Archive for Google

How Many 301 Redirects Are Too Many?

According to Matt Cutts of Google, there are no limits to the number of 301 redirects you can use when moving a site.  Chaining 301 redirects, however, is another story.  Towards the beginning of the video Matt mentions that over at the Google Webmaster Help Channel they have produced over 375 videos to answer questions from Webmasters.  Matt says it’s now time to go back to the beginning and “do a little more tutorial, sort of informative videos to sort of, you know, make sure that the people understand all of the really important things that matter, but that are also sometimes a little more basic…”   So if you are a newbie webmaster, or just want to review the basics, keep your eye on the Webmaster Help Channel.

Google’s New Privacy Policy – How Does it Affect You?

Eye through keyhole ©Beth AlexanderBeginning this Thursday, March 1st, Google will consolidate the privacy policies across all 60 of the products, services and websites offered by Google Inc. or its subsidiaries or affiliated companies except Postini. At first glance it sounds like a reasonable move on Google’s part.  The kicker is in the unified policy that will allow Google to share information across its entire growing online empire of programs and services.  According to this Washington Post Article ; Google says that a primary goal of its approach is to simplify and enhance the Google experience, including by matching users with ads that should be of greater interest to them.  In other words they will have more data to work with by combining users’ history across all Google products. Do you really want Google tracking your every move online and through your Android mobile devices so they can increase the value of the ads they sell thereby increasing their bottom line?

This is a mandatory policy you either take it or leave it. While individuals can’t currently opt out of the new policy, Google does offer a way to pause the online browser tracking used to expose you to targeted ads.

  • Log into your  Google Dashboard to review and control the information stored in your Google Account
  • Click “settings” in the upper right corner
  • On the settings page locate the “Services” section,
  • Click on “Go to web history”, found next to “View, enable, or disable web history”
  • On the web history page you can click on Remove all web history”  this will pause tracking your web searches

The new policy states: “We may use the name you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services”.

A Google+ account requires a real name from its users, while a YouTube account does not. As of March 1, your real name could appear across all Google’s products.

Attorneys General from 36 states and territories have come together to collectively express concern over Google’s planned changes to its privacy policies.  In a letter drafted this week by the National Association of Attorneys General addressed to Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page, Google’s privacy policy changes were strongly criticized.  I urge you to read the full letter.