Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Google introduces the Knol

Google introduces a new feature called as Knol. Knol is a article project. Google went live with Knol, a platform to read and write articles on all kinds of subject. This project is somewhat reminiscent of Wikipedia, though there are many differences as well. Everyone write and read the articles. Google was announced on December 13, 2007, and was opened in beta to the public on July 23, 2008. The term knol, named after a "unit of knowledge", refers to both the project and an article in the project.

Everyone write and share any topics and industry such as scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information and all.

Each knol article will be written by a single author or group of authors. Other users may suggest changes which the author or authors may accept, reject, or modify. All must sign in first with a Google account. Readers may rate or comment on the articles. There can also be multiple articles for the same topic, each written by a different author. Google [believes] that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of web content.

When you log-in within your Google account to write an article on a subject you’re familiar with, you’ll use the kind of live-layout editor typical for Google (and much easier to use than Wikipedia’s editor). For every article you can also choose your licensing, your collaboration, and your advertising model. For instance, you can connect an article to your AdSense account – this triggers a verification process. You can pick a license; either a Creative Commons Attribution license, or a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial license, or the old-style “all rights reserved.” And for collaboration, you can pick open (everyone who’s signed in can edit), moderated (everyone can suggest edits but you or another author will be able to approve these before they would go live – this is the default setting), and closed (meaning only owners – i.e. admins – and authors can edit).

Read more

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Google PageRank Explained

Google PageRank or PR for short is numeric value assigned by Google to pages that represents how important a page is. The more important and known your pages are, the better PR they will get. PR is a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is an unknown page for Google and 10 is the highest PR that can be assigned.

PageRank provides the basis for all of web search tools. It is always updated by Google in order to improve it and optimize it.

How is PageRank Calculated?

No one knows for sure how PageRank is currently calculated by Google (except Google itself). Some speculations about the algorithm are made by webmasters all of them are based on the original PageRank published by Google.
In essence, Google interprets a link for page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. This means that page A is considered important (at least by page B).
The more votes (more links) page A gets the higher its PR will be.

Going into more details
As stated above, the main factor in PR is links (or backlinks as they are called). But no all links weight the same when it comes to PR. So an 'important' page linking to you gives you more PR than a 'less important' one.
There for you should always try to get backlinks from pages that have a high PR. These will benefit your page the most.
Another factor in PR propagation is the number of out-links the 'voting' page have. So a PR4 page with only one out-link on it might give you more weight than a PR5 page with 100 out-links on it.
An typical example here would be the famous milliondollarhomepage. This page is PR7 page with hunderds of out-links therefore its weight is would contribute very little to your page PR.

How to increase my PageRank?

Well as you would have probably guessed, PR can be increased by getting more backlinks for your page. The more backlinks and the higher quality they are the more your PR will be.
Here are some tips:

* Submit your site to directories.
* Write important content to your site that would make people link to you.
* Write articles and distribute them.
* Although I don't recommend it but some people recommend it: Do link exchanges.
* Participate in forums (while adding your signature which includes a link to your site).
* Buy some links on high PR pages.

When does Google calculate PRs?

Google calculates pages PRs once every few months, this is called PR update. After a PR update is done, all pages are assigned a new PR by Google and you will have this PR until a new PR update is done.
New sites that were just launched will have a PR of 0 until an update is done by Google so that they are assigned an appropriate PR.

Other 'possible' factors considered
The following are some other factors might be considered by Google for calculating the PR lately:

* Site age: The older the better, Google seems to like old sites.
* Backlink relevancy: Googles seems to be taking into account how relevant is the page linking to you, if it is not that relevant, the link won't weight much.
* Backlink duration: How long was the backlink up? The more the better.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

5 Surefire Ways to Increase Google Adsense Earnings

I have been adding Google Adsense to my websites for a couple of years now with great success. It's amazing how adsense earnings can turn into another significant monthly income stream with little effort on your part. Once the ads have been added to your site there is little or no maintenance.

Some internet marketers are earning $100s and even $1000s per day with Adsense. Although I haven't reached that level I have learnt a little over the years to make the most profit from the Adsense ads on my pages.

