Tag Archive | "Gray"

A Darker Shade of Gray

Google’s original breakthrough in search was placing weight on links & using them to approximate the behavior of web users.

The abstract of
The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web reads

The importance of a Web page is an inherently subjective matter, which depends on the readers interests, knowledge and attitudes. But there is still much that can be said objectively about the relative importance of Web pages. This paper describes PageRank, a method for rating Web pages objectively and mechanically, effectively measuring the human interest and attention devoted to them. We compare PageRank to an idealized random Web surfer. We show how to efficiently compute PageRank for large numbers of pages. And, we show how to apply PageRank to search and to user navigation.

Back when I got started in the search game if you wanted to rank better you simply threw more links at whatever you wanted to rank & used the anchor text you wanted to rank for. A friend (who will remain nameless here!) used to rank websites for one-word search queries in major industries without even looking at them. :D

Suffice it to say, as more people read about PageRank & learned the influence of anchor text, Google had to advance their algorithms in order to counteract efforts to manipulate them.

Over the years as Google has grown more dominant they have been able to create many other signals. Some signals might be easy to understand & explain, while signals that approximate abstract concepts (like brand) might be a bit more convoluted to understand or attempt to explain.

Google owns the most widely used web browser (Chrome) & the most popular mobile operating system (Android). Owning those gives Google unique insights to where they do not need to place as much weight on a links-driven approximation of a random web user. They can see what users actually do & model their algorithms based on that.

Google considers the user experience an important part of their ranking algorithms. That was a big part of the heavy push for making mobile responsive web designs.

On your money or your life topics Google considers the experience so important they have an acronym covering the categories (YMYL) and place greater emphasis on the reliability of the user experience.

Nobody wants to die from a junk piece of medical advice or a matching service which invites predators into their homes.

The Wall Street Journal publishes original reporting which is so influential they almost act as the missing regulator in many instances.

Last Friday the WSJ covered the business practices of Care.com, a company which counts Alphabet’s Capital G as its biggest shareholder.

Behind Care.com’s appeal is a pledge to “help families make informed hiring decisions” about caregivers, as it has said on its website. Still, Care.com largely leaves it to families to figure out whether the caregivers it lists are trustworthy. … In about 9 instances over the past six years, caregivers in the U.S. who had police records were listed on Care.com and later were accused of committing crimes while caring for customers’ children or elderly relatives … Alleged crimes included theft, child abuse, sexual assault and murder. The Journal also found hundreds of instances in which day-care centers listed on Care.com as state-licensed didn’t appear to be. … Care.com states on listings that it doesn’t verify licenses, in small gray type at the bottom … A spokeswoman said that Care.com, like other companies, adds listings found in “publicly available data,” and that most day-care centers on its site didn’t pay for their listings. She said in the next few years Care.com will begin a program in which it vets day-care centers.

By Monday Care.com’s stock was sliding, which led to prompt corrective actions:

Previously the company warned users in small grey type at the bottom of a day-care center listing that it didn’t verify credentials or licensing information. Care.com said Monday it “has made more prominent” that notice.

To this day, Care.com’s homepage states…

“Care.com does not employ any care provider or care seeker nor is it responsible for the conduct of any care provider or care seeker. … The information contained in member profiles, job posts and applications are supplied by care providers and care seekers themselves and is not information generated or verified by Care.com.”

…in an ever so slightly darker shade of gray.

So far it appears to have worked for them.

What’s your favorite color?

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From Podcast Host to Full-Blown Personal Brand Entrepreneur, with Colin Gray

colin-gray

The Podcast Host, Colin Gray, joins the show as he shares how he’s developed his podcast into a long-standing business based around his personal brand.

Chris and Colin also talk about the CEO mindset, marketing strategies for your podcast, and what he has planned for The Podcast Host in the future.

On this episode of Youpreneur FM, we shine the spotlight once again on the topic of podcasting, specifically on how to build, monetize, and grow your personal brand around one.

Here to shed some light on this as well as share his own experiences is The Podcast Host and Youpreneur Member, Colin Gray, who joins the show as we chat about transitioning from podcasting into a wider content plan, the CEO mindset, and using live events as a flagship for your personal brand.

We also go into how we work our podcasts into our marketing strategies, the major factors Colin considered when developing his personal brand, and what he has in store for The Podcast Host.

You’ll also get to hear our content repurposing strategies and how to make the most of them. Get ready and tune in for that plus so much more on today’s episode!

