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Issac Avila

Issac Avila

Monday, 09 January 2017 14:28

The science of making your new blog viral

Some are really making it big already!

The blog market is too saturated now. You can find hundreds of blogs on a single topic. In order to compete, you should first define your audience for whom your will write and then try to build content which they will love to read and share

Blogging is not only an important source of side income but it is also a means of exerting public influence. In the so-called Arab Spring, many bloggers played a key role in the uprisings, especially in Egypt. Similarly, many bloggers are now trend setters in the fashion space. Some have succeeded in making it a full time income source for them. Some vloggers (video blog) on you tube are earning millions of dollars and they have a fan following even more than that of some TV stars. Other than Google ads, product endorsements, free give away, featured/sponsored articles, brand mention on social media accounts and affiliate selling are all key ways of making money through your blog and associated social media channels. According to a British web portal, influential British fashion bloggers are charging upto 6,000 GBP for one post on their Instagram accounts by luxury brands. The science of successful blogging and online freelancing has created a whole lot of digital nomads in the west who not only earn good money by travel blogging, but also get sponsored by the hotels, restaurants all over the world to visit and mention them in their blog and some even get paid. The most popular blogs are in the domain of fashion, food/recipes, travel, business/digital marketing and tech. The key to getting your blog viral is content as it is said in the SEO world that “content is the king”. Getting tons of traffic on your blog and making it viral is not an art but a science and here are the key elements of this science:

1 Focus on your niche:

The blog market is too saturated now. You can find hundreds of blogs on a single topic. In order to compete, you should first define your audience for whom your will write and then try to build content which they will love to read and share. If you will focus on a very broad audience then maybe you are focusing none of them which will result in a disengagement of your audience.

2 Invest in your blog to build your social media following:

The first step to market your blog is to build a little audience on social media of around 5k–10k followers. No matter how good you are at writing, you blog will never gain traction if you do not have an initial base of users who can share the content which you are producing. For that, you need to spend a little money until you attain your minimum required fan following. You can either market your Facebook page and social media accounts or you can use a paid post campaign to not only reach your target audience but make your paid content viral as well. For example, kitabmela.com, an online book store, uses a unique strategy to make their content go viral. From the books which sell they pick up a best phrase or a best quotation of that author, run a paid post campaign of that image and below the image they give the offer to sell that book. This strategy gives their post thousands of shares; consequently, their page and book selling offer automatically gets viral. Another important thing in social media is to post content continuously and at the right time. You can use content scheduling tools such as buffer or hootsuite to schedule your content at specific time intervals of the day.

In the digital world, SEO (Search engine optimisation) is the key to make your content visible on the first page of google for selected search keywords. It is a long process to make your blog visible on google’s first page which is a science in itself

3 Create content which resonates with your audience:

A content strategy will only work if you will understand what your audience demands from you. First of all, you need to do a little research on what content is getting viral among your target audience. For that you need to check the social media accounts of your competitors, make an excel spread sheet and list down all those posts which got viral and the number of shares they got. Secondly, you should use tools such as buzzsumo.com and ahrefs.com to search the relevant topic, get the most shared content, understand the key similarities between the content which is getting shared and produce similar original content but with a knowledgeable insight. For example, if you have a blog related to entrepreneurship and business then research backed articles may be more helpful but if you have a fashion based blog then a listicle of latest fashion trends may resonate with your audience.

4 Learn the science of producing viral content:

Producing viral content is a science, not an art. According to the science of viral content, create a catchy headline which has got either of these three formats; how to, list form or why. Secondly, include an emotional hook with your topic. Thirdly address your audience in the topic and fourthly include a promise in your topic. The best example of this kind of a headline is an article which got 97.8k shares on facebook, 8.7k shares on linkedin.com and 4.3k retweets on twitter. This article was titled “How Pokemon go is driving insane amounts of sales at small, local business”. The content of the article also matters equally as the headline. According to the research by industry leaders, the content which gets shared most is the one which contains some original research and has some scientific data based evidence. On the other side of the spectrum, a heart touching story, fun and entertaining content and inspirational quotes are the ones which get shared most. Do not forget to include images, gifs, infographics to your article as they nearly double the chance of your content being shared. Adding small videos to your content or producing small video based content is another way of getting viral with which you can experiment as research tells that people are four times more likely to watch a video rather reading an article.