Here are my 5 most effective ways to maximise your Adsense earnings:

1. Blend the Ads in with your Site - Create colors for your ads that will blend in with the colors on your website. The idea is to make the ads look less like ads and more like just another part of your site. To do this, make the Adsense ad border and background the same color as your website background. Also make the link text the same color as your website link text. This small change should significantly increase your Adsense click thru rate.

2. Place the Ads Correctly - Place the ads in a prominent position on your website. No point placing the ads where they are not going to be seen by the vast majority of your websites visitors. The most effective places to position your ads are at the top centre of your site and at the top right hand-side. Website visitor eyes tend to move from top centre to top right so anywhere in this area is good and of course you can find the most appropriate ads to fit well in these areas.

3. Choose the Most Profitable Ad Format - Through testing it has been found that the most effective Google Adsense format is the (338x280) large rectangle. This ad will outperform all the others but do not sacrifice the design of your website by squeezing one of these ads in where it just doesn't look right. Placing a large rectangle in the centre of the page is more preferable to putting it in one of the side columns where the layout will be effected.

4. Wrap Your Content - Through proper formatting you can wrap the content of your site around the ads. This is especially effective when wrapping a website article around a (338x280) ad. If you visit any of my sites that have articles on them you can see how this looks. For instructions how to do this just Google "wrap text around Google adsense".

5. Maintain Relevant Content - Although Google's automatic script for targeting ads to the content of your site is mostly first class there are times when it doesn't match the right ad to your content. The way to avoid this is to place good quality targeted content on your pages. If you are creating websites specifically to earn from Google then make sure to focus the keywords around one topic. Placing various keywords on a variety of unrelated topics will result in untargeted ads on your site.

The most important point when placing Google adsense on your websites is to stay within Google's terms of service which you can find on their site. Many people have lost their Adsense accounts through flirting with dodgy practices in order to increase earnings. This may pay off in the short term but Google will always catch you out in the end.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Kind of Learner

For those unfamiliar with the term, a learning style is a way in which an individual approaches learning. Many people understand material much better when it is presented in one format, for example a lab experiment, than when it is presented in another, like an audio presentation. Determining how you best learn and using materials that cater to this style can be a great way to make school and the entire process of acquiring new information easier and much more intuitive. Here are some great tools that you can use to cater to your individual learning style, no matter what that is.

Visual Learners

Visual learners learn through seeing and retain more information when it’s presented in the form of pictures, diagrams, visual presentations, textbooks, handouts and videos. Here are some Web resources that cater to those needs.

Mind Mapping

Get your ideas charted out in a visual format with these easy-to-use online brainstorming and organizational tools.

  1. This flash-based mind mapping tools allows you to chart out your thoughts in a colorful format, share them with friends or embed them in blogs, websites and emails.
  2. Free Mind: Mind mapping is easy and free with this Java tool. You’ll be able to manage your notes, lay out a paper and more completely online.
  3. WiseMapping: You can access your mind maps from anywhere with this online tool. You can lay out words, pictures, ideas and more easily with WiseMapping.
  4. Mindomo: Premium versions of this mind mapping tool come at a cost, but you can get access to the basic version for free. It allows you to add links, pictures and text to mind maps and share them over the net.
  5. DeepMehta: This mind mapping tool is built around the idea of knowledge management and cognitive psychology. The open source tool allows sharing, emailing and even contains an embedded calendar.
  6. MindMeister: Collaborate with your classmates on mind maps with this great online tool. The basic version is free and comes complete with the ability to create, share, import and export maps.
  7. Mind42: The name of this tool represents "for two", and is indicative of the collaborative nature of this mapping tool. It can make it easy to keep track of your ideas, share them with friends and teachers and take them with you no matter where you are.
  8. RecallPlus: Students can organize their notes, create flashcards, make use of 3D tools and more in this great mind mapping tool.
  9. Mapul: This mind mapping program has basic and premium levels and allows users to map not only text but images and hyperlinks as well.
  10. DebateMapper: If you’re struggling to understand a debate for your classes try creating a visual representation with this great mapping tool.
  11. CMapTools: CMapTools is free for students to use and allows them to create and share all kinds of knowledge maps.
  12. Thinkature: This site allows real-time collaboration on flow charts, diagrams and mind maps with features that include color organization and freehand drawing.