In this 47-minute episode, Colin and I discuss:

  • How to get the most out of your podcast episodes in your marketing strategies
  • What are the benefits of keeping it simple when it comes to the tech aspect of podcasting
  • How gaining funding helped Colin develop skills to grow his business
  • Colin talks about creating seasons around a podcast show to refine your podcast content

Subscribe in iTunes to Listen


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The post From Podcast Host to Full-Blown Personal Brand Entrepreneur, with Colin Gray appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Jordan Gray: How This Writer Turned His Passion For Relationships Into A $100,000+ A Year Online Blogging Business, Selling Digital Courses And Books On Amazon 

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] You’re going to be amazed as you listen to this interview with Jordan Gray, to hear how technically un-savvy he was, yet built a fantastic online business despite the technological handicap. Jordan is a relationships coach. He…

The post Jordan Gray: How This Writer Turned His Passion For Relationships Into A $ 100,000+ A Year Online Blogging Business, Selling Digital Courses And Books On Amazon  appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Jordan Gray: How This Writer Turned His Passion For Relationships Into A $100,000+ A Year Online Blogging Business, Selling Digital Courses And Books On Amazon 

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] You’re going to be amazed as you listen to this interview with Jordan Gray, to hear how technically un-savvy he was, yet built a fantastic online business despite the technological handicap. Jordan is a relationships coach. He…

The post Jordan Gray: How This Writer Turned His Passion For Relationships Into A $ 100,000+ A Year Online Blogging Business, Selling Digital Courses And Books On Amazon  appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Gray Hat Search Engineering

Almost anyone in internet marketing who has spent a couple months in the game has seen some “shocking” case study where changing the color of a button increased sales 183% or such. In many cases such changes only happen when the original site had not had any focus on conversion at all.

Google, on the other hand, has billions of daily searches and is constantly testing ways to increase yield:

The company was considering adding another sponsored link to its search results, and they were going to do a 30-day A/B test to see what the resulting change would be. As it turns out, the change brought massive returns. Advertising revenues from those users who saw more ads doubled in the first 30 days.

By the end of the second month, 80 percent of the people in the cohort that was being served an extra ad had started using search engines other than Google as their primary search engine.

One of the reasons traditional media outlets struggle with the web is the perception that ads and content must be separated. When they had regional monopolies they could make large demands to advertisers – sort of like how Google may increase branded CPCs on AdWords by 500% if you add sitelinks. You not only pay more for clicks that you were getting for free, but you also pay more for the other paid clicks you were getting cheaper in the past.

That’s how monopolies work – according to Eric Schmidt they are immune from market forces.

Search itself is the original “native ad.” The blend confuses many searchers as the background colors fade into white.

Google tests colors & can control the flow of traffic based not only on result displacement, but also the link colors.

It was reported last month that Google tested adding ads to the knowledge graph. The advertisement link is blue, while the ad disclosure is to the far right out of view & gray.

I was searching for a video game yesterday & noticed that now the entire Knowledge Graph unit itself is becoming an ad unit. Once again, gray disclosure & blue ad links.

Where Google gets paid for the link, the link is blue.

Where Google scrapes third party content & shows excerpts, the link is gray.

The primary goal of such a knowledge block is result displacement – shifting more clicks to the ads and away from the organic results.

When those blocks appear in the search results, even when Google manages to rank the Mayo Clinic highly, it’s below the fold.

What’s so bad about this practice in health

  • Context Matters: Many issues have overlapping symptoms where a quick glance at a few out-of-context symptoms causes a person to misdiagnose themselves. Flu-like symptoms from a few months ago turned out to be indication of a kidney stone. That level of nuance will *never* be in the knowledge graph. Google’s remote rater documents discuss your money your life (YMYL) topics & talk up the importance of knowing who exactly is behind content, but when they use gray font on the source link for their scrape job they are doing just the opposite.
  • Hidden Costs: Many of the heavily advertised solutions appearing above the knowledge graph have hidden costs yet to be discovered. You can’t find a pharmaceutical company worth $ 10s of billions that hasn’t plead guilty to numerous felonies associated with deceptive marketing and/or massaging research.
  • Artificially Driving Up Prices: in-patent drugs often cost 100x as much as the associated generic drugs & thus the affordable solutions are priced out of the ad auctions where the price for a click can vastly exceed than the profit from selling a generic prescription drug.

Where’s the business model for publishers when they have real editorial cost & must fact check and regularly update their content, their content is good enough to be featured front & center on Google, but attribution is nearly invisible (and thus traffic flow is cut off)? As the knowledge graph expands, what does that publishing business model look like in the future?

Does the knowledge graph eventually contain sponsored self-assessment medical quizzes? How far does this cancer spread?

Where do you place your chips?

Google believes it can ultimately fulfil people’s data needs by sending results directly to microchips implanted into its user’s brains.

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