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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.


February 14, 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


 

 

December 18, 2012

Complying With the Law, or Running for Cover?

While a lot changes day to day in the SEO world, most of it is of far too little interest or substance to report on, so occasionally we’ll allow ourselves the flexibility to get off topic.

In Canada we have some insanely bad internet service. I’m talking about all things considered, performance, price, and options.

In my province some communities have been noted as having the highest density (per-capita) of internet connected households in the world, yet we have some of the worst internet providers imaginable.

The two biggest names, Shaw and Telus, are well known for imposing caps and disconnecting repeated offenders of copyright violations.

A smaller brand of ISP, TekSavvy, has been making inroads for years, and offers two unique perks:
- Unlimited internet plans (no data caps)
- Data use between 2am -> 8am is ignored

Both those perks are HUGE selling points for folks that love to fill their drives with movies, music, and other wonders of the internet.

So it wasn’t much of a surprise then that Voltage Pictures is specifically chasing after TekSavvy customers for violations of copyright on several movies.

TekSavvy is in a legal Hurt Locker

Initially TekSavvy refused legal action to hand over client information requested by Voltage Pictures, stating that the privacy of it’s clients came first.

This drew TekSavvy into court with Voltage Pictures for the purposes of forcing them to relinquish information on their subscribers.

Today we’re now hearing that Voltage Pictures successfully intimidated TekSavvy into agreeing with the ‘motion for discovery’ after it became clear that the legal indemnity of the ISP was coming into question due to the assistance TekSavvy is providing it’s clients, who are potentially criminals that owe reparations.

For you see, this year, on June 29th, Canada implemented the Copyright Modernization Act which essentially separates the actions of the clientele from the interests of the ISP.

To put that into Hollywood Logic:

Just because your users download cars, it does not mean that the ISP is a used car dealership..

If TekSavvy had continued to block access to their private client records, they felt it would make them liable for the crimes of it’s clients.

And yet in 2004 when BMG music went after Canada’s largest ISPs, Rogers, Bell, Videotron, Telus, and Shaw, with an almost identical request for client information to proceed with legal action, they lost in court, and in appeals.

Thus many people are questioning if TekSavvy really should have backed down.

It’s not all over yet however!

The ‘Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic’ or CIPPIC filed a letter with the court explaining that more time was needed for both the potential defendants, and for preparation of an application intervene in the motion.

The court agreed, after much protest from Voltage Pictures’ prosecutors, and will grant the adjournment until Jan 14th 2013.

TekSavvy still has the option to change it’s mind, and at least 2000 of it’s customers are motivated into pressuring them to do so.

Currently the TekSavvy forum (private/members only) has a single thread on the issue, and it’s pretty quiet, almost too quiet?

I’m no lawyer but I doubt we want any precedent in terms of ISPs divulging private details of it’s clients to companies wishing to prosecute.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:05 pm


 

 

October 9, 2012

EMD Insanity and Coining Phrases

It’s clearly time for Beanstalk to officially list ourselves as a sitedefibrillation solution provider.

Why? Because apparently the secret to SERP dominance with an EMD is to coin your own phrase!

Do a search for ‘coinflation’ + ‘gold’ or really, almost any other keyword to see what Google considers an ‘improved’ result following the EMD update.

Google Search results for Coinflation 
If you didn’t get something like the results above, please let us know!

 
Okay so that seems slightly silly, but how the heck did they pull that off? There’s clearly PPC/AdWords competition for the phrase, and EMD should either be a penalty or moot, shouldn’t it?

Well apparently not! In fact EMD can still clearly be an asset if the ‘quality’ scores are all above par!

This means that if you have an organic campaign, with ongoing back links/references from trusted sources, and you aren’t hitting other penalties, you really should be feeling no loss at all from the EMD update.

Indeed, if your competition was using non-organic approaches to EMDs they should have taken a trust hit, and you may see an improvement in position due to their failings!

So while I can show you some examples of the EMD apparently failing to work, we can assure you it’s working, and overall seems like a positive step for Google.

