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Take Back Your Lost Links

Lost traffic after a website relaunch? Columnist Patrick Stox provides a handy guide on how to reclaim your lost links with redirects.

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Bidding & Optimization Strategies To Take Your Search Marketing Results To The Next Level

A majority of digital advertising budgets are put towards search, so the ability to be competitive in this space is critical. Columnist Matt Ackley discusses how you can maximize your ROI when creating your bidding strategy for paid search.

The post Bidding & Optimization Strategies To Take…

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Please Take Search Engine Land’s SEO Success Factors Survey – Search Engine Land

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Please Take Search Engine Land's SEO Success Factors Survey
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Every two years, Search Engine Land updates our Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors. It's that time again, and we're inviting our readers to help us with the process. The goal of the table is to cover the broad factors of search engine optimization

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Please Take Search Engine Land’s SEO Success Factors Survey

Your feedback helps us update The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors. Please spare a few minutes and your expertise!

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For Google, Apps Are First-Class Citizens, So Take Advantage!

Contributor Ian Sefferman discusses how you can help users to discover and re-engage with your app via Google search.

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I’ll Take Online Marketing for $400, Alex: Jeopardy for SEO Success

Much like Jeopardy, the understanding of questions and relevant answers are key components to the present and future of Google.

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Speaker Profile: Take It From Bia Sport And Contour’s CEOs—Great Products Don’t Guarantee Success

Wearable World Congress, ReadWrite’s signature annual conference in San Francisco on May 19-20, will feature the key players who are shaping wearable technology and the Internet of Things. This series profiles some of the experts who will be speaking at the conference.  

Business leaders may like to spin yarns about how their hot startups rocketed directly to the top, but in most cases, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just ask Bia Sport’s Cheryl Kellond and James Harrison of Contour. 

Kellond, Bia Sport’s CEO, learned the hard way that having a great product doesn’t guarantee success. The sports watch maker, known for devices that catered to female athletes, went under just last month. Contour, an action camera company based in Utah, learned that lesson as well. The company close its doors two years ago. But since then, Clarke Capital bought the assets out of receivership, resurrected the brand, reformed the product team, built a new team of executives (helmed by CEO Harrison), and put out a new product, the ROAM3, introduced last year. In light of that, and by its latest legal tussle against rival GoPro, Contour looks ready to do battle. 

Buy tickets now: Wearable World Congress, May 19-20

Both Kellond and Harrison will appear at Wearable World Congress to share their insights and experiences in a panel called “The Life, Death, and Rebirth Of Your Wearable Startup.” I spoke to them, to find out more about the trials and tribulations they faced at Bia Sport and Contour. 

Cheryl Kellond of Bia Sport and Contour’s James Harrison

What sticks out as a lesson learned from the hardships your company has faced?

Kellond: There’s no big “Aha!” like, “Wow, I wish we’d done this differently” or “Wow, we were really naive and stupid.” The wearable space is super competitive, and became so really quickly. We had trouble raising money early, which put our product behind. That meant, by the time we went to market, our coffers were depleted. It was an impossible combination. I should have quit much earlier but we had commitments to deliver the best device we could. So we went to Herculean lengths to do so. 

Harrison: Contour was not initially keen to go into big box retail, which it was invited to go into by Walmart and others. The delay … really cost the company. Then it was time to catch up, which was very hard to do. There was inexperience within the company about how you go about scaling a company. 

How important is managing initial expectations or launches?

Kellond: Don’t pre-sell. Do not pre-sell. Do not do it to fund it; just don’t do it. There’s no value from it. It only creates difficulties later on. It’ll put you in a hole. It’s never enough to convince a venture investor, because they view pre-sales as different from other sales. Don’t worry about being late to market. Every company is late. If you don’t pre-sell, then you have nothing to manage. I talked to two of my cohorts. Both raised very large seed rounds [for their companies]. They said the same thing. One of them pre-sold and her thought was, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.”

