Posts tagged Just

Bing Glitch Causes Either Just Ads Or Just Organic Listings To Display On Search Results

A funky thing happened today on Bing. Depending on your location, it appears, Bing returned search results with either nearly all ads or the opposite, just organic results. All Paid With the exception of image search results and related search suggestions, the only results on a search for…

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Hold Your Horses: The Knowledge Vault Is Just A Research Project For Now

You may have heard buzz about Google’s “Knowledge Vault.” Contributor Eric Enge explains what it is and the real-world implications you should be considering.

The post Hold Your Horses: The Knowledge Vault Is Just A Research Project For Now appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Penguin Recovery: Should You Be Removing Links or Just Disavowing?

If you’ve been hit by Penguin, do you need to remove all your unnatural links, or is it enough to use Google’s disavow tool?

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

Maybe The Carnegie Science Center Didn’t Just Diss Science-Minded Girls

The Internet blew up Friday over a seemingly outrageous image—a list of the different science and technology programs the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh offers to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts:

This photo, which shows a 9-to-1 discrepancy in the number of courses the museum offers for Boy Scouts and for Girl Scouts, was shared more than 3,000 times on Facebook and Twitter, and not happily. It wasn’t just the numbers; the fact that the single offering for Girl Scouts had the word “sparkle” in the title seemed like a calculated insult. We already know that fewer girls than boys grow up to have careers in science, and this wasn’t helping.

See also: Why So Few Women Are Studying Computer Science

But the story is a little more complicated than it looks at first glance. It turns out that the viral photo is only a small part of that particular page in the program, which goes on to list multiple events just for girls arranged by a separate museum program:

In a lengthy statement on its Facebook page, Carnegie Science Center also clarified that it offers the programming it does because, well, that’s what girls want. The organization also noted that Girl Scouts are welcome to attend Boy Scout programs if they choose (although of course the program itself doesn’t mention that).

The museum wrote:

Regarding Girl Scout-specific programming, we have struggled when it comes to enrollments. In the past, we have offered engineering, chemistry, and robotics programming for Girl Scouts. We created programming to go along with the new Journeys that Girl Scouts use. Unfortunately, no troops signed up for these. The programs that consistently get enrollments are ‘Science with a Sparkle’—which teaches girls about chemistry—and our sleepovers at the museum.

As for calling it “Science with a Sparkle,” it’s been shown that names do matter when getting girls interested in science. The University of California at Berkeley changed the name of an entry course from “Introduction to Symbolic Programming” to “The Beauty and the Joy of Computing.” The result was 40% female enrollment for the first time ever. 

Lead photo by Todd Kulesza

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2 Mistakes That Cause Advertisers to Quit AdWords Just When They’re on the Verge of a Breakthrough

AdWords isn’t an appropriate advertising medium for every business, but the truth is that many advertisers give up on AdWords way too soon.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

Twitter Releases New iPhone App Just In Time For iOS 8 by @mattsouthern

A day after Facebook unveiled a new iOS app, Twitter releases an updated app for iPhone users just in time for iOS 8. The updated app, rolling out today, promises to make it easier to explore and learn about other people on Twitter. The company claims it is their biggest update to date, featuring a new design and revamped profile pages. The new profiles have been designed to emphasize your bio, tweets, and photos so people can quickly digest everything that’s important to know about you at a glance. The bio is immediately visible as soon as you land on […]

The post Twitter Releases New iPhone App Just In Time For iOS 8 by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Don’t Forget to Invest in Content (Not Just “Content Marketing”)

Don’t let excitement for content marketing blind you to other uses for content, like brand building, increasing conversions and setting up a proper framework.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

SEO, SEM: is it all just marketing smoke and mirrors? –
SEO, SEM: is it all just marketing smoke and mirrors?
Most business owners I speak to have dabbled at some point in using professional search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimisation (SEO) services and those that haven't have stayed away because they don't understand it and don't trust it.

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Maybe We’ve Just Reached Peak App

This might be a bad time if you’re a fledgling app developer trying to score a mainstream hit. At least, that’s the suggestion from numbers just released by comScore.

According to the Internet analytics firm’s “The U.S. Mobile App Report,” people primarily view digital media using apps on their smartphones. And yet, most download no apps on a monthly basis.

The takeaway seems pretty bleak: Users already have their favorite apps. They’re using them to channel in tons of video, music and other media. And they’re not really looking for new ones.

