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Joshua Simon

Joshua Simon

Two years after Google announced HTTPS would become a ranking signal, Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz has put together a study with revealing new findings about the adoption rate of HTTPS since the announcement was made.

When Google made its official announcement regarding HTTPS, some were quick to make the transition, while others believed the effort wasn’t worth the potential reward. Some have avoiding transitioning to HTTPS because they believe there are possible risks associated with doing so.

Dr. Pete Meyers has put together the data which suggests Google is slowing but surely accomplishing its goal of having more HTTPS sites on the web. Here is a summary of his finding.

The Findings

Before Google’s HTTPS algorithm update, Moz’s data showed that only 7% of the pages featured on the first page of Google’s search results were HTTPS. A week later, that number rose to 8%.

Two years later, that number has multiplied to over 30%:

“As of late June, our tracking data shows that 32.5% (almost one-third) of page-1 Google results now use the “https:” protocol.”

The fact that the increase has been a gradual progression leads Dr. Meyers to believe it was not purely the result of algorithm updates alone. Rather, the increase in HTTPS sites on the first page of Google’s search results is an indication that Google’s PR campaign is working.

Dr. Meyers predicts than in a another 1–1.5 years we will 50% of first page search results being comprised of HTTPS sites. When this time comes, Dr. Meyers also predicts that Google will strengthen the ranking signal.

The Risks

Google has been downplaying the risks of migrating to HTTPS, Dr. Meyers argues, as there is risk associated with any kind of sitewide change to URLs.

Before migrating to HTTPS, it’s recommended that you weigh the time, money, and possible risk against receiving a minor algorithmic boost. With that being said it’s still difficult to convince website owners that converting to HTTPS is worth it.

Dr. Meyers’ final recommendation is, if you’re still not sold on HTTPS, then at least be aware of how many sites in your industry are making the switch. Stay alert for another HTTPS algorithm update which could be coming within a year’s time.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/30-search-results-now-https-according-moz-study/167515/

The pledges in the Queen’s Speech to use the proposed Digital Economy Bill to empower consumers and protect citizens (and their children) in the on-line world need to be looked at in the context of a growing gulf between voters (whether as consumers or parents) and the lobbyists of the Internet industry. The latter are still hung up about the Snowden revelation that subsets of the data they hoover up might be made available to the NSA and GCHQ. The former are getting increasingly angry at the lack of attention being paid to protecting them against on-line abuse and fraud. Meanwhile Government and  Business continue to conspire to drive us all on-line, like sheep to be fleeced.

The main change in the five years since I wrote that blog is that on-line criminals now “trouser” over four times, estimates range from $450 billion to $1 trillion, the global spend on information security, around $100 billion. The long-standing vulnerabilities (some over 20 years old) that enable them to do so have not yet been addressed. It is 15 years since I predicted (paper for the 2001 conference to celebrate the 50 Anniversary of LEO, the first business computer) a period when confidence in the veracity of anything on-line would collapse. We are now entering that period.

A US Government survey indicates that nearly half of all Americans have not carried out a normal on-line task because of fears over privacy and security . Meanwhile the Belgian police have just issued advice to users not to use Facebook reactions if they value their privacy.  It appears that Americans share the fears of European indicated by the Vodafone survey on the trust gap between consumers and the globally and nationally dominant ISPs and Telcos on which I blogged yesterday. Hence the value of a Mayoral initiative to make London the safest place to do on-line business and the most dangerous place to attack: by taking the policing of the on-line world seriously and not just repeating awareness platitudes.

The battle for control over the Internet has as many dimensions as “net neutrality” has meanings but most public debate in the UK focuses on what are non-issues to most users. Meanwhile those (a mix of convenience and confidence in authenticity, accuracy, reliability, resilience, security and privacy) which will make or break the survival of current on-line business models are rarely debated.

 

I will give a few examples:

The debate over broadband speeds, alias response times and usability, is moving from nominal transmission speeds to the need for lobbyists and advertisers to use numbers that reflect the experience of most users: e.g. the mean or average speeds delivered at peak times – not the top decile based on 24 hour performance, including when almost everyone is asleep. We are seeing guidance on how users can speed up the transmission speeds between their domestic router and the laptops or smart phones that have replaced PCs – e.g. use cables or wireline to avoid interference from other electrical equipment, including that next door.

