Tag Archive | "core"

Alphabet Chairman: Anybody Who Does Business in China Compromises Some of Their Core Values

Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy says that anybody who does business in China compromises some of their core values. Alphabet, of course, is the parent company of Google and reportedly Google is considering re-entering the search business in China. Hennessy said that Google is struggling with whether it is better to give Chinese citizens a decent search engine even if it is restricted and censored. 

John Hennessy, Chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, discussed Google’s struggle and internal debate on whether to provide a censored search engine in China during a live audience interview on Bloomberg.

Anybody Who Does Business in China Compromises Core Values

“Anybody who does business in China compromises some of their core values,” says Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy in a live audience interview on Bloomberg. Alphabet is the parent company of Google. “Every single company because the laws in China are quite a bit different than they are in our own country. The question that comes to my mind and that I struggle with is are we better off giving Chinese citizens a decent search engine, a capable search engine, even if it is restricted and censored in some cases than a search engine that’s not very good? Does that improve the quality of their lives? That’s the struggle that we have to work our way through.”

“I think it is a legitimate question in asking how can you do it and still live within the context of what their regulations are,” Hennessy said in response to whether Google can do more good by being in China. “Part of what is reflected inside Google as it is everywhere in the Valley and everywhere in our country right now is the divisiveness that exists. I think that divisiveness has fed more concern in how these technologies get used.”

We Are in a Different Time Now

“If you wind back to the time that Google decided to exit China there were lots of things going on, not just censorship but also surveillance, hacking attempts, things like that,” noted Hennessy. “Those all added together to create a situation. We are in a different time now. Asking how you do this, how you make it safe, but if you store data in the country it can be gotten at by the Chinese authorities. I think you should worry about that and as a minimum, you should make sure that your users understand that.”

Hennessy is not a fan of the current trade wars. “I think in general that trade wars are not productive and they’re not economically productive either. We should try to remind people of that and try to find a way to move forward.”

Google Pulled Out of China in 2010

In 2010 Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, announced that Google would no longer continue censoring their results on Google.cn which quickly led to a complete Google block by the Chinese government:

On January 12, 2010, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

In terms of Google’s wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

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Google’s August 1st Core Update: Week 1

Posted by Dr-Pete

On August 1, Google (via Danny Sullivan’s @searchliaison account) announced that they released a “broad core algorithm update.” Algorithm trackers and webmaster chatter confirmed multiple days of heavy ranking flux, including our own MozCast system:

Temperatures peaked on August 1-2 (both around 114°F), with a 4-day period of sustained rankings flux (purple bars are all over 100°F). While this has settled somewhat, yesterday’s data suggests that we may not be done.

August 2nd set a 2018 record for MozCast at 114.4°F. Keep in mind that, while MozCast was originally tuned to an average temperature of 70°F, 2017-2018 average temperatures have been much higher (closer to 90° in 2018).

Temperatures by Vertical

There’s been speculation that this algo update targeted so called YMYL queries (Your Money or Your Life) and disproportionately impacted health and wellness sites. MozCast is broken up into 20 keyword categories (roughly corresponding to Google Ads categories). Here are the August 2nd temperatures by category:

At first glance, the “Health” category does appear to be the most impacted. Keywords in that category had a daily average temperature of 124°F. Note, though, that all categories showed temperatures over 100°F on August 1st – this isn’t a situation where one category was blasted and the rest were left untouched. It’s also important to note that this pattern shifted during the other three days of heavy flux, with other categories showing higher average temperatures. The multi-day update impacted a wide range of verticals.

Top 30 winners

So, who were the big winners (so far) of this update? I always hesitate to do a winners/losers analysis – while useful, especially for spotting patterns, there are plenty of pitfalls. First and foremost, a site can gain or lose SERP share for many reasons that have nothing to do with algorithm updates. Second, any winners/losers analysis is only a snapshot in time (and often just one day).

Since we know that this update spanned multiple days, I’ve decided to look at the percentage increase (or decrease) in SERP share between July 31st and August 7th. In this analysis, “Share” is a raw percentage of page-1 rankings in the MozCast 10K data set. I’ve limited this analysis to only sites that had at least 25 rankings across our data set on July 31 (below that the data gets very noisy). Here are the top 30…

The first column is the percentage increase across the 7 days. The final column is the overall share – this is very low for all but mega-sites (Wikipedia hovers in the colossal 5% range).