10″ Google Nexus from Samsung?

Last night CNET announced some ‘highly’ probable info that Samsung is manufacturing a new 10.1″ Nexus tablet for Google.

The article is more of a stub of hear-say but had some rather ‘exact’ details including the resolution of the display:

The 2,560×1,600 display will have a PPI (pixels per inch) of about 299, said Shim. That tops the 264 PPI on the 9.7-inch 2,048×1,536 Retina iPad.

Clearly this will be the ‘high end’ model for the Nexus line (currently manufactured by Asus), especially when you consider that Google will be releasing a 7″ Nexus subsidized down to a $99 price this December!

In fact since we’re pondering things to come more than talking facts, I’d have to assume this will be a dual or quad core device with GPU acceleration of some sort to assist with up-scaling video content and 3d games to that eye-popping resolution.

So if this high-end Nexus tablet is anything less than $399 I’d be really shocked and very worried for Apple.

Okay, perhaps more worried for Apple, would be more accurate given it’s current public affairs issues..

In case you’re wondering ‘who cares?’; Tim Pool goes to the streets and broadcasts unedited footage of protests/events.

I’d like to think Apple is patenting this to prevent companies from doing this, but in actual fact this is very creepy stuff from the overly litigious makers of the most expensive walled gardens on the planet.

It seems almost like Apple is testing how well their brand/product can weather bad public image at this point?

SEO news blog post by @ 11:53 am


 

 

September 27, 2012

Google is 14 Years Old and Under Arrest

Well I guess ’14′ is not a very important number, since Google’s own birthday doodle is an animated GIF:

Google's 14th Birthday Doodle Gif
Does that really say PooP?

.. unless you count this ’14′ year old girl with ’14′ million views?

That’s evil Google, even if you didn’t actually make that the top search result for ’14 years old’, it’s very evil. ;)

Stop! Jail Time!

Speaking of unintentional evils, Google’s chief executive in Brazil, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, was arrested and then released after a Brazilian court found him guilty of violating South American pre-vote election laws.

Fabio’s crime? He denied a request to have politically sensitive videos removed from YouTube.

The same judge also ordered a .5 million dollar per day ‘penalty’ for Google to pay if it continues to host the videos!

Since the videos are not in English and most of the news sources are English, finding these ‘horrible’ videos isn’t very easy.

Here’s one explaining a connection between the candidate for Mayor, Alcides Bernal, and a money laundry scheme with a co-operative taxi service.

My Portuguese is pretty non-existent, but even without Google TranslateOpen in a New Tab, it’s pretty clear that the candidate for Mayor isn’t being promoted favorably in this video.

Google is facing similar political pressures over the recent anti-Muslim videos, including fines, however they are all currently being left online by YouTube/Google as it’s very clear that no rules of the service have been violated and removing the videos would merely make people want to share them even more.

Bearded Sikh Woman Teaches Reddit A Lesson

In fact these political types could learn a great lesson from a young Sikh woman who recently was ridiculed for not tending to her facial hair/beard over on Reddit’s r/funny boards : source

Ugly remarks like: “Transgender Sikh Dwarf” didn’t phase Balpreet!

Rather than get upset, Balpreet Kaur, took the attention as an opportunity to register with Reddit as a new user and explain herself in a calm respectful manner.

This resulted in a huge cultural awareness among the thread readers, and she is currently being hailed as an outstanding example of how to handle criticism.

Here’s the full storyOpen in a New Tab (with twitter reactions) over on CBC News.

