With the assistance of locals, Google has updated its Maps to fill in many of the blanks of North Korea’s most remote locations, providing a more detailed picture of the country. But North Korea won’t be happy about Google’s labeling of “gulags.”
Our site has been affected by Google’s Penguin update. Our website traffic and search queries are down almost 80%.
February 14th is just around the corner. That means it’s time to get your PPC campaigns in check for Valentine’s Day. Here are the hottest keywords for you to bid on, what keywords people are searching for on Google, and how to get ads that convert.
New Google Analytics Shortcuts
It seems that after switching to a 3-party shopping cart I no longer have individual keyword conversion rates and costs in my Google Analytics.
If Research In Motion (RIM) has any hope of staging a comeback, its BlackBerry 10 must resonate with consumers, analysts say.
RIM will unveil its first two BlackBerry 10 handsets today (Jan. 30) in multiple events worldwide.
The two Smartphones are dubbed the Z10 and the X10, according to rumors. The Z10 is to be a touch-screen model, while the X10 will feature a physical keyboard. RIM is expected to launch the Z10 first with devices up for sale in February.
The BlackBerry 10 has been billed as the beleaguered Waterloo, Ont. company’s last chance at redemption. RIM’s devices dominated the market at one time, but have since fallen victim to Apple’s iPhone and devices powered by Google’s Android operating system. With a net loss of $235 million in the last quarter, RIM desperately needs its new Smartphones to be a success.
Jack Gold, principle of J. Gold Associates, believes it is “unlikely” BlackBerry 10 will be a failure “since we already know pretty much what BB10 will look like (based on the PlayBook OS and early ‘leaks’ of devices).”
RIM’s relatively large loyal base of 70 million to 80 million lends the firm a steady stream of revenue, Gold said. That base, combined with his prediction that 20 percent to 25 percent of the business market share will stay with RIM over the next three years as well as a successful BB10 launch may be enough to bring the company back to profitability.
“With a pent up demand for upgrades from its existing base, RIM should get a lift when BB10 is introduced,” he said. “Although it’s never easy to get defecting customers back, a growing sense of displeasure by some past users of BB with other devices they adopted may help RIM succeed. Finally, since RIM sells services along with its devices, and obtains revenues for every device activated on carrier networks, its profitability is more certain (although not completely certain) than others who only sell devices.”
Ovum Chief telecoms analyst Jan Dawson, however, believes the new BlackBerry devices will fail to woo new customers and will see sales mostly from current customers looking to upgrade their devices.
“We believe RIM will see a brief bump in its results during 2013, but that the overall trajectory the company is on will continue its downward slope after that,” Dawson said in a blog post. “In other words, BB10 will provide a temporary boost in performance but no salvation for RIM.”
He said BlackBerry 10 is RIM’s attempt to be “the best BlackBerry for BlackBerry users” instead of focusing on nabbing new customers. He said RIM has focused on better multi-tasking, productivity, e-mail, contacts and calendar applications when they should have placed an emphasis on better gaming, content consumption and social networking experience to attract a new kind of user.
Another setback RIM faces is many consumers are familiar with Apple and Android Smartphones, but not BlackBerry devices, says Ken Dulaney, vice-president of mobile computing at Gartner.
Coming into a retail store, customers will “get a five minute demo of the new BlackBerry 10. And that little demo has to impress them,” he told NetworkWorld.
Dulaney said the differences between the opening screens of iOS and Android devices varies greatly from that of the BlackBerry which does not prominently feature a set of apps or status information as the other devices do.
“The (minimalist start screen of) BlackBerry 10 UI is very gesture oriented,” Dulaney says. “Users may not know what gestures to use, or how to use them consistently. And consistency on phones is very important.”
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has described the BlackBerry 10’s processing as “closer to a laptop,” while offering a mobile user experience with just the touch of a finger. He also describes the device as sleeker and lighter than its predecessors.
The device is also offer “a large catalog of the leading applications from across the globe and across all categories, including games, productivity, social, lifestyle and leisure, multimedia and published content, as well as applications designed for business and enterprise use,” according to a company press release.
Further details about BlackBerry 10 can be found here.