5 Make yourself an authority in the field:

Latest research tells that people like to share more content of those people who are an authority in their field. So try to make yourself an authority in the field by writing for established and known names in your industry e.g. if you are writing about fashion then try to write for most popular magazines of the industry and if you are writing about entrepreneurship then try to get published in magazines likeentrepreneur.com. Secondly, try to make a list of influencers in your industry e.g. journalists, influential bloggers, and known stars and request themto mention your blog in their social media account. Try to give them some favour e.g. write a whole article about their company, blog etc. or interview them and in return request for a mention of your blog on their social media account. Request industry influentials to publish your article as a guest post and try to be in touch with them. If they continuously read you, they may link to some of your article even without your request and that will create a virtuous cycle of site linking for you.

6 Focus on content aggregator and content curator sites:

It is not only content production but content distribution as well which makes your blog successful. Whenever you produce an article, focus on distributing your content as well. There are many content distribution sites and apps as well such as feedly, medium, flipboard, alltop, and many blog aggregator sites as well. Try to submit to all of them.

7 Blog/website design:

From a viral point of view, you need to make sure two things. One is to collect your visitor e-mails by having a pop up when someone enters your site or leaves your site. Although sometimes annoying for the visitor but it can be useful to create a loyal list of readers. You can increase your e-mail subscription rate by experimenting with simple tweaks e.g. changing the pop up text, colour and changing its position. Second is to use a sticky social bar which stays on screen all the time when the user is scrolling down to read the article. This one single thing can increase your share rate by up to 20pc.

8 Focus on SEO basics:

In the digital world, SEO (Search engine optimisation) is the key to make your content visible on the first page of google for selected search keywords. It is a long process to make your blog visible on google’s first page which is a science in itself but, at least you should know SEO basics to optimise your content according to the search engines requirements and understand the demand from your target niche. If you will produce content according to key word research and social sharing patterns, that will amplify the chance of your content getting viral. There are many key word research strategies available on the internet but I would recommend an article on the blog ofahrefs.com which contains a comprehensive keyword research strategy as well as relevant tools titled “this 19 step Key word research process will sky rocket your organic search traffic”.

Author: TAYYAB TARIQ NARULA
Source: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/01/08/the-science-of-making-your-new-blog-viral

 

A new study shows Americans really dig Internet of Things (IoT) technology, with nearly two-thirds owning at least one IoT devices, according to a recent research report commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The study found that 62% of U.S. consumers own at least one IoT gizmo.

The research was conducted by MARU/VCR&C which surveyed more than1,200 U.S. adults in the study.

The report found that the most commonly owned connected devices were smart TVs and streaming devices (47% of respondents), then health tracking devices (24%) and web-connected home control gadgets (17%).

Of those owning IoT devices, researchers determined the majority were most likely to be parents between 18-34 years old. These owners tended to have household incomes above the national average of $50,000 and have college educations.

Particularly heartening to IAB’s advertising constituents is the finding that 65% of those Americans polled said they would be willing to receive advertisements on IoT screens.

“Vigorous growth in familiarity and IoT usage is fueling interest among consumers—and brands need to pay attention,” said IAB Chief Operating Officer Patrick Dolan.

“To access the coveted IoT audience that is already open to receiving ads on their devices, advertisers need to consider ‘added incentives’ for their messages,” said Dolan. “As adoption continues and marketers learn to weave the Internet of Things into their strategies, tomorrow’s prospects for IoT as a marketing platform will be very bright.What are te most

What are the most popular IoT purchases?

The study found that the most popular IoT purchases U.S. consumers were considering include: connected/smart TVs and streaming devices (39% of those polled); connected cars (37%); health trackers (32%); and wired home control systems (31%).

Despite the popularity of certain IoT devices, a significant gloomy patch in the sector remains parts of the consumer wearables market, notably smartwatches.

recent study by International Data Corp. found that worldwide volumes of shipped smartwatches fell nearly 52% in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

Smartwatch makers have faced diminishing returns, leading to consolidation in the space as exemplified by Pebble’s recent acquisition by Fitbit.

Author : TAYLOR STEWART

Source : http://readwrite.com/2016/12/29/iot-connected-devices-link-nearly-two-thirds-americans-dl4/

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cogilex R&D Inc., a Montreal-based technology innovation company, today launched a new type of search engine named Seenso Health. Seenso ranks webpages intelligently based on the meaning of their content. In addition, it mimics the behavior of a knowledgeable and helpful guide by offering users knowledge maps of key information and a guided exploratory interface for expanding the search.

“Our goal is to make medical search easier and better. Seenso is a cognitive-based semantic search engine that can identify the meaningful content of webpages and measure their relevance to users’ goals and tasks in context. It can also identify and provide information that is central to users’ needs,” said Dr. Mei Chen, Cogilex’s CEO and chief scientist.

