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Showing posts from June 29, 2016
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Why Google is mining local business attributes

When checking into places on Google Maps, you may have noticed that Google prompts you to volunteer information about the place you’re visiting. For instance, if you check into a restaurant, you might be asked whether the establishment has a wheelchair-accessible entrance or whether the location offers takeout. There’s a reason Google wants to know: attributes.Attributes consist of descriptive content such as the services a business provides, payment methods accepted or the availability of free parking — details that may not apply to all businesses. Attributes are important because they can influence someone’s decision to visit you.Google wants to set itself up as a go-to destination of rich, descriptive content about locations, which is why it crowdsources business attributes. But it’s not the only publisher doing so. For instance, if you publish a review on TripAdvisor or Yelp, you’ll be asked a similar battery of questions but with more details, such as whether the restaurant is ap…

From the Editor’s Desk: Why we publish articles you may not agree with

I’ve been thinking a lot about opinions this month. My Twitter stream is filled with them. Opinions on #brexit, on Trump and Clinton, on sports and entertainment — you name it. And, more for the point of this column, opinions on digital marketing and the material we publish on Marketing Land and Search Engine Land.As I type this, in fact, I’m engaging on Twitter with a well-respected, veteran marketer (and longtime reader) who voiced an opinion about David Rodnitzky’s recent column, Why ad blockers are not a threat to the online ad industry. In that column, Rodnitzky offers his opinion that — despite some recentstatistics — “paranoia about the death of advertising as a result of ad blockers is greatly exaggerated.” It’s an interesting column — some parts of which I agree with, and some parts of which I don’t. And that’s fine, because not every opinion piece or analysis article that we publish should conform to my opinions, or the opinions of any other individual that works for Third D…

First Impressions: Xiaomi Mi Max, Muhammad Ali Style

Look, aren’t you a bit on the large side…Large? Who are you calling large? I mean, sure, I am bigger than your routine smartphone. But who said I was routine? I mean, sure I am 173.1 mm long and 88.3 mm wide, but hey at 7.5 mm thick, I am so so trim. And admit it, at 203 grammes, I am only 10 grammes heavier than the iPhone 6s Plus, and that mama has a display that’s almost an inch – an inch, I tell you! – smaller than mine. Check the chamfers on my side and the sleek metal finish. Trim man, real trim. Why don’t you come out and say the. Truth – that you ain’t seen anything like me!?Well, we have – many brands have devices with large displays…Don’t talk to me about them. The last one that actually tried to do something with a large display was the Sony Xperia Z Ultra but that started out too expensive, same as the Le Max. The others? Just bought displays and nothing else. Ain’t enough to just have a big screen, man, you gotta back it up – the screen, it’s like a window to a house. Ain…

The what, how, who and YOU of the future of marketing

It’s been just over a month since I spent four days in Las Vegas for our annual Marketing Nation Summit, and I’m still excited about the time I had with more than 5,000 attendees and some of the best minds in the business.The chatter in the halls was infectious and often lasted well past my bedtime as attendees swapped ideas and traded war stories about what they were doing to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing digital world.I was fortunate to have an opportunity to offer my own ideas about the challenges to tomorrow’s marketers in the Day 2 keynote address, where several marketing icons joined me on stage. The program captured the theme of “Tomorrow’s Marketer.”The future of “what”As Phil Fernandez, CEO of Marketo (my employer), said during the Summit’s opening keynote, marketers now play on a bigger stage, so the expectations for both content and success are high.As Ken Wincko, the CMO of PR Newswire, noted during his Day 2 talk, credibility follows only when your custome…

Thanks to Microsoft’s New Offer, Students will now save $300 on Purchase of Surface Pro 4 and Xbox One