Today’s BlackBerry 10 launch can be viewed online through RIM’s Newsroom page. It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EST.
Pinterest is shaking things up.
The online pin-up board is planning to test a new look that will include intuitive navigation, bigger pins and an overall better site experience.
Pinterest enables users to organize and share online content by ‘pinning’ images onto ‘pinboards’ organized into categories. Each ‘pin’ links back to the site it originated from.
The new look will be tested on a “small group of people” to ensure it is streamlined before being rolled out to all users.
“With this update, we’ve tried to take your feedback into account,” reads a blog post by Pinterest software engineer Vy Phan. “We’re eager to learn even more from some of you during this test.”
To make it easier for users to navigate the site, Pinterest’s redesign includes a red-button drop-down menu in the top left corner presenting users with a shortcut to access the feed, popular pins and pin categories.
Pinterest is also subscribing to the philosophy that bigger really is better.
“Pins are bigger and we’ve added more information related to pins, so it’s easier to find things you’re interested in,” Phan writes. “For example, on each pin, you’ll see pins from the same board, other boards this pin was pinned to, and a whole slew of related pins.”
In addition to the visible changes Pinterest has made, the social media site has also made some improvements “behind the scenes” to make perusing the site quicker.
Twitter Acquires Crashlytics
Twitter has snapped up Crashlytics, a software company that provides crash reports for mobile apps.
“We’re excited to announce: we’re merging with Twitter to take our platform to an entirely new level,” the Crashlytics blog reads. “Much will remain the same. Development of Crashlytics will continue unabated and we remain dedicated to working with all of our customers — current and new, big and small — to deliver the key app performance insights they need.”
The company gives customers an iOS software development kit enabling them to construct an approximately 40KB sized crash reporting feature into an app. Although it is currently only available for iOS apps, Crashlytics has said it is working on an Android version.
“Going forward, we’re thrilled to work with the incredible team at Twitter,” the blog reads. “We share a passion for innovating on mobile and building world-class applications. Joining forces will accelerate our build-out, allowing us to leverage Twitter’s infrastructure to deliver new features faster than ever.”
Rdio Debuts Free Music Service Internationally
Rdio is going international to offer its free music streaming service in 15 countries.
The move will give listeners access to the more than 18 million songs in its library. Listeners in Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden can now stream music whenever they want.
Free access is also available in the United States, where Rdio’s music streaming service launched in 2011 with listening limits that refresh monthly.
“If you’re a new Rdio listener, you can now sign up at rdio.com, and enjoy up to six months of free music, depending on how many songs you stream,” reads the company blog. “Free streaming is available through the Web or Rdio’s desktop apps for Mac and Windows and no credit card is needed to start listening. A meter at the top of your profile page will keep you updated on how much free music you have remaining each month and at any time you can upgrade to Rdio Web, Rdio Unlimited, or our Family Plan to stream unlimited music.”
Google+ Now No. 2 Social Network
Facebook may still be the king of social media, but Twitter has been unseated by Google+ for the runner-up spot.
According to Global Web Index (GWI), Facebook enjoyed 693 million active users globally in December with Google+ a distant second at 343 million. YouTube placed third with about 300 million active users and Twitter was fourth with 288 million.
“Interestingly for Google, YouTube (not previously tracked by us as a social platform) comes in at No. 3, demonstrating the immense opportunity of linking Google’s services through the G+ social layer,” reads a GWI blog post.
“This is also a key indication of why Google+ integrated with the Google product set is so key to the future of search and the Internet. We’ve got more coming on Google+ later this week as well.”
Global Web Index chart
This guide reviews the differences of digital vs. print catalogs, offers tips on how to best present your products on Google Catalogs, and explains how design choices will make a substantial difference in engagement and the consumers experience.
The possibility of a Facebook search engine has been giving Google the sweats for quite some time now. The search giant may be the most powerful Internet company in the world, but Zuck and Co. have something that it needs more than anything: mountains of valuable personal user data.
