Tag Archive | "Eats"

Virtual Restaurants Helping Power Uber Eats Growth

“Virtual restaurants is a very interesting initiative,” says Uber Eats EMEA head Rodrigo Arevalo. “Basically by leveraging the data on our platform, we can partner with other restaurants in order to cuisine types that only exist on food delivery platforms. If there is not a restaurant in a certain neighborhood we will partner with restaurants to make that happen. In the UK we are already doing 200 virtual restaurants and we are expanding throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.”

Rodrigo Arevalo, head of EMEA at Uber Eats, discusses how virtual restaurants are helping power Uber Eats Growth in an interview on Bloomberg:

Virtual Restaurants Helping Power Uber Eats Growth

Virtual restaurants is a very interesting initiative. Basically, by leveraging the data on our platform we can partner with other restaurants in order to cuisine types that only exist on food delivery platforms. That has two benefits. The first one is that it helps restaurants utilize their kitchens a lot more. The second one is that it increases their revenue on their top line. It’s a very interesting initiative to provide more choice and to increase business for restaurants. 

If there is not a restaurant in a certain neighborhood we will partner with restaurants to make that happen. In the UK we are already doing 200 virtual restaurants and we are expanding throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It’s a type of local exercise that we are trying to tack on. It’s going really well and we’re excited about that.

Uber East Demonstrates the Potential of Uber’s Logistics Platform

Uber Eats fits into Uber’s overall strategy and portfolio in the way that it demonstrates the potential of Uber’s logistics platform. Just in three and a half years, we’ve been able to build a multi-billion dollar business and today we are already the biggest food delivery app outside of China. It’s all about the logistics network that we have built and how we can leverage the potential of that platform. 

It’s about focus for us. We want to make sure that we deliver on the plan, deliver on the vision that (Uber CEO) Dara Khosrowshahi has set for the company. Focus is basically three pillars for Uber Eats. The first one is restaurant selection, providing consumers choice. The second one is customer experience for eaters, for restaurants, and for delivery partners. The third one is underpinning that with great technology and a great product that people would love to use every single day. 

Uber Eats Partners With 220,000 Restaurants Globally

We partner today with 220,000 restaurants globally and there is a vast variety of selection from every kind of meal that you would like; comfort food to the healthiest options such as vegan, salads, etc. We believe selection. We believe in consumer choice. We want to make sure that we provide all of those options to them. We very much focus on providing that information, providing those options, and making sure that consumers make an informed choice.

When it comes to packaging we already partner with several companies that provide sustainable packaging. Given our platform, particularly in the UK, we already look for ways to facilitate sustainable packaging for restaurant partners, making sure we do our part in that sense.

Virtual Restaurants Helping Power Uber Eats Growth – Uber Eats EMEA head Rodrigo Arevalo

The post Virtual Restaurants Helping Power Uber Eats Growth appeared first on WebProNews.


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Knowledge Graph Eats Featured Snippets, Jumps +30%

Posted by Dr-Pete

Over the past two years, we’ve seen a steady and substantial increase in Featured Snippets on Google SERPs. In our 10,000-keyword daily tracking set, Featured Snippets have gone from about 5.5% of queries in November 2015 to a recent high of just over 16% (roughly tripling). Other data sets, with longer tail searches, have shown even higher prevalence.

Near the end of October (far-right of the graph), we saw our first significant dip (spotted by Brian Patterson on SEL). This dip occurred over about a 4-day period, and represents roughly a 10% drop in searches with Featured Snippets. Here’s an enhanced, 2-week view (note: Y-axis is expanded to show the day-over-day changes more clearly):

Given the up-and-to-the-right history of Featured Snippets and the investments people have been making optimizing for these results, a 10% drop is worthy of our attention.

What happened, exactly?

To be honest, when we investigate changes like this, the best we can usually do is produce a list of keywords that lost Featured Snippets. Usually, we focus on high-volume keywords, which tend to be more interesting. Here’s a list of keywords that lost Featured Snippets during that time period:

  • CRM
  • ERP
  • MBA
  • buddhism
  • web design
  • anger management
  • hosting
  • DSL
  • ActiveX
  • ovulation

From an explanatory standpoint, this list isn’t usually very helpful – what exactly do “web design”, “buddhism”, and “ovulation” have in common (please, don’t answer that)? In this case, though, there was a clear and interesting pattern. Almost all of the queries that lost Featured Snippets gained Knowledge Panels that look something like this one:

These new panels account for the vast majority of the lost Featured Snippets I’ve spot-checked, and all of them are general Knowledge Panels coming directly from Wikipedia. In some cases, Google is using a more generic Knowledge Graph entry. For example, “HDMI cables”, which used to show a Featured Snippet (dominated by Amazon, last I checked), now shows no snippet and a generic panel for “HDMI”:

In very rare cases, a SERP added the new Knowledge Panel but retained the Featured Snippet, such as the top of this search for “credit score”:

These situations seemed to be the exceptions to the rule.

