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January 3, 2018

google local now showing third party listings

"google  local integrates third party listings"
Google local integrating third party listings 

According to searchenginewatch Google has been spotted integrating reviews from third party sources in the Knowledge Graph cards for Google My Business listings. Third party reviews from sites like TripAdvisor have been showing up in Knowledge Graph cards for hotels and resorts. These are included along with reviews left directly on Google.

However this update is different from the other update this year which saw Google aggregating reviews from third party sites within the “Reviews” tab. Third party reviews are now appearing after clicking on “View all reviews,” which is somewhere they weren’t appearing previously.The third party reviews include full text as well as the source where they were originally published.However if the full text of a third party review doesn’t match, then there will be a link to read in full at the original source. In addition, reviews can also be filtered by source by clicking on the “All reviews” drop down menu. Choices include Google, Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, and Hotels.com.

Google has also made a number of notable updates to its Schema guidelines with respect to how local businesses can markup the reviews they receive. Google has also disallowed a few practices that were once considered normal for local searches.

 For example, businesses used to be able to add markup to reviews received from third-party sites, but that is now no longer the case. According to latest schema update , it’s OK to include third-party reviews on your website, as long as they are not marked up with Schema. From now on, Google wants to see Schema markup only on reviews “that have been directly produced by your site.” If the exact same review has been syndicated elsewhere, marking it up with Schema will now be a violation of Google’s guidelines.Among some of the things you need to keep in mind when you are optimising local searches are 

1)Aggregators or content providers must have no commercial agreements paid or otherwise with businesses to provide reviews. 
2)Snippets must not be written or provided by the business or content provider unless they are genuine, independent, and unpaid editorial reviews.
3)Do not include reviews that are duplicate or similar reviews across many businesses or from different sources. Only include reviews that have been directly produced by your site, not reviews from third- party sites or syndicated reviews.




how google evaded $19 billion in taxes


Alphabet Inc's Google moved $19.2 billion to a Bermuda shell company in 2016, regulatory filings in the Netherlands show -- saving the company billions of dollars in taxes that year. Tech companies like Google Apple and Microsoft have for a long time balked at the 35% corporate tax the current tax code requires them to pay on worldwide profits returned to the U.S and often used complex financial methods to circumvent and avoid paying taxes, Most technology companies have parked as much of their profit as possible in overseas subsidiaries in countries like Bermuda and Ireland, where tax rates are low. Google used two structures, known as a "Double Irish" and a "Dutch Sandwich," to shield the majority of its international profits from taxation

The setup involves shifting revenue from one Irish subsidiary to a Dutch company with no employees, and then on to a Bermuda mailbox owned by another Ireland registered company.The amount of money Google moved through this tax structure in 2016 was 7 percent higher than the year before, according to company filings with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce dated Dec. 22 and which were made available online Tuesday. News of the filings was first reported by the Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad.

Zion Research Group estimates that U.S. companies in general have $2.8 trillion in profits parked in overseas affiliates.Meanwhile the big tech companies have increased their lobbying efforts on tax policy. The Big 5 tech companies increased their lobbying spending in the third quarter of 2017 (the last reporting period) by a collective 24.3% compared to the same quarter in 2016. Microsoft alone had 81 lobbyists from 16 different firms (and Amazon had 64 lobbyists) working for them to influence Congress specifically on tax issues in the first three quarters of 2017, according to Public Citizennbsp;


According to Wired US companies overall are stashing $1.17 trillion offshore and about half of that ($462 billion) is tech company dough. If they paid 30 percent on those earnings, same as you do, they’d be able to completely fund California K-12 public schools for almost two years.The Big 5 tech companies–Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft–currently have a combined $457 billion held in overseas subsidiaries. Apple holds more profits overseas than any other company, with Microsoft closely following.

December 28, 2017

holiday season sales witness biggest jump since 2011

"US Holiday season saw a 5% jump ,biggest since 2011"

Holiday Spending across Retail stores in US sees biggest jump in 6 years


 
Despite thousands of store closings this year, Americans supplied a final flurry of spending to give retailers their best holiday season sales since 2011, figures released Tuesday show. U.S. year-end holiday retail sales rose 4.9% compared to the same period last year, a welcome gift to U.S. retailers amid new signs of consumer confidence. Online retail shopping similarly increased 18.1%, while overall consumer buying during the holiday period set a record for dollars spent, according to the sales report issued by Mastercard SpendingPulse.

The holiday shopping season, a crucial period for retailers that can account for up to 40 percent of annual sales, brought record-breaking online and in-store spending this year of more than $800 billion, according to Mastercard Inc’s analytics arm.According to the report, last-minute shoppers were largely responsible for a 5.9 percent increase in jewelry sales. Some retail categories saw higher increases than others: There was a 7.5 percent increase in sales of electronics and appliances this holiday period, the largest jump in the past decade. Sales in the home furnishings and home improvement categories each jumped 5.1 percent. 

