Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October 26, 2016
Instapage

Actionable AI: Data science meets social science

Replaceable. How many of you hear that word in the back of your mind when you read the term “artificial intelligence,” in reference to the value you add to your organization? That hard knot in the back of your throat is recognition that we’re now entrenched in technology innovations that will shape our world — and jobs — forever.Last month, in a heavily shared and discussed AdExchanger interview, former AOL Sales Chief Jim Norton said ad dollars are swinging back to content.Norton explained that high-end premium digital content was scant, so “advertisers have quickly realized that in an algorithmically driven world wired to a race to the bottom on both scale, efficiency and pricing, you end up with this real need to get back to a premium ad environment and user experience.” (Note: He was not replaced by AI, and instead has been snapped up by Condé Nast to help the mass media company position itself as a key digital premium player.)That algorithm is artificial intelligence, or “AI,” an…

Penguin 4.0: Necessary and positive improvement

Penguin 4.0 was announced on September 23, and I couldn’t be more excited. I believe Penguin 4 will be a boon for (legitimate) SEO companies everywhere.We had to wait over 700 days for the newest iteration of Penguin; it was a long time coming, but now that it’s here, it’s more than I hoped. There a few reasons I welcome this new Penguin with open arms:The algorithm now devalues links rather than punishing sites.Penguin is baked into Google’s core algorithm, updating in real time.The feasibility of negative SEO is greatly diminished.The new Penguin is more granular.Penguin 4.0 pushes SEO closer to real marketing.Penguin 4.0 is the relief many sites have waited over two years for. As an SEO, I’ve never anticipated an algorithm update as much.Note: Non-graph embedded tweets are paraphrased quotes from a conversation between Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes and Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting at Pubcon 2016 in Las Vegas.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via M…

Q3 Reports: Facebook continues to see significant ad spend growth

Advertisers keep increasing investment in Facebook, third-quarter reports from Kenshoo and Merkle both found.According to Kenshoo data released this week, advertisers on the campaign management platform increased spending on Facebook (including Instagram and Facebook Audience Network) by 45 percent year-over-year in Q3. Click-through rates across the Facebook ecosystem has steadily risen over the past 3 quarters, increasing by 14 percent year-over-year in Q3. Kenshoo attributes the higher engagement rates to more specialized ad types and better targeting.The growth was driven by dynamic product ads — Facebook’s retargeting ad format that shows users products from sites they have visited previously. Dynamic product ads (DPAs) accounted for 42 percent of ad clicks and 21 percent of ad spend on Facebook among Kenshoo customers. That’s up from just 15 percent click share and 8 percent spend share for DPAs a year ago.Kenshoo also saw advertisers increase investment in video advertising on …

Long-term SEO: Proving the value now

Last month, my colleague Derek Edmond wrote a column here on Search Engine Land discussing how to improve your value as a strategic SEO partner. The post included suggestions around reporting dashboards, software knowledge and industry-specific networking.What I liked about the piece was the implication that to show value, we have to do more than just provide recommendations. But it also got me thinking about the value of the recommendations themselves.If you search “show SEO value,” you’ll get a slew of posts discussing how to use data and reporting to make your case. Yes. We should do that. But what if the data isn’t in your favor just yet?How do you show the value of long-term SEO recommendations in the short term?Before we get into the actions themselves, let me clarify what I mean by “long-term SEO.” To me, this refers to things that generally take a longer period of time to have an effect on SEO progress. This includes subdomain transitions, link-building programs, Schema recomm…

Beyond heuristics: Algorithmic multi-channel attribution

Marketing attribution continues to provoke many discussions, theories and debates these days. As stated in the intro to Christi Olson’s recent Search Engine Land column, “Proper attribution modeling is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers today.”Along with difficulties caused by holes in data (such as connecting user journeys across devices), the oversimplification of traditional first- and last-click models is highlighted.These models fall into a class of “heuristic” rules. A heuristic, by its nature, is a simplification of problem to more of a “rule of thumb,” removing complexity in favor of a quick analysis. In the case of attribution modeling, this means assigning values across positions in the chain, regardless of actual impact on the completion of a sale.The step beyond this is to algorithmic attribution — complete analysis of the available data to determine the true impact of a given touch point on conversions. Rather than “shortcutting” and applying a blanket positio…

