Why is Your Blog Showing Public Service Ads?

For whole week, I noticed something weird on my blog. The weird thing is that I noticed that my blog Before the Eastern Sunset is showing public service ads from Adsense. That problem is not exclusive to that blog alone but is also shown on this blog.

I observed it for one whole week and did not do anything because I thought Google Adsense is just having problems. I also thought that Google Adsense blocked my blogs for reasons unknown. I just let the public service ads be because I don’t have much time to fix it until this weekend.

Look at the Kiva Microfinance ad at the upper-left corner.

I visited my Google Adsense account and I saw this warning:

The problem is that I forgot to input my Adsense PIN to my account. I received my PIN more three months ago through mail but I somehow forgot it. Thankfully, I did not lost it and updated my Google Adsense account.

Now, the Adsense ads on my blogs are back to normal again.

Protect Your Facebook Account

A year ago, when I am doing my usual rush walks around a mall, I overheard to SM salesladies talking about the Internet. I thought that they are talking about their work until I heard someone of them say: “Nakapag-harvest na nga ako sa Farmville eh” (I already done harvesting in Farmville).

That statement surprised me because even simple people in the Philippines are already hooked up with Facebook. Now, the trend is the continuous rise on the number of Filipinos opening an account on Facebook and it is estimated that the trend will continue in the coming years. In the Internet shops in my village, I noticed that people are giving more time to the Internet (specifically Facebook) than the popular online games.

The rise of the number of Filipino Facebook users also lead to an increase of identity theft and account hacking. I have seen many news items about it and many people are unaware how to protect their Facebook accounts.

Keeping your Facebook account from being hacked is easy and there are simple ways that you could do to prevent it.

1. Uncheck that Button and Don’t Autosave

A small check box (with the label “Keep me logged in”) could be found below the “email” field. Make sure that you had it unchecked before logging in to your account. You must do this precautionary measure whenever you are using other people’s computer, or a shared computer, or when you are surfing in an Internet cafĂ©.

If you keep the box checked, then your account will not be logged off even if you close the browser or even if you turn the computer off.

Aside from unchecking the box, you must also make sure that your browser is not saving your login information.

2. Heighten Your Facebook Security

Hackers can do many things when they know some of your personal information, specifically your email address. By default, Facebook displays most of your personal information on your Facebook profile publicly. Everyone, even those who are not on your friends’ list, can see your e-mail address.

To restrict people from seeing your personal information, you must heighten your privacy settings. You could do this by clicking on the “Privacy Settings” link, which could be found on the “Account” tab on the upper right corner of your Facebook page.

The “Privacy Settings” link will take you to a page that lets you control what information you want to be shared publicly, to your friends only, or just known only to you.

3. Clear Browser History and Clear Private Data

Aside from auto-saving, browsers also store the history of the pages you viewed while surfing the Internet. So, when using Facebook, it is advisable that you clear browsing history and private data before leaving the computer shop.

For Firefox, click Tools >> Clear Private Data. A window will pop up and will ask you what information you want to be cleared. For Internet Explorer, you should click Tools >> Delete Browsing History. For Google Chrome, click the wrench symbol found on the upper right corner of the Google Chrome Window and then click Options. A window will pop out on which you should click the Under the Hood Tab and click on “Clear browsing data...” button.

4. Don’t Disclose Your Password to Anyone

I have a friend on Facebook who wants to give her password to me so that I could manage her account whenever she is not online. I did not accede to what she wants and told her not to give her login information to anyone.

Your Facebook account is your personal page and you should be the only one who could access it.

5. Always Log Out

This is the most obvious way of preventing your Facebook account from being hacked. However, I have encountered in many Internet cafes that some people forget to log off their accounts.

Remember that turning off the browser is not an assurance that your Facebook account will be logged out. Always make sure that you log off your Facebook account.

6. Create Strong Passwords

When creating a password for your Facebook account, it is better that you use both numbers and letters; and capital and non-capital letters. This will make your password hard to be guessed by would be hackers. 