 There were moderate increases for specialty apparel and department stores, despite a lackluster year overall that saw thousands of brick-and-mortar store closings. However, the women’s apparel category was negative over the entire year, according to Mastercard data.The findings were based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, along with survey based-estimates for other forms of payment, including cash and checks, The data exclude auto sales. was no place like home for the holidays for many shoppers, who sent sales of electronics and appliances up 7.5%, the strongest growth of the last 10 year. Sales of home furniture and furnishings separately grew 5.1%.

 A host of traditional retailers and department store chains topped the table of the biggest stock market climbers on Tuesday, helping the S&P 500 retailing industry index gain 0.6 per cent and achieve a fresh record high.In another sign of the overall sector's strength, a public index launched in mid-November to track the performance of traditional U.S. retailers showed a nearly 15.7% increase in market returns as of Friday.The Solactive-ProShares Bricks and Mortar Retail Store Index is composed of U.S.companies that account for 75% or more of retail revenue from in-store sales, including Macy's; Costco; Best Buy; Home Depot; Tiffany; Target; Dollar General; Barnes & Noble; The Gap; Sears; Nordstrom; AutoZone; and JC Penney.


The National Retail Federation said it would not have its own data ready until mid-January — but predicted final holiday retail sales figures would meet or exceed its October forecast of an increase of 3.6 to 4 percent.United Parcel Service Inc, the world’s largest package delivery company, said on Wednesday it was on track to return a record number of packages this holiday, having handled more than 1 million returns to retailers daily in December. That pace is expected to continue into early January, UPS said, and would likely peak at 1.4 million on Jan. 3, which would be a fifth consecutive annual record, up 8 percent from this year.

December 27, 2017

amazon now represents 4% of US retail sales

" the top 10 US companies with highest ecommerce sales"

The Biggest Top 10 Companies ranked by Global ecommerce sales


Amazon just had one of its most spectacular sales history, as it announced that it has sold more than 1 billion items from small businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide during the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas season. In a statement released Tuesday, Amazon said it has sold "tens of millions" of Echo devices worldwide, with Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote being the most popular products in Amazon across all categories. It is just the day after Christmas that Amazon is celebrating its "biggest" holiday sales surge "with customers all around the world shopping at record levels." The company's popular product, Amazon Alexa, which is a voice-based assistant software behind Amazon Echo, was the most downloaded app on Christmas Day in both Apple Store and Google Play, two virtual stores for the iOS and Android mobile operating systems. Amazon is said to have delivered 1 million customer packages in a single day across its 10 North American and European fulfillment centers. Over the course of one week, more than 4 million people became Prime members or started a free trail, sending the e-commerce giant's membership count to new highs.Amazon now represents close to 4 percent of all retail sales online and off in the U.S., according to eMarketer. E-commerce sales will increase 15.8 percent to $452.8 billion by the end of 2017, according to the research firm’s estimates.


Meanwhile Amazon’s e-commerce sales are expected to grow 32 percent to $196.8 billion dollars in 2017 in the U.S., or 43.5 percent of total e-commerce sales. These figures represents gross merchandise volume data, which includes sales made by third parties on Amazon’s marketplace.The widening gap over the past year between Amazon and so-called store-based retailers is particularly striking. It's important to note that Amazon still only boasts a 5 percent share of total retail sales, excluding food, across the country, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. But this is coupled with big names in the retail space — Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot, Target — seen as losing market share as their margins shrink and dollars shift back to Jeff Bezos' company, the analyst added.Amazon, essentially, is "eating the retail world," MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson recently wrote a note to clients. His chart shows Amazon, in the categories that the company serves, growing its market share, as brick-and-mortar retail sales are on the decline Amazon held 38 percent market share, or $149 billion in sales, in 2016, and it remains the biggest e-commerce company. It is followed distantly by eBay, Apple and Walmart.

December 25, 2017

60% young adults in US now use live streaming to watch TV

Infographic: The Rise of Video Streaming Across All Age Groups | Statista

Based on the latest PwC data, , more and more Americans are embracing the added freedom that video streaming has to offer compared to traditional TV. As is often the case with new technology, younger people were a bit quicker to get on board, but streaming is in no way a young peoples’ game. 63 percent of 50 to 59-year-olds now access TV content via the internet, up from just 49 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, more and more Americans are cutting the cord (19 percent) or at least trimming their traditional pay TV subscription (27 percent).

So is the Cable TV Dead for now ?According to a latest pew research About 6 in 10 young adults in U.S. primarily use online streaming to watch tv.About six-in-ten of those ages 18 to 29 (61%) say the primary way they watch television now is with streaming services on the internet, compared with 31% who say they mostly watch via a cable or satellite subscription and 5% who mainly watch with a digital antenna, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August. Other age groups are less likely to use internet streaming services and are much more likely to cite cable TV as the primary way they watch television. 

