Monthly Archives: February 2020
Egnyte announced today it was combining its two main products — Egnyte Protect and Egnyte Connect — into a single platform to help customers manage, govern and secure the data from a single set of tools.
Egynte co-founder and CEO Vineet Jain says that this new single platform approach is being driven chiefly by the sheer volume of data they are seeing from customers, especially as they shift from on-prem to the cloud.
“The underlying pervasive theme is that there’s a rapid acceleration of data going to the cloud, and we’ve seen that in our customers,” Jain told TechCrunch. He says that long-time customers have been shifting from terabytes to petabytes of data, while new customers are starting out with a few hundred terabytes instead of five or ten.
As this has happened, he says customers are asking for a way to deal with this data glut with a single platform because the volume of data makes it too much to handle with separate tools. “Instead of looking at this as separate problems, customers are saying they want a solution that helps address the productivity part at the same time as the security part. That’s because there is more data in the cloud, and concerns around data security and privacy, along with increasing compliance requirements, are driving the need to have it in one unified platform,” he explained.
The company is doing this because managing the data needs to be tied to security and governance policies. “They are not ultimately separate ideas,” Jain says.
Jain says, up until recently, the company saw the data management piece as the way into a customer, and after they had that locked down, they would move to layer on security and compliance as a value-add. Today, partly due to the data glut and partly due to compliance regulations, Jain says, these are no longer separate ideas, and his company has evolved its approach to meet the changing requirements of customers.
Egnyte was founded in 2007 and has raised over $ 138 million on a $ 460 million post valuation, according to Pitchbook data. Its most recent round was $ 75 million led by Goldman Sachs in September, 2018. Egnyte passed the $ 100 million ARR mark in November.
The start of international expansion is an incredible milestone for any business, and gearing up to take your venture around the world will be one of the most exciting moments of your career. But just because your business is thriving at home doesn’t mean that it will be a success abroad. To achieve that, you’ll need to give attention to your international SEO strategy.
Achieving online visibility on an international scale can be tricky, particularly when you factor in differences in language, culture, and search habits. It’s not a cookie-cutter approach where one size fits all across all regions. However, you’ll be more than ready to tackle the challenges of international SEO once you’ve followed these six must-know tips, and should soon see your business soaring in search rankings across the globe.
1. Pick an effective domain strategy
A .com TLD is usually considered the cream of the crop when it comes to domains and the authority afforded to them by search engines. But this can be far too generic to attract international customers. Instead, your domain should clearly target your country of choice and show users around the world that your website is catered specifically to them.
A ccTLD, for example, cocacola.fr, is often popular because the country code immediately shows users and search engines what the target country is. However, if you have multiple localized versions of the website across a number of ccTLDs, search engines will treat these as separate entities, meaning each domain will need to build up backlinks and authority from scratch.
A subdirectory, like, nike.com/fr maintains all your pre-existing SEO efforts as you’re simply adding a localized folder to your current domain. However, this risks causing internal cannibalization if different international landing pages are optimized for the same keywords, such as a US subfolder and an Australian subfolder where the language is largely the same.
A subdomain (such as fr.airbnb.com) is often the default for CMS tools, but users are less likely to associate your site with their country as the country code comes first rather than last, meaning click-through-rates could take a hit.
All domain strategies have pros and cons, so it’s important to ascertain how each option would work for your business specifically. Matthew Finn, one of the SEO specialists at Go Up, highlights several points that could determine your international domain strategy decision. Budget obviously comes into play – ccTLDs can be particularly expensive – and your branding could be a factor too.
As they explain: “If your company has a logo which features your domain, or brand guidelines which stipulate talking about your business as YourBrand.com, then a ccTLD wouldn’t work.” You also need to consider possible limitations of your CMS and current domain. For instance, subdirectories and subdomains only work with an existing generic top-level domain like .com.
Look at the domain structures of competitors in your new target countries to see what Google favors. You might decide to use a combination of all three strategies to target different markets.
2. Conduct localized keyword research
You may feel like you have a good understanding of your current audience’s search habits, but these keywords may not be popular across the board. Conducting localized keyword research will help you judge the online queries likely to serve you best in each country.
