Posts tagged Just

Is Mobile Search More Than Just Being Mobile “Friendly”?

Columnist Trond Lyngbø answers your frequently asked questions about mobile SEO and Google’s upcoming mobile algorithm change.

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Google Bolding Answers, Not Just Queries, In The Search Results

Google isn’t just bolding the search query now, but also the answers to your search queries.

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Apple Just Threw Some Shade At Pebble And Watch App Developers

Maybe Apple didn’t mean to insult other companies in Wired’s feature story on how it developed the Apple Watch. Nonetheless, some of the details that came out of the conversation between writer David Pierce and his subjects—Apple’s Kevin Lynch and Alan Dye—seem to throw a little shade at wearable tech competitors and even developers.

See also: How The Apple Watch Stacks Up To The Competition

The article, “iPhone Killer: The Secret History Of The Apple Watch,” describes the long path Apple took in creating a new type of arm-based experience. The company tried various things, accepting some and rejecting others—which is normal for a tech company creating a new gadget and software. But in this case, those inadequate cast-offs happen to resemble efforts put out by Pebble and a budding crop of watch app makers.

Take these as learning lessons or subtle, disguised barbs. Either way, Apple and its executives won’t be mincing words if the watch becomes a hit. So for now, let’s read between a few lines.

Time Jump


In one section, the Wired story reveals that previous versions of the Apple Watch software took a chronological approach, setting information in a timeline. But the concept was tossed aside early on for Short Looks, which prioritizes info based on whether or not you engage with it, and Glances, which offer a unified place for fast news and updates.

“We rethought the UI,” said Lynch, formerly of Adobe and now Apple’s vice president of technology. “We rebuilt the apps—messaging, mail, calendar—more than once, to really get it refined.” There was apparently no place in the refinement process for chronology—although the concept did find a home at Pebble. 

See also: Meet The New Pebble Time—Though Getting One Will Take … Time

When Pebble founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky told me about his revamped smartwatch software in February, he described a system that presents data based on chronological importance. “Instead of having individual apps, we’ve extracted the information from those apps that are relevant to you in your normal day,” he said. Pebble users can bring up activities that just happened, future appointments or data that’s important right now by hitting assigned buttons on the watch.


Pebble Time Steel

All that “button mashing” can be a turn off for some folks, but apparently not enough to derail Pebble’s new device and platform. Consumers also don’t seem to think a time-based approach is inadequate for a watch: Pebble’s second Kickstarter trounced its first $10 million record-breaking campaign, doubling the funds raised and setting another record. More than 78,000 people pledged more than $20 million to Pebble Time and its new software. Within a day of launch, the campaign was fast approaching the halfway mark, suggesting iPhone-worthy levels of interest.

Here’s some context: Sales for the latest iPhones, the models 6 and 6 Plus, together sold $10 million in their first weekend. If the Apple Watch sells as well as its smartphone counterparts, Apple would be thrilled. If it doesn’t, perhaps the company needs to reconsider whether a time-based concept for a watch is all that wrong-headed after all.

The Watch As A Cure For iPhone Obsession


Speaking of iPhones, our obsession with it and other smartphones is apparently what led Apple to create the Apple Watch.

We spend a great deal of our lives staring at glass displays, and more of us are coming into the fold. According to Pew Internet And American Life Project, nearly two-thirds of Americans now own a smartphone. Apple feels responsible for this problem. And, writes Pierce, “it thinks it can fix it with a square slab of metal and a Milanese loop strap.”

The Apple Watch was designed to liberate people from their phones by giving them convenient, but subtle access to data and faster ways to respond to it, if they choose. A lot of that hinges on the interface, which is Alan Dye’s domain.

Dye’s story must be fascinating: He was a graphic designer in the marketing division who helped design product boxes. Now he’s leading Apple’s human interface team.

See also: Apple Watch Developers Can Now Submit Watch Apps To Apple

One thing he doesn’t want is for people to get too involved with their watches. The thought of people uncomfortably holding up their wrists for more than 30 seconds appalls him. “We didn’t want people walking around and doing that,” Dye told Pierce. Ultimately, Apple settled on the idea that watch interactions shouldn’t take more than 5 to 10 seconds. 

