Beanstalk on Google+ Beanstalk on Facebook Beanstalk on Twitter Beanstalk on LinkedIn Beanstalk on Pinterest
Translate:
Published On:
SEO articles and blog published on ...
Hear Us On:
Webmaster Radio
Blog Partner Of:
WebProNews Blog Partner
Helping Out:
Carbon balanced.
Archives
RSS

XMLRSS

Googles Has A Lot Less To Say About Net Neutrality

Once upon a time Google was a proud defender of net neutrality, but according to an article published by Businessweek the search giant has been relatively silent on the subject.

In May, the FCC proposed that large cable and telephone companies be allowed to offer paid internet fast lanes, something that Google railed against in years past (even going so far as to ask users to contact their local representatives about the issue.) However, lately they have been somewhat absent from the debate.

So what’s the big deal? Although  net neutrality has gone through a few iterations, it is the principal that we all get a fair shake at the internet and what it has to offer. Small business and startups could have a difficult time taking on the large corporations already entrenched on the internet as they may not be able to afford the costs of having their site and/or content delivered via this internet toll bridge.

Google Fiber

Why would Google have a change of heart? Timothy Wu a Columbia University law professor in New York who supports open-Internet rules said it best in today’s article “Net neutrality got them where they are. There’s a danger that they, having climbed the ladder, might pull it up after them.”

Although we have to wonder if Google might simply be biting its tongue due to claims that Google Fiber will adhere to net neutrality and could eventually be a viable competitor for giants like Comcast/Time Warner. It would be a smart way to garner a larger piece of the pie. But it’s all speculation at this point.

In the meantime, what can you do to help the fight for net neutrality?
If you want to find out more about net neutrality and what you can do to help, visit The Electric Frontier Foundation (EFF) for more information and resources or savetheinternet.com.

SEO news blog post by @ 4:55 pm on July 8, 2014


 

Erasing Your Embarrassments

The online social world has permanently altered the future. Young people are coming of age in an era where they can easily take and post photos online, share them with friends and family, and garner an audience of strangers. Teenagers — notoriously short in foresight, susceptible to “groupthink” and peer pressure, anxious to fit in and define themselves as individuals, exploring new aspects of adulthood — now have access to an infinite audience on the web. The combination often makes for toxic results, and sadly having a sloppy drunken photo on your Facebook page is often the best case scenario. There are already some infamous cases in which teenagers were persuaded or coerced into taking nude photos of themselves, only to find that their audience held them at ransom for years afterward, ruining their lives and threatening their futures. We all know that employers are going to check an interviewee’s social media to see what sort of person they are in their off time; can you imagine trying to apply for a job when you know that your boss could find your most humiliating secret at any time?

From http://www.connectsocialmedia.com.auThe abuse and exploitation of minors in social media circles is an area where the law has yet to catch up to reality. Due to the anonymous nature of the internet, it can be tough to track down a bully — or prove beyond reasonable doubt that the virtual abuse caused real-life harm. But a lot of the time a teen can be his or her own worst enemy. Take a look at any ‘Facebook Fails’ website and you’ll see hundreds of examples of poor judgment — of kids engaged in dumb, illegal, embarrassing, or self-incriminating behavior. They tweet before thinking and comment; all of which will come back to bite them when they find themselves on a major job search.

In this vein, it’s refreshing to read that California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law which requires websites to remove content when requested to do so by a minor. The bill allows minors to essentially push an “erase button” for digital content; while sites may not be required to completely eliminate the requested data, they have to remove it from the view of the public.

It’s important to note that this law doesn’t apply to content posted by a third party; it sadly can’t remove compromising photos posted by friends, enemies, or blackmailers. The bill doesn’t apply to sites which anonymize the content and/or their users, making it difficult to identify the minor individually. However, it does apply to social media sites, and even sites registered outside of California have to comply if a Californian teen requests the removal of content.

It’s tempting to scoff at this measure and chuckle at the hubris of adolescence. Many people argue that these digital records, however embarrassing or incriminating, are nonetheless important — and public — records of major prejudices, risk-taking behaviors, and other indicators of reliability and respect. But today’s teens are guinea pigs in an experiment which has no precedent; there has never been anything like Facebook before. Their mistakes aren’t unique to their generation; they are, however, far more widely recorded for public consumption. I think it’s a great step towards incorporating the social web into our lives and accepting that it is going to be a permanent part of how we interact with one another for the foreseeable future. If the California law gives teens a chance to clean up their act when those frontal lobe brain cells finally sprout, then they should have the same opportunity as their predecessors to put their best foot forward into young adulthood and beyond.