This isn’t so difficult when you’re targeting other English speakers, though you still have to take slang and regional variations into account. For example, if you’re a shoe business going after an Australian audience, you would probably be better off targeting “thong” rather than “flip flop” keywords. This is especially relevant to voice search.
Of course, things become more complicated when dealing with entirely different languages. You may not understand the words themselves and also need to consider how cultural context can impact intent. Findings from Webcertain showed significant differences between the search habits of US and Chinese users. Roughly 60% of US searches about chairs related to style and shape, yet only 20% of Chinese searches had the same intent. In fact, 5% more Chinese searches were action-based – what to do with the chair. Culture can hugely influence how people formulate their online queries and you can’t ignore this factor when choosing location-specific keywords.
3. Don’t assume one language means one culture
One size does not fit all when it comes to international expansion, especially considering the diversity of languages. There are many differences in Standard Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, while there are plenty of Spanish variations spoken across North America, South America, and the Caribbean, let alone the many regional dialects in Spain itself. You may think that translating your website into a “standard” language will enable you to connect with all relevant markets, but you risk alienating millions of potential customers if you don’t tailor your content to each target location.
First of all, remember that idioms or colloquialisms may make sense in one place but not in another, even if the same language is spoken. If an Ireland-based furniture business used the word “press”, it’s highly unlikely any English-speakers outside the country would realize this referred to a kitchen cupboard. Similarly, some words, images, and practices are accepted in one place but offensive in another. Though Arabic is the official language of both Morocco and Saudi Arabia, references to alcohol would only be permissible when targeting the former as drinking is forbidden in Saudi Arabia. You also need to use the correct measurements, currencies, and other details, which may vary from country to country regardless of language. French-speaking Canadians would be puzzled to see prices in euros rather than Canadian Dollars.
Errors like this could deter users and damage a business’s trust, authority, and click-through-rate. Therefore, it would be a huge mistake to focus on accurate translations without considering the unique historical and cultural factors making every place unique. Consulting people familiar with the nuances of each target location will ensure your content is suitable for all the potential customers living there.
4. Think beyond Google
Google is normally the holy grail when it comes to all SEO efforts, but there may be other search engines to prioritize during international expansion. The majority of users in China and Russia, two of the largest markets in the world, direct the majority of their online queries to entirely different platforms, so focusing on Google alone could be detrimental to your visibility and profits.
In Russia, the leading search engine is Yandex which holds 56% of the market share. This success has been put down to the search engine’s deeper understanding of Slavic languages. Meanwhile, Google has been blocked in China under the country’s Internet censorship policy. Most Chinese users conduct their online searches through Baidu, which held between 60 to 77% of the search engine market share in China during 2019.
You can’t afford to ignore alternative search engines when targeting markets like these, and it’s also important to recognize each has its own unique algorithms. There will be some similarities—for example, Google, Yandex and Baidu all reward quality content – but you’ll need to be aware of the differences. Indexing can be very slow for both Yandex and Baidu which means it will take longer to see the benefits of your efforts, so long-term results should be the priority. Paid search is crucial to Baidu, as paid results are given much greater precedence than organic results. Meanwhile, Yandex still values meta keywords – a metric that Google removed from its ranking algorithm some time ago.
5. Implement hreflang tags
Hreflang tags signpost which languages and locations your pages are aimed at, helping Google to understand which version of a page is most appropriate for its users. For example, if someone in Paris typed in a search term relevant to your product page, the hreflang tag signals to Google that the French version of the page should appear in search results.
To target users as accurately as possible, you should include hreflang tags for both language and region. For instance, an ‘en’ tag shows Google that your page is for all English speakers, but you could also add tags to emphasize the specific geographic locations you’re targeting, en-ca for English speakers in Canada and en-us for English speakers in the US. It’s crucial you use the correct codes—for instance, the UK is ‘gb’ rather than ‘uk’—and a hreflang tag generator like Aleda Solis’ SEO tools recommended by Moz that could help minimize mistakes.
