What to do About Pesky Toolbars?

Toolbars are the source of so many problems that users complain about for their computers. Here is the lowdown on what toolbars are all about and what you can do about them.

What are toolbars?

When you use your internet browser, do you notice that the size of the pages keeps on reducing and there are half a dozen search boxes on top? Toolbars are a simple bar below your browser’s address bar which contains a search bar and a bunch of icons for downloads functions and links to other websites. Depending on what kind of websites you visit, you will have anywhere from one to a dozen toolbars on your browser.

The search bar offers custom search engines. You can type in search terms on them and get results just as you do on Google, Yahoo or Bing. The icons placed by their side allow you to download things like MP3, screen savers, wallpapers etc.

Where do they come from?

Toolbars can be installed on to your browser from a variety of courses. The most common source is free download sites that you go to for downloading things. You may have been to a site that gives you a free photo editing service or maybe even dating service. These sites automatically install toolbars inside Internet explorer or Firefox.

Toolbars can also come from software that you install on your computer. Many a time, when a website gives you software for free, you are asked whether to install custom toolbar. Although, you don’t require it, you may forget or ignore to uncheck the boxes. This leads to many of the toolbars that magically appear without you even knowing about them.

Why they are bad?

The most visible trouble with toolbars is that they drastically reduce the screen space to view web pages. They make you scroll more than usual just to read content. Another bad thing that happens to your browsers is that they get really slow as there are more and more toolbars. Not only that they take ages to just start and even slow the computer down while the browser is running.

The worst part of toolbars however, is that they often contain links to malware. They download all kinds of viruses, spyware, and key loggers etc., which can track your private data and use them for malicious purposes. Needless to say, unless you know that you want a toolbar from a trusted source, it has no place on your browser.

How to remove them?

If you use Internet explorer, toolbars come installed as separate applications. Use your preferred uninstaller to do this. You can use Revo Uninstaller to complete remove all traces of toolbars as well as other software. If you don’t want to install yet another application, try Iobit Uninstaller, which is a simple executable that you can run even from flash drive.

If you use Mozilla Firefox, toolbars typically are installed as extensions. You can go to the extensions section and then remove them from there. The best solution is to not let toolbars be installed on your PC in the first place. Install an add-on like WOT for both Firefox and Google Chrome. It will give you a warning when you visit a suspicious website.

Can We Resubmit / Force Robots.txt To Be Updated ?

If you are new to ‘webmaster’ing, one of the first things you should be aware of – is of robots.txt. For a starter who is figuring what robots.txt is, these two links will give you fair idea about it: link 1 and link 2.

When you discuss the advantages of robots.txt, different people have different views: some think it’s a very good idea to have robots.txt on their site, while others opine it’s not all that necessary. As they say, it’s to each his own. If you believe that having a robots.txt file on your domain will give you an edge, then go ahead and direct the Search Engine Bots what they should index and what they should exclude. If you are not concerned about everything on your server being indexed, then don’t bother using one. If you ask my personal opinion, I’d say, just for the heck of it have one, even if you want everything on your server to be indexed.

=> This link will give you some insight to advantages of robots.txt.

If you are wondering what possibly can go wrong with one ‘robots.txt’ file, then continue reading:

I had never put up a good robots.txt and one fine day I decided to put up one – Mistake !

Instead of carefully handcrafting a good robots.txt file, I decided to just randomly pick some code which was freely floating around on web, saved it in a text file named robots.txt and uploaded it onto the server- Big Mistake !!

So here’s what exactly happened:

Techbuzz is built on php, and the code which I found was blocking all the ‘.php’ files, as it was custom built for ‘.html’ sites. I overlooked this factor and went ahead. And the price I had to pay for it was: I lost more than 50% of my traffic in less than 24 hours !!

Luckily, Chibcha and Webado pitched in and their suggestions helped me regain a significant portion of the lost traffic.

Lesson’s I learnt from this mistake:

  • Don’t mess with robots.txt without complete knowledge ! Read the links given above, they’ll give significant idea about robots.txt, and then create a tailor made robots.txt to suit your website requirements.
  • There is no way to Re-Submit your robots.txt file.
  • You cannot force update your robots.txt file once they have been crawled.
  • Most importantly- you do not SUBMIT robots.txt file, instead the bots read them during every crawl-cycle!
  • If you end up screwing your robots.txt file, then the only best thing you can do is- create a new robots.txt file which is good to save your site, upload it to replace the older robots.txt and wait till the spiders crawl your site and update their database with the latest file. There is no fixed time when they crawl your site (it was around 24hrs in my websites case and another 24 hours before changes were noticeable), but there is no set time scale as such ! You may be lucky to get the traffic back, or just a bit unlucky to loose the traffic (I was lucky to regain the positions), but you really have to research what’s the wait period before you get back all your traffic.
  • The robots.txt file behave very differently than I expected them to: You’ll be surprised to see that most of your URL’s will still be indexed even if you ban the Robots.txt from crawling your website. It only prevents the content found on those URLs from being indexed (Ref: Webado) !

I guess by now you have enough information that’ll protect your website from any ‘robots.txt’ malfunction.