Harrison: You need to hit your forecasts every single time. Cashflow always going to be tight. You need to make investors confident. If you miss being able to deliver to a retailer the stock that you promised, they just won’t come back. They’ll go to someone else. If you’re able to get it right, they come back and say, “We’d like to do a new product.” That’s when you get a virtual loop. The first few forecasts you do have got to be absolutely rock solid and sell through. 


Is there anything you’d change about the product itself if you were doing things over again?

Kellond: No. We were really disciplined about hitting those needs. Nothing that happened along the way disproved that logic. What we set out to do, and the logic behind it, was the right thing to have done and the right fit with the market. We had that product/market fit.

Harrison: No. We, in a sense, were very lucky because we’re blessed with a great company. It’s a great brand. The way we looked at it… it’s almost like Apple in the late 90s, where someone who buys a Contour camera feels better because they think their camera is superior to all other cameras. 

To hear more from Kellond, Harrison and other innovators and experts, register for Wearable World Congress 2015, May 19-20 in San Francisco. Early bird prices end soon!

Photos of courtesy of Cheryl Kellond, James Harrison and Contour 

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Mobilegeddon Day: 3 Ways To Take Mobile Friendliness To The Next Level

Google’s mobile friendly update rolls out today. Are you ready? If so, columnist Jim Yu provides some advice for how to take your mobile experience to the next level.

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Park Seo Joon in talks to take on a lead role in SBS drama ‘Chaebol’s Daughter’ – allkpop

Park Seo Joon in talks to take on a lead role in SBS drama 'Chaebol's Daughter'
After seeing immense success with 'Kill Me, Heal Me', actor Park Seo Joon is ready to move onto his next project! His agency, Key East Entertainment, revealed recently, "Park Seo Joon recently received an offer to appear in SBS drama 'Chaebol's Daughter'.

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Why Apple Had To Take The NoSQL Plunge

Apple has quietly—and not so quietly—been buying up Big Data companies over the past few years, most recently acquiring FoundationDB but in 2013 also purchasing Acunu, maker of a real-time analytics platform. The intent seems to be to purchase data infrastructure talent—and very particular talent at that.

Basically, Apple needed to get into NoSQL database technology in a bad way. These alternatives to traditional relational databases (long known as SQL systems) offer speed and flexibility that older-style databases can only dream of.

See also: When NoSQL Databases Are—Yes—Good For You

As former Wall Street analyst and NoSQL (MongoDB and now Aerospike) executive Peter Goldmacher declares, Apple’s interest in NoSQL translates into a need to handle “massive workloads in a cost-effective way.”

Peter Goldmacher

In a far-ranging interview, Goldmacher points to the need to rethink enterprise data and calls out Hadoop and NoSQL technologies as the foundational bedrock of any Big Data strategy.

ReadWriteApple bought FoundationDB, but uses quite a bit of Cassandra, MongoDB, Hbase, and Couchbase already. At least as measured by job postings, it’s not using FoundationDB (the product). Why do you think they opted to purchase FoundationDB, the company?

Goldmacher: Apple is first and foremost an extremely innovative company in everything they do. They have created both transitional (iPod) and transformational (iPad) technologies and this desire to always innovate permeates the fabric of its corporate culture. 

If you look at the software products the company provides, like iTunes, iMessage, iAd, etc., all of these products operate at massive scale. If they were written on traditional relational database technologies, it’s not clear if a) they would work or b) they wouldn’t bankrupt the company given the scale at which these products operate and the cost of a traditional RDBMS license. 

So Apple innovated and was a very early adopter of NoSQL. It is reasonable to wonder if Apple’s software products would have even been possible without NoSQL technologies. 

And here we are almost a decade after these products were launched, and Apple is yet again taking advantage of new technology. While the existing NoSQL technology was up to the task, it was expensive because of the massive server farms required to support the scale and the people required to support the massive server farms. 

