Google Is Practically Begging Firefox Users To Switch Their Default Search Engine

Google Is Practically Begging Firefox Users To Switch Their Default Search Engine
A new message above Google’s search results is the most visible attempt yet at getting Firefox users to switch back to Google.

It almost looks desperate. Google has placed a big, new message above its organic search results that asks — practically begs — Firefox users to make Google their default search engine.

While searching tonight, I suddenly came across the giant … alert? ad? request? … that you see above. It looks a bit like a Google Onebox, but says “Switch your default search engine to Google” and has a button to “Learn how” and another button that says “No, thanks.”

Danny Sullivan, our founding editor, also tested this and saw the same switch request I saw. And the folks at IPIX Solutions saw it tonight, too, and tweeted about it.

Why would Google give up the top two-plus inches of its search results page like this? It goes back to the November announcement that Mozilla was dropping Google in favor of Yahoo as the default search engine in its Firefox web browser. Even as the No. 3 browser with about 16 percent market share (according to StatCounter), Firefox still drives a substantial number of searches.

Since the deal was announced, Yahoo’s search share rose from 8.6 percent in November (again, StatCounter estimates) to 10.9 percent in January. According to comScore, Yahoo’s market share in the US jumped from 10.2 percent in November to 11.8 percent in December. More recently, though, there are signs that Yahoo’s market share may have hit a ceiling, at least in terms of the immediate bump from its deal with Mozilla.

The switch request showing tonight isn’t Google’s first attempt to lure back Firefox users. We documented a number of other messages that have been shown to Firefox users — but none of those were placed right inside Google’s search results like this.

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Are On-Topic Links Important?

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat a little bit about on-topic and off-topic links. One of the questions and one of the topics that you see discussed all the time in the SEO world is: Do on-topic links matter more than off-topic links? By on topic, people generally mean they come from sites and pages that are on the same or very similar subject matter to the site or page that I’m trying to get the link to.

It sort of makes intuitive sense to us that Google would care somewhat about this, that they would say, “Oh, well, here’s our friend over here,” we’ll call him Steve. No we’re going to call him Carl, because Carl is a great name.

Carl, of course, has, being a home organization site. Carl is going out, and he’s doing some link building, which he should, and so he’s got some link targets in mind. He looks at places like, the magazine site, Sunset Magazine,, Carl being a great fan of all things underwater and sandwich related. So as he’s looking at these sites, he’s thinking to himself, well, from an SEO perspective, is it necessary the case that Real Simple, which has a lot of content on home organization and on cleaning up clutter and those kinds of things, is that going to help Carl’s Closet site rank better than, say, a link from

The answer is a little tough here. It could be the case that has a feature article all about how submariners can keep their home in order, even as they brunch under the sea. But maybe the link from is coming from a less on-topic article and page. So this starts to get really messy. Is it the site that matters, or is it the page that matters? Is it the context that matters? Is it the link itself and where that’s embedded in the site? What is the real understanding that Google has between relationships of on-topic and off-topic? That’s where you get a lot of convoluted information.

I have seen and we have probably all heard a ton of anecdotal evidence on both sides. There are SEOs who will argue passionately from their experience that what they’ve seen is that on-topic links are hugely more beneficial than off-topic ones. You’ll see the complete opposite from some other folks. In fact, most of my personal experiences, when I was doing more directed link building for clients way back in my SEO consulting days and even more recently as I’ve helped startups and advised folks, has been that off-topic links, linking to Carl’s Closet, that still seems to provide quite a bit of benefit, and it’s very had to gauge whether it’s as much, less than, more than any of these other ones. So I think, on the anecdotal side, we’re in a tough spot.

What we can say is that probably there’s some additional value from on-topic sites, on-topic pages, or on-topic link connections, that Google has some idea of context. We’ve seen them make huge strides with algorithms like Hummingbird, certainly with their keyword matching and topic modeling algorithms. It seems very unlikely that there would be nothing in Google’s algorithm that looks at the context or relationship of content between linking pages and linking websites.

However, in the real world, things are almost never equal. It’s not like they’re going to get exactly the same anchor text from the same importance of a page that has the same number of external links, that the content is exactly the same on all three of these websites pointing over to Carl’s Closet. In the real world, Carl is going to struggle much harder to get some of these links than others. So I think that the questions we need to ask ourselves, as folks who are doing directed marketing and trying to earn links, is: Will the link actually help people? Is that link going to be clicked?

