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The tracker-blocking company will soon launch a privacy-friendly desktop browser as well.

THE INTERNET RUNS on advertising, and that includes search engines. Google brought in $26 billion of search revenue in the most recent quarter alone. Yes, billion. As that business has grown, it’s reshaped what search looks like. Year after year, ads have gobbled up more space on its results pages, pushing organic results further out of view. Which is why using Ghostery’s new ad-free search engine and desktop browser, even in their pre-beta form, feels at once like a throwback to a simpler internet and a glimpse of a future where browsing that puts results ahead of revenue is once again possible.

If you’re familiar with Ghostery already, it’s likely through its incarnation as a popular open-source browser extension that blocks trackers and ads. It also maintains a mobile browser for Android and iOS, the former of which has been installed over a million times. Over 7 million people use Ghostery products; a single-digit percentage of them have paid for one of the company’s subscription services. Earlier this year, the company saw an opportunity to expand on its core mission of making digital privacy available to the masses.

“We’ve been building the extensions for a long time,” says Ghostery president Jeremy Tillman. “But at the end of the day you’re playing by somebody else’s rules. We thought that we could do a lot more if we played by our own rules.”

Sec ghostery search design draft255B1255D

That “somebody else” almost always means Google. The desktop browser and internet search races are not what one might call competitive. As of October, Google’s Chrome browser claimed 69 percent market share; its closest competition, Microsoft’s Edge and Mozilla’s Firefox, hovered at around 7.5 percent, according to NetMarketShare. From month to month, the numbers barely change. And that dominance pales in comparison to search, where analytics firm StatCounter says Google fields close to 93 percent of all queries.

Which is to say that building an alternative to Google these days can feel like a quixotic undertaking. German startup Cliqz, which acquired Ghostery in 2017, abandoned its efforts to build a privacy-first search engine from scratch in April. “In the long run, we have no chance against an overpowering opponent such as Google, which dominates the market in every aspect,” wrote Cliqz cofounder Jean-Paul Schmetz at the time. “We are deeply sorry to say goodbye to colleagues who have shown great commitment and passion in achieving our vision.”

A bleak outlook. But Ghostery has taken a different route. Rather than rolling out its own search engine or browser, it will instead layer its privacy technology atop Firefox and the Bing Web Search API. The beta should launch by mid-January at the latest; those interested in testing it out can sign up here. The ultimate goal isn’t to overthrow Google. It’s to reimagine what the internet demands of its users.

“Nobody delivers ad-free private search today,” says Tillman. “As a first step we thought that was pretty unique. If you’re like, I want privacy and also I just hate ads, Ghostery search is the only option out there for you.”

Nothing’s free in this life, and Ghostery is no different. Whereas Google's ad business subsidizes its free services like search and Chrome, Ghostery’s ad-free search requires a Ghostery Plus subscription, which costs $5 per month. The company is working on an ad-supported version that anyone can use for free, a model that would resemble the already popular privacy search engine DuckDuckGo, which places ads contextually rather than based on user behavior. (The business models run the gamut; the privacy-focused browser Brave blocks ads, but it has experimented with paying users who opt to view them.)

Sec ghostery search results design draft255B1255D

While they’re launching at the same time, Ghostery browser and search aren’t inextricable. The Ghostery browser doesn’t lock you into the company’s search engine; you can choose from six options to use as your default—yes, including Google. Likewise, Tillman says the next phase of growth will include promoting Ghostery search as an option in more established browsers.

Actually using the Ghostery browser and search engine in tandem, even at this early stage, is a refreshingly zippy if minimalist experience. That’s partly because of the foundation that Firefox and Bing provide. “We think that the core of the browser is really good,” says Tillman. “We take Firefox and then we strip it down.” That means no integrations like Pocket, which comes standard on Firefox proper. And privacy-friendly settings that might be optional on Mozilla’s browser are turned all the way up by default in Ghostery. (It also comes with a private browsing mode that goes to 11. “It’s much more aggressive,” says Tillman, “to the point where things get a little unusable.”)

Over the course of a few days of playing with the pre-beta as my daily driver, I found the Ghostery browser itself to be stable, with all the features you’d expect given its Firefox foundation. In addition to the stock privacy and anti-tracking features you can already find in the Ghostery extension, it takes advantage of Firefox features like Redirect Tracking Protection, which wipes away cookies and site data every 24 hours from sites you don't visit often. It also enables advanced features like dynamic first-party isolation and protection against tracker-cloaking technology by default. Basically, it makes it as hard as possible for ad companies to follow you around the web.

My experience with search is a little harder to go on. The iteration I used didn’t have basic features like image, map, news, and video returns, and I ran into an error message whenever I tried to navigate to the second page of results. Tillman says that by the time the beta launches, Ghostery’s search product will include image and video categories, and will soon after add staples like shopping. Presumably whatever bug kept me stuck on page one will be squashed by then as well.

