Tag Archive | "Network"

Rakuten Rolling Out Revolutionary 5G Mobile Network In Japan

Building World’s First Fully Virtualized Cloud-Native Network

With our new mobile network, all these network services are directly connected to the internet,” says Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. “Our firewall is probably much stronger than any other hardware-dependent mobile network. It is a pretty wrong idea that hardware is stronger in terms of security than software. It’s kind of a syndrome.”

Rakuten is in taking a revolutionary approach to building out Japan’s fourth major mobile. Network. “The journey that we are embarking on in Japan will enable a complete transformation in the telecom infrastructure buildout,” explains Rakuten Mobile Network Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Tareq Amin. “We are building the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native network.” At the Rakuten Technology Conference, last October, Amin said that they are deploying a very different architecture and leveraging Rakuten IT skills.

“The majority of the telecommunication companies in the world have been on this journey of transformation. And yet I would argue that very little progress has happened to deploy a true end-to-end cloud-native network,” says Amin. “In fact, there is not a single telco in the world that has moved all of its workloads to the cloud. I think Rakuten is going to be the only company in the world that’s going to enable this.”

Rakuten Mobile Network Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Tareq Amin Announcing New Mobile Network for Japan.

Last night on CNBC Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani discussed how the network is set to deploy 5G nationwide in Japan by June 2020:

Rakuten Rolling Out Revolutionary 5G Mobile Network In Japan

We are rolling out our 4G network before we launch 5G. We are going to deploy what we call mobile edge computing in Japan. We are going to have over 4,000 edge servers all over Japan. Therefore, we do not have to create a new network for 5G. What we need to do is modify our edge servers a little bit. Our core network throughput is really fast. What we have to do is just add a 5G antenna, which we already have developed together with Qualcomm as well as NEC. We will be rolling out 5G in June 2020.

As 5G rolls out consumers will understand the benefits. The key is an edge computing. There is a very low latency between your device and edge. It’s just a millisecond latency, so it’s almost like you have artificial intelligence. You hold your own artificial intelligence in your hand. Definitely, the speed is going to be much faster, maybe 1,000 times faster than 4G. Of course, latency is going to be much shorter. So autonomous driving and other autonomous applications are going to be really becoming true.

Rakuten Rolling Out Revolutionary 5G Mobile Network In Japan, Says Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani

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VMware CEO: Why Can’t We Build the Telco Network Like the Clouds?

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger suggests that with the advent of 5G the telco network should be built like the clouds. “Why can’t we build the telco network like the clouds have been built for with scalability, flexibility, efficiency, and agility?” says Gelsinger. “That’s really the idea of the telco cloud. As people go to what’s called NFV, network function virtualization, and as they’re looking ahead to 5G services, can’t we have a new architecture for building the telco cloud? But it also is flexible and scalable and helps them do services between 4G and 5G.”

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, discusses 5G and building the telco network like the clouds in an interview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with CNBC:

Building the Telco Network Like the Clouds

What it really is about it’s saying that over the last decade and a half we’ve gotten pretty good at building clouds. Why can’t we build the telco network like the clouds have been built for with scalability, flexibility, efficiency, and agility? That’s really the idea of the telco cloud. As people go to what’s called NFV, network function virtualization, and as they’re looking ahead to 5G services, can’t we have a new architecture for building the telco cloud? But it also is flexible and scalable and helps them do services between 4G and 5G. It also helps them bridge so as they build these new services they can run them on the old as well as prepare services for the new.

The telco market is like 80 percent the size of the data center and cloud market. This is big. It’s a huge adjacent market that largely we’ve never touched before. We’re really excited about that. If you think about what we’ve done, it’s about building this rock-hard infrastructure that never goes down. Data centers, businesses, and banks running it told the telco networks that they need rock-hard never-goes-down infrastructure. We really find a huge opportunity there.

