Google Tops the list of “Nielsen’s Tops of 2011: Digital”

According to the report from Nielsen released Dec 28th, 2011, Google was the most-visited US online brand with over 153 Million unique visitors per month, Facebook came in second and Yahoo came in third. YouTube led the way as the top US online destination for video.

Check out the rest of the results: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/nielsens-tops-of-2011-digital/

Top 10 U.S. Web Brands in 2011
Rank Web Brand Avg # of Unique Visitors (000)per month
1 Google 153,441
2 Facebook 137,644
3 Yahoo! 130,121
4 MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 115,890
5 YouTube 106,692
6 Microsoft 83,691
7 AOL Media Network 74,633
8 Wikipedia 62,097
9 Apple 61,608
10 Ask Search Network 60,552

Read more at blog.nielsen.com
Source: Nielsen
Data from January – October 2011, Home and Work Computers. Ranked on average monthly unique audience.
Read as: During 2011, 153.4 million U.S. people, on average, visited Google sites from home and work computers

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Strengths Finder 2.0 – This was such an interesting book!

Strengths Finder 2.0

My GM recently asked the Marketing Team to read the book Strengths Finder 2.0, after reading the book and doing the online exercise I found the results to be truly remarkable and very accurate! Below is the summary of the results:

My Top 5 Strengths

1 Futuristic
2 Achiever
3 Learner
4 Self-Assurance
5 Ideation
These 5 “Themes” are what the book and exercise identified as my core strengths. I have to say they are very accurate and each one is clearly visible in my life and career. Below is a more detailed description of each Theme.
Futuristic
People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
By nature, you are typically enthused about what you can accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. Your ability to think about the future naturally feeds your desire to be the very best. Instinctively, you are energized by your plans for the coming months, years, or decades. Bringing your ideas to life is an exciting proposition for you. You sense you have the power to transform whatever you think is possible into tangible outcomes. Because of your strengths, you treasure the one-on-one conversations you have with visionary thinkers. Their ideas can force you to expand on your plans for the future. Chances are good that you frequently share your vision about the coming years or decades with other forward-looking thinkers. You cannot refrain from talking about all the things human beings can create or accomplish in the future. Driven by your talents, you are a visionary thinker. Your vivid mental images of the coming months, years, or decades often impel you to move into action.
Achiever
People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
Because of your strengths, you probably work diligently, persevering to the very end. You are gratified when people tell others you are a competent, trustworthy, and accomplished individual. Instinctively, you probably expend a lot of energy to hold back your tears. You worry that individuals will think poorly of you when they see you cry. It’s very likely that you place a premium on acquiring various kinds of knowledge and skills. You see definite links between your hard work and your accelerated growth as a person or as a professional. Chances are good that you probably have a reputation for working hours and hours when the assignment adds special meaning to your work, studies, or life in general. Driven by your talents, you might want to be the very best in certain fields or activities. Maybe you realize that excellence is the result of not only hard work, but also of top quality materials and people. This partially explains why you devote yourself to some activities but not to others.
Learner
People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
Because of your strengths, you might place a high value on seeking and gathering specific kinds of information. Perhaps your need to be informed motivates you to acquire knowledge so you are as smart as you want to be about certain subjects. Chances are good that you may appreciate opportunities to acquire knowledge, gain skills, or experience new things. Perhaps you refuse to let your mind grow dull by being complacent — that is, smug or self-satisfied. By nature, you probably register for the most difficult rather than the easiest classes. You likely take courses from teachers who have a reputation for being tough and demanding. You ordinarily have great faith in your ability to earn the top grade in these instructional situations. It’s very likely that you may thirst for new ideas and knowledge. Sometimes you dive into your reading with abandon. Other times you lose yourself in a book. Maybe you pore over the thoughts contained in its pages for long stretches of time. Why? You might want to absorb as much information as you can. Driven by your talents, you have little difficulty giving intense effort to projects, problems, or opportunities that capture and keep your attention.
Self-Assurance
People who are especially talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
Because of your strengths, you are likely to be a team member in some cases and the team leader in other instances. The role you play probably reflect the demands of the current situation. Instinctively, you seem willing to take chances. You frequently venture into unknown territory when that can make the difference between capturing first place and finishing in second or third place. It’s very likely that you like advancing on your own. You enjoy defying the odds. You find limited satisfaction in pursuing the easiest, the most popular, or the accepted course of action. Driven by your talents, you occasionally adopt a practical, factual, or unemotional position on certain issues. Maybe you refrain from becoming sentimental about certain people and their problems. Chances are good that you are attracted to difficult and challenging endeavors. You are not inclined to look for the easy way out. You are bold. You take risks. You dare to stretch your mind. You test the limits of your abilities in ways that timid individuals would not attempt.
Ideation
People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
By nature, you sometimes break certain types of daily, weekly, monthly, or annual activities into their basic parts. Now and then, you examine these separately and in relation to one another. Perhaps you devise labor-saving ways to perform some repetitive tasks. Once you have explained your systems to others, you might expect everyone to use them for the common good. Periodically you are frustrated by individuals who insist on doing things their way or the old way. Maybe you can predict with some accuracy how their resistance will jeopardize the group’s overall effectiveness or efficiency. Chances are good that you tune in to people and figure out what they are saying and thinking about you. You are acutely aware of how individuals regard you. You probably curry — that is, try to win — the favor of some and seek to impress others. It’s very likely that you generate ideas quickly. You draw clever linkages between facts, events, people, problems, or solutions. You present others with numerous options at a pace some find dizzying. Your innovative thinking tends to foster ongoing dialogue between and among the group’s participants. Instinctively, you enjoy spending time with possibility thinkers. This is often the case when they present intriguing ideas that no one else has considered. You enjoy exploring the fascinating frontiers of medicine, politics, fashion, renewable energy sources, humanitarian aid, or the arts. Driven by your talents, you are acutely aware of how your teammates perceive your abilities. You can sense what they think of you as a person. These insights many times allow you to earn their confidence so you can contribute even more to the group’s success.
Final Thoughts:
After reading Strengths Finder 2.0 I feel that I have a better sense of myself, the book didn’t really identify new things for me but it really helped to solidify core values and strengths that I already knew existed within me. What really shocked me was that after filling out aprox 170 questions, the answers were analyzed and processed to come up with the top 5 themes and boy were they right! I guess after millions of interviews, 10s of millions of data points, and tons of research the team at Gallup has this processed nailed down to a science. Kudos to them! They definitely get a strong recommendation from me, and I’m looking forward to “Future” developments from the team, I definitely want to continue to “Learn” so I can “Achieve” my goals and develop new creative “Ideas” for new things to come! 🙂

