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How to get GoogleBot to your Site in 30 Seconds9/29/2006 @ 6:09am

There is an interesting tactic I've dicovered which will get the GoogleBot visiting your site within seconds, as a result of pinging your blog (or web page) to the blog directories.

Typically, pinging is used strictly on blogs, and submits your blog to the various blog directories including Technorati, Blog Digger, FeedBurner, etc. However, some web pages could also be considered "blog" content and could also benefit from a ping.

After running an auto-ping tool, such as Blog Blaster, if you check your web logs you will see a number of bots immediately comb through your site. Among them, is Googlebot. Other notable bots include TechnoratiBot, WSBlogs, and a few miscellaneous spiders. Average time is roughly 30 seconds after the ping.

The following is a real-time list of bots visiting a page within 30 seconds of pinging with Blog Blaster (bots visiting the page after 1 minute are not included): - ping.blo.gs/2.0 - bot - bot - Technoratibot/0.7 - Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

It is not clear what causes Googlebot to immediately query the page content. It's possible Google has teamed in some way with one of the larger blog directories, such as Technorati, in order to stay on top of news trends and real-time posts.

There is a question of whether having the Googlebot visit in this manner is a true spidering of your site (and publishing in their search engine), or if it is some other type of spidering or statistical gathering.

Either way, it is certainly a good thing to get the spiders hitting your site. This gets your content listed faster in the search engines and only takes a click to do.

If you have access to real-time web logs, download Blog Blaster and give this a try on one of your blogs.

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RSS Submit Affiliates Commission Increase10/17/2006 @ 7:25pm

We've just mailed out a newsletter to our affiliates:

RSS Submit has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past year and has become the top RSS feed management and promotion tool available. We couldn't have done this without you!

As a special thank you during the holiday season, we have bumped up the commissions for RSS Submit and Blog Blaster to $10.00 per sale! This includes any licensed version of RSS Submit or Blog Blaster.

Download the latest version of RSS Submit.

We hope you will take advantage of this incredible offer on our top selling product. Existing affiliates, login to your shareasale account to get the banner code for your web site, if you have not yet done so. http://www.shareasale.com/a-login.cfm

New affiliates, sign up today!

Talk about RSS Submit on your web pages, in your blogs, and tell your friends! And most importantly, have a safe, healthy, and wealthy holiday season.

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G-Zapper Now Blocks Google Analytics11/9/2006 @ 9:35pm

We've released a new update of our popular free utility, G-Zapper.

In addition to blocking the Google cookie to protect your privacy, G-Zapper now blocks Google Analytics from tracking web sites you visit.

If you have not yet downloaded this free tool, check it out.

SubmitDummy! Update

We have also made several other recent software updates including a much needed update of SubmitDummy!, our web site submission program. For our RSS Submit users out there looking for even more web site traffic, definitely grab a copy of SubmitDummy! to promote your web site to the major search engines.

SenseGuard New Release

Along with the upgrades, we've certainly been busy prior to the holiday season. We're proud to release our new product SenseGuard.

SenseGuard is made for the Google Adsense publishers out there who want to protect themselves from accidental clicks on their ads by their family members, children, or even themselves.

SenseGuard completely hides all Adsense ads in your web browser. It is safe to use and is an effective way to hide and show Adsense ads in your web browser. SenseGuard only affects your PC. Outside web visitors will still see your ads.

Keep posted to our web site, as we may be releasing a few more updates in the very near future.

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How Many Google Searches are Saved on your PC?12/21/2006 @ 11:39am

Does your PC have a Google cookie on it? It probably does. More importantly, how long has it been there?

Download G-Zapper and find out! (direct download)

This newest release of G-Zapper has been fully optimized for Internet Explorer 6,7 and Mozilla Firefox.

