Many might not know the time when wired telephone connections were prevalent, but everyone knows an Android or an Apple today. Mobile devices have become an important and integral part of human communication experience. Social media and ocean of different apps, make life easy, fun and efficient. You can talk to a person you have never met or seen on the screen face to face with service like skype. You can look up information about almost anything and you won’t be disappointed by google search. Going out to another city and want the street experience, contact a local lodger on Airbnb. Digital age has opened up doors for experiences which were previously explored only in sci-fi books and shows. Mobile phones are our modern friends and constant companions.
Majority of these devices run on either Android or iOS, both of which are operating systems belonging to Google and Apple respectively. Both operating systems have a huge respective user base who are regular consumers of their updates and other products. The question that most have about both OS’s is, which one’s better?
There can be no specific answer for this, and there are obviously multiple factors that make both worth having, and occasional source of irritation as well. Here are some points of difference that you can keep in mind if and when making a choice between the two-
iOS is only available on apple devices and in a closed-end OS. Android is open-source and is available on a variety of devices.
iOS is usually a choice of people who prefer privacy and style statement over cost, as iOS is quite costly. Whereas Android OS is available in devices of different types and cost-range. That may be the reason behind android having more users. iOS inspires a unique feeling of class while Android’s ubiquitousness, huge app-world, and cost-effectiveness make it choice of the majority.
Can be explored heavily by Android, it being an open-end OS, while apple has only a few open-source components and is on the whole, a close-end OS.
Google comes out with one heavy update each year and then it is customised by a variety of distributors, to suit their devices. Android has so many contributors that it is imbued in a variety of vision. Google is mostly responsible for the software part, but distributors go all out when it comes to innovating hardware. This has created a huge variety of Android packages, available for people to choose from.
However, Apple itself is mostly responsible for the updates in software as well as hardware aspect, which gives Apple an edge at keeping hold on the entire growth of their platform. The unique and private experience that Apple provides has made it a style-statement and a trend all over the world.
Both platforms have a huge app ecosystem, Android having more apps in number.
Android apps are published and found on Google app store, and for apple apps there’s Apple app store.
iOS can only run apps specifically made for iOS platform and has a stricter publishing regulation than Android. iOS apps are more concerned with quality and keeping it all Apple. This makes iOS a less malware-prone platform for apps.
Android however is less strict on the developers, and as a result has the biggest app hosting platform i.e. Google play.
Many major apps are now available for both platforms, regardless of the source of origin.
iOS provides better quality of app-experience, whereas Android provide a huge variety of apps to choose from; which makes google more popular, while apple earns more money because of it.
Android User Interface, being an open-end OS, is extremely customizable. Users can design their experience based on their own preferences.
Apple interface is aesthetically simple and simplistic, but its performance is better in case of cognitive load and UXF (User experience friction).
More than 60% of current Apple users are satisfied with their device and its performance, while 50% of Android users show that level of satisfaction with their devices.
The major reason behind this difference can be Android being an open source OS and it’s having a variety of developers with a variety of devices. Some devices set the standards and some are just out there.
Apple however is consistent with its device upgrades so its most current version is consistently an improvement on its previous version. That is the secret behind Apple’s loyal customer base. Having the control over software and hardware gives apple a huge branding advantage over Android.
Both platforms have huge potential for growth, and the competition is fierce. The ability to improve functionality and innovate will decide who stays ahead in the race, among other factors. Recent technological advancements have opened up so many facets to explore, and it will be interesting to see how Android and iOS will fit in the bigger picture, years from now.
Matt Cutts remains on leave, but Search Engine Land can report that Google does have someone new in his position of head of web spam fighting. This person is unlikely, however, to become the all-around spokesperson on publisher and webmaster issues that Cutts had been.
Cutts headed Google’s web spam team that fights spam in its search listings for 10 years, until taking leave last July. He extended that leave last October and still remains on it. That doesn’t mean, however, that no one is minding the spam fighting team.