Microsoft’s latest bait for students to buy a Surface Pro 4 is the Xbox One. Yes, you read it right Microsoft will be offering students a free Xbox one with Surface Pro 4. Microsoft is literally discounting the Surface Pro 4 by $300 which corroborates with the free Xbox One. The deal is up and running starting from today and will extend all the way up to August 14.The offer comes on the heels of Microsoft discontinuing the Surface 3 lineup, a device that would have otherwise appealed to the student buyers budget. It is still unclear if the Surface 3 will have an immediate successor or if Microsoft will continue piggybacking on the more expensive Surface 4 Pro lineup.Microsoft is expected to focus on refreshing the Surface Pro and the Surface Book line up next year. It is most likely that the company wants to sweep out the old Xbox One inventory and make way for the Xbox One S. That being said, the offer at the retail stores is valid for a purchase of Surface Pro 4 (any configuration).…

Yelp announces expanding “Yelp Knowledge” social analytics program

Yelp is expanding the group of third party companies that can directly access its complete reviews data and announcing a new program called “Yelp Knowledge.” Earlier this year the company provided its full database to Sprinklr. Today Yelp identified additional partners to gain access: Medallia, Reputology and Revinate.The concept is that through the Yelp data, multi-location brands and franchises won’t simply see reviews (e.g., 3.5 stars) but gain a more holistic sense of how their locations are performing and how customer sentiment is trending. Accordingly Yelp has positioned this program not just as “reputation management” but “social analytics,” which can yield valuable operational insights.Though many analytics/reputation companies can monitor Yelp reviews the company says in a blog post, “Only Yelp Knowledge partners have verified, current data and a direct line to Yelp to make sure their clients are getting trustworthy data.”Yelp sees its data being used side-by-side with other …

Scaremongering in digital: Why ad blocking isn’t as dire as you think

A recent report by Optimal predicted that ad blocking would cost $12 billion in US ad revenue by 2020. Juniper Research reports ad-blocking software could cost digital publishers over $27 billion by 2020. While I understand these big claims are good for headlines, I’m not sure I agree with their findings, so I decided to do my own homework.What I discovered is that while ad blocking is a big concern that publishers need to take seriously, it may not be as big a business problem as some predict it to be. Here’s why.The numbers don’t add upI took a dive into the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) as a guide to our breakdown. Many of the articles analyzing the data from reports published by Optimal and Juniper refer to a linear calculation of the ultimate effects of the problem.At The 614 Group, we solve complex business intelligence problems for our clients. However, in this case, I took a very simple look at the numbers and analyzed them u…

Google’s Joris Merks on the importance of leadership for digital transformation

Joris Merks is Head of Digital Transformation, Northern Europe at Google, and works with companies to embed digital-first thinking into their strategies.He’ll be participating in a Google Squared webinar tomorrow (June 30), looking at how to drive a culture of innovation in your company.Can you tell us a little about your role at Google?I am EMEA Head of Curriculum design in the Google Digital Academy team. That means I work with a team and vendors to build workshops and education initiatives that help Google’s advertisers understand what the impact of digital is on their business and help the feel equipped for digital transformation.What does digital transformation mean to you?I look at digital transformation as a chain reaction of experiments that continuously helps companies to understand how to make the best use of new technology.In this way they stay in tune with their customers, who are also using digital technology, keeping their businesses ready for the future.What should the …

Facebook makes Pages’ organic reach even more dependent on shares

It’s a weekday, so there’s a good chance Facebook is recalibrating its all-important news feed algorithm. And as is often the case that means Pages will have a tougher time getting unpaid placements in people’s feeds.This time around Facebook is making Pages’ organic reach even more dependent on people sharing Page posts with their friends.“If a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts,” Facebook engineering director Lars Backstrom said in a company blog post announcing the latest news feed algorithm tweak.Why is Facebook doing this? Because Facebook wants to stay in the friend zone. The social network has been pretty regularly recalibrating its news feed algorithm over the past few years to better sift through all the posts from friends, family members, brands, publishers and celebrities to find the ones…

Which kinds of links are most valuable for high rankings?