The most potent way of speeding up response time is, however to stop using cloud based services and remove/block the advertising bloatware (often also cloud based) that makes systems stop dead while waiting for unwanted (by the user) monitoring services to send information on transactions and patterns of behaviour to the 700 or so services that may have been installed as a result of using mainstream search engines, social networking or media services, let alone from consciously downloading “free” apps.

 

Alex Kidman recently summarised what is at stake for journalists in the ad-blocking war that no-one is winning in an excellent article in the Drum. Meanwhile those fighting that war rarely allow customers to chose which side they wish to fight, let alone how much they are willing to pay, which site, in order not have their machine infected with bloatware.

The problem is acute with regard to mobile users, who are paying for the extra time taken and therefore wanting to install blocking at a time when advertisers are wishing to use ever more intrusive and detailed bloatware to track location and usage and target their messages.

In consequence Google is seeking to work with leading ad-blockers to create “acceptable use” policies in order to head off a backlash that could seriously dent its revenues – but that raises the question of “acceptable to who”.

Then come the questions over the security or otherwise of the data collected by all those monitoring services and the responsibility of those collecting when, not just if, it is used to enable fraud and impersonation. Yesterday I attended an excellent briefing sessions on the current and emerging threats to on-line retail. I had not before realised how much more profitable (to criminals) it is to install ransomware than to to go to the effort of stealing pass words or credit card data which may changed as soon as the compromise is reported.

Will the adware installers be held liable for the ransomware piggybacking on their services? Would clearer liability cause them to rethink their policies. One of my fears with regard to the Digital Economy Bill and other measures in the Queen’s Speach is that they will, in practice, water down, rather than strengthen consumer protection.

Source:  http://www.computerweekly.com/blog/When-IT-Meets-Politics/The-battle-for-the-heart-of-the-Internet-advertisers-versus-users

 

 

Google's John Mueller covered lots and lots of myths this past Friday in the Google Hangout on Google+. He said at the 34:37 minute mark that having short articles won't give you a Google penalty. He also said that even some long articles can be confusing for users. He said that short articles can be great and long articles can be great - it is about your users, not search engines.

The question posed was:

My SEO agency told me that the longer the article I write, the more engaged the user should be or the Google will penalize me for this. I fear writing longer articles with lots of rich media inside because of this, is my SEO agency correct or not?

Back in 2012, Google said short articles can rank well and then again in 2014 said short articles are not low quality. John said in 2016:

So I really wouldn't focus so much on the length of your article but rather making sure that you're actually providing something useful and compelling for the user. And sometimes that means a short article is fine, sometimes that means a long article with lots of information is fine.

So that's something that you essentially need to work out between you and your users.
From our point of view we don't have an algorithm that council words on your page and says, oh everything until a hundred words is bad everything between 200 and 500 is fine and over 500 needs to have five pictures. We don't look at it like that.

We try to look at the pages overall and make sure that this is really a compelling and relevant search results to users. And if that's the case then that's perfectly fine. If that's long or short or lots of images or not, that's essentially up to you.

Sometimes I think long articles can be a bit long winding and my might lose people along the way. But sometimes it's really important to have a long article with all of the detailed information there. That's really something that maybe it's worth double checking with your user is doing some a/b testing with them. Maybe getting their feedback in other ways are like sometimes you can put like the stars on the page do you have a review that or use maybe Google consumer surveys to get a quick kind of a sample of how your users are reacting to that content. But that's really something between you and your users and not between you and and Google search engine from that point of view.

I specifically did the Google Consumer Surveys approach when I was hit by the Panda 4.1 update, which I recovered from on Panda 4.2. I even published my results for all to see over here and it showed, people, my readers, like my short content.

So it really isn't about how short, tall, long or detailed you are. As long as the content satisfies the user, Google should be satisfied too.

Sources:  https://www.seroundtable.com/google-short-articles-penalty-22363.html

Deciding on and setting up a business is only the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. Unlike the Field of Dreams, you can't just build it and expect people to come. You need to start promoting it right. And nothing can be as effective as digital marketing at the moment.

