Posts tagged Support
Manchester Agency Appointed by Yoast to Deliver SEO Support and Online …
PR Web (press release)
The Manchester agency Marketing Agency One have been appointed by website and WordPress plugin developer Yoast to deliver strategic online marketing and SEO support services to their business. Marketing Agency One were delighted to learn that one …
View full post on SEO – Google News
AdWords users can now share their screens with AdWords support staff. Yesterday, AdWords Community manager, Zee announced the launch of Google Screensharing. Now an AdWords support team member can invite you to share your screen while you’re on the phone with them and signed into your AdWords…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
If you’ve logged on to Facebook or any other type of social media today, you may have noticed that the Internet is awash in a sea of red and pink. Many people have changed their profile pictures to be the same image: two pink bars on a field of red. What is it?
That’s the “Red Equals Sign” and it’s a symbol for marriage equality. Today is the first day of Supreme Court oral arguments over the constitutionality of California ballot initiative Proposition 8. Passed during the 2008 elections, Prop 8 defines recognized marriage in California as only valid between a man and a woman.
The Red Equals Sign has been championed by the Human Rights Campaign, an activist group that works for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights. The campaign urges people to wear red today and has organized for people to stand outside of the U.S. Supreme Court while the ballot initiative is being debated inside.
The group has galvanized social media with the Red Equals Sign as well as the hashtag #UnitedforMarriage.
Over the past couple of years, the Internet has occasionally flared into a hotbed of activism around particular issues, especially pertaining to court cases and proposed legislation. The most famous instance in the past year was when the Web “blacked out” as a response to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in January 2012.
Among other things, SOPA would have allowed the federal government to effectively “black out” sites accused of fomenting copyright infringement without judicial involvement or much in the way of due process. Sites such as Reddit went completely dark that day and even search behemoth Google blacked out its logo as part of the activism against SOPA.
Did you change your Facebook profile picture today to support marriage equality? Let us know in the comments.
View full post on ReadWrite
The end of life for Windows Phone 8 is on the horizon. Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of Windows on mobile – it’s just standard operating procedure.
On its product lifecyle page, Microsoft says that it will cease support for Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows 8 within the next 18 months. Both forks of the operating system will cease to be supported by Microsoft in 2014. Windows Phone 7.8 support will end on Sept. 9, 2014 while Windows Phone 8 support will come July 8, 2014.
According to Microsoft’s support page:
Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System on your phone, including security updates, for a period of 18 months after the lifecycle start date. Distribution of the updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities.
Windows Phone 7.8 is the final version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system before it forked for Windows Phone 8. The 18-month support window these versions is fairly standard for a company like Microsoft that produces new iterations of its mobile operating systems every year or so. By the time support for Windows 7.8/8 ceases, Microsoft will likely have issued one or two updates to the Windows Phone to replace the older versions.
Contrary to some reactions to this news, the end-of-life for 7.8/8 is not the death knell for Windows Phone. All it will mean will be the end of mainstream support for those operating system versions including security and user interface and experience features. Apple and Google operate in similar functions as older versions of iOS and Android (like Android 2.1 Éclair or 2.2 Froyo or iOS 4.0) tend not to see any critical updates after a year-and-a-half or so.
The fact of the matter is that the end-of-life cycle for these versions of Windows Phone will only affect a small percentage of global smartphone users. Microsoft’s mobile operating system has struggled for mainstream acceptance and remains far behind Apple and Google in adoption. According to research analytics firm comScore, Microsoft had 3.1% of total U.S. smartphone subscribers as of Jan. 2013.
Top photo: Nokia Lumia 920 by Dan Rowinski
View full post on ReadWrite
In the last three years, on the heels of Apple’s debut iPad in 2010, the rapid proliferation of tablet devices has changed the way consumers and advertisers interact across the paid search landscape. Consumers now rely on their tablets more than ever before to gain instant access to local business…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Once upon a time, vendors like Apple and Microsoft sold you things and then stood by the phone, happy to help resolve any problems that might arise from the use of their products. But in the modern world of free services, you get what you pay for: nothing.
I was reminded of this the other day when I had to contact Google for help recovering my daughter’s email account, which had been the target of a hack that rivals Mat Honan’s, and was the account the hacker used to take control of her Facebook account, among others. After an hour of battling with the hacker for control of her account (In between posting vile things about her to everyone in her address book, he kept up a conversation with me over IM, which was… eerie), I turned on two-step authentication and halted the problem. But in my rush to get rid of him, I saved all the application-specific passwords Google provides but neglected to note the password I used for my daughter’s Gmail account.
Stupid, I know. But it was a heat-of-the-moment sort of thing. I was in a panic.
Turning To Google
Sadly, Google proved ill-equipped and indisposed to help resolve the issue. Due to the frenetic activity around my daughter’s account, Google wouldn’t allow us the normal means for recovering a password. Fine. I figured I’d call Google for help.