For those of you who don't already know, G-Zapper:

- Identifies the Google cookie on your PC
- Displays your unique Google ID
- Shows how long your searches have been tracked
- Shows your actual Google searches
- Erases your Google search history
- Blocks and/or deletes the Google cookie
- Blocks Google Analytics from tracking the web sites you visit

G-Zapper Screenshot

The latest version includes brand new features specifically for Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox to display your actual Google search history, including keywords you've searched for.

It is a scary thing, knowing that all of your Google searches are recorded on your PC, susceptible to prying eyes or even spyware and viruses. Anyone could gather a profile of your interests just by looking at what you've been searching for.

G-Zapper Displays your previous Google Searches and lets your Erase them

G-Zapper makes it easy to see what Google searches are saved on your PC and erase them with just one click.

We also recommend you frequently use G-Zapper to delete your Google cookie and help break-up the chain linking your future searches with past ones.

So go ahead and download the free trial of G-Zapper and see if your PC has the cookie.

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What's the Point of AJAX, Beyond Being Cool?1/7/2007 @ 11:25am

I recently finished evaluating Microsoft's ASP .NET AJAX Extension toolkit (also called Atlas) and have previously dabbled with hand-coded AJAX features. Let me begin by saying I am highly impressed with Microsoft's AJAX library. It indeed displays stunning results, hidden asynchronous post-backs, and web page effects. Yet when I asked a non-techie user to view a sample application with AJAX, they simply replied with "So what? I don't see the difference". And that's the problem.

A Fancy Form Submit

At its core, AJAX is all about bypassing the browser-refresh on a post-back. That is, when you click the Submit button in a web page, you don't hear the web browser make a little click sound, you don't see the status bar change, and you don't see the web page reload. Ok, but for non-techie users, they don't notice that stuff anyway. All they care about is that their data displays after clicking Submit. So why the AJAX craze and does the world really need it?

AJAX form submit

Let me elaborate on several factors I fear with AJAX.

1. AJAX does not make anything easier.

The whole point of a new technology becoming popular and used in everyday applications is to make our lives easier. Windows replaced the green-screen not because it was cooler, but because it was easier to click an icon with a mouse than to memorize a series of commands to type at a prompt. Does bypassing a browser-refresh make anything easier? If anything, it makes things more confusing to the user. It also makes things more complicated for the programmer. Asynchronous events are always more confusing.

2. AJAX does nothing we can't already do.

AJAX can change html in the web page on the fly and perform invisible post-backs. But Flash has been doing this for years. AJAX may not require the Macromedia plug-in, but is bypassing the security issue of installing the plug-in the only benefit here?

3. A Javascript alert box is just as good as inline HTML.

The common way of showing an error message in a form is a javascript alert box. The AJAX-ified method would be to alter the innerhtml of a div or span tag to change text in the web page, showing the error. Or if you prefer the Yahoo style, the background web page turns grey and a small dialog is drawn in the center of the page, displaying the error. But does the non-techie user really care where the message comes from? Either way, he reads it and clicks OK to dismiss it. One looks cooler than the other. One looks more confusing than the other.

ajax bugs

4. AJAX is buggy.

Almost all implementations of AJAX web applications seem to contain at least a few bugs. By bugs, I am refering to misplaced objects during animation, buttons not re-enabling, windows unable to be closed without clicking several times. This also includes variations in operation depending on the web browser. You can also throw in issues regarding latency and dial-up users vs broadband. Reliability is a big strike. Sure, this can be resolved with work towards a standard bug-free multi-browser compliant AJAX library, but is it worth it?

5. Sites abuse AJAX.

Too many sites are using AJAX to dim windows, animate messages, show inline text where an alert box or new page would be simpler, spy on user interaction with the web site, and more. This only creates confusion for users. If the web application has a real neccessity for a draggable window, then by all means, use AJAX (or rather DHTML) to include one. However, if the only point of including the feature is to look cool, maybe you could skip it.

