Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google Glass

Google has garnered a lot of attention for its Google Glass product: Wireless glasses that project online information and can video record the world around the wearer. Now there’s a new minor furor. The $1,500 (90,000 INR) product reportedly contains only $80 (4,800 INR) in parts.

Website Teardown.com took a Google Glass unit apart and estimated the prices. With the most expensive component running $13.96, the device had a total cost of $79.78, including a charge for assembly and testing. That would appear to make Google Glass a highly profitable product. But there is more going on than a simple list of parts.

$13.96 – OMAP 4430 processor
$05.66 – Camera
$03.00 – Display
$08.18 – 16GB Flash Memory from Toshiba
——
$30.80 – Total Cost of Major Parts

Tear-downs, in which someone takes a device apart and estimates the cost of parts and sometimes even manufacturing, have become a near sport in high tech. Whenever a new high-profile product hits the market, you can bet that it will be only a short amount of time until someone has torn it down to investigate the ins and outs and publish a manufacturing cost estimate. Such an analysis draws a lot of attention.

What makes this tear-down noteworthy is the wide disparity between the cost of materials — known in manufacturing as the bill of materials — and the price of the final product. Even an Apple (AAPL) iPhone, easily one of the highest gross margin products in consumer electronics, offers nowhere near the gap between the cost of components and the final price of a single unit.

But tear-downs usually occur on mass market products, in which as many as hundreds of millions of units are ultimately made and sold. The cost of creating a product goes well beyond the price of parts. Usually such expenses, including engineering, design, and start-up manufacturing costs, are hidden because they are amortized across so many units.

Google has not revealed how many units it has sold, but up until a one-day sale in April, sales estimates were in the 10,000 range. If it cost $10 million to develop the product and start up initial manufacturing, that would be $1,000 per unit, and the engineering and design costs could run much higher. Tear-downs also don’t reveal how much a company might have to pay to license the intellectual property rights that it doesn’t directly own.

So, the chances are unlikely that the company is getting rich on sales of Google Glass. However, if sales hit the millions within the next couple of years, as BI Intelligence estimates, there could be a good chunk of change flowing into the corporate coffers.

The troubled mobile phone maker BlackBerry still has at least one very loyal customer: US President Barack Obama.

At a meeting with youth to promote his landmark healthcare law, Obama said he is not allowed to have Apple’s smartphone, the iPhone, for “security reasons,” though he still uses Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad.

Apple was one of several tech companies that may have allowed the National Security Agency(NSA) direct access to servers containing customer data, according to revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The companies deny the allegation.

Obama fought to keep his BlackBerry after coming to the White House in 2009, though he said only 10 people have his personal email address. Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton used email during their presidencies.

BlackBerry, a Canadian company formerly known as Research In Motion, virtually invented the idea of on-the-go email, but lost its market stranglehold as rivals brought out more consumer-friendly devices, like Apple’s iPhone and phones using Google’s Android software. The company recently halted plans to be sold and is trying to chart a new course by focusing on large business and government clients.

Google has launched Helpouts, a marketplace of live video-based help services it has been testing for months.

The search giant has signed on more than 1,000 service providers offering tips on computer repair, yoga lessons, health care, baking and music instruction, among other services.

People can sign up to schedule a help appointment or get an instant session. Available on the Web, Helpouts is also launching on Android

“Very often you don’t know what questions to ask,” says Udi Manber, vice president of engineering at Google.

Helpouts allows people to use their Web cams or mobile phones to show service providers what they are doing and get live feedback in a video-conferencing session.

Google’s Helpouts service uses Google+ for login, Google Wallet for payments and Google Hangouts to provide the video interactions.

Helpouts allows people to sign up for services by the minute or by the job, with varying prices. Google takes 20% of the transaction and the service provider takes the rest.

People shopping for services can check out prices, ratings, reviews and qualifications for tasks. Google offers a money back guarantee on the services.Google Helpouts service providers are by invitation only. Service providers will be available from the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Canadian providers will offer services in both French and English.

If you ask AOL, the third quarter was all about revenue, revenue, revenue; nevermind that big profit miss.

In the latest three-month period, the online media company grew advertising dollars at double the rate it did the quarter before, thanks largely to its takeover Adap.tv and video ad growth. But its slim profit — just 2 cents per share versus the 35 cents analysts were expecting — was a glaring eyesore at the bottom line.

The miss was largely because of restructuring costs and a goodwill impairment, which is when a company re-evaluates how much some of its assets are worth and has to swallow the decreased value of them if they’ve deteriorated.