Webbiquity reports that companies are increasing their digital marketing budgets. Many marketers have, for a fact, spent a total of $42.8 billion to advertise online. These numbers are natural considering the fact that today's consumers (around three billion individuals or 40% of the population) are online. Moreover, digital marketing is more affordable and cost-effective when compared to traditional marketing methods. It's also easier to track and monitor, allowing marketers to change their campaigns dynamically according to clients' likes, wants and needs.

If you too want your business to reap the benefits of digital marketing, here are five effective ways for promoting your offerings to the online community.

#1) Write a Blog or Article

Today's smart consumers need much more than ads and promotions. They want well-researched, easy-to-read, and highly informative content that allows them to effectively make buying decisions. And who better to give them advice than an industry leader as yourself? You can create articles and blog posts that show off your expertise while helping customers troubleshoot different issues. This content will place you and, ultimately, your brand in the limelight. As a result, expect your readers to think of you the next time they need your kind of services.

#2) Get Reviewed

Through a survey, Moz discovered that 67.7% of consumers may be swayed either way by online reviews. Therefore, consider having a few positive reviews online to bring traffic your way. However, remember that reviews need to be honest as readers can detect fake ones from miles away. So, work on your services' weaker points and then invite influential bloggers to try them for free. If they enjoy the experience you delivered, ask them to write and post reviews. You can later circulate these reviews via social media or press releases.

#3) Create a Video

'Seeing is believing'; treat your consumers to a detailed video that showcases your brand and services instead of boring them with blocks of text and annoying them with endless ads. In addition to entertaining your clients, video could very well be worth a thousand sales. Kissmetrics reports that videos appears in 70% of the top 100 search results, ensuring more organic traffic to your brand. Moreover, 64 to 85% of clientele are more likely to make a purchase after watching a service or product video. However, you'll need to make a great video that engages them to truly benefit from this technique.

#4) Draft a Case Study

If you're a B2B service provider, you'll need more than blog posts or articles in your marketing artillery. Though considered the underdogs of content marketing, case studies have the power to increase brand awareness and show how your brand can deliver quality results to clients. You can use your case study to drop the name of a valuable client, impressing potential customers and promoting them to start researching your offerings.

However, don't make your case study come off as too promotional. State the facts and let your clients do the talking on your behalf through quotes exclaiming how professional your brand has been. Especially focus on the results you achieved so that new clients may be tempted to try your services too. Once your case study is ready, feature it prominently on your site, send it to your mailing list, and post about it on social media.

#5) Get Social More

Social media offer a variety of channels that promises you a wider reach than any traditional advertising technique. From social networks to forums and all the way to photo sharing platforms, the sky's the limit if you decide to be more active on social media. You can also opt for promotional tools such as Facebook Ads if your budget can accommodate it. What makes these tools valuable is that you can set your campaigns to reach most of your target audience. Ads aside, you can engage your existing and prospective clients through your groups, forums or pages. How well you interact with them can determine the number of requests you'll be getting for your services in the near future.

Each of these five techniques will help you reach out to a larger audience without exhausting your budget or pushing your marketing team over the edge. So try them while the year is still young so that you can achieve your goals earlier than planned.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/aj-agrawal/5-ways-to-promote-your-service-on-the-internet.html

Some facts are inconvenient.

Some, though, turn out to be more annoying than getting a pedicure from a large hirsute drunk in a Motorhead t-shirt spouting invective about sci-fi movies.This may be one of those.

You know those people at work who constantly network and send mountains of emails?

Yes, the sucky-uppy-I'm-so-ambitious-and-conscientious sorts.

They succeed. Quite often.

This sorrowful idea came to me originally from a tweet that read: "Work email can reveal a lot about employees. For example, people who send more messages are often higher performers."

And so it was that I gravitated to the words of Microsoft's director of research and strategy for organizational productivity analytics -- a job that anyone with a sense of humor would surely crave -- Chantrelle Nielsen.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, she offers a picture of success that some might find a touch disheartening.Apparently, the highest performers are often those who, indeed, flood your inbox with their egos. I mean, their extremely fine ideas and efficient approach to business.