6. The Privacy Factor.

A technique for tracking web site metrics, which is growing in popularity, is using AJAX to spy on users who visit a web site. Anything can be tracked, from the obvious page hits and link clicks tothe not so obvious clicks on images, mouse movement on the page, mouse movement over an image or object, and even a timed heartbeat giving away how long a user remains on a page. This is certainly a different kind of privacy risk posed by AJAX than most of us are used to.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for advancing useful technologies. I am just concerned with the popularity and hype of AJAX compared with how practical it is to actually use it. Sites like Digg, Reddit, and Yahoo have implemented AJAX, but isn't it really just bells and whistles? On Digg, clicking Login slowly fades in a username/password box. Reddit uses the grey method where the background of the web page greys out to show a white login box in the center of the page.

Not really Reddit AJAX, but I couldn't resist

The non-techie user would be just as happy (maybe even more happy) to see a new page appear with a clear username/password box to perform the login.

AJAX's Promising Features

There are some uses of AJAX which show a great deal of promise to push web applications to the point where they antiquate the desktop apps. Of course, the look and feel of a web application compared with a desktop one is important. YouOS has an amazing display of AJAX; moving windows around the web page, loading data, and running multiple processes all within the web browser. This is a more practical implementation of AJAX. Yahoo's roll-over help boxes are a convenient use of DHTML (which may as well be considered in the AJAX world).

Yahoo Ajax in action

If developers can weigh their options more strictly regarding the usage of AJAX and the business world can reduce the hype, maybe we can put it to some good use. Until then, let's really consider how important AJAX is to the future of web application development .. or could we be focusing on something better?

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Buzz: G-Zapper 2.0 Coming Soon7/31/2007 @ 4:38pm

Thinking about registering your copy of G-Zapper? Well, now is the time! We're excited to announce the upcoming release of G-Zapper 2.0, due out soon. It's packed with automated features to keep your Google search privacy safer than ever. Users who purchase now at the current price can upgrade for free!

Never heard of G-Zapper? G-Zapper is a tool to block and delete the Google cookie which allows tracking of your searches. G-Zapper lets you see your unique Google ID and delete it with just one click. Compatible with all versions of Windows, including Vista, and supporting Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Want to know more? Click here.

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The O'Reilly Radar Review of G-Zapper8/7/2007 @ 7:20pm

Earlier today, we sent out a major press release for G-Zapper 2.0, which caught the attention of Brady Forrest, writing for O'Reilly's Radar. The post was titled Using Fear of Google to Sell Software.

I would like to thank Brady for taking the time to consider G-Zapper. It's always much appreciated. However, I wanted to clarify a few points he raised and answer the question posed at the end of his article.

Brady mentioned he prefers allowing the Google cookie to remain on his PC, for usage with Google's services. This is certainly a valid point, and by all means, users who heavily rely on Google services may wish to leave the cookie intact for long periods of time. However, he acknowledges the privacy issues around the Google cookie by keeping his own cookie-cleaning bookmarklet handy. While this is an excellent idea for advanced tech users, the non-tech-savvy audience, in most cases, wouldn't know how to find, or even install such an item.

It's our hope and experience that users find G-Zapper to be an easy and effective solution for cleaning their Google cookie.

Brady also addresses our press release using the example of AOL's accidental release of 20 million search terms in 2006. While this may raise the fear bar, the fact is, it happened, it could happen again, and it could happen to any search engine which ties users' searches to a single key, such as a cookie. It's a provocative paragraph in the press release, but one we feel is important for users to be aware of.

Brady finishes the article with a final question for us here at ksoft: "Does ksoft think that the average, not-particularly-tech-savvy consumer has that much fear of Google?"

We can safely answer, yes. Last August, G-Zapper received over 10,000 downloads in a single day, breaking a record for us here at ksoft. Just as Brady's article admits to the privacy issues surrounding the Google cookie, the non-tech-savvy consumer is also becoming increasingly aware. Ignorance is certainly bliss, but as search engine privacy articles continue emerging, more and more users are learning what's at stake.