In this case, the assets were Patch.com, the trouble local-news site that AOL has been scaling back in the latest quarter.

AOL didn’t provide a per-share profit number excluding those effects, but it said that its adjusted operating income rose 19%. The company will hold a conference call to discuss the results at 5 a.m. PT.

Overall, AOL said Tuesday that advertising revenue in the third quarter rose 14% percent to $386 million from a year earlier, doubling the rate of increase from the previous quarter.

Where did the ad growth come from? It wasn’t AOL’s traditional sources. Search revenue was up 3 percent year over year, and global display revenue was up 5 percent on AOL sites. Those are slower rates than the previous period.

But AOL said third-party network revenue was up 32%, “driven by growth in the sale of premium formats, primarily video, across our programmatic platform.”

AOL closed its deal to buy Adap.tv, a video-ad marketplace platform, for $405 million in cash and common stock. It was the biggest deal since Tim Armstrong took the helm of AOL from his post as Google’s advertising sales guru in 2009, eclipsing the $315 million spent on The Huffington Post in 2011.

The move underlined Armstrong’s priorities at AOL: not only in video ads but also in so-called programmatic ad models. Adap.tv is a programmatic video advertising firm, which means it uses software to automate the matching of buyers and sellers of ads.

But even without Adap.tv’s results, AOL’s growth in third-party network revenue led the revenue gains with a 17% climb.

Overall, AOL reported a profit of $2 million, or 2 cents a share, down from $20.8 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 6 percent to $561.3 million.

Analysts on Wall Street expected per-share earnings of 35 cents on revenue of $549 million, on average.
AOL still faces intense competition for ad dollars not only from traditional media companies but also from the likes of Google and Facebook, which are growing their ad businesses faster. AOL’s advertising revenue growth of 14 percent in the third quarter compares to Facebook’s 66 percent.

But AOL topped Google as the property with the most video ads watched in September, with 3.7 billion views compared to the YouTube parent’s 3.2 billion in ComScore’s Web video rankings for that month. In fact, those 3.7 billion ads were the largest number by a single property ever recorded by ComScore.

Google sites remained, by far, the top online video properties by unique viewers.

The higher restructuring costs in the latest period likely are related to substantial cuts at its local-news outfit Patch.com during the latest period, including layoffs. Last quarter, Armstrong said AOL would be removing costs from the operation and potentially exiting some of the hundreds of Patch local news sites.Among those let go was former Creative Director Abel Lenz, whom Armstrong fired off-the-cuff in front of the Patch team when Lenz reportedly ignored his boss’s instructions against recording the confidential meeting. Armstrong later apologized.

Since the report about stored passwords just a URL away on its Chrome web browser, Google has reportedly decided to hide users’ credentials in a bid to increase secure browsing.

The search giant has built Chromium for OS X, which includes an option that requires users to authenticate with their computer’s system password before it will allow access to the list of stored passwords.

According to The Verge, the site earlier allowed access to the passwords by navigating to chrome://Settings/Passwords in the browser and showed up all of the login/password data a user saved on Chrome. The company suggests that users should lock their systems when not using it so as to save it from any vulnerability of being exploited, the report added.

US computer software company Microsoft Corp said on Monday it signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for wind energy in Texas.

The company said in a blog the agreement was part of its commitment last year to become carbon neutral.

Microsoft said it will buy all of the energy from RES Americas’ 110-megawatt Keechi wind project, which is under development near Jacksboro, about 70 miles (113 km) northwest of Fort Worth. RES Americas is a unit of privately held, UK-based renewable energy developer RES Ltd.

Microsoft said the wind farm is on the same electric grid that powers its San Antonio data center.

RES will begin construction of Keechi in early 2014 and will begin delivering power in 2015. The wind farm will include 55 wind turbines manufactured mostly in Colorado by a unit of Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S .

Microsoft said in the blog, the US Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the company as the second largest purchaser of green power in the United States.

The company said the Keechi wind power purchase “will certainly not be our last.” Microsoft is not alone among technology companies buying renewable power. Google Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, Rackspace Hosting Inc and Salesforce.com Inc have all committed to powering their data centers with more renewable power.


Apple’s App Store has reportedly reached its 1 million apps mark, more than five years after launching.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook revealed the milestone at the company’s latest products launch on Tuesday.

According to Mashable, there have been more than 60 billion app downloads to date and 13 billion dollars paid out to developers and at the same time last year, by comparison, Apple had only 7,00,000 apps and 30 billion downloads. However, Apple’s App Store is still behind Google’s Play Store which passed the one million mark in July this year, the report added.