But tell that to the burgeoning ranks of developers, now free to swarm the app admissions process with their best watch wares. Productivity apps, finance apps, social apps, news apps, and more are gearing up to make a play for our wrists. Based on what we’ve seen so far, some seem guaranteed to blow through the 10-second rule and give us the sore arms Dye wants to avoid. 


Knowing what the company focused on in creating the device and software should shed light on the experience it ideally wants watch apps to deliver. For instance, Apple spent a year figuring out what a tweet should feel like when translated as vibrations through the “Taptic engine.” Does the company expect others to put as much effort into their apps? Probably not initially, especially since WatchKit hasn’t even been out that long. But even if it were, Apple’s ramping up for the device’s launch now, and it wouldn’t want to squelch developer interest in a new technology that, frankly, not everyone is sold on.

See also: The Apple Watch Looks Great—But It’s Going To Disappoint Lots Of Users

So enjoy Apple’s learning lessons or whatever shade it may want to throw for now. The company won’t be beating around the bush later, especially if the Apple Watch takes off. Because if there’s one thing Apple knows, it’s how to take dead aim when it feels emboldened. 


Apple CEO Tim Cook, calling out Android by quoting ZDNet, at WWDC 2014

Apple Watch photos courtesy of Apple; Pebble Time Steel photo courtesy of Pebble; iPhone photo by Hadrian via Shutterstock

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Lord Sugar’s SEO Company Fails to Climb Online But Still Manages to Bag New … – Just SEO Digital Marketing News


Just SEO Digital Marketing News
Lord Sugar's SEO Company Fails to Climb Online But Still Manages to Bag New
Just SEO Digital Marketing News
Web Developers – the site construction was outsourced to http://madebyshape.co.uk/ (notice the similarity in the theme?) SEO's – if they had a dedicated SEO their link profile wouldn't be such a toxic mess. SEM's – we've already established they don't

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Don’t Call It a Comeback: Google Just Made Press Releases More Valuable – Business 2 Community


Business 2 Community
Don't Call It a Comeback: Google Just Made Press Releases More Valuable
Business 2 Community
Less than a year ago, Google's Panda 4.0 update devalued press releases as a SEO tactic, in response to far too many companies distributing press releases with zero news value to boost search rankings. As a consequence of rooting out spammy content, …

and more »

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It May Have A Billion Users, But YouTube Isn’t A Sure Thing Just Yet

Since it launched to the public at the end of 2005 (the very first video is still online), YouTube has come to dominate online video in a way that few businesses manage to dominate anything on the Web. Today, it boasts more than a billion users, who are uploading more than 300 hours of video every minute and generating billions of views every single day.

So far, so rosy—but YouTube isn’t exactly the home run that these figures might suggest it is, and it’s facing increasing pressure from all sides. Last month the Wall Street Journal reported that YouTube was only just breaking even; this month, Facebook unveiled a host of new video features designed to steal away a large chunk of YouTube’s share of the market.

See also: Facebook Is Coming After YouTube With Embeddable Videos

Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the only one who wants some of those YouTube eyeballs, either.

A Changing Landscape


Mark Zuckerberg is coming for YouTube

The 360-degree, 4K video uploads YouTube allows today are a world away from the grainy, blocky, buffering clips that appeared in the early days of the site. But it’s not just the technical aspects of online video that have come on in leaps and bounds.

We’re all watching more video than ever before, for example; movies and television shows are available on-demand over the Web in ways that would have been hard to envisage a decade ago; and services like Spotify (launched in 2008) have changed the way we think about content streaming.

Music is an interesting case study for those looking to chart the evolution of YouTube. It was something the video site stumbled into almost accidentally, providing an online, instant access, personalized version of MTV that connected with music lovers (especially younger ones). Before YouTube, there wasn’t really a way to find good-quality music videos online in any great number—today it hosts audio and video for millions of tracks.

Along the way, music on YouTube has become a professional, money-making business through partners like Vevo. But is it making enough? Bar an advert or two, all this content is free to access, and as rumors circulating around Spotify suggest, that’s not a model the record labels are particularly keen to see continue.

Enter YouTube Music Key, which provides ad-free tunes with a few extras thrown in if you pony up $9.99 a month for a Google Play Music subscription (you get both services whichever one you sign up for). From free to ad-supported to subscription in the space of ten years—that’s a substantial evolution, and one that makes you wonder how many more subscription services YouTube has up its sleeve.

