Well we're nearly at the end of the year.

The main focus of this newsletter is to alert you to a couple of innovations from Google and to wish you a merry Christmas and a great 2010.

We'll be back next year with all sorts of news and suggestions but until then have a great break, have fun and do take care of yourselves over the holidays. Remember that we close for a few weeks over Christmas, escaping the office for the holidays! We close on the evening of Monday December 21 and reopen on Tuesday 26 January 2010. Emails will be cleared at regular intervals during that period.

Anna Hamilton and the Oryx team

In this issue:
• Latest from Google >
• Nasty malware - warning if you're on line during the break >
• Interesting sites - maybe some late shopping! >
• Bits and pieces >


Latest from Google

Google, earlier this month, rolled out personalisation of the search results of anyone who uses it. Previously this was only available to those who were signed into their account at Google.

Google has been monitoring what you search for, if you're logged in, for years. This meant that, if you looked mainly for a particular type of site, Google customised future searches. This has now been made available to all searchers worldwide, whether signed in or not.

For example, if you like homeware shopping online and are a regular visitor to ABC Homewares Store, Google will now feature pages from ABC Homewares Store more in your results than would be in those shown to others for the same search queries. And they will be higher up the rankings.

If you'd like to read more about this, see Danny Sullivan's (Search Engine Land) article here >>

Real Time Search
The second major change is the introduction of Real Time Search (RTS). Basically, Google has added live scrolling web data to the search results for timely or popular search queries. So, you can now see web data as it is published globally on blogs and social media sites IN REAL TIME.

Googles says this will " bring your search results to life with a dynamic stream of real-time content from across the web. Now, immediately after conducting a search, you can see live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as headlines from news and blog posts published just seconds before. When they are relevant, we'll rank these latest results to show the freshest information right on the search results page." (Google >>)

Google has been working on partnerships with major social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and FriendFeed, among others to enable this.

Want to read more - see Danny Sullivan's (Search Engine Land) article here >>

Eventually, both this and the personalisation will change the way people search, the way your websites need to be optimised and the way your businesses need to use social media - more about that next year!




That Nasty Malware

There are many anti-virus software packages around - AVG, McAfee, Nortons etc. There are also many so-called anti-virus packages which are not really that at all, in fact they’re fake, so don’t be fooled. Normally, you’ll come across them when innocently surfing the net and visiting a website which sounds okay. Then a page pops up saying “We’ve detected a problem on your computer, click here to download our anti virus software”. The software sounds okay too, maybe called Antivirus2010 or similar, it’s free, so you download it.

However, it’s not okay. It's malware which infiltrates your system and actually runs your whole computer for the ‘baddies’ benefit, sending out spam emails from your system and sending information back to the ‘baddies’ such as your bank account passwords.

So, when you buy a computer make sure it has the right software with it (and keep it updated) and DON’T download anything a stranger on the net tells you to!


Interesting websites

A very well known well-known gift and furniture store in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. The website is built with a full content management system (CMS) enabling updating of content which changes regularly and a full shopping cart - great gifts on-line! Design, development and search engine optimisation.

36 Chester Street
Luxury inner city townhouse accommodation in Christchurch at 36 Chester Street West. The website was designed to showcase the exciting nature of the property as well as the surrounds and inner city environs. Design, development and search engine optimisation.

Hanne Andersen Jewellery
A wonderful jeweller in Wellington. The website comprises a full CMS for easy updating of content and images. There's a full shopping cart to be turned on in the future. Design, development and search engine optimisation.

Charles Davis, Cosmetic Surgeon
Our brief was to split our client's existing website into two, one focusing on his private cosmetic surgery business, the other on his craniofacial surgery public health services. Design, development and search engine optimisation.


Some interesting bits and pieces

Bits and pieces

  • Thinking about a total and aggresive redesign?
    Check out this article first from one of the world's experts in useability. A redesign just because you're sick of looking at your own site is not necessarily the best way to go - incremental improvements may be more useful. However, familiarity may not always breed contempt - although there are always many considerations! Click here >>
  • Greatest questions (and answers)
    If you've ever wondered what a hiccup is or how you can tell the earth is round, you might find the answers here. More here >>


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