I’m no expert, but just an experienced webmaster. If there are any doubts regarding ‘robots.txt‘ please do drop a comment. I’ll answer if I have any idea about it, or point you to a solution at the least!

Tricks To Use Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine

Tricks To Use Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine

Bing, Microsoft’s latest search engine has been released. People have made Bing search engine as default search-engine. This site is very innovative, creative, fresh, powerful and fast. Bing is dissimilar to AltaVista, Google, yahoo search engines. Bing search queries display related data every time you execute a search. One can use this website optimally with the help of few tricks and tips.

A list of tricks is listed below:

  • Accessing Bing’s international version: Bing assists its services like searching and displays the results in accordance with the geographical location of a user. Individuals from USA are provided with different results and users from INDIA are given different results for the same search. Bing provides the best method of acquiring information for a particular region.

If a user wishes to use the BING’s international version, then they can browse the Bing worldwide site. Set the language as us-English to enjoy all features.

  • Save and email the search results on Bing: Bing website allows a user to save their search results to a online local directory or folder. You can also email these search results to your friends and publish on FaceBook using Silverlight.
  • Search mp3 media files using Bing: Bing website supports many file extensions. If a user is searching an mp3 file named brazilboyz.mp3, then searching this string from Bing will display a websites list that are providing this file. This is very helpful in searching other formats too.

There are innumerable tricks and tips for Bing which can optimize your search queries.

Display Results Of Various Search Engines

Display Results Of Various Search Engines

Searching from various search engines can be extremely hectic and confusing, but now you can easily display results of various search engines on a single page. It will help the user save time and get the best available results for the desired topic.

The plug-in for Google Unified Search needs to be added to the Firefox browser. This will allow results from various search engines to be displayed on a single window. Google Unified Search is integrated with numerous search engines like Bing, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Wolfram Alpha and Wikipedia.

The add-on displays results from Bing and Google on a single page. Users can find a control at the topmost corner, which will allow the user to switch from one search engine to the other. The button is to be clicked to get the results from different search engines.

The helpful and convenient Google Unified Search can be downloaded from the following link Here:

Search Provider As Per Your Own Choice

Search Provider As Per Your Own Choice

Search engines are very popular with internet users and are used by users of all ages. It helps you gain information and search for some more facts of any desired topic. There are a number of search engines today such as Google, Yahoo Search, Bing, Alta Vista and lots more.

The Internet Explorer 8 provides Windows Live as its default search engine. If you are comfortable with it then you can add any other search engine as per your choice and can even create a search provider of your own choice. Follow the following steps to add the search provider of your own choice:

  • Go to the Tools tab and click on the Manage Add-ons command.
  • Users will be prompted by the window to manage Add-ons.
  • Click on the search providers tab and the list of providers will be shown

  • Select the provider of your own choice and then you will be prompted to a new window where you have to select the add command.

  • There might be a case that the web browser of your choice is not available in the list, then you have to click the link “Create your own Search Provider”.

  • Open the new tab and then type in the URL of the desired search engine.
  • Copy the address of the desired search engine and then paste it at the box provided at the Add-on Gallery. Give a name to the provider.

  • Press the install provider command and then the toolbar of the new serarch engine is installed.

By following the above mentioned technique, you can easily add any search engine of your own choice.

New Face Of Social Search – Bing Integrates With Facebook ?

While making some changes, Bing has been associating with Facebook to strengthen and change its social search facilities. They are now all set to release their service to their users in the US; and now they need to bring to the notice of users the changes they have introduced.

Looking into the users convenience, who have always wanted to have the same feeling that they had with Facebook, it was now Bing’s responsibility to provide them the same or similar features. The result was a joint venture of Facebook and Bing to satisfy users!

Now Bing functions in the same manner as Facebook. Let’s say you have chosen to share news with your friends in Facebook, you will also be noticed in Bing, even if you decide not to put up your profile news in other search engines.

An interesting fact is however, that you will not come up on major web searches, included Bing, but only in the Facebook Profile services inside Bing which may be done by your common friends. Like Facebook [age limit 13years], Bing too has set up its limit saying all Bing users who already have friends below 18 in Facebook, would get to surf Bing results too.

All these features are quite simple with just an on and off by the users. While trying to personalize the search and make it more effective, it is also a great publicity to get more people to use Bing! So why the delay, come and join the Bing family today!

Bing is utilizing Facebook’s social data, promising great results to its users through ‘Liked By your Friends’. This may be a major reason why Bing may have succeeded in an area where Google can’t easily compete. All you need to do is connect Bing to your Facebook account, after which you will notice a new ‘Liked By Your Friends’ portion within your search results.

It is definitely more exciting to see what friends share and enjoy given the fact that the news is not already up on search results. Also Bing lets you know earlier at least the initial few times when it gets to pull liked links from Facebook friends by a pop-up window with an option not to choose.

It is also making use of the Facebook data to be able to bring better search results. It analyzes the people you know, in turn studying those who know them through Facebook, thereby coming up with people closely related to you socially.

Very soon Bing will be looking to social signals through Faceboom, which will give you expert opinions on several searches.