Posts Tagged ‘Google’
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Although a large majority of startups are hiring (87 percent), a similar number struggle to find people with the skills they need, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s fourth annual Startup Outlook study, a survey of startup companies nationwide.
Hightlights of the Startup Outlook survey:
• 87% are hiring
• 46% have at least one founder born outside the U.S.
• 82% say STEM skills are critical to their business
• 87% say it is somewhat or extremely challenging to find workers with the skills they need to grow their business
• 66% say the biggest challenge to retaining the talent they need is a combination of finding and competing for the people with the right skills
The report also includes several anecdotes from startup companies as well as the results of the survey related to finding and retaining talent.
“Every time I meet with a group of tech company CEOs they say the same thing: hiring world-class talent is one of their biggest challenges,” said Greg Becker,president and CEO of Silicon Valley Bank. “They struggle to find, attract and retain the engineering, scientific and technical talent they need to grow their businesses.”
Google down the street
That echoes many reports we’ve seen on the technology job space. People with the right skills are in high demand and attracting and keeping them is a problem for many startups, which have to compete for them with larger, established companies.
“As soon as good employees raise their heads, they’re snatched up,” Andrew Evans, CFO at Boulder startup Symplified. Its neighbors include Google, Oracle and Microsoft. “If you’ve got Google 10 blocks down the street,” he told SVB, “you have to be creative to differentiate your company on more than just salary.”
“We need to create a tech-savvy, highly skilled American workforce – the more people with skills that are in demand, the better for all of us. When it comes to immigration policy, we believe that Congress is well aware of the issues facing the technology industry, so the time to act is now.”
High growth small companies, while few in number, have an outsized impact on the U.S. economy. They consume roughly 0.1-0.2% of U.S. GDP in invested capital, but create roughly 11 percent of U.S. private sector employment and 21 percent of U.S. GDP – or roughly twelve million jobs and over $3 trillion in annual revenues.
“With this report, and the Startup Outlook survey at large, we are trying to bring facts to the table in the hope that better data will help lead to better policies for our country,” said Mary Dent, head of Silicon Valley Bank’s government relations group and General Counsel.
Silicon Valley Bank conducted its annual Startup Outlook survey in December 2012. More than 750 executives of startup companies, defined as those in the innovation sector with less than $100 million in annual revenue, responded.
The company will be releasing additional data and reports based on the survey in the coming months. View all news related to the results of the Startup Outlook survey at http://www.svb.com/startup-outlook-report/ and follow the conversation on Twitter at @SVB_Financial #StartupOutlook.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Amazon is on a roll. In addition to topping a list of 25 retailers with the best mobile satisfaction ratings during the recent holiday shopping season, it also edged out Apple as America’s most reputable company, according to the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study which engages over 14,000 members of the general public to measure the reputations of the sixty most visible companies in the country.
And companies can learn from how the leaders gain their stellar reputations.
This is Amazon’s first time earning the top ranking, but the fifth consecutive year with a great reputation score. The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Johnson & Johnson complete the top five. This is Google’s eight consecutive top five appearance, an incredible achievement for a fourteen year old company.
AIG and Goldman Sachs return to the bottom two reputation positions on the list of the most visible companies, joined by Halliburton, American Airlines, and Bank of America. With a full six point increase in RQ score though, Bank of America had the highest year-over-year increase in the 2013 study. Best Buy and Honda experienced the greatest decline in RQ scores, 6.76 and 4.73 points, respectively.
RQ measures six dimensions that comprise reputation and influence consumer behavior.
The dimensions and the 2013 leaders are:
- Social Responsibility – Whole Foods
- Emotional Appeal – Amazon.com
- Financial Performance – Apple
- Products & Services – Amazon.com
- Vision & Leadership – Apple
- Workplace Environment – Google
Amazon’s reputation strength runs wide and deep as it ranked in the top five in five of the six dimensions of reputation. Amazon had a five point advantage over any other company in the study in the dimension of Emotional Appeal, despite an entirely virtual relationship with the public. Amazon also achieved the top rating in the dimension of Products & Services.