Seenso Health is the first of a series of specialized search engines that Cogilex is developing. “Developing a full-scale real-world semantic search engine that comprises an extensive amount of semantic rules in a knowledge-rich domain of medicine was both conceptually complex and computationally challenging,” said Dr. Chen. “Seenso is the first of its kind.”

Seenso Health’s goal is to provide high-quality medical information in a way that helps users better understand their health problems and make wiser medical decisions. “Nowadays, most of us rely on the Internet to find health-related information, but gaining a good understanding about health issues remains a challenge,” said Dr. Chen. “When people act on fragmented and inadequate information, it can lead to counterproductive feelings, decisions, and actions, and this has become the cause of increasing concern from both health professionals and the search engine community. Our search engine highlights a range of issues important to a health topic and it can potentially help users form a more comprehensive view and make better informed medical decisions.”

Seenso Health is offered as a not-for-profit public service, free of advertisements and user tracking. “We want to give our users the best chance to really learn about things important to their health, without the distraction of ads or concerns about their privacy,” said Dr. Chen. Seenso Health is a platform dedicated to promote health education, self-care, and self-management of chronic conditions at home. “This is our way of making a contribution to a healthier and better world,” said Dr. Chen.

Seenso is being launched at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A press conference will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Jan. 5, 2017 in Bellini 2003 at the Venetian. Seenso is being displayed at the Eureka Park (Booth #51260) from Jan. 5 to 8, 2017.

About Cogilex R&D Inc. www.Cogilex.com

Cogilex specializes in the research and development of intelligent search engine technology. Its goal is to transform massive, unstructured information into functional knowledge to effectively support users’ learning, decision making, and performance. Seenso Health is a showcase for Cogilex’s innovative technology. Visit Seenso.com.

Contacts

Cogilex R&D
Dr. Mei Chen, 514-978-5402
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Source  : http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170104005059/en/Cogilex-Launches-Type-Search-Engine-Health

In March, Russian intelligence forces under the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a sophisticated influence campaign against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to a newly released report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Putin ordered the campaign to “denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” ODNI states.

The multifaceted operation included the digital theft of information held by U.S. political campaigns and organizations, think tanks and lobbying groups, which Russian officials viewed as likely to shape future policy. Democratic and Republican organizations were targeted.

Russian intelligence first gained access to Democratic National Committee, or DNC, networks in July 2015. The hackers were able to maintain access until at least June 2016, around the same time when private cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike was contracted by the organization.

U.S. spies confirmed that the documents, communications and other information stolen from the DNC and political operatives by the Russians was ultimately passed onto WikiLeaks, state-backed Russian news networks and multiple proxy disclosure websites — including a blog used by a faux hacker named Guccifer 2.0 and the site DCLeaks.com.

“We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets,” the declassified report reads.

Author : Chris Bing

Source : https://www.cyberscoop.com/russian-hacking-report-odni/

Many of you after reading the title will be like “Okay Google is number 1”. Well yes it is and will be the top search engine for many more years to come. So why this post of best search engines in the world?? Well as a blogger and an SEO Analyst its always important to keep track of the things around you, specially the things which have a direct impact on you and your work.

I would also like to include stats from one of my website for which I even haven’t even done Google Webmasters !! But know what !! I am making 1000$ every month from that site and all of the traffic is organic !! Not from Google but from 2-3 other search engines.

Now don’t ask me why not Google !!!  I will still answer it.

  • Because the Competition on Google is really high and it’s not easy !!
  • The search engines I am working on are getting equally good searches for the same keywords.
  • And yes Google is not everything for me.

So… Should I begin with the list ??

Before that I would also would like to give you all a small homework. Once you read this post, do a research on the ranking factors of the different search engines. Yes, some of them will be just based on Google’s factors but I can assure you that few of them are completely different in their working.

Why Should we Know about Google Alternatives ?

“Don’t do Evil” – Google

But !!! Yeah it can be seen that Google has very well started doing many activities that are quite unwell for website owners.

They added various new features to search which resulted in a huge decline in traffic of numerous websites. The introduction of “Google Knowledge Graph“ is something that many of the webmasters are angry at.

And as it looks, Google is trying to give answers to all user queries in the knowledge graph itself which ultimately leads to lesser number of clicks from search. Here’s an example:

Google knowledge graph

There are many more reasons that explains this anger of webmasters and online business owners.

Best Search Engines List: Top 10

Again let me tell you that apart from Google, other search-engines also provide millions of queries to users daily. So there are plenty of search engines out there which can serve you both as a user or as a webmaster ( in terms of generating traffic+revenue)

Here’s the list of best and most popular search engines (as of 2016).

