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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


November 27, 2013

Yellow Advertising: Will Google’s New Labels Transform PPC?

I took last week off to volunteer for a friend’s charity drive, which generally meant trying to be funny on a live webcast at 4 in the morning. So needless to say, getting back into the swing of things at work was a process. Yesterday, as I was catching up on what I’d missed during my vacation and doing a little bit of research, I noticed something very interesting: the Google paid advertisements in Chrome’s SERPs had bright yellow labels on them which blared the word “Ad.” This is a test being run by Google on their AdWords search results. As Jennifer Slegg reports on Search Engine Watch, the labels are one option being considered to clarify the difference between paid and organic results, in wake of an FTC guideline update which requires search engines to clearly mark what is an advertisement and what is not.

If you think you’ve never clicked on a Google ad, you may be fooling yourself; research in 2012 and 2011 showed that nearly half of web users couldn’t tell the difference between a PPC ad and an organic search result, and the PPC results for high commercial intent phrases can take up as much as 85% of the above-the-fold pixels on a SERP. Google Ads account for 74% of clicks for high commercial intent searches, and a search of any of the major SEO news sites will reveal dozens of articles talking about PPC’s increasingly prominent role in our work. pale yellow bannerGoogle’s ads are typically either in a right-side column or in a light yellow banner at the top of a SERP. A few test searches showed me a listing with three paid ads at the top; on one of my monitors, I could barely tell where the pale yellow/tan background ended and the regular results began. It makes sense how some people could inadvertently click PPC listings without realizing it.

The FTC is absolutely correct in its concerns; when customers can’t tell the difference between an advertisement and an organic result, it blurs the lines of consumer psychology and leans dangerously into the field of manipulation and obstruction; people don’t like being lied to, and it’s vital to keep the distinctions clear. The new alert labels replace the light yellow backdrop, which is interesting; while they are brighter and thus draw the eye, the listings now resemble the organic results in every other way.

The concern for PPC advertisers is: will the labels increase or decrease click-through-rates? It’s an interesting question, and one that will only be answered when Google rolls out the test in full and releases its decision as to whether it’ll stick. Some are sure that the eye-catching color of the tag will increase CTR, while others are worried that seeing the word “ad” beside their advertisement will result in customers fleeing from paid results in order to avoid playing into the marketing game. We’ve been hardwired since the early days of the internet to avoid banner ads at all costs, and an increasingly tech-savvy user base responds to advertising far differently than they did twenty or even ten years ago.

ad bannerSo what will become of Google’s AdWords? I’m not sure yet. I repeated my test search for washing machines in the Chrome browser that shows the new ad labels (so far it seems to be the only place where Google is testing it out), and I personally am pleased at the new look. I won’t be clicking on the advertisements, but I know they’re there and I feel that clearly marking each listing makes it far more clear to the user where the advertising stops and the organic results begin. But then, I’m wise to the ways of SEOs and online marketers, so I’m probably not the best person to report on this phenomenon; time will tell if this will mark a change to Google’s AdWords for good, and if so, how it will affect PPC rates.

SEO news blog post by @ 9:45 am

Categories:Google,Google Chrome

 

 

February 26, 2013

Google Chrome can point out ‘Noisy’ tabs..

Have you ever had a bunch of tabs open, decided to turn on your speakers/put on your headphones, only to find out that there’s something unexpected making sounds but you don’t know what?


Most annoying demonstration possible..

 
Viola! When you play HTML5 audio in a tab the browser animates the favicon to indicate this. (No, this doesn’t mean Chrome supports animated favicons yet, that’s still not working.)

Now I cheated and used a ‘canary build’ of Chrome to accomplish this, but really, other than working on cleaner animations/UI, this is a ‘must have’ option for all browsers!

I also took the time to show that it’s not ‘visualizing’ the audio in the tab (that would suck up too much CPU resources) but merely drawing on the favicon to indicate that the tab was recently attempting to play audio.

