Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

 
05 Sep 2014

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Monthly Industry Roundup: August, 2014

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ECOMMERCE?

On August 6 2014, Google announced that it is starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal within the search results. Google has said that right now HTTPS is a very lightweight signal which will affect less than 1% of search queries globally, but it has stated that this may change over time as Google encourages all site owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. Read more…

With the aim of helping small businesses get started online, build a thriving company, and grow to be a successful enterprise, Yahoo has relaunched its venerable software-as-a-service (SaaS) eCommerce platform, and, frankly, become significantly more competitive in the modern eCommerce platform market. The new, redesigned Yahoo Stores should do four things for users, according to Amit Kumar, vice president and head of Yahoo Small Business:

  • Make it easier for businesses to get online;
  • Provide mobile first eCommerce;
  • Help new companies make a first sale sooner;
  • Scale with ease to support growing eCommerce businesses.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN .NET DEVELOPMENT?

Microsoft announces the general availability of Katana 3 – This is an important update to Microsoft’s OWIN implementation, which offers you the powerful new functionality. In a nutshell:

  • Katana 3 takes full advantage of the .NET 4.5 async-await model, affording significant performance improvements in respect to former releases. Note: if you require .NET 4.0 support, you can still use earlier Katana versions.
  • Katana 3 introduces a new set of middlewares meant to support enterprise grade authentication and claims based identity via standard protocols, making integration with Azure Active Directory and ADFS straightforward.
  • The new middleware follows a proven extensibility model, which grants you the ability to customize every stage of the authentication pipeline while maintaining an extremely simple programming model for the default cases. Existing components (such as the cookies middleware)have been updated accordingly. At this time, Katana 3 supports the following protocols:
    • WS-Federation
    • OpenId Connect (id_token and id_token+code, via form_post)
    • OAuth2 bearer token authentication for Web API
  • This release includes fixes for issues related to Twitter and Google API changes. If you have an app using Google authentication and you are updating to Katana 3, please make sure you read this post!

Mirosoft released various runtime and tooling updates for ASP.NET vNext in Visual Studio “14” CTP 3. They included all the features that were included in Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 in this release. This release also has ASP.NET vNext runtime and tooling improvements like -

  • No files listed in the .kproj file
  • Unit testing
  • Support for Configuration
  • Command line scaffolding
  • And more

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CREATIVE?

The best new fonts, August 2014  Click and explore! Top paid and free fonts that made their debut in the past two months.

  • Sinkin Sans (free)
  • Fira Mono (free)
  • Cooper Hewitt (free)
  • Roboto 2014 (free)
  • Swashington ($27 approx.)
  • Peaches and Cream (from $18 approx.)
  • Riga (from $50 approx.)
  • And more…

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEARCH?

At the end of August, regular Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns retired and were replaced by Shopping campaigns. A majority of you have started upgrading to Shopping campaigns, but if you’re one of the few who haven’t yet, Google has introduced a new upgrade tool that’ll help you upgrade in a matter of clicks. This tool creates a Shopping campaign from your regular PLA campaign, with a campaign structure and bids based on your regular PLA campaign and historical performance data. Read more.

Starting in late September, Google Adwords is applying close variant keyword matching, an intuitive way to connect people with the businesses they’re searching for, to all exact and phrase match keywords. Read in detail about Close variant matching for all exact and phrase keywords.

Seventy percent of all mobile searchers have called a business directly from search ads. AdWords click-to-call ads, call metrics, and calls as conversions help you connect with these customers and gain insight about those calls. However, many customers also call your business after clicking through a Google ad and learning more about the products and services you offer on your website. That’s why Google Adwords launches website call conversions, a powerful way for you to identify and measure calls from your website that occur after an ad click. – Introducing Website Call Conversions

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOBILE?

ComScore reveals that Radio, Maps and Instant Messengers achieve a greater audience reach on apps than a desktop. It comes as no surprise then that some categories such as Radio, Maps and Instant Messengers achieve much higher reach on mobile, while others, such as Search and News reach a greater percentage of the audience on the desktop. The Photos category also tends to invite larger mobile audiences, due to the immense popularity of apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. Read more

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEO?

