Fintech Disruption served with Peets Coffee

Earlier this year I was back in Sydney and went into a Commonwealth Bank only to find the music blaring, 3 ATM machines and a lady standing there glancing up to smile before returning to tap away on her iPhone. No tellars. Do it yourself. Fast forward 6 months and I’m in Santa Monica and confronted with this sign. At least I was able to buy a coffee while getting out some cash. My kids and your kids dont use cash. They tap. Like the lady in the Commonwealth Bank. Ironic right?

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When Amazon purchased Wholefoods, all of us in the Bay Area thought it was a bold move and wondered if prices or quality of foods would diminish. I almost hit my head on the glass casing when I rounded the isle in Wholefoods Redwood City one afternoon. Progress my friends. Disruption works for most people. I now drink coffee more at home, do most of my shopping/ banking via an app.

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Apple Maps Listings Tips & Insights

Apple Maps Vans have been spotted around the Bay Area and our team of Quality Assurance testers put thousands of retail store NAPUs (Name, Address, Phone Number, URLs) into Apple Maps on a range of iPhones to verify the correct details. Across the board, 25% of listings are needing updates. That’s a lot! In many cases, Apple Maps have images from Yelp.

There is no central dashboard to manage listings en mass yet Apple do allow an easy confirmation process and report back with when updates are made. Something Google could learn from!

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Conversation Bots Does Not Equal Optimization

We remember the first chat bots that were on websites. They looked strange and out of place. Then Zendesk came along and made it all seem so beautiful. Boldchat and other chat technologies that weren’t that interesting have been trumped by newer smarter AI and CRM integration offerings like Drift.com.

While they don’t help nor hinder the online optimization process, they do help engage users and while remarketing was always SEO best friends for keeping those newly found users coming back to a site, the conversational applications now have users ready to use them (client and customer).

This month Microsoft acquired Semantic Machines to build upon new approaches to building conversational Artificial Intelligence technology for language interfaces that can better handle natural language interactions.

So we are just at the beginning of the generation where technology is starting to help people more based on their requests. Kind of makes you want to scream for joy right!Screen Shot 2018-05-26 at 9.39.58 PM

 

50,258 Twitter accounts ID’d as Russian Linked During US Elections

Finally. Twitter announces publicly “50,258 automated accounts that we identified as Russian-linked and Tweeting election-related content during the election period.”
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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.

Why Artificial Intelligence won’t replace humans

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.

What David Beckham can learn from Rank Brain

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.

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Are Algorithms laundering data?

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.

When one door closes, another one opens

Famous words from a famous film! RIP DMOZ. You inspired SearchForecast to be founded. For the record, SearchForecast has always known the meta description tag need not be exact on characters as Google often shortens the sentence. Here is the proof from the Google Webmaster Tools Blog dated 2nd June 2017. Screenshot attached or long form at https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/06/better-snippets-for-your-users.html

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15 per cent Daily new searches on Google

Crazy to think that “15 percent of searches we [Google] see every day are new” as cited in https://blog.google/products/search/our-latest-quality-improvements-search

That’s 1 in 7 searches. If you apply the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) where roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes, then there is serious work to do understanding the intent of these new words and effect on client leads, conversions, etc.

Action Point: Get to work analyzing new keywords!

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I don’t need Google

From all of us at SearchForecast who spend days and weeks deconstructing search engine algorithm updates by Google (from Penguin to Possum this week), thank you to the person who sent us this. I would only say that finding one that says ‘My husband knows everything’ is certainly worthy as many of our clients and co-workers are quite sure about this as well as the gentleman referring to their wives!

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