The new build of Chrome apparently also has an icon to indicate when a tab is recording, but I didn’t have any easy examples for demonstrating that option.

One of the things I stumbled on in the process of making this post was too note-worthy to not include in this post.

The ‘canary build’ of Chrome doesn’t use your default Chrome profile, and it can run side-by-side with your currently installed ‘stable’ version of Chrome with no cross-talk.

This meant that I was plopped into the YouTube TV/Movies when I went looking for a video to play, and I stumbled on this bargain:

Red Dawn in 480p for $20 CDN

Clearly YouTube needs to work out some pricing errors because I could get a blu-ray of Red Dawn for $20 brand new, and they go for $8 used online. Seeing that the HD version is $5 more really leaves me wondering how the error was made..

Patrick Swayze

Is it possible there’s a Patrick Swayze fan on the YouTube Movies team?

“Nobody put’s Red Dawn in the discount corner!”

UPDATE: Apparently someone DOES read this, and apparently I am not keeping up on movie releases. This is the 2012 ‘Red Dawn’, a REMAKE of the 1984 original, where the reds are North Koreans, and the plot involves an EMP attack that makes a ground invasion a ‘teeny tiny’ bit more plausible.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:27 pm


 

 

February 21, 2013

Pixel free with Google’s Chromebook Pixel

Google’s Chromebook was supposed to be more of a ‘big Android’, a tablet with a keyboard and an OS centered around the Chrome browser, subsidized to be cheaper than a full laptop and almost ‘disposable’ due to the low cost and lack of local storage/personalization.

 
This new laptop is nearly the opposite of the first Chromebooks:
- Expensive! At ~$1,449* you won’t want to be ‘disposing’ this?
- Powerful! An Intel i5 CPU
- 32GB local storage! Heaps of space for something that saves to the cloud?
- 2560 x 1700 3:2 12.85″ touch screen! For web browsing?
- 4GB RAM! How many tabs are you going to have open?
- Intel HD 4000 GPU! This is actually going to be handy for WebGL.
- 5hrs est. battery life! More than you should need between charges?
*(For the LTE Pixel. $1,299 for the WiFi Pixel)

So why is the highest resolution screen to ever be sold in a retail laptop getting married to a WebOS?

Well according to Google, the insane resolution is a nod to the future of the web and what’s in store.

So clearly the only thing that’s disposable about the Chromebook Pixel is the ‘disposable’ nature of the previous Chromebooks?

Speaking of what’s clear, this new Chromebook has a lot of not so obvious features:
- Back-lighting under the keyboard for low-light use
- Quality speakers that also lurk under the keyboard
- Stereo microphones and a 720p webcam in the lid
- A 3rd ‘keyboard’ microphone to eliminate typing noise in recordings
- Cooling vents in the screen hinge to avoid blockage
- A hinge design that does not lift the bottom of the laptop when opening
- Over-sized track-pad with special surface treatment
- A funky blue-red-yellow-green LED status bar/power light

In fact the fellows who have been hands-on with the Pixel admit that the whole affair comes off like a “high-end luxury automobile” with all the subtle attention to detail.

Not once have I seen any mention of who’s manufacturing the new Chromebook, but my guess would be that it’s a Lenovo device at the core.

The biggest concern seems to be the price, which is understandable, especially considering the ultra-low prices of competing tablets that seem much better engineered for the tasks that you’d use a Chromebook for.

Keep in mind that this is a Linux OS that runs a Chrome browser tuned for HTML5. Using the machine for much of anything outside of the browser or play store is going to require the skills of a nerdy power user to implement.

Here’s the original into video from 2009 when the Chrome OS was just launching (I love that ‘cloud’ wasn’t a buzz-word back then):

 
So while the new Google Chromebook Pixel can be used for lots of things this really seems like massive overkill for what you can tackle with Chrome OS right now.