As for the results themselves, they were fine! A couple of years ago I used Bing extensively and exclusively, and found that while it had plenty of annoying ticks it actually served up decent results. If anything, by stripping away all of the frippery and bloat that makes Bing a slog, Ghostery offers a stirring defense of that engine's core capabilities. Eventually I missed being able to drill down to news results specifically, or being able to search for images at all—again, that’ll be there in the final build—but honestly there was something refreshing about searching for something on the internet and finding link after link after link about what you are looking for, instead of ads and knowledge panels and AMP carousels. So this is what it feels like when a search engine actually wants to send you to another site.

Eventually, Ghostery plans to integrate its ad-tracking tech even further, perhaps allowing you to filter out sites that have more than 20 trackers from results, or ranking pages based on privacy-friendly metrics.

Ghostery’s browser and search engine won’t be for everyone. Established browsers like Safari and, yes, Firefox already go a long way toward providing some of the the protections Ghostery promises. Even Chrome plans to phase out third-party cookies eventually. The Ghostery extension also continues to provide plenty of cover for dedicated Chrome users. But there’s a clear and present need for an internet that respects your privacy better than the current one does. A number of companies are trying to build that future, including DuckDuckGo and Brave and the Tor Project, among others. With its impending expansion, Ghostery has solidified its role as one of those architects.

[Source: This article was published in wired.com By Sam Whitney - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander]

Categorized in Search Engine

Google Chrome is known to be one of the mobile browsers that are most easily used. There are, however, a variety of elements that cannot be found or used quickly. Google’s web Chrome browser is testing a new feature. Shortly, the search engine giant is creating a Chrome Video Tutorials to help new users familiarise themselves with the app, how-to browser.

 

Google Tests Chrome Browser Video Tutorials for Android Mobile Users

According to a report from PhoneArena, Google Chrome users will watch a video tutorial to understand the browser’s functions. This functionality is designed into the app and is now being tested or stable on the mobile browser that can right now be enabled from the Google Play Store on the Android smartphone. It contains the Chrome Canary application and the Chrome Dev app that allows users to access features the company checks and later arrive on live builds. These guides are for new users who don’t know the app and its features. Chrome Android users will watch a video tutorial explaining the browser features on the app’s home page.

The video tutorial was first noticed through Chrome Story, a platform that tracks the development of Google Chrome. A new flag is found inside the Dev and Canary channels of the Google Chrome Android app in the Chrome Story report. The flag is known as #video tutorials. When the flag is set to ‘Enabled,’ a new card will be shown on a new Chrome tab page for videos below the site shortcuts. The card shows many videos, and tapping any will play the video for users. The option also asks you to use your chosen language before playing a video, as seen in a clip-on Chrome Story. On top of each video, there is also a sharing button that allows users to share videos with just one tap.

The report says that the videos used for Chrome Dev and Canary channels are videos from placeholders from Google, with tutorials on the main screen already accessible. However, titles in the complete list of videos found in Chrome Dev and Canary editions indicate that these videos’ completion includes topics such as “How to use Chrome.”

 [Source: This article was published in phoneworld.com.pk By Sehrish Kayani - Uploaded by the Association Member: Rene Meyer]

Categorized in Search Engine

Bestselling author and cybersecurity awareness specialist.

It's a digital world, and we all love the convenience. But can we honestly say we're being as safe as possible when exploring our favorite websites? Some of you may even be thinking that it's no big deal because you've been using the internet for years to perform data-sensitive tasks, like making purchases or processing digital banking transactions, and you've never had a problem.

But a cybercriminal's goal isn't necessarily to make obvious trouble for you. Rather, they seek to remain undetected for as long as possible, so they can steal as much sensitive data as they can for as long as they can. 

With that in mind, here are 12 tips to help protect yourself, your colleagues and your family while browsing the web.

Automate Processes

• Web browsing is considerably safer when you control pop-up windows. Configure your browser to either block or alert you to pop-ups.

• Turn on auto-updates for your browser, browser plugins and any software that runs in your browser. Doing this is an inexpensive way to add security to your web browsing experience.

• Use browser security add-ons. These applications provide safety ratings for websites and search engine results.

Use Discretion

• Always use a secured website for private information like passwords, email and credit cards. In the web address bar, "http" means a website isn't secured with secure sockets layer (SSL). Look for "https" in the web address, as well as the lock symbol — these are indications the website is secured with SSL.

• Avoid sensational sites. Don't visit sites dedicated to gossip about the latest sensational news stories or celebrities, as they are often riddled with malicious software, often referred to as malware. 

• Watch for search engine warnings. If the search engines show that a site might be malicious, don't go there.

• When something pops up on your screen that you find suspicious, always hit X in the top corner, instead of hitting the cancel or ignore function. The cancel or ignore button of suspicious pop-ups are often used to trick someone into downloading malicious software.

Follow Best Practices

• Cover the webcam on your computer or laptop when not in use. Hackers can turn your webcam on and watch you without your knowledge.

