Gmail sending attachments trick: multiple simultaneous files

It's not all that amazing, but, as they haven't given a lot of hype to this, if you haven't directly read Google related news, you might be still using Gmail the old way without knowing this simple trick: you can attach multiple Gmail files at the same time, simultaneously.

Of course you could send several attached files at the same time. But you had to attach each file individually in the older version. So you had to select the files to attach one by one, in different file selection windows. Now we can add more files to attach in the same file attachment selection window, just by holding the CTRL key while clicking the additional files.

selecting multiple files to attach

And now they have included an attachment sending progress bar as well.

attachment sending progress bar

Find you users' frequent questions

user frequent questions

We recently saw that only webpages with quality content will be successful in the new Search Engine Optimization scenarios. But you cannot write quality content if you don't know what your users need.

A very good way to give your users what they need is finding out their most frequent questions. What do they want to know that is related to your business? Answer such questions, provide useful content and earn your potential customer's trust.

This question search tool is a quick way to find questions related to a specific topic. You should try searching questions concerning the following subjects:

  • The main keywords of your site.
  • Your offered services: what do you sell / build / provide / talk about.
  • Your brand name, and other similar brands.
  • The name, brand or model of your products.
  • Related tools or accesories.

Remember these quality content writing tips. Discover new and unsuspected user needs through frequent user questions, and satisfy these needs, building this way high quality content.

Google SearchWiki allows you to customize search results

Have you ever typed a simple search query and then ended in a webpage whose short description seemed pretty relevant in the top of the search engine results, but which was in fact full of useless content? We have all gone through this. And now, this is coming to an end.

Wouldn't be great to have a search engine which adapted itself to your preferences? This is what Google has finally launched as Google Search Wiki: a major update of their search engine that allows users to select their favourite search results and take a look at how other users are customizing their searches.

2 innocent Google buttons that will change search forever

Starting to use Google SearchWiki is as simple as logging to an existing Google Account. The next time you perform a search in Google, you will see 2 new buttons near each specific search result:

Google custom buttons
  • Promote button: moves the search result to the top of the 1st page.
  • Delete button: removes the search result from the list.

A single click gives you the power to customize your search engine results, so Google will work better for you.

Do you hate these websites that seem to have the answer to your question and then lead you to a payment details page? Now you can remove such useless results forever.

On the other hand, this is the way to keep those useful but hard-to-find webpages with tons of interesting contents. Once you found something useful, you can promote it to make it easier to find again (without cluttering your browser dependent favourites list).

Will the SearchWiki Google update have some real impact?

It isn't the first time that someone tries to create customized and user community based search results. But it's the first time that the #1 search engine of the world starts doing this. So this time we are taking the largest user community and the most advanced search algorithms as an starting point.

Trust me: this searching wiki is going to be something serious. We are going to see a strong modification of the click through rate of most websites very soon with Google SearchWiki.

Nevertheless, it will take some time till this first version of the custom search results is fully established. Google will need to gather and process tons of new data from SearchWiki users. And the end users will have to get used to log into their Google accounts, reward the interesting search results, and remove the useless ones.

But, weren't many users already logged in while they checked their e-mails through Gmail, their documents through Google docs and so on? The array of free services provided by Google is so big that most users will start customizing their search results without even noticing.

Still we don't know if Google will use the data provided by millions of users who rewarded interesting search results to raise these popular websites to the top positions in Google's global search results.

SearchWiki algorithms cannot be directly applied to either unregistered users or completely new search queries. And I'm pretty sure that these two kind of searches are more than the 80% of current Google searches. That's why optimizing these general search results would still be very important for Google.

Chances are that Google will likely take into account the automated SearchWiki user's feedback to optimize and improve its search algorithms.

The main hint pointing in this direction is that Google Search Wiki displays meaningful messages such as "You are the first person to pick this result". SearchWiki even shows you global counts of "picks" and "deletions" registered for earch single search result.

All these ideas remind a lot of some kind of search results popularity system, as social bookmarking sites like Digg are using to promote the most interesting news.

On the other hand, pages deleted by many users could be penalized and sunk to the bottom positions of the overall Google search results.

So this Google update could lead to a nice way to estimate the content quality of a random webpage, much more accurate that Microsoft's proposal of using bounce rate statistics to punish webpages in Windows Live Search results.

How can you measure the effects of this Google update?

You cannot measure the impact of this recent Google update by browsing search results, because you can only check your search engine results. Remember that each user will only see her own custom search result positions (SERPs) in SearchWiki as long as she is logged into her Google account.

