Gmails Black Dot, Replaced With a White Dot – Dot in Upper Left Corner of Gmail – Where It’s Visible…

A couple weeks ago, there were a few posts on Flickr and Digg about the black dot in the upper left corner of Gmail, since those posts, it seems that Google has removed the little black dot, but just because it is not visible, doesn’t mean that it is not there… It has now been replaced with a white dot!!!

Original black dot:

Gmail Black Dot

New White Dot:

Gmail White Dot in Firefox
Gmail White Dot in Safari

How to see the new white dot in gmail:

When viewing a message that has an email address in it, click on the email address link. This will open a popup window to compose a new message. This popup window has a blue background, rather than a white background, thus making the new white dot that Google used to replace the black dot become apparent.

What is this??? Is it the way into the matrix???

Google Finance New Look – Google Releases a New Look for Google Finance

Google has done it again. They’ve found a way to incorporate more information into the same space as before. The new Google Finance homepage now puts an emphasis on news stories, giving you the option to see news for the entire market, news for your portfolio, and videos related to market news. All this while still displaying your portfolio(s), market summary, sector summary, trends and recent quotes. All in all the new Google Finance homepage is wealth of information at your fingertips.

Pinging Google Blog Search – Is Google the New Standard for Blog Search

With the release of WordPress 2.5, the new administration dashboard displays incoming blog links by querying Google Blog Search rather than Technorati as it had in the past. Does this mean that Google Blog Search will become the new standard for bloggers and networking blogs? Or is it simply because Google has the best search options on earth and the WordPress creators feel that Google will do a better job of displaying all links to a blog than Technorati ever could. Either way, I’m happy to see the new WordPress using Google Blog Search rather than Technorati. I have a Technorati account, but I never really spent the time to familiarize myself with it.

Any thoughts on Google Blog Search vs. Technorati in terms of incoming blog link listings?

PS – If you’d like to add Google Blog Search to your list of sites to ping in your WordPress system, simply:

  1. Log into your WordPress admin area
  2. Click on “Settings”
  3. Click on “Writing”
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and add to a new line
  5. Save changes and enjoy the extra traffic 😉

Testing New Adsense Placement to Compare and Increase Click Through Rate (CTR)

If you’ve visited this site before, you may or may not have noticed ad placements in the right-hand side bar. Over time, I’ve experimented with 160×600 skyscrapers (from both Google Adsense and from other 3rd party advertisers) and I’ve also tried placing a leading 336×280 large rectangle atop the right-hand sidebar with limited success. Both the skyscraper and the large rectangle had a low click thru rate when placed in the sidebar, typically under 1%. Thought the CTR was under 1%, the placement did usually have a decent eCPM, coming in at $1.35. As a secondary placement, I didn’t ever expect too much from my sidebar advertisements, so I’d be happy with anything over $1 eCPM.

Now, I’ve decided to replace my right-hand sidebar advertisements with a 728×90 leaderboard advertisement just under the header on my site, and above the main content. In order to keep this new placement active, I’ll be looking for 2 things:

  1. I’d like to see the CTR increase by at least 50%.
  2. I’d like to see the eCPM increase by at least 75-100%.

You’re probably thinking that a 50% increase in CTR is a big leap, which it may be, but I’m not willing to compromise losing visitors, pageviews, and potentially subscriptions for less than a 50% increase in CTR. I’d also like to see a large increase in the eCPM numbers, again for the same reason – I’m not willing to lose visitors to low paying advertisers, I’d rather retain the traffic on my site, and try to gain a subscriber in the process.

How long do I plan on testing this new placement? I’ll probably give the new placement about a month or so, thought I’ll definitely be reviewing it toward the end of each week from here on out. I’ll keep updates on the placements successes and failures, and I’d love to hear from anyone who has attempted similar changes on their blog.