1. Google

To be honest, Google search engine is the best and the most advanced search engine. Over 70% of online searches are done via Google which clearly shows its dominance in the industry.

google search engine

It has many advanced options and features that helps users to get their desired result at the earliest. Features like calculator, calendar, flight tracking, currency convertors, stock market numbers, Sporting schedules etc on the result page itself gives users the best searching experience.

2. Youtube

Believe it or not,  Youtube is the second largest search engine !! Well yes I have listed it here, Youtube gets searches more than the combined of Bing, Yahoo and AOL.

youtube search engine

As per the report on socially stacked, YouTube processes over 3 billion queries a month which is more than Yahoo, Bing, ask and Aol combined.

By this one thing is clear, Engaging and visual content will always be the top preference of internet users worldwide.  So if you are planning to start a blog on something, pause for a moment and think of starting a youtube channel. Do think of it. 

3. Bing

Although Google rules the industry of online searches, Bing still has a good hold in the market. Around 10-15% of searches from United States are performed on BING search Engine.

bing search engine

Talking about Bing’s homepage, it changes daily with super high quality pictures. Also like Google, Bing also started giving direct results to multiple type of queries like calculations, conversions, tracking, sporting etc.

4. Yahoo

A portion of online users still prefer using yahoo for their daily search queries. One important reason for this is due to the homepage of Yahoo which itself is a complete news website with daily news, updates and happenings being displayed. This is why many users still use Yahoo !!

yahoo search engine

Another impressive offer by yahoo is its Yahoo answers which provides users answers to all their questions. However since the launch of Quora, there has been a big decline in activity at yahoo answers.

5. Ask.com

Originally named as Ask Jeeves, ask.com is still very much the first choice for a lot of users in the USA. It accounts for 3% of the total search market. The quality of search results are still not well enough to satisfy the user.

ask.com search engine

It’s more of a question answer based engine where users themselves can answer the questions asked by others.

6. Baidu

Google is still not the dominant force in China as Baidu rules the search industry with over 70% market share. Baidu is ranked 4th in Alexa worldwide and is the number1 1 site in China.

baidu search engine

Moreover as per the reports from China internet watch website, Baidu is ranked 2nd in the total net search ad revenue beating Microsoft and Yahoo with a revenue of 7.18 Billion in 2015.

china-search-engine-baidu-sougou

7. Aol

A US based company with a search engine market share of 0.15% according to netmarketshare. Here’s a look AOL.com homepage.

aol search engine

8. Yandex

We have seen a Chinese search engine (Baidu), now this is a Russian founded search engine. Yandex has become quite popular search engine in Russia and in many parts of Europe. It has a 55-65% market share in the Russian Search market.

Yandex search engine

9. DuckDuckGo

I really love this one !! Well many reasons, firstly it has a very clean interface !! Something which Google is not very good at.

Moreover DuckDuckgo never tracks you or your activities !! yes surf anonymously !!  Moreover you don’t have to move onto other pages, duckduckgo offers infinite scrolling in a very user friendly manner.

duckduckgo search engine

10. WayBack Machine

This again is not really a search engine, it’s rather an engine that allows you to look over the history of any page on the internet. It claims to contain the history of over 480 billion pages on the internet.

I have added this into the list because as a SEO person this site is something we all visit to learn about the history of pages.

Here’s how it shows for iftiSEO.com

wayback machine

Moreover for your future reference, it also allows you to save your page at any particular instant of time.

11. Lycos

One of the oldest search engines which was founded in 1994 and was quite common in the past. It currently has only 0.01% desktop search engine market share.

Here’s a snap from the search engine:

lycos search engine

Other Search Engines List

So we have already shared 11 search engines above, but it still doesn’t cover a lot of engine. Here are few more search engines that you must be knowing about.

So I have added plenty of top, best and popular search engines of 2016. But I guess you still will be using the same Google  Right !! Do comment on any more search engines that you wish to get added in this list.

Author : Iftekhar Ahmed

Source : http://www.iftiseo.com/2016/02/top-search-engines-list.html

Malware attacks on smartphones' operating systems have increased with the rise of the number of mobile phone users in India

With the rise in the number of mobile internet users in India, malware attacks on smartphones’ operating systems have increased and mobile applications through which people hack into phones to access personal data show the same trend, a study has found.

The report “Going Cashless and Digital: Top Cyber Threats and Targets for 2017” released on Thursday by BD Software, country partner of Bitdefender — cyber security solutions provider — highlights major trends in the cyber threat landscape in India in 2017.