2020 is the Year for 5G

I’ve said for a few years that I think 2020 is the year (for 5G implementation). I think when you when you see a show like this everybody’s starting to really gear up. The trials are underway. I really see 2020 as really where it’s going to happen. Right now the national anthem is playing and next year the game gets started. If you’re going to be a cloud you’ve got to be efficient. That helps the bottom line by building more cost efficiency and operational efficiency. You have to do that. But ultimately, it’s about the new services that 5G is going to introduce.

It’s hard to say how much Huawei (potentially being banned in Europe) is going to impact. Obviously, people who have large positions with Huawei today, it becomes easy to add 5G onto it. It is somewhat dependent on carrier and market. Our view of what we’re trying to do with virtualization is to minimize unique dependencies on any particular hardware market. Part of our value proposition exactly helps customers navigate through the 4G to 5G transition as well as picking different key hardware vendors. That’s what that virtualization layer does so we think we actually help customers.

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How a Zero Trust Network Can Keep Your Business Data Secure

The numerous data breaches that occurred over the years clearly indicate that cybersecurity is still prone to failure. Every new security measure system defenders come up with is eventually thwarted by hackers.

The number of affected users is staggering. A minimum of 500 million Yahoo users were affected by the 2014 security breach that hit the company. The last US presidential election was rife with reports of hackers stealing sensitive emails. Meanwhile, the US Navy, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Justice Department were also targeted by hackers.

While there have been large-scale attacks on government agencies and the technology sector, hackers have also targeted businesses. As a matter of fact, 15% of international businesses have estimated that their sensitive data was potentially breached or compromised over a one-year period.

The Operation Aurora attack in 2009, saw companies increasing perimeter security using firewalls and VPNs. By that time, Google had already developed a new security architecture—Zero Trust. As the name implies, trust is removed from the system so everyone, whether outside or inside the firewall, is considered a suspect. Everything attempting to connect to a company’s systems must be verified before being given access.

Understanding Zero Trust

The Zero Trust Architecture model was developed by John Kindervag in 2010. The security system’s concept revolved around the idea that institutions should not blindly trust anything or anyone outside or inside its perimeters.

Previous security paradigms worked on the idea of “trust but verify.” Organizations concentrated on protecting the perimeter under the assumption that everything inside has already been cleared for access and therefore didn’t pose a threat. This method is clearly dangerous now as more corporate data centers are being housed in the cloud, with users (ex. customers, employees) accessing it using applications from devices in multiple locations.

With Zero Trust, the idea is basically “trust no one.” According to Charlie Gero, Akamai Technologies’ CTO of Enterprise and Advanced Projects Group, Zero Trust doesn’t allow access to machines, IP addresses, etc. until it knows who the user is and whether or not they’re authorized.

Benefits of a Zero Trust Security Network

The zero-trust model meets the security demands that companies need today. The rise of cloud technology, ubiquitousness of mobile devices, and the use of third-party sources have opened a lot of loopholes in security systems.

One major benefit of the zero trust architecture is how it enabled the system to take into account the changing nature of users and their devices. It does so by redefining the user’s corporate identity, along with their device at a given point in time. This provides the system with the context required to make trust decisions at the actual time.

It also diminishes the importance of static credentials, which is an element often used in an attack. Since each access request is individually authenticated and accredited, every credential required to start a secure session is given a limited scope depending on the user and device linked to a particular resource.

Challenges of Zero Trust

As with any security system, organizations that use zero-trust will face challenges. One major challenge is the fact that this is not an install-and-forget setup. Organizations that implement a zero-trust system have to comprehend access rights starting from the lowest level of the technology right up to the topmost level.

It’s often impractical for any corporation to have a complete, exact and detailed picture of all the resources used at each level through the whole enterprise architecture on an ongoing basis. Companies that do take on this daunting task will see their efforts rewarded.

Cost and employee productivity can also be an issue with a zero-trust network since there’s some tradeoff between productivity and security. For instance, an employee might be unable to start working while the system is verifying their credentials.