SEO news blog post by @ 5:03 pm


 

 

January 23, 2013

Forget Your Password…it’s ok.

The days of trying to remember passwords and worrying about hacked accounts may be limited. Passwords have been somewhat effective in the past and are an easy way to authenticate web users, but they fall tragically short in security in today’s internet; and they always will.

USB token

According to a research paper from Google regarding the future of authentication on the web, the password problem could be solved with the aid of a USB -based Yubico log-on device. Google envisions a future where you only need to authenticate one device (with your smartphone, Yubico key, or perhaps wirelessly) and then use that similar to a car key to open up your webmail and other online accounts.

“Along with many in the industry, we feel passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe,” state Google’s Eric Grosse and Mayank Upadhyay.

This small cryptographic device will automatically log in a user to Google using a new protocol (patent pending) for device-based authentication that will be independent of Google and will also prevent web sites from tracking users.

Other than requiring a browser that supports the technology, there is no additional software required and it could be as easy to use as tapping or swiping your card or key device the device you want to authenticate. In order for this new security standard to take hold, Google will need many other websites to get on board.

Two years ago, Google launched a two-step authentication option as part of their attempt to increase security for its users. The story of Mat Honan’s encounter with hackers, helped to inspire a quarter-million people to adopt the two step process. Google has not given any idea as to when we may see the new technology released.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:30 am


 

 

January 22, 2013

Oracle is meddling with search results?!

Like most headlines, there’s some leaping between facts going on, but we’ll connect the dots in short order, don’t you fret.

Scooby Doo Cartoon with additional logos
We want our Google results, not some Mystery Machine!?

 
Have you noticed how much/often Oracle has been updating Java on your machine lately?

You’d think, with all those security patches they are fixing, if you turned on a PC that has been dormant for 6 months it would be instantly hacked by it’s outdated Java upon loading nearly any web page?

Well that’s not exactly true, so what is true?

Here’s a list:

  • Oracle gets page traffic with each update
  • Ask.com pays for each install of the Ask Toolbar
  • By default the Ask.com toolbar is installed
  • Each update is a risk you won’t opt-out and click next
  • The Ask.com install waits 10 mins to install
  • Delayed invisible installs are a malware tactic
  • The Ask.com toolbar intercepts and modifies searches
  • Removing Ask’s toolbar won’t restore your search settings

Those are facts, and it doesn’t take a silver-tongued writer to get the reader to acknowledge how they all connect.

It’s so bad that IE, FireFox, and Chrome are all delivering UI changes to make these installs a LOT more clear to the end user..

.. and Ask.com has already started adding ‘helpers’ to make the new UI’s less likely to halt an installation where the user is just clicking along.

So it’s a back and forth struggle to keep your web browser free from unwanted clutter that pretends to be of value but actually alters your search results and steers you towards paid sites/links vs. organic search results.

How can you opt out of the war for your clicks?

If you don’t need Java, just don’t install it to begin with. If you hit something that needs Java then go ahead and use it; But don’t just install Java because you think it’s crucial.

You also don’t want to confuse JavaScript with Java; For some folks the Oracle Java installation can be completely avoided.

Use a clean installer without the added Ask.com payload. Since Oracle isn’t publishing any recent versions of the Java installer without the Ask.com toolbar components, this requires you to trust an outside 3rd party’s assistance, or use a risky/outdated version of Java.

Ninite icon
Ninite.com

What can I say about Ninite.com? In my nerdy travels online I’ve yet to discover an easier method of installing apps without the added payloads.

Not only that, but Ninite allows you to bundle up a ton of installs into one package with zero ‘next’ clicking as the packages install. Heck, you can even save the package URL for later, or share it with friends to help them install a specific set of apps!

Since Ninite grabs the source from the actual websites, you will get trusted/current code, without the bother of carefully installing each app and side-skirting all the additional packaged software/malware.