• Use bookmarking. For sites that you visit often, save the web address as a favorite or bookmark. This will lessen the chances of landing on a hacker's lookalike site.

• Don't browse while signed into accounts. Before signing into an account with private information, close all other browser windows and tabs.

• Don't store passwords in your browser or on websites. These places can make your passwords more vulnerable to being stolen.

• Remember, anything connected to the internet, even a smart home device like a refrigerator, can be hacked. Always approach connected devices with security in mind.

The internet is a wonderful source of information. As long as we are careful and follow the tips in this article, we can greatly assist in protecting ourselves, our colleagues and our loved ones.

 

[Source: This article was published in forbes.com By Danny Pehar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Logan Hochstetler]

Categorized in Internet Privacy

YouTube shares new details about how its recommendation algorithm

New information about how various factors influence YouTube’s video recommendation algorithm is revealed by members of the team responsible for working on it.

Having only been implemented in 2016, we still have a rudimentary of how YouTube’s machine learning algorithm works.

We know video recommendations are influenced by factors such as clicks, watch time, likes/dislikes, comments, freshness, and upload frequency.

We do not know, for example, whether external traffic has any impact on video recommendations.

It’s also not known whether underperforming videos will affect the likelihood of future videos being recommended.

The impact of other potentially negative factors, such as inactive subscribers or too-frequent uploads, is not known either.

Those are the factors YouTube’s team discusses in a new Q&A video about the recommendation algorithm. Here is a summary of all questions and answers.

Underperforming Videos

If one of my videos under-performs, is that going to hurt my channel? Could a few poor videos pull down better videos in the future?

YouTube doesn’t make assessments about a channel as a whole based on the performance of a few videos.

YouTube only cares about how people are responding to a given video when deciding whether to recommend it to others.

The recommendation algorithm is always going to be “following the audience.”

If a video is attracting an audience then it will show up in users’ recommendations regardless of how the channel’s previous videos performed.

Channels shouldn’t be concerned about some kind of algorithmic demotion based on a dip in viewership.

It’s normal for the performance of videos to fluctuate in terms of views and other metrics. So YouTube is careful not to have all of its recommendations driven by those metrics.

Too Many Uploads Per Day

Is there a point at which the number of videos per day/week on each channel is so high that the algorithm is overwhelmed and videos slip through?

There is no limit to how many videos can be recommended to a given viewer from a channel in a single day.

Channels can upload as much as they want. How many views each video receives comes down to viewer preferences.

YouTube’s recommendation system will continue to recommend videos as long as viewers continue to watch them.

If a channel is uploading more videos than usual, and each video is getting progressively fewer views, that may be a sign the audience is getting burned out.

While there is no limit to how many videos YouTube will recommend from a channel in a single day, there is a limit to how many notifications will be sent out.

YouTube only allows 3 notifications per channel in a 24 hour period.

Inactive Subscribers

My channel has been around for quite a few years and I think I may have lots of inactive subscribers. Should I create a new channel and then re-upload the videos in order to appear more acceptable to the algorithm?

 

Inactive subscribers is not a factor impacting YouTube’s recommendation algorithm.

This goes back to the first question where YouTube says its algorithm follows the audience.

A channel with inactive subscribers can still get its next video shown in the recommendations section if it attracts an audience.

Creating a new channel and re-uploading the same videos will not help with getting those videos shown to more people.

YouTube remembers viewer preferences, so there’s little chance of reaching those inactive subscribers with a new channel.

Creators should only start a new channel if they decide to go in a different direction with their content.

External Traffic

How important is external traffic?

External traffic is definitely a factor that influences YouTube’s recommendation algorithm.

However, its influence only extends so far.

External traffic can help get a video shown in the recommendations section. But once it’s there it has to perform well with viewers.

Long term success of a video depends on how people respond after clicking on it in their recommendations.

I’m getting lots of traffic from external websites which is causing my click-through-rates and average view durations to drop, is this going to hurt my video’s performance?

YouTube says it’s not a problem if average view duration drops when a video receives a significant amount of external traffic.

Apparently it’s common for this to happen, and it has no impact on a video’s long-term success.

Again, YouTube’s algorithm cares more about viewers engage with a video after clicking on it in their recommendations.

The algorithm is not concerned with what viewers do after clicking on a video from an external website or app.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern- Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne]

Categorized in Search Engine

Google has been trying to make the search results that people could end up using far more organized for a long time now, and part of this has involved creating headers. This header can help search results into different categories sorted into a wide range of tabs including overview and history, and this can help user get the specific type of information that they might actually have been looking for at that current point in time.

This might also help make these headers seem a bit more prominent rather than just being components of a search card that is shown to you after you have made a particular kind of search all in all. Each header does have a distinct aspect to it when it comes to the specific type of information that it would end up using which means that separating them into unique bubbles might just make it easier for people to realize what these categories are for in the first place. Google is trying to increase engagement in some way, shape or form, and while some may argue that the search engine might be better off pursuing other options other would acknowledge that this is a reasonably effective way to go about things.