Google declined to name the person who has taken over Cutts’s role. The reason is simple. That person isn’t also assuming the other role that Cutts had played, that of being a general spokesperson about listing issues.
In his time at Google, Cutts was an incredibly popular figure with many SEOs and publishers who looked to him for advice on how to be better found within Google. He also became a lightning rod for others who were unhappy with Google’s policies relating to listings.
It was never the case that the head of web spam should also be a general spokesperson on listing issues. That was just a natural synergy between Cutts being both knowledgeable about Google’s listing processes in general and his personal interest in taking that role.
Going forward, Google says to continue to expect what’s already been happening while Cutts has been away. Various individual Googlers will keep splitting the role of providing advice and answers to SEOs and publishers in online forums, conferences and other places
You’ve come up with some fantastic SEO insight for your website. You know that it’s going to double your organic search traffic, and you are stoked! You bring the idea to the web dev project priority meeting and present it with a great deal of excitement, certain that it will be put to the top of the priority stack — after all, it’s a killer idea!
Then it happens. The CTO questions your competence. He or she simply believes that SEO does not work that way: “That’s stupid! Google isn’t stupid, so you must be wrong, and you are stupid.” Your jaw drops, and you don’t know what to do. The project is tabled, you have to regroup. Now, you have a much more difficult sales effort in front of you.
How can you avoid this scenario? How can you stop it from happening in the first place? The basic formula is simple:
Be the Smartest Person in the Room
In today’s column, I will focus on helping you succeed in getting your dev team to buy into those critical projects. Note that similar problems can happen with other people, as well, such as the PR team, the social media team, the CEO, etc. – but for today, the dev team will be the focus.
I have had many arguments over the years with various developers, dev managers and CTOs on a variety of different points. Three of the most common ones are:
1. 302 Vs. 301 Redirects
To be fair, it does seem a bit odd that the search engines would treat these differently. For those of us in the industry, we simply know that 301 redirects are what Google prefers when content has been permanently moved.
Regardless, I still have these conversations with developers, partially because many web development platforms or content management systems default to a 302 redirect. This
means you often end up with a 302 redirect simply because a developer does not pay enough attention to it.
Stuck on this one? Here are two resources to help simplify the task for you:
Matt Cutts Explains Why Google Prefers 301 Redirects
Excellent Explanation of the Difference Between 301 and 302 Redirects
2. Duplicate Content
There are tons of ways that sites end up with duplicate content. Once again, it can be as simple as the way your content management system is set up, or poor internal linking practices, such as linking to your pages many different ways, like linking to http://www.example.com/page/ and http://www.example.com/page and http://www.example.com/page/index.htm on your site.
I have had developers look at me like I was nuts when I explained that this makes a difference. You’ll hear things like, “Google should be able to figure that out.”
Interestingly enough, the example I gave using “example.com” was copied verbatim from the Google page on duplicate content. The rest of this Google article does a good job of laying out the issues from their perspective on duplicate content more broadly.
Duplicate Content is a Problem
3. Thin Content
The causes of thin content are many and varied. One common reason this occurs is that key people involved in the site believe it gives search engines more opportunities to rank them for various search terms, so they crank out tons of pages.
However, populating tons of pages (be it tens of thousands, millions, or more) with quality content is tough, if not impossible. This leaves you with creating largely empty pages or pages filled with machine-generated content using the same sources of information available to many others.
The real issue for search engines is that they want users to get a great experience on every page they visit after clicking on one of their search results. Why? Because this defines how the user perceives the search engine. If the user ends up on a crappy page you created, they blame the search engine for sending them there. You can see the Google position on thin content here.
Basically, thin content pages give the search engines more reasons to devalue the site overall and thus lower the rankings of the pages they may have been willing to rank.
Getting Closure With Your Dev Team
For the three situations outlined above, the Google resources I provided are helpful, but often they are not enough. I have had conversations where some particularly obstinate people will still not buy in, for the simple reason that they can’t understand what makes it difficult for the search engines. To be fair, they recognize just how powerful Google’s computing technology is, and they can’t fully rationalize the reasons for the limitations.