SEO news blog post by @ 4:40 pm on September 24, 2013


 

The Sci-Fi Reality of Google’s Pay-Per-Gaze Patent

Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Minority Report takes place in Washington, DC, in the year 2054. It centers around a police officer (Tom Cruise) who is the head of the PreCrime police force, which uses precognitive visions to prevent murders before they take place. When Cruise’s character is predicted to commit murder, he is forced to go on the run and try to clear his name. The film garnered praise not only for its action-packed plot, but also for its uniquely plausible vision of the future of American life. One of the most memorable—and plausible—aspects of the setting was the way retinal scanners were used to track citizens at all times. But the technology wasn’t only for identification purposes; it was also used by electronic billboards in public areas, which would deliver direct advertisements to passersby. In fact, the constant identification forces Cruise’s character to undergo a black market eye replacement so that he can move in public without being called out by name and tipping off the authorities.

Spielberg received praise for Minority Report‘s examination of privacy invasion and the consequences of having personal information used for commercial gains; it was a unique spin on the conventional Orwellian surveillance scenario that was grounded in the established advertising industry’s continual efforts to maximize their advertisement ROI. According to Jeff Boortz, who oversaw the product placement in the film, the billboards would “recognize you—not only recognize you, but recognize your state of mind.”

minority google glassLast week, tech blogs reported that back in 2011, Google patented a Gaze Tracking System for a head-mounted device that—in 2013—sounds an awful lot like Google Glass. The technology (found here) monitors eye movements to track what a user is looking at, and can even sense emotional responses via pupil dilation. The technology is proposed to have several useful applications, but one of the most prudent for Google is a “pay-per-gaze” advertising feature. According to the patent, the system can potentially charge advertisers based solely on whether a user actually looked at their ad—not just for online advertisements, but also for billboards, newspapers, and other commercials. The idea is similar to the existing pay-per-click model used on Google search results, except it would apply to everything you viewed while walking to work on a Monday morning.

The patent was filed two years ago, but only became public in mid-August, and it sounds remarkably similar to the constant surveillance in Minority Report—where your personal information is most highly valued for its ability to direct efficient advertisements your way. To companies, it’s a dream come true; rather than trying to guess how to appeal to a large demographic, they could target individuals who are far more likely to buy the product. The ratio of advertising cost to return on investment could shrink immensely. There are even benefits for the user, who would only see relevant ads and wouldn’t have to suffer through annoying ones they’d normally ignore. But it’s also not surprising that some have voiced concerns over being constantly tracked like this; it’s enough to give any privacy expert nightmares, and it’s not difficult to envision how the pay-per-gaze system could be used against you. While a set of removable glasses is far less invasive than the retinal scanners in Minority Report, and it’s unlikely that a fugitive on the run would don the specs, it’s still not impossible to imagine a scenario where a private matter is made public by advertisers because of what you’ve looked at recently.

To their credit, Google has anticipated the possible backlash; the patent details options to anonymize data and to opt out of what information is gathered and collected. Furthermore, as Phys.org points out, a patent does not necessarily guarantee a product will be developed. But that said, Google Glass is already in existence, and its use in commercial advertising ventures has yet to be seen. Time will tell if this technology will end up integrated into the glasses, and whether we as a society will be willing to sacrifice a large amount of our privacy for the convenience of personalized advertisements.

SEO news blog post by @ 3:45 pm on August 20, 2013


 

iOS popularity = Big Bills for Bing Hating

We decided to call a spade a spade, and Google is paying a fee to keep Bing from being the default search engine on iOS.

The fee is based on per-unit pricing, and not only are there more units than ever, but the per-unit price is also going from $3.20 last year to an estimated $3.50 per unity in 2013!

A flock of sheep attempting to enter a building with an apple logo at the same time.
Given the growing user base these should almost be rabbits?

 
Since the prices are a guesstimate, one can honestly say that it will cost more for the exclusive right to the default search engine on iOS in 2013.

However there are certain ‘publications’ that have forgone the guessing part and are rather certain that Google will pay up.

For example..

Techcrunch title: GOOGLE TO PAY APPLE 1 BILLION
An honest title: GOOGLE COULD PAY APPLE 1 BILLION

In fact, if Samsung, or Google (via it’s Motorolla Mobillity acquisition), can keep one-upping each of the new iPhones, then the cost of licensing to the user-base will be peaking at a point which it will never return to again.