“Marked with high-profile breaches and the feel of excitement and uncertainty over the country’s move towards digitising all spheres of life and economy, the outgoing 2016 sets high expectations of more advanced, more complicated and possibly more devastating security breaches in the coming year,” said Ajay Khubchandani, IT Security Expert, BD Software, in a statement.

According to the report, cashless transactions through ATMs, Point of Sale terminals, online banking websites and others are also potential targets of the cyber criminals.

The report noted that personal data is likely to draw the attention of cybercriminals in the coming year.

“As India is becoming more and more digital, the personal data of all sorts, from biometrics and family records to bank accounts and social media accounts is in danger,” the report added.

Researchers predicted that connected devices or Internet of Things (IoT) is another target for cyber attacks.

In governments, government agencies and state-affiliated organisations , the scale of data breaches is going to increase further with cross-border tensions continuing in many regions of the world, the report warned.

Author: IANS
Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/personal-data-to-draw-attention-of-hackers-in-2017-report-4451436

This article is courtesy of BusinessCollective, featuring thought leadership content by ambitious young entrepreneurs, executives & small business owners.

Creating a great marketing strategy is like baking a pie — you don’t want to leave out the most important ingredients.

For many small business owners, taking time off isn’t just a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends. It’s also a chance to take a step back from day-to-day business operations and look at the parts of their business that they appreciate as well as what needs to be addressed.

When it comes to marketing, a lot of businesses make the mistake of leaving it to the end of their budgets and business plans — just like pie is left for dessert — when in actuality, it greatly affects that potential for success.

When you take a look at your own marketing pie, these eight pieces are integral in creating success. Each one on their own is great, but when you put them all together, the results will expand your bottom line immensely.

Web Presence

Your website is your first marketing opportunity for new customers. Make sure your website is attractive, presents what you do and who you are, and provides social proof of success. Your online presence, branding and marketing materials are a great place to start in  building your marketing message and attracting clients.

Customer Relationships

This is the most active and important piece of your pie. Keeping your current customers happy and engaged with you and your business is the most profitable area of marketing. Happy customers stay loyal and also bring new customers. Continually finding ways to bring value and service to your existing customers in unique and personal ways will always be good for business. Customer success is quickly becoming the epicenter of the marketing department.

Social Media

Stay active with your community — even if it’s just an image or a quick update. Social media presence is now becoming the indicator of life in a business. People do business with people, and social media is the number one place where people are interacting. Keeping content fresh on your social media profiles indicates an active online presence. It also becomes a place for quick customer support, and if comments and requests are missed, it can look poorly on your business reputation.

Content Creation

Creating content that is valuable to your users not only builds engagement and loyalty but also helps build your website value to search engines and will increase your organic traffic as you increase in your search engine ranking. If you’re looking for a long-term marketing effort that pays big dividends for your business, informative content is a great investment.

Joint Ventures and Partnerships

This is often overlooked but is one of the best-known secrets of small business marketing. Finding joint venture partners who service the same target market can help you promote your services to additional customers and provide better service. Seek events and partnerships with businesses that are non-competing and align with your company values. Expand your reach with either joint promotions or events.

Affiliates and Brand Ambassadors

Reward your raving fans and referrers. Incentivize your customers and online influencers to mention you and share your business. More than ever, purchasers are depending on reviews, referrals and social influence to make buying decisions. Once you’ve taken the time to set up an affiliate or referral system, your circle of influence can grow beyond your specific reach. This is a great way to reach new markets and reward fans which end up costing a lot less than investing in advertising and sales.

Speaking Events and Local Outreach

Small business still depends on a lot of exposure. There is no better way to create impact with the exposure of speaking events. Share your expertise, customer focus, and mission statement from a stage and you instantly show credibility and personal connection. Get over your fear of public speaking and discover the marketing power of sharing your own voice on a stage.

Networking

Never stop networking! To stay in business, you always need to keep building and working on it. Networking is the continual practice of making new relationships and maintaining the ones you have. Your presence at events and conferences with potential customers, employees and partners matters and may not pay off right away, but over time, you reaffirm your consistency in business and your commitment to growing relationships and community.

Just like pie, marketing takes effort, ingredients, and time to create the final results. The great part is, when you add it all together, nothing beats the smell of sweet success.

Arash Asli is the cofounder and CEO of Yocale, an online scheduling and marketing platform for small businesses.

Source : http://tech.co/essentials-great-marketing-strategy-2016-12

As we’ve become more and more reliant on devices and the internet in our day-to-day lives, the more of our data and information has been uploaded to the web. Not only that, but many of us rely on the internet for work or play — and internet security is essential to that. Whether you’re worried about nefarious hackers, government spying, or nosy advertisers, you can help protect your data by following a few easy steps and using a few different (and free) tools.