6. Start localized link building
Just as with any domestic SEO strategy, links are essential in building the authority of your website within a target locale. To elevate your brand in local search, it’s vital to source links from local platforms within your industry. The more hyperlocal, the better. For example, if you’re opening a new hotel in Berlin, links from travel platforms in the German capital will be more valuable than those in Munich or Hamburg.
Seek out journalistic opportunities and serve as a source of expertise, guest post on influential sites within a region, and use social channels to build connections with local influencers and businesses. It’s also recommended that you use a translator or someone accustomed to the language and customs of a target region to handle the outreach. The more you extend your brand in a target market, the more you will be rewarded with high authority backlinks.
Edward Coram James is an SEO professional and the Chief Executive of Go Up Ltd, an international agency dedicated to helping its clients navigate the complexities of global SEO and the technical aspects of delivering location-specific pages to targeted audiences.
The post Six must-know international SEO tips to expand your businesses appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Let’s say you’re looking for a new toaster. You will probably use a search engine, of which Google is the most prominent. But many of those product searches on Google benefit the world’s biggest retailer, Amazon. In order to better understand the symbiotic relationship between Google and Amazon, SEO and content marketing platform Searchmetrics has released a study based on 10,000 keywords, “Amazon vs. Google: The Battle for Product Search.”
Those keywords generate an Amazon-located product as the first organic result in a Google desktop search. No searches with the word “Amazon” were included.
The study found that, even when Amazon has the first search result, it also has at least one – and sometimes more – additional lower level organic search results for nearly half the searches.
And that’s not all. AdWords listings for products on Amazon show up alongside product searches on Google for 10.5 percent of the keywords, above or below the organic search results. AdWords is now called Google Ads, but the report uses the old term to distinguish from other kinds of Google Ads.
So, why would Amazon need to invest in paid AdWords, if it already is ranked first in Google search results for so many products?
The reason, as detailed in the Searchmetrics study: AdWords give Amazon a dominant presence on the results page for those product searches.
Amazon helps Google
Here is a screenshot from the study, showing Google results for the search term “outdoor curtains.” The product on Amazon is the first organic result, but the Amazon AdWords ad is the first return on the page, plus the Amazon-sold product is shown in two ads in the accompanying Google Shopping ads box.
From the Searchmetrics report
As the study says: “Amazon fights back against its competitors by purchasing a large number of AdWords itself, even when it has the top free result. However, as Google benefits whoever buys AdWords, and Amazon is paying for listings despite having the most relevant organic result, [Google also benefits].”
Google’s Shopping Ads (AKA Product Listing Ads) show up for 56 percent of the results pages where Amazon is the top organic result, and Amazon results appear in nearly a third of the Google Shopping box results.
The Searchmetrics study said this means that “Amazon’s organic snippet [result] is competing for searchers’ attention with a carousel of product offers” in Google Shopping ads. In some cases, the Shopping unit – especially if it is followed by one or two paid AdWords – can push Amazon’s first organic result down below the fold for desktop user. But Amazon is more than covered with AdWords ads and ads in the Shopping unit.
Additionally, most images shown on a results page where Amazon is the top organic result include an Amazon image.
When Amazon is the top organic result for “outdoor curtains” or whatever, the retailer will often have a product image shown whenever Google shows images on the page, which is about 44 percent of the time. Related videos appear for nearly 35 percent of searches.
“This is a strong presence for a single domain,” the study says, “and one which underlines the investment Amazon makes in paid advertising in Google search, in order to complement its rankings at the top of the search results.”
But Google has little choice but to support this Amazon presence for product searches, because these are relevant results, and because Amazon’s AdWords purchases are a substantial revenue source.
The post Searchmetrics report: How Amazon and Google help each other appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
More big names are stepping Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest phone and telecom trade fair, prompting the organizers to urgently decide what they wish to do going forward.
Nokia, one of the omnipresent firms at major tech trade conferences, won’t be attending this year’s Mobile World Congress. It cited health and safety concerns over coronavirus outbreak. Electronics giant HMD, which sells smartphones under Nokia brand, cited similar reasoning for its withdrawal, too.