Amazon earned nearly 100 percent positive ratings on all measures related to Trust. More than 50 percent of respondents also recall discussing Amazon with friends and family in the past year, and nearly 100 percent of these conversations were positive.
“Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive,” adds Fronk. “
Nine of ten would recommend it
And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than nine in ten members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family.”
The results for Apple and Google are equally as impressive as those for Amazon and continue a compelling trend that has been developing for the past few years – companies that begin in the technology sector, which is by far and away the highest-rated industry when it comes to reputation, absorb the reputation equity from the industry, then transcend the industry to become a more multi-faceted business.
Companies that are able to do this are perceivedto “Play A Valuable Social Role,” a characteristic, which according to the RQ study, has become a key driver of reputation.
The Kindle’s eInk technology frees you from LED glare and eye-strain – and you can make the fonts as large as you like.
As a longtime Amazon customer, we can understand why it has such a great reputation, despite moves such as encouraging “showrooming,” viewing products in stores to buy later online.
It’s customer service is beyond first rate. We dropped and broke our first Kindle e-reader when it was out of warranty and they still replaced it free, overnight, and we didn’t even have to pay postage. When a large package of books went awry and never showed up, they simply resent the order.
Banking industry shows gains, still low ranked
The banking industry is not so lucky. It showed some encouraging signs in 2013. Positive ratings of the industry are now 25 percent, a more than 50 percent increase from 2012.
Wells Fargo became the first of the four big banking companies in the past four years to move from negative to positive equity in the dimension of Emotional Appeal. Harris’s fourteen years of conducting the RQ study show that a company cannot build or maintain positive reputation without this positive equity. Wells Fargo also received significantly higher marks on attributes related to its people and work environment, and it is possible that these may be the first signs of a bank once again being seen as trusted.
But in our conversations with sources, the banking industry is still most often cited as having abysmal customer service and is viewed as frequently predatory. The continuing mortgage default problem hasn’t helped.
What can companies learn from the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study?
Companies need to evaluate and understand the increasing importance that playing a valuable social role has on reputation, purchase consideration, advocacy and positive word of mouth. This is about a business having a purpose, not just checking the box on social responsibility or sustainability.
Additionally, companies need to adapt to a major trend in consumer behavior. More than 60 percent of consumers now “pro-actively try to learn more about how a company conducts itself” before they are willing to consider that company’s products or services. This group, which Harris calls Seekers:
- Proactively engage in conversations with others about what they find out about a company;
- In 60 percent of cases, decide NOT to do business with a company because of something they learn about that company; and
- Actively try to influence friends and family on whether to do business or not with a company based upon what they have learned about that company’s conduct.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Do you know which search engine is number two after Google? Here’s a hint: it’s not Bing, Yahoo, AOL or Ask.com. It’s YouTube, which is larger than all of those combined.
Now showing an astonishing four billion videos a month, YouTube has been a meme engine since the first video (“Me at the Zoo,”) posted in 2005.
Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion and you have undoubtedly noticed its march toward commercialization with pre-roll commercials and other advertising.
Memes proliferate on YouTube. We posted a brief part of our interview with zombie movie director George Romero a few years ago. Romero, who directed “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968 and “Dawn of the Dead” in 1978, created the zombie meme now going strong with TV shows such as “The Walking Dead,” and an endless stream of movies. The point: before the Internet, it could take 30 or 40 years for a meme to really saturate the world.
Here’s an infographic detailing the history of YouTube from shortymedia.
Thursday, January 31st, 2013
The global installed base of smartphones will total 1.4 billion by the end of 2013, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research. Of this base, 57% will run on Android and 21% on iOS.
Meanwhile, there will be 268 million tablets in active use, with 62% of them built on iOS and 28% on Android.
The annual growth rate against 2012 will be 44% for smartphones and 125% for tablets. Despite of Apple’s and Google’s strong hold of the market, ABI Research anticipates that the future won’t be quite as duopolistic as it may seem now.
A relative success for Microsoft and Blackberry?
