Google Brings HTML 5 to Internet Explorer with Google Chrome Frame

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This week, Google wowed the tech crowd by unleashing it’s newest of oh-so-many betas upon the world: Google Chrome Frame (original announcement). Google Chrome Frame is an Internet Explorer plugin (specifically a BHO, or Browser Helper Object, in IE land) that gives versions 6, 7 and 8 of Microsoft’s ever-so-beloved browser the ability to render pages with Google Chrome’s WebKit-based rendering engine instead of Internet Explorer’s Trident engine. Which brings up a few important questions:

Why add an alternate rendering engine to Internet Explorer?

Well, dear friend, Internet Explorer, especially pre-version 8, has notoriously disrespected web standards and has had a unique (read: wrong) interpretation of how HTML and CSS should be rendered on page. IE8 went a long way towards correcting Microsoft’s mistakes of the past, finally bringing its rendering engine up to par with the more modern Gecko (Firefox) and WebKit engines (Safari, Chrome). Nevertheless, IE8 still does not support native XHTML or CSS3, which is pathetic, and has no support for the emerging HTML 5 standard, which is tragic. No support for HTML 5 also means no support for companion technologies such as SVG/Canvas, Geolocation, Database and Application Cache or Web Workers. The combination of HTML 5, CSS3, and all of these companion technologies finally lays an open-source foundation for web development that can rival or even exceed the interactivity provided by plugins such as Flash or Silverlight, and IE users don’t have it. (more…)

WordStream’s New Keyword Suggestion Tool

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WordStream recently launched a beta version of its new keyword suggestion tool, appropriately named “The Free Keyword Tool.” The UI is clean and simple to figure out, which makes it a quick, user-friendly addition to the task of keyword generation.

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The functionality is pretty user-friendly:

  • Step 1: In the first box, I give it my list of preliminary keywords or phrases (I see no mention of a keyword limit, so the more the merrier).
  • Step 2: Those keywords generate a list of related keywords in a second box that I may choose to add to my preliminary list in the first box.  For example, if I have “greyhound” in my preliminary list, I may decide to add “dog,” “pet,” “adoption,” and others to help narrow out keyphrases related to Greyhound buses.  Because box #1 is a simple text box, I can also type in or delete any keywords.
  • Step 3: After I’m done with my preliminary list in box #1 and considering the related keywords in box #2, I can start browsing through the final suggestions (read: zillions).  I can also copy the first 100 results into a notepad or Word doc (w/ relative volume estimates), or, even better, I can email the keywords to myself, my boss, my client, or whomever.  Pretty handy.

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So, the pros and cons …

Pros:

  • Extensive keyword suggestions – could be helpful in coming up with valuable negative keywords.
  • Email keywords feature is very nice – allows me to quickly save and share keywords from any computer without having to worry about losing my work.
  • “Related keywords” feature helps narrow down my initial list and gives me more targeted keyphrases than those generated from my preliminary list alone.
  • Simple, self-explanatory UI.

Cons:

  • Extensive keyword suggestions (yes, this could go either way) – if you’re looking for very specific suggestions and don’t want to spend too much time browsing through keyword ideas, this may not be the tool for you.  Most ad campaigns don’t need thousands of keywords anyway.
  • There is no way to edit the final suggested keyword list online without first downloading the list or emailing it to yourself.  Maybe that’s something WordStream can include later, seeing as how it’s a popular feature of other keyword tools.

Needless to say, there is no perfect keyword suggestion tool.  The best ad campaigns are initiated from content on your site, considerations from all your favorite keyword tools, and, most importantly, simple common sense.

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