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Olivia Russell

Olivia Russell

Remarkably gifted, knowledgeable and resourceful Market Research Analyst with over eight years experience in collecting and analyzing data to evaluate existing and potential product and service markets; identifying and monitoring competitors and researching market conditions and changes in the industry that may affect sales. I have done masters in marketing from Australian Institute of Business.

Music lovers were also unable to access Spotify due to the cyberattack Friday. (Getty)

Twitter, the popular social media platform with more than 300 million users every month, was suddenly unreachable on Friday — along with dozens of other popular sites ncluding the music streaming site Spotify — for at least part of the internet. The massive outage was the result of a cyberattack now under investigation by federal authorities.

The attacks reportedly utilized a software program called Mirai, that was released onto the “dark web” — the areas on the internet hidden from major search engines — earlier this month,according to a report in USA Today. Mirai is a simple program that requires no specialized hacking experts, the report said.

At least three separate attacks were reported starting at around 7 a.m. Eastern Time, continuing past the 4 p.m. hour.

What happened? Here’s what you need to know.

1. The Outage Resulted From Massive Cyberattacks Involving Millions of Computers

The outage that sent Twitter and at least 60 sites offline was the work of hackers — though who they were and where they were from remains unknown. The hackers unleashed at least three massive Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attacks not against Twitter and the other sites specifically, but against Dyn, Inc., the company that proves Domain Name Server services to those sites. The company is based in Manchester, New Hampshire.

A Domain Name Server is something like a phonebook for the internet. It’s a computer that translates human-readable domain names such as “Twitter.com” or “Spotify.com” into numerical addresses, known as IP addresses. Without access to those IP addresses, your internet-connected computer cannot figure out where to send your requests. So without a DNS lookup, when you click on link containing, for example, twitter.com — you get nothing.

Dyn, Inc. called the attacks, “well planned and executed, coming from tens of millions IP addresses at same time.”

“It’s a very smart attack. We start to mitigate, they react. It keeps on happening every time,” Dyn, Inc. Chief Strategy OfficerKyle York told reporters Friday afternoon.

 

2. Homeland Security is Investigating the Cyberattack

Early Friday afternoon, NBC News reported that the United States Department of Homeland Security was investigating the widespread cyberattack.

The White House was aware of the situation, and according to presidential Spokesperson Josh Earnest, Homeland Security was “monitoring” the attacks, but there was currently no information as to who may have been behind them.

According to a Reuters report, the FBI is also investigating the source of the expansive cyberattack.

As of Friday morning, the culprits behind the massive DDoS attack were a mystery. Malicious hacking has become a major concern over the past few years, with hacker attacks hitting theHollywood movie studio Sony Pictures, and more recently, the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

Those attacks, mainly designed to steal information, have been blamed by U.S. intelligence agencies on “state actors,” such as North Korea and Russia. Friday’s attack appears primarilydesigned to disrupt service.

The Friday cyberattack came just two days after police in the Czech Republic, working with the F.B.I., announced the arrest of a Russian hacker allegedly involved with a huge data breach targeting the business networking site LinkedIn in 2012. Read about that arrest in the story at this link.

 

3. Many of the Internet’s Top Sites Went Down

In addition to Twitter and Spotify, there were also reports that the self-described “front page of the internet” Reddit was also out for several hours. The attack, which was confined mainly to the United States east coast, was first reported at 7:10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Other sites hit included Easy, Github, SoundCloud, Heroku, PagerDuty and Shopify.

Amazon.con reported outages, as did CNN.com, People.com and The New York Times wen site.

There were also reports that Netflix and PayPal went down for a period of time Friday morning, as well as iHeart Radio, Air BnB, HBO Now, Yelp and others.

4. Service Was Restored — Until a Second Attack, Then a Third

“Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21st-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time,” Dyn DNS reported this morning.

But the DNS provider later reported on its web site that the issues stemming from the cyberattack were cleared up by 9:40 a.m. Eastern.

But at 11:52 a.m., Dyn reported that a second wave of DDoS attacks was underway, taking out access to many major sites yet again.

Just after 2 p.m. Dyn announced that it had solved the problem — again — and was trying to figure out what happened.

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But a third attack hit soon after — affecting the company which provides DNS services to six percent of American Fortune 500 companies.

Just last month, cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier published a report entitled, “Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet.” In the report, Schneider warned that hackers — who may or may not be state-sponsored — have been attempting and succeeding in carrying out DDoS attacks on increasingly larger scales.

“Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down,” Schneider wrote. “We don’t know who is doing this, but it feels like a large a large nation state. China and Russia would be my first guesses.”

5. You Can Buy a DNS Attack, and it’s Pretty Cheap

 

Even if the hackers are found, the true forces behind Friday’s cyberattack could still remain unknown. According to a report by Trend Micro Research, Russian hackers will pull of a DDoS attack for as little as $150. Cybersecurity experts report about 2,000 DDoS attacks on the internet every day.

To carry out a DDoS attack, hackers use what they call a “BotNet,” which is a network of computers that has been infected with a malware, programming them to send out requests to specific sites on the internet without the owner of the infected computer having any idea. BotNets are bought and sold on the black market, and when the hacker-in-charge gives the signal, every computer on the BotNet fires off hundreds or thousands of requests to a specific address.

 

The idea is to overwhelm a server, rendering in incapable of functioning. The result for a user who wants to access a particular site — say, Twitter, for example — is that the site appears offline, or “down.” the video, above, provides a basic explanation of how DDoS attacks work.

Source : heavy.com

In the future, we may own much less and share much more. And if we do, it will all be down to big data.

In the last century, owning things was the marker of the middle class.  Those who had more money could own more things.  But as manufacturing became less expensive, the barrier to owning a great deal of stuff was lowered. Today, many people living at or below the poverty level own plenty of things, but it isn’t a good indicator of their relative wealth.