FoundationDB offers a key value store database akin to what Apple was using with Cassandra, but it runs in memory, which means you can reduce your hardware by about a factor of 8-10x. Said another way, if the company was using 75,000 servers to support the workload as I’ve seen speculated in the press [and on the Cassandra project page], FoundationDB would enable them to get that down to 7,500 servers. 

To your question why purchase FoundationDB, I think they loved the technology and figured that if they just bought the company, they’d have the talent in house to continue to innovate and enhance the product and thus their ability to continue to innovate on the product front.

[Asay note: It’s worth pointing out that not everyone agrees on the value of FoundationDB’s actual product today. As MongoDB executive Kelly Stirman highlights:

But we’ll let Goldmacher and Stirman duke this one out in another post.]

RWYou say that the initial wave of NoSQL players can’t handle “massive workloads in a cost-effective way.” What is it about multi-model databases like Aerospike and FoundationDB that gives them this ability?

PG: Foundation and Aerospike are Key Value store databases akin to Cassandra, but the secret sauce is that the data resides in flash and not on spinning disk. This creates significant performance advantages with the knock on effect of needing less hardware.

RWYou do realize, of course, that DataStax, MongoDB, and others have customers running at “massive scale,” right? DataStax has Netflix and other marquee customers at significant scale, as does MongoDB….

PG: Absolutely, but there’s massive scale and then there’s the cost of massive scale. If I can get similar performance at 1/10th of the cost and massive scale means I am spending $50M, why wouldn’t I take that cost down to $5M?

RWDo you think Apple’s acquisition is a sign of things to come for NoSQL, generally? Are we about to enter a consolidation phase? 

PG: I think Apple is one of a special class of companies like Google, LinkedIn and Facebook that are so cutting edge and so heavily reliant on data as an asset, they absolutely must own and innovate on the technology that supports the business. 

So we may or may not be entering a phase of consolidation in the NoSQL world, but the buying rationale won’t be anything like Apple’s rationale for buying FoundationDB. 

I can clearly see a world where traditional enterprise IT companies that don’t have a dog in the database fight buy NoSQL vendors to go after Oracle. In fact, EMC is already pretty far down this path. 

At some point the Ciscos and Dells of the world have to step up and become players in the database space because we are seeing the database players getting into the hardware space. The stage was set a long time ago for consolidation and I believe this trend will continue.  

RW: Let’s pick winners. If an enterprise were forced to use only two Big Data technologies, what should they be and why?

PG: Well, it feels like everything is Big Data technology these days…. Still, if I were running IT at a large company, I would be investing in Hadoop and NoSQL. 

With Hadoop, you have the ability to dramatically and cost effectively expand the contents and thus value of your data warehouse which is extremely important. The more you can measure, the more you can improve. 

And in the NoSQL world, you have two opportunities.

First, use MongoDB/DataStax/CouchDB to replace workloads that have historically run in Oracle even though they weren’t a great fit either because of cost or functionality limitations. For example, MongoDB enjoys a number of consistent use cases like content management systems, web catalogs and web sites. Oracle is overkill for that. 

So those NoSQL players help you do old things better. 

But if you want to do new and truly innovative things, you need enormous speed and scalability. This is the second opportunity.

One of the most common use cases for Aerospike is in the AdTech world. The AdTech players load an Aerospike database every morning with relatively static data created in Hadoop. This data is essentially a person’s profile based on their cookies as they click around the internet every day. 

In a gross oversimplification, Peter is a 45-year old male that lives in the Bay Area and shops on all the bargain web sites. This data gets loaded into Aerospike and then Aerospike collects data all day about what Peter is clicking on that day. 

Well, if Peter is clicking a bunch of web sites looking for a watch, Timex or the local watch store would bid aggressively for the opportunity to put an advertisement in front of Peter because he is exhibiting characteristics of a likely buyer. That is a great example of deriving tremendous value from your data warehouse by making the data actionable when it matters.  

Photo by Ivan Bandura

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