Monthly Archives: October 2020

Cloud infrastructure revenue grows 33% this quarter to almost $33B

October 31, 2020 No Comments

The cloud infrastructure market kept growing at a brisk pace last quarter, as the pandemic continued to push more companies to the cloud with offices shut down in much of the world. This week the big three — Amazon, Microsoft and Google — all reported their numbers and, as expected, the news was good, with Synergy Research reporting revenue growth of 33% year over year, up to almost $ 33 billion for the quarter.

Still, John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy, was a bit taken aback that the market continued to grow as much as it did. “While we were fully expecting continued strong growth in the market, the scale of the growth in Q3 was a little surprising,” he said in a statement.

He added, “Total revenues were up by $ 2.5 billion from the previous quarter causing the year-on-year growth rate to nudge upwards, which is unusual for such a large market. It is quite clear that COVID-19 has provided an added boost to a market that was already developing rapidly.”

Per usual Amazon led the way with $ 11.6 billion in revenue, up from $ 10.8 billion last quarter. That’s up 29% year over year. Amazon continues to exhibit slowing growth in the cloud market, but because of its market share lead of 33%, a rate that has held fairly steady for some time, the growth is less important than the eye-popping revenue it continues to generate, almost double its closest rival Microsoft .

Speaking of Microsoft, Azure revenue was up 48% year over year, also slowing some, but good enough for a strong second place with 18% market share. Using Synergy’s total quarterly number of $ 33 billion, Microsoft came in at $ 5.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, up from $ 5.2 billion last quarter.

Finally, Google announced cloud revenue of $ 3.4 billion, but that number includes all of its cloud revenue including G Suite and other software. Synergy reported that this was good for 9%, or $ 2.98 billion, up from $ 2.7 billion last quarter, good for third place.

Alibaba and IBM were tied for fourth with 5%, or around $ 1.65 billion each.

Synergy Research cloud infrastructure relative market positions. Amazon is the largest circle followed by Microsoft.

Image Credits: Synergy Research

It’s worth noting that Canalys had similar numbers to Synergy, with growth of 33% to $ 36.5 billion. They had the same market order with slightly different numbers, with Amazon at 32%, Microsoft at 19% and Google at 7%, and Alibaba in 4th place at 6%.

Canalys sees continued growth ahead, especially as hybrid cloud begins to merge with newer technologies like 5G and edge computing. “All three [providers] are collaborating with mobile operators to deploy their cloud stacks at the edge in the operators’ data centers. These are part of holistic initiatives to profit from 5G services among business customers, as well as transform the mobile operators’ IT infrastructure,” Canalys analyst Blake Murray said in a statement.

While the pure growth continues to move steadily downward over time, this is expected in a market that’s maturing like cloud infrastructure, but as companies continue to shift workloads more rapidly to the cloud during the pandemic, and find new use cases like 5G and edge computing, the market could continue to generate substantial revenue well into the future.

Enterprise – TechCrunch

Digital Marketing in a VUCA World: Is it Time to Emerge from Plato’s Cave?

October 31, 2020 No Comments

Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. are giving digital marketers what Socrates would call a “superficial truth”. The data sets are incomplete.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero

Google’s featured snippets: How to get your YouTube video featured in Google

October 31, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • YouTube is one of the most featured domains in Google.
  • Unlike any other heavily featured sites, YouTube.com provides any brand an easy way to host a brand-owned asset for it to get featured.
  • To capture more video-driven featured snippet opportunities, create a video version for each keyword-driven content asset you create.
  • There are tools that make video creation quite scalable. Those include online video creators and Zoom.
  • Regardless of how you create those videos, make sure there’s a meaningful (even search-optimized) voiceover as Google is using that (and the video transcripts) to generate featured snippets.
  • Use traditional SEO practices to let Google discover and rank your videos. Like with regularly featured snippets, video featured snippets heavily depend on the organic rankings.

YouTube provides brands with all kinds of unique marketing opportunities, one of which is an ability to build extra organic visibility through both video carousels and featured snippets.

Why YouTube?

According to Ahrefs, YouTube.com ranks in the top five organic searches for 139,830,455 queries. Of those, it is being featured for 1,177,203 queries (as of September 2020). 

YouTube video featured snippets on Google

[Screenshot source: Ahrefs as of September 2020]

This makes YouTube one of the most featured domains out there.

For comparison, en.wikipedia.org is being featured for 2,644,918 search queries (again, according to Ahrefs data).

Unlike Wikipedia, YouTube videos can be owned by brands. Anyone can create a YouTube video and get featured with it. This means the video creator holds full control over the message of the featured asset.