Plus as a one-stop reference to the most popular free installations, Ninite is also great for folks that want to stick with mainstream applications and avoid trying out some ‘less popular’ choices.

I hope this helps our readers avoid some hassles, get honest search results from the search engine you’ve selected, and perhaps even gives folks the motivation to try uninstalling Java completely to see just what the heck is using it anyways.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:31 pm


 

 

November 29, 2012

The Karaoke Web Standard

KWS Side bar image

Well Microsoft has finally managed to get a leg up on all the current desktop web browsers available today with it’s new Karaoke Web Standard.

KWS Logo

To quote the KWS wiki entry:

This specification defines a new API, focused on semantic language processing for two-way communication with a remote host. Eschewing typical binary protocols, this new interface creates a system-to-system forced sonic recognition on the receiving party.

The KWS definition page goes on to discuss key points like pending API access to the libation ES codebase, and encourages modification from the base parameters noting that each user has unique aptitudes in variety of related skills.

Indeed while some users, such as myself, have a low threshold for personal embarrassment (regardless of how many times a week I write these posts), I could possess high vocal aptitude that would mitigate a fond user experience if I were to stick with preset templates.

The spec deals with concerns such as bitrate, throttling, error mitigation, audio auth rights, P2P connectivity, and semantic packet delivery, but fails to touch on less favourable issues like hackers that implement auto-tuning modules.

Included with the announcement were two YouTube videos, one that explains the need for the new standard:

 
And a second video that focuses on presenting the new KWS:

 
Oddly the videos came along with a link “thebrowseryoulovedtohate.com” that’s got an extra ‘d’ in every instance?

Come back with my imaginary horse!
The theme is apparently along the lines of “Have you tried IE Lately?”, with the assumption that you’ll like what you see.

 
I’m personally assuming that next week someone on the IE marketing team will get a phat bonus for a spike in downloads that doesn’t correlate to actual user shift.
 

FireFox 64bit?

Waterfox Logo

In related news, FireFox has given up on 64bit development for now, listing a number of issues that make it a very wise decision, regardless of the folks that were ‘enjoying’ the struggle of maintaining a 64bit browser with very little 64bit extension support.

While a 64bit FireFox could theoretically run faster, the added expense of development was taxing the coders and holding back the progress of the browser vs. it’s competition.

If you MUST have a 64bit FireFox there is a build of FF with 64bit support, it’s called ‘WaterFox‘ and you can get it from Sourceforge.

Since I already had FireFox installed I grabbed the portable copy of WaterFox and it runs great, picking up most, if not all, of my FireFox profile/settings.

Personally? I’m using Chrome, and I am writing plugins for Chrome because I feel it’s going to win the browser war thanks to Android, Apple, and many other systems that use the WebKit engine by default.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:50 am


 

 

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

There seems to be a lot of spam vs. turkey this year, but we still have plenty to be thankful for!

In fact just today I was reading about how Google is thanking Maps contributors with ‘Badges‘!

If you login to Google and head on over to the Map Maker section of Google Maps you can get started on either reviewing changes that need to be approved/disapproved, or make your own.

The badges are apparently awarded as follows (stolen from IBF):

List of Google MapMaker badges

So Thanks Google, for being Thankful! This is going to work very well for trust factors on your G+ profile, which as we pointed out many times now, should also be the author link for your site content.

In Other News..

DuckDuckGo was trying to prove they could deliver better search results without learning anything about the user.

It would have been neat if it were possible, but I wouldn’t send a stranger out to buy me new shoes, and I don’t want a web search that doesn’t know me either.

At this point DuckDuckGo have been reduced to complaining about Google not selling them cool domain names like “duck.com”, and how many extra clicks it takes to change the search engine in Chrome vs. Firefox.

While I agree that making use of duck.com as a 301 to google.com is a bit ‘cruel’, my guess is that nobody offered Google a fair price for the domain, and it’s not bad business to improve the value by holding onto the name until a valid offer comes along.

