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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Push Play on Growth: Why You Need YouTube Advertising

July 31, 2017 No Comments

In this live webinar, Hanapin experts Kelsey Hadaller and Emma Franks will show you how to set up the different types of Youtube campaigns, how to find results with different verticals, and how to implement an ongoing strategy.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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With 200M daily users, Giphy will soon test sponsored GIFs

July 31, 2017 No Comments

 And it’s about time.
Giphy, the four-year-old search engine for GIFs, is going to finally start testing monetization.
According to a source close to the company, Giphy will begin testing sponsored GIFs within messaging experiences. This means that users who search for GIFs may be served a sponsored GIF within the messaging tab.
There are some obvious use-cases here: A search for… Read More
Social – TechCrunch


Sick of SoundCloud? Anchor offers podcast transfer with free hosting

July 31, 2017 No Comments

 SoundCloud is on shaky financial footing, saying it only has enough money to last a few more months unless someone buys or invests in it. That’s sure to cause anxiety in content creators with their life’s work stored on SoundCloud. Now some new startups are nipping at SoundCloud’s heels by focusing on podcasting in ways the music streaming service never did.
Anchor is a… Read More
Social – TechCrunch


Master List of the Best Ad Tech Platforms for PPC

July 30, 2017 No Comments

The ambiguity of knowing what PPC platforms are available for your marketing can be overwhelming. We want to be a valuable resource to you in every step of your PPC marketing process, so we’ve put together a master list featuring the best of the best platforms you should consider for your PPC management.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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A $10 Hardware Hack Turns Up Zero Day Vulnerabilities in IoT Devices

July 30, 2017 No Comments

Using an SD card reader and some soldering savvy, these hackers rooted out a ton of IoT zero days.
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Authory wants to help journalists raise their voices

July 30, 2017 No Comments

 Journalists wanting a neat way to back up and showcase their writing should take a look at Authory: a new service that promises to save your work from tumbling into a digital abyss — i.e. being buried 10,000 leagues down, folded under the ceaseless deluge of new data, where few eyeballs stray. Read More
Social – TechCrunch


What does visual search mean for ecommerce in 2017?

July 29, 2017 No Comments

Since the early 2010s, visual search has been offering users a novel alternative to keyword-based search results.

But with the sophistication of visual search tools increasing, and tech giants like Google and Microsoft investing heavily in the space, what commercial opportunities does it offer brands today?

Visual search 101

There are two types of visual search. The first compares metadata keywords for similarities (such as when searching an image database like Shutterstock).

The second is known as ‘content-based image retrieval’. This takes the colour, shape and texture of the image and compares it to a database, displaying entries according to similarity.

From a user perspective, this massively simplifies the process of finding products they like the look of. Instead of trying to find the words to describe the object, users can simply take a photo and see relevant results.

Visual search engines: A (very) brief history

The first product to really make use of this technology was ‘Google Goggles’. Released in 2010, it offered some fairly basic image-recognition capabilities. It could register unique objects like books, barcodes, art and landmarks, and provide additional information about them.

It also had the ability to understand and store text in an image – such as a photo of a business card. However, it couldn’t recognize general instances of objects, like trees, animals or items of clothing.

CamFind took the next step, offering an app where users could take photos of any object and see additional information alongside shopping results. My tests (featuring our beautiful office plant) yielded impressively accurate related images and web results.

More importantly for brands, it offers advertising based on the content of the image. However, despite the early offering, the app has yet to achieve widespread adoption.

A Pinterest-ing development

newer player in the visual search arena, image-focused platform Pinterest has what CamFind doesn’t – engaged users. In fact, it reached 150m monthly users in 2016, 70m of which are in the US with a 60:40 split women to men.

So what do people use Pinterest for? Ben Silbermann, its CEO and co-founder, summed it up in a recent blog post:

“As a Pinner once said to me, “Pinterest is for yourself, not your selfies”—I love that. Pinterest is more of a personal tool than a social one. People don’t come to see what their friends are doing. (There are lots of other great places out there for that!) Instead, they come to Pinterest to find ideas to try, figure out which ones they love, and learn a little bit about themselves in the process.”

