Separating Buzz and Gmail

Image representing Danny Sullivan as depicted ...
Image by Danny Sullivan on Flickr via CrunchBase

As someone who has migrated more and more strongly to using Gmail as my principal e-mail service, I am now frustrated by the forced insertion of Google Buzz. In fact prior to this, the Google Gmail spam elimination process seemed very effective in leaving only Gmail messages that I wished to receive. The labeling system allowed me to store most messages that came in in a very efficient retrieval system. Now the incessant buzz is adding in a whole cloud of irrelevance. It is no accident that Buzz rhymes with fuzz. Your simple, clean Gmail Inbox is becoming increasingly fuzzy.

I am not the first to complain. Immediately after its introduction, many were hoping that Google would offer Buzz independently from Gmail. According to Danny Sullivan,

Google says it may allow people to participate in Google Buzz without having it integrated within Gmail, in addition to offering a combined Gmail service. That may be a welcome move for users of both products, especially in light of the substantial privacy concerns voiced this week about Google Buzz.

“It’s clear that interest in Buzz may extend beyond the current Gmail base, and we’re open to serving that community,” said Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Product Marketing, when Danny SullivanI spoke to him about some Buzz issues. Horowitz stressed that Google would still offer a version of Buzz within Gmail, in addition to any independent version. “We think that Buzz within Gmail is a great experience, and we’ll keep offering that as well,” Horowitz said.

Unfortunately that independent version has never appeared even now six weeks later. Still there is no way of easily separating out Buzz items from the regular Gmail stream. Any examination of items such as Sent Mail will list together sent messages and Buzz comments or status messages. Since Buzz by its nature is more voluminous, this makes it really difficult to home in on the regular e-mail items.

The only way to avoid this confusion between buzz items and regular e-mail is to switch off the display of Buzz entirely within Gmail. It is a pity that it cannot be segregated but Google offers no choices here.

It is annoying to have many Buzz updates appearing as emails to the Gmail account. If you want to turn off or remove the Google Buzz from Gmail then there is no way to do it easily. The only way to maintain one’s sanity is to avoid creating any buzz items whatsoever. Others may see buzz items that your applications such as Twitter or Facebook create. However if you decide to create buzz items within Google Buzz directly, then at that point you will be polluting your Gmail stream. That price is too high for me and perhaps for many others.

To an extent, the problem is the new Google regime whose tagline is Mobile First. If you check out how Google Buzz will work on your mobile phone, then it makes a lot of sense.

Introducing Google Buzz for mobile: See buzz around you and tag posts with your location.

We are announcing Google Buzz, a new product that integrates with your Gmail inbox and makes it easy to start rich conversations about the things you find interesting. Google Buzz lets you share web links, photos, videos, and more with those who are important to you. Rather than simply creating a mobile version of Buzz, we decided to take advantage of the unique features of a mobile device – in particular, location. We go through many experiences when we’re on the go, and while there are lots of ways to share these experiences with your friends or even the world, there isn’t always an easy way to let your audience know where you are when you post. Your location brings valuable context to the information you share.

You’re on the go. You want to know what is going on around you and Buzz can provide that window on the world. In a way it is like Twitter on steroids. If I was using Buzz only on my smart phone, then I would not be complaining.

My rant concerns only how Google Buzz overruns your Gmail when you are working on your PC. Google would like me to pay more attention to Buzz so it insists on linking it inextricably with my Gmail. The only choice I am left with is to bury it. That may well be the solution for many other Gmail users.

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BWelford’s Monthly Round-Up For June 2009

This is the online version of the SMM Newsletter. It offers a highlights summary and a selection of the most popular posts written by Barry Welford (online name BWelford) during the past month.

Monthly Highlights

The Google Bombshell

The biggest news item this month was the bombshell that Matt Cutts delivered in an SMX conference in Seattle that rocked the SEO world. Danny Sullivan described why SEO experts were so incensed in signaling that Google Loses “Backwards Compatibility” On Paid Link Blocking & PageRank Sculpting. The key points that emerged were:

  1. Google for over one year had not revealed that it had reversed a significant search algorithm policy which it had previously recommended.
  2. Non-of the major SEO experts had spotted this feature was no longer working (and apparently had missed others according to Cutts).
  3. Clients had therefore paid for SEO effort that was without effect.

A new domain for BPWrap

andy capp

The blog BPWrap has now been transferred from a subdomain of the Cre8asite Forum’s website to its own domain, www.BPWrap.com. Using a 301 permanent redirect, visibility and ranking in Google keyword searches have been maintained without interruption. The toolbar page rank indicator is updated infrequently so does not yet show a rating for the new domain.

If you have linked to BPWrap posts, it would be appreciated if you would update the URLs. If you wish to transfer a WordPress blog to a new domain successfully, then please contact us.

A new domain for Local Business Online Smart Tips

This SMM mobile website is now to be found at www.lbost.com. The Internet world is increasingly going mobile. In some parts of the world, the mobile web is now much more active than the traditional Internet. Your traditional website is almost guaranteed to be unsatisfactory when viewed on some mobile device. If your most savvy customers might be checking you out via their iPhone or Blackberry, then you should carefully check your mobile presence. Contact us for assistance on this.

