Want to Combine Sites in Search Console? Google Wants to Know.

Want Google to allow combined sites in Search Console, which was formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools? Now is the time to let the company know.

In a recent survey, Google gives two examples of how the combinations might work: either for viewing an integrated Search Analytics report that uses all URL versions of a site (both http and https) or an updated console that includes mobile and international subdomains. 

Google recently posted a survey asking SEOs, webmasters, and marketers for feedback on side-by-side comparison within Search Console. The company wants not only to know whether users will find such combinations helpful, but also how they’ll use them. Google asks if users would combine different URL versions of sites, track subdomains, or even track the entire brand.google-search-surveyThe survey also asks for a job title and gives the option to report the names of websites respondents manage in order to sort the efficacy of each use case for sites of different sizes. If you’d like to add your feedback, view the full survey here.

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How OpenTable Leverages Data to Create a Holistic Dining Experience

joseph-opentableJoseph Essas joined OpenTable in 2012. As chief technology officer (CTO), he leads the engineering, operations and data science teams, as well as running all the technology-related functions globally for the business.

In the past three years, Essas has focused on spearheading OpenTable’s mobile initiatives and helping to drive the company’s mobile growth. He has also evolved OpenTable’s partnerships with Google and Apple, as well as leading his teams to develop advanced software for restaurants to better serve diners.

ClickZ (CZ): How has OpenTable grown since you joined the company?

Joseph Essas (JE): Over the past three years, we have been growing tremendously, especially in the mobile space. To date, we have sat around 16 million diners a month globally. And we have grown our mobile usage: half of the diners we seat book through our mobile apps and site, which is fantastic. We have also improved the software our restaurant customers use to help them provide great hospitality and better manage their floor service operations.

CZ: As consumers, we use OpenTable to make reservations. We don’t see the data magic. How does OpenTable leverage data to connect diners and restaurateurs in real time?

JE: There’s a variety of things we have been doing. The one diners are typically most familiar with is our real-time restaurant availability and mobile features that makes it easy to quickly locate and book tables at nearby restaurants.

We also use lots of data to understand the trends around neighborhoods and cuisines, and then we use data insights to help restaurants offer a better dining experience.

For example, we would know that in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, restaurants are around 85 percent occupied on Tuesday night. So if a restaurant has only 75 percent capacity on a Tuesday night, we would let them know that: “Hey, maybe you should do more marketing!”

If a restaurant has 90 percent, we would tell them: “You have done everything correctly. Don’t worry that you didn’t reach 100 percent, because that’s not going to happen on a Tuesday night.” Therefore, data flow is very important for us.

We also mine restaurant review data. We have high-quality review data, because our system only allows users to leave a review when they have actually eaten at a restaurant. We are trying to keep diner-generated reviews as unbiased and honest as possible.

Based on our review data, we will conduct sentiment analysis and topic analysis to offer restaurants insights into consumer behavior.

For example, we see that during Valentine’s Day, diners’ requests on ambience used to be very broad: “I want a romantic experience” or “I want an intimate setting.” But now, their requests are becoming more specific: they are talking about something like: “I want flowers on my table.” So we go back to our restaurant partners and tell them: “Hey, this is what we see across the board.” Then they will use this piece of information to improve their service.

CZ: Are there any specific types of data that OpenTable uses to understand customers to further create business opportunities for restaurants?

JE: We want to leverage data to provide culinary variety and the best possible dining experience. For example, we look at data to understand diners’ cuisine and neighborhood preferences, which helps tailor restaurant and dining experience recommendations. And when the location feature is enabled, we can use data to predict what diners may like when they are in certain cities.

CZ: OpenTable introduced its own mobile payments in February of last year. Can you tell us about the thoughts and decisions behind this program?

JE: One of the benefits we think we can provide by creating a holistic dining experience is adding value before, during and after you dine at a restaurant. We have a very unique thing in that we have technology in the hands of diners and our hospitality solution system in the hands of restaurants. Therefore, we know, for example, Joseph goes to Bar Tartine restaurant in San Francisco and he is sitting at table 34. Then we connect these dots with the point of sale (POS) system which shows Joseph has a mobile app, so we will let him just see the check, pay straight off and leave without delay. 

Because we can close that loop with the POS, and between our system and the diner with a mobile app, it’s a beautiful experience where you walk into a restaurant, order your food and click to see your whole check, all without waiting for a waiter.