"digital streaming and young adults"

Overall, 59% of U.S. adults say cable connections are their primary means of watching TV, while 28% cite streaming services and 9% say they use digital antennas. Among the other findings of the survey: Overall the demographic groups ranging from 18 to 29 are the most viewers of live streaming  followed by the ager group 30 to 49

 Women are more likely than men to say their primary way of watching TV is via cable subscription (63% vs. 55%). 

Men are more likely than women to say their primary pathway is online streaming (31% vs. 25%)Of course, there are major economic and corporate implications in these shifts. 

A 2015 Pew Research Center survey found that 24% of Americans did not subscribe at all to cable TV, and 15% were “cord cutters” who at one point had cable, but then opted for an internet connection as their pathway to video content





countries that orders the highest groceries online

" countries and their grocery shopping addiction via digital channels"

South Korea leads in ordering Groceries Online


Online grocery shopping is expected to grow five-fold over the next decade, with American consumers spending upwards of $100 billion on food-at-home items by 2025, according to a recent report published by CNBC.

 Supermarket giants such as Wal-Mart Stores and Kroger already draw sales from their online efforts and compete with Amazon and other e-commerce challengers, but the report from Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen points out that the online channel is likely to capture significantly more market share in the decade ahead from the bricks-and-mortar stores.

However as of now Customers are buying generic brands more than ever in stores, but they're not buying as many online. For now, at least. Last year, trips to a brick-and-mortar store that included the purchase of a private-label product grew 1.1 percent, according to Nielsen. Online, that number fell 1.7 percent. However, just 12 percent of shoppers bought groceries online at some point last year, according to Cowen and Co.

Around a quarter of American households currently buy some groceries online, up from 19 percent in 2014, and more than 70 percent will engage with online food shopping within 10 years, according to "The Digitally Engaged Food Shopper" report. It also found that of those who will buy digitally, 60 percent expect to spend about a quarter of their food dollars online in 10 years.

Amazon recently pulled the plug on its online food delivery service Fresh in a number of areas across nine states in the United States. The decision was apparently blamed on the failure of the postal service to deliver the perishable goods on time, or in some cases, at all. While the service is also offered in cities abroad such as London, Berlin and Tokyo, as analysis from Kantar Worldpanel shows, the Seattle-based company and others like it have an awful long way to go if they are to make a meaningful dent in the market share still held by traditional bricks and mortar grocery stores. 

Meanwhile a  new survey from Nielsen found that while a quarter of global respondents are using online grocery ordering and 55% are willing to use it down the road, 61% reported that they still find grocery shopping at the store to be an “enjoyable and engaging experience.” Nearly as many—57%—said that retail grocery shopping is a “fun day out for the family.



online Groceries global comparison
data by QZ shows the geographical differences when it comes to ordering  Groceries online. Asia Pacific and Latin Americans are much more prone to ordering groceries online as compared with Europeans and North americans 


As a share of all FMCG revenue in the U.S., e-commerce still accounts for only 1.5 percent. In comparison Meanwhile South Korea  towers above all of the nations when it comes to online grocery shopping with grocery shopping in the region  accounting 19.7 percent. Having seen a 40 percent increase in online grocery spending last year, the country is the world leader, and by a big margin. In joint second place, with a whole 12.2 percentage points less, are the UK and Japan. FMCG e-commerce has long been on offer to consumers in the UK and is very much a mature market, with penetration growth slowing over the last few years. South Korea, on the other hand, is still going from strength to strength.




3 tools to ensure you dont' get tracked by social media


 All social  networking sites like Facebook twitter google plus and others are using tracking cookies to keep track of your user Behaviour. Social websites mint money by studying and tracking online consumer usage patterns and then showing related ads to users.  Generally most ad tracking technology works  by installing cookies at the browser level which  studies your browsing behaviour not only when you are connected to them,but also when you are browsing other websites on the internet. The reason is quite simple.Advertisers are willing to pay more money to advertise across social networks as more information and data are available in terms of targeting the consumer . The places you visit , the products you buy and the places you go with your friends and food you eat are indicators to your consumer usage habits and they  like  a proverbial golden goose to advertisers.. The way social media sites are more able to track you is by placing  a like, share and login buttons on other websites and then using tracking cookies to identify every visitor.

Each time you visit a webpage with any social networking buttons not only you are revealing who you are but you are also revealing what kind of websites you like, the products you recommend and the things you buy.Advertisers are willing to pay a premium to target such audiences.  

However if you wish to stop social networking sites from targeting and tracking you ,Here are a few options.