You go girl! :)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:36 pm


 

 

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


 

 

July 25, 2012

Skynet Police – The Infringement Wars

While the copyright infringement debate continues heating up in Canada and the United States, the "Skynet" copyright act has been in place for two months now which was passed by Parliament in an effort to combat piracy over peer-to-peer files sharing networks. Rights-holders estimate that the act has halved the number of instances of copyright infringements within the first month.

skynet

Telecom has received copyright infringement notices from the Recording Industry of New Zealand asking to notices to 42 customers accused of internet piracy and are in the process if validating them. Spokesperson Gary Bowering of TelstraClear stated that:

If they are found to meet the criteria of the new file sharing regulations then we will pass on these allegations to the relevant customers in accordance with the obligations set out in the Copyright Amendment Act."

terminator cop

Regardless of the relative success with its implementation, holders are still concerned that over 40% of New Zealanders are continuing to download, pirate and otherwise infringe online.
Rights-holders are clamoring to change the infringement notice processing fee payable to ISPs to be dropped from the current $25 to just a few dollars or cents, enabling them to send out thousands of notices every month.

The ISPs want the fee to be increased to over four times the current amount. The submissions for the review of government notice fees are withheld by the government and are not made public.
It will be interesting to see how the online piracy debate plays out elsewhere and if other countries will adopt the New Zealand process as an example of how to implement similar measures in their own countries.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:22 am


 

 

July 24, 2012

Google Earth Engine and 40 years of Landsat data

As Apple and other companies continue to sue Google to slow/halt their growth into certain markets, Google is still finding ways to help the entire planet by sharing their technical infrastructure.

NASA started collecting images of Earth using the Landsat satellite system in 1972, and in the last 40 years the amount of data that has been accumulated is quite enormous.

The Landsat system is capable of mapping the entire planet surface every 16 days which means that there are 912 complete 1.7-terapixel images of our planet at a 30-meter resolution that not only need to be built/combined but the completed data maps also need to be compared over time.

Google’s infrastructure makes it possible to not only process the data much faster, but they can also make the information accessible to the public web where discovery and analysis can be crowd-sourced for free.

So far there’s been some very interesting work derived from the Landsat data using Google’s Earth Engine, and here’s three examples of human impacts on the planet that have been visualized by Landsat data analysis:

This time-lapse, built from Landsat captured satellite imagery from 1999 to 2011, shows the amazingly rapid growth of Las Vegas, Nevada. After watching the video it’s easy to see how Vegas is the fastest growing city in the United States for the past two decades.

Due to water diversion for irrigation and farming needs, the inland Aral Sea is shrinking at an amazing pace. Large portions were completely absent of water by as early as 2009 and these dry areas continue to grow today.

Providing land for farming, and clearing land for raising cattle, has caused the Amazon rainforest to shrink at a very shocking rate as you can see in this video.

For more time-line based Landsat data analysis you can go right to the Google Earth Engine page.

Sadly there’s zero examples of human activity improving the planet, which isn’t startling, but rather depressing. Perhaps someone wants to go take a look for something positive, like a rebuild of coral reef or something beneficial to the planet that humans have undertaken? I know I’d make a link to that.

UPDATE: Ahh speaking of 40 years of data, Greenland just hit a melt cycle that occurs roughly every ~150 years. The cycle this year will be the first time we’ve had satellite observation of the melt; all previous information is based on ice core samples.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:04 am


 

 

July 19, 2012

Warez between Google and DMCA

Google has published another transparency report, and thanks to the detailed removal requests info, it’s actually a decent index of pirated content on the web.
A googlish WAREZ sign
You want something from Microsoft? Sort the report by their requests, viola, a list of offending sites that Microsoft has verified as having options to download copyrighted content.

It’s like an all you can eat buffet for people who don’t know where to find warez!

In fact the report, warez aside, has all sorts of neat statistics for the curious among us to poke at:

It’s a pretty honest bit of transparency that is very informative and handy. If you didn’t know who the top sites are in terms of pirated content, this is a great resource.

Google News – More options?

To be frank, it’s another slow news day for SEO happenings, but it prompted me to hit news.google.com with my desktop browser for a change.

Since I’m logged into a Google account on my desktop machine the Google News page loaded up a preferences panel on the left hand sidebar which I’d never known about because I use my phone for browsing Google News (usually all about world headlines if you’re not logged in).

Options panel for Google News

With these options you can:
- Choose how much of each type
- Remove news types
- Add news types (ie: Women’s Sports)
- Add/Remove Sources
- And more..