Google has announced that going HTTPS — adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your site — will give you a minor ranking boost. Google says this gives websites a small ranking benefit, only counting as a “very lightweight signal” within the overall ranking algorithm. In fact, Google said this carries “less weight than other signals such as high-quality content.” Based on their tests, Google says it has an impact on “fewer than 1% of global queries” but said they “may decide to strengthen” the signal because they want to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

Low quality guest blogging is considered little or no original content by Google. Google has updated their webmaster guidelines, specifically in the little or no original content guideline, to add “low-quality guest blog posts” as an example of “scraped content.” Since then, Google has penalized several guest blog networks and continues to set their targets on low-quality guest blogging that aims at manipulating their search results. Read full story.

Seth Godin, the founder and owner of Squidoo, announced the social content platform, has been acquired by HubPages. Squidoo was founded back in 2005, where users can create “lenses” of topics and content.

Google announced a few changes to the search box you find within the Google search results. Often, when you search for a brand name, Google will add a search box within the search snippet result for that site. That box allows you to search within that specific site only. More…

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEB DEVELOPMENT (PHP / OPEN SOURCE)?

The PHP Development Team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.0. This new version comes with new features, some backward incompatible changes and many improvements.

The main features of PHP 5.6.0 include:

Find more updates here!

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SOCIAL?

Social media management firm Hootsuite announced today that it is adding the ability to manage contests, UGC galleries and other customized social campaigns. The new feature — Hootsuite Campaigns — is based on a product created by Brightkit, a Vancouver-based startup that Hootsuite has acquired (the acquisition was also announced today). Campaigns offers digital marketers the ability to run 13 types of contests, sweepstakes and galleries that can be embedded on microsites, viewed on social networks and mobile devices. Read full story!

Twitter-

At the Citi Global Technology Conference in New York, Twitter’s chief financial officer (CFO) Anthony Noto discussed what’s on the horizon for Twitter in 2015 – and a new Twitter timeline is one of the initiatives. Recently, Twitter began tinkering with the feed by featuring content that users didn’t sign up for, and, according to reports, reactions were mixed. For the uninitiated, this new function would surface favorite tweets from accounts a user follows; in other words, if a user you follow “Favorited” a tweet, it would end up in your Twitter feed. Read more.

Facebook-

Facebook just announced a platform policy change that states it will no longer allow, as of November 5, “like-gating,” the longtime practice of enticing users to like a page by taking advantage of a special offer such as a coupon or contest. The announcement, which appeared on the Facebook Developer blog, said, “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.”

If you’ve been on Facebook since you were a teenager, we’ve got some bad news for you: Facebook is reportedly working on a feature that will let your friends search through your old posts… by keyword. So if you posted a ridiculous ode to your ex in 2009, this feature would make it a lot easier for your friends to dig it up. All they’d have to do is search for it. More on this!

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ANALYTICS?

Facebook has updated its Events feature to include analytics, giving Page administrators more information about how events are performing. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed today that the company has added Insights for Events:

“This is the first step toward helping Pages gain a better understanding of what’s working and not working when promoting their events. These insights include reach, views and connections. Events created starting July 24 will be able to view insights in the right-hand column of the event page.”

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CONTENT?     

For the first time in seven years, the use of a corporate blog among the Fortune 500 has dropped. According to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research, 31 percent of this year’s Fortune 500 companies have a public facing corporate blog. That’s down from last year’s high of 34 percent, and it’s also the first time that blog use has dropped since Umass Dartmouth started tracking back in 2008. Read more.

Kelsey Libert surveyed over 500 digital publishers to discover what you can do to improve your content placement pitches. While Moz’ founder Rand Fishkin complimented the research, he mentioned that he “might have wished for a larger sample set across more verticals.” Check out the other findings!

“Eighty-seven percent (87%) said they now have content that moves buyers through the purchase funnel, or they plan to have it in the next six months. It is clear that marketers understand a shift in how we approach content has occurred.” Content marketing is hitting a very important inflection point. What do you need to do to keep up with its development? Most brands got on board with content marketing by creating general, untargeted content. Now, those brands are evolving past that; they’re creating content that maps to the position of the buyer in his or her journey. Brands’ new content paradigm recognizes that a “one-size-fits-all” approach may be insufficient. After all, a buyer’s content needs differ based on where in the buyer’s journey they are. What more?

