Google’s Carbon Footprint: Does a Harvard Prof’s Claims Put Google in Hot Water?

Harvard professor Alex Wissner-Gross made waves recently by suggesting that making a couple of Google searches are just as bad for the environment as the cup of tea you drink while you’re making them (he has since backed away from the claim ). Wissner-Gross’s study says that the energy needed to power Google’s servers and storage, combined with connecting to and running your own computer, creates about 7 grams (about 0.25 ounces) of carbon-dioxide emissions per search. At that rate, he says, two quick searches cause the same amount of carbon emissions as does creating enough energy to boil a kettle of water.

Google, on its official blog, quickly fired off a retort in defense of its greenness, saying 7 grams was “many times too high.” The true figure, they say, is more like 0.2 grams of greenhouse gases at most. How could the two figures be so disparate? For one thing, it depends what you include in your calculations, which presents a challenge because Google tends to be tight-lipped about the technical details of its operations. But just as important, attempts to quantify carbon emissions all the way from Google’s servers to your home computer leaves plenty of mathematical wiggle room.

For instance, consider Wissner-Gross’s own example of choice—the tea kettle. An average gas produces about 9000 Btu per hour and takes around 9 minutes to boil a full kettle, meaning that it uses 1350 Btu. Wissner-Gross used an electric kettle in his example, according to The Guardian. A 1500-watt kettle can boil your water in only 5 minutes, bringing down the energy usage to about 426 Btu, less than one-third of the gas total. But an electric kettle’s emissions could vary wildly depending what the local plant used as an energy source. The U.S. burns coal for half of its electricity, which produces more CO2 per Btu of energy released than the other major fuel sources. The other half comes largely from natural gas, which creates less CO2, and nuclear power, which produces negligible CO2 but creates nuclear waste, which poses a different environmental worry.

Those are some of the complications of calculating just a tea kettle’s emissions. Wissner-Gross’s study attempts compare an average kettle’s emissions to the whole gamut of a Google search—all the emissions caused by the company’s servers and storage facilities, your computer’s power needs, the power needs of your Internet provider and more. Thus, equating two Google searches to any amount of boiling kettles is an oversimplification.

However, the study raises a bigger point: Information technology contributes 2 to 3 percent of global carbon emissions, and its share stands to grow as more people go online and spend more of their day with a computer running. Determining the energy use of IT throughout the process, from Google’s servers to your desktop, may prove a herculean task of calculation, but it’s one that Google and its competitors grapple with as they try to go carbon-neutral while the Web boom continues throughout the world. —Andrew Moseman

Tips for maximizing Your Google AdSense Revenues

Despite what you may hear, the Google AdSense program is not for everyone. There are some types of web sites that do poorly no matter how hard the owners try, and there are others that should be doing well but the webmaster simply isn’t putting in the effort to make things happen.
Despite what you may hear, the Google AdSense program is not for everyone. There are some types of web sites that do poorly no matter how hard the owners try, and there are others that should be doing well but the webmaster simply isn’t putting in the effort to make things happen.
Here are some tips to make AdSense work better for you. If you do them all and you’re still not having any luck, then you just might be running one of those sites that don’t make money

1. Determine if your visitors are “in the mood”

Like I mentioned at the top of this article, some web sites just don’t work with pay-per-click programs.
The best performing sites fall into one of these categories:

• Sites where users go and expect to buy something while they are there. E-commerce sites fit the bill here..
• Sites where users go to find specific information on something that they want to buy now. Music and video review sites, vacation information sites, resume building sites, etc. You don’t have to actually be selling these types of things; your site can just be a Mecca for information pertaining to these things. Then, when the visitor comes to read your content, they are more likely to click on your ads.

• Sites where people who have disposable income and a credit card like to visit. This includes sites with money management, investing and lifestyle content.

• Sites that draw a large amount of new users every day. Free coupon sites and “How to” sites are good examples.
• Sites where people go who expect to read ads. Classified ads and shopping comparison sites fit into this category.