But is it worth the money knowing how much of a search advantage Google has over Bing? Well that depends entirely on who you ask!

Apple pundit:

People will use whatever is the default like pack of blind sheep. Everyone knows this.

Google fan:

If that’s true then why is the Google Maps app on iOS the most popular app on the device? People clearly don’t just use the default apple maps?

.. and really, if we’re talking about users who skipped over the BlackBerries, Nokias, Samsungs, etc.., for a specific device, then perhaps we should give them some credit for also choosing a better search experience?

After all, how many times would you let your phone load Bing before trying to switch it?

I personally would let a ‘Bing’ search happen once at the most, just to get info on “setting default search engine on iOS”. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 5:08 pm on February 14, 2013


 

That escalated quickly: Google Glass prices, dates, and a spec leak?

I’ve talked about Google Glass already, Finnish them! (Google Glasses and WiFi Liabillity), Google Chronos?, Google develops ARGs for Pirates, many times..

In those articles we were mostly looking at patents and prototypes.

Now we have WIRED.COM and arstechnica.com both spewing out specs based on more patents and some developer info…

A bone conduction listening device.
Hello? Can you ear me?
  • 802.11 b/g 2.4 GHz WLAN
  • Bluetooth ver 4.0 low-energy radio
  • “Bone Conduction” audio playback
  • a $1,500 (£962) price tag
  • developer shipments in early 2013
  • a projected 2014 launch date

Breaking this down, we learn a fair bit from each fact we can establish.

802.11 b/g support means that N mode WiFi won’t likely be supported, and the best guess would be the it’s getting dropped due to power consumption. Additionally, there’s a rumor that the primary data connection for the Google Glass will be a tethered cell phone acting as a ‘modem’ of sorts to expand the Google Glass’s communications range without bulking it up.

The 4.0 version of the Bluetooth radio stack is an exceptionally good match for a device running off of batteries, that sits on your head. This version of the Bluetooth stack supports BLE – Bluetooth Low Energy mode operations that allow a device like Google glass to sip on power and still remain connected to other devices.

If Google Glass had an option to support class 1 (100mW transmissions) networks it would supply you with a range of up to 328′ or 100 meters. If you were a household cleaner you could leave your phone in a central location, put on your Google glasses, and record your cleaning efforts directly to your phone or relay it to a remote server. By doing this you could safe guard yourself against damage claims and other issues presented by the homeowners.

In fact you could also be listening to some music, without blocking your ability to hear other sounds, like a knock at the door, or someone coming home. This is because the Google glass does not block incoming sounds/cover your ears.

The ‘bone conduction‘ audio drivers on the Google Glass send audio vibrations via your skull bones to your inner ear which then ‘hears’ the vibrations as sound.

This means that if you are driving, biking, walking, etc., you can expect the Google Glass audio feedback to be less of an obstruction/safety risk than typical in-ear or over-ear style systems.

Picture wearing these as a lawyer, and someone is attempting to hold you to words you’ve never even said. You could jump to the date/time the original discussion occurred and play it back verbatim, clearing up any mistakes/poor recollection that might otherwise cause endless headaches.

The trick in this case, since a lawyer/doctor, couldn’t ethically record video to an insecure/public location like a ‘Google Hangout’, would be for Google to either offer some sort of private video storage/search/retrieval service (I hear they have some experience with video?), that has the sufficient security clearances to avoid any concerns about storage.

The $1,500.00 price tag is for the Developer’s build of the device, currently being called the ‘Explorer Edition’, that will be shipping this year. In fact Google has said “early this year” as the date, so “sooner than later” is a fine guesstimate.

The signup for the Explorer Edition was actually quite the event, while the attendees were sitting in the conference center Google dropped some ‘Glass’ equipped sky-divers onto the site from an overhead balloon. The video from their Glass units was then streamed inside the event for a bit of a surreal effect.

At the end of the conference the developers willing to pay the $1,500.00 price tag were given a specially etched slate of glass with the serial # of the unit they will be shipping to you later.

A glass brick with a serial number etched into it.
Ooooh my precious.. So shiny..

SEO news blog post by @ 10:44 am on February 7, 2013


 

USA Up to Bat for Copyright Alert System

On Wednesday, the New Zealand government convicted its first offender to fall under the "Three Strikes Law." The RIANZ http://www.rianz.org.nz/rianz/rianz_homepage.asp An unnamed offender was fined a total of $616.57 for the illegally downloaded material.
Silly judges
The amount required to prosecute the offender totaled $250,000; which leads to the question of whether or not it is really worth the expenditure to prosecute an individual for copyright infringement?

