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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The Last Emotion Technique to Reduce Exit Page Traffic

While all digital marketers focus on driving traffic to their websites and apps, content marketers pine over sticky content and engagement metrics, the retention of visitors from exit pages is relatively overlooked. Customer success managers use tools to evaluate when subscribers will churn and give them some TLC yet the simple metric of reducing exit page traffic is the first step for all digital properties to stop the exodus of unsatisfied users.

A good 404 error page design and or unsubscribe page is important as it’s often the last emotion your exiting users feel. A great example is Ozy.com down in Mountain View when I did think well of them as I unsubscribed from their daily email this morning. My after thoughts were positive of them as they did provide a lasting emotional outreach during the exit process. While all website and app visitors wont be sticky, ensuring a positive parting emotion online is a key branding requirement.

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Webinar: Optimizing A Silicon Valley Unicorn Company Website

On 19th of April, Marc Phillips, Director of SearchForecast overviewed the working methodology of how ZScaler.com was optimized in a webinar. ZScaler is a unicorn technology company based in Silicon Valley having raised over $150M at a $1+ billion valuation. In 2012/2013, SearchForecast were engaged by ZScaler for 18 months to provide search engine optimization and content updates.

The original recording was corrupted on GoToWebinar.com platform. The below webinar recorded was recorded today.

Watch the Webinar on Youtube

3 to 1 for The Optimists

Our team at SearchForecast have spent hours each day over the past 20 years crunching quantitative data, looking for trend lines, inflection points or identifying patterns to uncover risk. Yet at a recent trip to the local stationary store in Menlo Park in the hub of Silicon Valley, the shop assistant said that 3 people buy the yellow smiley face ‘Emergency Affirmation’ for every one blue ‘Fail’ button.

Therein lies the underlying trend line in the world of seemingly endless bad news, optimists are 3x the pessimists.

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