Our mobile payments also adds value to restaurants because they can move tables faster and thus offer a better experience and serve more diners.

CZ: How many diners have used OpenTable’s mobile payments?

JE: In terms of Pay with OpenTable, we have more than 500,000 Pay-enabled diners.

CZ: Google Maps integrated OpenTable last November. How has Google’s local search helped evolve your business?

JE: We work with many partners, and Google is one of them. When you search for a restaurant on Google, you can see links to OpenTable. We look at all of that as an additional distribution that Google provides to our restaurants. Now our restaurant partners are automatically integrated into Google’s local search results, so they may not need to purchase ads with Google AdWords.

For us, it’s a great opportunity to enhance marketing efforts on behalf of restaurants. But it’s a small chunk of our business in terms of offering additional distribution for our restaurant partners. More than 90 percent of the diners we seat book through OpenTable.com and our mobile apps.

CZ: Google will start indexing content from iOS apps in search results. Apple’s iOS 9 will present users with contextually aware information, including frequently opened apps based on time of day and location. How would these moves affect OpenTable?

JE: We work very closely with Google and Apple. For us, Google’s and Apple’s announcements will allow us to create a better dining experience. When you search in Google or on Apple, you will be able to see accurate results and deep-linking to mobile pages inside our app, so your dining experience will be faster and cleaner, and you will get relevant information in a better way presented to you.

CZ: Anything new we can expect from OpenTable this year?

JE: We always work on new things. Mobile, data and platform integration are definitely hot subjects that we have been, and will be focused on.

Get More Contextual With a Switch to Adjusted Bounce Rates with Time Intervals

Bounce Rate is generally accepted as a vital heartbeat measure of site performance. It is also perceptually flawed. There tends to be a general misconception among many business stakeholders across verticals that bounce rate must come from qualified bounces tied directly to users’ length of time onsite. What many fail to realize is that the variable for time is not a core dependency for the bounce rate equation. Instead, bounce rate depends on a ratio of single accesses divided by entries (SA/E) for a particular target page, regardless of the user duration. The assumption that bounces are only qualified if the bounces occur under a certain amount of time (such as a 30 or 60 second interval) is not only a fallacy, but also one that causes inaccuracies in judgement and reactive tactics. That’s not to say that correlating bounces to time intervals is bad. Quite the opposite in fact.

While the equation for bounce rate does not require on-page persistence over a length of time as a factor, there is significant value in an adjusted bounce rate broken out by time intervals. With the adjusted bounce rate by time intervals ratios in hand, one is able to better interpret more granularly defined impact on conversions, or the lack thereof. However, there is still the gap of whether the majority of user bounces occurred in under or over 30 seconds, or whichever threshold is mandated by various organizations in their performance goals. If a majority of bounces occurred in under 30 seconds, then page-level engagement runs the risk of being impeded by misaligned marketing messaging between search level meta descriptions or advertising promotional campaigns compared to on-page content. Likewise, if a majority of the bounces occurred in over 30 seconds, then engagement may be restricted by a user’s perceived inability to safely explore the content on the page via hyperlink click through events.

How does one go about creating an association between bounce rate and granular time intervals representing when particular bounces occurred?

Adobe Site Catalyst accounts for bounce rate by dividing total bounces for a particular target page by the total visits to that same page. If you need to conduct an evaluation against a particular campaign, then create a custom segment first to isolate traffic by a particular campaign ID. Isolate the first target page in the conversion funnel by conducting a Pages Report for a specific time period. For the selected metrics, include Bounces and Visits. Export this data into a custom table.

Next, run a Time Spent on Site report and filter down to your selected target page. Export your time interval data to a new table. For each time interval factor, such as “less than 15 seconds”, or “15 to 30 seconds”, divide total bounces by the partitioned traffic metric provided in the report. Once your table is propagated with this data by each time interval factor, you may color code the results to visually depict relational outcomes. Once this cycle is completed, start over with the next target page in the conversion path until all target pages in the funnel are accounted for with granular results. Tie the results for all targeted pages together into a final color coded matrix.