Microsoft Surface Studio is a Refreshing New Take on a Desktop PC

Microsoft has just now unveiled a new All-in-One (AIO) desktop PC in the form of their Surface Studio. After the Surface Pro series and the Surface Book that was launched last year, this is the latest hardware product from the company that aims to revolutionise the dying PC market. In fact, it’s their first real attempt at building a PC of their own.The Surface Studio from the Redmond based company apparently seems to be Microsoft’s take on the iMac. Precisely speaking it builds upon a standard PC and integrates features that were so far limited to a laptop, and well that’s what Surface Studio is folks. The AiO from Microsoft comes with a 28-inch Pixel Sensor LCD monitor which the company claims are the thinnest available in the market. At 12.5mm it’s indeed remarkably slim. The Pixel Sense touchscreen LCD monitor is contained in an aluminum exposure and is said to output 13.5 million pixels. For stats, that’s about 63 percent more than a standard 4K television.The large 28-inch displ…

Microsoft Announces Standalone VR Headsets for Windows 10, Starting at $299

Microsoft has finally hopped on the VR bandwagon and with this, the company has announced its VR headset that offers full-fledged virtual reality, unlike the HoloLens. Microsoft has partnered with Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus and Acer to release an entire line-up of standalone VR headsets. Additionally, Microsoft also showcased the HoloTour app which was meant for the HoloLens which is more of a mixed reality headset. The app will let users take a trip around the world in the comfort of their homes.The thing is that Microsoft has not yet announced the complete details about the VR headsets and has just announced their foray into the segment. However, they did reveal some details including the inside-out tracking sensors which removes the need for external cameras or laser systems usually found on VR’s including Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.Standalone VR’s have carved a niche for themselves since the usual VR headset requires users to strap on the phone to the headset. Also, since the manufactur…

Microsoft Updates the Surface Book with 2x Graphics and 16 Hour Battery Life

Microsoft, today at their New York event, unveiled a significantly powerful and upgraded variant of the Surface Book which was announced last year. While most of the aesthetics are similar, Microsoft has managed to radically fit in better hardware, more batteries, in the same aluminum form factor. They’re referring it as the Surface Book i7.To start off, the new Surface Book improves battery life by 30% and can now, according to Microsoft, last up to 16 hours on normal usage. As the name suggests, it features the latest generation core i7 processor and doubles the graphics performance. Theoretically, it is three times faster than the highest end 13-inch MacBook Pro but we’ll discuss after the Apple MacBook event. For keeping things cool, Microsoft says they’ve reengineered the cooling system and the latest Surface Book utilizes a more efficient thermal system. The company hasn’t revealed any other details such as storage availability or the amount of RAM. Other than that, the rest of t…

BlueVenn opens for marketing automation business in the U.S.

From the BlueVenn website BlueVenn, a UK-based provider of marketing automation and customer analytics for the past two decades, has set up shop in the U.S.This week, the company formally began its operations in its U.S. headquarters in Boston, offering its marketing platform for managing multi-channel customer journeys, enhancing customer experience, and creating efforts to retain and acquire customers.A key question is whether the platform will offer sufficient differentiators to help it secure a foothold in the American marketing automation space, which is dominated by such major players as Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe, and Marketo, plus dozens of smaller vendors.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

MarTech Landscape: What are Progressive Web Apps?