The simple answer to what makes it so complex is scale. Let me illustrate:
In October 2012, Matt Cutts told me that Google knew of 100 trillion web pages. More than two years later, it’s likely that this is now closer to 500 trillion.
The search engines crawl a large percentage of these pages.
They perform semantic analyses of all of the pages they crawl.
They build a link map of interconnectivity out of all the links they detect.
They throw this into a database replicated and distributed in data centers across many different points on the planet.
They allow users to enter any arbitrary search query.
They generally respond to that query in 0.4 seconds or less.
The technological scope of all this is staggering. Dealing with that scale has required them to make many simplifying assumptions. For example, the search engines actually have the capability to perform a certain amount of image recognition. You can see that by taking a picture of the Taj Mahal and dragging and dropping it into the search box in Google Image Search:
Drag an Image File Into Image Search Box
Once you drag it over the search box, it looks like this:
Image Search Accepting Image File
When you let go of the image, you will see the following results:
Google Image Search Recognizes the Image
Yet, you can’t do that in the regular web search box, and Google will generally not perform image recognition in their regular web search results. You can see Google’s advice on using alt attributes here.
Why do they ask for this kind of help? Because it’s one thing to handle a one-off scenario where I drag one image over to a search box, and a completely different thing to perform image processing on all the images that Google might find on hundreds of trillions of web pages. It’s about scale.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, you need to meet the dev team on their own turf, and get them to understand the needs of the search engines at a technical level. If that’s not you, then get some help from someone who can do that for you. If the developer in question honestly thinks you don’t know what you are talking about, and that you are proposing to waste his or her time, or the company’s resources, one can hardly blame them for not acting on your requests.
Before you go into that key meeting, have your technical chops all in line, so you can be credible in your explanation of what it is you are trying to accomplish. Once you earn their respect, the rest becomes a lot easier.
One final footnote, since earning a person’s respect is so critical to this process (as it is in many business and life situations): The first time you do this, make sure you focus on an SEO project that’s a layup – in other words, something that you are fully confident will bring great results. When you get someone to trust you for the first time, don’t let them down. Pick a clear and obvious winner if you can!
In Q4, smartphones continued to chip away at desktop paid search contribution in the US. The share of ad spend that went to smartphones rose nearly 5 percent from Q4 2013 to account for more than 40 percent of total search spend. That comes from Marin Software’s Benchmark Report for Q4 2014.
Desktop’s share of influence fell across the board. Desktop impression share was down by 6.3 percent, click share fell by 6.9 percent, share of spend was off by 6.1 percent and conversion share fell by 10.1 percent.
In contrast, smartphone ad impression share rose 4.8 percent, clicks share was up 5.5 percent and ad spend share increased 4.8 percent. Conversion share from smartphones jumped 9.6 percent. Tablets made marginal gains: impression and click share each increased 1.4 percent, spend share rose 1.3 percent and conversion share ticked up just 0.5 percent.
Despite these gains, desktop still holds the lion’s share of impressions, clicks and conversions. The gap is closing in ad spend, however. Smartphones accounted for 40.9 percent of search ad spend in Q4, compared to 50.7 percent for desktops. Tablets made up the remaining 8.4 percent.
Click-through rates continue to be highest on smartphones where fewer ads display in the search results. Smartphone CTR was 2.9 percent compared to 2.5 percent on tablets and 2.1 percent on desktops. But, not surprisingly, conversion rates are still highest on desktops. Conversion rates on desktop were 10.1 percent, compared to 7.7 percent on tablets and 6.6 percent on smartphones.
As mobile spend increases, cross-device and mobile attribution will continue to be a pressure point for many marketers. As the report highlights, mobile clicks can translate to in-store visits, phone calls, or later desktop conversions. Understanding how those actions translate to revenue while also trying to improve smartphone conversion rates remains a challenge.
Cost-per-click on smartphones were 30 percent lower than desktop. Tablets were discounted just 9 percent from desktop.
