Online Reputation Management Blog

Apple and Google May Not Renew Safari Deal, Experts Say

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Though no one is certain of the date, Apple and Google’s search engine deal is expected to end sometime this year, leading experts to speculate on whether the two tech giants will renew their partnership.

Online journal Search Engine Land reports that the deal between the two companies, in which Apple made Google the default search engine for its web browser Safari, is now being weighed on both sides. Given Google’s modest net revenue generated under the agreement, however, some industry experts are predicting that the companies will part ways.

It was reported last year that Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, led discussions with Microsoft, which owns Bing, and Yahoo about a potential switch. Since at least 2011, the revenue Google generated from its default position on Safari has been steady but small. Another online journal, The Motley Fool, reported that Google is expected to make $7.8 billion in revenue from its deal with Apple. However, since Google pays Apple $2.2 billion for Safari rights, the net revenue comes out to be $5.6 billion, 8.5% of Google’s 2014 revenue.

Still, this may not be enough to convince Google to keep its spot with Safari. Especially considering that Google gave up its default rights in Firefox to Yahoo! in the United States, some predict that Google may do the same with Apple.

It is worth nothing that Google is still the default search engine in Firefox outside of the U.S.

Apple may also feel the deal is unnecessary. According to a 2012 survey of iPhone users, 45% of respondents claim that they go directly to google.com for an online search. Another 19% use the mobile Google app, bring the total percentage of users who use Google directly to 64%. However, 26% of users use the Safari toolbar, which employs Google unless the user changed its default settings to Yahoo! or Bing, which is perfectly possible.

Overall, Apple figures it can drop Google’s default position without much fuss, as users can either manually restore Google as default or go to Google directly each time they want to search.

For its part, Google has an 84% share of the mobile market in the United States. In addition, Google Chrome currently leads the field in the most Internet traffic, including desktop and mobile. Google’s dominance in search engine and Internet traffic may leave the company confident enough to say farewell to Safari.

Fashion Guru Zoella Upgrades Living Situation, Gives Online World a Lesson on the Influence of Blogging

Social Media with Blogging
Fashion blogging sensation Zoe Sugg — labeled by InStyle as the “undisputed pin-up girl for the digital generation,” has cashed in on her success and bought a stunning new Brighton home in the U.K.

Sugg, better known by her blogging name Zoella, is only 24 years old. She began her online career when she was just a teen, reviewing beauty products from her bedroom in YouTube videos.

Six years later, she now pulls in over $30,000 each month from advertisers who want to place their products alongside her videos. She has seven million subscribers and gets about 12 million hits per month.

Her new home has five bedrooms with ensuite baths, a gourmet kitchen and even an additional log cabin for casual relaxation. She will share the residence with her 21-year-old boyfriend, Alfie Deyes, and has announced on social media that they have dubbed their home the “Zalfie Pad.”

Many other fashion bloggers make a living — though perhaps not as luxurious a living as Sugg’s — by linking to products for which they receive commissions, Yahoo! Finance reported Feb. 19, and fashion bloggers are fast becoming the best avenue for major designers and retailers such as Bloomingdales to reach customers.
Blogging and Branding
Sugg’s success doesn’t just indicate her personal charisma; it’s a perfect example of the rapidly expanding power of blogging, both for individuals and major brands.

“Blogging is an opportunity you do not want to miss out when it comes to publishing for your personal brand,” Susan Gilbert wrote in a Feb. 13 article for the website Business 2 Community, neatly summing up the potential blogging offers businesses of all sizes.

Instead of simply advertising products, blogs rely on a persona with whom customers can identify (even on blogs where that persona is actually constructed by multiple individuals). Blogging, therefore, can help businesses develop a more comprehensive brand identity, create conversations and make customers feel that they’re being included in an inner circle — as opposed to simply being told what to buy.

In this case, as in many others, better branding leads to better sales, as well. Research shows that blogs are actually 63% more likely to impact buying decisions than newspapers are. That’s an important lesson for any online marketing experts debating the nature of online influence.

Facebook and Google Dominate Mobile Ad Revenues

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By now, most companies have reported their 2014 earnings, and so now begins the process of comparing and analyzing them. It’s not really much of a surprise that two of the largest companies there are, Facebook and Google, get the most mobile ad revenues — together, 50% of the total.

In 2011, Facebook didn’t earn a single dollar from mobile ad revenue; yet in 2014, the social media giant drew in over $7 billion. Many people perceived this huge increase to mean that Facebook does better than Google in that regard, but that simply isn’t the case.

Steven Max Patterson writes for Network World that mobile ads on Facebook and Google couldn’t be more different — he describes them as “apples and oranges.”

One the one hand, Facebook leads ad sales in its newsfeed, which is super accurate because of the wealth of user data that Facebook has access to. On the other, Google excels with mobile search. Again — apples to oranges here.

Where the two do intersect in the mobile ad world, according to Patterson, is competing for the best return on investment (ROI). Conversion rates are hard to track on mobile, however, since the ad types vary. But aye, there’s the rub — since conversions are hard to see through mobile ads, prices are probably going to stay low.

Forbes contributor Robert Hof says that that’s the big problem with Facebook’s success with mobile ads — the prices just aren’t going to compare to those spent on browser ads.

Hof adds that people just don’t respond to calls to action on mobile — like making purchases, downloading white papers, or filling out forms — as much as they do on their desktop computers. Though mobile ad revenue is seeing healthy growth right now, it won’t for long. At least until mobile interfaces change enough for those ads to amount to conversions.
In fact, experts say that alhough local mobile ad spending is expected to see substantial growth — from $800 million to $18 billion by next year, it could stagnate after that.

Regardless of whether or not we’re comparing apples to apples or oranges, and regardless of the fly in the mobile ad revenue ointment, there’s no disputing that both Facebook and Google are getting a pretty big chunk of the pie — at least for now.

Consistency is King: How Typos are Ruining Your Local Search Rankings

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It’s 2015. Do you know where your business is?

Of course you do. You probably work there on a regular basis. But if Google doesn’t know where your business is, your local search engine optimization campaign will never get off the ground.

The Google Pigeon update that went into effect in 2014 dramatically changed the mechanics of local search. Prior to the update, internet marketers could use onsite content and offsite link building to build rankings.

Now, Google is focusing on local directory websites, including review sites like Yelp. And they don’t look kindly on typos.

Companies with inconsistent titles or typos in their addresses are finding themselves bumped down in their search rankings. Though content marketing (which 92% of marketers consider somewhat or very effective for SEO) has been considered “king” of online marketing in the past, it seems consistency is king in 2015.

A restaurant listed on one website as, say “Chinese Family Restaurant,” will rank poorly if they’re listed on other sites as “Chinese Restaurant.” Similarly, a company that calls itself “Office Supplies USA” and “Office Supplies USA, Inc.” interchangeably could take a hit in local search.

It seems like it wouldn’t make a difference, but Google is cracking down on these inconsistencies. So what can businesses do to adjust to this change?

Many people are encouraging customers to visit Yelp and other review sites to comment on their business, but this still may not deal with the root of the problem. To supplement this, companies need to keep their names and contact information consistent across all directories.

This may seem like a big task, especially for companies who already have information on several different platforms. Fortunately, tools like Yext and others can adjust all directory information at once, making it easier for companies to rank on local search.