No, really. Stop laughing. It turns out you can actually call someone at Google. (But not at Facebook.) No, you won’t find a phone number on Google’s support page. That might encourage users to actually call Google. But in a world that uses software without paying for it, you’re the product, not the customer.
I did find a number eventually, but it’s apparently only available in cases of exceptional trouble recovering one’s account. Ironically, it required me to sign up for Google Wallet to get the phone number, even though the stated price was $0.00. (Note to Google: that may well have been a great time to force me into signing up for an ancillary service, given how desperate I was, but it didn’t endear you to me.)
Thirty minutes later, my daughter and I had talked with a nice customer support woman, somewhere (when I told her I was in Chicago, she said “I believe that is considered a large American city?”). She promised to have a response to me within two days.
It has now been almost a week and I’ve had no response. So I emailed Google to check on the status (I didn’t have a tracking number so I just sent the email and prayed). A day later, I received this response:
Unfortunately, based on the information you provided, we’re unable to return the account at this time. Here are some of the reasons why we can’t return the account at this time…
The reasons given don’t actually apply in my case, and in no way reference the extensive information we gave over the phone. Maddening.
Eric Knorr highlights the deteriorating quality of support in the bring-your-own-device world. But that’s nothing compared to the nearly nonexistent support for anyone stuck in user land. Would I pay for better support for my Gmail account? Yes. But can I pay? No. I pay through my eyeballs, when it turns out I’d prefer to pay with my wallet. Vendors seem to respond better to that kind of direct cash incentive.
Given how much of our lives we put into free online services, I suspect this is going to become an increasingly serious issue. But until vendors give us a way to pay, we’re always going to be an unsupported “product.”
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
View full post on ReadWrite
Mike Blumenthal first spotted that Google is now offering phone support for businesses having issues with verifying their Google Maps listing. The way it works is you must go to this form – a troubleshooter for verification issues. Then depending on how you answer the questions and what time…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
A Microsoft-funded study by Forrester to be released on Thursday claims that enterprises face significant costs for supporting more than one browser among their employees.
The study, which ReadWrite viewed in advance, found that supporting an “alternative” browser carries extra costs when it comes to Web apps. The key metric of the study: $4,200. That’s the average amount the 133 companies polled told Forrester that they would be forced to spend per Web app per browser.
Enterprises Support Lots Of Web Apps
Forrester’s research also found that enterprise companies with 1,000 or more employees typically supported 92 Web applications, and medium-sized companies with 250-999 workers supported 28 Web apps. All told, Forrester found, companies could spend $118,000 to almost $400,000 on browser support alone, not counting additional support or staffing costs. 86% of the firms Forrester surveyed found that their IT costs increased significantly – about 20% – when they had to support multiple browsers.
Security ($1,000 per app) testing ($1,000) and training ($900) represented the top three cost buckets, and the companies told Forrester they actually feared break/fix support costs more than app compatibility. A proper, standards-compliant Web app should mitigate compatibility concerns, Forrester noted. But Roger Capriotti, director of marketing for Internet Explorer, argued that IT managers still can’t get away from the costs of testing, deployment and support, no matter how modern the alternative browser.
Not surprisingly, the message favors Microsoft. Alternative browsers typically mean ones not shipped with the PC – and Windows PCs come with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Still, it’s no secret that complexity comes with cost and that simplicity is a common theme within IT departments these days. ”I think cost is #1 in terms of this,” said Capriotti. “IT departments are getting squeezed, and things like total cost of ownership are becoming paramount.”
Forrester cast its survey in the light of the many companies standardized on Windows XP, who now plan a desktop “modernization” effort over the next 12 to 18 months. If they plan to stay with Windows, those companies face a choice: jump to IE10 on Windows 7, or make the leap all the way to Windows 8, which also uses IE10. In that context, it’s no wonder security was the primary reason for their upgrade, as Microsoft has launched campaigns to try and eliminate the notoriously insecure IE6, the browser that originally shipped with Windows XP.
The question of which browser is leading the desktop PC market remains open; StatCounter puts IE’s November share at 31.2%, behind Google’s Chrome, at 35.7%. But NetApplications, whose numbers Microsoft has favored, claims IE held 54.8% of the market in November, with Chrome at 17.24% and Firefox at 20.44%.)
A bare majority – 51% – of the 133 enterprises surveyed by Forrester not only require a single browser, but enforce it, either by removing administrative rights or otherwise locking down the PC. Another 45% allow users to install alternative browsers, but either don’t support them (13%) or simply support them on a best-effort basis (32%).