The study is based on a sampling of customers running campaigns on the Marin platform. The sample consists primarily of enterprise-level advertisers and agencies spending over $1 million on search, social and display campaigns.
Google AdWords Advertising Fundamentals Exam
SEO used to be a self-standing marketing discipline, having a well defined, generally accepted set of activities and objectives. No more. Today, SEO is much more intertwined with other marketing activities, making it difficult to know where SEO ends and where social media, for example, begins.
Furthermore, recent developments at Google suggest that the search engine giant has embarked on a strategic campaign to change the nature of, and in many ways devalue, the practice of SEO.
Taking all of this into account, I’m really beginning to wonder if SEO as we know it will be around in 2015. This post will review several of these developments, and suggest possible outcomes. One thing is for sure: SEO practitioners and clients better be ready to make serious changes in the way they operate.
When trying to figure out what Google is up to, I like going to the source. Here’s a short video from Matt Cutts, who is the head of Google’s web spam team, from August, 2011, in which he lays out Google’s definition of white hat SEO. He describes four activities that a good SEO agency should provide:
Two crucial observations about this.
First, the latter two points about usability and speed loading fall into areas where things such as web design, conversion optimization and programming, strongly come into play — indicative of SEO’s growing reliance on other marketing disciplines.
Second, link building, traditionally the core of SEO, is not even on the list! Google clearly followed through on Cutts’ suggestions when it released the Penguin algorithm update, which was designed in large part as an assault on link spam. Certain commonly used link building techniques — using keywords repetitively in anchor text, for example — went from being effective to ineffective. And although Penguin takes aim at clear black hat abuses (devious efforts to game the system), directionally, Google wants to see backlinks sprout up naturally, rather than through the efforts of professional SEOs. What makes links sprout up naturally? Unique and relevant content, according to Google.
Less emphasis on link building and more emphasis on usability and site speed are two things that chip away at SEO’s importance — but there’s much more going on. Three of the most important:
Two final signals that the SEO industry may be heading for obsolescence.
First, Google is becoming noticeably more transparent in making its algorithm and strategy. Google is taking the guesswork out of SEO by making it pretty clear what its looking for. In the past, there was more room for SEO firms to cook up a secret sauce; today, there are fewer activities to do (because Google is chipping away at “manipulative” tactics) and fewer ways to do them.
Second, Google is hiding organic search data for users who are logged into Google. This “not provided” traffic makes it difficult to interpret the impact of SEO activity. It’s rather curious that Google is becoming more transparent with its rules and less transparent with its metrics. My interpretation: these moves lessen the appetite for organic search and increase the appetite for paid search. Since Google makes money on paid search, it would seem to be a smart business move. Great for investors … not so great for SEOs.
Our firm, which specialized in Internet marketing in Chicago, is smack dab in the middle of this swirl of strategic shifts. For many of our clients, companies in B2B niches such as small business merchant account processing, social media, content-drive or author-driven content, and personalized search visibility have never seemed particularly relevant. Are “old school” SEO techniques still going to be effective? If not, how will firms like these be able to gain organic search traction, given that there may not be a lot to discuss in social circles about industrial gloves and credit cards? Here are a couple of thoughts about the future.
For sure, piling up backlinks for the sake of numbers won’t accomplish much. Quality will more decidedly trump quantity, which means that SEOs will have to be much more strategic and clients will need to place a higher value on one spectacular link than 100 mediocre ones.
Organic search visibility will gain ground in the sense that many other types of Internet marketing, from social media to conversion optimization, will need to factor SEO into their strategic and tactical equations. Even if SEO melts away as an independent discipline or department, SEO expertise and SEO experts will be indispensable members of every marketing team, regardless of how it is organized.
What do you think — what will SEO look like in the year 2015?
Today, Google announced the roll out of callouts, a new ad extension in AdWords that allows advertisers to show off unique offers and benefits of their sites, products and services with an additional line of text in their ads.