Here are the cybersecurity essentials — used by everyone from security experts to journalists — to get you started.

Ground Rules

If you’re worried about privacy and protecting your information, you can follow some simple rules to make sure you have a head start against any would-be spies.

First, use a strong password. The best kind of password doesn’t contain words or fragments, but rather a random assortment of letters, numbers and special characters. You can also use a password manager like LastPassPassword Safe, or KeePass1Password is a popular option for iOS. Additionally, don’t use the same password across all of your accounts.

Next, make sure not to over-share information on social media. You really don’t need your phone number, email address or birth dates readily accessible to the public, do you?

Set up a Google alert for your name, so you can keep tabs on how your identity is being perceived or used without your consent. Don’t like advertisers gathering information about you? Use a non-tracking search engine like DuckDuckGo.

Lastly, try to enable two-factor authentication whenever you can. In that case, your accounts will have an extra layer of security even if your passwords become compromised.

Message Safer

There are many options when it comes to encrypted messaging services, but two of the best are WhatsApp and Signal.

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app, and it might be one that you already use. But what you might not know is that WhatsApp actually features end-to-end encryption: the messages you send are scrambled, ensuring that only you and the recipient have the key needed to read them.

Signal is another excellent choice, and is popular among journalist and security experts. Along with end-to-end encryption, it also features disappearing messages — meaning that there will be no record of the conversation after the messages expire.

Signal is arguably better encrypted, but a messaging app is only useful if you use it — and you probably have more friends on WhatsApp.

Get a Secure Email Client

If you’re worried about various entities reading your email, you should look into Proton. It’s a free, secure email client based in Switzerland — meaning that it falls under Swiss, rather than American, privacy laws. That means the U.S. government can’t force Proton to give up your data. Forbes famously called it “the only email system NSA can’t access.

All emails sent through the service are end-to-end encrypted, and the client never logs your IP address. Besides a browser-based version, the service also has an Android and iOS app so you can take your secure emails on-the-go.

Some other options are Tutanota and KolabNow. Both are open-source and free-to-use. For something a bit more feature-packed, Berlin-based Posteo.de is held in very high regard among security experts. It doesn’t ask for any information when you sign up, it features two-factor authentication, and it allows you to pay others anonymously. Unfortunately, it’s not free.

Download TOR

If you’re serious about encrypting your online activities on your computer, there’s The Onion Router, also known as the TOR project.

TOR Browser is a lightweight program, available to download for both PC and Mac, that obscures your online browsing via a proxy network. When you use TOR, your computer doesn’t directly access a site — the program sends your request through various servers spread across the world. That way, the site you’re accessing never actually sees your IP address.

Of course, this security doesn’t work if you’re accessing a site that asks for login or other personal information — like Facebook or other account-based services. While your computer and IP address might be anonymous, TOR doesn’t hide the specific, possibly compromising activities that could give your identity away.

Use a VPN

A VPN works by extending a private network over the public connections we use daily. VPNs use a series of discrete networks or computers to secure and encrypt communication when using the internet. A user logging into a VPN would typically access it via a client/browser window, log-in with special credentials (really similar to how you’d log into your email) and voila — once inside the VPN, the user is secure from any eavesdropping or spying.

Any time you’re doing something on the internet, you’re exchanging and sending data to another source. A VPN ensures that each time you do so, all the data that’s being sent from your end is encrypted, and safe from people seeking to steal it.

Additional Considerations

Even with using privacy services like TOR, some of your DNS traffic might still leak through, potentially compromising your anonymity. To find and plug those leaks, you can use DNSLeakTest.com.

Similarly, you can see just how much information your computer web browser is giving away by going to BrowserLeaks.com or Panopticlick. You can take notes and additional steps to plug those leaks, too — like turning off cookies and disabling site tracking.

Many apps on the iPhone use location services — while this can be great for remembering exactly where you took that iPhone picture, it also means that your data might have scarily specific locations attached to them. For example, the Exif data embedded into your bathroom selfie can potentially let attackers know exactly where you live. Paranoid? Just turn off location services for any or all apps via Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

Author:  Mike Peterson

Source:  https://www.idropnews.com/how-to/how-to-remain-private-or-anonymous-online/28441

Google (or Alphabet, if you prefer) has long been plagued with a problem with its advertising business: while the number of ads people are clicking on has been growing, the value of those ads has been constantly dropping. Google has always excelled at showing the best ads against a search result, but that business may not last forever as the way people interact with technology starts to change rapidly.