Also, create different passwords for your different accounts. Use different passwords for your Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, etc. so that if one of your accounts was compromised then your other accounts will be safe.

7. Never Hesitate to Change Password

If you doubt that your Facebook account was compromised, then you should change your password immediately. It is better to be sure that your Facebook account was safe than otherwise.


So there you have it, some of the tips that you could use to protect your Facebook account. If you have more tips, then please leave a comment.

I also wrote an article related to this in Ahab Reviews and Tips, which give tips on how to prevent identity theft when surfing in an Internet cafe.

How to Get Inbound Links to Your Blog - Part II

In the first part of this post, we talked about some “slow way” of getting links to your blog. Today, we will talk about some “easier ways” to plant inbound links on other websites.

As I had said in the first part of this post, our goal is to place our links on websites in a way that our links will not be ignored by the robots of the search engines. There are many websites out there that you could use to place your links on, however, there are only few of them that could be planted with links that are not ignored by Google.

1. Use Your Friendster Account

Many people said that Friendster is dead, especially now that majority of its users are migrating to Facebook. However, I still view Friendster as an important tool for my blogs. My first reason is that Friendster is still a popular website and has high rank in Google. My second reason is that public profiles in Friendster can be crawled on by robots. Because of this, Friendster is a valuable site to plant your link on.

For starters, I placed the link of my blogs on my Friendster account. I made sure that my Facebook profile is open to public so as not to restrict Google’s robots from crawling. Next is to place a comment or testimonial on the profile of your Friendster contacts. Just make sure that your links are included in the comment. Imagine if you commented on 100 Friendster users then you have 100 links to your blog.

2. Sign those Guest Books

Guestbooks are usually placed by website administrators as a way to get feedbacks from their visitors. The problem with guest books is that they are usually not open to the robots. However, there are some of them that are open publicly and could be crawled on by robots. Most of these “open” guest books are found on government websites. You will know if the guestbook is open if the comments in the guestbook are shown in search engine results.

3. Submit Your Blog to Blog Directories

There are many blog directories out there and they could be found with just a click from Google. However, you must search for blog directories that do not demand payment from you or ask you to place widget or link on your blog. Their widget will serve as an outgoing link on your blog and will negatively affect your page rank. Look for free blog directories that have pages that could be crawled on by search engine robots.

4. Create Blog Templates

I was wondering why many people are offering free blog templates. Are they so generous to exert time and effort to give us free templates? The answer is no. Creators of free blog templates place the links of their sites on their templates. Thus, if hundreds of people used their free blog templates, then they are guaranteed with 100 free inbound links to their site.

These are just few of the methods available to plant inbound links on other blogs or websites. There are other methods out there that you could use. If you know other techniques, please share it with us by leaving a comment.

How to Get Inbound Links to Your Blog – Part 1

Inbound link is a blogger’s treasure because it helps the blog get a good page rank and a chance to land to the front page of search results in search engines like Google and Yahoo. Thus, many bloggers are working very hard to get inbound links from other blogs or websites to their blogs.

There are many ways to get inbound links but before we get into the meat of this topic, let us understand how links and linking works. Links serves as a doorway from one page in the Internet to another page in the Internet. People who are surfing the net clicks the link to get to another page. Therefore, links is an important tool to bring in readers to your blog. This is the reason why Google is putting heavy weight on inbound links in calculating the page rank.

However, not all links are treated as equal and some of the inbound links are totally ignored by search engines. Links on the comments page of blogs are ignored by Google, thus inbound links from there do not matter. Google made this policy to prevent bloggers to spam the comment pages with links to their blog. Another thing is that inbound links on popular website or blogs have much weight in page rank calculations than inbound links on obscure blogs or websites. Google have complex way of calculating the weight of a link to your blog but the simple principle is that the more links you have the better and the links on popular website are the most valuable.