Fully employing a zero-trust system also demands the acquisition of expensive tools and a large amount of administrative manpower to get everything working smoothly. Luckily, sectors like IT support and employee productivity will see reduced spending once the system is running.

There are still a lot of questions and doubts about the zero-trust security system. Some sectors believe doing away with trust is virtually impossible. There’s also the issue of cost and implementation. But there’s also no denying that the principle of the system is a good and achievable goal.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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Veterans Day Google doodle designed in collaboration with Google’s Veteran employee network

The doodle highlights service members from each branch of the military: Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, and Army.

The post Veterans Day Google doodle designed in collaboration with Google’s Veteran employee network appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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How to Use Network Data to Turn Bad Inputs into Gold

If you think network data means gathering business cards at lunch, you’re in for a surprise. Today’s network data comes from data owners sharing their information to give everyone access to better data than any brand can assemble on its own. Join data experts David M. Raab and John Hurley as they…

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Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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Ad Network Ménage à Trois: Bing, Yahoo!, Google

Yahoo! Tests Google Again

Back in July we noticed Yahoo! was testing Google-powered search results. From that post…

When Yahoo! recently renewed their search deal with Microsoft, Yahoo! was once again allowed to sell their own desktop search ads & they are only required to give 51% of the search volume to Bing. There has been significant speculation as to what Yahoo! would do with the carve out. Would they build their own search technology? Would they outsource to Google to increase search ad revenues? It appears they are doing a bit of everything – some Bing ads, some Yahoo! ads, some Google ads.

The Growth of Gemini

Since then Gemini has grown significantly:

Yahoo has moved quickly to bring search ad traffic under Gemini for advertisers that have adopted the platform. For some perspective, in September 2015, Yahoo.com produced a little over 50 percent of the clicks that took place across the Bing Ads and Gemini platforms. For advertisers adopting Gemini, Gemini produced 22 percent of combined Bing and Gemini clicks. Given the device breakdown of Yahoo’s traffic, this amounts to about two-thirds of the traffic it is able to control under the renegotiated agreement.

That growth has come at the expense of Bing ad clicks, which have fallen significantly:

Shared Scale to Compete

Years ago Microsoft was partnered into the Yahoo!/Overture ad network to compete against Google. The idea was the companies together would have better scale to compete against Google in search & ads. Greater scale would lead to a more efficient marketplace, which would lead to better ad matching, higher advertiser bids, etc. This didn’t worked as well as anticipated. Originally under-monetization was blamed on poor ad matching. Yahoo! Panama was a major rewrite of their ad system which was supposed to fix the problem, but it didn’t.

Even if issues like bid jamming were fixed & ad matching was more relevant, it still didn’t fix issues with lower ad depth in emerging markets & arbitrage lowering the value of expensive keywords in the United States.

Understanding the Value of Search Clicks

When a person types a keyword into a search box they are expressing significant intent. When a person clicks a link to land on a page they may still have significant interest, but generally there is at least some level of fall off. If I search for a keyword the value of my click is $ x, but if I click a link on a “top searches” box, the value of that click may perhaps only be 5% or 10% what the value of a hand typed search. There is less intent.

Here is a picture of the sort of “trending now” box which appears on the Yahoo! homepage.

Typically those sorts of searches include a bunch of female celebrities, but then in any such box there will be one or two money terms added, like [lower blood pressure] or [iPhone 6s]. People who search for those terms might have $ 5 or $ 10 of intent, but people who click those links might only have a quarter or 50 cents of intent.

That difference in value can utterly screw an advertiser who gets their high-value keyword featured while they are sleeping or not actively monitoring & managing their ad campaign.

For what it is worth, even Google has tested some of these sort of these “search” traffic generation approaches during the last recession. On the Google AdSense network Google was buying banner ads telling people to search for [credit cards] & if they clicked on those banner ads they ended up on a search result page for [credit cards].

To this day many companies run contextual ads that drive search volume, but the difference between today & the Yahoo! which failed to monetize search is there is (at least currently) a greater focus on traffic quality.

