Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SimplePart January Update Part 1

Welcome to our News and Update wrap-up for January 2014.

During January our clients' websites saw more than 2,000,000 unique visitors (+15.9%) and generated 10,170 orders (+16.9%) totaling $1,265,618.90 (+11.1%). Increasing traffic and order volume is typical for this time of year, and strong growth can be expected to continue through the spring and into summer. This rebound in volume has our clients nearly back to fall-2013 sales levels:

Rolling 30 Day Dollars Sold for All Clients

Industry News


Google’s Open Automotive Alliance, which plans to bring Android to in-car navigation and entertainment systems, has grown and now includes GM, Honda, Audi and Hyundai.

Google reportedly is getting into the travel shopping business, and may be standing up a fare-comparison website as early as this March, according to RyanAir.

Google has bought intelligent thermostat company Nest, and is incorporating their technical team into Google’s core hardware group. This group is said to be focusing on further automating the home, and has been bolstered recently by a number of purchases in the robotics and machine learning space.

Google bought Motorola (and Motorola’s patents) in 2012 for $12.5b, and has just sold Motorola Mobility itself to Lenovo for $2.91b and kept most of the patents. Google previously sold off Motorola’s set-to-box unit (~$2b), and plans to keep their Advanced Technology and Projects group. It is believed that Google intended initially to use the patents to block the iPhone, though its efforts to that end were largely unsuccessful. Lenovo intends to use Motorola to enter the enterprise handset market.

Google bought Deep Mind AI for $400m+, beating out a competing offer from Facebook, to add machine learning talent to their Search team. Rumors suggest this team was working on image recognition as relates to pictures of products and shopping, and will be reporting to Google’s Search team – and not their Robotics group.

Google seems to feel that Authorship tagging is being abused by low-quality content, and is cutting the frequency of Authorship shown in search results by 20-40%. Authorship typically shows up as a card with a photo and author description next to an item in search results; the new refinements will attempt to filter out low quality authors.

Google has for some time now shown a small X in the top corner of the display ads it serves. This X allows users to silence ads they no longer want to see, and is part of the system Google uses to understand ad quality. Google is now adding a survey to the system, which allows users to provide feedback after they have clicked the X to silence an ad. Using this and other metrics, Google removed more than 350m ads and 270k advertisers from its system in 2013.

Surprising absolutely no-one, Google has reiterated that Guest Blogging is bad. It doesn’t help your SEO. Don’t do it.

Google’s Knowledge Graph has begun to appear prominently in search results. Next to nodes it knows about, you will see a link which brings up a floating card showing the details Google knows about that entity and where it fits in the Knowledge Graph hierarchy. Tip: search for a brand name, and click the hotlink next to the listing.

Google has just gotten a patent for arranging free or heavily discounted rides for potential customers to an advertiser’s location – presumably by taxi or autonomous vehicle. With this technology, not only could a business display an ad with a phone number and email, but if they felt you were valuable enough they could offer you a free ride to their location. According to the application, Google’s algorithm would take many factors into account, including “the price competing advertisers are willing to pay for the customer to be delivered to alternate locations.”

Part 2 of the January SimplePart Update will follow tomorrow.

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