November 2010: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories

Below are Search Engine Land’s 10 most popular stories from November 2010:

1) Nicaragua Raids Costa Rica, Blames Google Maps – A Nicaraguan military commander, relying on Google Maps, moved troops into an area near San Juan Lake along the border between his country and Costa Rica. The troops are accused of setting up camp there, taking down a Costa Rican flag and raising the Nicaraguan flag, doing work to clean up a nearby river, and dumping the sediment in Costa Rican territory.

2) Google’s “Gold Standard” Search Results Take Big Hit In New York Times Story – The New York Times has a great, detailed story out today about a merchant with an unusual marketing strategy: be mean to customers. Any publicity, even negative publicity, means a win with Google’s ranking algorithms. Is he right? Maybe. Certainly the story illustrates the fallacy of Google’s “gold standard” search results.

3) Google Fans Throw Eggs At Houses Blurred In Google Street View – Some people who chose to blur their houses on Google Street View in Germany received an unexpected real life blurring: Google fans who threw eggs at their homes.

4) Google Launches Instant Previews – At last, Google has finally gained a page preview feature. Called “Instant Previews,” this is a way for you to see what’s on a page that’s listed in Google’s search results without having to leave Google.

5) Boxee Box: My First Day Review & Impressions – As part of my Life With Google TV series, I’ve been looking at other internet-to-TV devices. Previously, I reviewed Roku. Next up? The Boxee Box. If you’re already a fan of the Boxee software service, the device might be worth it.

6) Twitter Promoted Tweets Come To Google – In a first ever move, Google is now carrying ads from someone else’s ad network — Twitter’s, as Google integrates Twitter’s new Promoted Tweets into Google Realtime Search.

7) Life With Google TV: My First Day Review & Impressions – Google TV has finally arrived, not just for pre-order but as an actual device you can get in a retail store. And so I did, hitting Best Buy yesterday and walking out with a Sony Blu-ray player that is Google TV-capable.

8) Apple TV: My First Day Review & Impressions – I’ve been looking at various internet-to-TV devices as part of my Life With Google TV series. I’ve covered Google TV, Roku & Boxee Box so far. Time for Apple TV! If you buy a lot with iTunes or have an iPhone or iPad, this is a great device.

9) Key Takeaways From Google’s Matt Cutts Talk At PubCon – Last night, Matt Cutts of Google gave a talk to the attendees at the PubCon. I was in the audience and I wanted to share my personal key takeaways from the talk. Specifically items Matt mentioned that I found to be new or interesting.

10) How The New Facebook Messages & Email System Works – At one end of the spectrum, Facebook says it’s “simple” and “fun.” On the other end, some are saying it’s Facebook’s version of Google Wave. And just about everyone spent the weekend suggesting that it’s a “Gmail killer.”

To see all of our most popular stories over time, visit our Most Popular Stories page.

“It” is Facebook’s new, Whatever-you-do-don’t-call-it-email-but-hey-here’s-a-Facebook-email-address-for-you email and messaging system. Facebook says it’s more like chat; and it’s definitely not an email killer.

Who’s right? We’ll all decide that collectively as the invites get sent out. Until then, here’s how Facebook’s new Messages system works, via a screenshot-filled PDF distributed at today’s news conference.

How Do I Get The New Facebook Messages?

The new Messages is being rolled out “gradually,” as in over several months. Facebook users can request an invite and cross their fingers. When you’re in, you’ll see a pop-up window like this:

invite

Clicking on that “See What’s New” button will take you to another page where you can review the basics of the new Messages and confirm that you want it.

How Do I Get A Facebook Email Address?

Once you’ve received your invite and confirmed that you want the new Messages system, Facebook will invite you to claim your Facebook.com email address. It’ll match your current Facebook username. (If you don’t have one of those, you can get one at the same time.)

email

After I’m In, How Does The New Messages Work?

One of the immediate changes you’ll notice after you start using the new Facebook Messages is the naming of your inboxes/folders. Rather than the current “messages” and “updates” naming scheme, the new Messages just uses “messages” and “other.” You’ll first see the “Messages” box, and that’s where Facebook says it’ll prioritize all the messages from your friends. Everything else gets sent to the “other” folder — that includes messages from Facebook Groups and from Pages that you’ve liked.

naming

Another big change is the integration of messages into one system. If you have a Facebook.com email and use Facebook’s chat tool, all of this comes together the way Facebook wants. If you provide your phone number, you can bring SMS messages into the system, too. This screenshot shows how messages will appear in both the main in box and in Facebook Chat, and you can reply from either interface:

chat

As you can see on that image, there’s also a new tool to include attachments with messages. (see the small icon on the far left below “Write a reply…”)

And, yes, there’s a search element here, too. Facebook says it has “revamped” how message search works. You can search for either the person you were chatting with or for the topics you were talking about. You can also add people to conversations, remove yourself, or forward conversations to others.

search

Is Facebook Messages Private?

There are a number of Q&As related to privacy in the Facebook help topic for the new Messages system. By default, anyone on Facebook can still send you a message and, if you get a Facebook.com email address, anyone else with an email address can email you if they know your Facebook.com address. But you can change that via the privacy settings for your Facebook account; the options for who can send you messages are “everyone,” “friends,” and “friends of friends.”

You can also choose who to share your Facebook.com email address with, but keep in mind that any thinking person will know that your email address is the same as your Facebook username.

What If My Friends Don’t Have It Yet?

Once you’re in the new Messages system, you’ll have a number of invites that you can share with friends. Just like, errrr … Gmail.



Matt McGee is the Search Engine Land Assignment Editor, and offers search marketing consulting and training to businesses of all sizes. He blogs at Small Business Search Marketing and can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee.

See more articles by Matt McGee >



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ONE COMMENT ON How The New Facebook Messages & Email System Works

budip, Let’s see if this new feature could impress me and made me stay longer on Facebook :-D


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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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