If DuckDuckGo wants to disclose how much they offered Google, I may change my opinion, but for now this is just ‘big business’ vs. anything ‘anti-competitive’, and if this is the absolute worst mud that DDG can sling at Google then they have little to complain about.

Google Music Translate

While I have been eager to see someone like Wierd Al tackle the song Gangnam Style with some English lyrics, I am not sure I’m eager to see this ‘project’ come to life:


Heck this was meant to be a joke, but Google is so spooky with it’s tech that this is totally plausible?

Indeed some news sites this morning are actually getting flamed for discussing this as if it were a real service offered by Google.

Well ‘played‘ sirs.. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:53 pm


 

 

August 30, 2012

Bing Maps : 500 Terabytes Better

Donald Sutherland from the 1978 version of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

There’s fat ladies crooning in the shower, swine are airborne, and I found something in Bing that’s better than the same option in Google!?

Don’t send NASA to check for alien life/body-snatchers, it’s just a few really small perks that I’ve come across and they are pretty darn specific.

500 Terabytes of new image data

Microsoft started it’s ‘Global Ortho Project‘ in early 2010 with the very ambitious goal of mapping the Continental United States and Western Europe at a resolution of 30cm.

The concept is simple, just fly around with high resolution imaging devices, in this case the ‘UltraCamG‘ which Microsoft acquired in 2006 after purchasing Vexcel Imaging, GmbH in Austria.

The data is thus detailed, and current, a great thing when you are competing with Google’s constantly updated (~2 weeks) satellite images.

With a deadline of June 2012 the project is wrapping up almost on time and today the news sites are abuzz with the headlines that the project is completed and available to Bing Maps users.

For a comparison of the results here’s a look at the Beanstalk Office in Google Maps and then in Bing Maps:

Beanstalk's Office in Google MapsBeanstalk’s Office in Google Maps

 

Beanstalk's Office in Bing MapsBeanstalk’s Office in Bing Maps

 
Can you see the difference? Even if Bing didn’t have the resolution bonus, they own their image data so they aren’t required to spam their name all over the map like Google has to with the Landsat image data.

I’d love to show off the difference between Google’s Streetview and Bing’s Streetside view, but Microsoft apparently couldn’t afford to send someone by to take some images of our office <rasberry>so I’m not going to be bothered to show that off</rasberry>.

Traffic Data?

While writing this article I stumbled upon another difference between Bing and Google, there’s traffic data for the highways in my city on Bing, but Google has no data for my city (the capital city of this entire province), instead they spent the time to build traffic data for our sister city, Vancouver.
Google Traffic view of Vancouver
Talk about a let-down from Google, and a surprising plus from Bing. Tsk tsk..

On that side of things though, Google’s traffic info is much better than Bing’s. Google Maps even lets you pick a day of the week and hour of the day for planning ahead vs. making the assumption that you’ll only looking moments before you travel, or as you travel.

Overall the user experience with Bing Maps still lags behind Google Maps, with each attempt to zoom/pan/adjust on Bing Maps feeling like a blurry and slow mess due to the bitmap labels that stretch vs. re-size.

I even loaded Bing Maps in Internet Explorer (64 bit version) and Google Chrome to make sure I gave them the best chance to compare to the very peppy results with Google Maps.

Building Maps

As I was wrapping up this piece I noticed that there was a funny ‘block’ covering one of the malls in town when using Bing Maps.

Being a curious fellow I clicked it and found that they have mapped out the mall’s floor plan and allow you to see where each store is located, floor by floor!

The Bay Center Mall in Bing Maps Building ViewOooh! A 4hr 40% off Sale!? I could get some cheap studded ballerina shoes!

 
To be really honest, both Bing and Google are developing some unique features that helps maintain the competition between them which is excellent for the consumers who can use either service or both.

Now if only I could get a service to tell me where my pens have gone..