The iconic Finnish firm, one of the cornerstone companies at MWC, and HMD have become the latest to back out of the trade fair. In recent days, scores of firms including Ericsson, Amazon, Vivo, LG, Facebook and Sony have withdrawn their participation from the world’s biggest smartphones-focused trade show.
German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, BT, Britain’s biggest telecommunications group, and London-headquartered telecoms giant Vodafone have also backed out citing coronavirus outbreak, they announced on Wednesday. French-Italian semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics is also not attending, it said.
However on Wednesday afternoon (CET) Orange denied a Reuters report it won’t attend, telling us it still hadn’t taken a decision on whether to pull out or not. “We are awaiting further communication from the GSMA regarding the event,” a spokeswoman for the operator said.
Orange CEO Stéphane Richard is the current GSMA chair.
MWC attracts over 100,000 attendees, abd thousands of companies and high-profile executives use this global platform to broker deals and unveil their upcoming gadgets and innovations to the world.
The trade fair also contributes to the bottom line of Barcelona city. This year, the four-day trade show was scheduled to take place from February 27.
Like Samsung, Huawei and Ericsson, Nokia occupies swathes of exhibition space which will now be empty. But also, it's arguably one of the whole reasons for MWC existing in the first place.
— Ingrid (@ingridlunden) February 12, 2020
“While the health and safety of our employees is our absolute priority, we also recognize that we have a responsibility to the industry and our customers. In view of this, we have taken the necessary time to evaluate a fast-moving situation, engage with the GSMA and other stakeholders, regularly consult external experts and authorities, and plan to manage risks based on a wide range of scenarios. The conclusion of that process is that we believe the prudent decision is to cancel our participation at Mobile World Congress,” Nokia said in a statement.
The high-profile no-shows should put more pressure on GSMA, the body that organizes the event, to cancel this year’s edition of the trade show. GSMA acknowledged the safety risks to attendees in an email on Sunday, but it ducked away from assuming any liabilities at the trade show. As my colleague Romain Dillet pointed out, the email appeared to have triggered companies to withdraw their participation.
On Tuesday, Spanish publication El Pais reported that the GSMA executives would meet on Friday and consider their next steps, which could include suspending this year’s event. A spokesperson declined comment to TechCrunch.
The GSMA executives have moved to have that talk today, according to a report. Earlier local press had reported the operator association had decided to go ahead with the event — but in a more recent update La Vanguardia reports the GSMA has called another meeting to discuss the future of MWC 2020.
The organization has previously declined to comment on internal meetings.
You can check out the full list of companies that have withdrawn from MWC so far this year below.
This report was updated with additional information about Orange and the developing situation at the GSMA
Analysis can be overwhelming. Sometimes even the word “analysis” will cause panic in folks. Where do I start? How the heck do I pull insights out of all these numbers? Below you’ll find a few tips to help guide you in your analysis adventures.
Read more at PPCHero.com
Amazon is a giant in the world of ecommerce marketing, but that doesn’t mean advertising on it is the best thing for your brand. Read on to see the reasons why some marketers are keeping their dollars off the platform.
Read more at PPCHero.com
“Not gonna lie. This f*cking sucks. This is the last HQ ever!” yelled host Matt Richards . And it just got crazier from there.The farewell game of HQ Trivia before it shut down last night was a beautiful disaster. The hosts cursed, sprayed champagne, threatened to defecate on the homes of trolls in the chat window, and begged for new jobs. Imagine Jeopardy but Trebek is hyped-up and blacked-out.
Yesterday HQ Trivia ran out of money, laid off its 25 employees, and shut down. It was in talks to be acquired, but the buyer pulled out last minute and investors weren’t willing to pour any money into the sagging game show. It had paid out $ 6 million in prizes from its $ 15 million-plus in venture capital since launching in late 2017.
But HQ was in steady decline since February 2018 when it peaked at over 2.3 million concurrent players to just tens of thousands recently. The games grew repetitive, prize money was split between too many winners, co-founder Colin Kroll passed away, original host and quiz daddy Scott Rogowsky was let go, the startup’s staff failed in an attempt to mutiny and oust the CEO, and layoffs ensued. You can read how it all went down here.
