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digital marketing

Countdown to Chrome warning for non-https websites

HTTPS is a secure protocol that helps defend your visitors’ info by encrypting knowledge traveling between the internet browser and the server.

SSL protocol

Google AdWords already recommends (and in some cases, requires) that every one URLs use the HTTPS protocol rather than HTTP to shield customers’ personal and money info.

As of April 2018, more than 57% of the Internet’s 137,971 most popular websites have a secure implementation of HTTPS (source: Alexa).

Starting from Chrome 68, expected to be released in July 2018, all HTTP pages will be market as “not secure”. This might cause a significant drop in traffic.

 

Not Secure website on Google Chrome

In terms of SEO, HTTPS is among the top Search Engine ranking factors.

If your website supports HTTPS and you run AdWords campaigns, make sure that the final URLs and mobile final URLs start with HTTPS – you can bulk edit this step wither on the platform, through Adwords editor or API.

If your website doesn’t support HTTPS speak with your webmaster or the CMS administrator and make sure that HTTPS is enabled on your server (double check with your hosting provider), then make sure that all internal links are HTTPS (on WordPress you can force them with specific plugins).

A free SSL service is LetsEncrypt, trusted and supported by the major hosting providers.

Any help? Get in touch!

 

Klout score alternatives Kred, Skorr

Klout is dead. What are the social score alternatives?

The epic Klout score, acquired by the digital marketing company Lithium for 200 million, has been killed.

 

What was Klout

“Klout was a website and mobile app, launched in 2008, that used social media analytics to rate all social media users according to online social influence via the “Klout Score”, which is a numerical value between 1 and 100. In determining the user score, Klout measured the size of a user’s social media network and correlated the content created to measure how other users interact with that content.” (Wikipedia, 25-05-2018).

Klout changed from a pure scoring tool to a publishing tool. Not everyone was confident about the reliability of its scores though.

Lithium Technologies, who acquired the site in March 2014, announced in May 2018 that they would end the service on May 25, 2018. The service was shut down on May 25, 2018, the same day GDPR came into force – my latest score was 66/100.

Klout score shut down. The alternatives

Remembering Klout

On May 25th 2018 the following note has been published on klout.com:

“The Klout acquisition provided Lithium with valuable artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, but Klout as a standalone service is not aligned with our long-term business strategy. We appreciate the loyal Klouters out there who stuck with us all these years – keep influencing!”

According to the blogger Paul Colmer, Klout could have been shut down also because it wasn’t fully compliant with GDPR, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation that is resulting very painful for many businesses. Lithium, after all, was only interested in its technology and know-how for its business, whilst Klout itself didn’t seem to be profitable.

 The alternatives to Klout score

Kred

There are two alternatives. One is Kred, on the market for a few years, that will be relaunched the 11th June.

Skorr

The other, launched very recently and less known, is called Skorr. It doesn’t seem reliable like Klout but it might improve in the future. You can check out my social skorr, download the app and check yours.

EU GDPR e fotografia di strada

Save Street Photography from EU’s GDPR! Sign the petition

Street photography is at risk with the new EU’s GDPR, in force starting from the 25th May 2018.

Your dreamy picture of that girl in the sunflower field is the “collection and sharing of personal data” in the eyes of a data protection officer and eurocrats. Many things in a photo are personal data: her face, the location, the time and date, and everything that is tied to her identity.

The legal consequence: you need to provide some kind of justification to take that picture and to put it on your hard disk or — much worse — to share it on Instagram or elsewhere. If you’re a pro, you have a model release. If you’re just a friend, it’s out of the scope of the GDPR (again, “personal or household activity”). But an enthusiast sits uncomfortably in the middle.

Street photography especially becomes a legal nightmare. You cannot get consent before you take the shot because that would usually destroy the moment. According to the data protection law, you’re not allowed to only ask for it afterward. If you take a picture as an event photographer, you might argue that taking pictures of visitors at a conference is “necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests” (Art. 6 lit f GDPR). You don’t need consent then.

But can you do that if you shoot that amazing shot of an elegant business guy in a light cone on the street? Probably not. And you certainly cannot do it when a child is in your picture. That “legitimate interests”-argument does not apply “where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child”.

Of course, there were laws for photography before. Germany has had a law for photography dating back to 1907 (!), when the Bundesrepublik was still a “Kaiserreich”: The Kunsturhebergesetz. You could be sentenced if you circulated pictures of people without their consent. It’s a reaction to the world’s first paparazzi: two photographers had taken a shot of the deceased Otto von Bismarck on his deathbed.

Over the years, our courts had found an acceptable balance between privacy rights and photography freedom. Very recently, the German Constitutional Court even ruled that street photography is protected by the constitution because it is “art”! Hear, hear!