Under-performance Due to Shady Traffic Partners

Yahoo! continued to under-perform in large part because Yahoo! had a lot of “search” partners with many lower quality traffic sources mixed in their traffic stream & they didn’t even allow advertisers to opt out of the partner network until after Yahoo! decided to exit the search market. As bad as the above sounds, it is actually worse, as some larger partners had access to advertiser information in a way that allowed them to aggressively arbitrage away the value of high advertiser bids wherever and whenever an advertiser overbid.

So you would bid thinking you were buying primarily search traffic based on the user intent of a person searching for something, but you might have been getting various layers of arbitrage of lower quality traffic, traffic from domain lander pages, or even some mix of robotic traffic from clickbots. Those $ 30 search ad clicks are a sure money loser if it is a clickbot software program doing the click.

And not only were some of Yahoo!’s partners driving down the value of clicks on Yahoo! itself, but Yahoo! was paying some of the larger partners in the high 80s to low 90s percent of revenue. Here is a (made up) example chart for illustration purposes, where the (made up) partner is getting a 90% TAC

  Advertiser Bid Y! Search Clicks Partner Clicks Total Clicks Total Revs TAC Rev after TAC
No Partners $ 30 3,000 0 3,000 $ 90,000 $ 0 $ 90,000
Bit of Arb $ 25 3,000 1,000 4,000 $ 100,000 $ 22,500 $ 77,500
Heavy Arb $ 10 3,000 6,000 9,000 $ 90,000 $ 54,000 $ 36,000

Why did Yahoo! allow the above sort of behavior to go on? It is hard to believe they were completely unaware of what was going on, particularly when it was so obvious to outside observers. More likely it was that they were rapidly losing search share & wanted the topline revenue growth to make their quarterly number. By the time they realized what damage they had already done to their ecosystem, they were already too far down the path to correct it & were afraid to do anything which significantly hit revenues.

The rapid rise and fall of a large Yahoo! search partner named Geosign was detailed by the Canadian Financial Post, in an article which is now offline, but available via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:

Companies fail all the time. Sometimes with little warning. But companies that are highly profitable and only weeks removed from a record-setting venture capital investment? Not so much. Yet in Geosign’s case, the cuts that began last May continued through the summer. Late last year, fewer than 100 employees remained. Today, Geosign itself no longer exists, its still-functioning website an empty reminder of its former promise. And while the national business media has, until now, overlooked the story – surprising, given the size of the investment and the fact that Google played a direct role in the outcome – within Canada’s technology and venture-capital communities, the $ 160-million investment is known as the deal “that didn’t go well.” When the collapse happened, even jaded industry watchers accustomed to financial debacles in the tech sector were stunned. “I’ve seen a lot of meltdowns,” says Duncan Stewart, a technology and investment analyst in Toronto. “But something happening like this, over just a few weeks, that’s unprecedented in my experience.”

Other traffic sources like domain parking have also sharply declined, due to a variety of factors like: web browsers replacing address bars with multi-purpose search boxes, shift of consumer internet traffic to mobile devices (which increases reliance on search over direct navigation & apps replace some segment of direct navigation), increased smart pricing, lower revenue sharing percentages, and Yahoo! no longer being able to offer a competitive bid against Google.

When Yahoo! shifted their search ads to Microsoft, Microsoft allowed advertisers to opt out of the partner network. Microsoft also clamped down on some of the lower quality traffic sources with smart pricing, which hit some of the arbitrage businesses hard & even forced Yahoo! to seek refunds from some of their partners for delivering low quality traffic.

Shared Scale to Compete

Microsoft launched their own algorithmic search results on Live Search & their own Microsoft adCenter search ads. Microsoft continued to lose share in search at least until they gave their search engine a memorable name in Bing. The Yahoo! Bing ad network seemed to be gaining momentum when Yahoo! signed a deal with Mozilla to become the default search provider for Firefox, but it appears Yahoo! overpaid for the deal as Yahoo! search revenues ex-TAC were off $ 60 million YoY in the most recent quarter.