Charting and Diagrams

Love to put information into charts and diagrams? These tools can help you do that.

  1. Gliffy: Gliffy makes it easy to lay out ideas in flow charts and diagrams or to create floor plans and technical drawings to help you better visually understand information.
  2. FlowChart: Create great flow charts for your classes using this online tool, which comes complete with drawing tools and objects as well as collaborative tools.
  3. DrawAnywhere: This online program allows you to create diagrams and flow charts to represent all kinds of information. Best of all, you can log in from anywhere to get access to your diagrams.
  4. AjaxSketch: This web-based drawing tool makes it easy to not only create flow charts and diagrams but to do freehand drawing as well and you can use it right from Firefox.
  5. XML/SWF Charts: Those familiar with XML will be able to turn their data into colorful and useful charts with this downloadable tool.
  6. yEd: Is a very powerful graph editor and creation tool that can be used to quickly and effectively generate drawings and to create easily read and laid out graphs and diagrams.
  7. Graphviz: If you’ve got a lot of information about the structure of a website or anything else for that matter, this tool can help you to easy map it out into a graph or network.
  8. Kivio: Kivio easy to use diagramming and flowcharting application that is part of the KOffice suite of programs. It comes with features to network diagrams, create organization charts, build flowcharts and more.
  9. Project Draw: This program is a feature-rich web-based vector drawing application that will allow you to create diagrams and graphs of any kind of information as well as making a variety of other kinds of drawings.
  10. Best 4C: This Web-based tool allows you to create and share charts from anywhere, making it easier than ever to diagram and draw your ideas.
  11. LovelyCharts: Charts created through this tool really can be lovely with full color capabilities and loads of graphics.

Videos and Photos

Find everything you’ll need to learn through videos and pictures with these tools.

  1. Google Video: Google Video is chock full of educational videos that can help explain everything from how to use Second Life to learn to explanations of psychological illnesses.
  2. YouTube College: Sign up with your individual college and share videos with fellow students on this College-based version of YouTube. You can post your own visual notes and slides or look at those of others.
  3. Picasa: Picasa is Google’s answer to photo sharing and you can upload images from an art history or anatomy class and study them from anywhere on the Web.
  4. Flickr: This social networking and photo posting site can be a great way to share images from a class with your classmates or look for images to back up your notes.
  5. Scooch: Scooch is a Web-based slide show program that will allow you to post photos and make slide shows that you can share with others over the Web.
  6. Perseus Digital Library: In need of visual representations of manuscripts or sculptures from ancient Rome and Greece? You can find tens of thousands on this online library and database.
  7. Teachertube: Teachertube is a great place to find instructional videos on just about everything. You can learn about the formation of mountains, world history and economics on this useful educational site.
  8. Screencast-o-Matic: Create a video or photo of your screen with this helpful online tool. It can be a great way to remember how to do tasks on the computer or just to share images online.
  9. Jing Project: This tool allows you to snap a photo of your desktop, make recordings of your activities and email or IM them to anyone.
  10. Visuwords: Text dictionaries don’t always give visual learners the explanations they need. This dictionary is graphically based, making it easy to see what concepts or ideas are represented.
  11. KartOO: Along those same lines, Kartoo is a visual search engine, giving you results laid out in a networked chart so it’s easy to see how topics relate.

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners do best in classes where listening is a main concern. These learners prefer verbal lectures and discussions. Auditory learners can get a leg up on their learning with these Web tools.


Get all kind of supplementary education materials through these great podcast tools.

  1. ProfCasts: Turn a PowerPoint presentation into a useful and portable podcast using this tool. It can be a great way to put class materials into a format you can bring with you anywhere.
  2. Moodle: Post and share podcasts with an interactive online community using Moodle. You can not only post your own podcasts but get access to those of others that could provide educational value to you.
  3. First Class: This collaboration and communication software offers a podcast publishing feature that can be great for educational purposes.
  4. Podomatic: Find, share and publish your podcasts through Podomatic. You can search for existing podcasts that may cover topics you’re researching or that are relevant to your classes.
  5. provides a huge listing of podcasts from all over the Web. You’ll be able to find just about anything you need in an easy, audio format.
  6. Educational Podcast Network: Narrow your search for podcasts down to those dedicated to education. You can learn about everything from math to dance right on your iPod.
  7. PoducateMe: Don’t know the first thing about podcasting or how you can use it to make education a little easier? This site has all the information you need.