1)One of them is to use BLUR APP. Blur (abine.com/donottrackme.html ) is a free browser extension that blocks social networking sites from tracking your activity on the internet. It is currently available  on google chrome and mozilla firefox browsers.
Once you have installed the Blur app in your browser the first step is to register yourself by entering your email address and choosing a password.
The next time you visit any website on the internet, the Blur app will automatically stop social networking sites from tracking you and secretly collecting information and data about you. To view the statistics about the number of trackers blocked by Blur website you are visiting , you just need to click on the Blur icon on the right top corner of your browser any time.
If you are a Google Chrome user there are some other ads ons which help you protect your online identity across social networks. Among them are 
2)Ghostery - Ghostery does an excellent job at blocking the invisible tracking cookies and plug-ins on many web sites, showing it all to you, and then giving you the choice whether you want to block them one-by-one, or all together so you'll never worry about them again. The best part about Ghostery is that it's not just limited to social networks, but will also catch and show you ad-networks and web publishers as well.
3)ScriptNo for Chrome - ScriptNo is much like Ghostery in that any scripts running on any site you visit will sound its alarms. The difference is that while Ghostery is a bit more exclusive about the types of information it alerts you to, ScriptNo will sound the alarm at just about everything, which will break a ton of websites. You'll visit the site, half of it won't load or work, and you'll have to selectively enable scripts until it's usable. Still, its intuitive interface will help you choose which scripts on a page you'd like to allow and which you'd like to block without sacrificing the actual content on the page you'd like to read.


There is this popular misconception that turning on the Incognito mode on chrome will help you evade tracking by social media sites. However this will not help There is a myth that browsing in incognito/private mode on your browser would solve all these problems. But even this won't completely stop ads. There are further measures that must be put in place, including different browser add-ons, which let you customize what you're blocking. Hot Spot Shield hides IP addresses. IP addresses are generally used to link data and other information that a website knows about you.

December 21, 2017

how you can use facebook messenger ads for promotion


 
 How to Add Value to Your Business with Facebook Messenger Ads 
Facebook already offers some of the most dynamic advertising opportunities on the internet. With the recent announcement that they are now expanding Facebook Messenger ads to businesses across the globe, this adds a new layer to Facebook advertising. Also, it is one more way for businesses to connect with consumers on this platform using new features like messenger chatbots and others. What Messenger Offers to Brands As stated in the announcement that Facebook was expanding Messenger ads, “Messenger ads are going global. 

After promising tests in Australia and Thailand, we're expanding the beta further. We'll now offer businesses around the world a way to use Facebook targeting to extend their reach to people in Messenger.” This is an interesting new opportunity that could benefit brands of all sizes. With more than 1.2 billion monthly active users on the app, Messenger has a massive audience, and these ads offer a new way to reach consumers in an app that they already use. You’ll be able to expand your reach to people that are more active on the Messenger app than they are on Facebook, and it will make it easier to reach customers with cross-platform campaigns. 

For some brands, this is more than just an opportunity to reach customers through an additional platform; it also provides the ability to develop new campaigns that can reach customers in more ways. To date, there are already more than 30,000 chatbots that are operating through the Messenger app. For the brands that use these chatbots, this announcement represents the potential to get more from their AI technology. 

Using Messenger as an advertising platform is a natural extension of what is already working well for Facebook and the brands that advertise on the platform. Facebook already gets about 85% of its ad revenue from mobile users, and this is one more way to connect with users that primarily access the site through a mobile device. What to Expect The new Messenger ads will appear on the home screen when users open the app. The links in the ad can then direct the user to a specific page on your website, or you could set the links to open a conversation with the user.

With chatbots that can be ready to respond whenever a customer clicks on an ad, this could be a good strategy for starting conversations with new customers that are interested in your brand. Additionally, utilising this technology could work for reaching out to and re-engaging with existing customers. With Facebook taking Messenger ads to the global market, we should expect to see brands that already have chatbots looking to take full advantage of these new opportunities. Along with that, the expansion of ads into the Messenger platform should inspire more companies to develop chatbots of their own.




December 13, 2017

7 steps to creating a perfect mobile app


 
Launching a Mobile App; 7 steps :Mobile app design, development, and launch best practices are evolving with constant advancements in the mobile app market. Only a few apps are used by individuals on a daily basis, so getting your new mobile app accepted by a large audience is challenging. To have a chance you’ll need to have exceptional content, UX design, testing and a great marketing strategy. If you don’t hit the mark with all of these objectives it is more likely that your attempt at mobile web app development or a similar endeavour will end up languishing in the App Store and eventually be consigned to the app scrapheap. 

Below are seven steps that will improve your chances of successfully creating and launching a well-loved mobile app. 

 Assert your position :Trying to do a little bit of everything will put you on the path to failure. The most successful apps focus on one or two uses and do them exceptionally well. Provide true customer value by responding to just a few key needs. Give your app a strong position to launch from and room to develop according to your customers’ feedback. 

Identify your niche and respond to the specific issues of your ideal customer base.Identify your ideal customer Design your app so it answers a need or solves an issue for your ideal customer. To enable you to do this, you will need to define the user persona most likely to benefit from the app. Once you have an app that supports the key needs of your ideal customer you can expand its functionality and your market reach. 