In spite of using an ad-heavy search interface Yahoo! has not grown search ad revenues as quickly as the search market has grown. Yahoo! has continually lost marketshare for years (up until the Mozilla Firefox deal). And even as Microsoft has followed Google in broadened their ad matching, a lot of the other “search” traffic partners Yahoo! once relied on to make their numbers are no longer in the marketplace to augment their data.

The Bing / Yahoo! network search traffic is now much cleaner than the Yahoo! “search” traffic quality of many years ago, but Yahoo! hasn’t replaced some of the old search partners which have died off.

Shared Scale No Longer Important?

Yahoo! increasing the share of their ad clicks which are powered by Gemini lowers the network efficiency of the Yahoo!/Bing ad network. All the talk of “synergy” driving value sort of goes up in smoke when Yahoo! shifts a significant share of their ad clicks away from the original network.

Yahoo! announced a new search deal with Google. Here’s the Tweet version…

…the underlying ethos…

If you love something, set it free; if it comes backs it’s yours, if it doesn’t, it never was.”

…and the long version…

On October 19, 2015, Yahoo! Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Yahoo”), and Google Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Google”), entered into a Google Services Agreement (the “Services Agreement”). The Services Agreement is effective as of October 1, 2015 and expires on December 31, 2018. Pursuant to the Services Agreement, Google will provide Yahoo with search advertisements through Google’s AdSense for Search service (“AFS”), web algorithmic search services through Google’s Websearch Service, and image search services. The results provided by Google for these services will be available to Yahoo for display on both desktop and mobile platforms. Yahoo may use Google’s services on Yahoo’s owned and operated properties (“Yahoo Properties”) and on certain syndication partner properties (“Affiliate Sites”) in the United States (U.S.), Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Middle East, Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Australia and New Zealand.

Under the Services Agreement, Yahoo has discretion to select which search queries to send to Google and is not obligated to send any minimum number of search queries. The Services Agreement is non-exclusive and expressly permits Yahoo to use any other search advertising services, including its own service, the services of Microsoft Corporation or other third parties.

Google will pay Yahoo a percentage of the gross revenues from AFS ads displayed on Yahoo Properties or Affiliate Sites. The percentage will vary depending on whether the ads are displayed on U.S. desktop sites, non-U.S. desktop sites or on the tablet or mobile phone versions of the Yahoo Properties or its Affiliate Sites. Yahoo will pay Google fees for requests for image search results or web algorithmic search results.

Either party may terminate the Services Agreement (1) upon a material breach subject to certain limitations; (2) in the event of a change in control (as defined in the Services Agreement); (3) after first discussing with the other party in good faith its concerns and potential alternatives to termination (a) in its entirety or in the U.S. only, if it reasonably anticipates litigation or a regulatory proceeding brought by any U.S. federal or state agency to enjoin the parties from consummating, implementing or otherwise performing the Services Agreement, (b) in part, in a country other than the U.S., if either party reasonably anticipates litigation or a regulatory proceeding or reasonably anticipates that the continued performance under the Services Agreement in such country would have a material adverse impact on any ongoing antitrust proceeding in such country, (c) in its entirety if either party reasonably anticipates a filing by the European Commission to enjoin it from performing the Services Agreement or that continued performance of the Services Agreement would have a material adverse impact on any ongoing antitrust proceeding involving either party in Europe or India, or (d) in its entirety, on 60 days notice if the other party’s exercise of these termination rights in this clause (3) has collectively and materially diminished the economic value of the Services Agreement. Each party agrees to defend or settle any lawsuits or similar actions related to the Services Agreement unless doing so is not commercially reasonable (taking all factors into account, including without limitation effects on a party’s brand or business outside of the scope of the Services Agreement).

In addition, Google may suspend Yahoo’s use of services upon certain events and may terminate the Services Agreement if such events are not cured. Yahoo may terminate the Services Agreement if Google breaches certain service level and server latency specified in the Services Agreement.