[Source: This article was published in digitalinformationworld.com By Zia Muhammad - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne]

Categorized in Search Engine

Popular search engines and browsers do a great job at finding and browsing content on the web, but can do a better job at protecting your privacy while doing so.

With your data being the digital currency of our times, websites, advertisers, browsers, and search engines track your behavior on the web to deliver tailored advertising, improve their algorithms, or improve their services.

In this guide, we list the best search engines and browsers to protect your privacy while using the web.

Privacy-focused search engines

Below are the best privacy-focused search engines that do not track your searchers or display advertisements based on your cookies or interests.

DuckDuckGo

The first privacy-focused search engine, and probably the most recognizable, we spotlight is DuckDuckGo.

Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo is popular among users who are concerned about privacy online, and the privacy-friendly search engine recently said it had seen 2 billion total searches.

DDG

With DuckDuckGo, you can search for your questions and websites online anonymously.

DuckDuckGo does not compile entire profiles of user's search habits and behavior, and it also does not collect personal information.

DuckDuckGo is offered as a search engine option in all popular browsers.

In 2017, Brave added DuckDuckGo as a default search engine option when you use the browser on mobile or desktop. In Brave browser, your search results are powered by DuckDuckGo when you enter the private tabs (incognito).

Last year, Google also added DuckDuckGo to their list of search engines on Android and platforms. With iOS 14, Apple is now also allowing users to use DuckDuckGo as their preferred search engine.

Startpage

Unlike DuckDuckGo, Startpage is not crawling the internet to generate unique results, but instead, it allows users to obtain Google Search results while protecting their data.

Startpage started as a sister company of Ixquick, which was founded in 1998. In 2016, both websites were merged and Startpage owners received a significant investment from Privacy One Group last year.

This search engine also generates its income from advertising, but these ads are anonymously generated solely based on the search term you entered. Your information is not stored online or shared with other companies, such as Google.

StartPage

Startpage also comes with one interesting feature called "Annonymous View" that allows you to view links anonymously.

When you use this feature, Startpage renders the website in its container and the website won't be able to track you because it will see Startpage as the visitor.

Ecosia

The next search engine in our list is Ecosia.

Unlike any other search engines, Ecosia is a CO2-neutral search engine and it uses the revenue generated to plant trees. Ecosia's search results are provided by Bing and enhanced by the company's own algorithms.

Ecosia

Ecosia was first launched on 7 December 2009 and the company has donated most of its profits to plant trees across the world.

Ecosia says they're a privacy-friendly search engine and your searches are encrypted, which means the data is not stored permanently and sold to third-party advertisers.

List of privacy-friendly browsers:

Web browser developers have taken existing browser platforms such as Chrome and Firefox, and modified them to include more privacy-focuses features that protect your data while browsing the web.

Brave Browser

Brave is one of the fastest browser that is solely focused on privacy with features like private browsing, data saver, ad-free experience, bookmarks sync, tracking protections, HTTPs everywhere, and more.

Brave

Memory usage by Brave is far below Google Chrome and the browser is also available for both mobile and desktop.

You can download Brave from here.

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser is another browser that aims to protect your data, including your IP address, as you browse the web.

When browsing the web with Tor, your connections to web sites will be anonymous as your request will be routed through other computers and your real IP address is not shared. 

In addition, Tor bundles comes with the NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere extensions preinstalled, and clears your HTTP cookies on exit, to further protect your privacy.

Tor

firefox focus

Firefox Focus also comes with built-in ad blocker to improve your experience and block all trackers, including those operated by Google and Facebook.

You can download Tor browser from here.

Firefox Focus

Firefox Focus is also a great option if you use Android or iOS.

 

According to Mozilla, Firefox Focus blocks a wide range of online trackers, erases your history, passwords, cookies, and comes with a user-friendly interface.

 [Source: This article was published in bleepingcomputer.com By Mayank Parmar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Logan Hochstetler]

Categorized in Search Engine

Ever Google search for your own name? Even if you haven’t, there’s a good chance that a friend, family member or potential employer will at some point. And when they do, do you know everything that they’ll find?

Google is chock full of personal information you may not always want public. Whether it’s gathered by the search engine itself or scummy people-search websites, you have a right to know what kind of data other people can access when they look up your name. Tap or click here to see how to remove yourself from people search sites.

What others see about you online can mean the difference in landing a job or spending more time looking for one. If you want to take control of your reputation online, here’s why you need to start searching for yourself before others beat you to it.

Use exact phrases to find more than mentions

To get started with searching yourself on Google, it’s important to know how to search for exact phrases. This means telling Google you want to look up the words you typed exactly as you typed them — with no splitting terms or looking up one word while ignoring others.