Three Progressive Web Apps Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) could become more than just another tech term to learn.In fact, according to tech blogger and JavaScript expert/Progressive Web App developer Henrik Joreteg, they are “the biggest thing to happen to the mobile web since the iPhone.”In this article, part of our MarTech Landscape Series, we look at this next evolution for apps and browsers — high-performance browser-based apps.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

Microsoft Aims to Make 3D Imagery as Easy as Taking a Picture with Paint 3D

After years of existence, Microsoft’s legacy Paint app is finally getting a significant makeover. Apart from the design improvements, the company is betting big on 3D objects and imagery with comprehensive native tools for creating three-dimensional content. Paint 3D (that’s the new name) will be a part of Windows 10 Creators update and will roll out sometime in Spring (early 2017) for free.The most crucial feature of the new Paint application is the ability to modify any 2D image and edit it in a 3D space. In layman’s terms, that translates to an environment where you can, essentially take a normal picture on your phone and add layered textures on Paint providing a three-dimensional paradigm to it. Additionally, these models can be exported directly from Paint and 3D printed if you have the hardware for that. It’s a universal Windows app meaning you can easily use stylus or touch for interacting with its various components. You can further crop, edit, paint on these files. Apart from…

Making sense of the latest trends in digital retail

One of the things I love about my job is that marketing is constantly evolving. Just when you think you have mastered the latest tools and strategies, a whole new generation of technologies emerges, creating opportunities for marketers to take their work in exciting directions.Last month, a group of my colleagues attended Shop.org, one of the biggest gatherings of digital retail professionals on the planet. As always, this year’s event introduced us to new approaches and technologies, showed continued movement on trends that are changing the digital retail space and enabled us to think about how all types of marketers view digital retail. As we head into the holidays, the busiest time of year for retailers, it’s important to keep on the lookout for some of these trends and technologies we saw at Shop.org.Not surprisingly, the relationship between technology and marketing continues to take center stage in digital retail. Forward-thinking marketers are tapping into the latest consumer t…

Why building relevant ads in a cookie-free world comes down to context

Targeted ads work. If the rise of digital has taught marketers anything, it’s that advertising must be highly relevant to achieve any kind of cut-through, but there is one proviso: consumers are willing to accept targeted ads­­ only if they do not intrude on their privacy.According to a Millward Brown survey exploring video — the ad format of the moment — 41 percent of respondents are receptive to ads targeted on their interests, yet just 25 percent are receptive to ads that use their browsing history for basic retargeting.It’s no coincidence that with marketers still relying on cookies, cookie synching and fingerprinting, the adoption of ad blockers continues to rise, with usage growing by 48 percent last year in the US alone.So how can marketers take a cookie-less approach to ad targeting that delivers ultimate relevance, without compromising privacy? The answer lies in context.What makes context crucial?A key element of targeting that has been eclipsed by the fascination with cooki…

Bing Ads reveal the most searched Halloween costumes

Halloween in the digital age involves a significant amount of searching until the right costume is picked. So what can we learn from this year’s searches?Online search is the most popular way to discover a Halloween costume nowadays, as according to National Retail Federation, 35% of adults rely on searching to find their costumes.Bing examined the trends on the searches from September to mid-October and it found that adults are actually more interested in performing such searches, compared to teens.32% of the searches were made from people aged 35-49 and 28% of them were made from people aged 50-64. This is probably the reason why 72% of the searches occurred on PCs, with just 14% of them taking place on both tablet and mobile devices.Halloween costume trends by ageDifferent age groups lead to different costume searches and apparently every generation has its own preferences:Teens aged 13 to 17 are 473% more likely to search for Pokémon, compared to young adults aged 18 to 24.Young a…

Deliverables and documentation to make your SEO strategy actionable

For companies serving either B2B or B2C audiences, search engine optimization continues to be a priority for driving new traffic.There are many, many articles suggesting the right tactics to help you deliver that traffic. But within this piece, I want to take a step back and offer a few key components to think through before you even begin the optimization process.Understand your audienceThe first of these preparatory steps is to understand your audience.If your business has not taken the time to develop personas, get started now. Personas are a set of representative profiles that communicate the important behaviors, goals, wants, needs and frustrations of specific audience segments along their decision-making journey.Effective personas are driven by primary and secondary data, and used to gain a focused understanding of how a particular persona profile uses a particular “application” within a given context.SEO auditThe next step, once you have identified your audience, is to perform …

Google comes under fire for its privacy policy change

Earlier this year, Google made a change to its privacy policy that is now drawing criticism from privacy proponents.As detailed by ProPublica, Google “quietly erased [the] last privacy line in the sand” by allowing for data it collects on its services to be combined with DoubleClick.Previously, Google’s privacy policy read:“We will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent.”That was replaced with:“Depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google’s services and the ads delivered by Google.”According to ProPublica’s Julia Angwin, “The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on your name and other information Google knows about you. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user b…

Why isn’t Xiaomi Launching the Mi Note 2, Mi Mix and Mi 5s in India?