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In fact, as millennials enter adulthood and the middle class, the trend seems to be for them to own less stuff.  Not only is there a thriving “minimalist” movement, but the advent of the digital and sharing economies have made this much easier.

Where Baby Boomers and Gen Xers might have had shelves and shelves dedicated to books, magazines and music in their homes, today we can fit the same amount of media and more onto the pocket-sized computers we anachronistically still call phones.

Whereas being a “two-car family” (or even three or four cars) was once a mark of status, today many millennials see more status in being a one-car or even zero-car family and making use of services like Uber, Lyft, CarGo, and others to use cars only when they need one.

Ridesharing, apartment/home lending, peer-to-peer lending, reselling, coworking, talent-sharing… The sharing economy, sometimes also called the collaboration economy, is taking off in all sorts of niches. 

 

Beyond a disillusionment with consumerism, what’s driving this trend is data.  Most — if not all — of these upstarts would not be viable businesses, certainly not on a large scale, without leveraging a platform and a foundation of big data.

These companies don’t just represent a new way of thinking or new services, but a new way to use data effectively to provide services to people when and where they want them.

The obvious examples here are Uber and Airbnb, both of which developed their own platforms to allow service providers and users to connect to the benefit of both. But there are other interesting examples of companies using data and developing platforms to join this new economy:

  • Freelancing — Sites like TaskRabbitCare.com and Upwork have taken the freelance market to a new level. Upwork specializes in helping more traditional freelancers (writers, graphic designers, coders, etc.) connect with business owners looking to hire; while TaskRabbit does the same for services like handymen, dog walkers, personal assistants, and so on. Care.com specializes in caregivers for both children and the elderly. The platforms each of these sites have built make it possible to connect those offering services with those seeking the services.
  • Coworking — WeWork is only one of many companies providing coworking spaces in big cities around the world. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and telecommuters can rent a desk or an office without the overhead and cost of renting an entire building or suite. Prices are low enough that you can use it as you like, and the space offers some of the benefits of an office including meeting space, phone lines, internet, and often free coffee and even free beer and wine sometimes.
  • Car sharing — Services like Lyft and Uber allowed individual drivers to operate like a taxi service by providing them a safe way to find clients and get paid. Zipcar allowed people to borrow cars for very short periods of time, like the length of a big shopping trip. And now, services like Getaround enable individuals to share their cars with neighbors and get paid for it by connecting the users on the Getaround platform, automating payments, and even insuring the cars for up to $1 million. Liquid provides the same service for renting bicycles!
  • Peer-to-Peer lending — Lending Club and sites like it allow people to lend one another money, with much lower interest rates and fees than traditional credit cards or bank loans. Investors earn solid returns and borrowers get more competitive rates, all facilitated by the platform.
  • Fashion — Sites like Poshmark and threadUP allow individuals to sell their gently used clothing while services like Le Tote offer subscribers the ability to borrow clothes and return them like a Netflix subscription for your closet. Rent the Runway allows women to rent designer gowns for a special event at a fraction of the price of buying one.
  • Sharing resources — Neighborgoods and similar sites allow people to borrow resources — like tools and kitchen appliances — directly from their neighbors. Rather than buying a specialized tool for a single project, people can connect with and borrow from their neighbors, facilitated by the platform.

 

None of these services would be possible without the big data and algorithms that drives their individual platforms. Without a sophisticated app to match a driver with a rider, Uber wouldn’t be competitive with taxi drivers who cruise around all day looking for fares — and the same is true of each of these services.What’s fascinating is that the company is rarely the actual service provider; instead, they act as facilitator, making the transaction possible, easy, and safe for both the provider and the user.

They break down the barriers that otherwise exist to starting a business or a “side hustle” for many people and make it both easy and lucrative to participate in this collaborative economy.But none of it would be possible without data and algorithms to use it.Bernard Marr is a best-selling author & keynote speaker. His new book: 'Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results'

Source : forbes

Our iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus tips and tricks guide reveals the best secret and hidden features and shortcuts that you might not know about. Here's how to get the most from your new iPhone 7 handset.

If you've decided to treat yourself to a spangly new iPhone 7, or the super-sized iPhone 7 Plus, you might want to check out the following tips and tricks. This quick and easy guide will show you some of the best hidden features that Apple tucked away, including using the flash as a notifications light, customising the home button and Touch ID use, some WiFi hacks and more.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to quickly erase a message

If you've started to type a text message but then you change your mind and decide to say something different, don't bother mashing the backspace key. Instead, just give your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus a swift shake and you'll be asked if you want to delete the entire thing. Easy.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to change the feedback level of the new home button

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus feature a new home button, which isn't actually a button at all. When you 'push' it, that clicking sensation you get is actually just vibration feedback.

If you want a softer or stronger vibration, you can actually set this up in the iPhone 7's settings. Head to General, and then Home Button. In here you can choose between three levels of feedback, with the option to test each level before selecting your favourite.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to quickly check for any waiting notifications

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Simply pulling your phone out of your pocket, or lifting it from its resting place, will now briefly activate the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus' display. This allows you to quickly check for any waiting notifications and messages, without having to tap the home button. Granted that's not exactly a massive time saver, but it's something at least.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: Make your phone flash when you have notifications

If you're constantly missing notifications, you can go one step further than above and actually make the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus flash when something's awaiting your attention. In other words, you can make the phone's camera flash ping on and off until you take a peek.

To activate the notification flash feature, go to the iPhone's settings menu. Now go to General, and then Accessibility. In here you'll see the LED Flash for Alerts entry - just give this a tap to activate it. Be aware of course that your handset's battery life will take a hit if the flash is constantly going off.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: The all-new iOS 10 lock screen

The lock screen is now more helpful than ever before on the iPhone 7. For instance, you can now 3D Touch your notifications to see more details - just push hard on a calendar entry for full details, for instance.