In other words, Pinterest is designed for discovery. Users are there to look for products and ideas, not to socialize. Which makes it inherently brand-friendly. In fact, 93% of Pinners said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases, and 87% said they’d bought something because of interest. Adverts are therefore less disruptive in this context than platforms like Facebook and Twitter, where users are focused on socializing, not searching.

Pinterest took their search functionality to the next level in February 2017 with an update offering users three new features:

Shop the Look allowed users to pick just one part of an image they were interested in to explore – like a hat or a pair of shoes.

Related Ideas gives users the ability to explore a tangent based on a single pin. For example, if I were interested in hideously garish jackets, I might click ‘more’ and see a collection of equally tasteless items.

Pinterest Lens was the heavyweight feature of this release. Linking to the functionality displayed in Shop the Look, it allowed users to take photos on their smartphone and see Pins that looked similar to the object displayed.

In practice, this meant a user might see a chair they were interested in purchasing, take a photo, and find similar styles – in exactly the same way as CamFind.

Pinterest Lens today

What does it mean for ecommerce brands?

Visual search engines have the potential to offer a butter-smooth customer journey – with just a few taps between snapping a picture of something and having it in a basket and checking out. Pinterest took a big step towards that in May this year, announcing they would be connecting their visual search functionality to Promoted Pins – allowing advertisers to get in front of users searching visually by surfacing adverts in the ‘Instant Ideas’ and the ‘More like this’ sections.

For retail brands with established Pinterest strategies like Target, Nordstrom, Walgreens and Lululemon, this is welcome news, as it presents a novel opportunity for brands to connect with users looking to purchase products.

Product images can be featured in visual search results

Nearly 2 million people Pin product-rich pins every day. The platform even offers the ability to include prices and other data on pins, which helps drive further engagement. Furthermore, it has the highest average order value of any major social platform at $ 50, and caters heavily to users on mobile (orders from mobile devices increased from 67% to 80% between 2013-2015).

But while Pinterest may have led the way in terms of visual search, it isn’t alone. Google and Bing have both jumped on the trend with Lens-equivalent products in the last year. Both Google Lens and Bing Visual Search (really, Microsoft? That’s the best you have?) function in an almost identical way to Pinterest Lens. Examples from Bing’s blog post on the product even show it being applied in the same contexts – picking out elements of a domestic scene and displaying shopping results.

One interesting question for ecommerce brands to answer will be how to optimize product images for these kinds of results.

Google Lens, announced at Google’s I/O conference in May to much furore, pitches itself as a tool to help users understand the world. By accessing Google’s vast knowledge base, the app can do things like identify objects, and connect to your WiFi automatically by snapping the code on the box.

Of course, this has a commercial application as well. One of the use cases highlighted by Google CEO Sundar Pichai was photographing a business storefront and having the Google Local result pop up, replete with reviews, menus and contact details.

The key feature here is the ability to connecting a picture taken with an action. It doesn’t take too much to imagine how brands might be able to use this functionality in interesting and engaging ways – for example, booking event tickets directly from an advert, as demonstrated at I/O:

The future

Many marketers think we’re on the brink of a revolution when it comes to search. The growing popularity of voice search is arguably an indicator that consumers are moving away from keyword-based search and towards more intuitive methods.

It’s too soon to write off the medium entirely, of course – keywords are still by the far the easiest way to access most information. But visual search, along with voice, are certainly still useful additions to the roster of tools we might use to access information on the internet.

Ecommerce brands would be wise to keep close tabs on the progress of visual search tools; those that are prepared will have a significant competitive advance over those that aren’t.

This post was originally published on our sister site, ClickZ, and has been reproduced here for the enjoyment of our audience on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Gas pump card skimmer now phones home

July 29, 2017 No Comments

 In an unsurprising move by credit card thieves, police have found a new credit card skimmer that sends stolen data via SMS. By tearing apart cheap phones, crooks are able to send credit card information to their location instantly without having to access the skimmer physically or rely on an open Bluetooth connection. Brian Krebs received images of the skimmer from an unnamed source. They… Read More
Enterprise – TechCrunch


A Case For Automated Bidding

July 28, 2017 No Comments

It is universally agreed upon that more power is better. More power means more control. It means more knowledge, more capability. Power means superiority. So, having more power over an AdWords account must mean that the account is in better hands, is in superior hands, is in more knowledgeable hands. A claim can be made […]

Read more at PPCHero.com
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