That’s all fine as long as Google can keep those clicks growing and coming along, but as we’ve seen in the case of Apple’s smartphone market share topping out, there are only so many eyeballs to get ads in front of people. And for now, it might be able to keep its stock price in a good place. Google has to keep padding those impressions, or get creative around the way it advertises to its users. Wall Street, as usual, is looking for growth — especially in the largest companies in the world. Apple has more or less been punished (or at least, not rewarded) for its slowing smartphone sales and so far lack of dramatic new growth engines.

And that’s just what the company has been doing. This year, Google unveiled two major new hardware products: the Pixel smartphone and the voice-driven living room assistant Google Home (in addition to a few smaller launches like Google Wifi and an updated Chromecast dongle). These more or less fit into the vision of getting people to engage with Google’s search engine in some active way with the hope that if Google figures out how to get it right, it’ll be able to monetize it down the line.

Whether that will convince Wall Street that Google is able to get beyond the search engine by diversifying its touch points — whether that’s voice, phone, VR or any other new interactive medium — is still yet to be seen. Google’s core competency has always been advertising, and while it might be able to build a business on cloud services (as we’ve seen with Amazon is becoming very successful) or new hardware, Google still has so much data that if it can figure out next-generation advertising products on new mediums it might have a new fantastic growth story for Wall Street.

It needed to at least show that intent to Wall Street. A healthy stock price — and also a story about innovation and looking forward — is important to keep attracting the best talent. Google’s problems are some of the hardest in tech, and it needs to be able to tell a story to not only investors but prospective employees that they can work on those hard problems and also be well-compensated for doing so.

Google is trying to flex the power of its machine learning algorithms, which given the data it has may arguably be the most powerful in the world. That helps Google understand complex queries from products like the Google Assistant — and get people to stick to Google’s voice interface versus Apple’s. Amazon exposed latent demand for a voice-driven interface with the Amazon Echo, and Google is essentially hoping to perfect the experience.

As such, while Google has shown that its advertising business isn’t so challenged, it’s showing that it’s already looking toward the future. And that’s been largely reflected in the company’s share price from Wall Street. Despite some bumps in the road, Google at the very least looks on track to hold steady or end the year up a bit from where it was around a year ago today:

All of Google’s efforts to figure out what the next-generation “search” interface will be will have to eventually play out. The way it works is this: Google’s paid clicks are going up, but the cost-per-click — which is the key metric Wall Street is looking at when it’s looking at the health of Google’s business — is still on the decline. That’s because mobile ads are generally less valuable than the company’s desktop search ads.

Here’s a look at the decline, from the company’s last earnings report:

google cpc

And meanwhile, the paid clicks, also from the last earnings report:

google paid clicks

So, if Google’s core business is eventually at risk of a slowdown, or decline, where does it go from here?

Google has shown clear signs that it’s trying to diversify its revenue. Perhaps the largest indicator was the hiring of Diane Green and the ramping up of its cloud services tools in an attempt to challenge Amazon, whose AWS business is rapidly becoming a huge growth engine for Amazon without the excessive costly fiscal baggage of its retail business. Amazon unveiled a huge number of updates to its AWS service earlier this year — including literally driving a truck to your office to put your info into the cloud — and Google is going to be playing catch-up for a while. But, clearly, it’s trying to show Wall Street that it’s more than a search engine.

There’s also its increasing number of updates to its online productivity — which also puts it in competition with Microsoft. It’s also competing with Microsoft through both its cloud services and productivity tools, which Microsoft will never let you forget. And Apple is rapidly trying to ramp up its own services, regularly pointing to the success of things like Apple Music, in order to show Wall Street that it isn’t just a hardware company and can level the playing ground against companies looking to be a combo of hardware and software like Microsoft or google.

And that’s also why there’s a whole section devoted to Google’s “other bets” in its earnings reports, though they haven’t shown themselves to be dramatically successful yet. Google’s core growth engine has been its search ads, but it’s also been known for its “Google X” labs, where it experiments on anything from network fiber to balloons and self-driving cars.

Alphabet — through its CFO Ruth Porat — has been clear that it wants to be more judicious about the way it invests in these other bets. It’s all fine to invest in experimental projects like Fiber and self-driving cars, but if there isn’t a clear path to revenue, the company is going to have to figure out whether or not to move on to the next project and where to devote its resources. Alphabet may be one of the most valuable companies in the world, but even then it still only has so much runway and faces the constant threat from other companies emerging with experimental projects that could be runaway successes (the most obvious threat being the Amazon Echo).