You can also now swipe your finger left across the lock screen to immediately launch the camera app and take a quick photo or record a video without delay. Just tap the home button to return to the lock screen when you're done. And if you swipe right instead, you'll bring up the nifty new Today View (see below).

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: Get to grips with Today View

If you swipe your finger right from the lock screen or your first home screen, you'll bring up Apple's new Today View. This gives you a quick glimpse of all of your most important info, as well as shortcuts to your most-used apps.

You can easily add a new 'widget' to the Today View, remove an existing one and change their order. Just scroll to the bottom of the Today View panel and tap 'Edit'. If you poke the minus icon next to any existing widget, it will disappear. You can also add new ones by tapping the plus icon next to them. And to change their order, just hold the icon that looks like three lines to the right of a widget and then drag it up or down.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: Do more in the iOS 10 Control Center

Apple's Control Center got a big overhaul in iOS 10, so it's better than ever on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Just drag your finger up from the bottom of your desktop, and you'll pull the Control Center onto the screen. From here you can toggle some of the iPhone's most-used features on and off, such as WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as jump straight to popular apps such as the camera. There's also controls for AirDrop (which allows you to swap files with another iOS device) and AirPlay (for throwing your iPhone's screen to another device like an Apple TV).

These days you also get Night Shift controls. This allows you to quickly activate the blue filter mode and make the screen easier on the eye when using the iPhone 7 in the dark. And if you swipe your finger left across the Control Center, you get simple media controls. This helps you to pause, play and skip through your media, or jump into the previously used media app.

Handily, if you're playing music when you bring up the Control Center, the media screen is the first thing you'll see. Saves you a swipe.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to shoot 4K video or 60 Frames-Per-Second (FPS) video on the iPhone 7

Your spangly new iPhone is fully capable of shooting Full HD video at 60 frames-per-second, as well as Ultra HD 4K resolution footage. However, by default the iPhone 7 records video at Full HD resolution, at just 30 FPS.

To change these video settings, you need to leave the camera app and go to the iPhone 7's settings. Scroll down and tap 'Photos & Camera'. In here you'll find options to change the video resolution and speed. You can also change the settings for Slo-mo video, bumping it up from 720p to 1080p.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to set up restrictions for apps and make the iPhone kid-friendly

In the iPhone 7's settings men, head to the Restrictions section. In this PIN-protected menu you can enable restrictions, which allows you to disable key apps and features such as Siri, AirDrop and CarPlay. You can also prevent the installation and deletion of apps, App Store purchases and more - handy if your young one is going to be handling your iPhone without supervision.

 

If you're giving the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus to a kid to use full-time, you might also want to set which content is allowed. For instance, you can prevent movies above a certain rating from being downloaded, and even restrict what websites your child can browse.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor for Apple Pay, iTunes and App Store purchases and more

That Touch ID fingerprint sensor that's built into the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus' home button is very handy for getting into your mobile, while keeping out thieves or misbehaving younger members of your family. However, it can also be used to validate your Apple Pay, iTunes and App Store purchases.

Jump into the iPhone's settings menu and then head to 'Touch ID and Passcode'. From here you can choose exactly what the Touch ID scanner can be used for.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to turn your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus into a personal WiFi hotspot

If you're on the move and your kids want to get online with their personal tablets or other devices, you can set up a WiFi network for them.

Head into the iPhone 7's settings menu and go to Personal Hotspot. Tap the switch at the top of the menu to turn this feature on. You can also change the password of your private network by giving that a tap beneath, and setting it to whatever you like. Now other devices can connect to your iPhone in their WiFi menu, using the password you set.

 

Bear in mind that some network contracts forbid the use of personal WiFi hotspots, so this feature may not work depending on your network and contract choice.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to use WiFi and mobile data at the same time

If your chosen WiFi network is a bit ropey, giving you timeout messages while you're browsing the web or taking ages over anything, you can use Apple's 'WiFi Assist' feature to use both WiFi and cellular/mobile data at the same time (be aware that this will of course eat into your data allowance, something that WiFi by itself doesn't).

To activate WiFi Assist, just head to the iPhone 7's settings menu and then tap 'Mobile Data' (this may be 'Cellular' in the States). From here scroll down and you'll see the WiFi Assist option. Make sure this is switched on by giving it a tap.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to see your current battery percentage

At the top right corner of the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus' screen, you'll see a battery meter. This gives a rough indication of how much power you have remaining, but for a more accurate measurement, head to the iPhone's settings menu. From here, scroll down to 'Battery'.

You can now tick the box which says 'Battery Percentage' to permanently display how much battery charge is left in your mobile in that top bar.

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: Use your Apple phone for DIY

You might not think that your precious iPhone 7 doubles as a handy DIY tool, but there's a built-in level that not many people know about. Just tap Apple's Compass app and then swipe your finger left across the screen and the level tool pops up. Now you can see the exact inclination, to make sure those new shelves are perfectly straight. Nice!

 

Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features: How to change the screen timeout length on iPhone 7

It can be quite annoying when your iPhone keeps on hibernating when you're in the middle of using it, and as the default screen timeout is just a minute, this is a pretty common complaint.

You used to be able to change the iPhone's timeout length in the settings menu, in General > Auto-Lock. However, the Auto-Lock setting has now moved into the Display & Brightness menu, which we think makes a lot more sense. Boost the time up to five minutes and you'll rarely see the iPhone 7 hibernate when you're busy using it.

Video: Best iPhone 7 tips and hidden features

Sunday, 16 October 2016 16:41

10 Best Mobile Search Engines

Mobile networking is rapidly overgrowing desktop navigation and one of the main uses of it is for searching for relevant and urgent information.

Search Engines are the most visited websites through mobile devices (Google Insights).