Advertisers can use callouts to promote free shipping, around-the-clock customer service and price matching, as in the example above. Callouts can also promote deals, sales and other special or seasonal offers that will help make an ad stand out — and increase click-through rates.
Callouts appear below the standard ad copy and, importantly, can be displayed along with other ad formats like ratings, reviews and call extensions.
There are many similarities between callouts and sitelinks. The major difference, of course, is that callouts aren’t actual links. The benefit here is that a separate landing page isn’t required. That offers a lot of flexibility in messaging and means any size site should be able to take advantage of callouts.
Like sitelinks, callouts can be set up and edited at the campaign or ad group level without having to create new ads and data is retained even after making edits. Though, one other difference from sitelinks is that callouts can also be set up at the account level.
Advertisers can customize callouts for mobile devices and schedule them by time of day and day of the week. And, also like sitelinks, the character limit for each is 25 and up to four can display.
Callouts reporting shows the number of clicks on an ad when callouts appear at the campaign, ad group and ad levels.
While you can set up a minimum of two callouts at each level from the Ad extensions tab, Google recommends stacking the deck and setting up four callouts at the account, campaign and ad group levels. This ensures as many callouts as possible are available to show with an ad. The most granular level callout will be shown.
Google says, “The order of your callouts, their length, and how they perform factor into how many callouts appear, and whether a callout will show for your ad.”
To get started, think about all the offers and services you provide that can set you apart from the competition, as well as ways callouts can augment your sitelink and broader ad format strategies.
Many advertisers will likely reevaluate their ad copy tests once callouts are up and running. If you’ve been testing unique selling propositions like “Free shipping” versus “Low price guarantee”, for example, you may find click-through rates are higher when those types of USPs are used in callouts and the extra ad copy space is used for a new call to action or more product description. There are sure to be lots of case studies coming out on this.
One other incentive to start using callouts: like other extensions and formats, they factor into Ad Rank. Callouts are rolling out into accounts over the next couple of weeks. For more, see the help center article.
After learning about the Google SSL Algorithm that was launched yesterday morning, I was eager to test my own sites and see if migrating had an impact both in the short-term and long-term in a positive or negative way in Google’s rankings.
I jumped at it with my corporate site and have seen no positive or negative signs yet. But I waited to do this site because it is syndicated by Google News and I thought changing the URL will have an impact on inclusion within Google News, thus removing me from the Google News index.
So I asked two different sources at Google about this, one through PR channels and our friend John Mueller, and both said there should be no difference in migrating a Google News syndicated site versus a normal site.
John Mueller wrote on Google+:
I checked with the News folks — HTTPS is fine for Google News, no need to even tell them about it. If you do end up noticing anything, that would (most likely) be a bug and something worth letting the Google News team know about. A bunch of sites are on HTTPS in Google News, it would be great to have more.
So in the next several days, I will migrate this site over and be the guinea pig for all the rest of you and let you know how it goes. The process thus far for us has been:
(1) Set up the SSL certificate
(2) Restrict HTTPS to my office IP so we can test
(3) Fix any mismatch content errors, mostly due to (a) images (b) embeds (c) social share icons and the like
(4) Test again
(5) Test again
(6) Test again
(7) Set up the proper 301 redirects
(8) Test again
(9) Update the sitemap files and XML feeds
(10) Test again
(11) Flip off the IP restriction and open it up to the world and GoogleBot
(12) Test again
(13) Try and fail to do site move in Google Webmaster Tools
(14) Track Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools data
That has been my process thus far and I will let you know how it goes for both a normal web site and a Google News syndicated web site.
Forum discussion at Google+.
Google shared on Google+ that they have updated the design for the Google Adwords reporting interface ever so slightly.
I believe Google internally called this update, “Kennedy Phase 2” based on the image screen shot they shared being named that. The changes include:
Here is a screen shot showing you those changes.
Forum discussion at Google+.
The internet was designed to be a free means of communication. As a result, there are a number of resources you can use to ‘advertise’ your business… for FREE! Listed below are some of the best ways to advertise your website online: