Monday, February 19, 2007

Is your Outlook slow?

I use MS Outlook 2003 to read my company emails. Recently, it had started taking a long time in starting up. It also became sluggish and even opening an email would take a long time.
Some friends suggested that the my OST has grown too large. At 600MB, it certainly is big but isn't outlook supposed to handle upto 2 GB sizes easily.

Some googling got me to this post and introduced me to SCANPST, which is an Inbox repair tool installed by default with Microsoft Office but not available in any of its menus.

I just ran SCANPST from C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033 ... It found and repaired some 1700 problems with the OST file!!!
Now my outlook is as snappy and responsive as before.

Friday, February 16, 2007

GMail open to all ... finally

Google finally opened GMail to signups without the need of invitation yesterday. Being launched almost 3 years ago, and already have a user base of close to 50 million, all I can say is - Finally.
GMail is the best email service provider out there and if you haven't got one yet, grab one now.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The best Email service provider

Techcrunch has posted an article comparing GMail, the latest Yahoo Mail Beta interface and Windows Live Hotmail. All these applications are web 2.0 rich client applications and have huge storage.

Gmail is the newest player in this field but they are the guys who redefined email. Fast and responsive ajaxy interface, really good spam filters, labels (and filters to automatically label), autosave drafts, amazing search and of course, virtual unlimited storage. No wonder I converted to gmail for all my important email long long ago. Any important email on gmail, I am always assured that I would be able to it find it later. They only own around 1/10th of the market share, but they are still the best and recommended by techcrunch.

Yahoo is not my primary email account now, but I still use my yahoo id for its variety of services, in particular yahoo messenger. Yahoo launched its mail beta to catch up with gmail and it did reasonably well at that. They also opened their dot addresses which helped a lot to their huge userbase. However, their spam filter, which I once thought as the best available (before gmail i.e.), needs to improve. Particularly the false positives, which makes me check the spam folder for genuine messages once in a while.

Microsoft has been trying to catch up in this field as well, but looks like all their efforts have always been too little too late. I left hotmail long ago, and also left msn messenger when yahoo partnered with msn. To be fair, their new interface is pretty decent. and is along the lines of ms outlook. However, spam filters remains the biggest issue for it. Their spam filters look crude to say the least.

Overall, I would say GMail is a must, Yahoo is good but better in its other services and I would like to forget about hotmail as soon as possible.

Note to Rediffmail: How do u people manage to imitate all these new features offered by other providers and still be able to make them unusable?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

SEO for beginners !!

If you are new in website promotion and planning to optimize your site from Search Engines perspective, you might be confused on how to proceed!!

There are some basic things you ought to know:
What is Search Engine, How search engines works, Difference between major search engines like, Google & Yahoo!" etc.

Market studies suggests that Google is the most renowned search engine and having highest market share (approximately 40%) in online industry followed by Yahoo! & MSN respectively. Similarly, the parameters of SEO are different for each search engine. So, we should be very careful in taking the decision, where should we start from?

If your web site is new and you want to SEO it then you should start from MSN first followed with Yahoo! and then Google.

Although, there are some important factors which are common for SEO prespective of all the search engines, such as
  • Age Content
  • Keyword density
  • How it fares in the results
  • Site structure
  • Backlinks etc.
However, all search engines tuned these factors in different ways.

For a new website MSN is a good place to start, as it takes lesser time to rank your site. It is not much concerned about the age of the domain so, for new websites it is good. It is more concerned about the number of back links then the link authenticity, content of the sites etc. You can get back links with huge traffic from directory submission, article submission, press releases, participation in promotional link programs etc.

When you get better ranking in MSN then you should make efforts for Yahoo! SEO. It is more concerned about Site structure, keyword density, solid number of back links etc.

Till this point, we are done with our basics. Now in order to rank high in Google, we ought to be qualitative, as our ultimate objective is to rank high in Google.

As your site became quite aged till this point, so Google will automatically starts to give some weightage to your site. However, it is more concerned about the quality of the links, quality & relevance of the content, domain age etc. Here, you need to make good efforts to get quality links from value, more authenticate and relevant sites. Higher number of links from worthless or insignificant sites does not add value for Google SEO. Similarly, you need to be very much concerned about the good quality of the content and its relevancy with the title of the site. After completion of these important steps, you will see a substantial rise in your site ranking in all major search engines not one or two.

So, start optimizing your website now !!

But remember, SEO is an active, continuous but slow process. So, be patient.