Mobile search is not just a part of web search engines anymore, instead it has grown as a specialized branch of mobile content for itself that is rapidly growing. Mobile search engines are the gateway to mobile content for most users. Google is the undisputed leader of desktop search engines, but when it comes to mobile searching, the battle for the throne is still raging and finally the one that provides the most relevant results wins. Understanding how users search through their smartphones is the key to the mobile search approach, for instance, location is an extremely important factor in mobile searches.

Let’s take a look at some of the best search engines available for mobile devices and analyse their features.

Top Search Engines for Mobile Devices


Google Search (iPod / Android)

Google is still among the great giants of searching, for mobile devices too. The Google Search app has a beautiful simple and clean interface with a search field and links to other applications, voice search and Google Goggles, a feature that lets you snap a photo to find information about products, landmarks, etc. The auto-complete feature suggests terms as you type, reducing search time by cutting spare typing.


yahoo search mobileYahoo! Search (iPhone / Android)

Yahoo offers a unique approach to the way they show mobile results, offering a map with a link to directions and a CTC button when looking for local results, it is a very useful feature, but the application does not offer anything else different from other applications. It also provides a link of trending searches when you access the application.


bing mobileBing Mobile (iPad / iPhone / Android)

Bing’s mobile application has a nice and sleek look, rapid access to images, videos, maps, etc. It shows the results that your Facebook friends liked and has Bing Vision, a feature that lets you recognize bar and QR codes, book covers, pictures, etc.


ask mobile (iPhone / Android)

Ask is not a traditional search engine. It is based on questions the users ask and show web results other users responses as an answer. You can either type a question or use voice search.



duck duck go mobileDuck Duck Go (iPhone / Android)

Duck Duck Go is not different from any standard search engine in terms of results, but it has some unique features that make it worth trying. It uses over 50 information sources to give you relevant data just above links, so you don’t have to spare clicks. Also it does not track you, providing total privacy.


topsy
Topsy

Topsy is, as they call themselves, a social time machine, which means it is a search engine based on social media sites. It shows results based on popular links and the influence of the people who cites them, and enables users to show those results on a timeline. It does not have an app, but Topsy’s site is nicely adapted for mobile devices.


chacha mobile
ChaCha (iPhone / Android)

ChaCha is a search engine that answers questions based on a “human search engine” with location-based features. It accepts text or voice queries and provides a text response back. ChaCha is free for the moment and supported by ads. ChaCha can be faster than regular smartphones search engines, but sometimes it takes minutes to answer a question and it only gives one response for query.



wolfram alpha mobileWolfram Alpha (iPhone / Android)

Wolfram Alpha directly answers factual queries. It also offers multitude of features, including plotting graphs, calculations and technical data about anything you can imagine. It is more than a search engine, it does not only gives you links, it gives relevant data and information. The interface is very simple, clean and, just as the application, efficient.

blekko mobileBlekko (iPhone / Android)

Blekko is a spam-free search engine that allows vertical searches based on the use of slahstag (like the folders on a computer). The application suggest its own slashtags and lets you navigate from one to another.

 



dogpile mobileDogpile (iPhone)

Dogpile is a metasearch engine, it instantly searches through seven popular search engines and decides which results are the more relevant to your query. Among its features are web and image search, camera scan and sharing options.

More Mobile Search Engines

abphoneabphone

Abphone is a media browser which is based on keywords and dedicated to finding images and videos so that you could download them on your phone.

alien pants

Alien Pants

Alien Pants operates GTIP, an SMS-based customer support, hints and cheat service within the online and mobile gaming community.

AOIAOL

AOL is the mobile portal of AOLs search engine.

etools

eTools

It is a Swedish meta-search engine which queries more than 10 biggest search sites.

kanuuu

Kannuu

Kannuu provides search software that is able to run on mobile devices, the engine is geared towards the mobile Internet, using predictive software to speed searches.

 

medio

Medio

Medio runs a mobile search engine which uses mobile analytics to provide users with one-stop search results. Its mobile adverts are targeted with the search results.

 

mcnMobile Cotent Networks

Mobile Content Networks combines vertical search with its Taxonomy Engine so that they do their best in order to provide accurate search results. With MCN you also can place targeted ads with search results.

Try the solutions you liked and choose the best ones for you. Probably, you have other variants you use which were not mentioned… Please, write them in the comments. Let’s make a full list together!

Source : zeendo.com

 

The Google search bar is evolving yet again. You might say it's growing up. Or maybe it's growing out.

A new spot for Pixel, Google's first self-branded smartphone, puts the iconic white strip front and center to show the search-engine-now-hardware company is moving closer than ever before to compete head-on with other smartphone powerhouses. (Think Apple.)

In the first film in a series created by Droga5, the search bar slowly reshapes itself from the long and narrow bar into a tall and sleek body. The new phone was first teased last month in a similar but much more minimalist spot promoting the Oct. 4 launch date.

"It has enabled people to get answers to any question, converse with faraway friends and find their way to remote locations—or just their way home," a Droga5 spokesperson said in an email. "It's been the focal point of many great adventures, as well as daily life. And now, the company that organized the world's information is turning its attention to the most important device in your life: your phone. For the first time ever, all the power and possibilities of Google are now in the palm of your hand."

The campaign, which launched Tuesday, is rolling out across the six major markets where the phone will first be available: the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, India and the United Kingdom. Google also launched its first 24-hour Snapchat takeover, which allows users to view more than 20 custom videos on Snapchat's Discover feature.

During Google's launch event Tuesday for the Pixel, a VR headset and several other devices, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the time is finally right for the company to enter the product space by bringing together Google's artificial intelligence software with a sleekly designed hardware.

"We are evolving from a mobile-first to an AI-first world," Pichai said.

Source : Adweek.com

 

In today’s competitive business landscape, higher SERP ranking has become one of the most important challenges to e-commerce sites. Let’s have a look at some reports of renowned online marketers. According to a data generated by Custora, 26% of ecommerce orders come from search engine traffic. Kissmetrics reports that 30.5% of all ecommerce traffic originates from search engines and according to NChannel, 44% of online customers start their shopping experience with search engines.