What about other SERPs?

The SERPs that lost Featured Snippets were only one part of this story. Over the same time period, we saw an explosion (about +30%) in Knowledge Panels:

This Y-axis has not been magnified – the jump in Knowledge Panels is clearly visible even at normal scale. Other tracking sites saw similar, dramatic increases, including this data from RankRanger. This jump appears to be a similar type of descriptive panel, ranging from commercial keywords, like “wedding dresses” and “Halloween costumes”…

…to brand keywords, like “Ray-Ban”…

Unlike definition boxes, many of these new panels appear on words and phrases that appear to be common knowledge and add little value. Here’s a panel on “job search”…

I suspect that most people searching for “job search” or “job hunting” don’t need it defined. Likewise, people searching for “travel” probably weren’t confused about what travel actually is…

Thanks for clearing that up, Google. I’ve decided to spare you all and leave out a screenshot for “toilet” (go ahead and Google it). Almost all of these new panels appear to be driven by Wikipedia (or Wikidata), and most of them are single-paragraph definitions of terms.

Were there other changes?

During the exact same period, we also noticed a drop in SERPs with inline image results. Here’s a graph of the same 2-week period reported for the other features:

This drop almost exactly mirrors the increase in Knowledge Panels. In cases where the new panels were added, those panels almost always contain a block of images at the top. This block seems to have replaced inline image results. It’s interesting to note that, because image blocks in the left-hand column consume an organic position, this change freed up an organic spot on the first page of results for those terms.

Why did Google do this?

It’s likely that Google is trying to standardize answers for common terms, and perhaps they were seeing quality or consistency issues in Featured Snippets. In some cases, like “HDMI cables”, Featured Snippets were often coming from top e-commerce sites, which are trying to sell products. These aren’t always a good fit for unbiased definitions. Its also likely that Google would like to beef up the Knowledge Graph and rely less, where possible, on outside sites for answers.

Unfortunately, this also means that the answers are coming from a much less diverse pool (and, from what we’ve seen, almost entirely from Wikipedia), and it reduces the organic opportunity for sites that were previously ranking for or trying to compete for Featured Snippets. In many cases, these new panels also seem to add very little. Someone searching for “ERP” might be helped by a brief definition, but someone searching for “travel” is unlikely looking to have it explained to them.

As always, there’s not much we can do but monitor the situation and adapt. Featured Snippets are still at historically high levels and represent a legitimate organic opportunity. There’s also win-win, since efforts invested in winning Featured Snippets tend to improve organic ranking and, done right, can produce a better user experience for both search and website visitors.

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Google Eats Their Organic Search Results

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

Any Google search engineer care to have a public debate as to the legitimacy of this search result set?

Not only do they monetize via AdWords, but Google has 6 listings in the “organic” search results.

If an SEO gets half of the search results (for anything other than his own brand) he is an overt spammer. If Google eats half of the search results with duplicating nepotism across their own house “brands” then it is legitimate.

Making the above even worse, smaller niche brands are regularly disappeared from Google’s index. Google has the ability to redirect search intent to one that is easier to monetize & more along a path they approve of. I was searching for a post John Andrews (webmaster of johnon.com) wrote about Google censorship & what did Google do? They used their power over the dictionary to change the words I searched for on the fly & then promoted their ebooks offering yet again.

Note that listings 1 & 2 promote the exact same book. Google just lists the content they scraped into multiple categories that deserve to be showcased multiple times. How many ways did Google screw up the above search result?

  • they auto-corrected the search query to an unwanted alternate search
  • in spite of auto-correction, they still allowed their other verticals to be inserted in the results inline right near the top (when rare longtail searches are auto-corrected, one would expect them to be more adverse to embedding such an aggressive self-promotion in the search results)
  • they associate content hosted by them as being about their brand simply because they host it (even though that piece of content has no relation to them outside of them scraping it)
  • they list it not once but twice, right at the top of the results (even though it is duplicate content available elsewhere & both pages are the same on Google, with the exception of one promoting a recent version of the book & the other page promoting a decade older version of the exact same book)

As a publisher you are *required* to keep spending more money on deeper editorial to avoid being labeled as spam or tripping some arbitrary “algorithmic” threshold. And as you do so, Google is humping you from the backside to ensure your profit margins stay low, scraping whatever they can within the limits of the law & operating the types of websites that would be considered spam if anyone else ran them. Once regulatory pressures or public opinion catch on to Google’s parasitic behavior, they buy a brand & leverage its content to legitimize their (often) illegitimate enterprise. :)

Oh, and how about a quote from the Censored Screams book: “censorship, like charity, should begin at home, but, unlike charity, it should end there.‎”

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