Tag Archives: technology

Google Glass or the Smart Watch? The battle for next gen Technology

google glass

What does this mean for businesses and for our privacy?

Technology has developed dramatically in the last decade, it appears that we are now reaching the stage where applied science is so advanced that ideas that could only be imagined in science fiction are now becoming part of reality.

google glass

This rapid growth in technology has dramatically changed our day to day lives and how businesses and brands communicate with their following, less than five years ago the idea of watching video on the way to work would have seemed far-fetched now that we are essentially contactable wherever we are, businesses have had to change the way they engage with the public whether it’s through social networking or online video.

The latest development that’s caught the attention of the masses is the concept of a wearable computer or an augmented reality device.

Industry giants Google and Apple are now fighting to gain a foothold in this new generation of technological advancement;

In recent weeks Google has revealed its latest innovation, Google Glass. A head-mounted display that displays information in a similar fashion to the smartphone, the device can be activated via voice command. The device may even be integrated with prescription lenses in the future, it’s speculated that the device may be released as early as this year.

There are rumours that Apple is in the process of developing its own “smart-watch”, a wearable computer that can be attached to your wrist, whilst Samsung is also rumoured to be developing a similar product.

What does this mean for our privacy?

Google Glass has been attracting some concerns over privacy issues, if you’ve seen the viral adverts then you’ll be aware that the device can record video on command, if these devices are set to become commonplace in society then how will it impact on our sense of privacy.

It remains to be seen how are privacy will be affected, who will be defined as complicit as far as being recorded is concerned, many people may be recorded with one of these devices which can then upload their image to social media, all without their permission.

For Businesses

Being able to watch and video as well surf the web, through a lens or through a smart-watch will change the way businesses contact their audience as well as how commercials and advertisements can reach a targeted demographic.

But for now, what we’re wondering is what will become the most popular.

Would you prefer to wear a head-mounted device or a smart-watch? Are you content with a simple phone in your pocket? Let us know.

A History of Google

history of google

A brief history of Google and its development from search engine to tech giant.

Google has a monopoly over the search engine market, details of its dominance range from having a 65% to 80% share of the search industry, but the Google brand has come a long way since then and it has now expanded to become one of the world’s most well-known brands.

The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin whilst at university (who still own around 16% of the company) with the intention “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”

Functioning as a search engine it fought off competition from the likes of Ask Jeeves, Yahoo and more recently Bing.

The company’s rapid growth since its incorporation has triggered a range of products and acquisitions along the way, for instance one of its major purchases was YouTube in November 2006 for just over one billion pounds, which signaled its intent to become more than a simple search engine.

history of google

Google purchased YouTube in 2006

Last year Google earned around $50 billion dollars in revenue, an increase on the previous year.

The company is now far more than a search engine

It now offers a diverse range of services;

Google plus:This is the site’s attempt to make inroads in to the social media networking industry which is primarily dominated primarily by the likes of Facebook and more recently Twitter. Google+ has made a significant impact however and now it consists of more than 500 million registered users.

Gmail: As of June 2012, Google’s mail service is the most widely used web-based email provider with over 400 million users worldwide with a larger capacity than many of its rivals including Hotmail.

Google also offers many other services including an office suite and desktop services.

One of the more significant development in recent years has been the company’s foray in to the tech market.

Google has now extended its services in to mobile technology, with the development of the Android mobile operating system. Android mobile devices have made a significant impact on the smartphone market although it is still inferior in terms of revenue when compared to Apple.

history of google

The company now has its own product in the desktop and personal computer market, the Chromebook runs on its own Google Chrome OS operating system and has become a popular and cost-effective product.

history of google

Google now leads the market in developing the first “augmented reality wearable computer”, titled Google Glass. This head-mounted display device will allow the user to connect to a computer and the internet without the need to use his or her hands.

history of google

This futuristic innovation is one of the first of its kind and signals Google’s intention to develop previously intangible technology.

Despite Google becoming a leading manufacturer of tech products, it still generates the majority of its revenue through AdWords, which signals just how important it is to be on Google’s front page, many SEO strategies still revolve around getting a website on the front page of Google. The search engine has dominance over what websites are visible to the public, getting on the front page of a SERP can signify a potential goldmine for businesses as as far as traffic and subsequent revenue is concerned.

Google is now integrating Google plus as part of its ranking algorithm, by making its own social network a ranking factor, this will encourage businesses to sign up for its services and put more focus in to its Google+ marketing campaign. By offering additional services aside from that of a regular search engine Google is attempting to monopolize all activity on the web, tools such as Google Analytics and Google Trends ensure that we rely on the company for more than simple search engine functions.

Thanks to its dominance over the search engine market the company has been able to invest in other areas, businesses are still reliant on Google to ensure their information is visible on the web and essentially the entire SEO industry is devoted to optimizing websites accordingly.  

Last Year Facebook Mobile Users Exceeded PC Users

facebook mobile

For the first time on record, in the final quarter of 2012 Facebook recorded more mobile users than those on a PC device.

There were 680 million mobile monthly active users compared to the overall total of 1 billion.