SEO news blog post by @ 12:29 pm


 

 

August 28, 2012

Litigation vs. Innovation – The Apple Way

I’m really ashamed of my days of being an Apple loyalist, encouraging people to consider Apple solutions, and fighting for the ‘little guy’ computer company.

That ‘little guy‘ I once championed, has since grown up to be a thug making immoral decisions that I no longer agree with.

Apple is causing me deep personal embarrassment as they strut about the digital playground smashing things that compete with their creations.

A scene from the movie The Dictator where he wins by shooting his competition

You know something’s wrong with a company’s decisions when you’re watching a Sacha Baron Cohen movie (The Dictator) and the opening scenes of winning a race by shooting the competition reminds you of Apple’s choices to force litigation/product bans vs. accepting a financial settlement with Samsung.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcu5sYxcEuo

Samsung will fight the decision and have already announced that they will counter-sue Apple.

Since Samsung successfully defended themselves in many countries (Germany, Korea, Netherlands, and United Kingdom), winning court battles which ruled that they did not copy Apple’s designs, a counter suit and appeal are likely to change the situation drastically.

On top of everything else, jurors in this recent court case are already making headlines stating that they were unable to properly review all the evidence, and ignored the prior art evidence that proved Apple clearly copied others in it’s iPhone design.

The jury actually took a defensive role, putting themselves in the mindset of innovators defending their patents. Velvin Hogan, the 67 year old jury foreman, stated that the jury :

“wanted to send a message to the industry at large that patent infringing is not the right thing to do, not just Samsung.”

With any luck, the same feelings will hold true as Motorola (Google-rola?) continues it’s legal action against Apple’s unpaid patent uses.

Since the patents in the current lawsuit are non-essential, one would assume that Google-rola has the opportunity to give Apple a taste of how it feels to block a company’s products via legal nonsense.

However, the likely result will be that even after (2?) years of trying to get Apple to pay the licensing fees, Google-rola won’t turn-down an offer of fair payment, just to block all product sales, unlike Apple.

Speaking of a ban on products, Samsung is already talking about releasing updated products that are completely free of Apple’s patent bans.

Zero Day Java Vulnerability

According to a few reputable sources online, there’s a new browser-based exploit for Java that is ‘in the wild’ and a patch won’t be coming very soon.

When someone says ‘in the wild’ it means that there’s reports of the exploit being used publicly, which means that there’s a high risk of contact.

In this case the exploit has been used to remote-control Windows based PCs that visit websites with hidden code on certain pages. The hacker in this case picked a Chinese proxy/IP and the ‘control network’ is also believed to be located in Singapore.

Since ‘wise’ hackers usually pick a point of origin outside their own country, this info actually points to someone non-Chinese as the source of the hack.

While that exploit only works on Windows computers, the payload is totally independent of the hack, so the same strategy will work on any computer and any browser.

To avoid getting hit, you may want to disable JavaScript:

In Chrome:
- type “chrome://plugins/” into your address bar
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Javascript and disable it.

In Opera:
- go to “opera:plugins”
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Java(TM) Platform
- click on Disable
- also scroll down to Java Deployment Toolkit
- click on Disable

In Firefox:
- press the Firefox button
- go to Add-ons
- go to Plugins
- click the “Disable” button next to anything named “Java”

Finally if you are using Internet Explorer, you probably don’t care, but here’s some recent instructions stolen from the help desk over at Indiana University:

To enable or disable Java in Internet Explorer:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), select Internet options.

  • Click the Programs tab, and then click Manage Add-ons.
  • Highlight Java Plug-in.
  • Click Disable or Enable (located under “Settings” in version 7), as applicable.
  • Click OK twice.

To enable or disable JavaScript:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), choose Internet options.