Therefore, it can be concluded that it’s hardly possible for e-commerce businesses to sustain without SEO. If you don’t have a solid grasp of SEO tricks and tips, you won’t be able to make it to the top, thus missing out on significant revenue. To many people, ecommerce SEO may seem quite simple but under the hood, there are lots of interrelated factors that have to be monitored and modified in a planned way to increase conversion rate. In this comprehensive guide for e-commerce sites, we’ve jotted down seven highly useful techniques that can be used to leverage SERP visibility.

  1. Keyword Research

Keyword research is of immense importance when it comes to developing a successful ecommerce SEO campaign.

  • Researching the big daddy first – Amazon: Let’s see how you can utilize the largest online ecommerce site Amazon for keyword research. First, type your product’s keyword in the Amazon’s search bar. Now, Amazon provides a list of long tail keywords that not only convert better but are less competitive too. Repeat the procedure to find keywords for your important products. These procedures are a result of researches conducted by Backlinko, which is a leader in building next-level SEO techniques. It’s common for a number of ecommerce site owners to optimize the category pages through random keywords. Though this process has some advantages, it’s not absolutely perfect. It’s important to note here that though category pages might not have benefits over product pages, they too generate some sales. Therefore, take your time to find unique category page keywords.
  • Researching Google Keyword Planner: With Google Keyword Planner, you can make well-informed decisions about the keywords ideal for your business. This tool provides a comprehensive range of features to help you pinpoint a keyword’s popularity status, generate lots of keyword combinations in no time and remove low-volume searches. It isn’t a paid search tool and the data generated by it is immensely useful for ecommerce SEO. Keyword Planner enables you to research the following:SEMRush: SEMRush helps you to identify the keywords that are doing well for your rivals. To complete your keyword research, you need to maximize its reach and to maximize the reach, you should incorporate a mix of keywords used by your competitors too (that suit your business well). SEMRush measures the SERPs for the rankings of keywords you’re looking for. Once you’ve identified your keyword ranking, review the sites with bigger keyword footprints. You should stay away from incorporating smaller brands because of their comparatively smaller presence in SERPs.
    • Average monthly search amount for a certain period.
    • Keyword ideas based on your landing page, product category or a specific phrase.
    • Trends of search volume for keyword(s) over time.
  • Watch out for keyword cannibalization: Keyword cannibalization is a critical problem that occurs when the architecture information of a website heavily depends on a single key phrase or word. In some cases, it can happen unintentionally and due to a number of reasons like pagination. Though some webmasters intentionally optimize various pages with a single term to strengthen SERPs visibility, in reality, this effort leads to lower SEO effectiveness.

 

  1. Making improvements to the website

html

It’s very important for you to improve your website as much as you can. An improved website not only helps in search engine crawling, indexing and its ranking but enhances visitor experience as well.

  • Checking for existing site errors using Screaming Frog: Identification of existing site errors greatly helps ecommerce site owners to understand and rectify any poorly functional component or area of their websites, thus enhancing the sites’ online performance. With this check, you can have in-depth insights of your website and tweak the components obstructing your website’s present performance. Normally, a complete site audit seems to be an uphill and time-consuming task but tools like Screaming Frog has made the task easier for pros and newbies alike. Screaming Frog comes with an extremely user-friendly interface that helps you perform site audits easily to identify any existing errors.
  • Changing the Title Tags and Meta Description of the products: Unquestionably, primary keyword of your product/service has to be there in the title tag of your page. But if you want your product/service to be present in long tail searches, add modifiers like ‘best’, ‘cheap’, ‘review’, ‘online’ etc. Rather than making a simple title tag, add words that people generally use when searching for similar products/services you offer. Meta description is the text that appears under the hyperlink of your page when it appears on SERP. Leverage this by inserting attractive text as meta description for your products.
  • Optimizing the images and their tags: Just because the word out there in the market states that the crawlers from Google are not that adept at dealing with images and cannot understand the context they have been used in, people generally presume that this one concept of having the Alt tags for images can be overlooked. This is not so, and in disobeying this simple rule they might miss out on the little brownie points that Google might have vested upon them. Learning about the image optimization technique is a chance that you give your site to get friendlier with the search engine gods. Miss it and you miss your points as well.
  • Getting the rich snippets right: Adding rich snippets is probably the easiest way to show up on Google’s first page. As an ecommerce site owner, you can leverage one of the most attractive rich snippets namely reviews. Implementation of Schema markup on the ecommerce product pages helps you to obtain eye-catching snippets. Schema markup is a kind of special code that needs to be added to specific pages on your website. This code provides the search engines with better understanding of the page’s content. Remember that it’s not guaranteed that search engines will exhibit the rich snippets but addition of appropriate Schema markup increases the chances.
  • Internal linking: Google rates websites with valuable internal links favorably. The lesser clicks a visitor has to make to reach a desired page, the better. Therefore, it makes sense to link each page to other relevant pages in your site. Use of breadcrumbs not only improves a visitor’s journey across your site but also helps Google navigate throughout the site.
  • Page loading speed: Once the errors have been taken care of, you should concentrate on improving the page loading speed. With a slow-loading website, it’s not possible to hold visitors for a long time. If your website takes more time to load than it should, you have to try to improve the site’s speed. Reduction of file and image sizes, use of a different CMS and buying more server space are some useful solutions.

 

  1. Content for your products

content

Many ecommerce business owners underestimate the importance of valuable content for their products and the focus mainly encompasses the technical aspects of the site. But in reality, valuable content for products is equally significant to increase your conversion rate.