157 million of those only accessed the site through their mobile.

Facebook’s mobile presence has been rapidly increasing in recent years, largely due to the overall development of mobile technology.

  • There were only 245 million monthly mobile users in 2010.

Evidently however it’s clear that businesses have had to adapt their strategies to conform to the ever growing presence of mobile technology.

The company boasted over £800 million pounds in ad revenue in the final quarter of 2012, nearly £200 million of that was generated via mobile.

Experts say that this growth in mobile revenue will show progress to investors in the future.

What does this mean for Small businesses?

Smaller businesses have to follow suit, ignoring mobile users means you’re significantly reducing your potential audience.

Making your site mobile friendly is easier than you might think; here are some simple ideas to implement.

  • Make your site more visual, think videos, images and infographics
  • Increase your font
  • Increase the size of click through buttons on your site
  • Simplify your homepage, think the minimalist approach

Have a look at this post on making your page “Tablet Friendly”

The amount of users accessing your page through a mobile device is only going to increase, so make sure users aren’t frustrated by an ‘unfriendly’ mobile site.

The Top 10 Web 2.0 Sites

Web 2.0

A web 2.0 site is a name that was coined in the early days of the internet for sites that use technology beyond that of regular static pages. The name comes from O’Reilly Media’s Web 2.0 Conference that was held in 2004. Although the name suggests that Web 2.0 is a newer, updated version of the internet that’s familiar to the public it’s simply the name given to the ways software developers have modified the initial version of the work-wide-web.

What does a Web 2.0 Site look like?

Web 2.0

Instead of viewing a website passively, a web 2.0 site could allow users to interact with each other through Social Media as well as allow user-generated content.

This can be found in social networking sites, video sharing sites, web applications, blogs and more.

So, to give you an idea of the type of website that uses this format, Here are 10 of the most popular Web 2.0 sites out there.

1. Facebook: Unsurprisingly Facebook is the most popular web 2.0 site, Facebook has become one of the most widely recognised brands in the world and has been described as a website that defined a generation, the website thrives on user-generated content, images, applications, video and more. The website now generates an estimated 750 million visitors per month, with around a billion users world wide.

2. YouTube: Although some are unfamiliar that the website is a Web 2.0 site, like many other sites on the list it focuses on user-generated content rather than content of its own. It’s estimated that the site receives 450 million visits per month making it the second most popular site on the list.

3. Wikipedia: The Internet’s chief free online encyclopedia thrives on content from well-informed (though not always) users on an enormous variety of topics. Users are free to add and edit information as they please, pending approval by the site. Contrary to many other sites on the list, the website thrives on volunteer donations. Nevertheless the site generates around 350 million visitors per month.

4. Twitter: This social networking site is perhaps the most improved social media brand of the last two years making massive inroads in to the domination of Facebook. The site is estimated to be worth around 7 billion pounds and gets around 200 million unique monthly visitors.

5. Craigslist: Is a classified advertisements website for products, services, jobs and CVs. The site was invented by Craig Newmark in 1995 and has become increasinly popular in the United States and throughout the world, generating around 160 million visitors per month.

6. WordPress: (Which I am using as we speak) Is the perfect example of a Web 2.0 site, it allows users to manage and create content for their own websites, it is an extremely useful tool for web and content management. WordPress generates an estimated 150 million unique visitors a month.

7. IMDB: The “Internet Movie Database is an online database for movies, television shows and video games. Users and critics alike use the website to review visual entertainment as well as individual actors, the site is owned by Amazon and generates around 100 million unique visitors a month, it also has a rapidly developing mobile presence!

8. Flickr: Is a popular image hosting and video hosting website that boasts an impressive online community. The site was purchased from Ludicorp in 2005 by Yahoo! The website thrives on user generated content, whether it’s images, videos or when used as a tool for bloggers. It’s estimated that the site receives around 90 million unique visitors per month.

9. Blogger: Is a blog-publishing website that allows users to create and promote Blogs. The site was bought by Google in 2003, the blogs are hosted by Google via a subdomain at blogspot.com. The Site has an estimated 75 million visitors per month!

10. Tumblr: Is a social networking website and a microblogging platform that allows users to post multimedia and other content. Users can follow each other’s blogs or make their blogs private. It was estimated that in 2012 that the site had over 77 million blogs live on the site. It now generates an estimated 60 million visitors per month.

So there we have the 10 most popular web 2.0 sites on the internet, these websites focus primarily on user-generated content and social media which is why they have become some of the most visited pages in the world today.

 

Your Online Marketing checklist for 2013

Online Marketing

As the new year begins, it’s a good idea to review how your Online Marketing strategy fared in 2012 and what can be improved or implemented in the coming months. With that in mind we’ve picked out a couple of basic fundamentals that your strategy should focus on in the new year.

Social Media has been growing from strength to strength in the last couple of years (with the exception of a couple of setbacks for Facebook). Businesses have quickly realized that this is something that can’t be ignored as having the potential to appeal to an audience of say 900 million people makes for a fantastic online marketing strategy. More recently Twitter has made a huge impact on Social Media too, studies released today claim Twitter would be worth more than 11 billion dollars (nearly 7 billion in British Pound Sterling) if it intends to go public next year.

