Another week in our Google lives as come and gone, leaving behind tips for dealing with the algorithm change, a nightmarish Gmail outage, and updates to Chrome OS beta. 

How Websites Can Survive the Latest Google Crunch

Late last month, the great Google significantly tweaked its mysterious search algorithms in an attempt to lower the rankings of low-quality, SEO'd-out-the-wazoo content aggregator sites.  

Though the change obviously targets content farms, practically anyone can be negatively affected — even sites that use legitimate optimization methods. So, we asked: What is a quality website? What is quality content? Does your webpage need perfect grammar, diction, punctuation and spelling to qualify as good content? Or, is it the discussions and the subject that matter?

In the end, our own J. Angelo Racoma boiled down surviving Google's algorithm change to three tips: 

  1. Focus on loyalty
  2. Watch your link neighborhood
  3. Write for people

Check these out in full detail here

Google Fudges Up Gmail Accounts, Messages go AWOL

Last weekend, 150,000 Gmail users came face to face with a nightmare to end all nightmares: Their inboxes were wiped clean. No e-mails, no themes, no folders, no labels. Nothing. Said Google:

...a very small number of users started having difficulty accessing their Gmail accounts, and in some cases once they got in, trouble viewing e-mails," a company spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. "This is affecting less than 0.08% of our Gmail user base, and we've already fixed the problem for some individuals. Our engineers are working as quickly as possible and we hope to have everything back to normal soon. We're very sorry for the inconvenience to our customers.

Yes, Gmail is a free service and yes the affected percentage was fairly low, but the crash still doesn't bode well for the company's hopes of becoming a viable competitor in the enterprise space. "Well—what if the cloud fails?" asked one user. "If, ultimately, Google does not make this right in a timely way and I lose the main record of the last seven years of my life …that will forever affect how I view trusting an anonymous server farm somewhere with my critical or even not-so-critical data." 

Chrome OS Updates

Chrome OS version is here, and primary tweaks include better trackpad functionality for Google's pilot programme Cr-48 notebook. Now quality testers can test the user experience with added control settings and sensitivity before Google releases the hardware, which it's been touting since December of last year. 

General updates include:

  • 3G modem activation fixes
  • 3G connection to the carrier fixes
  • Wi-Fi connectivity/Out of the Box fixes
  • Auto update engine and debugging improvements
  • Power optimizations
  • GTalk video/chat optimizations
  • Audio CPU utilization improvements
  • Improved on screen indicators: brightness, network status, update icon

If you own a CR-48 Chrome Notebook, let us know what you think about the updates in the comments below.