If you’re on a page on Real Simple that you think very few people ever reach, you think very few people will ever click that link because it just doesn’t appear to provide much value, versus you’re in an article all about home organization on Underwater Hoagies, and it was featured on their home page, and you’re pretty sure that a lot of the submariners who are eating their subs under the sea are very interested in this topic and they’re going to click on that link, well you know what? That’s a link that helps people. That probably means search engines are going to treat it with some reverence as well.

Does the link make sense in context? This is a good one to ask yourself when you are doing any kind of link building that’s directed that could potentially be manipulative. If the link makes sense in context, it tends to be the case that it’s going to be more useful. So if Carl contributes the article to, and the link makes sense in context, and it will help people, I think it’s appropriate to put it there. If that’s not the case, it could look a little manipulative. It could certainly be perceived as self-serving.

Then, can you actually acquire the link? It’s wonderful when you go out and you make a list of, hey, here’s the most important and relevant sites in our sector and niche, and this is how we’re going to build topical authority. But if you can’t get those links, hey that’s tough potatoes, man. It’s no better than putting a list of links and just sorting them by, God knows, a horrible metric like PageRank or Alexa rank or something like that.

I would instead ask yourself if it’s realistic for you to be able to get those links and pursue those as well as pursuing or looking at the metrics, and the importance, and the topical relevance.

Let’s think about this from a broad perspective. Search engines are caring about what? They’re caring about matching the content relevance to the searcher’s query. They care about raw link popularity. That’s sort of like the old-school algorithms of PageRank and number of links and that kind of thing. They do care about topical authority and brand authority. We talked about on Whiteboard Friday previously around some topical authorities and how Google determines the authority and the subject matter of a site’s authority. They care about domain authority, the raw importance of a domain on the web, and they care about things like engagement, user and usage data, and given how much they can follow all of us around the web these days, they probably know pretty well whether people are clicking on these articles using these pages or not.

Then anchor text. Not every link that you might build or acquire or earn is going to provide all of these in one single package. Each of them are going to be contributing pieces of those puzzles. When it comes to the on-topic/off-topic link debate, I’m much more about caring about the answers to these kinds of questions — Can I acquire the link? Is it useful to people? Will they actually use it? Does the link make sense in context? — than I am about is it on-topic or off-topic? I’m not sure that I would ever urge you to prioritize based on that.

That said, I’m certainly looking forward to your feedback this week and hearing about your experiences with on-topic and off-topic links, and hopefully we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

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Super Smart Ways to Save Money in College

Wondering why in spite of grants, student loans or scholarship you still find it difficult to manage your college expenses. Are you getting tensed thinking about your future savings as well? If yes then please stop worrying any more. There are plenty of scopes to manage your finances well in the student life. Keep your eyes open to all those opportunities. Learn to Use few super smart ways to save money in your super expensive college days.

  1. Stop buying text books from campus bookstore. They are mostly overpriced. Find some willing seniors who would like give away their books that they don’t need anymore. These books come within minimal cost or sometimes even free. You can take your professor’s help in this regard or you can search through your social networking site and university bulletin board. You can get lucky with e-bay as well.
  2. Food is pretty expensive in college days. Don’t fall in the trap of university meal plan. Students should try to collect coupons and follow sales at grocery stores. Buying in bulk is always useful in this regard. Shop around to find the best at the cheapest rate. Check whether your shopping list includes things for everyday meals like ramen noodles, yogurt, peanut butter, or oatmeal. While eating out share the bills with your fellow students and friends if possible.
  3. Transportation cost can be saved to some extent if you apply for student discount while traveling through bus, train or airline. Use the cheapest gasoline for your vehicle. Make sure your tires and the engine are in the best possible condition while traveling. During long trip use carpool and split the cost.
  4. Dorms can be too expensive and small in size. Share a rented room if required. It complete depends on the situation since in few cases campus dorms can also be cheaper in comparison to rented flats in share
  5. Reduce your Utility bills. Turn off your computer, lights on time. Curtail you phone bills, internet bills and buy necessary software or hardware at a rebated price.
  6. Look for student discount at amusement parks. Borrow the books and movies form library and save the excess money that you might waste in daily amusement.