Similar problems were occurred in France when HADOPI, when the socialist party spent 16 million Euros for 60 agents to dispatch 1 million email notifications to copyright infringers. RIANZ is not happy with the resulting figures and feels that the infringement fees should be dropped to $2 per notice, but this was rejected by the Government. RIANZ argues that if the fees were set at $2 per violation, it would be able to process 5000 notices per month. "We believe this level of notices would have more fully realized the aim of the law."

This will be an important consideration as the Copyright Alert System will begin processing strikes notices in the United States very soon.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:18 am on February 4, 2013

Categories:copyright,Internet Law

 

Facebook Social Search: Grasping for that Third Pillar?

On January 15th 2013, Facebook planted it’s so called “third pillar” of it’s social network empire, “social search”.

If Facebook *is* all about social media, and they already had a search function, how is this a big change?

Stack of coins with a magnifying glass on the pennies.
Okay, well that *is* some small change..

 
From what I can tell of the new search feature, it’s an exclusive index of Facebook, powered by Bing. So you get better/different results from the previous search options because it’s been handled by Microsoft’s search methodology.
 
So, you may be wondering, “Why isn’t Bing offering an improved ‘Social Search’ now that they have access to all this Facebook data?”, and you will be amused to note that today Bing indeed announced an improved ‘Social Search’ to users of their services.

In fact, Bing’s social search results are appended to the Facebook search results, and all clicks stay inside Facebook.

Still, what’s really ‘new’ about this search behavior?

Allegedly if I tack on action words to a search like, “visited by friends” or “popular with friends”, it’s supposed to marry the search results with social data from my friends list.

I gave that a whirl, trying to find various searches that would result in ‘approvals’ or ‘likes’ from my friends and I got very poor results.

Could it be that my tech savvy friends have dialed in their Facebook privacy settings to the point where Bing’s assistance is negligible? Possibly. And I wouldn’t blame them for it.

Then I tried some of the same searches in Google, without engaging any ‘social’ tags or features, and viola, I can see restaurants, pubs, and even retail stores that people in my circles have rated. I also know now to never have lunch with Dave, since he loves all the types of restaurants I try to avoid. :)

Plus, thanks to Google’s purchase of Zagat, I have a fallback option for accurate/honest feedback if my friends aren’t reviewing restaurants or pubs that I want to try out or are simply closer to my location.

While I’m not seeing a real improvement, FB is seeing a nice reversal of their stock prices, which were on a steady downfall last year, as we mentioned in our May 22nd, 2012, blog post: FB stock drops as SpaceX soars to success!

How long this will bolster their faltering stock value?

Will ‘Social Search’ mature into a feature that entices disinterested users to revisit Facebook?

Clearly that’s anyone’s guess, but at least they are trying to keep the ship afloat, and search traffic could help bolster ad revenue, as it did for Google.

Time will tell. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 11:56 am on January 17, 2013


 

Six Strikes and Yer Out!

Things seem to have been quiet on the copyright-infringement front for the last few months, but things are about to heat up again. After more than a year of delays, US ISP Verizon, has released a document showing how they plan on implementing their "six strikes policy" to combat copyright infringements.

untouchables pic

Strike 1 & 2:
• Verizon will email you and leave a voice mail message informing you that your account in involved with copyright infringement.

Strike 3 & 4:
• Verizon will automatically redirect your browser to a webpage that will require you to acknowledge that you have received the alerts regarding copyright infringements.
• You will also be required to watch a video detailing the dangers of infringement.

Strike 5 & 6: At this point you are given three options:
• Verizon will greatly throttle your bandwidth for several days
• Wait two weeks, and then throttle your connection
• Or, file an appeal with an arbitration service for $35

IF there are more than six infringements, "nothing" will happen. Subscribers can continue to use their internet connection at regular, full speed. What is not mentioned by Verizon is that the MPAA and the RIAA have been authorized to obtain the connection details via a subpoena for repeat offenders in order to take legal action against them.

The potential for copyright holders to use the alert system as solid evidence gathering for lawsuits remains one of the most problematic aspects of the six-strike scheme.