Upcoming – Industry Roundup, September, 2014

02 Sep 2014

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Curated List of Upcoming Webinars for September, 2014

Here’s a list of upcoming industry webinars in September, 2014. These webinars have been handpicked by our subject matter experts and will cover basic to medium level of knowledge. The target audience is everyone from a Small business owner, product manager to an IT head or C level executive, who  can bookmark our curated list and attend by signing up for these webinars.  Our monthly curated  list of webinars usually revolves around the following areas:

  • Web Development
  • Cloud computing
  • Mobile App development
  • Digital Marketing
  • Industry trends and briefings


Click below on the webinar title to learn more about a specific webinar.

 

Cloud: Amazon Web Services

Janet Community Portal to Integrate AWS Cloud Services
Thursday, September 4, 2014 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM IST

Managing Big Data in the AWS Cloud
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 10:30 PM – 11:30 PM IST

 

Adobe

The new Adobe Captivate 8 – With great power comes great ease
Thursday, September 4, 2014 09:00 AM – 10:00 AM US/Pacific

Adobe Connect Webinars for Content Marketing, collaboration & eLearning
Tuesday, September 2 – Friday, September 5, 2014 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM US/Pacific

Foolproof Automated, Collaborative Publishing via PADS & FM Publishing Server
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

Towards Successful Localization with XML and other Strategies
Thursday, September 11, 2014 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

Adobe Captivate 8 – One tool for all your eLearning
Thursday, September 18, 2014 09:00 AM – 10:00 AM US/Pacific

 

 Next – Upcoming Webinars – October, 2014

08 Aug 2014

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Curated List of Upcoming Webinars for August, 2014

We are back with the curated list of industry webinars in August, 2014. These webinars have been handpicked by our subject matter experts and will cover basic to medium level of knowledge. The target audience is everyone from a Small business owner, product manager to an IT head or C level executive, who  can bookmark our curated list and attend by signing up for these webinars.  Our monthly curated  list of webinars usually revolves around the following areas:

  • Web Development
  • Cloud computing
  • Mobile App development
  • Digital Marketing
  • Industry trends and briefings


Click below on the webinar title to learn more about a specific webinar.

 

Cloud: Amazon Web Services

Backup and Archiving in the AWS Cloud
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10:30 PM – 11:30 PM IST

What is Cloud Computing with AWS – August 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 9:30 PM – 10:30 PM IST

Deploying Microsoft SharePoint on AWS
Friday, August 15, 2014 12:30 AM – 1:30 AM IST

Getting Started with AWS – August 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 9:30 PM – 10:30 PM IST

Datacenter Migration to AWS
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 11:30 PM IST – Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:30 AM IST

 

Adobe

Adobe Connect – Online Training Webinar Series
Friday, August 8 – Friday, August 29, 2014 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

Adobe Connect Webinars for Content Marketing, collaboration & eLearning
Monday, August 11 – Friday, August 15, 2014 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM US/Pacific

Creative Cloud for enterprise: Adobe Enterprise Dashboard
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

 

Magento Commerce: Web Development

How to Give New Flavor to Your Food & Beverage Site
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | 10:00am PDT

 

Content Marketing

Real-time Marketing Strategies: Do’s and Don’ts
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT

Next – Upcoming Webinars – September, 2014.

07 Aug 2014

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Monthly Industry Roundup: July, 2014

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ECOMMERCE?

Magento announced the transition of Magento Go and ProStores merchants off of these products by February 1, 2015. Merchant stores will not be affected during the Holiday shopping season—they will continue to operate and perform normally and Magento will continue to provide the Customer Service until February 1, 2015. As a business, Magento now wants to focus on our flagship products, Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Community Edition, as well as developing the next generation of our platform, Magento 2. Magento Go and ProStores customers can take advantage of the checklists, planning resources, and special offers found in our Migration Center, enabling a smooth transition to a new eCommerce solution:

Start Me Up! Hubba: the free product information network  - At the moment, over $1tn of commerce is reliant on digital product information, yet only 25% of digital product information is correct. Brands are faced with an increasing amount of information to manage, an increasing amount of channels in which to distribute the information and an increasing demand from consumers to access this information. Hubba help solve this game of broken telephone between brands and retailers and make sure everyone has the latest and greatest content, updated in real-time by the brand. Hubba is a B2B product information network that help brands and retailers manage and share their product content for omnichannel commerce.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN .NET DEVELOPMENT?