To do this, simply search for your name (or any term) in quotation marks. As an example, look up “Kim Komando” and include quotation marks. Now, Google won’t show results for Kim Kardashian along with Komando.com.

Using exact phrases will weed out results for other people with similar names to yours. If you have a more common name, you may have to go through several pages before finding yourself.

If you aren’t finding anything or your name is very common, use your name plus modifiers like the city or state you live in, the names of your school(s), the name of the company you work for or other details. Make note of anything that you don’t feel comfortable with others finding and either write down the web addresses or bookmark them.

A picture says a thousand words

After you’ve saved the websites you want to go over, switch over to Google’s Image Search and scan through any pictures of you. It’s much easier to look through hundreds of images quickly versus hundreds of links, and you might be surprised at the images and websites you find.

If you find an image that concerns you, you can run a reverse image search to see where it’s hosted. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Open Google Image Search and click the Camera icon in the search bar
  • Paste a link to the image or upload the image you want to search for.
  • Your results will be shown as a combination of images and relevant websites. If an exact match is found, it will populate at the top of your results.

If the image has no text on it or any identifying information, don’t worry. Your image can turn up even if it only has your face.

Where you are and where you’ve been

Next, you’ll want to run a search for your past and current email addresses and phone numbers. This helps you see which sites have access to this personal data and will also show you what others can find if they look this information up.

 

If you’ve ever signed up for a discussion board or forum with your personal email address, your post history could easily show up if someone Googles you. The same can be said for social media pages and blogs. Find and make note of any posts or content that you’d prefer to make private.

Finally, run a search for your social media account usernames. Try to remember any usernames you may have used online and look those up. For example, if you search for the username “kimkomando,” you’ll turn up Kim’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts.

If you can’t remember, try searching for your name (as an exact phrase in quotation marks) plus the social network you want to look up. This might reveal accounts that you forgot about or that are less private than you think. If your real name is visible anywhere, it probably falls into this category.

Keep track going forward

If you want to stay on top of information that pops up about you on social media (or the rest of the web), you can set up a free Google Alert for your name. It’s an easy way to keep tabs on your online reputation.

Here’s how to set up a Google Alert for your name:

  • Visit Google.com/alerts and type what you want Google to alert you about in the search bar.
  • Click Show options to change settings for frequency, sources, language and region. You can also specify how many results you want and where you want them delivered.
  • Click Create Alert to start receiving alerts on yourself or other search topics you’re interested in.

Bonus: What does Google know about me?

And last but not least, let’s take a moment to address data that Google itself keeps on you. By default, Google records every search you enter, your location (if you use Google Maps), video-watching history and searches from YouTube, and much more.

Anyone who knows your Google Account email and digs deep enough can learn plenty about your online activities. If you haven’t visited your Google Account and privacy settings in a while, now’s the time to do it.

Now that you’ve searched for yourself and taken note of content that people can see if they look you up, it’s time to take things a step further and actually remove any data that you don’t want public. Want to know how? Just follow along for part two of our guide to Google-searching yourself.

[Source: This article was published in komando.com By KOMANDO STAFF - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]

Categorized in Search Engine

DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, announced that August 2020 ended in over 2 billion total searches via its search platform.

While Google remains the most popular search engine, DuckDuckGo has gained a great deal of traction in recent months as more and more users have begun to value their privacy on the internet.

DuckDuckGo saw over 2 billion searches and 4 million app/extension installations, and the company also said that they have over 65 million active users. DuckDuckGo could shatter its old traffic record if the same growth trend continues.

Screenshot 5

Even though DuckDuckGo is growing rapidly, it still controls less than 2 percent of all search volume in the United States. However, DuckDuckGo's growth trend has continued throughout the year, mainly due to Google and other companies' privacy scandal.

DuckDuckGo1.jpg

On average, DuckDuckGo is getting 65 million+ searches regularly. The number is likely to be more if we add up the searches performed via DuckDuckGo's API, extensions, or apps.

DuckDuckGo search engine is based on Bing, community-developed sites such as Wikipedia, and the company has developed its own crawler to generate its index of search results.

Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo is more privacy-oriented, and they don't track what users are searching for. As a result, DuckDuckGo search results are not as up-to-date as Google or even Bing.

On the other hand, Google has championed web standards, and its search engine allegedly ignores privacy standards and tracks people across its platforms.

If you are serious about privacy, you can give DuckDuckGo a try by visiting their search homepage. You can also use DuckDuckGo by installing its extensions and apps.

[Source: This article was published in bleepingcomputer.com By Mayank Parmar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila]

Categorized in Search Engine

Learn key insights that will help you understand how the algorithms of Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook work.

Here’s an old question that gets asked every year:

How do social media algorithms work?

But, you can often uncover strategic insights by looking at an old question like this one from a different perspective.

In fact, there’s a term for this effect.

It’s called the “parallax” view.

parallax-view.png

For example, marketers often look for influencers on the social media platforms with the greatest reach.

But, influencers evaluate these same platforms based on their opportunity to grow their audience and make more money.