With a codified matrix completed, you should now have the ability to tell an enriching data-driven story about when users are engaging in the conversion flow. Such a story may be augmented by an additional color coded click map by onsite link position for the targeted pages to help provide additional context on user behavior tied to the conversion process. Spice this up with correlations to user geo-locations and device types to help with marketing campaign retargeting efforts. More importantly, this level of granularity could be used to identify optimization opportunities which could further be performance evaluated through Taguchi multivariate A/B/n testing. There are a number of directions to take conversion optimization and user behavioral evaluations once adjusted bounce rates by time intervals are determined and reported on. The best part is that the process is not only easy, but compelling and impactful as well.

The Rise of Video Marketing on Social and How It Affects Your Business

This article originally appeared on Gary Vaynerchuk’s official site.

The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video. Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Youtube, the content you need to be thinking about creating and marketing on social for your business is video. Period.

No matter what you’re selling, no matter what your company does, if you don’t have a video marketing strategy for the biggest video platforms, you are going to lose. And in case you haven’t noticed, the platforms of distribution for video content online have shifted drastically over the last 18 months. Facebook is getting more daily minutes watched than YouTube, Snapchat’s daily views are now in the billions, and video on Twitter has taken listening and one to one branding to a whole new level.

Now, maybe I’ve scared you a bit, but don’t worry because I’m here to make sure you understand the landscape of all the biggest social platforms that matter right now. By the end of this article, you’ll have the information you need to kill at video. I promise.

YouTube Video is a Library of Content

Let’s get started with the obvious, the granddaddy of video online: YouTube. Here is why I won’t be drilling down on strategy for YouTube in this article. I know, you’re already skeptical, but hear me out. YouTube is huge. I’m not denying that. It’s a library of video content: 300 hours worth of video content are pushed to YouTube every minute. Heck, I even got my start there with a popular show about wine. It helped me launch a career and grow a personal brand. And for that reason, I still find YouTube valuable for business. In fact, I have another show on there now that is doing similar things for me that the earlier wine show did. Growing my brand. Reaching new audiences. So it’s clear that over the years, YouTube continues to be a video content giant for businesses and personal brands.

But the problem with YouTube is that it’s in a downward trend compared to Facebook’s 4 billion daily video streams; A number that’s only going to continue to grow with time.

Due to its sheer size, there’s a ton of competition amongst videos on YouTube all fighting to be seen. When you have a platform with over a billion users, all wanting the same thing (exposure), it’s going to get noisy. And it’s been figured out. Marketers have ruined it. Because of that, it’s much harder to break through the noise which makes hosting your content on the platform much less valuable.

Additionally, it doesn’t have the capabilities of other growing video platforms, and so far, they haven’t shown signs of catching up.

“So, what exactly are those capabilities other platforms have?” you might ask.

Well, here’s the big one: data. Data data data. And the leader in that domain is, without a doubt, Facebook.

Video on Facebook is Good at Everything: Smart, Shareable & Personal

Facebook video for my brand has become the best way to reach my fans at scale. Couple that with their new video ad productsfor sales and direct response and the fact that they’re the greatest data company of all time for marketers and you have some serious reasons to spend some real money on Facebook video ads and video content for Facebook.

Think about it for a second. If you’re creating video content for YouTube, and not putting those videos onto Facebook as well, your brand or business is losing distribution – not to mention relevancy. No questions asked.

And I don’t mean cross channel promotion by pasting a link to YouTube on your Facebook page as a status update. I mean uploading the video natively to Facebook, so that it lives in your Facebook page’s video content. Why? Because right now,Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm is placing an enormous amount of weight on videos, otherwise known as “reach.” When you upload videos natively, instead of linking out, you have a much higher chance of your video being seen by your community (and new fans, too). Google and Facebook are competitors, so if you think Facebook wants to have YouTube links perform well in their Newsfeed algorithm, you better think again.

YouTube should honestly be concerned; Facebook is already on its way to becoming a massive competitor when it comes to video marketing and content distribution. They are sitting on an enormous amount of targetable consumer data. It creates the ultimate marketing machine. For example, let’s say you upload a video natively, like I talked about before, about the best places to eat ice cream outdoors in your town. You could then spend money on a sponsored video to directly market your brand’s video to people who 1) love ice cream and 2) live in your area and 3) have kids. Automatically, you’re reaching the audience who is most interested and profitable to your business — Which is great, because you’re not wasting anyone’s time, and you’re truly reaching the consumers who will be interested in your business’s offering.

Get it? Facebook gives you the ability to target consumers like we’ve never seen before in digital.