Presentation Tools

Put your notes or classroom information into an audio format with these handy apps.

  1. Zoho Show: This great online tool allows you to create, edit and share presentations online making it easy to create interactive homework assignments or to organize your notes in an audio-visual format.
  2. Eyespot: Users can create video mixes online and share them with others on this site and can even add effects to their graphics and music.
  3. Thumbstacks: Thumbstacks allows users to create a web-based presentation or slide show and then share it with others.
  4. SlideShare: This site takes more of a networked approach to creating presentations allowing you to post your presentations and browse those of other users.
  5. Empressr: You can access your organized class materials or projects from anywhere with this tool and share them with friends and other classmates easily.
  6. ThinkFree Show: If you are using PowerPoint to organize your class notes into a more visual and audio conducive format then you can take advantage of this site which makes it easy to take them to the Web.
  7. AuthorStream: Another PowerPoint centered program, AuthorStream makes it simple to upload and share your presentations.
  8. Toufee: If Flash is more your style you can use this online tool which gives you the tools needed to publish and play flash presentations and movies.
  9. PhotoStory 3: Make your slides for class a little more interesting with this free program from Microsoft. You can add special effects or your own voice narration.

Audio Tools

Listen and edit your sounds and music with these tools.

  1. Jamglue: Mix and edit your audio clips with this online tool and when you’re done, share the finished product with other online visitors in a YouTube like format.
  2. Audacity: One of the most popular free audio editors out there, audacity is multi-featured and allows users to record and edit in all kinds of formats.
  3. Wave Surfer: Visualize and manipulate sounds with this free and customizable tool.
  4. Looplab: Create and manipulate short loops and phrases with this great sound editing tool.
  5. LAME: This open source tool makes it easy to encode and manipulate MP3s.

Text Readers

Understand material better when it’s read out loud? These Web tools can do that for you.

  1. Adobe Acrobat Reader: You may not know this, but Adobe Reader has a feature that will allow the contents of the document to be read out loud. It can be a great way for the more auditorially inclined to get through readings.
  2. Read Please: Cut and paste text or type it directly into the input form on this site and the program will read it to you. It can be a very useful tool for making sure essays and projects are written correctly.
  3. Text Reader: Here you’ll find a tool that will give you audio for any text you feed into it.
  4. Expressivo: This simple text reader will give you a variety of audio readings when you paste or type text into the entry form.
  5. ItCanSay: This site has a great online text reader and can also give you some help pronouncing difficult words that aren’t said like they’re spelt.
  6. Midomi: While not quite a text reader, this tool couldn’t be left out of this list. It’s a search engine that is based on sound rather than text. It can be a more intuitive way to find things if you respond better to sounds.

Audio Books

Those who have trouble retaining information from printed words can listen to their assigned reading instead with help from these sites.

  1. LibriVox: This site provides free audiobooks for books in the public domain and has numerous titles. If you don’t find what you want, see if you can volunteer to create a recording of the book yourself.
  2. History and Politics Out Loud: Here you’ll find speeches, historical information and more in an audio format, making it easier to take in and absorb for the auditory learner.
  3. Audible: This subscription site allows visitors to download from thousands of audio books, both best sellers and classics making it easy to find what you need for class.
  4. Project Gutenburg: Books that are no longer under copyright can be found here and there is a special section for audio books, both read by computers and by humans.
  5. Free If your class is reading an older text you may be able to find a free version of it to listen to on this site. It contains recordings of numerous out of copyright books.

Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic learners do best when they interact and touch things. They prefer a hands-on approach to learning and enjoy interacting with classroom materials and those around them. These tools can help keep these inquisitive learners busy.

Note Taking Tools

No matter what you’re reading or watching you can make it more interactive by taking notes and these tools can help.