Big G has long feared that Facebook would eventually figure out a way to harness that info to create a superior search product, and it appears that day has finally arrived. When Facebook unveiled Graph Search last week, it was heralded as a revolution for the search industry. Fast forward a week, a few floggings from high-profile news outlets, and a Tumblr parody account, and Facebook’s supposed “game-changer” is shaping up to be more like a bad Internet meme.
A Different Kind of Search Experience
Facebook’s plan was to build a new kind of search for the web: a multidimensional tool that would hunt down people, places, and things for users based upon complex query strings. Bloomberg Businessweek reported Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of Graph Search during the new feature’s unveiling in a press event last week:
“In general, Web search is designed to take any open-ended query and return to you links that may have answers to the question that you might be trying to ask. Now, Graph Search is very different. Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and return to you the answer, not links to other places where you might get the answer.”
Zuck also noted that Facebook teamed up with Bing to create Graph Search, and the two tech titans designed it to answer queries about people, places, and things. Users can search using a variety of filters, such as “liked by” or “place type.” Here’s a couple of example searches that Facebook offers up for users on its official promo:
* “Restaurants in London my friends have been to”
* “People who like cycling and are from my hometown”
Sounds pretty cool, right? Yea, it did – but then came the Tumblr account.
Graph Search? There’s a Meme for That
Heads up, Facebook: it’s kind of hard to invent a search engine capable of compiling and categorizing billions of pieces of data overnight – yes, even when you’ve got Bing in the driver’s seat. Just ask Google – it’s been around since the ’90s and it’s still ironing out the kinks.
Yesterday, reality slapped Facebook in a very public (and quite humiliating) way. ‘Actual Facebook Graph Searches‘ – a Tumblr parody account started by a guy named Tom Scott – surfaced and immediately went viral. Every news outlet from CNET to Forbes covered the story, and Facebook now has some serious publicity problems to mitigate.
In a write-up about the fiasco published yesterday, Forbes highlighted the worst of the worst from the blog thus far. According to the article, some real Graph searches that actually yielded results (yikes!) included these gems:
* “Current employers of people who like Racism”
* “Spouses of married people who like [cheat-on-your-partner
dating site] Ashley Madison”
* “Family members of people who live in China and like [the
very very banned] Falun Gong”
* “Islamic men interested in men who live in Tehran, Iran”
* “People who like Focus on the Family [anti gay marriage]
and Neil Patrick Harris [very gay and due to be married
* “Single women who live nearby and who are interested in men
and like Getting Drunk”
* “Mothers of Catholics from Italy who like Durex”
Wow. Just imagine what kind of trouble people could get into if their name were to pop up in the results for queries like those. Now imagine if the searchers happened to be spouses, family members, or even worse – employers.
So Google’s been sweating it out for nothing – in a mere week’s time, Facebook’s Graph Search has morphed from groundbreaking web innovation into a drinking game that college students will play on Friday nights.
Internet: please put us out of our misery and queue the Graph Search memes.
Takeaway for Users: Check Those Privacy Settings
If reading this has caused you to become fearful that your own Facebook page will show up in a list of questionable Graph Search results: good. I’ve accomplished my mission. Regarding privacy on Facebook, you’d be best served not by my words, but those of the Tumblr account’s creator himself:
The takeaway from all this is that you need to visit Facebook’s Graph Search help pages and educate yourself about your privacy options. Adjust your existing setting to reflect the level of privacy you may have thought you had already. And do it ASAP: Facebook will be rolling out Graph Search to every member of the site imminently.
As the Forbes piece notes, the Graph isn’t unintentionally broadcasting its users’ private information. People were already Liking and sharing the very things that will land them in the search results – and your history never goes away. Facebook has simply added a way to classify that data and spit it back out to, well… everyone you know (or even just kind of know).
Remember, the Internet never forgets. The more adept services on the web become at organizing your data, the more you’ll want to protect your personal info and activity online. Bottom line: don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t want your wife or boss (or a jury) to see. If Graph Search tells us anything about the Internet’s future, it’s that someday, they inevitably will.
Nell Terry is a tech news junkie, fledgling Internet marketer and staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She thrives on social media, web design, and uncovering the truth about all the newest marketing fads that pop up all over the ‘net. Find out more about Nell by visiting her online portfolio at ‘Content by Nell.
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