And Facebook knows. They’ve added features in the last few months that point to the fact that they are increasing the amount of attention they give video: view count, embedding options, video for website conversions. This means there is more to come.

But while Facebook should be an enormous priority, don’t ignore the other social channels that might be more intune with your brand. There are a ton of other social channels to be creating video content for that offer what marketers love — reach and attention.

I’ll go into a couple of the biggest ones.

Video on Twitter is for Engagement: Direct, Social, & Real

Twitter’s new video product that was released late January has changed the way I use and consume the platform. Video on Twitter truly is social and the best way to use Twitter video is by connecting and engaging, rather than just pushing. As Twitter has grown in size, it’s become a listening platform. Six years ago, I could send a tweet and get more engagement on it than I do now. I had less of an audience, but the audience was paying closer attention. It was more serious. Now the amount of information and users on that platform has gotten so intense that it’s hard to have that same engagement. It’s hard to get anyone’s attention.

That’s why the game, the real way to win with Twitter video, is through engagement — using it as a “pull” rather than a “push.

The truth is, people respond to effort. When a celebrity favorites your tweet, you get excited. Someone you admire likes a photo of yours on Instagram, it makes you feel good. Because, in reality, it’s not about the 100th of a second it takes to double tap that photo — it’s about the fact that they looked at your profile. They chose a photo. They saw it. And they “liked” it. That interaction, which takes all of 5 or 6 seconds, really touches people in a way that is unique to the powers that be on social.

With Twitter’s new video feature, they’ve been able to take that feeling to the next level.

All you have to do is get in there and engage. Reply to a tweet using the camera option, select video, and start talking. It takes me nine to twelve seconds to make a video and reply, but those extra seconds hold a lot of meaning. Not to mention it’s more personal, visual, and we are living in a world where the visual is often regarded as a better engagement than the written.

There’s also more room to set the tone. A lot of things can get lost in a tweet. I might say “thnx” but that person isn’t 100% sure what my tone really was. But with Twitter video, the message comes across loud and clear.

It’s fifteen seconds of your attention on one person instead of two seconds. Do you know how much that means? Time is so incredibly precious to people. We are in control of it and we hate when it’s wasted. But you know what we value more? When someone else decides to lend their most precious asset to us.

That is what excites me most about Twitter video. Giving time to people. More time. Personalized time. And that is awesome.

Snapchat Video is the Hottie at the Gym: It’s All About Attention

Lastly, Snapchat.

Snapchat is huge right now.

More than 60% of U.S.13 to 34 year-old smartphone users are Snapchatters.

They now have more than two billion video views a day.

And there are a few interesting things about Snapchat as a platform when it comes to how it works.

Snapchat gets your undivided attention because, in order to view a video, you have to have your finger on the screen.

It’s also one of the only platforms in which you can draw creative on top of the video, making for some awesome Snapchat exclusive artists like Shonduras.

Most importantly, videos have a maximum life of twenty four hours, or less if the users chooses to make it so. A video can last down to a second. The urgency to see something before it disappears can be a huge factor. I had a very successful start on the platform by Snapchatting users telling them to screenshot the snap before it disappeared and post it to Twitter to get a reply from me. People respond to that urgency.

And now, marketers are getting really serious about Snapchat as a platform to reach an enormous number of people due to some key changes Snapchat has released. Earlier this year, Snapchat launched the Discover section of the app. It’s a feature that allows users to receive content provided by media companies. Current participants include National Geographic, Vice, ESPN, and more. Eleven participants in all. It’s a very serious play on the company’s part because it puts it in a very aggressive place with the overall user interface of the app. It completely changes how the app is both perceived and used.

Not to mention Snapchat is now basically handing brands the thirteen to thirty-four demo through that Discover feature. Brands can have ads pre-roll before the content.

And while you may not be able to afford the pre-roll program they have, just the mere fact that these big brands and media companies have signed on should tell you something. Teens and young adults are using Snapchat all day and night. It’s one of their main forms of communication, and because of that, you need to care about it and learn to talk to them on it.

Convinced?

Whether your answer to that question is a yes or a no, you shouldn’t miss out on this enormous demographic just because you don’t get how they’re talking to each other. If you want to learn, you need to get in the trenches. Become a practitioner. Download Snapchat. Play around with it. Figure it out.