But rather than wither away, the momentary cultural phenemenon went out with a bang. “Should HQ trivia shut down? No? Yes? Or f*ck no!” Richards cackled.
You can watch the final show here, and we’ve laid out some of Richards’ and co-host Anna Roisman’s choicest quotes from HQ’s last game:
- “If you just got here, this is HQ Trivia. It’s a live mobile gameshow. We’re gonna read about 34 questions and then you’re gonna win about 2 cents and you’re gonna fucking loooooove it” -Roisman
- “This $ 5 prize is coming out of my own pocket. We ran out of money. We just kept giving it away. We gave it all to the players, to you, you loyal HQties” -Richards
- “Take this time now to buy some extra lives. You never know when you’re going to need them. I wish we had an extra life for the company. I’m sorry. I f*cking can’t. I’m gonna cry. My dogs eat $ 200 worth of food a day. My dogs are gonna starve” -Richards
- “Why are we shutting down? I don’t know. Ask our investors. What am I going to do with my fish tank? I think our investors ran out of money” -Richards
- “Who likes healthy snacks! That’s why the investors stopped giving us money, because there wasn’t any f*cking snacks in this b*tch. We were snackless. Who the fuck can work in a place without snacks!” -Richards
- “I met a couple who told me HQ is part of their foreplay” -Richards
- “Who’s going to miss the HQ chat? I’m going to miss all those people telling me I don’t have eyebrows or to do the Carlton” -Richards
- “Maybe we should close every night. These are the nicest f*cking comments I’ve ever seen. Wow, you’re finally telling me I look hot. I tried for a year and a half -Roisman
- [Reading comments] “‘Won’t miss you at all, good riddance’” -Roisman. “Who said that? Let’s find that mothef*cker and sh*t on his porch” -Richards
- “Hire everyone! All the people who don’t have jobs they f*cking rock!” -Richards
- [While doing a headstand] “Someone hire me! I’m f*cking talented” -Roisman
- “We should have unionized a long time ago” -Richards
- [To his girlfriend] “Hello baby! I don’t got a job, you still love me?” -Richards
- “We bought this giant bottle of champagne for when we hit 3 million players” -Richards (HQ never got there)
- [Shakening up the champagne and opening it to a disappointing trickle] “It wasn’t as big as I thought it was gonna be” -Richards. “That’s what she said. It was anti-climactic” -Roisman. “Much like this episode” -Richards. “Much like this app” -Roisman
- “They gave me like two double shots of tequila” -Richards, on why he was drunk
Then things really went off the rails at 41 minutes in, cued up here:
- [Upon a bunch of people getting a question wrong] “Y’all fucking fucked up! You are dumb! I’m kidding, you’re not dumb. You fucked up. It happens” -Richards
- [Reading the final question together] “What does Subway call it’s employees? Ham hands, sandwich artists, or beef sculptors?”
- “520 people are splitting $ 5. Send me your Venmo requests and I’ll send you your fraction of a penny” -Richards
Farewell, HQ Trivia, you glorious beast.
This Week in Apps: YouTube TV cancels Apple’s rev share, more bad news for mobile voting, WhatsApp hits 2B users
Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.
The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads in 2019 and $ 120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie’s recently released “State of Mobile” annual report. People are now spending 3 hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $ 544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.
In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.
This week, we look at YouTube TV’s decision to stop revenue-sharing with Apple, another mobile voting app with serious flaws, new Apple launches in coding and AR, Microsoft’s game-streaming service Project xCloud arrival on iOS and other notable app news and trends, including WhatsApp’s big 2 billion user milestone, and more.
YouTube TV fights back against Apple’s cut of in-app subscription revenue
This week, YouTube emailed customers subscribed to its YouTube TV service by way of Apple’s in-app purchases to let them know that this subscription offering will be discontinued starting on March 13, 2020. Current subscribers will have their subscription canceled automatically on their billing date after March 13, the letter said.
