New Facebook Search – Time to Check Your Privacy Settings?

Way back in January, we posted about Facebook’s announcement of a coming new search engine they were calling Graph Search.

Well, it’s finally here.

Click here to see Facebook’s official Introduction to Graph Search. It’s a nice-looking overview, and if for some reason the new search isn’t active on your Facebook page yet, you can click the Try Graph Search button at the bottom of the page to activate it.

Privacy Shortcut menu on Facebook

But before you go play around with Facebook’s new Graph Search engine, you might first want to review your own Facebook presence and change some of your privacy settings.

Why? Because the new Facebook search indexes your public posts, your likes, your photos, all your interests and other data you’ve shared on Facebook – and it makes all your information as easy as possible for everyone else on Facebook to find.

So, if you don’t want your boss, your ex-wife, your neighbor, or anyone else – even if they are not your friends – to have access to all your Facebook information, you should take some time to review your Facebook account and your privacy settings. Here’s how to do it:

Reviewing & Changing Your Facebook Privacy Settings

  1. Sign in to Facebook.
  2. ClicFacebook Privacy Shortcut iconk the lock icon at the top of your page (show to the right) to open your Privacy Shortcuts menu (shown above).
  3. Click Who can see my stuff? to open some privacy options.
  4. Click the first option if you want to change who can see your future posts (Friends, Close Friends, Public, etc.).
  5. Click the next Privacy Shortcut option (Use Activity Log) if you want to go back and review the visibility of all of your past Facebook activity (old posts, comments, photos, likes, etc.). This is where you can make individual changes and delete items you don’t want to show up in future searches. Click the pencil icon to “unlike” previous likes (of photos, posts, businesses, etc.) or to delete posts and photos, or change the timeline status of previous posts. Click the people icon next to any post for which you want to change the audience, for example, from Public to Friends. On the left side of this Activity Log page you can also click Photos to manage who can see photos you’ve uploaded or been tagged in. If you don’t want people to find photos of you that your friends have tagged, you can untag yourself.
  6. The next option in your Privacy Shortcuts is called View As. Click that link if you want to see what other people see on your timeline. You can see what your Facebook page looks like to the Public (people you don’t know) or specific people.
  7. To change who can see what on your page, click the Update Info button on your Cover image (you can also click the About link). You can then go section by section down your page to specify who gets to see this information. Below your personal information, you’ll see sections like Music, Movies, Books, etc. Click the pencil icon to hide any of these sections or to change your privacy settings for the section. Your choices here will affect what of yours comes up in other people’s Graph Searches, like People who like Comic Books.
  8. If you want to quickly limit who can see all of your past posts, rather than change the settings one by one on the Activity Log page, click the gear icon in the upper right and choose Privacy Settings from the menu. On this Privacy Settings and Tools page, click the Limit Past Posts link if you want to change all the past content that you’ve shared to the Friends setting. Your Activity Log lets do this for individual posts, which gives you more control, but it takes more time. This option lets you do it all in one click (really two, since they warn you and make you click again).

Facebook has some handy videos and other information explaining some of these search privacy issues.

SEO Basics: Sitemaps & Search Engine Submission with EasySiteOptimizer Pro

basic-seo-easy-website-optimizerThis is the follow-up we promised last week in our post about how to use EasySiteOptimizer Pro’s Code Validation tools to improve website SEO. If you missed that, I recommend starting there and then coming back to this one. And if you haven’t yet done any keyword optimization on your website, you may want to go all the way back to this post about on-page keyword SEO using EasySiteOptimizer Pro.

So, I’ll assume that by now you’ve done some keyword optimization and code validation using EasySiteOptimizer and are ready for these next steps.

First, let’s generate a sitemap that contains all the links available on your website to ensure that Google and other search engines can easily index all your pages. Using a sitemap may improve your chances to rank in search engines for the maximum number of pages.

  1. Sign into your Web Hosting Control Center at with your EarthLink Web Hosting domain name, username, and password.
  2. On the Build tab, click the EasySiteOptimizer button.
  3.  From the Main Menu window, click the Sitemap link on the left side of the page.
  4. Click the Generate Sitemap button.
  5. You’ll see a confirmation that the sitemap was created and any previous sitemap was replaced.
  6. Click the Upload Sitemap button to submit the new sitemap to Google and other search engines.
  7. Click OK after you get confirmation the sitemap was uploaded.

The next EasySiteOptimizer tool you may want to use is the Submissions tool. It’s super quick and easy to use.

Simply click on the Submissions tab at the top of the page, check the 5 boxes listed on the page, and click Apply. This will automatically submit your website to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and AOL. (Keep in mind, submitting doesn’t guarantee that your site will be indexed, but it’s a great first step.)

After your site has been up for a few weeks, you may want to check in on your Google rankings. The simplest way to see if your website is indexed is to go to Google and search for your website by name. But EasySiteOptimizer Pro offers some additional support when checking SEO rankings. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Click the Optimization tab at the top of the page.
  2. Click the Google Rankings link on the left side of the page.
  3. At the top of the fields on the page you should see your Main URL listed (probably your website’s homepage). To check rankings for that page only, simply click the Check button without adding any additional information.
  4. Below the Check button you should now see numbers listed for Saturation, Back Links, and Page Rank (you may need to scroll down to see them). Saturation is the number of your website’s pages that Google has indexed. Back Links are the number of other websites that have links to your site. And Page Rank is Google’s quality score for your website (between 0 – 10, but you may see NA listed if your website is still new).
  5. You can use the Location field to get rankings for other pages on your website.
  6. Check the use www prefix box if your website defaults to www.
  7. You can add up to four additional URLs if you want to compare your website to other sites (such as competitors).

seo-with-easy-siteoptimizer-traffic-reportsAnd lastly, you can use EasySiteOptimizer Pro to get a quick overview of your website traffic.

