If you didn’t know, Facebook Ads are much lower than Adwords because you can target by psychographics. Cambridge Analytica made that global news this week. We in the online industry in Menlo Park have known it since Facebook had their Beacon program settlement.
What everyone failed to realize about Facebook is that just because my friend likes something, doesn’t mean I am going to like something, believe what they do, go where they go, eat what they eat. I mean at what point didn’t high school online reunions and long lost friends using Facebook realize they were going to be taken advantage of by ‘bad actors’.
This isn’t a data breach, it’s a full scale assault using Facebook on democracy and individual freedom. That’s why I’ve never been a Facebook user.
Finally. Twitter announces publicly “50,258 automated accounts that we identified as Russian-linked and Tweeting election-related content during the election period.”
Twitter also said “we are emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the United States who followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked a Tweet from these accounts during the election period.”
More at https://blog.twitter.com/official/en_us/topics/company/2018/2016-election-update.html
At SearchForecast, our clients over the years have included ThreatMetrix, Skybox Security, Brkt.com and Menlo Security. We are now live in a world where information cyber security software is paramount. While Facebook announced they are scaling back news and corporate posts in their feed and allowing users to rank news sources that they see as the most credible and trustworthy, this isn’t going to help the spread of ‘fake news’. A social network based on groups of friends ranking news is irrefutably at odds with editorial objectivity.
Many people theorize that artificial intelligence will make jobs redundant. Sure there will be some structural changes like all employment sectors go through as economies mature yet human’s will not be replaced. With over 7 billion people on the planet growing to around 10 billion by 2050, it’s important we understand that artificial intelligence is about giving computers a set of tools, a problem to solve and they find the solution, not giving computers step by step instructions to do human work.
While you might want to read about the threat population growth has to our planet which Thomas Robert Malthus predicted in his Essay on the Principal of Population, there is also a case for taking into account the future of space exploration and how that may help solve the ultimate resource issues of planet earth. So does artificial intelligence hold the answer?
Some technologist are looking beyond autonomous vehicles and in the book ‘No Higher Ground‘ by author Roman Godzich helps us understand how exploration has it’s reward and pitfalls.
Happy Halloween 2017!
On the back of Facebook announcing that Russia-based operatives published about 80,000 posts on the social network over a two-year period in an effort to sway U.S. politics and that about 126 million Americans may have seen the posts during that time, we decided to audit our clients Google Analytics accounts to detect any foreign abnormal activities.
And look what we found in one of our client accounts under “Audience > Geo > Language”. Now that is VERY SCARY!
My learned colleague Joshua Lowcock shared with me today that Snapchat has added an important feature – the ability to share links natively within iOS. This may not seem like a big deal, but it may reveal if Snap is able to drive traffic to websites organically within the platform. An interesting thing for clients to keep an eye on, to see if their sites or product pages are getting traffic from Snapchat (this is all the more interesting given Facebook’s no publisher feed tests).
Being a big Snapchat fan (mainly for the geofilters), we’ll keep and eye on it and help publish any findings on whether there is an Snapchat referrers found inside Google Analytics across our 80 client accounts.
It’s getting ridiculous. My Uber driver today was telling me how AI is changing the world. I just wish they knew how to change lanes safely. See below. That’s how you should think about Artificial Intelligence.
The core of AI is data and and statistics. Somehow that got manifested or redefined into Data Mining (the proceed of retrieval and extraction/ collection) then analysis (statistics, pattern recognition) and then machine learning. So many buzz words. This information is stored in databases and that is often referred to as knowledge discovery in databases (KDD) … then AI came around to bamboozle investors thinking there was some secret sauce beyond Data Mining and Machine Learning. This graphic is a good one to I like to share. AI is just an extension of all these core ingredients.
There’s a saying in technology here in Silicon Valley that ‘hardware’ is hard. So when we speak to our clients for which we manage over 3,200 Google My Business pages, we often start by explaining that Google My Business is inextricably linked to Google Maps and Google StreetView.
You’ve seen Streetview when looking at external pictures attached to the Google Map listing on Google results pages. The pictures are taken from a high lense 360 degree camera perched on top of a Google tech car. A few weeks ago in Palo Alto, I took a ride in one to preview the new camera’s, robotic arms and computer tracking systems.
One of the biggest issues clients have is the correct latitude and longitude ‘Map Pin’ to show their address. Often the picture taken by these Google Cars don’t show the actual location of the business intended but the gas station on the corner next door, the empty lot on the corner or the brick wall of the building where the shop is located in. So how do you fix these along with all the other issues of Google My Business.
It’s a little bit like the Matrix movie. You have to step inside of it and wonder around to discover it. There are no manuals Google provides, its constantly evolving and takes experts to drive correct citation listings, image management and measurement.
If you are not receiving reporting for Return on Investment of Search Queries, Map Queries, Driving Direction Requests and Phone Calls Made from Google My Business Pages, you are not being properly serviced.
Yesterday in New York City, the team got together for a late lunch at Balthazar for a steak and chips. Simple no fuss. Until the David Beckham circus arrived along with paparazzi and disturbed a casual late lunch for all those dining. We were told that Beckham phoned ahead signalling the photographers to crush the diners trying to get in and out. That’s technically off line spamming.
If “Becks” understood Google rank brain, he would have already realized that it would have been better to slide into the restaurant with a pair of loafers and shades surprising diners who would have surely taken photos and shared them on social media. Let Google’s new machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithm take hold of the # hashtags and geo-locations of phones used to take pictures to promote presence on social media.
Fortunately, we were able to find some good Cannoli in Little Italy.
The recent US Lottery of $758 Million Powerball jackpot that captivated the USA last week holds a lesson for all marketers who think that there lucky number will come up or should I say website will appear on page 1 of Google.
There are many uninformed online marketing people (and senior management) who believe that once SEO is undertaken, their website will magically appear on page 1 of search engine results pages (SERPs). We tell our clients it isn’t an instant lottery result!
Many colleagues have expressed to me over the years that like lotteries, ranking in search engines has the same “random number generation” mechanics. That is, like dice rolling or casino roulette, the result cannot be reasonably predicted better than by a random chance.
While no one really knows to what extent the randomness that search engines like Google and Bing apply, we do know it’s not 100% like a lottery. Yet these mega lotteries have massive appeal. Our long time client in William Hill in Australia last month launched Planet Lottery that taps into international lottery systems for mega hundred million dollar amounts.
The core of SearchForecast is analyzing data. Every day, our team is analyzing Google Analytics, conversion data, CRM data and email campaign metrics. We provide insights from this data, using our experience learned from client work. Cathy O’Neil has a very insightful TED talk here on algorithms. We too warn clients not to seed emotional input into algorithms as this can have and does have negative effects. This is worth watching if you’re providing solutions with data.