See also: YouTube May Be Winning The World And Losing Its Soul

YouTube personalities who produce videos about tech, make-up, cooking, video game  and just about any other topic under the sun are another booming area of business for the channel. That’s no doubt why big names like Facebook and small startups such as small startups such as Vessel are looking to prise these stars (and their audiences) away from Google’s grip.

In the coming years, any big name video personality or successful music artist is going to have more choices than ever for hosting their material. So what does YouTube do next?

A Changing YouTube


Hits like Gangnam Style took off on YouTube.

Google faces a battle to both hang on to the core pillars of YouTube’s popularity as well as expand into more lucrative areas. One of those areas is likely to be video-game streaming and e-sports, a part of the market YouTube has yet to make a mark in (largely thanks to Amazon’s Twitch game-streaming site).

See also: Video Games As Spectator Sport—Why Twitch Is Booming

The Daily Dot reported this week that YouTube is preparing to dust off its live streaming ambitions and make esports the focus. Insider sources suggest Google has already started putting together a team and working on preparing the ground for such a move, with an announcement expected in June.

Live streaming of traditional sports could also be a potential goldmine—this is an area YouTube has dabbled in before, but most of the key events and leagues are tied up in several layers of television rights contracts. It seems it will take a TV-to-online shift in mindsets, like we saw with music, before live broadcasts of the NFL and its ilk can become a reality.

Then there’s the idea of YouTube pulling a Netflix. This is an idea often rumored and half-confirmed by YouTube’s head of content, Robert Kyncl, last month. In short, pay a monthly fee and never see an advert again—presumably a very good deal from YouTube’s perspective as it looks to finally get in the black and stay there. There’s potential too in a closer relationship with Google Play, providing a Web-based streaming equivalent to iTunes.

What’s certain is that YouTube can’t stand still, even with a billion user accounts to its name. If it’s going to be prospering at 20, then it’s will have to be significantly different from the YouTube of today.

Mark Zuckerberg photo by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite; other images courtesy of Google

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Apple May Have Just Killed An Open Source Project

On Tuesday, Apple acquired FoundationDB, an enterprise software company with a major open source component. On Wednesday, that open source component was no more.

See also: Apple Buys FoundationDB In A Decisive Break With The Jobs Playbook

FoundationDB’s GitHub page, which was a bustling open source repository mere hours ago, has now been locked up. “This organization has no public repositories,” a message now reads, indicating that FoundationDB’s new owners have made the project closed source.


Many developers were using FoundationDB’s open source software for database projects when the software was pulled. Unless those developers had made clones of the GitHub repository, the takedown could put their projects at risk. A group of Hacker News commenters dedicated a thread to discovering recent forks of the repository for anyone using it.

“Pulling an open-source project upon which people may depend is total jerk behavior,” one commenter wrote.

According to commenters on a TechCrunch article about the acquisition, neither FoundationDB nor Apple warned anyone using deployed versions of the software that they were about to close the open-source repository. With such warning, developers could have at least cloned the software on their own accounts and continued their work without major interruption.

Developers had no warning that there was anything unstable about FoundationDB’s open source status. Before the Apple acquisition, company’s FAQ stated, “We have released several FoundationDB language bindings and layers as open source software and anticipate continuing to do so.” The FAQ has been pulled, but you can still read it here.

With this move, Apple is indicating that everything FoundationDB has created is for its use alone, regardless of how recently it was intended for everyone’s use. It’s certainly Apple’s right to do so, but there’s nothing nice about it. 

Photo by hans van den berg

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What Did We Just Learn About The Apple Watch? Not Much

We were expecting Apple’s media event to answer all the questions we had about the Apple Watch — but in the end it mostly covered old ground and a few non-wearable announcements. Much of what was said on stage we’d heard six months before, though there are a handful of new details to pore over.

For starters, there’s the simple matter of availability and pricing. Apple will take preorders for its smartwatch starting April 10, and will begin actual sales in nine countries on April 24. It will debut with a range of designs that range in price from $349 to more than $10,000.

The ability to make calls from your wrist is something Apple hadn’t previously mentioned—and which you can’t yet do on Android Wear. Watch owners can use the device’s integrated microphone and speaker to initiate and receive calls—though whether you’ll want to walk down the street talking to your watch is another question.

