Interest in Pinterest Reaches a Fever Pitch [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing and SEO | No Comments »

Could Pinterest be the silver bullet for retailers on social media?  Pinterest is clearly resonating with online consumers in a big way.  To put it simply, customers who find a product via Pinterest are more likely to purchase it than those who find the product via other social networks.

SEE ALSO: 10 Video Tips for Businesses on Pinterest

Pinterest is hot. In fact, in March 2012 the site served up 2.3 billion page impressions to over 4 million unique visitors a day.

Who are these people? Why do Pinterest users respond so strongly to products that are pinned? This infographic from Tamba breaks down the stats, explaining why Pinterest is so powerful with its consumption-friendly audience.

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Is Google Play Ready for Prime Time?

Posted: April 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Fun, Marketing and SEO, Techy | Tags: , , | No Comments »

n March 2012, Google made a bold move with the creation of a new digital content service called Google Play. Google Play combines the Android Market, Google Music, Google Movies, and Google books into one service which can be accessed from the web and from any Android-powered device.

From a long-term perspective, Google Play is meant to be part of the unifying force behind the company’s mobile strategy. In August 2011, Google acquired Motorola Mobility in order to boost the Android ecosystem, and just a few days ago Google announced plans to build and sell Android-based tablets directly to consumers rather than through their hardware manufacturing partners. (Google has already tested the waters of hardware sales to customers with the Nexus One back in 2010.) It’s clear that Google wants to move away from the name “Android” and begin to brand all of their mobile distributed services under one clear name.

What’s not clear is why they chose that name.

Android users were familiar with term “Android Market” and knew what it stood for easily (even with Google Music, Google Books, etc. as standalone apps within the market). However, the name “Google Play Store” — or is it just “Play Store”? — feels just as rushed as Google Play’s launch. The Android Market is one of the operating system’s major features, because your apps and downloaded files were synced across your Android device. None of that changes with Google Play, but the re-branding may make it more confusing for newer Android users.

The Google Play Store wasn’t the only name change — Google Music, Google Movies, and Google Books are now called Google Play Music, Google Play Movies, and Google Play Books. On devices, this is shortened to Play Music, Play Movies, Play Books, and there are also new icons for each of these apps.

Google Play’s launch is also centered mostly around US Android tablet and smartphone users. The full suite of Google Play apps are available here in the States, but a full global roll-out is still pending. Users in the UK and Canada have access to the Play Store, Play Movies, and Play Books. Australia has access to the Play Store and Play Books, and Japan has access to the Play Store and Play Movies. Every other country in the world just has the Play Store, which puts the entire Google Play ecosystem on pause until implementation in other countries is fully complete. (There’s a thread on Google+ about the Google Play roll-out that has well over 260 comments about this.)

The same goes for Google Play on Google TV. Google Play Books, Google Play Movies, and Google Play Music are said to be available on the Google Play Store on Google TV, but that’s not the case across all Google TV devices (namely, the Logitech Revue). Google Play Music is available for Google TV, but not the other two services. This may be part of Google’s plan to completely phase out support for the Revue (perhaps in anticipation for a newer, better Google TV set-top box), but for now, Revue users will only be able to use Google Play Music.

Google is moving full force with marketing Google Play, and has even given the service prominence in their ubiquitous navbar, which is present across a majority of Google’s services. Including Google Play front and center for users (along with the bright red “New” superscript) is a little blatant, but doing so would make users who are unfamiliar with the service take notice.

There’s no doubt that Google Play is a step in the right direction for Google with regards to strengthening their mobile brand and readying their digital media hub for their upcoming line of tablets. And, like any of Google’s products or services, this is only the beginning. However, they will still have to go a long way to ensure current users that Google Play is more than the sum of its parts.

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Breaking Down 50 New Google Search Changes

Posted: April 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing and SEO | No Comments »

Every month, Google makes tons of tiny changes to the way search works. It shares them in company blog posts that present a list of carefully scripted bullet points with mysterious code names in an inscrutable order.

The company never comments on the changes beyond what they say in these announcements. But it’s always informative to spread the puzzle pieces out on the table and see what Google is up to. Here’s what changed in March.