  1. Click on the Reports tab at the top of the page.
  2. Choose a Month and Year with the drop-down menus.
  3. Click the Generate Report button.
  4. You’ll see a bar graph showing your daily website hits for the month you selected. It’s sometimes helpful to look for patterns (are Mondays always busy, weekends always light?) and signs of growth (though you may need to look back several months to chart growth).
  5. Under the graph, you’ll get a list of the top Referrers and their URLs, along with the number of hits they generated. (A referrer is basically a website that has sent traffic to you.)

Good luck with your SEO effort with EasySiteOptimizer Pro.

Using EasySiteOptimizer Pro for Website SEO – Code Validation

A few months ago in our SEO Basics post, we showed you how to use EasySiteOptimizer Pro – which is free for all EarthLink Web Hosting and Ecommerce Hosting customers – for on-page keyword SEO optimization of your website.

SEO Basics - using EasySiteOptimizer Pro for code validation SEOBut that’s not all you can do with EasySiteOptimizer Pro. Today we’ll show how to use the Code Validation features to help you improve your website’s search engine rankings.

So let’s get started…

  1. Sign into your Web Hosting Control Center at with your EarthLink Web Hosting domain name, username, and password.
  2. On the Build tab, click the EasySiteOptimizer button.
  3.  From the Main Menu window, click the Optimization link. You’ll see an overview of your most recent optimizations, an optimization statistics graph, and page quality rankings (as shown in the screenshot above).
  4. Click the Code Validation link in the left-side navigation or the button at the bottom of the page. Code validation is to identify common errors on your site that can negatively impact your search engine rankings.
  5. Click the checkbox next to the page that you want to optimize and then click the Begin Code Validation button.
  6. SEO website code validation toolOn the Code Validation page, you’ll see a list of Notes on the left (Errors, Ignored Errors, Fixed Errors, and Notices). Click on any of the notes or errors to see a description of the problem and solution. For example, it may say that you are missing ALT tags for images, that you have a low density of keywords in a tag, that your page Title is too short or lacking keyword density, that you are lacking enough body copy, that you are missing one or more META tag (such as description or keywords).
  7. For some problems, such as keyword issues, you’ll have a link to click on to go and fix the problem. For others, such as Title problems, you’ll have an opportunity to correct the problem on the Code Validation page and then click the Fix button. Others, such as increasing the amount of body copy on your page, may require you to go back to the EasySiteWizard Pro tool (also within the Build section of your Control Center) to make substantial changes to your page.
  8. When you have finished fixing the code validation issues, click the Done button.

After you are finished validating your code and fixing problems, you may want to move on to the next step within the Optimization tab of EasySiteOptimizer: creating or updating your sitmap and submitting it to search engines. We’ll cover that in an upcoming post.

For more help with SEO problems that turn up in your Code Validation steps above, see our previous post about how to use keywords for website SEO (this includes help with Title and META tags).

Google Announcing New Products at I/O Conference

Google 2013 developer conference - new google productsThe biggest Internet news of the week is coming from Google, which just yesterday kicked off its 6th annual Google I/O developer conference.

The conference, which over 6,000 developers are attending at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, is still going on right now and will conclude tomorrow. But there has been quite a lot of buzz about what Google has already announced.

Here’s a rundown of the biggest announcements from the Google I/O developer conference so far:

  • Google Play Music All Access: This is a new, unlimited streaming music/Internet radio subscription service. It offers access to millions of tracks, playlists and suggestions based on music you already own and like, and let you customize a streaming radio station based on specific songs or artists (a la Pandora). You can stream music on Web or Android phones and tablets. The service will cost $9.99 a month, but if you sign up for a free 30-day trial before June 30th, you’ll pay only $7.99 a month. CNET has a review of the new All Access service. Or visit Google Play Music.
  • Google Play social gaming: Google is launching a new platform that will allow game developers to build in more social gaming aspects as well as take advantage of Google’s cloud storage capabilities, so you could play and pause a game on Android devices, iOS decices, PCs or Macs. See the Wall Street Journal for a review.
  • Google Maps: The popular map and direction service has been totally rebuilt. The next generation of Google Maps offers a more full-screen, less cluttered view with a search box built into the map itself. You’ll get a lot more options with your map searches: more local points of interest, more business information, street view and satellite imagery options, photo tours, and more. You’ll likewise get more options for directions: car, public transportation, walking, biking, flying. The new maps is available for the Web, on Android devices, or iPhone. Google has a preview of the new Maps and links to downloads here.
  • Google Search: Google previewed its work on conversational search. When it launches, you’ll be able to say “OK, Google, will it be raining this weekend in Central Park?” and get your answer spoken back to you. You can then ask follow-up questions. Google also announced improvements to its Knowledge Graph, to answer factual questions more precisely and fully. And Google Now updates offer reminders based on time and your current location. See Google’s Inside Search blog for more details.
  • Google Hangouts: Google launched a new Hangouts chat, video chat and unified messaging app that works across platforms. You can use it to text, send photos, or have a group video conference; SMS integration is reportedly coming soon (but not for iOS). The new Hangouts replaces Google Talk and G+ Messenger. It’s now available on Android, iOS, Chrome and Gmail. Read a review of Hangouts on Techcrunch.
  • Google+: The social network site has been redesigned to work better across platforms (Web and mobile devices). Google+ Photos also features a number of important updates: Auto Backup, Auto Highlight, Auto Enhance, and the more-awesomely named Auto Awesome. Google has an overview of G+ changes here.

That’s not all. Watch for more updates on Google’s Official Blog.

You can also keep up-to-the-minute on Google announcements and even watch live streaming video of the ongoing developers conference here.