Facebook is becoming TV’s competitor

Bottom line: there is a f**k ton going on in video right now, and it’s the #1 way to capture the attention of the audience you’re going after for your small business, brand, or company. All these platforms use video differently and they all have their own social context that needs to be respected and taken into consideration. Take the time, put in the work, and produce the videos that will move your business in the right direction.

I’m not saying you should give up on YouTube. It’s still extremely relevant and important. But if you’re creating content for YouTube, throw that shit on Facebook as well. Reply using Twitter video. Stop being intimidated by Snapchat.

And let’s not forget: competition breeds innovation. I hope YouTube gets scared a little here; I hope Google is paying attention.It might lead to better quality innovation coming out of YouTube. They’ve been pretty stale for a half decade, and now these disruptors will push them.
I’ve mentioned all of the above without even going into the brand new world of live streaming (look for that article soon, though.) The bottom line is that video is king right now; it’s still evolving and changing rapidly. We’re living that. And Facebook Video is being grossly underestimated. Don’t get left behind. Get into it.

5 Surprising Social Media Strategies That Actually Helped These Brands

As a social media marketer, you are constantly on the lookout for new numbers and case studies that showcase the best practices for businesses on social media. The truth is, most brands are still trying to figure out what goes into creating a successful social media strategy. Lately, the most successful campaigns are those that go against the grain and find a way to surprise the online audience. While we can’t recommend ways to surprise your followers—that would ruin the surprise!—we can show the strategies that worked for other brands on social media. Read and learn.

5 surprising social media strategies that worked

Being nice (to your competitors)

We recently discussed the pleasures of watching a good social media roast between brands. While some companies may reap big rewards when they inject a bit of sass into their online conversations, not every business can pull off a good burn without some serious consequences. It seems that many brands are actually going the opposite way, by being extra-nice to their competition. Take this Tweet from Xbox, sent on launch day for PlayStation 4:

It’s difficult to control the conversation when the competition’s product is trending on several social networks; Xbox joined the discussion and did it in a very classy way, which earned them extra points from their online audience

It’s often difficult to pull off a witty burn without offending someone, but being nice is a different story. Engaging other brands in a friendly way doesn’t take risks on your PR side, and doesn’t go against any brand voice rules you may have. Plus, it can be as simple as appropriately timed congratulations.

Then again, there are different ways for businesses to direct another brand’s buzz your way—better yet, when you don’t even have to compete! Like this Tweet from Denny’s on big iPhone 6 reveal day.

Then there are also occasions where brands join forces to celebrate the same thing. Sometimes, things can get relatively weird:

Playing along

Now, making a sex joke is not a social media strategy I’d ever recommend as a business practice. However, it’s this strategy that earned Groupon over 12,000 comments, 21,000 likes and 45,000 shares in March, when the brand cast their modesty away to announce something called the Banana Bunker on their Facebook Page.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 2.51.08 PM.png

In an interview with Adweek, Groupon explained that their inspiration stemmed from customer replies every time the Banana Bunker deal was promoted through the company’s social media channels. They decided to take matters into their own hands and start off with their own joke, dedicating three team members to monitor and respond to any customer comment made in response to the post. The result of this dedication was the most popular and positive post in Groupon’s social media history—and hundreds of hilarious banana-related jokes. Other brands make a habit out of the comedic opportunities associated with their business.

Charmin’s Twitter presence is not your usual kind of “toilet humour”—they also keep it cheeky in conversations with fans and followers.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 3.00.51 PM.png

…in short, sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Speaking the language

By now, brands throwing around teen-speak like “bae” and “on fleek” can hardly be called surprising; but what’s curious is how effective this strategy has been in increasing engagement and positive sentiment around brands who made slang a part of their social strategy.

Even if you’re in the ‘hater’ camp when it comes to brands saying “bae,” numbers from Brandwatch show that using Millennial vernacular earned some brands up to 4800 mentions for messaging that contained either “bae” or “fleek.” The trick to the teen engagement game seems to be in moderation: test a few different versions of messaging, judge the overall reaction, and decide whether it’s worth sticking with “bae,” or moving on to a different strategy.

Going dark

In late October 2014, Taco Bell has implemented what is perhaps the most drastic of all social media strategies: total wipeout of all branded social media accounts.

