands of years and kajillions of horrible tasting envelopes licked, we’re happy to report that J&D’s Bacon-Flavored Mmmvelopes™ are here to save the day. No longer will envelopes taste like the underside of your car. You can enjoy the taste of delicious bacon instead.
That’s right, bacon. It’s not real bacon, mind you, so you won’t have to start storing your envelopes in the refrigerator. But it really does taste like bacon. Which is what you really wanted in the first place, isn’t it? And it only took us 4,000 years to get there. Eat that, alien invaders.
We’re hoping that they start sending their correspondence to us in these delicious envelopes
One of our forum users, tstamplis, posed a very good question:
My original response was this:
Actually, its perfectly fine. This snippet is from Google’s page on duplicate content, located here: http://www.google.com/support/webmas…n&answer=66359
“Examples of non-malicious duplicate content could include:
* Discussion forums that can generate both regular and stripped-down pages targeted at mobile devices
* Store items shown or linked via multiple distinct URLs
* Printer-only versions of web pages”
I researched this a bit further, and was able to find an interesting post on Practical E-Commerce that brings up some very solid points, including:
Think about it this way. If a page of content has five links into it and that page of content only loads at one URL, then all five of those links will flow their link popularity to a single URL. But imagine that same page of content with five links pointing to it that loads at five different URLs. Each of those duplicate URLs for that same piece of content now get a single link’s worth of passed link popularity. They’re each only one-fifth as strong as the single URL with all five links pointing to it.
The Duplicate Content Penalty myth fosters misunderstanding about the real issue: link popularity. The ideal scenario for SEO is one URL for one page of content with one keyword target. I would advise ecommerce merchants to focus their efforts on optimization rather than penalty avoidance.
Read more: [SEO: There Is No Duplicate Content Penalty]
3dCart is looking to implement a slew of social networking features in the next release (currently scheduled for Winter 2010). For all of you Xbox 360 owners, Facebook and Twitter will now be available on your gaming platform.
And to answer the question before its asked, yes, I will post all of the details about the next release, the social networking features and the release date once we have more details from the development team.
From the Facebook Blogging Team
More and more services are integrating with Facebook to make it easy for you to connect with friends wherever you are — including websites like Digg, devices like the iPhone and desktop applications like iPhoto.
The Xbox Facebook integration allows you to take part in some of the most popular activities on Facebook directly from your living room on your television. With Facebook for Xbox, you can update your status, browse updates from your friends and view photos on the big screen. You also can link your Facebook profile to your Xbox Gamertag to find your Facebook friends and connect with them on Xbox Live. It’s never been easier to discover friends you never even knew played Xbox.
Keep in mind that Xbox will respect the privacy you set on Facebook, so you can control who sees your activity. The new Facebook for Xbox can be added to your Xbox 360 through a system update now.
As social gaming continues to grow, we look forward to people playing games with their friends on consoles, mobile phones, the Web and their desktops.
When talking about optimizing your online store for Google, many people consider it a bit of a cat and mouse game. They assume that Google is out to make it hard to get indexed and they’ll have to figure out the tricks and loopholes to get their online store listed high on the Google results. This is a myth that started back in the early days of the internet, when you could trick search engines by many underhanded means. Nowadays, Google and other search engines, work hard to level the playing field. Their commodity is search results, and it is in their best interest to provide the knowledge and tools to everyone, with the hopes that they will optimize their websites within the guidelines set forth by Google.
We receive calls from customers, every day, wondering how to optimize their online stores. The first place we advise people to go is Google themselves. Their Webmaster Tools area is robust with tools and documents that will train anyone into optimizing their site.
Although 3dCart is the industry leader in optimizing your products and pages with the standard meta tags and behind the scenes technology, you should not stop there. Google ignores all keyword metatags anyway, so you’ve got to make sure your online store has content and descriptions that give Google a reason to index you.Make sure that you aren’t just offering products but also have informative pages that assist and educate your visitors. To get an idea of the difference this can make, imagine being in the market for a new laptop. Who are you more apt to purchase from? A reputable retail store that offers a knowledgeable sales team who can answer any of your questions, or a big chain store that sells it for a cheaper price, but only has sales staff there to ring up your purchase?
Check out these links, supplied by Google, for ways you can improve your ranking.
- Webmaster Central blog: The official blog of the Webmaster Central team (plus the occasional special guest), and a great source for tips and advice on building Google-friendly sites. This is where we announce new features and share the latest information we think will be useful to webmasters.
- Webmaster Guidelines: Google’s definitive advice and recommendations for webmasters. Follow these broad guidelines, and you won’t go wrong.
- Webmaster Tools Discussion Forum: If you have a question, chances are somebody else has asked it already.
- Google Webmaster Help channel on YouTube: Helpful videos on all aspects of Webmaster Tools. We add new videos frequently, so check back often.
- Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide: A detailed guide to best practices in search engine optimization, with plenty of illustrations and examples.
- Google for Webmasters: A detailed overview of how Google crawls and indexes the web, and serves search results.
One of our forum members, cbsteven, alerted everyone of a new shipping scam:
Just to give you guys that ship internationally a heads up. Over the past few months we’ve seen a new scam.
We ship quite a few packages internationally.. 20-40 per week. You obviously have to be a little more diligent and use more common sense on detecting fraud. This new scam apparently involves a shipping address which is completely not valid, for example:
60265 is not a valid Hungarian postal code. A little bit of digging turns out that 60265 is an Indonesian postal code for a city called Surabaya.
I think the scam is trying to bypass sellers that do not ship to Indonesia – which has a high incidence of fraud – and hope that the postal service will detect the address problem and automatically forward it from Hungary to Indonesia.
For some reason JAWTM or some variant has been one of the big red flags. It might be “Jatim” or something similar, but the phonetics are always the same. I have no idea what it means, but whenever I see it on an international order I know it is fraud. This has happened to me about 15 times in the last 6 months.
If you use Authorize.net one thing you can do is enable their Fraud Detection Screen, which is free for the Christmas quarter and after that is $10/month. You can enable several filters to notify you about potential fraud. I do not know if 3DCart supports it fully – they will have to allow orders to be manually approved or rejected if a fraud screen is triggered – but even if not you can set it to simply email you when an order comes through the triggers the screen.