That fair balance is at peril with the GDPR. The nature of an EU regulation is brutal and relentless (like many of the crazy EU regulations and directives): these laws come into force in every country and the courts have to ignore all national laws that contravene.

millenium bridge, london, uk

There is some hope though: some lawyers argue that the good old law from 1907 persists despite the GDPR. They cite Art. 85, a provision that deals with “Processing and freedom of expression and information”. It calls for Member States “to reconcile the right to the protection of personal data pursuant to this Regulation with the right to freedom of expression and information” — also for “artistic expression”, read: street photography.

The current situation is tragic: Germany should welcome street photography. While it may not be the birthplace of street photography, at least a German developed the tool for some of the most famous photography artists: Leica cameras!

The EU has traditionally had a thing for data protection. No wonder it was a German guy from the Green Party who pushed for the GDPR…

Source
: PetaPixel

Not a surprise considering that Germany does not even allow Google Street View differently than other countries. Let’s keep privacy-freaks away from policy-making. Their obsession with privacy is killing art and freedom of expression and business.

We need to start civil disobedience campaign against the EU monster regulations and bureaucracy that are affecting in particular small-medium enterprises, now burdened with extra costs and procedures. Nobody has ever felt the need to apply such rules to street photo therefore now there is a petition to claim an exception.

Facebook Local Search

Facebook Professional Services, the next big thing for Local Search? (2018)

Facebook Professional Services

Facebook Professional Services

Facebook Professional Services is a new feature – still unannounced – that can be the next big thing for local search in 2016.

Update: it’s 2018 and the feature hasn’t been announced or promoted yet, but it’s still there, quite useful.

With this move Facebook is entering as a direct competitor of platforms such as Google Places (recently re-shaped as My Business), Yelp, Foursquare, Tripadvisor and others in the #local search market.

All Facebook Pages with a physical location will be listed in their respective primary business category and cannot avoid users rating/reviews – in fact, to remove the possibility that users leave reviews the page does not have to be associated with any physical location (e.g. brand pages).

All pages can be linked to up to three categories, but only the main one will be relevant for indexation in Professional Services – mind that if you do not see your Page listed yet.

Ranking high and with a good rating is crucial to business success. Many prospective customers look for confirmations about their possible choice right before they are going to buy – what Google calls micro-moments. This fact applies in particular in mobile local search, but at the moment, Facebook Professional Services are only available on the desktop. Maybe a dedicated app will be released at some point?

In Facebook Professional Services, ranking level is determined by a combination that takes into account number of reviews and rating (and possibly other variables such as engagement, page authority, reviewers authority, etc.). Therefore, having many reviews is the first step to being sure that a local service ranks in the top ten – there are ten results per page/category/city. Besides, rating from relevant users is also important: generally a page with 70 reviews and an average rating of 4.4 ranks better than a page with 20 reviews with 4.9 average rating.

Are you looking to improve your local search ranking? Have a look at this Local SEO Guide for Businesses by Brad Richardson (Caseo, Canada).

Yahoo 1996

Yahoo! killed Aviate and sold Flickr

I’m a proud user of both Aviate (Android launcher, the most useful amont dozens I tried, IMHO) and Flickr (image hosting, my account dates back to 2005 with over 7 million photo views).

Yahoo!, now owned by Verizon, acquired Flickr in 2005. Now it has sold it to the independent image-hosting company SmugHug for a price not known, probably it’s been a bargain.

Flickr has more than 75 million users and is well-known for being a free-service with unlimited storage. SmugHug instead is a small paid service, quite expensive considering alternatives. For example, you can opt for Google Photos that offer much more than just image-hosting.

Many users are asking if Flickr will remain free after the SmugHug aquisition and the aquiring company, already in charge of Flickr social network channels, is replying that free accounts won’t change “at this time”. At this time?!

Flickr

Yahoo!, one of the oldes internet companies, launched in January 1994, today has only 2.1% of global search market share (source: statcounter.com) vs Google that reaches more than 91%.

The company has a long list of failures and recently is getting quite slim. Clearly, it’s dying, and the Verizon acquisition is probably speeding up this process.

SEO

SEO: 8 top ranking factors for Google in 2017 [infographic]

The Google algorithm keeps on changing regularly, making life harder and harder for SEO experts. Some people assume that SEO is dead, but in fact SEO is alive more than ever. Simply, the old way of doing SEO is dead, or at least it’s not bringing the desired results anymore, whilst a new set of SEO strategies and techniques is rising due to search engine algorithms that become intelligent more than ever.

Here is an interesting infographic, created and designed by Harris Myers, that lists the 8 top factors to keep in mind to rank high on Google SERP in 2017.

 

The Top Google Ranking Factors 2017 (infographic)

 

 

Content Marketing trends

Content Marketing Trends in 2017: infographic

An interesting infographic by Jomer Gregorio, CEO at CJG Digital Marketing, listing some of the Content Marketing trends to watch out for in 2017.

In his work, Jomer summarizes predictions about the evolution of the following 8 aspects that characterize contemporary content marketing.