2. Make sure that your visitors don’t feel that you just want to grab their money

Give them plenty of relevant and well-written content. If writing isn’t your best skill then hire someone to do it for you. Good content brings steady traffic and steady traffic pays the bills.

3. Play by the rules

Google has some very specific Terms of Service (https://www.google.com/adsense/policies) for participating in their AdSense program. Learn those rules and follow them so you don’t lose all of your investment by getting shut out.

4. Use the tools that Google gives you

Google gives you tools for determining the best keywords for your site, measuring ad performance, and setting up different ad “channels” for fine-tuning ad results. These guys and girls are the 800 lb. Gorillas in the Pay-Per-Click market. They didn’t build these tools just to keep their programmers busy. Take advantage of their knowledge for they are very big and you are not!

5. Tweak, fine-tune and then tweak again

<span class="ws11" style="font-family: Times New Roman; color: #ff0000you should never be happy with your AdSense performance. If it’s good, then you need to make it great. If it’s great then you need to make it amazing. If it’s amazing then you need to take it to the UPS club. The UPS club? Google sends all checks over $10,000 per month to the webmaster via UPS overnight delivery. Now there’s a club that I wouldn’t mind belonging to.

6. Get more traffic

No matter how much

Despite what you may hear, the Google AdSense program is not for everyone. There are some types of web sites that do poorly no matter how hard the owners try, and there are others that should be doing well but the webmaster simply isn’t putting in the effort to make things happen.
Despite what you may hear, the Google AdSense program is not for everyone. There are some types of web sites that do poorly no matter how hard the owners try, and there are others that should be doing well but the webmaster simply isn’t putting in the effort to make things happen.
Here are some tips to make AdSense work better for you. If you do them all and you’re still not having any luck, then you just might be running one of those sites that don’t make money

1. Determine if your visitors are “in the mood”

Like I mentioned at the top of this article, some web sites just don’t work with pay-per-click programs.
The best performing sites fall into one of these categories:

• Sites where users go and expect to buy something while they are there. E-commerce sites fit the bill here..
• Sites where users go to find specific information on something that they want to buy now. Music and video review sites, vacation information sites, resume building sites, etc. You don’t have to actually be selling these types of things; your site can just be a Mecca for information pertaining to these things. Then, when the visitor comes to read your content, they are more likely to click on your ads.

• Sites where people who have disposable income and a credit card like to visit. This includes sites with money management, investing and lifestyle content.

• Sites that draw a large amount of new users every day. Free coupon sites and “How to” sites are good examples.
• Sites where people go who expect to read ads. Classified ads and shopping comparison sites fit into this category.

2. Make sure that your visitors don’t feel that you just want to grab their money

Give them plenty of relevant and well-written content. If writing isn’t your best skill then hire someone to do it for you. Good content brings steady traffic and steady traffic pays the bills.

3. Play by the rules

Google has some very specific Terms of Service (https://www.google.com/adsense/policies) for participating in their AdSense program. Learn those rules and follow them so you don’t lose all of your investment by getting shut out.

4. Use the tools that Google gives you

Google gives you tools for determining the best keywords for your site, measuring ad performance, and setting up different ad “channels” for fine-tuning ad results. These guys and girls are the 800 lb. Gorillas in the Pay-Per-Click market. They didn’t build these tools just to keep their programmers busy. Take advantage of their knowledge for they are very big and you are not!

5. Tweak, fine-tune and then tweak again

you should never be happy with your AdSense performance. If it’s good, then you need to make it great. If it’s great then you need to make it amazing. If it’s amazing then you need to take it to the UPS club. The UPS club? Google sends all checks over $10,000 per month to the webmaster via UPS overnight delivery. Now there’s a club that I wouldn’t mind belonging to.

6. Get more traffic

No matter how much traffic you have, you need more. More eyeballs translate to more clicks. Even if you’re only pulling a 2% click-through. That’s a lot of clicks when you have thousands of visitors each day.

7. Experiment with new keywords

new keywords can bring new ads and new eyeballs along with it. Set up some new pages on your site and experiment with different content. Once you get something that’s working then refer back to Tip # 5.

traffic you have, you need more. More eyeballs translate to more clicks. Even if you’re only pulling a 2% click-through. That’s a lot of clicks when you have thousands of visitors each day.