Keep your focus :Don’t become distracted throughout the development phase by adding in even new, unnecessary functions

Get the details of the one or two uses of your app right. Ensure the features of your product are executed to perfection to ensure that the most valuable functionalities are in place before you even begin thinking about additional enhancements. 

Test and test again;Never build your app and go straight to launch. Doing so will rob you of the chance to refine the product based on valuable feedback. 

Instead, create a working prototype that future users can test. Garner feedback on the prototype and refine based on what you have been told. Then, test again. Only then should you move ahead to creating the final product and onto launch. 

Fast take off Once you have built your working app based on your initial idea and the feedback received, you need to launch quickly. Ensure the app works well with the minimum viable requirements and then release it. Remember that launching your app is the beginning of a longer and more satisfying journey; this is where the fun really begins. 

Analyze and optimize Launching with the refined, minimum features gives you the opportunity for iterative development of your app. 

Track how the app: Continuously track your app to see how it  is performing against key metrics. Figure out where it is succeeding and where it isn’t doing so well. Based on this information you should optimize your designs and user flows. Pivot for success In the world of mobile apps, change is necessary, and not a compromised version .Continue providing value to your customers by identifying when and how to develop your app.






December 10, 2017

branding and marketing your professional career : 6 levels of influence


 
Personal Branding : The 6 levels of influence: A person is like a brand. Just have brands have product life cycles , a person too has their own professional life cycles. like brands too , your career needs proper levels of persuasion and it needs to be advertised across key distribution channels.Companies spend billions bombarding us with their ads and enticing us to buy from them .

Research data shows that an average person is bombarded with 16,000 ads and promotions every day. However most companies use two kinds of marketing to reach their target users.

Pull and Push marketing. Creating the right push and pull  impact draws others to you,empowers you to get things done and make things happen.It wins you interviews ,sales pitches ,friends partners, business associates and positive impact.

Pull marketing is when consumers are pulled towards the products , either by print ad,video ads or radio ads.Push marketing on the other hand is when companies push their products across the distribution channel in order to ensure more retail coverage and dealers. Push marketing relies on the  distributers and retail outlets to provide marketing ammunition and muscle.Pull marketing on the other hand depends upon customer outreach in a more proactive way. Pull marketing is designed for customers to ask for the product (which they might have seen or heard via ads ) Push marketing on the other hand relies upon the retailers to push their product in front go the customer. 

Similarly in your career you need to decide whether you need to pursue a push or a pull strategy. Make yourself so good, network across the right crowds and make yourself heard and seen in the right kind of ecosystem or create a brand personae where you will be referred by people who really matter. the world’s leading expert on persuasion Robert Cialdini spent more than 30 years studying the subject of influence in depth. In his seminal book Influence he details 6 powerful weapons of persuasion which were 1)Likeability 2)Reciprocation 3)Social proof 4) Authority 5) commitment and consistency 

 Broadly speaking your success in your professional branding depends on the above personality traits Likeability matters.

Likeability is one of the most ‘crucial” character traits which creates the greatest impact in your both personal and professional life. Likeability wins elections and is the heart of making an impact and standing out in a crowd. Likeability is the ability to empathise and establish an immediate connectivity. You might not be running for elections or a Mayor, but likeability, the ability to be liked across a wide spectrum of users creates an instant rapport with your audiences .So what does the  likeability index look like?. What are the character traits that makes a person likeable . Broadly speaking being authentic, being physically attractive,genuine interest in others and friendliness are the keys to being more likeable.
  
2)Reciprocity :This involves doing someone a favour and create a sense of obligation on their part, In other words , the moment you help someone in their need or when they are going through tough times, you have established a leverage on the person, What that means that “ they owe you “ big time , and they will be always eager to pay you back by doing a favour when you need them . Reciprocation creates a extremely powerful force on the other person. 

 3)Social Proof : we all are social creatures.Psychologist have shown that countless examples that we all have a “ role model” and tend to behave like our own icons whom we hero worship.Most often we look upto a company , a particular culture or tend to copy the “best practices” from among the best companies in our industries. This is the social proof effect. We can be more influential by using social proof as a way to influence decision on our companies, or starting a new initiative. 

 4.Authority:Most of us tend to obey authorities. we obey authorities not because we want to , we obey because they are “ considered to be powerful people who yields considerable influences “.We give credence to comments from those with credentials and qualifications. In any situation where you seek to influence others.you an use this weapon in two ways, If you have authority yourselves which might be due to your expertise and competence or seek authority that supports your case.This is how expert witness are often used in court.Even citing authoritative sources are effective. 5) Commitment and consistency :

5.Commitment and consistency are the hallmarks of an individual who, stands by their word and action.A person of commitment is automatically respected as one playing by the rules.One of the key elements of your personal branding along with commitment should be consistency. Consistency is simply ensuring you follow up and deliver on whatever you had mutually agreed on earlier. Commitment and consistency are traits that will always be respected even by your detractors. 