What does link-building look like right now? What tactics work? Is it all about quality content or do more shady tactics still get results? Glen Allsop of ViperChill posted another excellent article recently, distilling the findings from his own manual analysis of 1,000 search results.He looks at the link structure of various sites, trying to ascertain the kinds of links that help some sites rank, the tactics (white hat and not-so white hat) used by sites to rank, and the effects of factors like number of links and word count.It’s a monster of a post – more than 5,000 words I’d guess – but truly worth a read. All I’ll do here is list some of the key lessons from Glen’s analysis.The most common backlinks are naturalGlen found that natural (i.e. earned) backlinks top the chart, which is as it should be.However, the study also found that many high ranking websites have some very low quality backlinks. They are things like forum pages, blog comments, and non-English Blogspot blogs. They’r…

Nine SEO techniques that take less than 15 minutes

I know. It’s the 21st century equivalent of ‘8 minute abs’. But bear with me on this…Search engine optimisation should be an ongoing process, mixing technical on-page techniques with quality content, good old fashioned marketing, plenty of research, tonnes of planning, masses of testing and all the while taking into account searcher intent, context, algorithm changes… I get breathless just thinking about all the work that needs doing…Basically, SEO is a job that is never done.But, if you are struggling with time and resources, there are SEO techniques that don’t have to consume your entire day.The following can be done while sat down in the morning, enjoying a pastry, listening to some cool light-jazz and blissfully remembering that this is a much better use of your time than that other ‘resolution’ you toyed with doing four paragraphs ago.Please note: we published a similarly titled guide to quick SEO tips, written by Josh McCoy, way back in 2012. This is an updated, rewritten versio…

MarTech Today: Pinterest’s AI-enabled search, Kahuna’s expanded machine learning & Google’s tool for Internet speeds

Here’s our daily recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Pinterest tries to one-up Amazon with new shopping features like AI-enabled search
Jun 28, 2016 by Tim Peterson
Pinterest is adding a shopping cart, merchant profiles and artificially intelligent product search capabilities to better compete against Amazon and Google.Marketing platform Kahuna applies its machine learning across customer journeys
Jun 28, 2016 by Barry Levine
Firm continues to expand its scope, this time with Experiences for message optimizing.Predictive data & ABM: How to move from account lists to account contacts
Jun 28, 2016 by Scott Vaughan
Columnist Scott Vaughan says combining your predictive efforts with an ABM approach can help you identify optimal accounts and drive desired results.LinkedIn starts officially auctioning off its desktop banner ads
Jun 28, 2016 by Tim Peterson
LinkedIn will let brands bid on its de…

Amazon finally makes it easier to find skills for Echo

Amazon has been adding new “skills” for its Echo personal assistant almost as fast as developers can make them, but ask any Echo owner and chances are you’ll hear a common refrain: It’s impossible to browse and find new skills to bolster what Echo can do.Not anymore.Amazon has finally overhauled the skills section of the Echo mobile app, putting all skills into 20 browsable categories and adding new search and refine tools, as well.Along with the more user-friendly skills library, Amazon has announced that there are now more than 1,400 skills available for Echo (and its companion devices, Tap and Dot).For the non-Echo user, skills are like apps for your smartphone or tablet that make Echo more useful by expanding Alexa’s capabilities. There’s a Jeopardy skill, for example, that lets you play a short game of the Jeopardy game show by talking to Echo. Brands and publishers including Kayak, NBC News, Capital One, Fitbit and StubHub have created skills for Alexa. Amazon says there are mor…