7. Experiment with new keywords

new keywords can bring new ads and new eyeballs along with it. Set up some new pages on your site and experiment with different content. Once you get something that’s working then refer back to Tip # 5.

Move Your Web Clippings Out of Google Notebook

f you have been using Google Notebook to capture all your web clippings, here’s some bad news. Google has decided to stop further development of Google Notebook including the browser extension that was commonly used to clip text notes from web pages.

Alternatives for Google Notebook Users

Google will no longer offer Notebook to new users but existing users can continue to add or delete clips in their notebooks as before.

It may be therefore be a good idea to migrate all your existing data from Google Notebook to another web clipping service or you may save the notebook pages locally. Here are some options:

1. Export notes as Google Documents – Open the manage notebooks page at google.com/notebook/#X and export all your notebooks (one by one) as new documents in Google Docs. The tag

2. Move your notebooks to EverNote – This is again a manual process. Export notebooks as an HTML page (one by one) and capture these pages into EverNote. If you have not installed the EverNote client, you can use their web interface to copy-paste data from Google Notebook into EverNote.

3. Download Google Notebooks in one go – If you have tons of notebooks in Google Notebook, you should look at this Grease Monkey script that adds a new “Export Notebooks” link on your Google Notebook page. You can click the link and download all your notebooks in either Atom (RSS) or HTML format.

4. Use Microsoft OneNote – If you have a copy of Microsoft OneNote, use this Firefox extension to send your notebooks from Google to OneNote. You’ll first have to export the notebooks as HTML web pages though.

Google Docs & Microsoft Office Live With ‘Gears’

Google took an important step forward Monday in its rivalry with Microsoft Office Live, reporting that Google Docs will allow users to edit word processing documents offline.
Google said users of its Google Docs word processing application can use Google Gears to save and then edit documents without being connected to the Internet.
“Cloud computing is great, but you need the cloud to make it work,”
Philip Tucker, software engineer, Google Docs, wrote in a Google blog.
“On an airplane, on the shuttle commuting to work, or at home when my cable modem goes down, I want to work on my documents. And, until now, that usually meant saving a copy and editing on the desktop.Now there’s a better solution. With Google Docs offline, I can take my little piece of the cloud with me wherever I go,”
Tucker added.
“Once enabled, I have a local version of my document list and editors, along with my documents.”
The editing feature, Google Gears, is an application programming interface introduced by Google more than a year ago to application developers to create Web applications that can run offline.

Google unveils “white space” airwaves plans

Google Inc on Monday unveiled plans for a new generation of wireless devices to operate on soon-to-be-vacant television airwaves, and sought to alleviate fears that this might interfere with TV broadcasts or wireless microphones.

In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the Internet leader outlined plans for low-power devices that use local wireless airwaves to access the “white space” between television channels. A Google executive called the plan “Wi-Fi 2.0 or Wi-Fi on steroids.”

“The airwaves can provide huge economic and social gains if used more efficiently …,” Google said in the comments.

Rick Whitt, Google’s Washington telecom and media counsel, said this class of Wi-Fi devices could eventually offer data transmission speeds of billions of bits per second — far faster than the millions of bits per second available on most current broadband networks. Consumers could watch movies on wireless devices and do other things that are currently difficult on slower networks.

The white-space airwaves could become available in February 2009, when TV broadcasters switch from analog to digital signals. Whitt said he expects devices using white-space spectrum could be available by the end of 2009.

Shares of Google surged $27.36, or 6.3 percent, to $460.91 amid a sharp rise in U.S. stock markets. The Nasdaq composite index was up 3.3 percent.

Google sees the white-space spectrum as a natural place to operate a new class of phones and wireless devices based on Android, Google’s software that a variety of major equipment makers plan to use to build Internet-ready phones.

The Silicon Valley company also said that, in general, it stands to benefit whenever consumers have easier access to the Internet. Google’s primary business is selling online ads as people perform Web searches.

Source- Reuters