Before you over-analyze, note the second column – this is the percent change from the highest July SERP share for that site. What the 7-day share doesn’t tell us is whether the site is naturally volatile. Look at Time.com (#27) for a stark example. Time Magazine saw a +19.5% lift over the 7 days, which sounds great, except that they landed on a final share that was down 54.4% from their highest point in July. As a news site, Time’s rankings are naturally volatile, and it’s unclear whether this has much to do with the algorithm update.

Similarly, LinkedIn, AMC Theaters, OpenTable, World Market, MapQuest, and RE/MAX all show highs in July that were near or above their August 7th peaks. Take their gains with a grain of salt.

Top 30 losers

We can run the same analysis for the sites that lost the most ground. In this case, the “Max %” is calculated against the July low. Again, we want to be mindful of any site where the 7-day drop looks a lot different than the drop from that site’s July low-point…

Comparing the first two columns, Verywell Health immediately stands out. While the site ended the 7-day period down 52.3%, it was up just over 200% from July lows. It turns out that this site was sitting very low during the first week of July and then saw a jump in SERP share. Interestingly, Verywell Family and Verywell Fit also appear on our top 30 losers list, suggesting that there’s a deeper story here.

Anecdotally, it’s easy to spot a pattern of health and wellness sites in this list, including big players like Prevention and LIVESTRONG. Whether this list represents the entire world of sites hit by the algorithm update is impossible to say, but our data certainly seems to echo what others are seeing.

Are you what you E-A-T?

There’s been some speculation that this update is connected to Google’s recent changes to their Quality Rater Guidelines. While it’s very unlikely that manual ratings based on the new guidelines would drive major ranking shifts (especially so quickly), it’s entirely plausible that the guideline updates and this algorithm update share a common philosophical view of quality and Google’s latest thinking on the subject.

Marie Haynes’ post theorizing the YMYL connection also raises the idea that Google may be looking more closely at E-A-T signals (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust). While certainly an interesting theory, I can’t adequately address that question with this data set. Declines in sites like Fortune, IGN and Android Central pose some interesting questions about authoritativeness and trust outside of the health and wellness vertical, but I hesitate to speculate based only on a handful of outliers.

If your site has been impacted in a material way (including significant traffic gains or drops), I’d love to hear more details in the comments section. If you’ve taken losses, try to isolate whether those losses are tied to specific keywords, keyword groups, or pages/content. For now, I’d advise that this update could still be rolling out or being tweaked, and we all need to keep our eyes open.

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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Core Update Confirmed, New Search Snippets, Bing API & More SEO

This week in our weekly recap, we had a very big Google update that Google ended up confirming as a broad core update. Google said there is nothing to fix or specific here to do and I go through what is going on with that messaging.


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5 Ways to Establish Core Brand Values

Your brand is more than just your company or product name. It’s one of the best ways of setting yourself apart from your competitors. Unfortunately, many business owners are confused as to what “branding” really means and how it affects their company.

In a nutshell, your brand value reflects the values your company holds. It embodies your company’s history, vision, and mission. It also stands as your promise to your client with regards to what they can expect from the products and services you offer.

Consider brands like Nike and Apple. These two companies success can be attributed to how well their brands reflected their core values. Nike’s logo and “Just Do It” tagline resonates not just with athletes but people who are looking to channel their drive to succeed. Meanwhile, Apple’s “Think Different” slogan makes it clear to everyone that the company is all about developing the best and most innovative products that are within everyone’s reach.

Defining your brand and the core values it embodies is challenging as it entails time, patience and a little bit of self-discovery. Here are five ways to establish your business’ core brand values:

1. Pick Values That Resonate With Your Business

Discovering your company’s core brand values is a challenging process. One way to go about this is to make a list ofSwan, Towel, Flower, Holiday, Hotel, Bed, Djerba traits that are important to you. But this should go beyond listing down nice sounding adjectives like “trusted” or “reliable.” You have to dig deeper and look beyond your idealized vision of a perfect company.

You can utilize your own negative experiences with other brands. For example, your stay at a glamorous B&B with perfect amenities might have left you feeling disconnected by its cold and snobbish staff. So instead of focusing on “great amenities,” make your mark by offering services that will make your “customers feel welcomed” and loved. And once you’ve chosen values that truly resonate with you, start focusing your energies on that.

2. Be the Best Representative of Your Values

What do your customers say about your brand? Are they impressed with your customer service or with the low price? Find out what traits your customers already associate with your brand and build on that.