Nielsen writes: "The highest performers had 36% larger 'strong ties' internal networks (ones that connect at least biweekly in small-group messages) than average performers, while the low performers had 6% smaller networks than average."if you're not already depressed, please prepare for worse.

"The size and strength of peoples' networks actually helped to predict year-over-year changes in performance better than managers could," Nielsen writes.

Well, managers at Microsoft have a reputation of emphasizing the micro and being a little soft on the actual judgment.Can it be, though, that (overly) keen online enthusiasm is a signpost to a successful career?

Prepare to sulk at the state of modern humanity, for Nielsen says: "Being intensely engaged in online collaboration seemed to independently drive employee performance."Nielsen says that this pattern has been observed in different types of businesses.

She even offers a sentence that immediately gave me a profound indigestion -- the sort that actually kept me from my sauvignon blanc.It goes like this: "Predictive sales performance models that used social graph data (in the form of the structure of peoples' networks) often showed that internal connections mattered even more than external connections did."

Can it be that the web and its Swiss Guard known as software have not merely permeated business life but actually dictated behavior within it? Can it be that those who play by the (digital) system are those who win?

It's easy to believe, isn't it?

Businesses are social structures that work on the basis of hierarchy (except at Zappos, of course), patronage and subjective, sometimes convoluted decision-making.Perhaps all those emails and that vast network are just simple ways to market yourself to those who might, just might, make a decision in your favor at some point.

Perhaps it's not unlike aspirant actors who do all they can to ensure that casting directors, producers and bar owners know who they are, where they are and what they're doing at all times.I wanted a bone, though. Not one of contention, merely one of hope.Nielsen tossed me one, as if she already knew that, with my paltry six friends and ten emails a day, I was only worth feeling sorry for.

"Given the same number of connections, some networks are more effective than others if they include highly influential people," she wrote.I can feel you wiping the sweat from your brow and the coffee from your chin.

It could, after all, be that just managing ever upwards in a suitably unctuous way will enhance your prospects, just as it always did.Thank goodness. It was as if the social order was being completely destroyed.

However, in a world in which vast amounts of data aren't only being created, but also being analyzed by people who bathe in, well, organizational productivity analytics, the way employees aren't only motivated, but judged will take on interesting hues.

Please excuse me. I must go. I must write an email to someone powerful and famous.I can only hope she replies.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/want-to-be-successful-research-says-you-should-write-more-emails.html

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 04:25

Is business school the new design school?

People are often surprised when they hear that I earned my master of business administration degree, or MBA, as a side-hobby while I was a tenured professor at MIT. Even MIT’s human resources department was perplexed that I’d want to apply for the employee benefit to partially support my tuition costs.

My motivation to do so was simple: I’d spent most of my life in the research world interacting with corporations during my years at the Media Lab, but I often got lost when the business folks would bandy financial or other business terms around me. So I wanted to defeat my lack of knowledge, by acquiring what most of them seemed to have: an MBA.

Fast forward ten years and a few professional changes later, my interest turned back to business schools again. This year after releasing the #2016 DesignInTech Report, it turns out that all of the top ten U.S. business schools have design clubs led by students.

The trend was remarkable, and to give credit where it is due, it was my KPCB partner Jackie Xu who brought this fact to the foreground. So we set out to interview student leaders at three business school clubs: Yale School of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Respectively, those schools are represented by Wilma Lam, Anita Wu, and Jeremy Fish in a recent KPCB Ventured podcast. Below are some key takeaways from our discussion.

Design is being embedded into traditional businesses

Fortune 500 companies are beginning to use human-centered design to think about problem solving rather than traditional hypothesis testing, which is why we are seeing more than 10% of Fortune 100 companies place design as an executive priority. Creativity is becoming a strategic lever to create a competitive advantage in the corporate world. That explains why management consulting and strategy services firms are acquiring design agencies at a rapid rate. 42 design firms have been acquired since 2004, half of those in the last year alone.

Business schools need to get closer to computational design faster

There are three kinds of design: first, classical design, which is design from the physical world and has been around for centuries, beloved and highly refined. Secondly, we have the world of design thinking which goes beyond making and is defined by systems thinking and processes and improving how organizations innovate. Lastly, there’s computational design, or designing for billions of people in real time.