We're really not out to scare anyone. We're just here to offer a solution. If you're looking for a way to learn more about your Google cookie and for a way to clean it, then check out G-Zapper. Feel free to compare it with the many methods of cleaning the cookie and decide which one you like the best. Choices are a beautiful thing.

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Want to get a free license of G-Zapper 2.0?8/8/2007 @ 6:46am

To introduce our new release of G-Zapper, we're giving away FREE registered versions of the software!

To get yours, just download the trial version of G-Zapper and tell us what you think about it in your blog. You can write a review, a paragraph, or even just talk about this free offer. Then contact us with the link to your post and we'll email you a full version registration code. This is for a fully licensed version, including a lifetime of free upgrades!

For a $29.95 value, it certainly doesn't get easier than that. This offer is open through the rest of August 2007.

Don't have a blog? I thought everyone had one now. In any case, most blog services are free and you can find one using everyone's favorite search engine!

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How to Make Money with Trackbacks, Pingbacks, and Blogs8/30/2007 @ 3:23pm

We all want to know how to get more traffic to our site, make more eyeballs stick, and make more money, but if you keep using the same techniques that have grown out-dated, your bound to stay at the bottom of the heap. Therefore, here's a brief tip on how to use a lesser known feature of blogs called "trackbacks" and "pingbacks" to get more clicks rolling your way.

First, what is a trackback? A trackback is a link displayed in the comments area of a blog, which points to another blog that referenced it. For instance, suppose you just posted a blog article. Someone comes along and likes your post, so they link to you from their own blog. If your blog supports trackbacks, you'll automatically return the favor by linking to them as well. Think of it as an ego boost saying, "Check out all the people talking about my post!". Naturally, it didn't take long for people to start abusing trackbacks, which is when pingbacks arrived.

A pingback is basically the same as a trackback, but it uses a different protocol. In addition, it usually enforces a check on both ends to make sure both blogs link to each other. Thus, it better guarantees sharing of the readers.

Why would anyone want to use trackbacks and pingbacks anyway? Because the blogosphere is all about linking together and finding related content. Two-way links in blogs are perfect for this purpose and trackbacks make it easy to do.

Since we all know that traffic is money, how do you use this to get more traffic to your blog? Put simply, you link to other blogs. Think about it this way; On popular blogs, it's common for people to race to be the first posted comment, since they'll also get the most views (and clicks) by the blog's readers. But with trackbacks and pingbacks, it gets easier.

Here are the steps:

1. Start by picking a topic and writing a blog post.

2. Use your favorite blog search engine and locate other blog posts with the same topic. The more relevant the better.

3. Link to those posts from your blog. That's right, link to them! If your blog supports trackbacks, it will automatically submit them to the target blogs, getting you listed in their post. If your blog doesn't support trackbacks, you can use various tools such as TrackbackSpeed to submit trackbacks/pingbacks and automate it for you.

4. If all goes well, you should see a link to your blog from all the target blogs you submitted trackbacks and pingbacks to. Some links will happen instantly. Others will take a bit while the moderators check to make sure you've actually linked to them.

Now, if you're quick, you can locate a new post on a popular blog, within minutes of it being posted, and be one of the first to submit your trackback or pingback. You'll be rightly seated at the top of the comments and share in the king's bounty of clicks. Otherwise, well, it's still an inbound link! As with any SEO tactic, you don't want to over-do it and spam, so please use responsibly and only with relevant blogs.

Now that you've got the traffic, it's up to you to turn it into money. We'll save that for another post.

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G-Zapper One-Day Sale on Bitsdujour1/15/2008 @ 5:25am

We're excited to announce that ksoft will soon be featuring G-Zapper on Bits du Jour, a 'deal-of-the-day' website that offers one-time discounts on a variety of software. Bits du Jour will be offering G-Zapper on Saturday 19 January, 2008 at a discounted price!

We can't afford to offer this kind of discount often, and it will only be available for a single day. So head on over and take advantage of this great offer.

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