It sounds like it’s going to be the same as using your iPhone in loudspeaker mode, except you’ll have both hands free to carry groceries or cling on to a subway train pole. With the limited range of the smartwatch’s internal components, you might need your wrist pretty close to your face for it to work—but we’ll know for sure when the first review units arrive.

Assault On The Battery

We also got a new hint on battery life. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the watch will last 18 hours over a variety of activities, although that doesn’t clarify things much beyond the “all-day battery life” phrase he used at the original Apple Watch unveiling last year. And the fine print in the official press release helpful notes that “battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors.” So again until we get to test the watch out we’ll have to take Apple’s word for it.

[Update, 3:34pm PT: Apple added a new Apple Watch battery-life page to its site that gives some additional details about its claims. Here’s what it says about the 18-hour claim:

All-day battery life is based on 18 hours with the following use: 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours. Battery life varies by use, configuration, and many other factors; actual results will vary.

The same page notes that charging the Apple Watch should take about 90 minutes to reach 80% battery capacity and 2.5 hours to reach 100%.]

So it’s possible that light users will get a whole day’s use from the Apple Watch, just as they do with their iPhones. Any kind of serious activity, though—making calls, tracking runs, going on an Apple Pay-powered shopping spree—and you might be looking for a charger by the early afternoon.

That’s a big problem for a device designed to be worn constantly, always listening out for input and monitoring your vital statistics at regular intervals. We heard nothing about the rumored low battery mode that some insiders say kicks into action once the battery life dips below a certain level.

Apple VP of technology Kevin Lynch was on hand, as he was in September, to showcase a few different apps, but again this was mostly treading old ground: apps to browse photos, unlock hotel doors and send doodles. We did find out that Apple Watch apps are handled by a separate app built into iOS 8.2, which rolls out from today. If you don’t have an Apple Watch, you can use it to see what you’re missing.

Aside from prices and shipping dates, there was very little in Apple’s Spring Forward showcase that we didn’t already know. We’ll have to wait until April to get the big questions about battery life and day-to-day use answered.

Image via Apple

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Huawei Just Made The Best-Looking Android Wear Watch Yet

The slickest, watch-iest Android Wear device so far made its appearance Sunday yesterday at Mobile World Congress. Made by the Chinese company Huawei and set for a June release in 20 countries around the world, the simply named Huawei Watch (say that 10 times fast) might be Android’s best Apple Watch competitor yet.

If, that is, it weren’t for one small problem.

Powerful Shortcomings

The Huawei Watch’s specifications aren’t that different from those of other Android watches. But a few of its features could make a big impact in the watch’s overall performance:

  • 1.4-inch AMOLED sapphire crystal display with 400 x 400 pixel resolution at 286 ppi
  • 4GB of internal storage
  • 512MB of RAM
  • Qualcomm APQ8026 1.2GHz processor
  • Heart rate monitor, 6-axis motion sensor, and barometer
  • 300mAh battery

The main difference  here lies in the higher resolution screen—which Huawei says makes it the “highest resolution Android Wear watch”—the heart rate monitor, and the 300mAh battery. That’s one of the smallest batteries featured in any Android watch so far—and it’s paired with some power-hungry features.


The Huawei Watch’s unveiling at MWC in Barcelona.

For comparison, the Moto 360—which has taken grief for its underwhelming battery life since its release last September—has a slightly larger display, heart rate monitor, and a 300mAh battery (despite a spec sheet that lists 320mAh). The G Watch R has a slightly smaller display, heart rate monitor, and a 410mAh battery.

Style Over Substance

What the Huawei Watch might lack in terms of battery, it could redeem with pure style. A sapphire crystal display means it will resist the scratches that come with everyday wear and tear. There have been more than a few regretful bumps on my Asus ZenWatch as I reach into the fridge to grab the milk, so the Huawei Watch’s tougher display could be one of its best features. It doesn’t hurt that the Huawei Watch’s round design simply looks great, and will come in gold, silver, or black style choices.


In addition to the silver version pictured above, the Huawei Watch will come in gold and black, with plenty of band choices.

There are still a few months between now and the supposed June release window, so maybe Huawei could swap in a more powerful battery. That’s not terribly likely, of course.