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As always, there are tons of items in this month’s search quality highlights. This month, there are 50. Some of them are minor, some are redundant, and some you just don’t need to worry about. But here’s a breakdown of the interesting changes.

Search Quality

If Google doesn’t work tirelessly to improve the quality of search results, its competitors can catch up. As Google Fellow Ben Gomes told ReadWriteWeb recently, the hard problems in search quality have to do with understanding the user’s intentions. Learning to interpret synonyms is a big step there.

Google’s search results often suggest synonyms for words in a user’s query, and some of last month’s updates turn down the aggressiveness of those. Google is also “eliminating duplicate logic” for synonyms in cases when no further suggestions are needed.

Other quality changes include better detection of people’s names and improved identification of quality image results. Google is also bringing its preferences for page freshness to other kinds of queries beyond just news.

Google also refreshed the Panda algorithm adjustments designed to suppress spammy sites. It never elaborates much on those changes beyond tweets like this:

Panda refresh rolling out now. Only ~1.6% of queries noticeably affected. Background on Panda: goo.gl/mTKCH

Search Speed

We learned from Google Search Project Manager Johanna Wright that speed is the unsung hero of search. Users don’t notice speed, they just get used to it. When something slows them down, they get frustrated. So Google often changes search features to make them faster, even if users won’t notice.

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Last month, Google reduced the number of back-end server calls needed for auto-complete, a search feature built purely for speed. It also improved language detection for auto-completing queries.

Another change improves results for people who use the Google search box to navigate to websites, which a surprisingly high number of people do all the time.

Social Search

Google’s recent incorporation of social network signals into search has freaked some people out, especially the fact that it uses Google+ in situations where other social networks would be more helpful.

Well, last month, without making a big fuss, Google launched a change with the code name “Prof-2″ that “improves the comprehensiveness of public profile pages in our index from more than two-hundred social sites.”

Google also improved the personalization signals in social search (but won’t elaborate further), and it rolled out the +1 button in search for more countries and domains.

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Universal Search

Google’s Universal Search brought images, videos, maps and more alongside webpages in search results. Now Google provides direct answers to questions, too, instead of just linking to a website with the answer. It even does complex math. Google improved the accuracy of its short answers to questions by relying on semantic data from Freebase.

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This month brought improvements to other kinds of rich search results Google provides. Mobile searches for Android and iOS apps now include icons, ratings, prices and download buttons. The Russian Hockey League (KHL) and UEFA Champions League both display live scores in search now, and Google launched a feature to find tennis scores, too.

Privacy

There’s no huge privacy news this month, but the two privacy-related changes are noteworthy. Google now signs users out on all machines whenever they change their password, eliminating the chance of staying logged in by mistake. The SafeSearch algorithm was also tuned this month, making it more precise and adding new ways of making unwanted adult content less likely to appear.

 

 

Article from Read Write Web

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The Wilderness Downtown

Posted: May 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Design and Illustration, Fun, Marketing and SEO, Techy, Web Design, Web Detective | Tags: , | No Comments »

Click here to see ‘The Wilderness Downtown’ by Arcade Fire.

Take a look at this, no flash needed so make sure you don’t use Internet Explorer as it’s done in HTML 5 showing the way forward. IE is slowing the web down by not embracing new technologies and open source – what are they waiting for.

This is the new video for Arcade Fire and is promoted via a clever viral, listen and learn!

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Curry’s branding

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Design and Illustration, Fun, Marketing and SEO, Web Detective | Tags: | No Comments »

Curry’s branding, originally uploaded by LifesFirstBeat (Chris Ward).

I hate the new Currys branding, when I first saw it I knew they would have to change the red on blue as its illegible to almost 20% of the population, it now seems to be white on blue in places and it’s extremely bland, hence why you see this outside their stores – makes me laugh!

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iPhone Makes Up 50 Percent of Smartphone Web Traffic In U.S., Android Already 5 Percent

Posted: February 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing and SEO, Techy, Web Design | No Comments »

iPhone Makes Up 50 Percent of Smartphone Web Traffic In U.S., Android Already 5 Percent.

Heres a very good reason to be thinking very carefully about how we go about designing websites and making sure they are fit for purpose on different devices.

Yes, it’s going to take ages delivering for them all, but the good thing is just now that if we think about iPhones we are getting 50% of the Smartphones.