December 7, 2017

chinese bike sharing unicorns Ofo and mobike sets their Indian target

Alibaba-backed Chinese bicycle sharing unicorn Ofo  to enter india

Chinese Unicorns Ofo and Mobike promises to shake things up in the Indian Bike Sharing Space


Alibaba-backed Chinese bicycle sharing unicorn Ofo , which is one of China's hottest startups, the bicycle-sharing venture Ofo that is valued at $2 billion, aims to enter the Indian market by the first half of 2018,according to economic times. Ofo spokesperson said in an emailed response that the company’s strategy was in line with the growing interest in bike sharing as part of the smart mobility initiatives in India. “We hope to bring our globally proven technology and operational excellence to help this sector grow.” Social media posts by its senior executives also suggested that Ofo’s first port of call in India will be Chennai. The company has also been laying the foundation and building teams for a full-fledged launch in several other cities, including Coimbatore, Indore, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. 

According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua ,Ofo will import bikes into India and proposes to offer its services for free and waive deposits till the year-end.Ofo's app allows users to track where its bicycles are parked as well as unlock and lock the two-wheelers. Users pay $1 an hour for the bicycles."Ofo's model would need to be tweaked and localized for the Indian market. 

Ofo operates in 200 cities across 19 countries, including China, Australia, Singapore, Japan and the UK. It has a fleet of 10 million bikes, powering 32 million rides a day. The company’s entry into India is a significant development given that it is the first foreign player in the segment. In its home market of China, Ofo competes with Mobike for the pole position. Both companies are valued around $1.5 billion, and there has been speculation that the two companies were exploring a merger to bring down cash burn. Mobike is backed by Alibaba rival Tencent. In July, Alibaba Group, along with cab aggregator Didi Chuxing and DST Global, had invested $700 million in Ofo.

Meanwhile, Ofo’s entry in India coincides with Zoomcar and Ola launching their operations in different locations. Zoomcar had announced its entry into app-based bicycle sharing in mid-October and had launched its services in select locations in several cities. Meanwhile, as we mentioned in our recent post former Inmobi founders are among the latest entrant in the bike sharing platform called "Yulu, Yulu is starting off with Bangalore as its test market with regular, dockless bicycles that people can rent using their iOS or Android phone. The bikes unlock via QR codes and bill the rider for every 30 minutes of use.

However if Ofo is here.. can its Chinese rival Mobike be  far behind? With Hyderabad Metro Rail deciding to set up dedicated parking space for bicycles, Mobike dockless bike-sharing app is hoping to set up its first bicycle sharing operations in the city. The China-based start-up is trying to get the first mover advantage by being the first of the three major dockless bike sharing startups trying to enter Indian markets in recent times.

In China, dockless bike-sharing has become so popular, that there were more bike-sharing rides in China in the first quarter of 2017 than the total number of on-demand trips in India in that same period. The problem, however, that many of these bike-sharing systems have come across is its bikes stacking up and congesting sidewalks and pedestrian roadways. That’s become a central concern for local regulators in the U.S. as dockless bike-sharing companies just beginning to take off.

With the Indian government investing heavily in developing infrastructure including new Rapid mass transits systems and Metro Rails, Bike sharing can help being a  part of the " last mile " connectivity  problem.




November 29, 2017

2017 cybermonday makes bezos worth over $100billion

" amazon 's stock rally makes jezz bezoz biggest winner"

Jeff Bezos Amazon has had a ming-boggling cyber Monday going by how its stock prices have jumped during America's busiest shopping season


Following a Thanksgiving and a Black Friday and cyber Monday led stock market rally of Amazon’s stock price, the company’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is now the only living $100-billion man. According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Bezos’ net worth now exceeds $101 billion after Amazon shares closed at an all-time high of $1,195.83 on Monday. Also if this years Cyber Monday sales are any indicator, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Get Report) could be shaping up to have one of the  happiest holiday in the last decade.
Consumers racked up $6.59 billion in purchases on Cyber Monday, marking a 16.8% increase in sales year-over-year and earning it the title of largest online sales day in history, according to data from Adobe Systems.Amazon, which is estimated to have captured between 45% to 50% of all holiday online retail sales, is expected to grab a similar share of Cyber Monday shopping. 

Amazon's vast Prime subscription network, which is estimated to be 85 million members, likely helped to create an  additional buffer or a "ring-fence" that helped it dominate in the "fiercely competitive" cyber Monday pricing environment.

According to The Street "While Walmart is emerging as Amazon's biggest sole competitor online, the customer overlap remains small today as Amazon's Prime membership growth and Amazon's 'stronghold on e-commerce' remain hard to penetrate and  this trend is  only expected to play out again the rest of this holiday season. Bezos’ fortune rose by more than $30 billion in the past year alone, as the company he helped build just keeps on growing.