In connection with the Services Agreement, Yahoo and Google have agreed to certain procedures with the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) to facilitate review of the Services Agreement by the DOJ, including delaying the implementation of the Services Agreement in the U.S. in order to provide the DOJ with a reasonable period of review.

Where Are We Headed?

Danny Sullivan mentioned the 51% of search share Yahoo! is required to deliver to Bing applies only to desktop traffic & Yahoo! has no such limit on mobile searches. In theory this could mean Yahoo! could quickly become a Google shop, with Microsoft as a backfill partner.

When asked about the future of Gemini on today’s investor conference call Marissa Mayer stated she expected Gemini to continue scaling more on mobile. She also stated she felt the Google deal would help Yahoo! refine their ad mix & give them additional opportunities in international markets. Yahoo! is increasingly reliant on the US & is unable to bid to win marketshare in foreign markets.

(Myopic) Learning Systems

Marissa Mayer sounded both insightful and myopic on today’s conference call. She mentioned how as they scale up Gemini the cost of that is reflected in foregone revenues from optimizing their learning systems and improving their ad relevancy. On its face, that sort of comment sounds totally reasonable.

An unsophisticated or utterly ignorant market participant might even cheer it on, without realizing the additional complexity, management cost & risk they are promoting.

Where the myopic quick win view falls flat is on the other side of the market.

Sure a large web platform can use big data to optimize their performance and squeeze out additional pennies of yield, but for an advertiser these blended networks can be a real struggle. How do they budget for any given network when a single company is arbitrarily mixing between 3 parallel networks? A small shift in Google AdWords ad spend might not be hard to manage, but what happens if an advertiser suddenly gets a bunch of [trending topic] search ad clicks? Or maybe they get a huge slug of mobile clicks which don’t work very well for their business. Do they disable the associated keyword in Yahoo! Gemini? Or Bing Ads? Or Google AdWords? All 3?’

Do they find that when they pause their ads in one network that quickly leads to the second (or third) network quickly carrying their ads across?

Even if you can track and manage it on a granular basis, the additional management time is non-trivial. One of the fundamental keys to a solid online advertising strategy is to have granular control so you can quickly alter distribution. But if you turn your ads off in one network only to find that leads your ads from the second network to get carried across that creates a bit of chaos. The more networks there are in parallel that bleed together the blurrier things get.

This sort of “overlap = bad” mindset is precisely why search engines suggest creating tight ad campaigns and ad groups. But you lose that control when things arbitrarily shift about.

To appreciate how expensive those sorts of costs can be, consider what has happened with programmatic ads:

Platforms that facilitate automated sales for media companies typically take 10% to 20% of the revenue that passes through their hands, according to the IAB report. Networks that service programmatic buys typically mark up inventory, citing the value that they add, by 30% to 50%. And then there are the essential data-management platforms, which take 10% to 15% of a buy, industry executives said.

If you are managing a client budget for paid search, how do you determine a pre-approved budget for each network when the traffic mix & quality might rapidly oscillate across the networks?

Don’t take my word for it though, read the Yahoo! Ads Twitter account

When Yahoo! tries to manage their yield they will not only be choosing among 3 parallel networks on their end, but they will also have individual advertisers making a wide variety of changes on the other end. And some of those advertisers will not only be influenced by the ad networks, but also the organic rankings which come with the ads.

If one search engine is ranking you well in the organic search results for an important keyword and another is not, then you should bid more aggressively on your ads on the search engine which is ranking your site, because by voting with your budget you may well be voting on which underlying relevancy algorithm is chosen to deliver the associated organic search results accompanying the ads.

That last point was important & I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere yet, so it is worth repeating: your PPC ad bids may determine which search relevancy algorithm drives Yahoo! Search organic results.

Time to Quit Digging & Drop The Shovel

The other (BIG) issue is that as they give Google more search marketshare they give Google more granular data, which in turn means they

  • make buying on their own network less worthy of the management cost & complexity
  • make Google more of a “must buy”
  • will never close the monetization gap with Google

Even today Google announced a new tool for offering advertisers granular localized search data. Search partners won’t directly benefit from those tools.

