Author Archive for: ‘WebProNews Staff’
As Big Content continues its assault on network neutrality, privacy, personal and digital freedom, and stacks government with industry friendly insiders, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor should be heavily scrutinized regarding her stance on intellectual property and copyright issues.
PageRank sculpting is a pretty advanced SEO tactic, and it has been widely used by SEO pros since Google’s Matt Cutts described its use on YouTube, giving the strategy the official green light. At SMX Advanced in Seattle, the same harbinger of Google insider information offered a stunning revelation: Google changed the way it handled link structures intended for sculpting.
If you want your blog to do better in Google’s search results, Matt Cutts recommends WordPress. According to a presentation Google’s Webspam captain gave at WordCamp San Francisco, Word Press takes care of about 80-90 percent of SEO mechanics.
PandaLabs has identified thousands of links designed to target searchers looking for information on recently popular targets. With the goal of infecting unsuspecting victims with scareware, Twitter recently has also been bombarded with trending spam.
Blackhat SEOs targeting Google search results came to light this spring to redirect trusting users to scareware sites—sites falsely warning targets of viruses on their machine, offering fake system scans, promoting expensive fake anti-virus programs, and installing Trojans.
In April, Ohio State University rode the publicity wave provided by news outlets everywhere reporting the school’s finding that Facebook users had lower grades than non-Facebook users. A new study contradicts the first and the authors declare the opposite correlation while ripping on the first author’s methods. An academic catfight ensued, and those are guaranteed as interesting as a solid …
Sometimes all it takes is precedent to fuel similar actions, so webmasters should be aware a Dutch court found a website operator liable for how a snippet appeared in Google’s search results, even if the appearance was the result of an algorithmic quirk.
Bankruptcies are the highest they’ve been since 2001, a million people have lost their jobs, and small businesses got the stimulus package shaft. And that’s the good news.
It’s all good news, says Mark Deo, executive director of The Small Business Advisory Network and author of The Rules of Attraction: Fourteen Practical Rules to Help Get the Right Clients, Talent and Resources to Come to You!
The way state attorneys general have been dealing with sex in the digital age lately shows government officials have no idea how to deal with sex in the digital age. Two cases in point: craigslist erotic services listings and teen sexting.
Other than involving their respective Web campaigns, these two tidbits are only semantically related—you can file them both under odds and ends. While artist stages the inaugural “Intellectual Property Asshole Competition,” fans of unfortunately named and since changed Butt Hole Road have waged an Internet campaign to change the name back to the rude original.
AP versus Shepard Fairy
The phrase “attribution model” may be a bit too industry-jargonish, and for those of us who remember parcels of information left over from late-night Psych-class cramming, “attribution” means something else entirely.
Because copyright and trademark lawyers have had such itchy trigger fingers when it comes to issuing DMCA takedown notices, there’s a lot of confusion out there what exactly constitutes infringement, and what webmasters can and can’t do with intellectual property.
Part of the problem is that websites hosting other people’s content—YouTube, Blogger, eBay, etc.—remove the content at the slightest whiff of a DMCA notice to avoid trouble. This leads, of course, to abuse and to targets without any great recourse.
eBay, Burlington Coat Factory, and the US Federal Trade Commission are pressuring the US Senate to pass a law banning vertical price-fixing, effectively overturning a 2007 Supreme Court decision.
Manufacturers and retailers actually call it vertical “retail price management” (RPM). The practice entails setting a minimum price retailers can sell specific items for. Remember last Christmas, when you spent hours online comparative shopping only to find out everybody who carried it was selling it for exactly the same price?
When one thinks of gadgets for use in the bedroom, one doesn’t think of a laptop. But then again, one may not be British.
According to a survey by Credant Technologies, a quarter of UK employees can’t keep their hands off their mobile devices for work purposes, even in bed. Of those who work until it’s time to sleep, 57 percent spend 2-6 hours a week at it despite their partners finding it “very annoying.” So much for eating crackers, eh?
The power of mommy bloggers continues to gain momentum. At least that’s what recent research from Nielsen Online appears to show.
According to Nielsen, the number of “Power Moms” online is rising (pdf). Identified as those women aged between 25 and 54 with at least one child and who regularly participate in online activities, this segment now accounts for almost 20% of the active online population.
One of the biggest legal fights between the music industry and a file sharer is slated for this summer, and the outcome will determine more than just whether defense counsel is a genius or out of his flippin’ mind.
Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson made headlines by taking the case of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharer Joel Tenenbaum, in a fight for his financial life against habitual copyright law abuser the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA—now with five former attorneys heading up your Department of Justice).
On behalf of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court issued a restraining order against Yahoo, MSN, AllTheWeb, and Altavista to prevent the search engines from allowing mortgage finance scammers to use a government URL in sponsored search results, thus representing themselves as the operator of the site.