Outside of the leading two operating systems, how will the world look for the two main challengers, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10?
Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen comments, “2013 should be seen as relative success for both Microsoft and BlackBerry.
For the end of the year, we expect there to be 45 million Windows Phone handsets in use, with BlackBerry 10 holding an installed base of close to 20 million. Microsoft will also have 5.5 million Windows-powered tablets to show for it.”
Importantly, the figures refer to actively used devices, which is what app developers – with certain caveats in mind – should generally treat as an addressable market for their releases.
As Markkanen points out, “The greatest fear for both Microsoft and BlackBerry is that the initial sales of their smartphones will disappoint and thereby kill off the developer interest, which then would effectively close the window of opportunity on further sales success. Our view is that the installed bases of this scale would be large enough to keep these two in the game. It will definitely also help that both firms have actively kept the developers’ interest in mind while designing and rolling out their platforms.”
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
Smartphones and tablets drove almost a quarter of total clicks in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to The Search Agency. But the gain in mobile clicks did not come at the expense of desktop search.
“With ongoing advancements and multiple lower priced tablet options being introduced into the market, it’s no surprise traffic on these devices continues to increase,” said Keith Wilson , vice president of agency products at The Search Agency.
“But, while our advertisers’ spend on mobile and tablets is increasing, it’s not at the expense of desktop. In fact, data shows that desktop searches remained level over the last two quarters, underscoring the trend that search is steadily growing overall.”
Tablets see record searches; surpass mobile ad spend
The introduction of a number of new tablet models and record sales growth spurred on huge growth in both tablet use and advertiser spend.
Tablet click share in Q4 more than doubled YoY and jumped 16 percent from Q3, and smartphones and tablets combined drove 23 percent of total clicks in Q4 2012, an 89 percent increase YoY. The last quarter of 2012 marked the first time in which share of spend on tablets exceeded spend on smartphones (8.5 versus 7.1 percent of total spend).
Google and Yahoo!-Bing Network continue to see growth; Google leads in mobile
Search engine advertising continues to show healthy growth as impressions in Q4 2012 grew 11 percent YoY and total clicks grew 4 percent. Total clicks on Google increased 4 percent YoY and cost per click (CPC) rose 7 percent from $0.55 to $0.59.
Bing also showed a 4 percent growth in click traffic, with a 15 percent increase in average CPC YoY. Bing’s mobile impression share and click share increased, but is still substantially less than Google’s impression and click share overall.
Google continued to see more paid clicks coming from mobile devices with 25.9 percent of its total clicks coming from tablets and smartphones in Q4, compared to 12.6 percent for Bing.
Product Listings accounted for more than 14 percent of spend on Google
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) continued their strong growth in Q4 2012, accounting for 14 percent of retailers’ total spend on Google in Q4, a 236 percent increase from the previous quarter. Specifically, retailers spent more than 9 percent of their PLA budget on tablets and smartphones, an 80 percent increase from Q3.
Retail surged on mobile during the holidays, but click volume declined YoY
In the retail sector, mobile click share increased from 14.3 percent in Q4 2011 to 26.1 percent in Q4 2012. Retail volume was the driving factor for Q4 growth in comparison to Q3 2012, with a 20 percent increase in click traffic. However, YoY click volume declined 6 percent.
“The holidays brought on big numbers in mobile retail searches but we saw click volume decrease overall – possibly because of uncertainty from the presidential election and the natural disasters that affected the Northeast,” added Wilson.
Monday, January 21st, 2013
In the not too distant future, you might log into your gmail account and other password protected sites and services online by tapping a ring on your computer or smartphone or inserting a USB device.
Google’s security engineers, searching for a more secure and less cumbersome way for Internet users to check into online sites and services. They describe a new system that would use a USB drive or even a piece of jewelry to authenticate users in a research paper slated for the engineering journal IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine later this month.
Passwords – even tough ones – are no longer very secure. Cyber criminals can crack them using software.
“Along with many in the industry, we feel passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe,” Google engineers write in the paper.