The NuGet packages for ASP.NET MVC 5.2, ASP.NET Web API 2.2 and ASP.NET Web Pages 3.2 are now live on the NuGet gallery! This release primarily includes great new features for Web API OData v4 as summarized below but has bug fixes and minor features that bring in a lot more goodness to MVC, Web API, and Web Pages. Get Details!

Microsoft released various runtime and tooling updates for ASP.NET vNext in the Visual Studio “14” CTP 2. This CTP includes our alpha2 runtime packages for ASP.NET vNext. You can find all the details on the specific enhancements added and issues fixed in the published release notes on GitHub. For information on how to get started with ASP.NET vNext using Visual Studio “14” check out the article Getting Started with ASP.NET vNext and Visual Studio “14″.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CREATIVE?

What’s new for designers, July 2014? Click and explore! It includes new web apps, frameworks, grid systems, game platforms, inspirational resources, Photoshop plugins, text editors, and some really great new fonts. These design resources are free or very low cost, and are sure to be useful to a lot of designers and developers out there.

Here’s the bonus –

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEARCH?

Google Adwords introduces dynamic sitelinks: Automatically generated sitelinks that appear below your ad text, connecting potential customers to relevant pages on your website more easily. This is another example, like seller ratings, of AdWords tools adding value to your ads while saving time and simplifying campaign management.  However, it’s important to continue adding and optimizing sitelinks because impression share for dynamic sitelinks will be low. In fact, the sitelinks you set up will always show, except for the few instances when the dynamic sitelink might perform better.

Google reported on Thursday that the average cost-per-click (CPC) was down again in Q2 from the prior year, marking the eleventh consecutive quarter in which the average CPC fell year-over-year. Some analysts and news outlets have been pointing to this as evidence of Google’s “mobile problem” — the problem Enhanced Campaigns were meant to fix when introduced last year. The fear is that Google can’t figure out a way to monetize mobile ad clicks as the time consumers spend on their phones climbs. More…

Google Adwords introduces upgraded location extensions, a better way to display your business locations in every ad by linking your Google My Business and AdWords accounts. Consumers increasingly look online for information such as driving directions, store hours, and products and services available at local businesses. Research shows that 50% of consumers visit a store within one day of searching for local information on their smartphones. As people are likely to visit a store based on what they see in online search, it’s important to capture every opportunity to showcase your locations. Newly upgraded location extensions allow you to feature your store locations in all campaigns so that every ad can deliver the most relevant local information at the moments that matter. Read more

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOBILE?

comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR) and Google are partnering to offer a real-time audience metric designed to help brand marketers easily measure campaigns across screens. After a period of testing, comScore vCE will be available to DoubleClick marketer and publisher clients, built into the widely used ad management platform. comScore’s vCE metric will be built directly into the DoubleClick ad server that publishers and marketers use to deliver their ads. It will initially be available in the U.S. later this year for desktop-based display and video ads, with eventual plans to expand the service for mobile and cross-platform. Read more

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEO?

Google Panda 4.0 had a major negative impact on many press release sites including the largest one, PR Newswire. In response, PR Newswire issued a press release about them cracking down on “spammers” by removing and “taking action” on low quality press releases both before they hit the feeds and going back and removing a lot of the spammy older press releases. PR Newswire, according to SearchMetrics, saw a huge dive in “SEO Visibility” after Panda 4.0. What are their new guidelines that will fix this? They include:

  • Inclusion of insightful analysis and original content (e.g. research, reporting or other interesting and useful information);
  • Use of varied release formats, guarding against repeated use of templated copy (except boilerplate);
  • Assessing release length, guarding against issue of very short, unsubstantial messages that are mere vehicles for links;
  • Overuse of keywords and/or links within the message.

Google has officially announced the new feature we reported was in beta named International Targeting. The new International Targeting reports within Google Webmaster Tools helps webmasters debug common issues with their implementation of href-lang. The markup enables Google and other search engines to serve the correct language or regional version of pages to searchers. But often, webmasters implement the annotations/markup incorrectly. The new International Targeting reports within Google Webmaster Tools helps webmasters fix those common issues. Read full story.