Benjamin Edelman, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, claims Google and partners are inflating PPC conversion rates and increasing advertiser cost via four specific channels, including Google’s own Chrome browser.
Google makes money by charging advertisers every time a user clicks on a Google advertisement, but in the instances described and documented by Edelman, he makes it appear Google and partners are colluding to intercept traffic to websites that would be navigated directly (and for free) rather than by searching.
Sometimes one has to state the obvious: You’re in business to make money. You make money by convincing lots of people to give you some of their money. Success depends on making this process as painless as possible*.
But many online businesses may be making it too difficult for customers to hand over the cash, which is a bad business practice by any account.
Here’s what people (especially men) are used to:
Sometimes Google has some very interesting timing. Just as Texas litigants are filing for class action status over trademark keyword bidding, the search giant swings the door wide open and announces US advertisers will now be able to use trademark keywords in ad text.
For years Google was the only major search engine advertisers could bid on trademarked keywords to trigger their ads. Until today, though, advertisers were not allowed to actually use those trademarks in the ad text.
For the longest time, hardcore ROI-focused PPCers saw little to convince them of the benefits of traditional branding online. Rampant ad blindness among consumers and lack of data to support “awareness” arguments* led many to maintain trimmer, search-focused budgets with measurable results.
This June, Google will expand advertiser’s ability to bid on trademarked keywords worldwide in over 200 countries despite a class action lawsuit filed in Texas. The plan to do so illustrates Google’s confidence that trademark bidding is not a violation of trademark laws—apparently anywhere.
Despite being a nascent industry in tough economic times, mobile advertising in the UK is growing at a faster rate than previously expected.
The IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers research demonstrates that mobile advertising has experienced an impressive and steady growth in the UK in an overall declining market. In 2008, as more brands trialed and embraced the medium, spending increased by a whopping 99.2% to $44 million.
It’s been long established that just because Google has registered a domain, it doesn’t mean the company has any plans other than keeping the domain out of non-company hands; googleblows.com is a good example. But what about trademark applications? That’s a bit more expensive and serious method of protecting certain names.
A quick search through trademark applications at the USPTO’s website brings back about 60 Google-related attempts at trademarking, many from Google and (surprisingly) many not from Google.
These are rough times for the concept of fair use, especially when lawyers citing fair use as a defense don’t seem to quite understand it much more than those sending out cease and desist letters. The latest fair use kafuffle stems from the already ridiculous spat between Miss California, Carrie Prejean, and Perez Hilton.
Please don’t make me sum up what that was about; read about it at Wikipedia and come back.
The following is based on research, not sexism or prejudice of any kind. Conclusions are by nature overly general, and there are many exceptions to the following “rules” of masculine and feminine behavior. Quite simply, there really are general and stark differences in the behaviors men and women, but this fact should never be used for discrimination or other types of abuse. Also, in the following, jokes and wisecracks abound. The author apologizes in advance if you don’t find him funny and reminds you they’re only jokes.
Here was what was supposed to happen: With telco-friendly Republican Congress members swept out of the way, Democrats would usher in legislation enshrining Network Neutrality principles and give the FCC the power to enforce them.
Here’s what happened (is happening) instead: The most powerful Net Neutrality supporters (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton) are kicked upstairs while cable-and-Hollywood-friendly Democrats are killing Network Neutrality legislation in committees.
Microsoft executives are busy laying off thousands, hiring thousands, releasing Windows 7, and checking the blogs for the latest rumors from Apple. They are also busy acquiring companies—well, one company at least. On Thursday, Microsoft announced its acquisition of a small company named Big Park.
What’s the biggest threat to a centralized organization? Decentralization, of course. Like antimatter to the AP’s matter, the populous Web built a new publishing reality Old Media would rather not face: they’ve lost control of the news.
One thing’s for sure, Google doesn’t want to be associated with pirates; the company has enough copyright troubles as it is in its battles with Viacom and the AP. But defenders of The Pirate Bay argue there is precious little difference between two engines both capable of retrieving existing .torrent files on the Internet.
What is essentially a federal government power grab combined with a giant money grab for industry is a real and perhaps unnecessary threat to your privacy and personal security. On top of that hole in your privacy, the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 plants a big, potentially exploitable hole on the network.
Overall, online shopping has not been adversely affected by the slow economy reports. But that good news isn’t extended to Web-only retailers, the majority of whom are experiencing flat or declining sales.
According to a survey by Forrester Research and Shop.org, online retail sales rose by an average of 11 percent in the first quarter of 2009 with the bulk of the increase benefiting consumer brand manufactures and multichannel retailers.
AVG has pretty good timing considering the recent success cybercrooks have had with manipulating search results to direct searchers to malicious websites. The security company released a free tool today that scans links before users click on them.