There is plenty of information in our previous blogs on how to improve or implement your Social Media marketing strategy, take a look at our “Online Marketing, What’s Trending” post for a better look at the statistics.

Mint’s first tip for 2013 is, Don’t neglect Social Media.

As with any aspect of Online Marketing the environment is dynamic and always subject to change, SEO has seen numerous developments over the past couple of years. Google is attempting to shift the focus of its ranking system from traditional internal SEO to a more content based algorithm.

This has already been illustrated by Google Penguin and Panda update in previous years.

Our second tip for 2013 is that as far as SEO and Google is concerned, Content is King.

2012 was an important year as far as technological development is concerned, as you can see in our previous blog post “5 tips to Make Your Page Tablet Friendly” many experts have dubbed 2012 the year of the tablet, with more than 122 million units sold worldwide with 70 million sold in the United States alone. With this development it is suggested that laptop sales will begin to decline this year, studies suggest that only four of the nine major laptop companies will expect to improve on their results this year, that’s Apple, Sony, Asus and Lenovo.

So our third tip for 2013 is to make sure your website is “Tablet Friendly”

Google+ is a developing social networking layer, at the end of last year the site reached more than 400 million members, one of the reasons you should look in to setting up an account is so you can set up Google Author. Google Author is an extremely useful as an SEO tool it’s been suggested that implementing this within blog posts can improve your click through rate by as much as much as 20%. Setting this up is relatively simple all you need is a Google + account, take a look at the “Are you using Google Author” post on our blog for more details on why and how you can implement it and you could attract a lot more traffic to your website.

Our fourth and final tip for 2013 is to implement Google Author.

Online Marketing is always developing but following these guidelines could dramatically improve the amount of traffic and revenue your website generates, make sure 2013 is a successful year for your business!

5 Tips to make your page Tablet Friendly

 

Tablet Friendly

Browsing a web page through a Tablet is more user friendly than simply using a desktop, this is part of the reason for it’s surge in popularity last year. Apple have revolutionised the tablet market with the iPad and we’re now seeing many other major companies attempting to rival the product with similar devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note, Surface by Microsoft and Google’s Nexus.

Did you know there are nearly 70 million tablet users in the United States alone, this is a figure that has doubled from the previous year. This means that 30% of all Americans are accessing the internet through a tablet device.

These statistics do not include mobile users, so that’s even more users accessing your page through a touch screen device.

Traffic to e-commerce sites by Tablet users has increased by 348% from 2011 to 2012, thus overtaking mobile traffic for the first time. The Tablet market is fresh and still developing, the presence of the tablet will only increase in 2013, it’s never been a better time to “get in” on the market.

With that in mind if you haven’t already optimised your site for Tablet users, it’s worth asking the question…

Is your site “tap friendly” ?

To make your site tap friendly you need to;

  1. Utilise space intelligently: Tablet users don’t enjoy scrolling endlessly through your pages but they won’t want to be making microscopic movements with their fingertips either. In this respect space is perhaps the most important thing as far as a tablet user is concerned, So make sure your page layout is up to scratch.
  1. Make your pages easy to read: It’s easy to identify when a web page isn’t prepared for touch-screen users, make sure your page can be navigated easily with plenty of visual imagery too.
  1. Use large target buttons such as the “add to basket” button or “click to buy” button: It can be very frustrating for a user when the “button” they wish to select is too small for their finger to push, frustrating the user is something you’ll wish to avoid as they may end up leaving the page before they’ve invested in your product!
  1. Increase font size: This is a simple enough tip, increasing your font slightly will make your page more visually appealing to a tablet user, remember that the touch-screen is significantly smaller than your traditional desktop monitor.
  1. Increase form field size and spacing: This is also an easy to implement suggestion, when the user is filling in important details such as registering a user name or even inserting their credit card details they won’t want to be needing a magnifying glass. Increasing these fields will significantly improve your sites usability.

For a good indication of a site that’s optimised perfectly for touch-screen users, look no further than Apple’s home page, as you’d expect from the creator of the iPad and the iPhone the minimalist layout and visual imagery look very appealing on a touch-screen device and the page is easy to navigate too.

If the text is too small to read and the navigation links are so close together that you navigate unintentionally this will likely result in poor usability and may turn users away from your page permanently. Try and make sure your page isn’t time consuming and frustrating for the user, avoiding complexity is always a good idea as far as Tablet and Mobile users are concerned.

Try accessing your page through a Tablet device yourself, you’ll get a good idea of your site’s usability and whether it’s truly Tablet friendly.

Conclusion

It’s relatively easy to optimise your site for the tablet market, it’s not time consuming and is based on editing minor details of your web page. The benefits as a result of this optimisation may increase the amount of traffic you attract significantly, therefore increasing your revenue in the process.

It may be impossible to tailor your site to every users individual taste and be ideal for whatever device they’re using at the time but ignoring Tablet and touch-screen users severely restricts the amount of traffic you can gain.