Monday, November 26, 2018

Google Gets Into the SEO Scoring Game

Google wants everyone to have the right information. Search is a natural action for most people connected to the internet today and Facebook and Amazon have to catch up with Google.

Recently Google announced a new website that gives you a rating for several  factors that may affect the appearance of your website in search results. The tool is in beta so it needs work. Just tried and there are the results.

Google uses Lighthouse which according to Google "Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, and more."

One thing to note here is that Lighthouse also checks for compatibility with Progressive Web Apps (PWA) which in my opinion is the future.

Most people use mobile devices and if you force them to download an app to interact (like Facebook does) you may lose them unless you adopt the Progressive Web Apps. If you were int he middle of continuing an order from a Google search, you are better off having a website that is:

a) Mobile friendly
b) Accessible using a Progressive Web App from the Browser
c) Does not need you to download a app on their mobile device for one interaction

Use this tool for your website and let us know how your website scores, specially in SEO. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Hulu for 99 cents should be a cord cutter's dream

Among the deals this year for Black Friday, I noticed a Hulu deal, 99 cents a month for 12 months.

The will get a good amount of sign-ups as this is good opportunity to checkout Hulu. I was a Hulu member when they first started and after the free version stopped, I stopped watching.

Time to give Hulu a test again. You?

Hulu for 99 cents should be a cord cutter's dream

Among the deals this year for Black Friday, I noticed a Hulu deal, 99 cents a month for 12 months.

The will get a good amount of sign-ups as this is good opportunity to checkout Hulu. I was a Hulu member when they first started and after the free version stopped, I stopped watching.

Time to give Hulu a test again. You?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

When Amazon Splits

See the source image
If there is a human who achieved their dream, Jeff Bezos is among them. I have to thank Amazon for being among the first to start a affiliate program for webmasters. I was part of the Amazon EcoSystem in 1997-98 when I started a website for a restaurant because the fax machine broke. (That is another story)

Fast forward to 2005-2007 and meeting Jeff Barr an evangelist for Amazon Web Services and learning all about tech for startups.
Image result for Amazon AWS Logo
Amazon is now in a lot of places and businesses and being dominant may mean they have to split their Lines of business.

Amazon with the addition of Whole Foods.
Image result for Amazon Go
The biggest section of Amazon that delights  many of us is the Prime part of Amazon. Free shipping, free movies, offers, even a dedicated day for us.
See the source image

If Amazon needs to split here are my predictions.

Business 1 : Amazon the logistic platform that enables anyone to sell online
Business 2: Amazon Local/Go shop in brick and mortar stores and get delivery. Amazon realizes that we want to touch, feel and try things and offline is important to online success.
Business 3: Prime video and membership.  Costco beware, the power of a membership is coming to take business away from you. Prime members can choose to shop online or get special privileges at the large Prime Stores.
Business 4: Amazon Web Services. It is kind of already a different business.

I think Jeff Bezos and Amazon do not want to be the monolith that the media and the stock market is making it to be. With Amazon split into 4 Jeff Bezos of course will be 4 times more valuable than today as all his 4 business will grow into monoliths and I will write another article in 5 years.

The "Prime" reason for Bezos' success is that among the 3 things he values the most is customer service. Over any profit, Bezos and Amazon want to make sure the satisfaction of customers transacting with anything Amazon is 98.9%. Pretty good. When was the last time you were looking for a support number on Amazon. The stuff just works and it will in all the 4 new companies that Jeff Bezos may be forced to own

What do you think ?

Monday, November 19, 2018

Google is the World's Biggest Social Network!

Google Plus may be dead but Google is fast becoming the world's largest social Network. Here are the reasons why:

1) Commenting on Google Search: For a long time you could add your reviews/comments for Google search results like Movie and TV Show reviews. Now Google announced that you can start adding comments on Google Search results.

Google says that "You can leave comments on things you’ve searched for on Google, like a sports game. You can also read and rate comments left by others."

2) Google Maps becomes Social: You can now follow and even send a message from Google Maps to a business.

Once you a follow a business on Google Maps, the business can send you offers and updates so you don't miss cool happenings.

3) Google My Business Posts: All businesses can publish events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps. Posts can be text, video, or photos and when people see your business listing on Google, they can see the post as well. Continue to refresh your posts once every two weeks

4) Reviews in Search Results:  Google bring in the review data from your website or other review sites like Houzz, Yelp, Foursquare etc

5) Twitter Results in Google Search: If you have built your website with structured data/schema and have associated your social properties with your website, it is easy for Google to associate the business social profiles to your Google search results. Your latest 3 tweets appear directly in the Google search results for your business.

6) Google Bulletin: This is a new community news site from Google that is till in beta. you can create posts about local happenings and news and publish them without the need to have a blog

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Amazon Offline : 6 things I Learnt From A Visit to Amazon Books Bethesda

The Facebook Portal Plus at the Amazon Store. It's Huge!
We have been planning to visit the Amazon Store ever since one was opened in Georgetown, Washington DC and later at the Bethesda Row in Maryland.

6 Things that I learnt here:

1) Stuffed Like A Warehouse: In my opinion this store is stuffed probably like the Amazon Warehouses. It seems like everything is all over and you just have to explore and find what you need. Definitely the Amazon Logistics division planned the store and not the wonderful customer experience team at Amazon.

2)  Has a Children's Section: Till my kids grew past the kid's section, the Barnes and Noble Children's section was an enchanting place. Amazon has a children's section as well.

3)  Check Out the Facebook Portal Devices Here:  Amazon Books has all varieties of Amazon devices and smart bulbs,  such as Amazon basics. Surprised to see Facebook's Portal+ and play with it. The version shown in the photo above is huge. I would have loved to have this as a conference speaker for work but not for something I want to share with Facebook friends. If they can have the Facebook portal, why not the Google Home Hub or Lenovo Google Smart Display? Looking for Apple devices, just walk across the street to the Apple Store.

4) Best Buy Style Games : My son was very happy to use the wireless game controllers while using the Amazon Fire TV to play games. That is something I had not known that an Amazon Fire TV stick or cube could do.

5) Amazon Basics: If I had bought one thing today, it would have been the Amazon Basics stuff. USB-C cables, AA Batteries $8+ for 20 or iPhone Chargers all at the bargain Amazon prices. If there was a Amazon store on every street corner, you probably would go there. I needed AA batteries but I am going to buy them either from Costco or from Amazon online.

6) No Trade-in of Amazon Tablets: One of the prime reasons I was here was hoping to avail of Amazon's Device Trade-In to upgrade my Kindle Fire 8 to a Kindle Fire 10. Unfortunately Amazon Books is not the place to do this and I would have to go to Tyson's Corner. Why?

7) No Coffee: I thought all the Amazon Books Stores had a cafe. Not true. Only the Georgetown store has Allegro coffee. Not the Bethesda store. No worries get the locally grounded Quartermaine coffee a few doors down.

Ok, while you can pay with your Amazon App, the store has a cashier line and check out counter. IMHO it is lacking in technology and I would rate it a 3.5 star out of 5 stars. Amazon needs to think customer service if they want offline stores. Not sure is I would go back to this store unless it was closer than the Best Buy or Home Depot and I needed something urgently.

Friday, September 28, 2018

UTM codes Are useful for tracking

This is a good resource to add UTM codes

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