How To

The easy way to decode “keyword not provided” in Google Analytics

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Keyword Not Provided by Google Analytics :(

If you’ve been using Google Analytics for some time, you may have noticed that the fraction of search results from keywords that are “not provided” has been increasing over time. This is mostly because anyone logged into a Google product using Google search now has their search keywords hidden from site owners. So what are site owners to do? How do you know which keywords are driving traffic to your site? Read more »

Social Media

Why web clippers should obey the same conventions as bots

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A web clipper is a bookmarklet, app, or browser extension that copies some or all of the content of a webpage into a new webpage or app. Clippers appear to be exploding in number. Pinterest, Evernote, SpringPad, Clipboard, JustAPinch, and KeyIngredient are just a few examples of web and mobile apps that offer clippers. If the amount of content clipped is significant and is made publicly available as a copy on a new website, it might constitute copyright infringement. But regardless of the legality, “clipping” is essentially programmatic access of a website much like web spidering. It may not exactly be automated and recursive as in the case of a bot, but it is access by a non-human, usually for the purpose of copying content. Read more »

Rant

5 reasons why you should never buy a WordPress theme

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After having a bad experience with a paid WordPress theme, I realized that there are some inherently bad features to the general concept of paid themes. Here’s my list of reasons why, besides the price, you should never pay for a pre-built WordPress theme. Read more »

How To Startups

Making your own product demo video is easier than you think.

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Getting a demo video for your startup’s product made by a pro can cost several thousand dollars per minute — out of the budget of your typical startup. But making something really good yourself is much easier than you think. I made my own video myself following the Grumo video course and Justin McLeod’s method of iPad drawing and Keynote animating. (Here’s a blog post from Grumo on how I made my video.) Read more »

How To

How to block an entire phone exchange on an Android phone

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If you’re an alum of a particular top-tier, non Ivy college that shall remain nameless (it rhymes with Bons Mopkins), you may be accustomed to getting a weekly phone call from a very pushy undergrad asking for money. Since you graduated with a degree from this excellent institution, you must have a bunch of money that you just don’t know what to do with, right? ROFL!

I have this problem, and I tried saving the phone number in my contacts and setting the ringtone to silent. Then they called from a slightly different number, so I added that to the contact record. When they called from a third number, I realized I needed a better solution. I used an app called Tasker that lets you automate things on your Android. It’s a little tricky to figure out, and there are a lot of steps involved. So here’s step by step instructions for blocking an entire exchange on an Android phone: Read more »

Social Media

Why you should periodically review which social sharing plugins you include on your blog.

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Online social sharing tools have been around since del.icio.us launched in 2003.  Now, after almost a decade of social bookmarking and sharing online, it’s clear that link sharing tools come and go. I don’t know about you, but when Yahoo! threatened to shut down delicious, I exported my bookmarks and never looked back. And how many of your friends are still using Digg? Meanwhile, Google+ just joined the party this year and Pinterest is starting to hockey stick.

So if you haven’t updated the sharing tools on your blog for a few years, it may be time to ditch some of the old buttons in favor of some new ones. Take a look at your Google Analytics and consider which sites drive traffic and which do not. If a sharing site hasn’t driven any traffic in the last six months, ditch the button. You don’t need the clutter. Plus, if it’s a widget that loads within an iframe, it can really slow down the loading time of your page.

Next consider which new buttons you should add. Do your analytics show referrals from link sharing sites that you are missing? Add them. Then consider the newcomers like Google+ and Pinterest. It’s still too soon to tell whether Google+ will really take off, but considering how it can boost your results in Google search, you should add the +1 button for now. If you have a blog related to fashion, home decor, crafts, art, or food, the Pin It button is essential. I’ve found that at Feastie, Pinterest drives more traffic than any other social sharing tool besides Facebook. I attribute this to the close match between the Pinterest demographic and the Feastie audience as well as the relatively high signal to noise ratio compared to other sites like twitter. Finally, consider adding the Linked In share button. The links people share on Linked In are mostly work related. That’s why I included the Linked In share button here but not at Feastie.

What social sharing widgets have you included on your blog?