  • Product description: You can simply copy and paste the product descriptions from the manufacturer’s website or can repeat existing content but this is neither desired nor effective. Rather, you should concentrate on writing unique product descriptions which will help you boost the conversion rate. While writing product descriptions and texts for images, include targeted keywords which will help to increase relevance scores of the pages.
  • Consumer generated content:Encourage your customers to leave reviews for your products. That’s because more reviews are synonymous to more content and continuous reviews mean fresh content, which greatly would help in improving your site’s SEO. Besides, customer reviews act as original proofs to your prospective customers when it comes to becoming assured of the quality of their desired products. You may receive negative reviews which you may think as detrimental for your ecommerce business but in reality, these reviews help you improve your site and in turn, boost your future sales. You can feed customer reviews into the rich snippets and increase visitors’ movement across your site.
  • Removing duplicate content: Many ecommerce business owners face issues with duplicate content when it comes to their websites’ mobile versions. Duplicate content not only cause SEO issues but also affects SERP ranking adversely. Use of responsive website design could give an ideal solution to this problem. A mobile responsive website seamlessly works on any device including desktop and mobile phones. Use of advanced SEO techniques such as canonical tags helps you weed out duplicate content issues. Canonical tags help search engines to understand that a certain page is an exact copy or a copy with little variations and thus, the page shouldn’t be treated as a unique one. Use duplicate content checkers to identify and take preventive measures to avoid having similar content from other websites.

 

  1. Social media

Ecommerce SEO techniques always remain incomplete unless you make your product pages socially sharable.

social media

Addition of social sharing buttons helps your products to increase their social exposure. You can also add custom sharing phrases like asking questions for the same purpose. Leverage social media to monitor your brand through Google Alerts is another useful strategy, which would let you obtain quality links related to your site. Remember to include targeted keywords in your Google Alerts to keep a track of your competitors’ activities.

  1. Outreach and link building

To increase SERP visibility and awareness of your brand, you should use content outreach and link building. These help in identifying individuals, influencers and organizations related to your industry and connecting with them, thus building a healthy relationship.

influencer

  • Product reviews: Connect with bloggers by following their blogs regularly and keep in touch with them through emails and social media platforms, share their posts, leave important comments to develop relationships. Request them to review your products and offer enticing incentives in return.
  • Video reviews: Submission of video reviews of your products can help you increase SERP visibility of your product pages. Video sites like YouTube, Metacafe and Vimeo are considered to be good traffic sources when it comes to prospective customers looking for visually engaging reviews. This can also help in boosting organic and relevant traffic because of their high trustworthy nature.
  • Competitor’s link: A successful ecommerce SEO campaign strategy should include analyzing the competitor’s link as it helps you to understand the keywords responsible for their higher ranking. Try to obtain links from authority domains or pages where your rivals are acquiring links from. Use tools like ‘Open Site Explorer’ to track the links of your competitors. Before engaging with the sites, remember to remove any site with low DA score from the list as this may affect your SEO performance.
  1. Google product search optimization

google

Though your ecommerce site’s product pages can show up in standard web search, there is a more useful way to increase your SERP visibility. Google product feed is a data source of the meta data of your products that you submit to Google’s Merchant Center. Remember to submit adequate information about your products to the product feed to make them more useful and specific to user searches. Here’s how you can optimize the product search.

  • Submit a comprehensive product listing with as many specific details as you can.
  • You can manually submit individual products or else, if you want to submit the entire product database, do so using Google’s API.
  • Include images in the listing.
  • Ensure that your feed stays up-to-date.
  • Consider Google Base to improve your search listings’ quality.
  • Modify your content in accordance with seasons like holidays, winter etc.
  • Use standard categories.
  • Link your Google Merchant Center account to AdWords account and consider using Google’s Product Extension Ads to attain more control over your SERP visibility. In AdWords, you can include your product data feed to promote your products straight away in your ads. These will feature as product extensions.

 

  1. What do I do with obsolete/expired products?

expired

Every ecommerce site has some products that have expired permanently. It mainly happens in fashion clothing or consumer electronics when older products/styles are replaced with newer products/styles. Though you can simply remove that specific product page, it will affect your SEO performance. Here are some useful solutions that you can try in this regard.

  • Redirect to the parent category: If you’ve relevant products that serve similar purpose like the expired product, you can redirect your visitors to your parent category.
  • 301 Permanent redirect: If you’ve replaced the expired product by a newer one, use 301 permanent redirect that redirects the expired product’s URL to the newer product’s URL. It also helps Google understand that you want the newer URL to get ranked instead.
  • Reuse URLs: If your ecommerce business consists of generic products, you can reuse the URLs to increase your SERP visibility and retain the page’s authority.
  • Complete delete: In case you want to permanently delete an expired product’s page like deleting the URL, page and the content, use 410 status code that informs Google about the permanent removal of the page.
  • Preserve informational pages: Certain informational product pages should be reserved to act as a valuable guideline for existing customers who may look for certain information, service and help through these pages.

Ecommerce businesses often face issues when dealing with ‘out of stock’ products. Here are three easy ways to resolve this.

  • Clearly display ‘out of stock’ messages to let the users know the unavailability of the products.
  • Display ‘shop more’ messages that encourage visitors to look around your website.
  • Display ‘related products’ messages that help users find similar products.

 

Conclusion

Ecommerce site optimization is a bit different from the way general web marketers work to increase SERP visibility of various websites. For an ecommerce site, improving SERP visibility may be triggered by various reasons but the ultimate goal is to increase conversion rate. It’s important to note here that SEO for ecommerce sites isn’t a one-time occurrence; it’s an ongoing process instead. Major search engines keep modifying their algorithms to bring the best suited results to the searchers. So, you’ll also have to keep yourself updated about the modifications and change your strategy accordingly to reap the benefits of higher SERP visibility. Though various other strategies are there to leverage SERP visibility, the above mentioned ones are proven and the most-used when it comes to improving your ecommerce site’s performance.

Source : http://www.business2community.com/

What are the cheapest deals on Amazon? You may have to do more digging — or at least more clicking — than you may have thought.