Here in Silicon Valley, this type of design is experienced everywhere and produces the highest business value for the tech world, but the number of practicing designers in this category is still low. For future entrepreneurs that are graduating from business schools today, I believe their basic understanding in design thinking positions them to more quickly identify this special kind of talent.

Design matters more than ever to customers

Computers are a fundamental part of how we live, and so it’s incumbent upon tech companies to create an enjoyable experience for their customers. So-called business “best practices” are now being geared towards the users of a company’s products rather than just the more impersonal financial metrics.

That’s because in the old days you could ship expensive products that people would buy once, or maybe come back and re-purchase in a few years; instead, today they are purchasing comparatively lower-priced subscriptions to products, which means a deeper relationship with customers is key, or else they are less likely to renew.

Moving from creative competence to creative confidence

Business students with design thinking training can bring necessary sensitivity to the designers in the organizations in which they may serve, or when they are a co-founder with a designer. “Design is a gateway for better innovation,” said Jeremy, and the kind of innovation that designers embody often has to do with their attitude towards experimentation or “creative confidence” as Stanford Professor David Kelly terms it.

So although classical designers often poo-poo the post-it note barrages that are common to design thinking, it’s a key part of business students’ learning how a designer thinks — so that they can empathize not only with customers, but with non B-school designers too.

The future of the designer is TBD (Technology, Business, Design)

The fundamental profile of designers is beginning to shift as traditional markets begin to value design as a strategic lever. The 2015 #DesignInTech Report pointed out that less than half of design leaders in tech have backgrounds in traditional design disciplines, and instead bring engineering and social sciences skills to the unique challenges of design in the tech world. With all top ten U.S. business schools having student-led design organizations, perhaps in the future the largest number of designers in new industries will come from business schools.

In closing, it might seem a little odd that we didn’t focus in this podcast or in the 2016 #DesignInTech Report on actual coursework happening in business schools today. That’s because as a former university president, I know from firsthand experience that the student-led clubs are often the fastest moving parts in areas relevant to students’ interests.

I’ve found that especially in areas like startups and #DesignInTech, it’s the students leading the discourse much more than the faculty. And because business schools are, well … businesses … they are the most likely to adapt to what the students (AKA their customers) want. So consider all this activity in the student-led design club arena to be indicative of where much of the curriculum in business schools will be heading.

Source:  https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/21/is-business-school-the-new-design-school/

Providing your future buyers with easy and varied ways to get in touch with you is the most obvious way to improve your conversion rate.

So how to improve your contact page?

Here are a few ideas…

Add your full business address and a phone number

This is just the matter of being trustworthy, especially if you are into an ecommerce, medical or financial business where customers entrust you with their personal data (like credit card details).

Having this information visible is a clear sign to Google of trustworthiness of a site. But even more importantly, it eliminates anxiety in buyers as well.

It makes sense to markup this information properly:

Use click-to-call for the phone number for customers to easily call (especially from mobile phone). Here’s a code to use for that.

Use Schema.org to point search engines to your business official address (especially for local business. Here’s schema code for that (scroll down to the actual examples) or you can use this free online generator.

Add a call back widget

Call Back Widget

Probably my favorite little trick, a callback button can make all the difference in the world.

A callback button allows your customers to request a callback from your representative. It’s an easy lead as many clients click the button just out of curiosity.

Ringostat provides this widget as part of their overall call tracking and lead generation functionality. A nice thing about this solution is that it’s integrated, so together with the widget you get in-depth reports, multi-channel funnel analysis and your customer support team stats (enabling you to optimize the efficiency).My favorite part of the report is the ability to see the exact path that led the customer to the call:

Ringostat

Expand beyond your site

Social media is becoming such a huge part of customer engagement that you probably communicate with your audience more there than anywhere else. Using these platforms as a place to encourage contact is a great way to take things off site and into a more open sphere.

You can integrate the two methods pretty simply, as well. Just put buttons to your social media pages on your contact page, and vice versa.

Many people would argue that making your social media sites visible will expose your business to unhappy customers taking their irritation into public, but the truth is, they will discuss your business online anyway: You’d better be there to control the sentiment.

Provide a live chat option

Having someone on hand to ask general questions is a good way to connect with someone who maybe doesn’t want to call, but would like answers immediately.You can have set hours where they can contact you or a customer service agent, either with or without account access.

