Testing Skype

I must have had a premonition about Skype, as I joined the service about a week before they announced their free calls for the remainder of the year, promotion.

Any how, I’ve added a status bar to the right navigation menu and my Skype name is “andybeal” and my Skype number is “919-647-9655″. This is mostly so Richard Branson knows how to reach me – oh, but I guess others can use it too. ;-)

Free calls, from my computer? Got to be worth trying! Well, at least until I get round to testing AOL’s new phone service. ;-)

A Chat with MarketingMonger

I just got done chatting to Eric Mattson of MarketingMonger about FI, our technology, blogging, reputation monitoring and much more.

Here’s Eric’s blog post and here’s a direct link to the podcast.

PS. Kudos to Eric. What a great way to get 1,000 inbound links. Simply interview 1,000 bloggers – we all love to be heard and you know we’ll link to the audio. Got to be easier than begging for links. ;-)

Channel Sponsors

Microsoft to Offer Free Analytics?

According to eWeek, we can expect to see an announcement from Microsoft today, that could include a rival for Google’s free analytics tool.

If that happens, expect Google to open up Google Analytics invitations real fast. ;-)

Final Proof that Alexa Rankings Are a Joke?

I’ve always said that Alexa data is a nice tool, but doesn’t give any serious data that can be relied on.

Matt Cutts comes to the same conclusion, after Alexa suggested his blog’s traffic gets 25% the level of Ask.com – yeah, right.

…there is some serious webmaster skew in the Alexa data. There is no way that I have 1/4th the daily reach of Ask. I think my site gets a little boost because tons of SEOs install the Alexa toolbar.

AOL & Google Go Head-to-Head with YouTube

CNET has details of Google’s changes to their Google Video service, in an apparent effort to better compete with the popular YouTube.

Now people who want to post their video clips can do so through a Web-based system without having to use special software. They also can view the clips instantly, said Peter Chane, product manager for Google Video.

Meanwhile, InformationWeek reports AOL is offering a beta of it’s YouTube alternative, AOL UnCut.

The site called AOL UnCut, which has thousands of beta users, will officially launch “end of June or beginning of July,” the company said.

New Announcements from Google

The official Google blog has been busy…

1. Google Talk is available in 13 new languages.
2. They’re donating tools to Maine’s public middle schools.
3. A new software development tool for creating AJAX applications.

Matt Cutts Provides Bigdaddy Timeline

Over at his personal blog, Google engineer, Matt Cutts explains how Google rolled out “Bigdaddy” and why some people may have seen their site drop out of the index.

It looks like Google’s cracking down on crappy inbound and outbound links.

The sites that fit “no pages in Bigdaddy� criteria were sites where our algorithms had very low trust in the inlinks or the outlinks of that site. Examples that might cause that include excessive reciprocal links, linking to spammy neighborhoods on the web, or link buying/selling. The Bigdaddy update is independent of our supplemental results, so when Bigdaddy didn’t select pages from a site, that would expose more supplemental results for a site.