New research from the non-profit journalism organization ProPublica found that Amazon's algorithm doesn't always feature the least expensive product in the "Buy Box" (the box on a product detail page where customers can begin the purchasing process), but may instead promote its own products or those of its paying sellers over products that are actually cheaper.

Amazon President, Chairman and CEO Bezos speaks at the Business Insider's "Ignition Future of Digital" conference in New York City
Amazon President, Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at the Business Insider's "Ignition Future of Digital" conference in New York City. REUTERS/Mike Segar

ProPublica looked at 250 frequently purchased products on Amazon and examined the ranking of the items as they came up in as the top recommended. The nonprofit found that roughly 75 percent of the time, Amazon's own products and those of third-party retailers partnered with Amazon (partners who pay Amazon to handle inventory) pop up in the Buy Box ahead of products that are in fact cheaper.

So, is Amazon deceiving customers by furtively embracing a pay-to-play model (one that blatantly goes against the company's purported vision to be "the be earth's most customer-centric company")? And also pushing its own branded items over others?

An Amazon spokesperson told NBC News, "With Prime and Super Saver Shipping, the vast majority of our items ordered - 9 out of 10 - can ship for free. The sorting algorithms the [ProPublica] article refers to are designed for that 90 percent of items ordered, where shipping costs do not apply."

It's not the most direct answer in the world, and perhaps Amazon could better defend itself if it simply explained how its sorting algorithms work. It would appear that Amazon's sorting algorithms aren't programmed to give users the cheapest option, but rather, are sorted to give shoppers what it considers to be the best option. On the same page, you have the option to click to see other, cheaper choices. But the point is, the best isn't always the cheapest — not according to the algorithms, which take into consideration other factors in addition to price.

 

"Amazon's algorithm considers price, but that's not the only factor," said Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Sr. VP of commerce & content at Razorfish. "The algorithm [for what ends up in the Buy Box] considers not only the cost of the item, but the cost of shipping, seller ratings, location, and [other factors]."

It is true, Goldberg noted, that Amazon will slash prices off its own products to make them more competitive with other sellers, but asserts that this doesn't actually lead to a profit for Amazon, and that Amazon makes its most money off of its third-party sellers.

"Amazon usually makes more money when someone else sells a product for them," said Goldberg. "When they sell it themselves, their profit margins are lower because they have to pay for the goods and the warehouse they're stored in. With third-party sellers they get 15 percent off the top."

The algorithm directing which product ends up in Amazon's Buy Box is probably similar to the one navigating eBay's "Best Match," a search filtering option on eBay.

"Like every search engine in the world, multiple factors go into [eBay's] Best Match," said Mohan Patt, vice president of product and shopping experience at eBay. "We take into consideration price, condition, format, diversity of sellers, of product, of location, [etcetera] to produce the ultimate value."

What every consumer looking for the best deal in terms of price should do, is take some time investigating. A few clicks can go a long way.

"In the case of Amazon, shoppers should absolutely look deeper into the offers from various sellers for the same product," said Courtney Jespersen, shopping expert at NerdWallet. "Don't automatically stop at the first deal you see and assume it's the best price. You'll want to factor in the product price as well as shipping charges when judging the overall value of the deal. And don't stop at Amazon either — once you find a deal there, compare it to other retailers as well."

 

 

Source : http://www.nbcnews.com/

The deal is aimed at boosting mobile search volume and share for the Bing network.

Microsoft has struck a syndication deal with CBS Interactive for the Bing search network.

The partnership makes Bing Ads the exclusive search provider for some CBS Interactive sites, including Findarticles.com, Searchnow.com, Store.com, and ZDsearch.com. Bing will also provide search solutions for properties like CNET.com, MySimon.com and Search.com. The deal includes traffic from all devices in Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and United States.

With 70 percent of search volume on the CBS Interactive portfolio coming from mobile devices, syndication could give Bing a bit of a stronger mobile story. Bing currently has less than 3 percent mobile market share in the US — well below Google’s more than 91 percent and behind Yahoo’s 5 percent share — according to Statista. CBS Interactive claims more than 300 monthly visitors across its sites.

“CBS Interactive will help us bring additional scale and opportunity to advertisers and marketers as we continue our mission to connect customers with publishers and audiences in ways that will maximize ROI for their marketing campaigns,” said Steve Sirich, General Manager of Bing Ads Marketing at Microsoft, in a statement.

“Partnering with Bing allows us to provide an enhanced search experience to deliver quality results and incremental value to both users and marketers alike,” said Shane McGilloway, Senior Vice President of Strategy & Development at CBS Interactive. “The Bing Network team delivers valuable insights, business intelligence and an enhanced platform for paid search advertising.”

 

Over the past two years, syndication deals have been a key focus for growing Bing market share. Bing has entered into deals with AOL, Yahoo, The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s Siri and Spotlight search, and Amazon Fire, among others.

Source : http://searchengineland.com/

Dubai is in a far corner of the world to set up shop for a business that allows Americans to track their representatives back home.

When you stop and think about it, it’s an equally large feat building an international search engine optimization company after you decide selling scented candles wasn’t showcasing your entire skillset.

Those are just two of the examples of the kinds of things that people who are switching gears and starting new careers online are doing every day.

The Internet isn’t just all about gaming and updating your followers on social media for these forward thinkers; entrepreneurs all across the United States and the world have seen the benefits of panhandling in cyberspace for the online gold that’s waiting there.

They’re making money and satisfying dreams by taking their visions global and many of them have locked the door to a brick-and-mortar store to do it.

A Trend That’s Growing

So the question is, how and why do they do it? First, some numbers that point to the fact those who are moving toward cyberspace to make money belong to a trend that’s growing.