If you wanted any evidence as to how absolutely tiny Google’s bets are for now, here’s a chart for you:

Google saw the demand that Alexa tapped, and it is now looking to essentially smash Alexa — and Siri — with its own assistant powered by machine learning. And there’s a good bet it’ll work. Google has collected data for years and years on how people use the Internet, what kinds of questions they ask a search engine, and where they travel around after those questions have been asked. Google at a very fundamental level has a pretty good understanding of how we tick, and every time you use its services, it gets smarter and smarter. That’s why Google is constantly trying to bury its own interfaces within everything it does.

Sure, Google has a large portfolio of services that it can still throw ads up against. And that, at least for now, is something that can add a lot of value for its investors and keep the ship steady for a while. It has Gmail, with more than a billion users. It has one of the largest browsers in Chrome. In fact, it has a wide portfolio of services with a billion users or more. But those are not Google’s key revenue drivers, and Google has to show that it can keep growing revenue if it’s going to keep Wall Street off its back.

There’s a barrier that Google still has to overcome: while it is constantly learning, refining, improving and helping its users figure out what they are looking for, it also has to do so in a manner that doesn’t seem creepy. Google wants you to be constantly wired to the Internet — whether that’s through your phone, your voice or the way you move throughout the physical world. Google wants to tap your experience through everything from a screen to a virtual reality experience in the case of Daydream. And the company is aggressively spending in order to expand into all of those areas.

Apple still has an ace in the hole. It’s trying to roll out its own wireless earbuds that will give you Siri in your ear and, in theory, because of its proprietary technology it’ll be able to control the entire experience and make it uniquely Apple-y. Like Google, Apple is trying to figure out what kind of user experience looks like beyond the phone. Alexa and Google Home are in the living room, Google Assistant is talking to your phone, but the Airpods and Siri are a sort of wild card that we don’t know how it will play out yet.

In short, Google hasn’t cleared the way and gotten away from its existential crises. As long as those paid clicks keep going up, it’ll be able to keep the runway and hopefully figure out how to apply its strong machine learning capabilities to wherever users are drifting to next. And then once it gets people comfortable talking to, or clicking around, on their controlled user experience it can figure out how to monetize them the way it knows best — through advertisements.

Alphabet’s opportunity is very big. For a moment earlier this year, Alphabet was the most valuable company in the world. In the face of slumping hardware sales, Apple clearly showed the risk that comes with focusing on a business beyond simply hardware, and that for growth it’s important to have a revenue base that exists as a collection of software and hardware. That’s what Google is looking for, with the unifying component being whatever search looks like after people are no longer using a search bar. And it’s a new story for Wall Street that just might work.

Author : Matthew Lynley

Source : https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/21/alphabet-tried-to-convince-wall-street-its-not-just-a-search-engine-this-year/

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 00:41

7 hidden games in Google and how to play them

Did you know that the popular and friendly search engine, Google has hidden a number of games that can help you to get rid of boredom?

Euroffice has collected all the games that you can find hidden on Google, and Android devices that can help you to kill that occasional down time:

Games hidden in Google search

By doing a simple Google search, you can find the three hidden games mentioned below: 

1. Atari Breakout

Simply, type the name of the cult classic in Google’s image search and keep yourself occupied for hours:

atari

2. Pac Man

This gem-of-a-game has apparently wasted 4,819,352 hours and $120 million worth of lost time. All you need to do is eat the Pac-dots, and avoid the ghosts.

pacman

3. Zerg Rush

From the video game, Starcraft, Zerg Rush is a term referring to a swarm attack that you can find hidden in Google search. Break the falling 0’s as they destroy your search results.

zerg

Games hidden on Android devices:

4. T Rex Game

To play this game, you do not require internet connection. It is playable from the ‘unable to connect to the internet screen’ from the Google browser of your screen.

t-rex

5. Flappy Droid

If your Android device is running on Marshmallow or Lollipop OS, you can find this game by going to Settings > About Phone and click where it says Android Version.

To start the game, you need to keep tapping on a marshmallow or piece of gingerbread that will appear on your screen.

The game has since been replaced by one that allows you to catch cats with treats.

android

Games hidden in Google Maps and Earth:

6. Smarty Pins

You can find Smarty Pins either by searching for it on Google Maps, or by going to: https://smartypins.withgoogle.com/

The game tests your geography knowledge, and is known to be extremely addictive.

smarty

7. Google Earth Flight Simulator

Download Google Earth, if you already don’t have one. You will find the Flight Simulator under the tools menu, which allows you to fly over cities of the world, from the comfort of your own home.

google

Author : Kavita Iyer

Source : http://www.techworm.net/2016/12/7-hidden-games-google-play.html#top

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