More important, until we actually try one out, we won’t know how well the battery holds up under normal use. I’m hopeful that Huawei manages to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of this watch. It’d be a shame for something this good looking to go dark just past lunch.

Images courtesy of Huawei; MWC photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

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Don’t Look Now, But Deep Linking Just Got Hot


Suppose the only way to get to this article—yes, the one you’re reading—was to first visit readwrite.com and then trust that you could locate it using the site’s navigation tools. Odds are good that you’d be somewhere else right now.

Instead, you probably followed a link shared on Twitter, passed along in email or even displayed here on ReadWrite. That “deep link” made it possible for you to zip right to this page, the same way you can visit just about anywhere on the Web with a single click. Deep links make the Web what it is; they’re so deeply ingrained in our online understanding that we take them for granted.

At least on the desktop, that is. Mobile is a different story. Most mobile apps live in their own silos, and offer no way to directly access photos, stories, messages and other information to which they control access. Instead of letting you tap through to a relevant page, mobile links generally direct you to the app’s own home page—leaving you to search around the app, often in vain, for whatever you’re really looking for.

See also: Facebook Still Thinks It Can Make Apps Work More Like The Web

It’s a problem that leads to increased user effort and frustration, and mobile app developers consider solving it a high priority. Suddenly, deep links in mobile are a hot topic.

Button Me Up

Right now, Button SDK is the development world’s most prominent open source solution to the mobile deep linking problem.

Out of hundreds of thousands of iOS repositories on code storage community GitHub, Button has trended in the top five most popular for weeks. That means a huge number of users are watching it, downloading it, and using it to integrate deep linking into their mobile apps. Recently, Button added ridesharing service Uber as one of those companies.

Chris Maddern, cofounder at Button, said the company built the SDK as a tool for its own app integration needs, but made it open source when they realized so many other developers were experiencing the same problem.

“From app to app, it’s all about taking a user’s intent and most closely matching it to the user’s action,” he said. “If I’m looking at an item and want to buy it in an app, why would you throw me on the home screen? I want to land on the item page so I can buy it.”

Why We Need Deep Links On Mobile

It’s hard to see the impact that deep linking has on our Internet browsing behaviors until it’s no longer there. Users expect to be able to tap from link to link between apps as easily as they do in their browsers. Deep linking is the one technology that lets them.

See also: Google Has New Targeted Ads That Encourage You Dive Into Apps

URX is another company that helps marketers implement deep linking. Mike Fyall, the company’s head of marketing, told me that until Android and iOS enable HTTP links on their end, mobile apps will need to use deep links to mimic Web browsing.

“Mobile web browsers support HTTP links just fine—it’s apps that are the problem,” he said. “They aren’t built to respond to HTTP links in the same way, so deep links are used to create similar functionality.”

URX takes the technology a step further with a type of deep linking it calls URX Links, previously known as omnilinks. Even deep links have their limits, and URX Links prevent a user’s app ownership from curbing his or her browsing experience.

“If a user clicks on a deep link but doesn’t have the app installed, they will get an error message,” said Fyall. “URX Links route users to the right place whether or not the user has the app installed. If the user has the app installed, the deep link is used and the user is taken inside the app. If the user doesn’t have the app installed, they are taken to the mobile website.”

The Future Of Mobile Deep Linking

Deep linking is becoming a big asset for marketers who want to drive mobile traffic seamlessly from mobile browsers to mobile apps. The next step for URX, Button, and other companies in the deep linking space is to foster deep linking between different apps. For example, if a user makes a table reservation on partner Rezy, Button wants there to be a link within the Rezy app to order an Uber car to the restaurant. 

“We want to build a more connected app ecosystem,” said Maddern. “To create the fluid world of users moving around on the Web, and a standardized way of moving users between apps.”

Right now, the process of deep linking is wildly different between Apple and Google. URX supports both Android and iOS with separate SDKs, and Button supports just iOS for now, (but is working on Android support). Both companies agree that the possibilities for deep linking could change dramatically depending on what Apple and Google do next.

“For the best user experience possible, we will always need to be able to link directly to a specific place in an app,” said Fyall. “Deep links will be the answer for the foreseeable future. However, if the industry agreed on a deep linking standard that worked across platforms and operating systems, they would be easier to implement and use.”

Photo by Yandle

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