Google’s Keyword Planner tool just became even more inaccurate

You’re probably familiar with the Keyword Planner tool, which is one of the best sources we have to spot opportunities and make the business case for an investment into paid or organic search campaigns.One of the things it provides is guidance on the volume of searches for any given query. The numbers reported in the tool have always been somewhat vague. They are rounded up and numbers end with at least one zero. A pinch of salt has always been required when digesting the data.It turns out that these numbers are now even more imprecise.Jennifer Slegg spotted that Google has started to combine related terms, pooling them all together and reporting one (bigger) number.No longer can you separate the data for keyword variants, such as plurals, acronyms, words with space, and words with punctuation.As such it would be easy to get a false impression of search volumes, unless you’re aware of the change. No sudden jump in search queries, just an amalgamated number. Be warned.Here are a couple…

Report: What marketers can learn from the biggest brands on Instagram

What insights can you learn from Fortune 500 brands using Instagram? TrackMaven has your answer. After analyzing over 40,000 unique social posts on the image sharing network, they’ve released The Fortune 500 Instagram Report: 2016 Edition, gleaning data on what marketers can learn from these big brands.Looking at both B2B and B2C brands from May 2015 through April 2016, the key takeaways we can glean from the report are as follows:Instagram usage is increasing among the F500. Exactly 50% of the F500 are using Instagram, up from 24.6% in 2013 when TrackMaven released their first report. It is also interesting to note that Instagram is the preferred network over Google+ and Pinterest combined, according to a study by the University of Dartmouth.Engagement is key on Instagram, and conversation isn’t even top of mind. Only 1.1% of interactions across these brands’ posts are in the form of comments. The remainder of engagements are in the form of likes.Posts are usually made on weekdays, b…

Gravity Gestures Lets you Add Gestures to Any Android Phone

Gestures are great, they can be used to quickly fire up a particular event without actually interacting with your device and performing that action manually. Unfortunately, not every manufacturer implements this functionality, some of which who do, like Motorola, proudly flaunt them as one of the key selling points. Frankly, they stand quite true there, if you’ve ever used any recent Moto handset, you know how useful the “twist to launch camera” or “chop to turn on the flashlight” is. Thankfully, there’s an Android app for that now which lets you easily define gestures on any android phone and while there are tons of options, “Gravity Gestures” specifically gets the job done flawlessly.Gravity Gestures is a free 2MB utility (yes, just TWO MB) on the play store that makes use of the accelerometer and gyroscope (your phone MUST have both of those sensors) for interpreting four basic gestures like shake or chop and based on that, you can assign different tasks to them. The main focus her…

Twitter’s New Dashboard Feature is Aimed at Helping Small Businesses

Twitter seems to be on the roll as the micro blogging site has now announced a new feature, Twitter Dashboard. The dashboard comes right after Twitter introduced Engage and an app or influencers. Now Twitter is seemingly targeting the small businesses with the Dashboard.Dashboard has been built on similar lines as Engage tool but the former is more inclined towards maintaining a dialog or an intuitive discussion among a group of customers and the Business owners. The new feature will be made available on both Mobile and web. The dashboard is more like an advanced analytic tool that will also offer tools for scheduling tweets, trends, advanced analytics and much more.Businesses have been using third party services for managing their Twitter interactions and will probably continue to do so. It is the medium and small businesses who will benefit from the Dashboard and will have a chance to use analytical tools at no extra cost. That being said, the Dashboard is not devoid of advanced fea…

How to Free up Storage Space on Your Android Phone

When it comes to stacking up data – be it videos, images, and whatever digital content possible – there is no limit to what we can store on the phones. Be it  a general consumer who downloads tons of videos, or a pro who keeps organizing files, at the end of the day, we all fall short of storage space.In this post, we are talking about Android phones, and have taken a different approach because the experience can be improved right from day one, and not only when you have “a few MB” of storage left on your phone.Basics & First StepWhen you are starting with a new phone, it is always a good idea to prepare for storage, even if you’ve bought a phone with say 128GB of storage.  That much of space is meant to run out rather soon.Remove Bloatware:Most of the Android phones come preloaded with third party software which takes up at least 15 to 25% of storage space. Most of the consumers don’t bother about it initially, and they can even end up consuming the precious bandwidth by running …