  1. MyNoteIT: This great tool allows students to take and store their notes online, edit them with the help of classmates, look up words or terms you don’t understand and keep track of things you need to do.
  2. Google Docs: With this program from Google you can take notes online, save them, and even send them to your peers for collaboration.
  3. Notely: Keep your class notes, to-do lists and more organized and easy to access with this site.
  4. NoteMesh: This site allows students from the same class to share notes by creating a wiki, making it easy and practical to work together.
  5. Here, students are able to actively organize their class materials, take and store notes, share information and even link to online reference sites.
  6. ShortText: This is a very simple tool for taking notes online. Simply enter your text, hit save, and you’ve got an online note you can revisit anytime you like.
  7. YourDraft: Take notes with this rich text editor and share and save them online.
  8. Stickkit: Get an intelligent sticky note with this great online program. It looks at the text on your notes and can recognize important dates, bookmarks, emails and more, organizing them for you and making it easy to stay on top of everything.
  9. SyncNotes: If you use a PDA this can be a great way to keep your notes accessible on both your main computer and your portable device.
  10. JotCloud: If you’re the type that loves to put sticky notes all over everything then you’ll enjoy this online note taking tool. It allows you to create clouds of stickies anywhere you need them.
  11. NoteCentric: Store and share your classroom notes with this innovative site. It keeps your notes organized so you can reference them later and you can easily access it through a Facebook account.


Mark references for later while you’re researching with these tools.

  1. This online tool makes it easy to mark sites you find interesting to use for later research or to send to friends and project partners.
  2. Clipmarks: Don’t waste time searching through webpages you’ve already read to find the content you needed. Instead, clip it out this this tool. You can clip and email bits to yourself as you go making online research more active.
  3. Wizlite: Don’t just save online material for later, highlight and tag it just like you would a real book with this great online tool.
  4. i-Lighter: Help make online reading a little more hands on with this highlighting program. It allows you to mark parts of online text you found interesting or want to revisit later.
  5. Web-Chops: Web-Chops allows you to clip out any part of a webpage then save and share these clips. It can be a great way to study for tests or prepare for papers in a more interactive fashion.
  6. Furl: This social bookmarking site makes it easy to keep track of webpages you were interested in, share them with classmates and keep them organized for research.
  7. Ma.gnolia: Search through sites others have bookmarked as interesting or use the site to highlight your own information from the Web and keep it in an easy to find place.
  8. Blinklist: Make lists of sites that are relevant to whatever you’re working on with Blinklist. If you have a blog, you can even have the links appear automatically on it, making them super easy to access later.


Get involved with the material with these online applications.

  1. Flash Card Machine: This site allows you to create web-based flash cards to study the information you have for class using text and pictures.
  2. Quia: With Quia, you’ll be able to create your own online quizzes and educational games to help you study your materials in a more interactive fashion.
  3. Quizlet: Quizlet makes it easy to study things like vocabulary words with it’s online study tools. You can make quizzes, use your friend’s or browse existing flashcards on the site.
  4. Pauker: This open source program will test your short and long term memory with a system that makes it easy to create and reuse flashcards and quizzes.
  5. Interactives: Need a more interactive explanation of a concept from class? You’ll find dozens of educational ones here that can help explain geology, chemistry, math and more.


These chatting and networking tools can make it easy to interact with classmates and friends.

  1. Meebo: This website allows students to IM from anywhere, even computers without the software installations for major programs like AIM, Yahoo!, MSN and more.
  2. Campfire: Here students can create password protected chat rooms to discuss their assignments, collaborate on projects or just chat. Best of all, you won’t need to install a thing.
  3. CollegeRuled: Students can set up class message boards, create to-do lists and interact with classmates on this site.
  4. Campusbug: This site provides a social learning network where students can interact and chat with each other while asking questions and getting answers about class materials.
  5. Facebook: One of the most popular social network sites for students, Facebook provides a place where classmates can come together to chat about assignments, keep up with their lives and post links to sites, videos and photos.
  6. Backpack: Backpack allows students to organize their notes, to-do lists and calendars while sharing information and working with classmates.
  7. The Campus Center: Students can get together and network on this site and also have access to note taking and spreadsheet programs.
  8. JotSpot: Working in a group just became easier with this online wiki tool that allows students to share notes, project ideas and information in an easily accessible format.
  9. WebBrush: Collaborate in a fun and creative way with this tool that lets students send drawings and graphics to one another.
  10. Grouptivity: This site allows students to use email to start a group discussion about class projects and assignments or just to complain about their professors.