Released last month by the United States Census Bureau, E-Stats 2014: Measuring The Electronic Economy takes an interesting snapshot of all the major sector sales numbers including wholesale trade, manufacturing, and selected service industries. According to these government number crunchers, E-commerce accounted for $3,584.0 billion in 2014, and that’s up 8.1% from the previous year. Statista reports that E-commerce is expected to reach 554.81 billion U.S. in sales this year.

When you consider these same experts say the gross domestic product (GDP) of the USA for 2016 is projected at $18,558.13 billion, it’s easy to see why people like Dana Buchawiecki saw cyberspace as a great platform to start a new business.

 

Tracks Congress

4US.com is a website that tracks and compares users’ votes with their representatives in Congress. The notion is the brainchild of CEO and Founder Buchawiecki, who’s dissatisfaction with his position at FEMA during Hurricane Katrina prompted him to build a website to track congress. He started the business after leaving the United States for a position in Dubai. Buchawiecki underlined his motivations for starting the enterprise which allows users to track their representatives’ activities and the status of bills.

“The command and control system that was in place for Hurricane Katrina lit the fuse for something bigger,” he said. “It was 2005 in the United States and it took weeks to get things going.”

Quite often, the people who make a go of it online are looking for an outlet for a wider vision or bolder enterprise. Still, they need to put a hodgepodge together of the things that made more traditional businesses work and what clicks online.

Eyes Bigger Than Your Stomach


Making sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach means understanding you still need to have a target market to appeal to. Just because finding the right SEO/Internet marketing company will help you to cast the net wide in cyberspace doesn’t mean you want to.

Knowing where to direct your marketing efforts by finding schools of interested buyers online is done with social media and analytics these days, but you’re still trying to accomplish the same goals those radio and newspaper ads strove for. Finding the folks who will buy what you’ve got to sell is still job one.

Tracking using analytics doesn’t need to be complicated but the reports will help to define the folks who are looking at your site and buying your products. Clicking on the links for the Traffic Report, Keyword Analysis Report, and several others can help flesh out your target market.

 

Surveying any paying clients you have works wonders too. Asking them who they are and what problem your product helps them to address fills in some blanks.

When you remember that everyone has access to the same technology as you do, you’ll see some of the differences between the old and new ways of doing business aren’t just about hiring online marketers that can flush out your target market.

Whereas having a solid safe and alarm system back in the day let you sleep soundly at night, the modern version of bars on the windows are good cybersecurity practices. If you think keeping your data safe and secure should take a back seat to other more flashy parts of putting together an online empire like building a website and social media presence, consider:

Deloitte’s CFO Insights just struck an ominous chord by publishing the Seven hidden costs of cyber attacks. Loss of revenue and customer relationships are mentioned prominently and those are the very lynchpins of small businesses.

Even the big names in security are aware of how prominent cyber security issues need to be. The FBI has a whole section of their website detailing what they’re doing to combat this evolving threat. In fact, there’s even a Cyber Division at FBI headquarters.

However, no lowly criminal can throw a real entrepreneur off the scent of commercial success. John King is the CEO at Placement SEO and, like a lot of other folks who have taken the road less traveled, he started his career surrounded by four walls working in marketing in a brick-and-mortar store called Bare Necessities.

As someone who’s brought his ability to learn and adapt quickly to the online world, King understands the importance of battening down the hatches with good cybersecurity practices. Beyond making sure everyone uses the most recent in antivirus software and spyware that’s constantly updated, he knows how important it is to make sure all internet connections are properly encrypted with the proper firewalls. All good practices you should follow too if you’re looking to launch in cyberspace.

Pencil and Paper

A Wi-Fi network is as common as a pencil and paper once were for getting things done today, but these modern tools need to have password protected access to their routers. All of these modern day Henry Fords like King and Buchawiecki understand that at least in some ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s why , while King strongly suggests multifactor authentication that requires more than a password as another piece of a good cybersecurity package, he knows how to foster real wealth online in other ways too.

 

“I’m a believer that it's important to hire employees smarter than yourself so that you have a continuous stream of new opportunities,” says the SEO guru whose career course has veered abruptly from those early days working to market scented Yankee Candles.

Source : http://www.business.com/careers/changing-gears-how-the-internet-allows-you-to-start-new-careers/ 

 Mozilla has just released the newest version of its Firefox web browser for iOS devices this Tuesday, and it now features customizable search and better energy efficiency.

Mozilla has struggled to make an impact on mobile and has been unsuccessful so far, but the company is now hoping that this new update could change that.

The company once tried to remedy this issue by making Firefox OS phones, but this didn't pan out so well, so Mozilla is now making more of an effort with its mobile web browser.

The new version of Firefox for iOS slashes 40 percent off processor use and up to 30 percent for memory use. This makes it possible for the browser to save up on power and make aniPhone's or iPad's battery last longer.

Mozilla also said that by cutting down on processor and memory use, pages will load even faster than before.

This feature alone could convince more people to start using Firefox on their iOS devices instead of Google Chrome or Apple's own Safari browser.

"We created these new features in Firefox for iOS because of what we heard from our users, and we look forward to more feedback on the updates," Mozilla's VP of Firefox Nick Nguyen said. 

The new version of Firefox for iOS also comes with a customizable search.

Instead of just the usual search engines like Yahoo, Google or Bing, the update will let users add searches for CraigslistWikipedia or eBay, according to CNET. If a user sets Wikipedia as thebrowser's search engine, they will be able to easily search the site by typing directly onto Firefox's address bar.

This also makes it faster and easier for users to quickly search for something very specific.

The new version of Firefox can also sync tabs and history with the desktop version of the browser.

It also features a new way to reopen recently closed tabs, which should be useful when a user closes a tab by accident.

Navigation has also been made a lot easier with the redesigned menu, while the ability to set a favorite page as Firefox's homepage has also been added.

http://www.designntrend.com/articles/81777/20160728/new-firefox-browser-for-ios-boasts-improved-battery-efficiency-adds-customizable-search-engine.htm

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