  • Click the Security tab.
  • Click Custom Level…
  • Scroll to the “Scripting” section of the list.
  • For “Active Scripting”, click Disable or Enable.
  • Click OK, and confirm if prompted.
  • Close and restart your browser.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:57 am


 

 

July 26, 2012

SOPA Friends: Internet League of America

The recording industry, agents, and vendors of music aren’t the only ones spending way too much of their profits on lobbying the government. Major internet companies that see the harm of bills like SOPA/PIPA are spending the time and money to fight back against this lobbying.

Not to be confused with SuperFriends..

This organization is less about crime and more about reasonable expenses for making sure government is making informed decisions.

Google alone spent $3.9million in the second quarter of 2012, and $5.4million in 2012 total so far trying to help government see the internet as more than just a ‘series of tubes’.

Google isn’t alone in fighting for your rights, Amazon’s spending between Jan 2012 and June 2012 was pegged at $1.34million, EBay spent nearly as much at $827k, and Facebook also jumped into the fight for $650k of lobbying.

It stands to reason then that if they all had the same message a lot of time and money could be saved by joining forces, and this is how the Internet Association has come to be.

With Google, Amazon, EBay and Facebook already signed into the Internet Association it’s already huge and it’s still in the ‘coming soon’ phase of setting up.

This new group should not be confused with existing organizations like The Internet Defense League which are seeking other solutions to keeping people informed as to threats to online access/freedom.

A few sites (RIAA partners?) are panning this as ‘evil‘ and un-Google for companies to work together to support a shared message to the government, but I think anyone who knows the extent of SOPA/PIPA and other bills will see that spin for what it really is, fear and loathing of anything that stands in the way of an easy profit.

Google Fiber

Google Fiber Appliances
Remember us writing about Kansas City dark fiber, Google’s plans to light it up, and the various media/recording industry fears/objections?

While I was composing this article on the new Internet Association I managed to eavesdrop on the details coming from the live broadcast at the launch of Google Fiber in Kansas this morning.

Google Fiber Announcement Center

Here’s what I caught (again this was just details I overheard and not officially published):

  • Google Fiber is run right to your house
  • A fiber-conversion firewall appliance converts the optical signal
  • The Google fiber-wall has built in WiFi and 4 gigabit RJ45 ports
  • The WiFi radio is very fast (no specs given) and features a guest portal system
  • Google Fiber offers TV boxes that act as WiFi boosters
  • The TV boxes stream Netflix/Youtube in HD quality with more options to follow
  • Google’s TV boxes work with Bluetooth headphones and can be controlled by Bluetooth devices
  • Currently purchasing a TV box will including a free Nexus 7 Tablet that acts as a remote control for the TV box.
  • $300 is mentioned as the ‘construction fee’ to send a Google rep to your home to install the fiber cable.
  • $120/mth for the TV and Gigabit Internet package (on 2 year contracts the $300 fee is waived)
  • $70/mth for just Gigabit fibre internet (no install fee for 1yr contracts)
  • $Free/mth 5mbps down, 1mbps up, of capped fiber access to anyone who wants to pay the $300 install fee
  • The free service option is guaranteed for anyone in the service area for 7 years
  • You can pay the $300 fee off over time if you wish as an incentive to connect everyone regardless of income levels
  • 1TB of Google Drive storage (directly linked to the Fibre) comes with the $70/mth and up packages
  • No mention of monthly data use caps, but they would need to be fairly generous

Google Fiber Building in Kansas
Apparently they are deciding which homes get fiber first by running a lobbying contest where they reward the communities that lobby other communities the most. The speaker tried to sell this as ‘doing it for Kansas’ and ‘spreading the word about what fiber really means’, but of all the announcements, there was no applause for
this.

Clearly most of Kansas is tired of waiting for Google Fiber and would like to start actually using it vs. running around ‘competing’ with other communities for the first chance to get hooked up.

It’s an odd move for Google but you have to respect that they had to find a fair way to select the first communities to get connected.

UPDATE: They have published the official Google Fiber data plans and yes, there’s NO DATA CAPS. Wow.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:25 am


 

 

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