This explains why The State of Influencer Marketing 2020: Benchmark Report found that the top five social media platforms for influencer marketing are:

  • Instagram (82%).
  • YouTube (41%).
  • TikTok (23%).
  • Twitter (23%).
  • Facebook (5%).

This list made me wonder why marketers focus on the reach of their campaign’s outputs, but influencers are focused on the growth of their program’s outcomes.

Influencers want to learn how the Instagram and YouTube algorithms work, because they want their videos discovered by more people.

And influencers are interested in learning how the TikTok and Twitter algorithms work, because they are thinking about creating content for those platforms.

Facebook’s algorithm, however, doesn’t seem quite as important to today’s influencers – unless Facebook represents a significant opportunity for them to make more money.

There are a lot of strategic insights that marketers can glean from looking at how social media algorithms work from an influencer’s point of view.

How the Instagram Algorithm Works

Back in 2016, Instagram stopped using a reverse-chronological feed.

Since then, the posts in each user’s feed on the platform has been ordered according to the Instagram algorithm’s ranking signals.

According to the Instagram Help Center:

“Instagram’s technology uses different ways, or signals, to determine the order of posts in your feed. These signals are used to help determine how your feed is ordered, and may include:

  • “Likelihood you’ll be interested in the content.
  • “Date the post was shared.
  • “Previous interactions with the person posting.”

This has a profound impact on influencers – as well as the marketers who are trying to identify the right influencers, find the right engagement tactics, and measure the performance of their programs.

Relevance

The first key signal is relevance, not reach.

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Why?

Because Instagram users are more likely to be interested in an influencer’s content if it is relevant – if it’s about what interests them.

In other words, if you’re interested in football (a.k.a., soccer), then the likelihood that you’ll be interested in content by Nabaa Al Dabbagh, aka “I Speak Football Only,” is high.

But, far too many marketers are looking for celebrities and mega-influencers who have lots of Instagram followers (a.k.a., reach), instead of looking for macro-, mid-tier, micro-, or nano-influencers who are creating relevant content that their target audience is more likely to find interesting.

i-speak-football-only.png

Recency

The second key signal is recency, or how recently a post has been shared.

This gives an advantage to influencers like Marwan Parham Al Awadhi, a.k.a., “DJ Bliss,” who post frequently.

dj-bliss.png

Unfortunately, far too many marketers are engaging influencers to create a single post during a campaign instead of building a long-term relationship with brand advocates who will generate a series of posts that recommend their brand on an ongoing basis.

Resonance

The third key signal is resonance.

In other words, how engaging are an influencer’s posts?

Do they prompt interactions such as comments, likes, reshares, and views with the influencer’s audience?

And, unfortunately, way too many marketers assume that an influencer’s post that mentions their brand has increased their brand awareness, using bogus metrics like Earned Media Value (EMV).

If they’d read, Why International Search Marketers Should Care About Brand Measurement, then they’d realize there are a variety of legitimate ways to measure the impact of an influencer marketing campaign on:

  • Brand awareness.
  • Brand frequency.
  • Brand familiarity.
  • Brand favorability.
  • Brand emotions.
  • Purchase consideration.
  • Brand preference.
  • Brand demand.

Using this parallax view, it’s easy to see that too many marketers mistakenly think influencer marketing is just like display advertising.

They’re buying posts from influencers the same way they would buy ads from publishers.

So, marketers who only look at an influencer’s reach shouldn’t be shocked, shocked to discover that some influencers are using bad practices such as fake followers, bots, and fraud to inflate their numbers.

If you use a one-dimensional view of an influencer’s influence, then you reap what you sow.

How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work?

Now, I’ve already written several articles on how the YouTube algorithm works, including:

But, these articles were written for marketers, not influencers.

So, what can we learn from looking at YouTube’s algorithm from an influencer’s point of view?

Well, according to YouTube Help:

“The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and to maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction.”

So, YouTube influencers need to start by creating great content on discoverable topics.

Why?

Well, YouTube is one of the most-used search engines in the world.

People visit the site looking for videos about all sorts of subjects.

These viewers may not necessarily be looking for a specific influencer’s video, but they’ll discover it if it ranks well in YouTube search results or suggested videos.

Learn how to use Google Trends to find out what your audiences is looking for on YouTube.

The default results in Google Trends show “web search” interest in a search term or a topic.

But, if you click on the “web search” tab, the drop-down menu will show you that one of your other options is “YouTube search” interest.

YouTube influencers can then use what they see to inform their content strategies.

For example, you might learn that there was 31% more YouTube search interest worldwide in the topic, beauty, than in the topic, fashion.

fashion-vs-beauty.png

Or you might discover that there was 18 times more YouTube search interest worldwide in the sport, drifting, than in the sport, motorsport.

motorsport-vs-drifting.png

YouTube’s algorithm can’t watch your videos, so you need to optimize your metadata, including your titles, tags, and descriptions.