Personally, I was quite impressed by this as Google seems to really want to handle the customization and learn from your habits, vs. letting you tell them exactly what to show you.

I suppose in the long run this is a lot less of a control and more of a suggestion, like how Google bot reads a canonical tag. ;)

If you don’t use Google for News, perhaps you aught to go take a look at what they have been working on?

 

SEO news blog post by @ 1:56 pm


 

 

July 18, 2012

Canada’s Supreme Court Rules “Technological Neutrality” as New Copyright Principle

The Canadian Supreme Court has made a ruling on various copyright issues. The Supreme Court of Canada has made “technological neutrality” a foundational principle of Canadian copyright and effectively adopted a fair use policy.

They have ruled that ISP will not be required to pay copyright fees for their subscribers download or preview music. They court also ruled that teachers will no longer pay fees associated with the photocopying of copyrighted materials for their students.

Some feel that the new technological neutrality principle may have a huge long term effects on Canadian copyright and will pose a threat to some copyright collective tariff proposals and to the newly enacted digital lock rules.

The technological neutrality principle is discussed in several cases, but gets its most important airing in the Entertainment Software Association of Canada v. SOCAN decision. The majority of the court states:

In our view, the Board’s conclusion that a separate, "communication" tariff applied to downloads of musical works violates the principle of technological neutrality, which requires that the Copyright Act apply equally between traditional and more technologically advanced forms of the same media: Robertson v. Thomson Corp., [2006] 2 S.C.R. 363, at para. 49.

The principle of technological neutrality is reflected in s. 3(1) of the Act, which describes a right to produce or reproduce a work "in any material form whatever".

In our view, there is no practical difference between buying a durable copy of the work in a store, receiving a copy in the mail, or downloading an identical copy using the Internet. The Internet is simply a technological taxi that delivers a durable copy of the same work to the end user.

It seems in this case, that Canada is making strides ahead in the contentious copyright foray that has been plaguing many countries for some time. It will be noteworthy to see if a similar ruling makes its way into the American legal system.

Here are some additional sites talking about this:

SEO news blog post by @ 11:41 am


 

 

July 16, 2012

Six-Strikes and You’re Out: the MPAA, RIAA & the Center for Copyright Information

It was over a year ago that the MPAA and the RIAA announced they would be introducing a groundbreaking anti-piracy plan in conjunction with US ISPs. The scheduled start was set for July 2012, the parties involved state that they are not yet ready to implement the graduated warning program.

MPAA

In a previous post I reported that once implemented, the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) will begin to take proactive measures to track down online deemed to be pirating media. Copyright infringement violators will be progressively warned about their actions, escalating over 5-6 notifications until the ISP will drastically cap the user’s bandwidth or even revoke access.

"With regards to timing, CCI is rigorously working towards implementing the Copyright Alert System in a way that is consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and with the needs of subscribers," a spokesperson stated.

The CCI is now hoping that ISPs will begin sending out graduated warnings later this year, but have not commented as to a reason for the delays. Such large delays it the plans implementation suggests that there have been logistical issues in the plan’s implementation.

"At this time, CCI is not ready to announce the experts we will use to evaluate the methodologies used by the content owners and ISPs to identify alleged piracy and deliver notices to the right consumers," said a CCI spokesperson.

Other Concerns

  • It has been suggested that the company hired to conduct tracking may not be made public to curb protests.
  • There are increasing amounts of new subscribers to VPN Internet providers in the US, presumably in anticipation of the schemes implementation.
  • There are increasing fears that backdoors will be used in the deal which may allow the MPAA and RIAA to request personal details of repeats infringers for legal action.
  • There has been no clear definition of what will happen to third party providers (free wi-fi providers) in this graduated six-strikes theme.
  • In a controlled state, who polices the police?

Certainly the issues of copyright protection and privacy have a long way to develop before a mutually beneficial method is established that protects everyone involved and allows the end user sufficient freedom.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:59 am


 

 

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