You never know how much you can save in these small expenses. Using theses simple ways you can surely put some extra bucks in your wallet this time.

How to Save Money in College

What is really important when creating the perfect business card?

A business card is the first impression which people, such as potential clients, gains of a company. First impressions are very important in the world of business. If a company gives a poorly designed business card to someone who they meet at a conference or a trade show, this can have a negative impact. This is because they might not choose their services or products based on a small piece of card. There are many things to consider when designing a business card, such as a company’s logo.

A company’s logo should be on a business card. After all, a logo is part of its brand. By choosing printers in Belfast that can bring a logo to life, it will make a strong impression on the person who it will be given to. If a printers is selected that cannot put a logo onto a business card, another should be picked.

The font that is used for a business card must be given a lot of consideration. Although Times New Roman can be chosen, this particular font is often criticised for being too bland. Other, more exciting fonts could be picked for a business card instead. Calibri is very popular and so too is Ariel. Before contacting a printer’s in Belfast, refer to Microsoft Word and see the many fonts which could be used for a business card.

Although an image other than a logo can be on a business card, a company should question if this is really necessary. Some printers could create a unique image for their customers. On the other hand, a photograph which a company owns the copyright to can be on a business card. If a business card will have a lot of text, it will be cluttered when it has an image and also a logo.

A typical business card normally has text on one of its sides. However, a business card can have text on both sides. If a company wants to make a great impression, both sides of its business card could have both a logo and text.

If a business card already exists, it could be improved. When a business card has been designed on a laptop, it can look unprofessional. In the modern business world, a card shouldn’t look shoddy at all. Even for freelance writers, an impressive business card can make a huge difference because the person who it is given to might want to contact them. This is because a great business card demonstrates that they are a professional writer. Printers might offer suggestions about any changes which can be made to a business card. As they have designed plenty of business cards before, they know what an impressive-looking card should be like. Suggestions might be made about a business cards’ layout or the font which it uses. Either way, the advice that a printers gives can change a business card beyond all recognition.

By choosing printers in Belfast which can create exceptional business cards, a company will have many of them at their disposal which can then be handed to potential clients whenever they want.





Thrifty ways to reduce your tax

People are always way looking for ways to pay less tax. There has actually been a lot of press on tax havens and offshore companies being used by the rich and famous to reduce their tax or in some cases not pay any tax at all. Unfortunately for most of us, paying tax is necessary but there are actually many thrifty ways to reduce your tax bills. Here we look at some of the ways you can pay less tax.

Tax Free Savings Accounts and bank loans

Getting a TFSA or tax free saving account can be a good way to reduce your tax. This helps you save money because you don’t need to pay tax on income that is earned from any investments in your tax free savings account. There are also bank loans to reduce your tax that are available. Cash Isa’s can also offer tax free allowances up to a certain amount so it can be wise to speak to you bank on what tax saving can be achieved.

Capital gains allowance

The capital gains for 2012/013 under £10,600 is tax free. This means for those who are married or in a civil partnership and have assets that are jointly owned, they can actually claim a double allowance of £21,200. Capital gains tax is actually charged at 18% for standard tax payers. For those who pay tax at the higher rate than the CTG is charged at 28%.

Self Employed

There are numerous tax benefits for those who are self employed. These include tax deductable expenses including cash expenditure. Other tax benefits include business expenses such as travel and running a car. For people just setting up a business as self employed, you can also choose an accounting year which will end early in the tax year. This gives the added benefit of maximizing the delay between earning profits and the final demand for paying back your tax.

Saving tax on property income

There are many ways that you can save tax on property income. For those who are actually renting a room in their home, you can get use rent a room relief scheme which enables landlords to receive up to £4,250 in rent tax free. This has to be a room in your own furnished home. For landlords, there are also energy tax allowances for upon to £1,500 which can cover insulation, installation of daft proofing and hot water systems. There are also other costs that can be claimed against tax such as agency fees and cleaning costs. Tax relief can also be claimed on the interest on mortgagees for rental property.

