Monthly Archives: March 2010

Cuba responds to US easing sanctions on Web services

In Havana, Cuba’s government has said that the decision by the US government to ease sanctions on Cuba and two other countries to allow exports of Internet services is intended to destabilize the communist island.

On March 8 2010 the US State Department announced that it would ease sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Sudan to increase citizens’ access to online communication tools and open people up to free speech and information to the greatest extent possible. But Cuban President Raul Castro’s government said the objective of the decision was to use these services as tools of subversion and destabilization, according to statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

The statement added; “This shows once again that the US government is not interested in softening its policy nor in developing normal relations with Cuba, but only in developing a network that facilitates its subversive actions in our nation.”

The US Treasury Department modified sanctions against Iran, Cuba and Sudan to allow exports by US companies of services related to Web browsing, blogging, email, instant messaging, chat, social networking and photo/movie sharing like Flickr and YouTube.

Cuban authorities exercise strict control over the Internet, blocking communication sites like Skype and blogs that are critical of the government.

Few Cubans have access to the Internet, which cannot be installed in private residences without express permission from authorities.

Where access is available in places like hotels, the cost often eight dollars an hour in a country where a monthly salary runs around 20 dollars, is prohibitively high.

Google PageRank removal – is PageRank dead?

On October 14, 2009, Google employee Susan Moskwa confirmed that the company had removed PageRank from its Webmaster Tools section. Her post said in part, “We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true.”

You can read this post by Susan and all other comments in the discussion here

In mid 2009 we saw a lot of websites having their PageRank changed especially after May upgrade to Google Algorithm. PageRank which you see on toolbars and other online PageRank checkers have become irrelevant, giving inconsistent results ever since Google introduced updates to their algorithm. This change resulted in pages giving more power to people regarding relevancy. During the last 18 months Google have introduced the following tools/features which had a direct impact on the PageRank concept.

The new tools include:

  • Introduction of SearchWiki – a tool that makes search even more useful in users daily lives.
  • Introduction of Real-time Search – a tool that displays Twitter posts in real-time for certain Google searches.
  • Introduction of a More Show Options tab for different types of searches, included advanced Personalised Searchfor all users.

Although people believe that Google is using some sort of modified PageRank to rank websites this is not the one which you can see on the Google Toolbar and other online readers.

PageRank is a trademarked and patented technology which is now 12 years old, of course in the visible form seen in the Google Toolbar.

So, does PageRank matter anymore?

We’ like you to share your opinions on this…