What The Survey Didn’t Ask
Unfortunately, Forrester didn’t survey those businesses on the costs of moving from XP to Windows 7 – or, for those businesses already on Windows 7, from IE9 to IE10. According to Capriotti, however, the broader support for Web standards within IE10 justify any transitional costs. The survey also didn’t address any benefits the companies might gain by supporting multiple browsers.
A few years ago, the operating system was the primary area of concern for enterprises. But with more corporate applications migrating to the Web, app compatbility is becoming more important. Does this let Microsoft keep some of the same advantages it enjoyed by controlling the Windows platform? Forrester, funded by Microsoft’s dime, says yes.
View full post on ReadWrite
To boost promotions with a paid search campaigns, it’s important to have ad copy that supports the promotion and PR; purchase promotion and PR keywords; increase your branded paid search budget; and perform an ROI analysis on your strategy.
View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest
Welcome to your “official” support site, Web developers. The Web’s top four browser developers – Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera – teamed with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and technology companies including Nokia, HP, Adobe and Facebook – to create Web Platform Docs, a Wiki devoted to sussing out and stomping bugs and other issues when trying to develop for multiple browsers.
Obviously, the effort primarily benefits developers, but it should eventually result in a greate number of sites that work properly no matter what browser you use to access them.
Other sites already provide the same sort of collaborative approach to development, including SitePoint and especially StackOverflow, which uses the same votes/answers model of presenting questions and answers. In those sites, designers and developers work together to develop solutions, with some participation from members of the individual browser companies.
The idea is to smooth Web development, eliminating bugs, development costs and headaches. In one example cited by Microsoft, Erik Klimczak, creative director at Clarity Consulting, had been using a common trick to make an image uniformly scale, but found out it didn’t work on a particular browser. After contacting the browser’s development team himself, he found that the feature was supported, but in an undocumented feature.
A Cooperative Venture
All of the major browser makers have committed to funding the site and providing resources, according to Ian Jacobs, the head of communications for the W3C. He was unable to say, however, what the extent of each company’s contributions would be.
“I think the first thing to note is that there are many great sites out there, but one of the challenges we’ve heard from developers is that when you look at all the sites around there it’s time-consuming, and there might be inconsistencies,” Jacobs said. “Vendors, when they put up information, it may be generic, and it might be proprietary, and so we want to the W3C membership, and said we’d like to do the same thing we do with membership, which is to leverage the collective effort… and remove redundancies, remove inconsistencies and make it easier to find things.”
In an email, a spokeswoman for Google said that the company wouldn’t disclose its financial commitment: “We don’t disclose any financial terms or details, but in regards to maintenance of the site, the community and some people from the stewards organizations will continue to work on and monitor the site.”
Microsoft provided a bit more detail: “The role of stewards is intentionally limited in favor of self-governance by the community,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said in an email. “Stewards focus primarily on facilitating the long-term operation of Web Platform Docs. In practice, this means that stewards provide Web Platform Docs with funding and relevant infrastructure, while helping the community address issues that may arise that the community is not able to address. The stewards do not manage the content of the site, nor do they define the processes the community adopts to manage itself, unless requested to by the community. Although some representatives of the stewards participate in developing the site, they do so as peers of other members of the community.”
You’ll Find What You’re Looking For
One of the site’s strengths, according to Jacobs, will be the inclusion of clear, ordered documentation from the W3C. Visitors to the site will find published content from the founding organizations, including more than 3,200 topics from the Microsoft Developer Network, Microsoft said. In addition, there will eventually be a sample library that takes into account real-world scenarios, and tutorials that provide guidance on how to use new and existing technologies.
That may mean that the documentation content will favor IE, at least in the early stages. A generic search for “Chrome” in the documentation portion of the site favored IE in most of the results, although expanding the results offered up more choices. (For example, in the page describing CSS properties for font size, portions of the content were pulled from MSDN, and there are several MSDN links at the bottom.) The Web Platform Docs site does claim that it’s still in an alpha status, however.
“With Web Platform Docs, we now have a central place where we can learn what the standard is, when we can use that particular feature, and the right way to use it,” Rey Bango, a Windows technical evangelist at Microsoft, said. “That’s important to me, and it’s important to Web developers. They want to take advantage of the cool stuff – the toys – and they want to do it responsibly. This site gives them that capability.”
According to Jacobs, the site will take a hands-off approach toward managing content, allowing users who achieve the same level of expertise – which appears to be assigned through a points system – to achieve the same status as representatives from the browser developers themselves. Content will be developed as much by the users as much by the companies.
“We decided that it would be better to open up Web Platform Docs to the community as early as possible, so that everyone – including you – can help expand and refine the documentation, and ultimately define the direction of the site,” Alex Komoroske, a project manager with Google’s Open Web Platform team, said in a blog post.
“One of the great things is that we have the attention of the vendors. And while they’re keen on accuracy, the policies of the site won’t restrict the nature of the discussion,” Jacobs said.
View full post on ReadWriteWeb