The new system would eliminate the need for most passwords, replacing them with the hardware authentication. Website and browsers would have to be set up to work with the new system, a fact that means wide spread consumer use might take some time.
Wired first reported the Google initiate.
Monday, January 21st, 2013
Do you know when the first network virus, “Creeper” was created? When the first spam message was sent? Who used the first emoticon?
While the Web’s infrastructure stretches back to the 1970s, many of the features we rely on today are a decade or less old.Even those of us who saw the Internet evolve step by step sometimes feel as if instant messaging, social media, and shopping online are just part of the fabric of modern life and forget its brief history.
Here’s an infographic from AVG.com detailing the history of the Internet.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Job growth in Internet and digital media jobs slowed in New York and Boston over the last six months, including sharp declines in the third quarter. But growth does continue in the sector and some top firms such as Google continued to add headcount in both cities, though at a slower rate.
Amazon, Mashable, LinkedIn, and eBay also all continued to add to staff.
Cook Associates Executive Search, a retained executive search firm, reports in its quarterly East Coast Internet and Digital Media Jobs Index, which tracks job creation at more than 470 companies in New York and Boston, that New York showed 3.6 percent growth for the third quarter, following on the heels of 5.6 percent growth in the past quarter.
Boston, on the other hand, showed lower growth of 1.9 percent after a 3.2 percent increase in jobs in the second quarter.
Growth much stronger in New York
Index creator John Barrett said, “It’s now clear that a slowdown in hiring has been occurring in this sector over the past 6 months. Things began getting soft in Boston by the second quarter.
“There were some signs that it was also getting a little soft in New York, but hiring is now definitely slowing down in New York. Overall, Internet and digital media jobs growth is still much stronger in New York and I expect that trend to continue.”
Barrett added, “Things are even worse than they appear in Boston. All of the net new hiring came from just 10 companies out of the approximately 150 companies being tracked in the city. Without those 10 companies, employment in Boston was flat at best and perhaps declined slightly.”
Overall, New York added about 900 new Internet and digital media jobs while Boston added about 260. Approximately 55% of New York’s job growth came from publicly-traded companies while about 75% of Boston’s job growth was derived from public companies.
“This illustrates the continued strength of private company hiring in New York that’s resulting from high levels of venture investing occurring there,” according to the report.
Where the jobs are
Top 10 companies showing largest headcount gains in New York include: Google, Rent the Runway, Amazon, AppNexus, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gilt Groupe, Etsy, Warby Parker.
Up-and-coming companies showing large headcount gains in New York included: Foursquae, Fab.com, ZocDoc, Magnetic, Tumblr,Thrillist,BuzzFeed, HowAboutWe.com, Mashable, SignPost, Yext, Moda Operandi and Outbrain.
The top ten firms showing the largest headcount increase in Boston include: Hubspot, Wayfair, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Vistaprint, Rue La La, Google, Constant Contact, Karmaloop, and Jumptap.
Up and coming companies showing large headcount gains in Boston include: Visible Measures, DataXu, Naigans, Care.com, Gemvara, NetProspex, WordStream, Fiksu, and ClickFuel.
Monday, October 22nd, 2012
Business leaders admire Warren Buffett by a wide margin in Speakeasy Trust Survey.
Business people tend to trust the news media more than politicians, according to the 2012 Speakeasy Trust Survey, and that’s saying something, considering that news media only scored 3 percent of the votes.
Politicians? No one voted for them.
The survey showed that the most trusted business leader is Warren Buffet, no surprise there, considering his public candor, and the most trusted company is Google.
Speakeasy, Inc., a nearly 40-year old executive communication consultancy that helps business leaders to develop more powerful and strategic communication, conducted the 2012 Trust Survey among business people at varying levels of responsibility within a broad range of industries, in September 2012.
asked to select who they trust most when receiving communication, respondents were given a choice between business associates, politicians, salespeople, celebrities or news media. The most votes were received for people we know personally, with 97 percent of respondents selecting business associates.
“Given the choices, it stands to reason that people would most trust the coworkers they see and interact with on a daily basis,” said Scott Weiss, CEO, Speakeasy.