On the other side of the globe, tribunals will begin next month in New Zealand for those infringers that have received three strikes under the “Three Strikes Law.” Currently, eleven individuals will have their cases heard. One of the individuals being investigated, states that her internet connection was used without her knowledge. It has also been noted that there has been a long history of controversy over this law; from the internet blackout protests of 2008, to the CableGate leak which revealed that the US financed and pushed the law through.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:04 am on January 16, 2013


 

Google’s new Offline Conversion API

Happy 2013!

It may look like we’ve been loyal to the Mayan calendar, but we’ve just been busy internally over the holidays and didn’t blog.

Google has also been busy in 2013, retiring the old Offline Conversions APIs (both the Javascript and Python versions were retired in November 2012), and beginning a new Offline Conversions import service within the DoubleClick Search brand.

This announcement has been subject to both good and bad press, typically depending on the technical skills/depth of knowledge of the story writer.

Most writers looking for the worst possible scenario chose to doubt Google’s privacy controls, and boldly suggest there will be problems due to data aggregation.

Google’s DoubleClick service explicitly states:

“Advertisers are prohibited from sending personally identifiable information using this feature, as outlined by the Terms of Service for the API.”

Further to that there are lots of assumptions being made about who can supply data, who has access, and what data is relevant. In one article they just tossed in a mention that the data could be ‘decrypted’ by 3rd parties/or government agencies with nothing to back that claim up.

To help understand the role of this service lets look at a typical use case:

  • You sell widgets.
  • Your website has online ordering.
  • You also have a physical store.
  • Clients are finding items online, but buying them in person.

So if you are basing your promotion efforts on Web based analytics, you will be in the dark as to what promotions drove the clients to come to the store and make a purchase.

Unless Google gave you an interface with which to send them transaction info on offline sales?

Lets see how that would work:

  • A Google user is searching for widgets.
  • Google puts a PPC Ad on the page promoting your widgets.
  • The user clicks on the Ad, and looks up ‘Blue Widget # 42′.
  • 2 hours later, your in-store till sells 2 ‘Blue Widget # 42′s.
  • The till sends “2 x Blue Widget # 42″ to Google as ‘sold’.

That’s it, Google now can relate the pay per click advertisement as relevant to the sale of the widget, and you have more info on how well that advertisement worked.

This also works very well with telephone based sales, especially if you are in a position to use specific phone numbers, or extensions, to narrow down how the call came about.

So while some folks are very concerned about how much companies will know about them when companies start comparing notes, that’s not the situation here at all.

Companies have been comparing notes for years, without the help of Google. Just think about the shopping trends that you reveal when you use an Air Miles card?

Google only wants to help reduce unwanted/ineffective advertising and reduce the amount of money businesses spend to reach potential clients.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:46 pm on January 3, 2013


 

Instagram: “All Your Photos Are Belong to Us!”

There was a huge online outcry from users when Instagram introduced a new privacy policy and Terms of Service that will take effect on January 16, 2013. Concerns were raised over changes that would allow for Instagram to sell users photos to advertisers without notice or compensation.

Instagram’s 100 million users use the popular app to take stylized picture of everything from food they enjoy to pets or any other aspect of their daily lives to share online. When the news of the proposed changes hit Twitter, the story and accompanied anger towards them went viral.

This change comes just four months after the social media giant Facebook purchased Instagram for one billion dollars. The new policy states: "A business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness and photos."

Instagram protest

Later that same day, Instagram issued a blog post stating:

"Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram."

"Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."

Now that Instagram is owned by Facebook, it may be a similar scenario to how updates to Facebook have typically played out. Facebook has a tendency to roll out mass changes with the anticipation of user backlash; only to retract part of their updates. It’s a case of moving 10 steps forward and taking 1 back, ultimately the changes still get adopted.

The simple truth is that whenever you are online, whenever you use an App, it is very likely that your information is being used by the site or is being sold as data to interested third parties. The best way to maintain some semblance of privacy is to not go online at all – which wherein lies the irony.

It is almost impossible for most of us not to be connected to the internet at some point every day; be it through a PC, a Smart Phone or tablet. When we go online our user data is collected, stored and researched by a multitude of companies for a variety of purposes; some benign, some nefarious.

We are only now becoming aware that we are no longer just consumers; we are in fact walking product endorsements and advertisements for big business. What happens in the next few years will determine our new role in the emerging global marketplace. Do we want to protect our privacy, or do we want ads that are geared towards our relevant interests?

SEO news blog post by @ 11:28 am on December 19, 2012

Categories:Facebook,Privacy

 

Older Posts »
Level Triple-A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Copyright© 2004-2014
Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization, Inc.
All rights reserved.