This also has the benefit of freeing up phone lines for calls that can’t be handled over a chat box. Like an interactive FAQ that also improves your engagement.I’ve listed some of the great live chat options in this article.

You can also follow the footsteps of bigger companies and try using a smart chatbot! Here’s a solid insight into current solutions put together by Tej Kohli:

"China has successfully used WeChat for a while now to enable customers to complete basic tasks such as ordering food, paying restaurant bills… Shopify recently acquired Kit, an all-round marketing masterpiece that can do everything from email customers to help you set discounts and handle 404 errors. Facebook recently announced that their new messenger platform is open to Chatbots, which could be a marketing game-changer.”

Curious to see where it goes!

Make it easy to email

ZenDesk

Trying to find an email address to email support or sales when you don’t have the time to chat or talk can be really annoying. For some reason, companies are starting to cut out email support lately.

But that only removes one option that they would have otherwise had, and no one likes having their choices reduced. Make it easy to find your email on your contact page. And consider putting it on the front page as well, next to your number.Most email forms are impersonal, annoying, and make it feel as though your message will never be seen. It is like shouting into the wind. Make it short and sweet.

ZenDesk is the simplest solution: It doesn’t force your customers to register in a ticket system, yet it provides your team with nice scaling and tracking options.

Source:  https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/06/15/how-to-optimize-your-contact-page-for-better-conversions/

Search Engine Optimization is about making search engines aware that your website’s pages are interesting and relevant—and more so than other websites.

You are well aware of how important providing high-quality content is – “The single most important thing to do” says Google, but how do you measure it?

Here are suggestions of meaningful metrics and how to use them:

Remove the Template From the Equation

First, it is necessary to remove the “noise around the signal”: ignore all that is not directly related to the page’s core content – the page topic – that is to say, disregard the page template.

Typically, the template will include generic elements such as a header, footer, and main menu. Other elements may also qualify as a template, when common to a large number of pages: for instance, a Reuters feed on a news website, or the latest arrivals on an e-commerce website.

The example below shows that the template can easily represent a significant portion of all words found on a page:

content_vs_template

Template weight may also prompt an action point. Is it overwhelming? It may deserve to be reduced. See these examples of two publishing websites:

Botify-content-vs-template_226053187

Look at the Size of the Actual Content, in Words

Once templating is put aside, we can look at the size of the actual content, in words. This accurately reflects the user’s perception: how much is there to dig their teeth into, how much corresponds to what they came to the page for?

Pinpoint Thin Content and Define Content Size Goals

Each website will be able to assess the situation and define goals, by page type. A publishing website may aim at 500 to 5,000 words for article pages; an e-commerce website could estimate that 250 words are acceptable for product pages, while another with very specialized products may want more.

Here are examples of content size distribution on two publishing websites:

Botify-size-in-words-without-template_226053178

Check Pages’ Added Value

Taking on the task of assessing how valuable a page’s content is requires more than identifying near-duplicates.

Rather, the question is how much unique content, found nowhere else on the website, does it contain? This is about information, ‘information’ being a sequence of words (n-gram, for the tech-savvy). Many pages will have *some* information in common, as they belong to the same website, the same semantic universe. But the more there is in common, the less added value each page has.

How Close is the Most Similar Page?

Which proportion of its actual content – template excluded – does a page share with the page that is most similar?

In the example below, most internal search pages provide very little added value, as they share most of their content with other pages. It turns out that some are very similar to category pages, others to search results with similar queries. Action point: consolidate.

Botify-similar-pages-by-pagetype_226053184

How Big is Each Cluster of Similar Pages?

The additional metric to look at is how many pages each group of similar pages contains. Like everything with SEO, your task is now to look for the biggest wins and prioritize.

Going Further

These metrics are also very useful to:

Analyze a website you are not familiar with, as an SEO consultant approaching prospects

Compare your website to the competition
Monitor content changes on your website

Check how your website performs according to these criteria. Try Botify!
Botify is an SEO analytics platform based on a website crawler, which received the European Search Award 2016 for “Best Search Software Tool”. Ask for a free, full-featured 30-day trial.