This is gold.

It is not easy to determine why YouTube is being featured so heavily:

  • Are YouTube videos being featured because they tend to rank so high
  • Or are YouTube videos being featured because Google has found those search queries to be best satisfied with video content

Either way, one thing we know for sure: You should be providing videos if you want to build additional brand exposure in organic search.

How to get your brand feature more through creating video content?

1. Create more videos

This one is pretty obvious but this is the fundamental step that needs to be covered.

You are welcome to go fancy and capture all relevant search results in your niche that feature videos and try to capture all those opportunities with your own videos. This strategy has the right to exist but it does have some problems:

  • You are competing with existing assets that have by now accumulated all kinds of solid signals (views, backlinks, and other such factors). So don’t expect this to come easy.
  • You are limiting your strategy with existing opportunities that all your competitors may be aware of. You are doomed to always be behind.
  • Featured snippets are dynamic. By the time you finally have a solid asset to compete, that opportunity may no longer exist.

Instead of chasing each individual opportunity, create a more comprehensive strategy that would ensure you’ll create your own opportunities, and gradually capture all of the existing ones as well.

Put simply, turn all your text-based content into the video format.

This sounds intimidating but it is actually totally doable. I am using two tools that make the process unbelievably easy:

2. Zoom to record walkthrough and tutorials

You can record yourself explaining any process using the free version of Zoom. It may take you some time to get used to the process but going forward, you will find yourself more and more comfortable with it. After 2-3 video tutorials, a 3-minute video will take you 30 minutes to create, trust me.

YouTube video featured snippets on Google - Zoom to create videos[Screenshot created by the author: September 2020]

I am sure other virtual meeting solutions can work for that purpose as well:

The best thing about Zoom is that it is free and offers a nice HD export of recorded videos.

3. Renderforest to turn text into videos

While Zoom may take a bit of time to get adjusted to, Renderforest provides video creation tools that take no time to figure out. It is easy-to-use and can be used to turn any article into a video.

To get an easier feel of the tool, simply grab your article subheadings and use their text-to-video option to turn those into a video:

Text to video - Transcript[Screenshot source: Renderforest]

Renderforest provides templates to create whiteboard videos, explainer videos, step-by-step tutorials, and more. 

Overall, of all the online video creators I’ve tried over the years, this one seems to be the easiest to adjust to. And it saves a ton of time. It costs around $ 7 a month which is also quite affordable.

4. Use meaningful well-structured distinct voice-over for your YouTube video

Now I don’t have any serious study behind this claim, so take this with a grain of salt. Based on my own experience, unless your video has a meaningful voice-over, it will not be featured.

Look at one of the examples of featured videos: There’s a text instruction in the box:

YouTube video featured snippets on Google - Instruction box[Screenshot source: Google search as of September 2020]

This is generated from the video captions which are auto-created based on the video voice-over:

[Screenshot source: YouTube as of September 2020]

This seems to support my claim: Unless Google can find some text, it will not be so willing to feature a video.

So invest some time into creating a voice-over.

If you use Zoom, you can simply read instructions while recording your tutorial. If you are using Renderforest, you can sync your voiceover with your video. Both methods are pretty doable.

4. Optimize videos using traditional SEO

YouTube SEO is not much different from any SEO process. This article outlines the process pretty well here. Basically, all you need is:

  • A keyword-optimized name of the video (which is also going to be the page title)
  • A detailed video description (also use your keywords there as well). Feel free to create clickable timestamps to take viewers to particular sections of the video. These get indexed by Google as well.

More importantly, you need some links to your video. At the very least link to each video from your own site (both manually from your articles and also using some plugins which send sitewide links to your videos). This will help it rank.


This video strategy will hopefully get your brand featured more. But it will also help you create more content assets which you will be able to market on social media to boost engagement and create more traffic generating channels. Good luck!

Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

The post Google’s featured snippets: How to get your YouTube video featured in Google appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

How to immediately profit from your next piece of content

October 31, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Most content marketers focus on creating blog posts and writing guest posts to improve SEO rankings. This approach overlooks the value of insightful content as a sales resource, especially for B2B firms.
  • What type of content works best for sales prospecting. Examples of content and an overview of how to create your outreach list.
  • An overview of two campaigns where blog content was used to generate leads for an SEO agency. Included in the overview are email templates and campaign outcomes.
  • How to review and optimize your content marketing outreach campaigns to generate more leads for your business.