“The real surprise is that politicians scored no votes while the news media scored three percent of the vote. What this says to me is that politicians need to take a good look at what they really represent in the public eye. Exacerbating the issue is the disturbing need to run every word uttered by a politician through a fact-checking process in order to validate their honesty.”
Buffett top business leader
Asked to provide a write-in answer for which business leader they trust most and why. Warren Buffett was the overwhelming winner, with 14 percent of respondents writing in his name. Among the reasons: “he is plain spoken,” “he is authentic,” and “it’s clear that his motivation is not just about money.
Other business leaders named in the survey include S. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A), Bill Gates (Microsoft, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and Richard Branson (Virgin), each of whom earned six percent of votes. Regardless of the leader who was named, the reasons why didn’t differ much. The most common themes, says Speakeasy, were the leaders’ abilities to inspire people, their authenticity, their transparency, and their abilities to connect on a human level.
asked to provide a write-in answer for which company they trust most and why. Google, scoring eight percent of votes, edged out Starbucks, which was named six percent of the time. A common theme around Google was its customer focus. Google is “motivated to create useful products,” “is focused on the customer” and “values honesty.”
“Delivering consistently high quality products and customer service is the hallmark of a successful company, but in order to build enough equity to be named the most trustworthy, companies must bring something more to the equation,” added Weiss.
“Google and Starbucks are ubiquitous and reliable, and both have very public social programs with which people like to align themselves.”
Other companies that received multiple write-in votes in the survey were American Express, Target, State Farm, Chick-Fil-A and Amazon.
Thursday, September 20th, 2012
Is Google the “World’s Most Attractive Employer?”
It is for the fourth consecutive year according to the preferences of over 144,000 career seekers, with a business or engineering background from the world´s 12 greatest economies. So says the Universum global talent attraction index: “The World’s Most Attractive Employers 2012″.’
KPMG keeps the second place and Procter & Gamble is now on the third position.
Here at the TechJournal, we find it interesting that Apple shows up on in the 8th spot on the engineering employer list.
“The Google fever is still hot! Students are attracted by Google´s relaxed and creative work environment, international atmosphere and innovative products. Google offers great benefits and opportunities that are hard for other companies to match.” says Petter Nylander, Universum’s CEO.
Also in the engineering category, Google takes the first position for the fourth consecutive year and is followed by IBM and Microsoft.
“The giants in the software industry are seen as great places for the launch of an engineering or IT career. They offer training, networking and future career possibilities. Moreover, they are global,” says Nylander.
World’s Top 10-Business
- Google (1)
- KPMG (2)
- Procter & Gamble (7)
- Microsoft (6)
- Deloitte (5)
- Ernst & Young (4)
- PwC (3)
- J.P. Morgan (9)
- The Coca-Cola Company (12)
- Goldman Sachs (10)
World’s Top 10-Engineering
- Google (1)
- IBM (2)
- Microsoft (3)
- BMW (4)
- Intel (5)
- General Electric (8)
- Siemens (9)
- Apple (7)
- Sony (6)
- Procter & Gamble (10)
In parenthesis is the company’s position in 2011. For the full ranking, go to http://www.universumglobal.com/IDEAL-Employer-Rankings/Global-Top-50
Monday, September 10th, 2012
Visa and PayPal top the list of consumers’ preferred mobile wallet providers at 15% and 13%, while mobile network operators Verizon and AT&T (with the Isis wallet), and Apple, are close behind.
So says a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research that defines the mobile wallet industry in its initial stages.
To become a valued mobile wallet provider, the report says, consumers consider three important factors—trust, innovation, and privacy. A balanced approach of the three is more important to consumers, as PayPal and Visa have demonstrated with high scores in all three categories.
Personally, we use PayPal as often as possible because it is convenient and easy compared to many other choices. We did have one security incident with PayPal, although it was resolved and we did a much tougher password unique to the service.
The report suggests that financial institutions are well positioned to leverage their customers’ trust to become mobile wallet leaders. It says more than 60% of mobile bankers are likely to adopt a mobile wallet in the next 12 months.