Image via Mashable

Taco Bell cleared its Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr accounts in anticipation of a new app release, leaving behind messages promoting #onlyintheapp content. Besides causing a minor panic among Dorito-shell lovers, this blackout earned Taco Bell the number-one app spot in the food and beverage section of the App Store, and 75 percent of the chain’s 6000 stores processed at least one mobile order on launch day. While Taco Bell’s social media silence may have been a success, it’s not an easy feat to orchestrate: it was a risk the company took to show off “the new way” of ordering fast food. And while it may have been a good fit for what Taco Bell was aiming to achieve, the strategy is not for everyone. Six months later, Taco Bell has fully restored its social presence and even surpassed the pre-blackout follower numbers—and thankfully, they had all hands on deck for the announcement of a taco emoji.

 

Attention: Unicode approved the #TacoEmoji. Final step: iOS and Android adding it to our keyboards.

 

A photo posted by Taco Bell (@tacobell) on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:20am PDT

Drunk-tweeting… or not really

Finally, who can forget the epic JCPenney Tweets during last year’s Superbowl?

The best thing about the brand’s #tweetingwithmittens campaign was that it surprised everyone, including the team who planned the campaign. The initial plan was to intrigue their online audience with the jumbled Tweets, and later reveal the fact that the messages have been typed while wearing mittens. The last thing JCPenney’s social team expected was the suspicion that they were drunk-tweeting. However, it’s exactly this assumption, along with the brand’s expert handling of the situation, that helped JCPenney be the second most talked-about brand during the 48th Superbowl—without shelling out several million for an ad spot.

The clothing brand’s example provides the best way to summarize our learnings from surprising social media strategies: if you want to go off the beaten path, commit fully. But also, be prepared to rein in the situation if the reception is not what you’ve desired. Remember, there are always ways to come back from a social media fail, but the best way to handle it is by avoiding a sticky situation altogether.

Can you think of any other surprising social media strategies that worked well for brands? Share your examples in the comments below!

Search in China Goes Beyond Baidu as Qihoo 360 Launches in Hong Kong

Chinese Internet security business Qihoo 360 has partnered with a Hong Kong agent to strengthen its search services to foreign brands as they seek new marketing channels in China.

The new Hong Kong advertising unit will provide sales, marketing, consulting services and technical support for global clients wanting to advertise to young, well-to-do users on Qihoo 360’s search engine platform, Haosou.

“China’s economy is booming and industry players are all trying to build their international markets, so we have a lot of international customers and it’s all about how we can serve them better,” says David Ip, global business advisor, Qihoo 360.

While Baidu remains the dominant search engine player in China, in just two years Haosou has taken a 30 percent share of the Chinese search market and boasts a largely young, affluent and tech-savvy user base concentrated in China’s eastern tier-one cities.

The launch in Hong Kong serves as a reminder of China’s search options beyond Baidu. “The market always needs alternatives,” says China search specialist Eddie Choi. “A good practice of search marketing requires constantly refreshing keyword choices, developing new copy, so why not add a new search engine in the mix,” he says.

Choi says Baidu’s cost-per-click (CPC) inflation has become a serious concern for marketers in China and believes its domination in the search sector will wane in the same way Google has lost market share to Bing and Yahoo in the West. Haosou has a lot of unexploited potential in the search and mobile space, he adds.

“As an advertiser you definitely want different platforms to advertise your product and introduce [your product], and to be able to get more mass demographic for your product,” says Ashley Chun, director of marketing, Asia Pacific for online foreign exchange trading platform FXCM.

“From a customer point of view [Qihoo] 360 offers something different from what the market currently has and adds a value in having choice for customers,” says Chun.

Mobile and security are the business’s key strengths – with its compensation scheme offering reimbursement if users are defrauded by a website while using Qihoo 360’s anti virus products, browser products or its Haosou search engine.

It also invites users to rate website links on relevant content and usefulness.

“As an online trading firm, fraud and things that are negative for consumers – this is a priority concern for us. We deal with a lot of fake websites – so the value added by [Qihoo] 360 for our brand is something which is really great for us,” says Chun.

The China Internet search engine market was worth around RMB60 billion (US$9.7 billion) in total market revenue in 2014, representing an increase of 52 percent year-over-year, and is expected to reach RMB168 billion (US$27 billion) in 2018. 