The old problem with Yahoo! was they were heavily reliant on search partners who drove down the traffic value. The future problem may well be if the marginally profitable Bing leaves the search market, Google will drive down the amount of revenue they share with Yahoo!.

If the Yahoo! Google search deal gets approved, Bing might shift back to losing money unless Microsoft buys Yahoo! after the Alibaba share spin out.

Ever track how Google’s TAC has shifted over the past decade?

It has only been a decade so far, but MAYBE THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT.


SEO Book

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Introducing Rainmaker.FM: The Digital Marketing Podcast Network

Mosaic of Rainmaker.FM Shows

Yep, we’ve launched a digital marketing podcast network. Someone was bound to do it, but you may be surprised that it’s us. Truth is, this is something I’ve personally wanted to do for a long time … and the time is right.

Copyblogger came to prominence by teaching people how to write engaging content and copy, and that won’t change. But we’d be silly to ignore the surge in podcasting. In many ways, audio makes more sense for more people than text.

Audio is the perfect format for accessing the intelligence and advice you need to succeed. It goes with you wherever you are, and you can access it whenever you need it.

And you benefit from it at times when you can’t be staring at a screen. Whether driving, working out, or on in the background as you work, audio works harder for you than text or video.

Rainmaker.FM brings you the best tips, tactics, stories and strategies that provide acceleration for your business. Each day delivers eye-opening advice on some vital aspect of the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape.

The network is powered by many of the subject matter experts from inside our company (and a few good friends who know their stuff). We’ve launched with ten distinct shows, each covering different aspects of digital marketing.

Check out our first batch (in alphabetical order):

Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer

Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer

Sonia Simone delivers advice, encouragement, and the occasional rant from outside the drone of the marketing mainstream. Join her for a regular mix of monologues, interviews, and answers to your content marketing questions.

Subscribe in iTunes



Stefanie Flaxman delivers the slow and steady tips that will actually help you become a better writer. If you want to reach your audience, they first need to understand your message. This show delivers the art of writing, updated for the digital age.

Subscribe in iTunes

Hack the Entrepreneur

Hack the Entrepreneur

Hack The Entrepreneur host Jon Nastor reveals the fears, habits, and inner-battles behind big name entrepreneurs and those on the path to success. Whichever tactics and strategies you’re looking for, Hack the Entrepreneur can and will help you get your business going and growing.

Subscribe in iTunes

Hit Publish

Hit Publish

Hit Publish shares winning tips and techniques for the beginning to intermediate-level online marketer. If you want to succeed as a digital marketer, but don’t yet know enough to put all the pieces together, Pamela Wilson has your back.

Subscribe in iTunes

The Lede

The Lede is a weekly, short-form broadcast hosted by Jerod Morris and Demian Farnworth. Each week, they answer your questions about copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, conversion optimization, mindset, and much more.

Subscribe in iTunes

The Mainframe

Hosted by Chris Garrett and Tony Clark, this geeky but accessible show gives you what you need to know about online marketing that works, and the new media technology it takes to deliver it. Overwhelmed by the idea of running an online business? Listen in …

Subscribe in iTunes

New Rainmaker

New Rainmaker

New Rainmaker provides the knowledge you need to build your own digital platform for marketing and sales. Listen in every week with Brian Clark, Robert Bruce, and very special guests, and start building the foundation of your own online empire today.

Subscribe in iTunes

No Sidebar

No Sidebar

Brian Gardner, along with very special guests, helps you identify the things that stand in the way of building your business, online or off. Learn how to eliminate the unnecessary, increase conversion, design a better business, and build a more beautiful web.

Subscribe in iTunes

Rough Draft

Rough Draft

Demian Farnworth delivers the essential writing advice you need to succeed online, in about four minutes a day, four days a week. If you’re a pure writer, and you wonder how you’ll be able to build your own online platform that actually gets seen, this show is your shortcut.