Providers will have to determine which mobile point-of-sale technology – Near field communications (NFC), cloud, and bar code – to use. In the near-term, bar codes and cloud-based wallets will proliferate, as they do not require mobile phone upgrades or merchant investments in terminals and systems.
With Apple’s iPhone 5 coming soon and other new devices following the iPhone, it is expected that NFC chip technology will prevail as it offers the convenience of paying with a simple tap or wave of the phone.
“NFC faces significant barriers to adoption by merchants and consumers, but it is standards-based technology that will eventually prevail as the main mobile point-of-sale technology,” said Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director, Mobile at Javelin.
“Google was first out the door with NFC and has stumbled. When Apple enters the payment space with NFC, we expect Apple iPhone 5 will lead the way and others will follow Apple’s lead.”
For the full report see: Battle for Control of the Mobile Wallet: Sorting out Players, Technologies and Strategies to Win
Friday, August 24th, 2012
Google’s search algorithm changes always create a stir in the search community. Just Search, for instance, has issued a new review of the anti-piracy change.
Their SEO Manager Paul Spreadbury sums up the Just Search review this way:
“A lot of websites will not be directly affected by this algorithm change, but it is something all website owners need to be aware of. This latest update from Google has outlined the company’s position not to actively promote websites that infringe copyright laws from now on and it acts as another argument in favour of website content that is completely unique.”
Google’s latest change to its search algorithm is aimed at curbing sites that infringe on copyrights, but some critics are saying it treats one of its own properties, YouTube, “excessively kindly.”
This latest update, which follows Panda and Penguin, aimed at punishing low quality sites, and Venice, meant to help promote local listings in results, doesn’t have an official name.
Although the company says ”This update applies to all websites including our own – YouTube, Blogger, etc.”
It is supposed to act on sites that receive a lot of “valid copyright removal notices.”
SearchEngineLand, however, reported that the process Google uses to flag such sites will largely give YouTube a pass.
Google itself responded many popular user-generated content sites may escape the penalty.
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Simon Heseltine will discuss the interaction between SEO and social media at two upcoming TechMedia conferences, Digital East in Herdon, VA, Oct. 2-3 and the Dallas Digital Summit, Dallas, TX, Dec.4-5.
By Allan Maurer
While Google’s Panda algorithm changes caused some panic when it launched last February, it proved actually good for most AOL sites, says Simon Heseltine, director of SEO for company.
The Panda algorithm – named for a Google engineer – was aimed at hitting content farm sites, and indeed, if our own search results are any guide, it did that well. We never see those highly search-optimized but poor quality results showing up any more.
Most AOL sites, says Heseltine, “Saw a bump up. We had good quality compared to the competition, which didn’t. That’s not to say we didn’t have any sites affected negatively, particularly some from a then recent acquisition. But in two or three weeks, they were back up.”
Heseltine and his team are responsible for organic search and training across all AOL and Huffington Post Media Group properties. He also writes a regular column for SearchEngineWatch.com on a variety of topics within the marketing industry, and has previously written for other industry sites, such as SearchEngineLand.com.
Appearing at Digital East and the Dallas Digital Summit
Heseltine will be talking about how the Bing and Google search engines are tying social media into results and what that means to SEO at two upcoming TechMedia conferences, Digital East, in Herndon, VA, Oct. 2-3 and at the Dallas Digital Summit, Dec. 4-5 at Union Station, Dallas, TX.
“I’ll be discussing the intersection of social and SEO,” says Heseltine, “and how that changed the experience and how you can take advantage of it in your online marketing.”
AOL plans to do a lot more in that area with its hyper-local Patch.com sites. “We have a redesign coming out at the end of September to make it much more of a social experience and I’ll use that as a case study,” he says. “At the Virginia event I’ll talk more about the thought behind it. By Dallas, I hope to have more data after it the changes have been live for a couple of months.”
You trust your friends
The search engines are integrating social with their results “Because it gives you that community aspect,” says Heseltine. “If you have a Google plus account, you’ll see different results depending upon what you and your friends post about. On Bing, you’ll see what your friends liked on Facebook.”