Google announced they have updated their robots.txt testing tool in Webmaster Tools. The update brings you a few more features including:

  • Highlights which line in your robots.txt file is blocking a specific page.
  • Make test changes to the robots.txt tool and test it before you make the file live.
  • Google will also show you older versions of your robots.txt file to see past issues.

Google announced on the Google News blog a new portal for Google News publishers to use to help manage their news sites within Google News. The new portal is named Google News Publisher Center. As long as your news site is verified within Google Webmaster Tools and already included in Google News, you should see them already verified and ready to manage within the Google News Publisher Center. Those sites that are not already verified, can go through the process of verification. Check what the publisher center enables you to do?

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEB DEVELOPMENT (PHP / OPEN SOURCE)?

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of the following releases in the month of July 2014 -

  • The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of the third release candidate of PHP 5.6. This is a bugfix-only release. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.
  • The PHP Development Team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.5.15. This release fixes several bugs against PHP 5.5.14. All PHP users are encouraged to upgrade to this new version.
  • The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.4.31. Over 10 bugs were fixed in this release. All PHP 5.4 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

Find more updates here!

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SOCIAL?

A new tool (smo.knowem.com) is recently launched by Knowem.com that enables users to check to see if a website is optimized for social sharing. It checks for Facebook Open Graph, Twitter cards, G+ authorship, and other social channels. It also includes some testing for standard SEO, but the outcomes are not as strong as with other tools provided by Google and others.

Twitter-
Twitter is now showing impressions for all campaigns, paid and unpaid. The report displays impressions over the past 28 days, and equates to the previous timeline. Every personal and brand account can see these impression reports. Try this by visiting http://analytics.twitter.com.

According to a survey done by Lithium Technologies, response time is critical in social media, if you’re a brand. According to charts published on Search Engine Watch, 70% of surveyed Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to on Twitter and of those users, 53% want that response in under an hour.

Facebook-

Facebook conducted a psychological experiment with its users. To carry out the experiment, they manipulated some 700K users’ news feeds to only indicate positive or negative sentiment then observed what those users successively posted on their profiles. Facebook’s conclusion: “emotions expressed by friends, via online social networks, influence our own moods, constituting, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence for massive-scale emotional contagion via social networks, and providing support for previously contested claims that emotions spread via contagion through a network.” Facebook apologized for the secret experiment!

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ANALYTICS?

Now is the time to check out channel grouping in Google Analytics and how you can alter it based on your requirements, because you can now create channel groupings for branded vs. non-branded traffic. This does NOT help you see anything about Google organic “not provided” results. To make an analysis of brand and generic performance as easy as possible, Google Analytics introduced a new feature which automatically identifies brand-aware paid search clicks tracked in Google Analytics. They use a combination of signals (including the clickthrough-rate, text string, domain name and others) to identify query terms which show awareness of your brand.  You can review suggested brand terms and then accept or decline each of them.

A new type of filter has been added to Google Analytics, allowing you to remove any traffic coming from bots or spiders. Since Google claims to have always done this, it will be fascinating to see just how much traffic is in reality filtered out. If you would experiment this new filter, we suggest forming a new account and keeping the original to apprehend the difference over time.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CONTENT?     

Today, LinkedIn launched a “dark” version of its Sponsored Updates ad product called Direct Sponsored Content. These new native-style ads don’t get published to a company’s LinkedIn page, so advertisers can customize and test ad messaging and creatives to targeted audiences. Like Facebook’s offering, LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content ads gives companies the ability to target and test messaging without having to spam the same audiences with multiple posts. Read more.

The Content Marketing Institute, in its latest study (PDF) of content marketing budgets for small businesses, states, “On average, 30% of B2B budgets are allocated to content marketing.” Read more on How much does content marketing cost?

Contently, a content creation company, took a deep dive into how native advertising is perceived by audiences. A survey was implemented between users 18-65 that was administered online. While 48.2% of respondents believed that the sponsor paid for and influenced the article, another 20% believed that the news site wrote the content (but that the sponsor’s money allowed it to happen),  18.0% believed that the sponsor simply pays to have their name next to the ad, and 12.6% thought that the sponsor paid and wrote the article. Check out the other findings!

 

Upcoming – Industry Roundup, August, 2014