Let's try to estimate what could happen to your current website statistics. Since we aren't sure about how Google may use gathered customization data to tweak global search results, we cannot predict whether your number of new visitors may decrease or increase. If you were capturing traffic without relevant content, your bounce rate would be high, and probably your new visitor traffic could decrease.

Now let's check those web metrics about user satisfaction and content quality. I bet that you will have more returning visitors and even higher conversion rates. Now your satisfied customers have an easier way to return to their favourite websites without being lost in the middle of a chaos of uninteresting search engine results.

Finally, take into account that many users won't return to the search engine results page to delete irrelevant results (unless they are opening many browser tabs). So the first pages that would be removed and filtered out are those ones with a description that seems unrelated to the search query from the user's point of view. You see? The importance of writing good titles and descriptions has just become even more critical.

Is Google Search Wiki the end of SEO?

You have to understand that SEO business shouldn't rely on either repeating the same keywords one hundred times or purchasing thousands of low quality inbound links. It has never worked this way, and now this is becoming an even bigger truth. If this was your idea of SEO, then you weren't a very good SEO at all, and your optimization skills won't be useful in this new search engine scenario.

It's a somehow funny fact that the one who is actually optimizing how the search engine works is not an SEO, but the end user. Maybe we should stop talking about SEO, and start talking of content optimization or even of developing effective communication solutions.

SEO is no longer a matter of cheating with technical details. Creating useful quality content that fulfills your user's needs is the key. Give your users what they need, so they will keep coming, they will trust you, and they will tell good things about you to the rest of the world.

At the end, only you can decide what is relevant for you. This change of Google algorithms through SearchWiki will benefit all users, as the final goal is to achieve relevant pages that meet each specific user's needs.

007 Goldeneye 64 online: Goldeneye Source

The 3rd Beta of Goldeneye Source has just been released this month. Goldeneye Source is a free MOD developed for Half-Life 2, which perfectly recreates the death match maps of Goldeneye for Nintendo 64.

Goldeneye Source includes an Online Death Match game mode. This game is added to the Steam game list, as most MOD's are.

I have recently tested the game, and it works perfectly. The game maps are exactly the same maps of the original N64 game, but with graphics and textures of the latest videogame generations. I just miss the "bills" of texture that fell when you shot the ceiling.

This is just like playing 007 Goldeneye64, but with a keyboard and a mouse (and with cool graphics too, for sure). Those who played Goldeneye during many hours on N64 will find that the most strange situation is to fight against more than 4 enemies on a single map.

Goldeneye Source Downloads

Download Goldeneye Source

Goldeneye Source Soundtrack (it's a remake of the original videogame soundtrack, but "trendier").

Goldeneye Source gameplay video

How to reorder MySQL table columns in MySQL databases

The data structure of any application is the hardest part to change. Nevertheless, new needs arise all the time, and so, adding new table columns to an existing MySQL database is a common task.

But what about reordering the table column order in MySQL after you have already created and added the new columns to an existing table? Doing so is an advisable procedure in order to keep together very related data fields in your MySQL table structure.

While I tend to perform many MySQL database management tasks using phpMyAdmin, I haven't found any phpMyAdmin feature to change the column order of an existing database. Fortunately, you just need to execute a very simple MySQL instruction to specify a new column order:

ALTER table `table_name`
       MODIFY COLUMN `column_name` your_data_type
       AFTER `other_column_name`

Just replace the following fields by your actual MySQL data:

  • table_name: the name of your MySQL table being modified.
  • column_name: the name of the MySQL table column that you want to reorder.
  • your_data_type: the MySQL data type of the data stored in the moved column, such as int, varchar(lenght), text, etc.
  • other_column_name: the column name that will be just before the new position of your reordered column.

A MySQL table column reorder example

Here is an example of an actual MySQL query to change the table column order. Let's say I want to move the column called "user_password" just after the "user_name" column to keep strongly related columns grouped:

reorder mysql table columns
ALTER table `registered_users`
       MODIFY COLUMN `user_password` varchar(25)
       AFTER `user_name`

This will reorder the columns in your current MySQL table structure, but it will not alter the row order of your table records: the stored data order will remain unaltered. Reorder MySQL table columns to visually group strongly related fields. So reordering is just a way of changing the column order of an existing MySQL table, and it won't modify your query performance.

Column reorder is mainly a matter of coherence and logical organization. On the contrary, altering the stored data order may optimize (or negatively impact) such MySQL query performance.