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/improve-content-quality-using-metrics-matter-seo/165145/

Using Google to search for things on the internet has become a common part of most people's daily lives.But it seems the internet giant may just have found its politest searcher - 86-year-old May Ashworth.

The grandmother's request read: "Please translate these roman numerals mcmxcviii thank you."Ben John, from Wigan, tweeted a photo of his nan's very polite search on Google that so far has been retweeted nearly nine thousand times.

'I went to my nan's to do my washing'
The 25-year-old had been visiting his nan when he went on her computer and saw what she had typed into Google.

"I live with my boyfriend and we don't have a dryer at our house, so I usually go over to my nan's to do our washing," he said.

"While I was waiting I thought I'd go on the internet and that's why I opened her laptop."
Ben realised she had not switched it off, she had only closed the lid.

He glanced at the page she had open and nearly closed it before he noticed what she had put into Google. 

Ben John and his polite nan

Ben John's tweet

 

 

Ben's nan likes to watch TV and it seems she has an interest in knowing when programmes were made.Television shows still use Roman numerals on their credits to show the year of the programme.

"She saw a TV show the other day but couldn't work out from the credits when it was made, so she put the numerals into Google," said Ben.

"It made me chuckle so I thought I'd take a photo and put it on Twitter for my friends to see. I didn't expect so many other people to see it!"But hundreds of thousands of people have seen the tweet - and many have expressed how much they loved it.

tweet

 

tweet

 

tweet

Manners make the search go faster

Ben said his nan doesn't use her laptop much. "She goes to a silver surfers' club at the local library to learn about computers and the internet, but she hardly ever uses her laptop."
"I asked my nan why she used 'please' and 'thank you' and it seemed she thinks that there is someone - a physical person - at Google's headquarters who looks after the searches.

"She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker." 

Google tweet

 As well as social media users, Google UK was also charmed with Ben's nan May. The company noticed the photo of the search and tweeted Ben's account with a message for her saying: "In a world of billions of searches, yours made us smile."

Ben said he's surprised at the amount of attention his tweet has received. "I posted the photo on Thursday, and it wasn't immediately picked up by the media. I've even had calls from the US for me to speak on their shows." 

Source:   http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36538356

My earliest Google search—the earliest one Google remembers, at least—was for "tetanus shot." My most recent was for "Tracy Morgan." In between, there are 52,493 searches, and Google remembers them all.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. I know Google knows essentially everything there is to know about me—and you probably do, too. With its algorithms and analytics tools, it probably knows more about me than I know about myself (statistically, I most frequently search Google at 10 AM on Tuesdays in March). But presented in its totality, it's still a bit creepy to look at a history of every single Google search you've ever done.

​The company has now made it possible for you to export that history and download it from its servers. In one ZIP file, you can have a ​timestamped history of every random bit of trivia or thought you've ever had; of every restaurant you've ever cared to Yelp; of the times you looked up whether that movie you wanted to see was actually any good.

 

It has a record of the times you've looked up hangover cures and searched weird symptoms to perform a self diagnosis. It knows that you looked up the address to the hospital to visit a loved one and it knows that you didn't know the address to the funeral home a week later. And it knows every time you didn't turn on Incognito mode to search for porn.

Again, this is not necessarily surprising, but it is striking. We know Google uses its connected products and the information it has on you to help target ads and to personalize your experience, which makes using Google feel seamless. Maybe you’re fine with that—lots of people are willing to trade privacy for convenience, or for something that costs them no money. But what if you’re not?

​It’s possible to change your settings so that Google doesn’t link your search history to your account. That’s a start, but Google still logs searches according to IP addresses, which can still be potentially tied back to you. You can also consider using a company like Duck Duck Go, which runs a “search engine that doesn’t track you.”

Google’s not the only one who uses your search history, of course. The record it has can be and often is ​subpoenaed by the government or by law enforcement.

In the first half of last year (more recent data is not yet available), the US requested user information, including search history, from Google 12,539 times. Google complied in 84 percent of cases. There are concerns that the NSA can tap the data as well. Google says that “only you can see your history,” but how true is that, really?

Source:  http://motherboard.vice.com/read/reminder-google-remembers-everything-youve-ever-searched-for 

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