Most importantly, iPhones don’t support Flash so remember that when site designing. Include an iPhone style sheet if there is Flash and serve an image and some text instead, that’s always going to be better for SEO anyway.

The iPhone now accounts for 50 percent of mobile Web traffic from smartphones in the U.S., according to an AdMob Mobile Metrics report released this morning. Over the past six months, the iPhone has taken share from Blackberry and Windows Mobile. In August 2008, the iPhone made up only 10 percent of mobile Web traffic from smartphones. During the same time, Blackberry’s share has gone from 32 percent to 21 percent (with the Curve and the Pearl coming in stronger than the Storm), while Windows Mobile has taken an even bigger hit, declining from 30 percent to 13 percent. Palm is also down to 7 percent from 19 percent six months ago.

The only other smartphone operating system that is showing gains in mobile Web usage is Android, which has captured a strong 5 percent share just three months after launch. And that is up from 3 percent in January. The gains shown by the iPhone and Android show what is possible when phones are built with fully capable browsers and support a rich array of Web apps.

On a worldwide basis, smartphones running on the Symbian OS (mostly from Nokia) still dominate mobile Web traffic with a 43 percent share. But that is down from 64 percent in August. The iPhone has gone from 4 percent to 33 percent of mobile Web traffic on a worldwide basis. All the other mobile operating systems are down as well.

This data is extrapolated from AdMob’s mobile ad network and only looks at smartphone share. Overall, smartphones generated 33 percent of worldwide mobile Web traffic, up from 26 percent six months ago. The full report is embedded below.

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Google Places

Posted: February 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing and SEO | No Comments »

Google.

Last April, Google converted its Small Business Center into Google Places, where businesses can go to claim a listing on Google and Google Maps, a re-branding effort that has become part of Google’s push into local searches and local advertising. Included in those features was Google Tags, a service that allows local businesses to enhance their Google Maps listings by providing a link to special offers, coupons, or back to their website — indicated by a small, yellow tag. Tags are offered for a flat fee at $25 a month.

Last week, Google further ramped up its foray into local, officially rolling out Boost, their advertising solution to help local business owners to easily create online search ads from directly within their Google Places account. This “set it and forget it” service targets local businesses that have stopped using AdWords due to its relative complexity and the time required to manage ad campaigns, essentially re-creating a subscription-based model. A business just has to add Boost to their listing in Google Places, set up a monthly budget, and select relevant categories. Boost does the rest, advertising on Google and Google Maps. (You may have seen the blue pin at the top of a Google Map search? That’s a Boost ad.)

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Website Design Trends for 2011

Posted: February 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing and SEO, Web Design, Web Detective | No Comments »

Website Design 2011 | ShutterVoice Review.

by Arghya Chatterjee

Website design is the face of a website that tells the story about its body, previously it was done to stylize the site but with the advance of web technology, designing is a part of interface synchronizing the site with tabs and links. As the web technology is advancing with the invention and modification of languages, designing is getting a whole new role of improvising the website content with proper looks.

HTML 5

The changes are going to affect deigns in the coming future is the new languages and standards browsers going to adapt in the near future. Along with Apple, many of the web designers have deserted building animations in flash and instead they are using JavaScript which is far more stable and less buggy, another added advantage of JavaScript is the less size of application files unlike flash which takes time to load for slow connections. Designing in JavaScript has opened a whole new set of options which was not possible for any design in flash.

But as the time is moving ahead, programmers and designers are search for better productive solutions like CSS3 or HTML5 which has variety of rendering animation within the consolidated boundary of ethical designing but not limited to new definitions like advanced typography, in-built transitions and 360 degree virtual resolution. These new features are quite popular now in the beginning stage and have a bright chance to be adopted by the mass in the coming year of 2011.

Web 2.0 Design standards are popular now a day with glossy and shady outlook and may remain like that for some time until anything replaces that soon. Big texts with matching sets of color are fashionable for any website with proper navigation in the home page. Those days are gone when the introductory page of any site was made completely with flash and sometimes used to show loading resulting in keep the user waiting for a couple of minutes, speed and simplicity are one of the main criteria now and that is exactly why HTML5 standards are coming into main trend, its fast, stable and it can deliver in a wide versatile format.

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