It’s now official that Xiaomi isn’t bringing the newly announced Mi Note 2 and Mi Mix to India. The smartphones were launched amidst lots of fanfarein China yesterday, and the expectations of India launch gained momentum as Xiaomi took quite a few Indian journalists and bloggers to the launch event in Beijing.Unfortunately, the Indian fans would have to deal with the disappoitment of yet another cool product from Xiaomi which won’t see the light in India.But then, Xiaomi’s strategy has been quite clear. The company never launched the Mi Note or the Mi Note Pro in India, although they did launch the Mi 3, Mi 4 and the Mi 5. While the Mi 3 and Mi 4 were launched at the fag end of their sale cycle, the Mi 5 was launched just weeks after the global launch. That probably peaked the expectations of Indian fans that Xiaomi is ready to launch other high profile devices like the Mi 5s and Mi Note 2 in India.But the truth is, the premium smartphone market in India is extremely thin.As per Gartn…

How To Build Your First Online Store [Comprehensive Guide]

In the past, setting up a self-run business was not for everyone. But when this decade began, things changed a lot. Online stores have opened up businesses with such a fast pace that they far outnumber brick and mortar shops.E-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc. with millions of online stores, all create more than $1.2 billion in revenue.Sounds crazy, right? The good news is that even you can build an online store. It is easy, simple, and won’t require you to break your bank (or your head).Here are some straight-forward steps to get your online dream store up and running:1. Product Planning for your online storeWhat are you going to sell?Is your store selling clothing, gadgets, food & grocery items, books, jewelry, or sporting goods?Zeroing in on the product, or types of products you are planning to sell is called product planning. Try out some of these ideas to find your first product:Look for the most sought out products from search engine keywords.Spot u…

Google’s Latest Hardware is a Giant 4K Enabled Touchscreen Jamboard

Google has vowed to get itself involved in the hardware business starting with the Google Pixel, Google Home, Google Wi-Fi and not to mention the Chromecast. The company has now announced that it will update its range of hardware with yet another offering, a whiteboard. Yes, a traditional looking whiteboard that comes studded with pieces of latest technology.To begin with, the Whiteboard is a 55-inch 4K touchscreen that is closely integrated with the Google’s suite of products including Gmail, GDrive and Google Docs. The cornerstone of this product is easy collaboration and this will shape up as a great tool for online business meetings. Google says that the Jamboard is specifically designed to ease out the brainstorming session with the Google Search integration and tools like sticky notes and stencils. Also, the Jamboard comes with handwriting and shape recognition.Furthermore, the Jamboard is also expected to increase the involvement of the team members as they no more have to reac…

MVNOs in India and the Opportunities they Present

MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. The concept of MVNO is very popular in the US and Europe. An MVNO doesn’t operate a network of its own. They rather buy talktime and data in bulk from an already well-established MNOs (the actual telecom operator) and resell them. Think of MVNOs as retailers and MNOs as wholesalers/manufacturers.MVNOs have not existed in India with the exception of Future Group’s T24. I believe there are two key reasons why MVNOs didn’t exist in India –The Indian telecom market was very crowded between 2008-2011. Quite a lot of companies such as Telenor, Etisalat, Videocon etc had entered the Indian telecom market with licenses that were available at dirt cheap prices.The competition caused voice prices to become some of the lowest in the world.The easy availability of telecom licenses meant that anyone who wanted to provide vanilla telecom services would apply for a license and build out a network. Considering that during 2008-2011, the Indian telecom …