Meanwhile the latest GBH Insights  also estimates Amazon accounting single-handedly accounted for 45% to 50% of U.S. Black Friday sales; given an Adobe estimate for total Black Friday online sales of $5.03 billion, that would imply revenue of up to $2.5 billion. GBH also forecasts Amazon could account for up to 50% of U.S. online retail sales in November and December, up from 38% in 2016.

 For comparison, research firm eMarketer predicted earlier this year Amazon would account for 43.5% of 2017 U.S. e-commerce gross merchandise volume (GMV), up from 38.1% in 2016. Amazon, as usual, doesn't share holiday season sales figures outside of its fourth-quarter results. The company did issue a PR touting the strong sales seen for Amazon devices, which were heavily discounted and promoted during Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday. 

Amazon’s revenue amounted to $117 billion in the first nine months of 2017, up 27 percent from the same period last year. With the online retailer accounting for nearly half of all online sales on Black Friday in the United States, indicating its unchallenged position on top of the e-commerce food chain. As our chart illustrates, Bezos now leads Bill Gates by more than $10 billion in the global billionaire rankings after having surpassed the Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist in late July this year.




kindle celebrates its 10th birthday:

" The global ebook sales per year"
The State of the Global Ebook Marketshare :

"the evolution of ebook reader:Kindle"
The evolution of Kindle
Over the years kindle has gone on from being a mysterious product to a must-have on most of our electronic shopping shelves.The very idea of digital books or ereaders was still in its infancy in November 2007 when Amazon launched Kindle.And this after Steve jobs iPhone revolution which took on " the biggest elephant in the space at that time " the Blackberry.On November 19th,2007 Amazon introduces Kindle and The New York Times goes on a rant: “You’ve got to have a lot of nerve to introduce an electronic book reader in 2007. Sure, the idea has appeal: An e-reader lets you carry hundreds of books, search or jump to any spot in the text and bump up the type size when your eyes get tired. But the counterarguments are equally persuasive. Printed books are dirt cheap, never run out of power and survive drops, spills and being run over. And their file format will still be readable 200 years from now…. Are they completely nuts.

That year during the holiday season ,the $399 price tag might have made  Kindle a bit too expensive for consumers during their  Christmas-list item  (many customers gave the device a one-star rating), But in the next few months, Kindle  sold more than a quarter million units. Holding Amazon back was the small pool of book titles that were available in digital form… only 88,000 Kindle e-books were available at launch.

Over the years the Kindle has become one of the most ubiquitous pieces of specialty electronics in the world since it launched 10 years ago today, but the device has changed so much since its debut that one can hardly believe the oldest and newest models are meant to do the same thing.

On its 10th anniverssary Techcrunch spoke to Amazon’s Chris Green, VP of Design at its Lab126 hardware arm who spoke on the design choices that have defined and redefined the device, and the reasoning behind them.

“My first day at Amazon was the day the Kindle launched — November 19, 2007. I walked into the office and everyone was going crazy. I thought that’s what it was going to be like every day,” he recalled. “Then the next morning I went in, they had sold all the Kindles in one day and everybody was panicking. So that was an interesting first 24 hours.” For the next decade, he’d work on getting the Kindle closer to what he called the “gold standard”: paper. “We can never be better than paper, but we can be as compelling,” he said. 

“We really didn’t want any bezel or bling or even page-turn buttons — everything we’ve done over 15 generations has been to reduce it to basically a piece of paper.” (With the new Oasis there have actually been a total of 16 “generations” or models.) That may come as a surprise to those who remember the first Kindle, which with its chunky angles, slab-like buttons and aggressively ergonomic keyboard, seems almost brutalist. Although he didn’t help create the first generation, Green is plenty familiar with its design language. Turns out there’s a very simple reason behind the angles.If you have one of those around, you’ll notice that the cross section is actually that of a paperback book — the pages go at that angle,” Green said. “The dimensions are even a standard paperbacks. They were trying their hardest even at that early stage to represent a paperback book.”"

As Priya Srinivasan from Dailyo puts it succinctly "The Kindle e-book reader symbolizes the corporatization of desire, of global capitalism and connectivity, a cloud of information, representing efficiency, access, and convenience – all buzzwords of the 21st century. It symbolizes the smart traveler, the multitasking housewife, the retired couple, the young child. You can store hundreds of books in your Kindle, snuggled safely in your satchel. It prevents messy encounters of the food variety, it is compact and even friendly. The Kindle allows you to make notes on margins, share passages and even enables shared communities of readers to connect on book review websites or social media platforms.

Ever since the last decade since it has launched, Amazon has sold "tens of millions" of Kindles, according to an email from an Amazon representative to CNBC Make It. Apple competitor to the Kindle, the iPad, launched in January 2010. The iPad, which has more uses than the Kindle, launched at $499. In July, August, and September of 2017 alone, Apple sold 10.3 million iPads, according to the company's most recent quarterly financial documents.

