If you really have to send that canned email…

I know that you are busy.

We are ALL BUSY.

But I thought you should know there’s another human on the other end of line.

If you really have to send that canned email…

  • Can you please address my name?
  • Can you please edit your font style so it’s easier to read?
  • Can you please keep it short so I can know what you want in just one quick glance?

That’s the least respect you can give to my inbox space.

And the least you can do as an “outreach specialist” or “IT manager” or “professional blogger”.

20 Years of Google Search and Beyond

Can you believe it? Google is no longer a teenager. The big brother has turned 20 years old in 2018.

Here’s an interesting article, written by Google Search VP Ben Gomes, in conjunction to the company anniversary: Improving search for the next 20 years.

For the next 20 years, Google wants to shift (to quote)…

  1. From answers to journeys,
  2. From queries to providing a queryless way to get to information, and
  3. From text to a more visual way of finding information.

All these sounds great. But… do read between the lines.

Every time Google says “First and foremost, we focus on the user….”, I get the feeling that something against the users’ interests is happening.

Be reminded that Google has been showing more and bigger ads in their search result pages repeatedly over the years. Read here, here, and here.

While Google is certainly serious about improving its users experience in overall. I suppose the shift in next 20 years also meant Google will

  1. Track users closer and collect even more data to improve product stickiness,
  2. Inject more suggestions in SERP (we have already seen a 35% surge in “people also ask” in July 2018) to better understand searchers’ intent; and then pushing more ads and product recommendations in the name of “improving user’s Google experience”, and
  3. Provide better Google image and video search suggestions (probably allow users to preview the videos on site?) to increase users time spent on Google.

Does that red ball in the movie Minority Report comes into mind?

 

Good Reads on Facebook Data “Leak” and “Hacks”

First of all Facebook is not hacked.

Nor there’s a data leaked.

The whole huh-ha about Cambridge Analytica, FB users’ privacy crisis, and Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress on main stream media is entertaining. Watching Mark’s responses to some of the questions remind me (a lot) of the movie “The Social Network”.

Many of these questions and writings are focusing on the shallows or issues that don’t matter.

When you are ready to dive deeper, I suggest reading:

How long can we survive Google domination?

If you wish to know how hard it is to please the almighty Google today, this is a good read.

In the name of “better user experience”, Google has been constantly exploiting small online businesses and pushing content publishers away.

Image credit: Dr. Peter J. Meyers

Knowledge graph. Live results. Snippet answers. Local Google results. Featured videos. Flight schedules.

Every new features being introduced in Google Search draws more internal links back to Google’s assets.

Good content, built with sweat and blood, by smaller publishers are being scrapped by force.

Many of us are creating more (and better) content to temporary solve the issue. But in the long run, there’s no escape from this downward spiral to 0% margin.

It takes good talent and lots of money to create good content.

Yes Google doesn’t owe us a living.

But quoting Dr. Peter J. Meyers  –

…the time has come for Google to stop and think about the pact that built their nearly hundred-billion-dollar ad empire.

After all – what’s there to search after all independent publishers are driven out of business?

Shareaholic Traffic Report (2017)

Recent Shareaholic traffic report indicates that web traffic pattern is shifting from social to search in 2017. Pinterest, Google, and Instagram came out as the big winners as Facebook share of visits dropped ~8% in 2017. Social network, in a whole, is no longer the biggest traffic driver for the 250,000+ sites (this blog included) using Shareaholic app. Instead, search is.

Search finally had a comeback year and overtook Social as the top traffic driver within our network.

Search surpassed social media networks as the biggest traffic driver in 2017.
Facebook visits dropped a massive 12.7% between the second half of 2016 and the second half of 2017.

Bitcoin is the very definition of bubble… yes?

I am no Bitcoin expert. I read the papers on how it works (years ago) and some news from media outlets I trust (definitely not Bloomberg and CNN). And that’s about it. I do not mine. I do not trade. I have yet to done my first Bitcoin transaction.

The idea of having a non-centralized, unregulated currency fascinates me.

Large banks, developed countries, and wolves from Wall Streets (Goldman Sachs might set a new stage for Bitcoin exchange) might not love it because that means end of world control and currency exploitation over smaller developing countries.

Bitcoin is unlike anything else in the past because:

Where there’s risk there’s opportunities?

The dramatic fluctuation of the crypto currency has defies the original purpose of the invention.

Would you spend your coin today if its value might surge 20 or 30% next month?

How would you feel, if you bought a car with 2 Bitcoins earlier this year and found out that the same amount of coins could buy you five or six car (the very same model!) today ?

So is Bitcoin the very definition of a bubble?

I don’t know.

Enlighten me please.