Uber Buys Microsoft’s Mapping Tech to Lessen Reliance on Google Maps

Controversial cab booking firm Uber has acquired mapping assets from Microsoft Bing as the firm looks to lessen its reliance on Google Maps.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella warned last week in a letter to employees that the firm would soon be making some “tough decisions” about the technology it needs for the future, and it seems that mapping was on the list.

Uber confirmed on Monday that it had picked up Microsoft’s mapping assets for an undisclosed sum, and TechCrunch reported that roughly 100 of Microsoft’s Bing Maps engineers will move to Uber. The firm will also gain a data centre, cameras and image-analysing software. 

An Uber spokesperson said in a statement given to SEW’s sister publication, The INQUIRER: “We’re excited about the talent and technology this acquisition brings.

“Mapping is at the heart of what makes Uber great. So we’ll continue to work with partners, as well as invest in our own technology, to build the best possible experience for riders and drivers.”

Speaking about the acquisition, a Microsoft spokesperson added: “Over the past year, we have taken many actions to focus the company’s efforts around our core business strategy.

“In keeping with these efforts, we will no longer collect mapping imagery ourselves, and instead will continue to partner with premium content and imagery providers for underlying data while concentrating our resources on the core user experience.

“With this decision, we will transfer many of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber.”

Uber’s mission to move beyond being a mere taxi booking outfit is no secret. The company bought California-based software mapping company deCarta in March, saying said it planned to use the acquisition to bolster its own products and services that rely on maps. 

What’s more, rumours last month claimed that Uber was eyeing up Nokia’s Here mapping business in a bid to lessen its dependency on Google Maps

Earlier this month, Uber also partnered with Foursqaure to provide users location-based place recommendations. 

Uber Buys Microsoft’s Mapping Tech to Lessen Reliance on Google Maps

Controversial cab booking firm Uber has acquired mapping assets from Microsoft Bing as the firm looks to lessen its reliance on Google Maps.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella warned last week in a letter to employees that the firm would soon be making some “tough decisions” about the technology it needs for the future, and it seems that mapping was on the list.

Uber confirmed on Monday that it had picked up Microsoft’s mapping assets for an undisclosed sum, and TechCrunch reported that roughly 100 of Microsoft’s Bing Maps engineers will move to Uber. The firm will also gain a data centre, cameras and image-analysing software. 

An Uber spokesperson said in a statement given to SEW’s sister publication, The INQUIRER: “We’re excited about the talent and technology this acquisition brings.

“Mapping is at the heart of what makes Uber great. So we’ll continue to work with partners, as well as invest in our own technology, to build the best possible experience for riders and drivers.”

Speaking about the acquisition, a Microsoft spokesperson added: “Over the past year, we have taken many actions to focus the company’s efforts around our core business strategy.

“In keeping with these efforts, we will no longer collect mapping imagery ourselves, and instead will continue to partner with premium content and imagery providers for underlying data while concentrating our resources on the core user experience.

“With this decision, we will transfer many of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber.”

Uber’s mission to move beyond being a mere taxi booking outfit is no secret. The company bought California-based software mapping company deCarta in March, saying said it planned to use the acquisition to bolster its own products and services that rely on maps. 

What’s more, rumours last month claimed that Uber was eyeing up Nokia’s Here mapping business in a bid to lessen its dependency on Google Maps

Earlier this month, Uber also partnered with Foursqaure to provide users location-based place recommendations. 

Hootsuite Android v3.1: Enhanced Image Sharing and Publishing

A few months ago, the Hootsuite Android app underwent a major overhaul. Since then, we’ve been listening closely to your feedback, and today we’re excited to announce an Android update that will make it even easier to manage social media on the go.

In this update, you’ll find improvements to image sharing, scheduled content management, notifications, and more. Designed for the busy social media professional, the updated app will save you time and help you remove roadblocks to effective social media management.

Try the new and improved Hootsuite Android app!

Install the app

Highlights of this Android release include:

  • Improvements to image sharing
  • Easier management of scheduled content & social notifications
  • Playback support for videos and GIFs included in posts

Simplified image sharing

Since visuals are key to social media success, we’ve made enhancements to give your content additional exposure and engagement across your social networks. The improvements span from when you first select your images, to how they appear on social networks.

Compose redesigned

First off, we made some tweaks to our Compose tool to save you time and make it easier to publish content. The Send button is more prominent at the top, with a new drop-down that includes scheduling options.

