Online Dating: A Proxy for Mass Shift in Online Behaviour

If there’s one data point to take to your next dinner party, coffee meet up or side talk at a business meeting, it’s this one. One observation that caught my eye was that is this graph also telling us that more people are less likely to socialize in groups and visit bars and spend more time online? Either way, the most primeval instincts is now online. That is, finding a partner. This was first released in 2019 at

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The Inconvenient OnDemand & Micromobility Economy

In 2007, I posted this pic of Al Gore and me at Paragon restaurant on 2nd Street & Townsend in San Francisco. A few weeks back I was enjoying a coffee with friends before the San Francisco Giants ballgame when I noticed this tow truck removing the Revel scooter from 2nd Street.. It’s a local rule to clear traffic around the ballpark on game days for obvious reasons.

Having had my car towed from the Sansome Street in the city years ago, I know the $350++ fine awaits as per SFMTA. What is interesting is that the on demand economy sometimes doesn’t interact with the offline economy. I’ve seen Lime Bikes in trees and one in a creek in Menlo Park!

Some more work to do for the engineers at these companies …


Google Reviews Update

Google Reviews matter to retailers and service providers from plumbers, restaurants and realtors. In a rare insight into how reviews are analyzed, Google has release the below video.

It all seems intuitive and logical. At a practical level having dozens of clients that we manage Google My Business Pages for, we note there is a no exact correlation between the number of reviews and rankings of companies in Google results pages, both on Google Search and Google Maps Pack.

While most of the time businesses with higher Google scores (gold stars) rank higher, it’s not an absolute guarantee. Some simple tips before your business reports asks Google to review / delete a review can be found here.

Most importantly Google wont take sides on facts as they can’t verify the incident so the best advice is to provide a measured, well balanced and non emotional response to a bad review.

Forever Young Warnie

I know Kenna, Sean (Garida), Paul & Daz Moon, Hilly, me and the boys at South Melbourne CC will always remember our glorious teenage cricket games on matting wickets against Warnie and the East Sandy lads. Heart goes out to Gaz Edwards who was part of the group staying at the Samujan resort in Koh Samui. Gaz (then at 888 Poker) invited me to the HardRock Cafe in Las Vegas about 10 years ago. I flew down from San Francisco for the night.Gaz, Warnie, Jeff Fenech and I enjoyed a good night. It was part of the World Series of Poker tourney and 888 sponsored Shane. Forever young Warnie. RIP mate.



Google “auto apply recommendations” Warning

Warning. Do not accept Google’s “auto apply recommendations”. Advertisers will receive emails from Google with subject lines “For your approval | Turn on auto apply recommendations to help improve marketing objectives”. Copy of email below in Screenshot #1.

Here’s why. Google will auto populate audiences and then they are attached to advertising campaigns “automatically”. Most advertisers don’t know they are giving Google approval for new keywords to be automatically assigned to Ad Campaigns and new audiences (often which are not relevant) to be attached to existing campaigns. See Screenshot #2.

Be diligent and do not allow Google to automatically apply recommendations to your advertising account. Would you let an algorithm invest your own money? No. So be sure to keep manually setting audiences, locations, bid prices and choose keywords to bid on.

The old saying “Keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road” applies!

Screenshot #1

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Screenshot #2

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Google Data Studio Provides Insight into 100+ Retail Stores

Google Data Studio is a powerful tool and connecting multiple Google Analytics accounts to aggregate data is one way to create insights. Our team is constantly completing data projects using Google Data Studio to improve insights for our clients.

In addition to being listed on, each First National Member office operates their own individual local website. SearchForecast aggregated data from 100+ Google Analytics accounts of FNRE member local URLs into a customized Google Data Studio dashboard. Now, it is possible to show aggregate analytics, benchmark various locations (Australia Vs New Zealand) and compate real estate offices by state or individual suburbs and regions.

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Last year SearchForecast built a 2 sided marketplace platform for Australian website which you can read about here. We are excited to announce SEMRush recently included as a ‘Game Changer’ in their Competitive Quadrant. A “Game Changer” is defined by SEMRush as an “emerging website with a high growth potential.” In less than 18 months, 400+ wineries are now drop-shipping over 3,500 wine on their platform. 100% of the traffic is organic courtesy of our search engine optimization techniques.

Growth Quadrant (October 2021, AU,


Each year we donate to a charity and our team collectively decides on which charity. We like to support organizations who have helped advance the world and deliver on the change for good promise the Internet has and will continue to bring to the world.

Every person on the planet deserves the chance to educate themselves. Wikipedia offers free access to knowledge and wisdom. We cannot think of a better organization to donate to that embodies the power the Internet and makes for a brigther future for mankind.

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LinkedIn’s Member Group Targeting Is a One-Two Punch to Facebook & Twitter

LinkedIn provides unprecedented targeting for businesses. The ability to create audiences by industry, job description, company size are all terrific yet the hidden gem is the ability to be able to target by Member Group.

What is a LinkedIn Member Group? LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share their insights and experiences, ask for guidance, and build valuable connections. You can find a list of LinkedIN member groups here.

For an outdoor equipment e-commerce merchant, we can find ‘rockclimbing’ member group and target video or single image ads to these people. That’s very focused targeting. LinkedIn allows you to then target those who have seen say 75% or 100% of a video you showed them or engaged by clicking with an ad to recieve an ‘In Mail Message Ads’ (think email marketing campaign). We are seeing 30%+ click through rates on LinkedIn Message Ads to audiences that have previously engaged.


That playbook is a one two punch to Facebook and Twitter who don’t offer businesses the return on investment when finding new customers.

Practical AI for Content Optimization

Artificial intelligence (AI) is for most people a mind bending concept. It’s easy to get wowwed by Amazon’s sensor rich ‘Go’ stores (video below) despite only 29 of them in the USA. Or Elon Musk’s Neuralink demo where 3 litlte pigs are running around with a implant to their skull/ cortext the size of a nickel.

Yet what business owners really want is practical AI they can use to improve sales activity, reduce costs and increase profits. Bear in mind that IBM Watson sees Strong AI as a 50 year timeline!

On that note, perhaps the best use of AI we have seen is which allows for video / audio transcription to text be done which allows simple content optimization at scale. For retailers or businesses sourcing customers from within local areas, automating content production using AI is critical.

While we wait for autonomous vehicles to arrive, perhaps the most pervasive AI is the applications like Calendly which help streamline appointment settings, allowing us all to spend time on more important work than back and forth emails to confirm meeting times.