This is a pretty severe way for Google to end its subscription revenue-sharing with Apple, however. Most companies that decide to shut off in-app subscriptions still continue to honor those from existing subscribers — they just stop selling to new customers. In YouTube TV’s case, it’s actually ending its relationship with all its customers on Apple devices with the hope they’ll return and resubscribe. That’s quite a risk, given that YouTube TV is not the only streaming TV service out there, and customers getting their subscription canceled may take this opportunity to shop around. The timing is also poorly thought-out, given that YouTube TV just picked up new subs following Sony’s PlayStation Vue shutdown — and now it’s kicking them out.
The move makes Google the latest company to rebel against Apple’s 30% cut of all in-app payments (which drops to 15% in year two). A growing number of app publishers are refusing to share a cut of their revenue with Apple — even saying that Apple’s decision to charge this fee is anti-competitive. For example, Spotify believes Apple’s fee makes it more difficult to compete with Apple’s built-in music service, and has raised the issue repeatedly to regulators. Netflix also stopped paying the “Apple tax” over a year ago.
Mobile voting app Voatz, used by several states, was filled with security flaws
Above: Voatz, via The NYT
Last week, we looked at how a smartphone app meant to tabulate votes from the caucuses really screwed things up in Iowa. This week, MIT researchers took a look at mobile voting app Voatz, which has been used to tally votes for federal elections in parts of West Virginia, Oregon, Utah and Washington as part of various mobile voting pilot programs. The researchers found the app was riddled with security flaws that would let attackers monitor votes or even change ballots or block them without users’ knowledge. Attackers could also create a tainted paper trail, making a reliable audit impossible — despite Voatz’s promise of using blockchain technology to increase security. One security expert, speaking to VICE, called the app “sloppy” and filled with “elementary” mistakes.
Coming on the heels of the Iowa caucus mobile voting disaster, this latest news delivers another huge blow to the promise of mobile voting in the U.S.
Alibaba issued its latest earnings report yesterday, and the Chinese eCommerce giant reported that cloud revenue grew 62 percent to $ 1.5 billion U.S., crossing the RMB10 billion revenue threshold for the first time.
Alibaba also announced that it had completed its migration to its own public cloud in the most recent quarter, a significant milestone because the company can point to its own operations as a reference to potential customers, a point that Daniel Zhang, Alibaba executive chairman and CEO, made in the company’s post-earnings call with analysts.
“We believe the migration of Alibaba’s core e-commerce system to the public cloud is a watershed event. Not only will we ourselves enjoy greater operating efficiency, but we believe, it will also encourage others to adopt our public cloud infrastructure,” Zhang said in the call.
It’s worth noting that the company also warned that the Coronavirus gripping China could have impact on the company’s retail business this year, but it didn’t mention the cloud portion specifically.
Yesterday’s revenue report puts Alibaba on a $ 6 billion U.S. run rate, good for fourth place in the cloud infrastructure market share race, but well behind the market leaders. In the most recent earnings reports, Google reported $ 2.5 billion in revenue, Microsoft reported $ 12.5 billion in combined software and infrastructure revenue and market leader AWS reported a tad under $ 10 billion for the quarter.
As with Google, Alibaba sits well in the back of the pack, as Synergy Research’s latest market share data shows. The chart was generated before yesterday’s report, but it remains an accurate illustration of the relative positions of the various companies.
Alibaba has a lot in common with Amazon. Both are eCommerce giants. Both have cloud computing arms. Alibaba, however, came much later to the cloud computing side of the house, launching in 2009, but really only beginning to take it seriously in 2015.
At the time, cloud division president Simon Hu boasted to Reuters that his company would overtake Amazon in the cloud market within 4 years. “Our goal is to overtake Amazon in four years, whether that’s in customers, technology, or worldwide scale,” he said at the time.
They aren’t close to achieving that goal, of course, but they are growing steadily in a hot cloud infrastructure market. Alibaba is the leading cloud vendor in China, although AWS leads in Asia overall, according to the most recent Synergy Research data on the region.
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