Let’s say your customers love the effort you make in answering their queries, then you can make “going the extra mile to answer your questions and meet your needs” as your core value. And since you’re already known for it, make sure you keep representing your core values through advertisements and innovations.

3. Understand Who Your Competitors and Customers Are

You should also consider what your customer needs and expects from your brand while also taking into account what solutions are already being offered by your competitors. Analyzing what your rival is offering can reveal a gap that you can fill, or it can give you ideas on how you can offer a different solution that will better reflect your values.

4. Create Ways to Showcase Your Brand

Image result for taste happiness coke

Once you have established your core values, you have to think about how you can simplify them down to a few key words that will act as a reminder for your business team. Think Coke’s “Taste Happiness” or Nike’s “Just Do It” slogans. This will also help your employees understand and live your values.

Having clearly defined core values will also make it easier for your company to showcase your brand. Aside from your logo, tagline or slogan, there are also other methods you can use to push your brand, like creating your voice or using a unique color scheme.

5. Develop Relationships That Embody Your Values

You can also strengthen your core brand values by using it when building business relationships. Refer to these values in your recruitment and marketing and sales strategies. Hire people who believe in the same values and who are willing to share and spread these ideals.

It’s essential that you establish your core brand values from the start. These will act as the building blocks of your business and will attract consumers who believe in the same values.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Core Algorithm Update, Autocomplete Changes, Negative SEO, Hijacks & One Line AdWords

This week in search, we got confirmation about the large Google update from Google as being a broad core update. It started a week ago Monday and seems to have gone on for ten or more days…


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Google: Focused Search Updates Daily & Core Updates Every Other Month

When Google confirmed the Google update from the weekend, Danny Sullivan explained that it was a “core update” that happens only several times per year…


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Google AMP In Core Mobile Results Fully Live?

In early August we reported Google is bringing AMP pages to the core mobile search results. Google never told us when this would happen exactly but it seems to have gone live today/tonight.

Many folks are now seeing it for ordinary searches in Google while on their mobile devices…


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Matt Cutts: Google Core Updates Were So Drastic Due To End Of Year Code Freeze

Matt Cutts of Google who is still on leave as far as we know, was on TWIG #336 and he spent about 15 minutes going through the core updates, Penguin…


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Inge Lehmann Google Logo Marks 127th Birthday Of Woman Who Discovered Earth’s Inner Core

She was the first woman to receive a William Bowie medal – the highest honor awarded by the American Geophysical Union.

The post Inge Lehmann Google Logo Marks 127th Birthday Of Woman Who Discovered Earth’s Inner Core appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Depression, Suicide at Core of Mariel Hemingway’s Young-Adult Book

Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of famous novelist Ernest Hemingway. While Ernest Hemingway is known for his wonderful writing, he is also known for how he left this world: he put a double-barreled shotgun to his own head.

In fact, Mariel Hemingway has seen troubled lives throughout her family. Her own sister, Margaux, also took her own life. Mental illness, depression and other factors have colored the Hemingway legacy for generations.

Now Mariel Hemingway is talking about it. She has penned two books on the subjects of depression, mental illness, and suicide. One is a young-adult version called Invisible Girl.

Her publisher says:

Born just a few months after her grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, shot himself, it was Mariel’s mission as a girl to escape the desperate cycles of severe mental health issues that had plagued generations of her family. Surrounded by a family tortured by alcoholism (both parents), depression (her sister Margaux), suicide (her grandfather and four other members of her family), schizophrenia (her sister Muffet), and cancer (mother), it was all the young Mariel could do to keep her head… Young readers who are sharing a similar painful childhood will see their lives and questions reflected on the pages of her diary—and they may even be inspired to start their own diary to channel their pain. Her voice will speak directly to teens across the world and tell them there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Mariel Hemingway says that she feels a unique opportunity to talk about these issues of depression and suicide.

“I am a Hemingway, and to me, that means that I have a ticket to understanding a world of darkness, of courage, of sadness, of excitement, and — at times — of complete lunacy. And yet, other people with other names feel these things too. It may just be that they don’t have an American myth to which they can connect themselves.”

When asked why she did a young-adult version of this book about depression and suicide, Mariel Hemingway said:

“Because that’s (the age) when I was the most scared. Also when I was the most confused. A lot of kids don’t know that there’s somebody out there that gets it. You don’t know it’s not normal. I thought that when parents fought and there was broken glass and blood on the wall, that you cleaned it up because this was your job.”


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