Unfortunately, most marketers don’t use this approach to find the search terms and topics on YouTube that are relevant for their brand and then identify the influencers who are creating content that ranks well for these keywords and phrases.

Now, getting your YouTube video content discovered is only half the battle.

Influencers also need to build long watch-time sessions for their content by organizing and featuring content on their channel, including using series playlists.

As YouTube Help explains:

“A series playlist allows you to mark your playlist as an official set of videos that should be viewed together. Adding videos to a series playlist allows other videos in the playlist to be featured and recommended when someone is viewing a video in the series. YouTube may use this info to modify how the videos are presented or discovered.”

Fortunately, one of the guest speakers for NMA’s program was Mark Wiens, one of the most famous food vloggers in the world.

His YouTube channel has more than 1.4 billion views and almost 6.7 million subscribers.

Here are examples of the playlists that he had created, including Thai food and travel guides.

mark wien

Now, marketers could also look over the playlists on the YouTube channels of influencers when they’re evaluating which ones are “right” for a campaign.

However, I strongly suspect that this only happens once in a blue moon.

 

How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?

The TikTok Newsroom posted How TikTok recommends videos #ForYou just before I was scheduled to talk about this topic.

Hey, sometimes you get lucky.

tiktok.png

Here’s what I learned:

“When you open TikTok and land in your For You feed, you’re presented with a stream of videos curated to your interests, making it easy to find content and creators you love. This feed is powered by a recommendation system that delivers content to each user that is likely to be of interest to that particular user.”

 

So, how does this platform’s recommendation system work?

According to TikTok:

“Recommendations are based on a number of factors, including things like:

  • “User interactions such as the videos you like or share, accounts you follow, comments you post, and content you create.
  • “Video information, which might include details like captions, sounds, and hashtags.
  • “Device and account settings like your language preference, country setting, and device type. These factors are included to make sure the system is optimized for performance, but they receive lower weight in the recommendation system relative to other data points we measure since users don’t actively express these as preferences.”

The TikTok Newsroom adds:

“All these factors are processed by our recommendation system and weighted based on their value to a user. A strong indicator of interest, such as whether a user finishes watching a longer video from beginning to end, would receive greater weight than a weak indicator, such as whether the video’s viewer and creator are both in the same country. Videos are then ranked to determine the likelihood of a user’s interest in a piece of content, and delivered to each unique For You feed.”

TikTok cautions:

“While a video is likely to receive more views if posted by an account that has more followers, by virtue of that account having built up a larger follower base, neither follower count nor whether the account has had previous high-performing videos are direct factors in the recommendation system.”

It’s worth noting that Oracle has won the bid to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations after ByteDance rejected a bid by Walmart and Microsoft.

Meanwhile, YouTube released YouTube Shorts, a TikTok-like feature, while Facebook recently launched Instagram Reels, which is basically a TikTok knock-off.

So, it appears that some very big players are convinced that TikTok represents a significant opportunity to make more money, or a competitive threat to the growth of their own social media platforms.

I wish that I could add more, but I’m a stranger here myself.

How Does Twitter’s Algorithm Work?

When Twitter was launched back in 2006, it had a simple timeline structure and tweets were displayed in reverse chronological order from the people you followed.

 

 

But, like other social media, Twitter started using an algorithm to show users posts that different factors indicate they’ll like.

The biggest recent change to Twitter’s algorithm took place in 2017.

According to a Twitter blog post by Nicolas Koumchatzky and Anton Andryeyev:

“Right after gathering all Tweets, each is scored by a relevance model. The model’s score predicts how interesting and engaging a Tweet would be specifically to you. A set of highest-scoring Tweets is then shown at the top of your timeline, with the remainder shown directly below.”

Their post added:

“Depending on the number of candidate Tweets we have available for you and the amount of time since your last visit, we may choose to also show you a dedicated “In case you missed it” module. This modules meant to contain only a small handful of the very most relevant Tweets ordered by their relevance score, whereas the ranked timeline contains relevant Tweets ordered by time. The intent is to let you see the best Tweets at a glance first before delving into the lengthier time-ordered sections.”

How Does Facebook’s Algorithm Work?

The biggest recent change to Facebook’s algorithm took place in January 2018.

In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg announced:

“I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

He added:

“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

That same day, Adam Mosseri, who was then the head of News Feed, also wrote a Facebbok post that said:

“Today we use signals like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine how high they appear in News Feed. With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.”

He added:

“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”

So, it isn’t surprising that influencers got the memo.

Which explains why so few believe Facebook represents a significant opportunity to make more money.

Ironically, it’s unclear that marketers got the memo.

Far too many are still cranking out Facebook posts and videos despite the fact that few people are reacting to, commenting on, or sharing them.

