Friday, January 25, 2008

Default to Australia campaign

Hi Everyone,

Perhaps the Australia Day weekend has gotten to me, but in my latest newsletter (only available to those on the JustLocal mailing list) has a tip which I thought was worth sharing with all Australians.

Perhaps we should even start a campaign. The "Default to Australia Campaign".

The following is a copy of the article.

A tip to find Australian treasure on Google

Have you searched Google to find you get thousands, if not millions of results returned.

I've often wondered about the value of selecting pages from Australia when using Google. Working on the JustLocal book project has made me realise just how valuable that option is.

However since I have to click one more time, I tend not to do it.

Do you feel the same way?

Here is a technique that will help.

Go to www.google.com.au
Select pages from Australia
Click Google Search

Yes it may sound weird to search on nothing, but notice what you now have in the address area. This is the web address for Google with pages from Australia selected for you.

Bookmark this page, or set it up as your default page. Now when you go to that page, pages from Australia will be selected for you.

Now this may seem like all you have done is save yourself one click. But in fact you have done much more. You have now biased your search results so searching for businesses from Australia is much easier. Who knows. If we all did this I wonder how much it might boost the Australian economy.

I think this is a technique to treasure. Do it now. Don't want until later, or you may not get around to doing it.

Now this is a fantastic time saver. Instead of getting millions of entries you will often get thousands and sometimes hundreds of entries. From what I read, it appears even Google feels people are often more interested in search results from their own region.

Using this approach if you search for nearly any of the authors on the JustLocal book page by name, they will be first, or on the first page of results.

If you really can't be bothered, and we do tend to be a bit lay back in Australia, then here is the link for you.

http://www.google.com.au/webhp?hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&cr=countryAU

How do we know this small change will make a difference?

Based on results from the JustLocal logs, if we all made this small change to search in Australia first, 2 to 3 times more people would end up finding Australian sites without the clutter of sites from all over the world.

So who's with me.

Shall we join together and help build a stronger Australian economy.

I hope you have enjoyed this article as much as I have writing it. And yes my default will be pages from Australia from now on.

Enjoy - Kelvin

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Which Google are you using?

As an Australian using Google I've often noticed a few quirky things with Google.

The results change depending on how I access Google. Weird I know, but it really does happen.

It is almost like as an Australian I can use Google to look out from Australia, or I can use Google as though I am looking in from somewhere else in the world.

The real trick is to notice when you are using Google Australia, and for want of a better description, Google not Australia.

The difference is if you are using Google Australia at the top of each page you can select "pages From Australia". If you are using Google not Australia, then "pages From Australia" does not appear.

Does it really matter. Perhaps not, but since you get different results, it may be important depending on what you are trying to achieve.

If for example you are in Australia and want to market your product to the rest of the world, then knowing what they see when searching Google, may be pretty important to you.

If you are in Australia and want to limit your selection to pages from Australia, then not having that option means you can't use that feature.

So how can you access Google Australia and Google not Australia if you are in Australia.

If you want to go to Google Australia and you are in Australia, you can type in the address www.google.com or www.google.com.au and you will go to Google Australia in both cases. In fact, you will notice if you type www.google.com you will see the address change to www.google.com.au automatically.

How then do you access Google not Australia?

Often if you use the toolbars in your browser you will find they don't use Google Australia.

The trick is to find the browser that has not been fully set up for Australian conditions by the developers.

In this case let's use Firefox 2.0.0.11. (This doesn't work in Internet Explorer 7.)

If you type in "hp recyled toner cartridges" into the Google search field at the right of the address area you will see the Google page has the option "pages from Australia". Thus this uses Google Australia.

One of our JustLocal pages which is www.justlocal.com.au/nationaltoner/index.php is third in the list of results.

Now type "hp recycled toner cartridges in the address area and press enter.

This time we see no "pages from Australia" so we are using Google not Australia.

Our JustLocal page now appears on the second page of results as the eleventh result.

Not a really big difference, but still there is a difference.

Let's take a more striking difference.

David Delaney is an author on the JustLocal book page www.book.JustLocal.com.au. David's page promoting his book of poems is www.justlocal.com.au/clients/book/david-delaney/. I'm not writer, but I find his work very moving.

Now if you search using the Google's search field at the right (using Google Australia) there is David Delaney's book page on JustLocal in seventh position on the first page of results.

Now if you search using the address area (using Google not Australia) you won't find David on the first or even the second page. He appears on the fourth page in position 32.

Appearing on page 1 or 4 of Google results may affect sales via the Internet, or perhaps reduce your visibility internationally.

Now do I know where Google not Australia is actually getting the results from.

To be honest, I'm not really sure.