For the third month in a row, more Americans visited Yahoo’s websites than Google’s, according to comScore Inc.’s Internet traffic data for September.

The research firm said Monday that Yahoo Inc.’s websites had 197.8 million unique US visitors last month, while Google’s had 191.4 million. Yahoo was ahead of Google in July and August, too. The last time that Yahoo was ahead of Google before that was in May 2011.

That said, Yahoo is still far behind Google in making moneythe people who visit its websites. Research firm eMarketer estimates that Google will generate $38.83 billion in worldwide digital ad revenue this year, more than any other company. Facebook Inc. is at No. 2 with an estimated $5.89 billion, while Yahoo is No. 3 with $3.63 billion expected.

BlackBerry’s BBM messenger service keeps chugging along.

The company said that BBM has racked up more than 10 million downloads in its first 24 hours.

“I’ve seen reports of apps that launched with 1 million downloads in a day, but over 10 million? Amazing,” BlackBerry executive Andrew Bocking said on the company’s blog.

BBM actually garnered 5 million downloads in its first 8 hours. The app has since zoomed to the top on Apple’s App Store, garnering mostly positive ratings.

BBM hasn’t yet shown up on Google Play, but that could be because Google doesn’t update the list as frequently. Bocking noted there have been 60,000 five-star reviews out of 87,000 total reviews.There was significant demand for the iOS and Android version of BBM, with 6 million registering ahead of time to get information on the app. There was so much interest that BlackBerry had to institute a wait list for people who hadn’t registered ahead of time.

The nostalgic review of my piece had me thinking about what factors we need to consider for successful SEO as online marketers in 2014.

Social, Local & Mobile

We’ve spent the last handful of years practicing and preaching the importance of being in social, mobile, and local. This mindset was proactive. It allowed us to not solely focus on keywords and search results, but how these elements were going to change the search results our users saw as well as our user’s experience.

While we walked down this road, at first it felt as if we were making strides to build silos of these efforts. Soon we saw the convergence of local and social sites molding into Google local results (e.g., Yelp reviews in Google local listings). We’ve also seen the fast paced growth of mobile and how localization of results has brought a more relevant delivery of results in this arena.

Search in 2013

This year has brought upon a lot for us to understand as marketers. As we close out 2013 algorithmic intelligence is changing faster than ever, at least in my opinion.

The buzz of 2013 and even more so the last few months has been upon the advancements of the Knowledge Graph, Local Carousel, Google Now, Hummingbird, and the great secure search/”(not provided)” change.

That’s not even to mention Penguin and Panda, but those changes are more about what you may have done wrong in the past. We’re here to talk about the future.

The Future of SEO

While the “(not provided)” announcement was a smack in the face to SEO professionals, hopefully it has helped you to realize that our intentions shouldn’t be so focused so solely or intently on ranking a keyword in search results.

After watching what Google has been doing over the last year or so, where do keywords tie into the above-mentioned rollout features? They each in some way or another tie into local, mobile, or social.

  • Will keywords help you with the Local Carousel? No, proximity and review generation will.
  • How will Google Now propel your keyword strategy? It won’t, but social efforts will.
  • Do you think that Google will give you a Knowledge Graph box for a keyword and link to your site? If so, you’re dreaming.

Add in the Hummingbird update, and all of these changes tell us that Google is moving closer to bringing everything together through the tie-ins of localization and semantic improvements for conversational search, which is popular on mobile.

SEO Isn’t Dead, It’s Converging

SEO at its core will never be dead. All of the on-site needs of yesteryear will remain important in 2014. All of the newer processes of creating informational, enticing, and insightful content for link building and social digestion are still the hot topic now and will be heading into the future.

My point is that we need to watch the converging of our old silos into the new SERP display. SEO has taken on a converging role with other mediums which impact SERP display.

source: searchenginewatch.com

2014 Will Still be Big for SEO

Sites must be crawled efficiently, content must be targeted, and yes we still want to rank where desired. The focus as we move down the road is more so on what vehicles we use off-site to help drive traffic to our sites.

How we use the previous discussed pillars alongside their continual convergence by Google will determine how successful your online marketing strategy will become.

Quick takeaways:

  • Don’t build a local listing. Allow your audience to help you build a local presence.
  • Don’t build a brand. Build a community, a socialized brand, one that can keep your audience in tune with you in real-time.
  • Don’t just optimize a site. Optimize an experience for those that are mobile and content hungry.