Top Twelve Posts

We hope you will find this round-up of a dozen of the most popular posts instructive and in some cases thought-provoking. You can receive an e-mail version of this if you prefer. In that case, please subscribe via the field in the middle of the right sidebar.

The blogs in which the posts appeared are indicated by the following abbreviations after the date: BPW = BPWrap; SGL = StayGoLinks; SMm = Senior Money Memos; SSc = SEO-Scoop, a Search Engine People blog; SEP = Search Engine People blog; TOBB = The Other Bloke’s Blog
SEO Clients Deserve NoFollow Discounts – 06/24/2009 SGL
Google now say PageRank Sculpting and the use of the NoFollow tag on hyperlinks is ineffective. SEO clients have paid to have such work done.
A URL Shortener For Maximum RTs (ReTweets) – 06/22/2009 OBB
StumbleUpon has introduced a new URL shortener that displays the blog post within a frame that maximizes the possibility that the post will be retweeted.
SEO Gets Simpler In 2009 – 06/19/2009 BPW
PageRank sculpting has largely been downplayed as a useful technique by Google. This still leaves important issues to address in SEO.
10 Reasons For Editing Your Published Blog Posts – 06/18/2009 SEP
Editing previously published blog posts is very effective in improving the value to readers and optimising search engine visibility.
Canada Text message rates have huge markup – 06/17/2009 SGL
Testimony before the US Senate suggests that Canadian text messaging fees are way above the cost. This has stifled the demand for these services.
Blog Comments And Google – 06/15/2009 OBB
Based on recent discussions on pagerank sculpting and the nofollow tag, the wisest course seems to be to limit the number of comments on a blog.
Google Mobile gives search by voice whatever your accent – 06/15/2009 SGL
Search by voice and transit directions comes to Google Maps with a whole host of new features. You can now search Google Maps for Android using your voice,
Retirement Planning – Pensions Galore – 06/14/2009 SMm
While UK pensioners, particularly those abroad with frozen pensions, have a hard time making ends meet, the politicians have all the pensions they could wish for.
Tweet Tips For Max ReTweets (RTs) – 06/11/2009 SGL
By carefully crafting the tweet signaling a new blog post with hashtags, the number of retweets can be significantly increased.
PageRank Calculation – Null Hypothesis – 06/09/2009 BPW
PageRank as it applies in the Google search algorithm may possibly be calculated in two phases. Phase 1 calculates PR for all URLs: Phase 2 applies filters and tags.
Avoid WordPress Duplicate Content Problems With Google – 06/03/2009 BPW
WordPress is an excellent blogging software but can produce many web pages with duplicate content. This can be avoided by using the right robots.txt file.
With A Little Help From My Friends – 06/03/2009 SSc
By establishing a good reputation in social media, it is possible to have friends assist in publicising new blog posts.

If you need creative help or ideas for important blog posts for your own blog, why not check out the new SMM Title-Plus Service. You will be amazed how little it costs.

Barry Welford

Footnote: If you are looking for more information on how to run your business more effectively, why not check out these Top Selling Business Books from Amazon. This is an affiliate link but if you do buy a book the small commission does help to underwrite a small part of the cost of providing these newsletters and blog posts.

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Google Profile – Yes Or No

Google wants you to profile yourself and it all sounds so inviting.  A Google profile is simply how you present yourself on Google products to other Google users. It allows you to control how you appear on Google and tell others a bit more about who you are.

As an extra inducement, they now give you greater control over what people find when they search for your name by showing Google profile results at the bottom of name-query search pages, at least in the U.S. and Canada.

Danny Sullivan has an excellent article on the mechanics of how Google profile results improve people searchBarry Schwartz has also provided details on the slightly clunky way you can verify your google profile.  Since this is all linked to social networking, you might have thought it would link in with Orkut, their ailing attempt to create a social space.  Not so, in fact it requires you to at least create a profile in their Knol space, even if you do not feel the urge to add to the fund of human knowledge.

I wondered how many people are going along with Google in creating profiles.  It seemed to me that a good test would be to check out some of the 38 leaders in the world of organic search engine optimization that had contributed to the SEOmoz Search Engine Ranking Factors Version 2 study.  This is how they seemed to be working with profiles, at the time this was written.  Clearly results may change over time.

Google Profiles for SEO leaders

Good Profile with Verified Name (7)
corrected April 27, 2008
Good Profile with Non-Verified Name (10)
Minimal profile (6)
No Profile (15)
  • Andy Hagans
  • Ani Kortikar
  • Scott Smith (Caveman)
  • Chris Boggs
  • Eric Enge
  • Guillaume Bouchard
  • Jeremy Schoemaker
  • Laura Lippay
  • Lucas Ng (aka shor)
  • Mike McDonald
  • Natasha Robinson
  • Neil Patel
  • Roger Montti aka martinibuster
  • Scottie Claiborne
  • Thomas Bindl

It will be interesting to see how this evolves over time.  As Marshall Kirkpatrick points out You Can Change What Google Says About You whenever you wish.

Google also offers a way of deleting your Google profile, if you feel that is to your advantage.  However it adds the somewhat ominous Note: Once you delete your profile, you won’t be able to get it back.  Given that it is unclear how Google profiles might be used in the future, that leaves you with a somewhat risky decision.

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