The Jobs vs Bezos war on ereaders:
 It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty per cent of the people in the US read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore. Steve Jobs on Kindle, Wired (2008) 

I believe that reading deserves a dedicated device. For people who are readers, reading is important to them. And you don’t want to read for three hours on a backlit LCD screen. It’s great for short form. This is a really important point — that we humans co-evolve with our tools. We change the tools, and the tools change us, and that cycle repeats. — Jeff Bezos to Newsweek (2009)


Though Amazon is today in the third spot behind both Apple and Samsung for a total number of tablets sold, according to the most recent annual data compiled by market research firm TrendForce and published in February, Amazon has been showing strong growth in the tablet sector. "Amazon posted a phenomenal 99.4 percent annual growth in its tablet shipments for 2016," TrendForce says in its written statement Based on data collected by the authorearnings.com, Amazon is the biggest player of the US field. Including indie books (published without ISBN), Amazon accounts for 83% of US ebook purchases – and the rest is almost entirely shared between the Apple iBookStore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo US and the GooglePlay Books.

November 28, 2017

how niche websites can benefit by google's rankbrain

the rise of AI and deep learning in Google searches
the above image shows how " Rankbrain is using vectors to understand country and their capitals using AI, deep learning

Bloomberg News recently broke the story on a new artificial intelligence program from Google that it calls “Rank Brain”.“For the past few months, a “very large fraction” of the millions of queries a second that people type into the company’s search engine has been interpreted by an artificial intelligence system, nicknamed RankBrain.

Putting is simply Rank Brain is an artificial intelligence (AI) program used to help process Google search queries. RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities, called vectors, that the computer can understand.If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.Presently RankBrain is mainly used as a way to interpret the searches that people submit to find pages that might not have the exact words that were searched for and for searches that has different meaning across geographies. 

To cite an example, for a query "how much spoons of sugar will fill a cup, Google’s Rank Brain will show different search results based on things like what country the search was made from.This is because each country has different standards of measuring them. a normal cup in Australia will be of a different size that Austria .

RankBrain is mainly used as a way to interpret the searches that people submit to find pages that might not have the exact words that were searched for. It must be understood here that RankBrain is not a new Algorithm, Rankbrain is only a part of Google’s overall search “algorithm,” along with ( hummingbird, Penguin, Panda) which is used to sort through the billions of pages it knows about and find the ones deemed most relevant for particular queries. 

In particular, we know RankBrain is part of the overall Hummingbird algorithm because the Bloomberg article makes clear that RankBrain doesn’t handle all searches, as only the overall algorithm would. Hummingbird also contains other parts with names familiar to those in the SEO space, such as Panda, Penguin, and Payday designed to fight spam, Pigeon designed to improve local results.

The basic idea of using Artificial Intelligence and assigning mathematical vectors to search queries is due to the fact the present computers and algorithms does not understand natural human language so well enough, which forces people to do a lot of the heavy lifting— when they are searching for something 'unique or keywords which Google has never searched or a phrase which it cannot understand, for example, speaking "searchese" to find information online, or slogging through lengthy forms to book a trip. Computers ideally should understand the natural language better, so people can interact with them more easily and get any kind of semantic information without having to sweat it out.

While state-of-the-art technology is still miles away from this goal, Google's Rankbrain has started making significant progress using the latest machine learning and natural language processing techniques. Deep learning has markedly improved speech recognition and image classification. For example, studies have shown that computers can learn to recognize cats (and many other objects) just by observing a large number of images, without being trained explicitly on what a cat looks like. Now we apply neural networks to understanding words by having them “read” vast quantities of text on the web. Google says that its scaling this approach to datasets thousands of times larger than what has been possible before, and they have seen a dramatic improvement in performance.

To promote research on how machine learning can apply to natural language problems, Google has published an open source toolkit called word2vec that aims to learn the meaning behind words. Word2vec uses distributed representations of text to capture similarities among concepts. 

For example, it understands that Paris and France are related the same way Berlin and Germany are (capital and country), and not the same way Madrid and Italy are. This chart shows how well it can learn the concept of capital cities, just by reading lots of news articles -- with no human intervention.

So how does Rankbrain would affect your SEO ? For starters, Its important to step back and understand why RankBrain was deployed.The problem is with the sheer scale of search volumes today. 
Google processes three billion searches per day. In 2007, Google said that 20 - 25% of those queries had never been seen before. In 2013, it brought that number down to 15 percent and by 2015 it still hovers around the same number. But 15% of three billion is still a huge number of queries never entered by any human searcher — 450 million per day.That number by any imagination is huge, among those search keywords , some of them can be complex, multi-word queries, also called “long-tail” queries. RankBrain is designed to help better interpret those queries and effectively translate them, behind the scenes in a way, to find the best and relevant pages for the searcher.-So if you run a  very niche website targetting  rare long tail keywords ,you might see increase in traffic as Rankbrain tries to serve users using them as vectors by integrating state of art Artificial intelligence and Deep learning