Find out all you need to know about Google’s new and improved algorithm!

This week Google announced some adjustments to the famous Google Algorithm, the new parameters are designed to reward “High Quality” content and weed out the low value content that’s being distributed throughout the web.

So what does Google consider to be “High Quality”?
Here’s a list of tactics you can use to optimize your content and to make sure you are compliant with the new algorithm:

Direct from the “GOOGLE Webmaster Central” of best practices for content optimization: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769

Design and content guidelines
    • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
    • Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map has an extremely large number of links, you may want to break the site map into multiple pages.
    • Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.
    • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
    • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
    • Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
    • Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
    • Check for broken links and correct HTML.
    • If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a “?” character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
Technical guidelines
    • Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most search engine spiders see your site much as Lynx would. If fancy features such as JavaScript, cookies, session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling your site.
    • Allow search bots to crawl your sites without session IDs or arguments that track their path through the site. These techniques are useful for tracking individual user behavior, but the access pattern of bots is entirely different. Using these techniques may result in incomplete indexing of your site, as bots may not be able to eliminate URLs that look different but actually point to the same page.
    • Make sure your web server supports the If-Modified-Since HTTP header. This feature allows your web server to tell Google whether your content has changed since we last crawled your site. Supporting this feature saves you bandwidth and overhead.
    • Make use of the robots.txt file on your web server. This file tells crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled. Make sure it’s current for your site so that you don’t accidentally block the Googlebot crawler. Visit http://www.robotstxt.org/faq.html to learn how to instruct robots when they visit your site. You can test your robots.txt file to make sure you’re using it correctly with the robots.txt analysis tool available in Google Webmaster Tools.
    • Make reasonable efforts to ensure that advertisements do not affect search engine rankings. For example, Google’s AdSense ads and DoubleClick links are blocked from being crawled by a robots.txt file.
    • If your company buys a content management system, make sure that the system creates pages and links that search engines can crawl.
    • Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.
  • Monitor your site’s performance and optimize load times. Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience. Fast sites increase user satisfaction and improve the overall quality of the web (especially for those users with slow Internet connections), and we hope that as webmasters improve their sites, the overall speed of the web will improve.Google strongly recommends that all webmasters regularly monitor site performance using Page Speed, YSlow, WebPagetest, or other tools. For more information, tools, and resources, see Let’s Make The Web Faster. In addition, the Site Performance tool in Webmaster Tools shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world.
Quality guidelines

These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative behavior, but Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed here (e.g. tricking users by registering misspellings of well-known websites). It’s not safe to assume that just because a specific deceptive technique isn’t included on this page, Google approves of it. Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.

If you believe that another site is abusing Google’s quality guidelines, please report that site at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport. Google prefers developing scalable and automated solutions to problems, so we attempt to minimize hand-to-hand spam fighting. The spam reports we receive are used to create scalable algorithms that recognize and block future spam attempts.

Quality guidelines – basic principles

    • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
    • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
    • Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
  • Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.

Awesome Tweetchat with Carlos Dominguez – Senior Vice President and a technology evangelist at Cisco Systems

Check out the highlights in the story below… although I have to say all the topics were so interesting… Social Media, Technology, Innovation, Video… even the white house got into the discussion 🙂 Enjoy!

http://sfy.co/4oy