Why? “You trust your friends,” he notes. “Their opinion really does matter. A recent marketing study showed that friends are still the number one resource for trusted recommendations.”
Lots of other personalization factors are now included in search results as well, he points out. Location, for instance. “Now a person sitting in Dallas will see a different set of search results than someone sitting in Virginia.”
While all the changes in SEO have some people wondering if it still works, Heseltine says there are still important, purely legitimate tricks of the trade.
Optimizing images, for instance. “If you’re not optimizing them, there’s no way for them to be found,” he says.
What’s in a name? SEO
Heseltine taught a class in SEO at Georgetown University and showed the students an example of how you can go wrong with getting content found.
“A sports site had a story headlined, “Lin destroys the Timberwolf.” It didn’t even show up in a search. Everything that came up had Jeremy Lin in the title.” So, as simple a thing as the once journalistically common practice of using just a last name in a headline can doom your SEO.
Heseltine says that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong recently said in a meeting, “SEO is table stakes. If you’re not at the table you’re playing a card short and putting yourself at a disadvantage.”
Importance of video content
Slews of recent studies have suggested that online video is of increasing importance and Heseltine concurs.
“I was moderating a session at a conference in San Francisco and one of the panelists presented a slide showing searches for news, searches for weather information, and searches for How-to videos – which was humongous. There were way more searches for those than for news or weather.”
People want to know how to do things and want that visualization, he adds. “At AOL, we have our own video production teams and we put them in as many posts as we can, recognizing that consumer desire.”
We asked Heseltine for a few SEO tips. He suggests:
Do the basics. Get your title tags and description tags right. Do your keyword research up front and target terms people are looking for. If you’re talking about a person, use their full name.
One huge tip: Use Google and Bing webmaster tools. They’re a free, primary way the search engines communicate with you. “If you’re not using them, you’re working blindfolded,” Heseltine says.
If you are a content producer, use Google’s author tag, which is a way of linking bylines to your Google Plus account. “It’s a way of drawing eyeballs to your content so people can see other articles you’ve written.”
He cautions that “What works today may be different from what works tomorrow. Search engines are constantly modifying their algorithms. Sometimes it’s just a little tweak; sometimes it’s huge, like Panda.”
Even when something huge comes along, he says, “Don’t panic. Step back. Think about what actually happened. Is it a ton of bad links? Get rid of them. Crappy content? Focus on strong content. Something you aren’t sure about? Run a crawl of your site architecture.”
Finally, he says, “Ask for help. The SEO community is generally very helpful and they’ll point you in the right direction.”
Monday, August 20th, 2012
While Apple Inc. is trying to subdue Google’s rival Android mobile operating system the company really worrying Google executives is not Apple but Amazon, says The Business Insider.
Because Google makes most of its money from people searching for potential items or services to buy and many people are starting to bypass the search engine to search directly on Amazon.
According to digital measurement service comScore, for instance, searches on Amazon rose 73 percent in the last year.
As Amazon introduces devices such as the Kindle Fire tablet, more sophisticated Kindle eReaders, and possibly a Kindle phone – all tied directly to Amazon’s store – the situation gets even worse for Google.
So, says Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson, “Amazon scares Google more than anything Facebook or Apple are up to.”
While Google may indeed see Amazon as a serious competitor, we suspect the firm isn’t crazy about the recent patent victories Apple won for many of the basic features of a mobile smartphone operating system.
In fact, Google’s Motorola Mobility unit has has filed a patent infringement complaint against a number of iPhone features, including its Siri voice control.
Google acquired Motorola Mobility’s portfolio of thousands of patents in May amid speculation it would use them to battle Apple and its iPhone.
The patent infringement case seeks a ban on U.S. imports of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. Apple maintains that phones using Google’s Android operating system infringe on its iPhone patents. What a merry-go-round
What do you think? Will Google and Apple eventually end up in a stalemate in the smartphone patent wars?
Is the search giant in danger of losing ground to Amazon?