Or, as I wrote in Two Social Media Vanity Metrics You Need to Stop Tracking, marketers should stop tracking Facebook Page Likes and Followers because “you’re lucky if .0035% of your Fans and Followers even sees your post or tweet these days.”

new-media-academy.jpg

The Takeaway

These are just some of the strategic insights that marketers can discover by looking at how social media algorithms work from an influencer’s point of view.

If you’re a marketer, then I suggest you move most of the people and budget that you’ve dedicated to creating branded content on Facebook into influencer marketing on Instagram and YouTube.

As for TikTok and Twitter, wait until after the dust settles later this year.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Greg Jarboe - Uploaded by the Association Member: Corey Parker]

Categorized in Social

Google accounts for nearly 96% of the market share of serps globally, in line with Statista. They’re adopted by far, Bing (2.7%) and Yahoo! (1.14%). Though they’re complicated serps, a few of their strategies are related to people who Archie started utilizing 30 years in the past, which is taken into account the primary search engine on the Web. It was developed even earlier than the World Broad Internet existed and was supposed to find information saved on FTP (file switch protocol) servers.

“Archie’s principal distinction with different serps like Google or Yahoo! is that it was not an online search engine. It was a search engine for FTP servers, that’s, servers the place there have been information ”, explains Fernando Suárez, president of the Council of Official Colleges of Computer Engineering (CCII). Its creation was some of the excellent advances within the subject of computing in 2020. That is the way it considers it the School of Computer Engineering of the University of Oviedo, which explains that earlier than 1990 customers may solely entry the net utilizing the FTP protocols: “This made searching extraordinarily difficult as we perceive it at the moment, since to entry a website you needed to know the server on which it was positioned ”.

 

Due to this fact, in line with Suárez recollects, till then it was “virtually unimaginable” to find a file if one didn’t know precisely the place it was. Archie, which allowed information to be discovered by identify, was used primarily “in universities and academia.” The fundamental operation was just like that of the various search engines which might be used at the moment, however not an identical: “It’s not in regards to the titles of FTP information, however in regards to the world Broad Internet. Now the various search engines undergo all of the webs in quest of content material, not solely in search of the identify of the web page ”.

Behind this search engine, was Alan Emtage. He’s a founding member of the Web Society, is a part of the Internet Hall of Fame and is a associate in a New York-based internet improvement firm known as Mediapolis. Again then, about 30 years in the past, I used to be a younger man from Barbados finding out Laptop Science on the McGill University in Montreal (Canada). Whereas finding out, he created Archie, whose identify derives from the phrase archive. It consisted of a set of packages that searched the repositories of software program of the Web and created a sort of index of the obtainable software program. That’s, a database through which the identify of a file might be positioned.

Emtage wasn’t the one particular person engaged on an Web search engine within the late Eighties, however Archie was the primary to be publicly distributed, in line with McGill College. And it laid the inspiration for future seekers. “Archie developed the rules on which these serps work, that are principally going out, retrieving data, indexing it and permitting folks to go looking,” explains Emtage within the Web of the College.

Suárez says that entry to the Web at the moment was very restricted. However, amongst those that may entry, it signifies that it was widespread to make use of Archie. He himself used it when he was finding out Laptop Engineering at college to seek out information with data on the right way to apply for internships or work. “It was attainable to do international searches however all you discovered was textual content, there weren’t the graphical environments that we’ve got at the moment and lots of instances you downloaded paperwork that weren’t what you needed,” he provides.

The altruistic web

On the time, in line with the engineer, Archie was “an ideal revolution.” “One thing nearly science fiction. Looking for documentation virtually on a common stage was like magic, “he says. However later “it stopped making sense when the net appeared and there started to be different kinds of serps.” Each the Web and serps have modified since then. Emtage is anxious about privateness points and the rise in customized searches with which corporations try to interpret what a person may need. “Google can take away complete elements of the search area that it might suppose you do not need to see, however [esas partes] They may comprise beneficial data that you just won’t be able to acquire now. And they’ll do it with out your data ”, explains the creator of Archie.

However there are some points of the Web and serps that you just do like, and a few of them nonetheless stay. Emtage, in a speech he gave in 2017 Upon becoming a member of the Web Corridor of Fame, he underscored that a part of the spirit of altruism that was outstanding 30 years in the past nonetheless exists. “The Web as we all know it at the moment wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the truth that most of the organizations and individuals who labored on it at the moment freely allowed the fruit of their work to be distributed without spending a dime,” he mentioned. And he careworn that at the moment there may be nonetheless a lot of the Web that runs on open supply software program to which programmers and engineers from everywhere in the world freely contribute.

As well as, he recalled a dialog about 30 years in the past with engineer Vinton Cerf, thought of one of many fathers of the Web: “He jokingly mentioned to me: Why do not you patent the strategies you might be utilizing in Archie for the search engine? We thought of it fastidiously and got here to the conclusion that if we did, we’d prohibit folks’s capability to make use of what we had created and increase it. “

[Source: This article was published in pledgetimes.com By Bhavi Mandalia - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]

Categorized in Search Engine
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