Hootsuite Android app

Distinct image upload & camera buttons

Now it’s easier to select an image from your gallery or quickly snap a photo — a perfect tool for real-time marketing or event management.

Preview your images before you post

After you attach images in Compose, you can instantly preview what they look like. To do this, simply tap the thumbnail that appears on the right.

Links no more!

When publishing to Twitter and Facebook, images are also no longer hidden behind a link, so your followers can immediately see your visual content.

Edit scheduled social media posts

People often turn to their mobile devices when they’re in a rush, travelling, or away from their desktop. When changes need to be made, you need the flexibility to adapt your content. That’s why we added a top requested feature – the ability to manage scheduled messages.

As a best practice, you should always review your content before it goes live to the public. The new Publisher section in the app helps you stay organized and lets you view your upcoming social content before it gets sent. Noticed a typo, bad link, or forgot to add another social profile? You can quickly make the necessary edits on the go, so you can rest assured your content is in good shape.

To edit your scheduled messages:

  1. Start by accessing the app’s main navigation via the top-left menu
  2. Tap Publisher to view all messages scheduled to your social networks
  3. Tap the message you’d like to edit
  4. Tap the pencil icon to open Compose, where you can make changes
  5. Tap Save to save your changes

Notification improvements

As social media moves quickly, it is important to keep up with events and social posts that require your attention. For that reason, we’ve made it easier to manage your Hootsuite notifications. Starting with a new notifications shortcut in the app, this acts as your hub for viewing your latest social profile activity, including mentions, direct messages, retweets, and others.

Effective social media management not only involves monitoring your own social networks, but also staying on top of conversations, keywords, and trends relevant to your interests or industry. On Hootsuite, you can set up search streams to capture these. Want to closely monitor a particular search term? Simply tap the bell icon beside it within Tabs & Streams view to subscribe to it. By doing this, you’ll have more frequent updates for when new posts appear.

Once you’ve addressed your notifications, you also can mark them as read in one quick swipe.

Hootsuite Android app     

These notification improvements will help you take action on everything from brand mentions to industry-relevant discussions, as they happen. Best of all, push notifications are now free in the app.

Playback support for videos and animated GIFs included in posts

The internet is alive with videos and GIFs, and it’s becoming easier to find them. When you stumble across videos and GIFs on social media, it can be inconvenient to have to click a link and leave the app to view them. We understand this annoyance. That’s why we made it possible to play any videos or GIFs included in a post directly in the comfort of our app.

Hootsuite Android v3.1 is available today on the Google Play Store.

Install the app

We hope you enjoy this Android update. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please tell us here.

Uber Buys Microsoft’s Mapping Tech to Lessen Reliance on Google Maps

Controversial cab booking firm Uber has acquired mapping assets from Microsoft Bing as the firm looks to lessen its reliance on Google Maps.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella warned last week in a letter to employees that the firm would soon be making some “tough decisions” about the technology it needs for the future, and it seems that mapping was on the list.

Uber confirmed on Monday that it had picked up Microsoft’s mapping assets for an undisclosed sum, and TechCrunch reported that roughly 100 of Microsoft’s Bing Maps engineers will move to Uber. The firm will also gain a data centre, cameras and image-analysing software. 

An Uber spokesperson said in a statement given to SEW’s sister publication, The INQUIRER: “We’re excited about the talent and technology this acquisition brings.

“Mapping is at the heart of what makes Uber great. So we’ll continue to work with partners, as well as invest in our own technology, to build the best possible experience for riders and drivers.”

Speaking about the acquisition, a Microsoft spokesperson added: “Over the past year, we have taken many actions to focus the company’s efforts around our core business strategy.

“In keeping with these efforts, we will no longer collect mapping imagery ourselves, and instead will continue to partner with premium content and imagery providers for underlying data while concentrating our resources on the core user experience.

“With this decision, we will transfer many of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber.”

Uber’s mission to move beyond being a mere taxi booking outfit is no secret. The company bought California-based software mapping company deCarta in March, saying said it planned to use the acquisition to bolster its own products and services that rely on maps. 

What’s more, rumours last month claimed that Uber was eyeing up Nokia’s Here mapping business in a bid to lessen its dependency on Google Maps

Earlier this month, Uber also partnered with Foursqaure to provide users location-based place recommendations.