  1. Increase in documented content marketing strategy
  2. Rise of visual content
  3. Content getting more niche-specific
  4. More user-generated content
  5. Promotion to become a priority
  6. More video
  7. Influencer marketing
  8. VR (virtual reality)

Content Marketing Trends in 2017 - Infographic

Facebook Live Maps

Facebook Livemap: visualizing globalization through user-generated TV

Facebook Livemaps

keeps on packaging user-generated content to offer new product and create new potential advertising spaces. This time the news is called Facebook Livemap. No big announcements before revealing a collection of user-generated live broadcasts from all over the world. The fact that it is endless and unpredictable makes it addictive.

This format is something different than on-demand (think of Netflix), a concept that caused a lot of suffer to specialised traditional channels, not to mention the old generic traditional channels.

Traditional channels might get a space over there, maybe in the future they can also have the option to pay in order to gain prominent visibility, but they will always face competition of a potential army constituted by more than a billion users that can broadcast whatever they feel (or need), anytime, (almost) anywhere. Advertising is not interrupting the show, but is just “sustaining” it, or in the future it might be just the show. A different model, much less invasive and able to target users with unprecedented precision in the television industry.

Users can choose what and when the big brother can watch, but there is always a small brother hidden inside algorithms that knows what’s in the shadow, often more relevant for marketing than what’s publicly shown.

Geography is the channel and content is random. There could be a leak from a Bilderberg meeting, a pre-recorded footage, a real-time suicide, sex, cheating, violence, a baby that is just born, one who is dying, a natural disaster, a revolution, in involution, the biggest lie ever that will cause a revolution or just bullshit, most of the time – useful material for contemporary anthropologists. What’s the next show?

Facebook to discard Conversion Tracking Pixel in the second half of 2016

Features of Facebook Pixel

All digital advertisers that are currently using Conversion Tracking pixels have to move to Pixel by the second half of 2016.

 pixel is a better solution for both building Custom Audiences (e.g. remarketing) and tracking any conversion (see image).

Custom Audience pixel will remain. However, it is advised to move to the new Pixel that enables to build everything.

The FB pixel can be implemented through Google Tag Manager or other tag management services, covering all pages of the website(s) along the customer journey.

There is no need to create and implement multiple Pixels as one can be shared among different Ad Accounts. Consequently, Custom Audiences and Custom Conversions can be created directly into each Ad Account according to specific needs.

* the Conversion tracking pixel will be disabled by the second half of 2016 as announced by .

Linkedin Ads

How to re-target LinkedIn users through other channels

Ok, this method might break some rule, but it can be an effective solution for specific goals, like a very focused lead generation campaign. Let’s imagine that your goal is to reach outside , some workers of a few competitors based in country x or y, or anyone that studied at university z.

Just follow these steps:

  1. (alternative/1: choose this at your risk) Create a fake user profile on , possibly a high profile consultant;
  2. (alternative/2) use your real profile;
  3. If you go for alternative 1, you need to get new friends: define your target audience and add  users through the most appropriate search fields (industry, company, country, etc.);
    LinkedIn Profile Search
  4. Dig into Groups

    (extra/1) you can extend your contact list by joining the most relevant and popular groups that are related to your audience(s) industry and adding people that actively engage in conversation over there;

  5. Chase people suggested

    (extra/2) you might further extend the list by adding people suggested by , if having profiles matching your target audience;

  6. Export your contact list from LinkedIn

    Once you reach a certain amount of contacts (let’s say at least 300), export the contact list from to a CSV format file, format it through a spreadsheet software using the function “text-to-column”, choosing comma as delimiter and save a new CSV file with just a column of emails;

    LinkedIn Export Email CSV

  7. Split the contact list to create different targets

    (extra/3) Let’s suppose that you want to target all HR people of company X but you want to advertise in French and German, depending on where are they based. In this case, you can split the list into many by selecting specific job titles, country and/or company, the only fields relevant for such purpose, to create multiple remarketing lists (see next steps) but only if the sub-lists contains enough contacts;

  8. Create a remarketing list on Adwords

    Google Adwords audiences email
    On go to Shared Library, then Audiences, then select Customer Email and upload the CSV (one or many). Choose the duration up to 6 months, the time that your LinkedIn contacts will be able to be targeted with your textual and visual ads through the Google Display Network (that includes sites like Gmail and Youtube).
    Google Adwords audiences email

  9. Create a Customer List on Ads

    On Ads, select Audiences, then Custom Audience and import the CSV file(s) – you will be able to target LinkedIn users also through Instagram (if they have an account).
    Facebook Audiences
    Facebook Upload Emails
    Facebook Custom Audiences

 

Important Notes

  • if the list is too small you cannot do any remarketing: the list should contain at least 100 contacts;
  • this operation implies serious privacy issues (therefore, take at your risk) in fact, target contacts should be previously and adequately informed about this (either if you choose option 1=fake profile or 2=real profile).

Opportunities

  • you can extend the list by using Lookalike audience on (with a similarity percentage from 0% to 10%) and Similar users on Adwords: this is an excellent opportunity in particular if your target audience is the right one;
  • if you want to target LinkedIn users on Gmail, just add mail.google.com as Placement and the domain of companies that might send them an email as Display Keyword.