Subscribe in iTunes

Search and Deploy

Search and Deploy

Hosted by Loren Baker, Founder of Foundation Digital and Search Engine Journal, Search and Deploy delivers the latest insight on SEO, and how to deploy that knowledge in the real world. Get what you need to know about search, and get going.

Subscribe in iTunes

Rainmaker.FM Master Feed

Rainmaker.FM is an on-demand audio network delivering the latest insights on content marketing, SEO, conversion, design, mobile, social media, and digital entrepreneurism. If you want every show from the network delivered, you’re in the right place.

Subscribe in iTunes

We’re just getting started. We’ll have more great new shows coming online over the next weeks and months, so stay tuned.

And, in case you’re wondering … Rainmaker.FM is powered 100% by our own Rainmaker Platform. So, as you look around, understand that the site is also a demonstration of what the platform can do. If you like what you see, take it on a free 14-day spin for yourself.

Thanks for listening. And thanks for spreading the word.

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, producer of the Rainmaker.FM podcast network, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

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Facebook ads, off Facebook: The mobile ad network is here

“This is really the first time we’re going to help you monetize on mobile,” says Zuckerberg and it’s big news.

Facebook is now officially in the mobile ad network biz. They call it Facebook’s Audience Network and it’s all about putting third party ads on mobile apps.

Facebook Audience Network

The Audience Network uses the same targeting as regular Facebook ads. Actually, it uses the same everything as regular Facebook ads, all you have to do to include the new mobile option is check another box.  You can create a banner ad, an interstitial, even a native ad if you want to blend in with the scenery.

Rather watch than read? Here’s a nifty video that shows you how it works:

I love the image of the money falling out of the phone at the beginning of this video. Their depiction of the average app user? It’s an interesting choice and so not Facebook. I felt like they were subtly suggesting that the Audience Network is a way to reach people who don’t normally hang out on Facebook. Maybe I’m reading too much into the graphic style but they do say it’s “The power of Facebook ads, off Facebook.”

Which makes me wonder – if an ad isn’t on Facebook, is it a Facebook ad at all? Once you’ve bypassed the profile pages and newsfeeds, these ads are just ads like any other. Will they convert better or worse than any other mobile network (AdMob? Twitter?)

Facebook has this to say about that:

Since we’re still in the early phases of the Audience Network, we anticipate performance to vary at first. We expect to see performance increase as more ads, apps and publishers come onto the system.

Fair enough.

To start out, Facebook is favoring ads for app installs and engagement which probably have a better chance of succeeding since you’re talking to an app-using audience. From there, they plan to expand into any old ad at all.

Facebook announced a few other new features at F8 including:

  • Message Dialog (iOS and Android): Letting people share content from apps with friends through Facebook Messenger.
  • Mobile Like Button: Like the Pages or content of individual apps through a native, mobile Like button.
  • FbStart: A new program to help mobile startups grow through a package of resources and tools provided by industry leaders.
  • Send to Mobile: An easy way for people to send an app to their phone after visiting a website and logging in with Facebook.

Sounds like they’re getting serious about helping app developers become successful entrepreneurs. Might be time for me to get into the app biz.



Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

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Google’s Matt Cutts: We’re Taking Action Against Buzzea, The French Link Network

Last night at around 3am EST (this morning), Google’s Matt Cutts Tweeted, “Today we’re taking action on a French link network that violates our quality guidelines (Buzzea).”
Buzzea has already posted a message on their site acknowledging the Google penalty and telling everyone they are closing up. The translated version reads:

Search Engine Roundtable

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Did Anglo Rank Link Network Get Websites Penalized by Google? Short Answer: YES

Despite promises no websites would be hurt, several people have reported receiving link penalties in the last few days in their Google Webmaster Tools console, well after Anglo Rank originally said they were unaffected by a public outing by Google.
Search Engine Watch – Latest

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