Getting tax from employee benefits

Most companies will offer their employees various benefits. However there are many ways to save on tax. For commuters, many companies will offer tax free loans to help pay for their train season ticket. Other tax benefits include childcare schemes and tax credits. Some companies will run childcare schemes which help achieve savings for both employees and employers. For those who have company car, it can be wise to consider taking a cash equivalent in instead.

How To Do Your Accounts Online

Why a debt management plan could be right for you

If you have accrued significant debt levels and your income is less than what your loan repayments are, you should get help as soon as possible. Although you might decide to declare bankruptcy, there are other options which should be considered. This is because when you are bankrupt, this can have severe implications. Not only will your assets, such as your home and vehicle, be used to repay your debt but if you are a company director, you cannot hold that position anymore when you are bankrupt. A debt management plan is an alternative to bankruptcy which aims to better your financial situation.

What is a debt management plan?

A debt management plan (DMP) is normally overseen by a debt management company. Having helped a considerable number of people to improve their finances, a debt management company is able to implement a DMP. All of your creditors are contacted in order to formulate a plan which can be followed so that debt levels decrease.

A debt management plan will adhere to your finances and not increase your debt levels. As you have problems with paying back your debt, a debt management plan seeks to reduce your debt levels and not vice versa. A debt management plan can stop upcoming interest payments as well. Your creditors don’t have to agree to a debt management plan but it is highly recommended that they do give their consent. After all, a creditor wants to receive the money they are owed and if you are unable to do so, they won’t get any of their money back but this won’t happen if they agree to a debt management plan.

At no point will your creditors contact you about the money which is owed to them. If your creditors regularly get in touch with you, this won’t happen when you choose a debt management plan because the professional who formulated it will be the first point-of-contact who will talk to them on your behalf. Therefore, you can concentrate on making money rather than being distracted by your creditors.

When the going gets tough, choose a debt management plan

As the person who creates a debt management plan takes all of your financial obligations into consideration, your debt levels can decrease. It’s highly recommended that you seek help as soon as your debt levels spiral out of control. If you choose to ignore your ever-increasing mountain of debt, your credit history might become very unstable and have to declare bankruptcy. Thanks to a debt management plan, the chance of declaring bankruptcy will be highly unlikely.

Debt Management Tips for Students





Bartercard can benefit UK businesses

Along with five other nations, Bartercard is also operational in the UK. Although the UK is not the largest sovereign state in the world, it is home to a considerable number of companies. 55,000 companies have joined Bartercard and that number is expected to rise not just in the UK but many other countries. When undecided about whether to barter in the UK or not, here are some of the reasons that suggest why an organisation should join this website:

Money is earned in the same currency

The money that is earned on Bartercard is known as Trade Pounds. This is the only type of currency that is used and no conversion fees have to be paid at all. When funds are sent through PayPal or any other online payment system, fees can apply but the opposite happens with Bartercard. No matter where suppliers are based, payment is processed in the same currency.

There are hundreds of categories to choose from

A total of 700 categories are on Bartercard which an organisation can be classified under. When it is listed in the right category, it can be found by potential clients. As a result, the money that is in its account can increase because there can be greater demand for their services. Positive word of mouth can soon spread because the clients which an organisation has can pass on their details to other companies.

A large figure can be deposited into an account

There is no minimum amount which has to be deposited into a Bartercard account but a maximum of £20,000 does apply. This is a vast sum and it can be used to pay for anything. When more services are sold to other clients, the money that is in a Bartercard account can provide reassurance because an organisation will know that it can be used when it doesn’t have a lot of spare capital. Even if money isn’t deposited for weeks or months, an account won’t be suspended because of inactivity.

Cash flow isn’t affected

It is vital that a company’s cash flow is kept at a steady rate. When a lot of money has to suddenly be paid on staff training or hiring a PR company, cash flow doesn’t have to be affected by choosing Bartercard. This is because such expense can be paid for through this website. When an organisation doesn’t have adequate cash flow, this can affect its reputation because it can indicate poor money management. Thanks to Bartercard, an organisation will have a healthy cash flow because a large expense can be paid for with the funds that are in its account.

When wanting to barter in the UK, Bartercard really is the only solution. By getting in touch with a member of their team, the process of joining this website can begin. If an organisation is unsure about whether they should join Bartercard or not, any uncertainties will be overcome because they can be discussed in great detail.

What is Bartercard?