But I did manage to test the cached version of www.google.com and obtained the same results. So there is a good chance it is www.google.com. (Actually this is good trick to know. Search for google and then click on the cache link and do the search from there.)

There is a bit of humour in all of this.

Many people including myself proudly say their site is number one in the world.

This now begs the question with Google, from where in the world?

Enjoy - Kelvin

TIP: Another browser which makes this situation very easy to see is Opera. If you use the built in search engine it appears to use Google not Australia. Changing Opera to use Google Australia as the default is very easy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

FREE ADVERTISING


Imagine getting free advertising!

Well, that is exactly what will happen when you donate new items to OnlineBidz so that they can auction the items and give the proceeds to charity and NFPs.

Not only is your donated item tax deductible, but your company details will be promoted in the description of the article as the business making the donation, your business will also be advertised in the Online Bidz monthly newsletter and on the Online Bidz website.

What a fantastic opportunity for all! Contact chris@onlinebidz.com.au or call Chris on 0412 745 003. Check out the Online Bidz site via the JustLocal page http://www.justlocal.com.au/.

Regards

Kelvin.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Australia Day Treasure Hunt is on again.

Hi Everyone,

If you like National Treasure, you will love The Australia Day Treasure Hunt.

Barbara Gabogrecan has just launched The Australia Day Treasure Hunt competition.





This is a great competition to check out. Everyone who enters receives treasure valued at over $300. The main treasure chest holds over $11,000 in prizes.

For more information visit www.JustLocal.com.au/clients/treasure-hunt/.

Enjoy,

Kelvin Eldridge

NEWS FLASH: The treasure chest now holds over $12,000 in prizes.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Is there a doctor in the house?

Hi,

Russell Butler is the creator and maintainer of the FREE Australian English Medical dictionary, which is an add-on dictionary for OpenOffice.org.

For those in the medical industry or studying a medicine related subject, the Australian English Medical dictionary is an invaluable aid.

The dictionary is free and avaiable from the JustLocal dictionary page www.dictionary.JustLocal.com.au.

For those using Microsoft Word, if you would like a FREE custom Australian English medical dictionary to add to Microsoft Word, let us know. If there is sufficient interest we will see if we can produce one.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Will the real Google please stand up.

Hi,

I just stumbled upon this quirk which I thought I would share with others.

Open Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.
Now in both browsers go to www.google.com.au
Now search for your name.

Check the returned number of entries.

For everything I have checked the number is different.

I only stumbled across this because one of the books on the JustLocal book page (www.Justlocal.com.au/book) listed appeared in Firefox but not in Internet Explorer 7.

Don't ask me why. I would have thought the returned values would have been the same.

Who would have thought.

If anyone knows the answer as why the same search using the same Google site with two different browsers returns different results, I would be interested to find out.

The mysteries of the modern world.

Have a great day - Kelvin

Updated: 10 January 2008 - 12:56AM

I've just retested and Firefox and Internet Explorer are again showing the sames results.

The world is in balance again.

I still wonder why such a thing could happen. Technology, you have to love it.

Happy searching - Kelvin

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Australian Open affects Victoria's regional tourism.

Hi,

I thought I would share this insight as it shows the impact a major event can have on another sector of the economy. A gain somewhere is often a loss somewhere else.

Last year (I can say that now we are in the new year) I visited the Grampians region in Victoria, to see if perhaps I could use the JustLocal service to assist the drought affected region.

The region had been pretty well devastated by the fires the previous year. Anyone who has visited Zumsteins to see a large kangaroo population will know how exciting it is. However on this occasion there was not a kangaroo in sight. In time I have no doubt they will return. They really are a magnificent sight.

I spent a few days in the area and even with the effects of the bush fire, it really is a beautiful and relaxing place. Our accommodation whilst modest, was very pleasant and very affordable.

What I thought was particularly strange was how Halls Gap was not overly busy, which of course made for a much more relaxing holiday. However it still made me wonder.

I asked a local business person and I said, "how come it was fairly quiet. I would have expected more people since the Australia Day holiday long weekend is the last and one of the best times to get away before the hectic year starts again".

He said, "it happens every year because of the Australian Open".

Could it be possible I thought.

So using the tools I use to monitor traffic to web sites I checked the Australian Open site. The site has almost no traffic during the year, but from mid January on there is a massive peak, and then after the event, the traffic again disappears.

The knowledge of the local people is directly mirrored by the traffic on the site.

I share this insight as knowing what events might affect your business is very important, particularly when you are starting off. Experienced business people know these trends. Those with less experience can now use the Internet to gain insights which would other take years of experience to obtain.

As for my new found business friends in the Grampians region, I look forward to the day I am able to assist them.