Google indexes all the websites in the Internet using what they call as robots. Robots crawl the web pages and follow the link located on those pages. The robots were programmed to follow specific types of links. As I had said, there are links that are ignored by Google like the links on comment page of blogs. Links with “no follow” attribute are also ignored by robots.

Therefore, in your quest to put inbound link to your blogs on other webpages, be sure that those links are not ignored by Google.

There are many ways to get inbound links for your blogs. For my blogs, I used varied websites to plant my inbound links on. Here are some of the methods that I observed as a good way to get inbound links.

1. Exchange Links

Exchange link is done by asking other bloggers to place your link on their blog in exchange for placing their link on their blog. This is good especially if the other blogs have higher page ranks than your blog. However, Google disapproved of this racket and put a little weight on links placed on the sidebar.

Other bloggers may also ask you for exchange link. Be careful when accepting this kind of offer. I have experienced that those asking for exchange links usually delete your link on their blog after a month or so. So if you do not check their blog, you will never know that they just tricked you so they could get one-way link to their blog. I suggest that you don’t accept invitations for exchange links from bloggers who just recently visited your site.

2. Befriend and be a Friend

One of the best ways to get inbound link is when your blog is linked by other people on their blogs. However, getting inbound links through this way is not easy because it entails you to engage in continuous communication with other bloggers. For more than three years of blogging, I have been linked by my blogger friends for so many times. However, conversing with other bloggers through their blogs is quite engaging to the point that I just consider inbound links from them as bonuses. Currently, I have scores of blogger friends through my travel and personal blog. There are times that some of them link to me through their posts. Links on the blog of your blogger friends is not only for your Google page rank but also help introduce you to their readers, which will help you add more readers to your blog.

3. Be an Authoritative Blogger

Blogging is all about sharing information to other people in the Internet. Thus, when you a start a blog, make it your goal to be an authority to the niche that your blog covers. If other people and blogger see you as an authority within that niche then many people will cite your blog and place your link on their sites.

4. Link from Your Other Blogs

If you have other blogs or websites, make sure that you will include the link of your blog to those other blogs of yours. If you are talking about a topic on one of your blog that has a related post on your other blog, then link your blog to the related post on your other blog. This is not just helpful in putting inbound links for your blog but it also help in increasing the exposure of your other blogs.

Other bloggers use this technique, especially if they own a blog that is paid-hosted. They create blogs on free hosting sites like Blogger. Their free-hosted blogs will serve as their platform to place inbound links to their paid-hosted blogs.

 I just outlined here the “slow way” of getting inbound links to your blog. In the next post, we will talk about some “faster ways” that I used to have inbound links to my blogs.

Google Reader Turns Off Track Changes Feature

Google Reader is one of the useful tools created by Google. I use this tool to show me all the updates of the all the websites and blogs that I follow all on in one page. Before I discovered Google Reader, I usually do bloghopping to check if the blogs of my friends are updated. Bloghopping is time consuming because I visit all the blogs even if they do not have new updates. Sometimes, I consumed hours bloghopping, which sacrifice my time for other activities.

Google Reader change all that. Updates from my favorite websites and blogs are delivered in real time and all of those are collected in one application. You could also read those updates directly from Google Reader and without going the the blog or website. Google Reader was able to do this by getting the RSS feeds of the blogs that you are reading. However, there are some blogs that do not have RSS feeds. For those kinds of blogs, Google Reader uses the "track changes feature."

The "track changes feature" monitors blogs and alerts users of Google Reader that an update was made on the blog. However, Google decided to deactivate this feature last September 30, 2010.

As a remedy, users can use a tool to convert Google Track changes feeds to Page2RSS feeds. For instruction in converting feeds, visit the Google Reader Blog.

Now that this feature was removed by Google, I will have a hard time checking up on some blogs that do not have RSS feeds. I do hope that Page2RSS will be useful, but I prefer that Google Reader return the track changes feature.