We Love Apps, But We Hate Downloading Them

ComScore’s report offers numerous data points, many of which aren’t all that surprising. Shockers include the fact that people tend to enjoy digital media on their phones (88%) more often than tablets (82%). More than half of smartphone users also use their apps every day, at 57%.

But the firm also reveals that mobile applications account for 52% of the time spent listening or looking at digital media. (Add mobile Web browsers to the mix, and the number goes up to 60%.) That actually squares with its other finding—that Facebook is the most used app—as the social network channels a huge volume of shared videos, photos and articles.

And yet, with all that activity, few users are grabbing new apps. More than one-third of smartphone users may be downloading one or more applications per month, but nearly two-thirds, at 65.5%, download none.

The reason probably isn’t the expense. Most apps are either free or cost just a buck. Maybe it’s just natural. After several frenzied years, mobile app development has simply matured to the point that people’s biggest needs—like streaming, socializing or sharing ice bucket clips—are already well tended to.

Are People Suffering From App Fatigue?

The other possibility is that users are tired of battling app fatigue. This can come from the constant management of mobile applications—from corralling tons of icons on a homescreen to adjusting app data to preserve phone storage—not to mention vetting apps, amid nerve-jangling headlines about sketchy privacy policies or security vulnerabilities.

Maybe it’s a little of both. Either way, people don’t seem too interested in experimenting with new options—which could spell bad news for any app developers hoping to become a breakout hit in Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

Of course, stores don’t make it easy sometimes. Quartz noted, rightly so, that iPhone app discovery in the App Store is a clustered mess. 

In other words, unless you’re a priority business partner or already a major brand name, good luck getting noticed in there.

Lead photo by Cristiano Betta

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Just How Creepy Can Targeted Ads Get? New Tool Promises To Tell You

Ever find yourself scrolling through a website and seeing an advertisement that’s a little too well-targeted? You know, as if the advertiser knew you recently twisted your ankle and need to buy some sturdier shoes? 

Columbia University researchers are working on XRay, a tool to help innocent Internet users make sense of those ads that stalk us, sometimes in ways that are worse than creepy.

Climbing In Your Inbox, Snatching Your Searches Up

As most people know by now, your personal data is the price you pay for “free” services such as Facebook and Google. When it comes to targeted ads, Google bots scan Gmail accounts looking for keywords to then serve up tailored marketing. Facebook does the same thing with “likes,” status updates and other info. 

How that information is analyzed to create personalized Internet advertising is the mystery the Columbia University researchers want to help solve with XRay, the Web transparency tool they’re currently working on.

XRay, still in development, “detects targeting through input/output correlation.” An Internet user’s “inputs”—email, searches, etc.—are compared to “outputs,” or ads that user is shown. As you can probably guess, most of the ads were largely predictable. If “shoes” shows up in an email you’ve sent, you’ll likely see an advertisement for a shoe sale at a department store.

Targeting, however, doesn’t stop at shoes. In developing XRay, researchers also found invasive ads targeting sensitive topics in user emails, including depression and pregnancy. What’s more, targeting based off such health-related keywords is potentially dangerous. For instance, one test showed that inputs containing the word “depression” would deliver ads for questionable quackery such as shamanic healing.

XRay also demonstrated the danger for consumers when companies misuse such keyword targeting:

Imagine an insurance company wanting to learn about pre-existing conditions of its customers before signing them up. The company could create two ad campaigns, one targeting cancer and the other youth, and assign different URLs to each campaign. It could then offer higher premium quotes to users coming in from the cancer-related ads to discourage them from signing up while offering lower premium quotes to people coming in from the youth-related ads.

XRay is still a prototype. Researchers tested it with Gmail to predict ads based off of email correspondence, and YouTube and Amazon video and purchasing suggestions based on previously viewed items. When widely available, XRay is expected to work across multiple platforms. In initial testing, XRay accurately predicted the types of ads that will be displayed in the future with 80 to 90% accuracy.

XRay’s code will be open source, and eventually this tool will be available to everyone with an Internet connection. Such insight could help the average Internet user better understand how companies use their data. It might also help privacy watchdogs call out malicious advertisers who abuse keyword targeting.

The team will release its research paper this week at USENIX Security 2014, a top security conference in San Diego, Calif. XRay is supported by the National Science Foundation, DARPA, Google and Microsoft. 

Lead image by Asja Boroš

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