Significant business resources are invested in creating content that is never engaged with, writing guest posts that are never read, and sharing content that is never seen. It’s a reality that most of us choose to ignore because we are fixated on inbound marketing.

While inbound marketing is effective, it’s not without problems:

  1. Most of the visitors who engage with your content will never return. It’s generally agreed that somewhere in the region of 2%-6% of first-time visitors return to a website.
  2. You have little control over who visits, and most visitors do not fit the profile of your customer persona (you’ll be doing very well if you convert even 0.3% of site visitors into customers).
  3. There are only so many spaces on the front page of Google. Truthfully, most of us will be fighting and failing to achieve our desired SERP rankings.

Outbound marketing sidesteps two of those three issues.

When you create a list of companies that fit your target demographic and then send emails to the relevant people in that company, you gain a degree of control over who consumes your content. Where you sit in the search rankings will not impact the outcome of your campaign.

While most sales teams use outbound marketing, few companies coordinate their content marketing efforts with outbound sales initiatives.

I believe that this is an oversight. I’ve secured several new customers for my agency in the last three months by coordinating my sales and content marketing efforts.

This guide will share an approach that I believe can help all businesses, but especially small to medium-sized businesses, that operate in the B2B space acquire new customers. It’s a strategy that relies upon creating a small amount of really great content, then actively promoting that content to the right people. Let’s dive in.

1. Consider the goals of your customer

Ideally, your outbound marketing strategy should neatly fit into your long term content marketing goals. For me, an optimal content campaign that aligns with sales should look something like this.

At the start of the campaign, you need to identify relevant keywords to target.

The keywords you pick should align with your ideal customer’s pain points and the solution that you offer either through your product or service. For example, at my company, we help businesses in the SaaS niche secure guest posts on relevant sites. I decided that the initial outreach campaign would be based around my guide on how to guest post.

You can see how the topic aligns with the solution.

If you’re going to run an outreach campaign that utilizes content from your site, you must use informative content that offers value. After all, the article will be the first impression that you leave with a potential customer interacting with your business.

You can create multiple pieces of content around your product or service offering. However, I recommend you start with one piece of cornerstone content.

2. Create a customer outreach list

There is a good chance that you already have a strategy in place to promote new content. Often, that involves creating a list of sites that have linked to a competing piece of content. You then find the contact details of the author and send them a message asking for a link.

A sales outreach campaign based around a piece of content is just as straightforward. However, the goal and who you target is different.

I’ll assume you have a customer persona. You know what type of companies buy your products or services. You need to create a list of suitable companies. You can use resources like Google My Business, the Inc 5,000, and other business roundups to quickly create a list of suitable companies to contact. 

Once you’ve created your shortlist, you need to find the details of the person in charge of purchasing decisions at each company. For an SEO agency, that person typically has a job title like ‘Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)’.

I generally use a combination of LinkedIn and an email finder to get their contact details. Hunter and Voila Norbert both offer 50 free searches, which is enough for an initial campaign.

Pull all of that information you collect into a Google Sheet.

3. Run your outreach campaign

There are numerous types of sales outreach campaigns you can run that incorporate blog content. For example, I collected the details of everyone who left a comment on the Backlinko blog. I removed individuals and companies that didn’t fit my customer persona and sent them all an email.

Below is a screenshot of the email template I used alongside one of the responses.

Piece of content - Profit from it by email outreach - Example 1

You can see this is a soft sell. The only reference to the service I offer is my email signature that links to a sales page. The primary resource in the email was this blog post.

I wanted to start a conversation with prospective customers not generate an instant sale.

This particular outreach campaign, which was sent to around 200 people, generated two leads. In addition, I was asked to appear on a podcast and was offered a couple of guest post opportunities.

You can be more direct. Here is an example from another campaign.

Piece of content - Profit from it by email outreach

We leveraged the credibility of Sumo for this sales campaign. The company has more brand recognition than Launch Space, a site that few people would recognize.

The primary resource used for the Sumo sales campaign was this article. The guest post fits the criteria of a cornerstone piece of content. It’s actionable, insightful, and relevant to the needs of prospective customers.

You might have noticed that I adapted my email signature for the campaign. We generated two leads from our first 100 emails.

4. Review the results

If this is your first campaign, I recommend you send outreach emails to between 100-200 companies. Send your emails, then a week or two later, review the results.

The first campaign we ran had a 1% conversion rate. I sent 100 emails and got one customer.

The math was simple.

I didn’t use any marketing tools for the campaign. You might choose to start the same way.

To improve the results of any marketing campaign, you need to track relevant metrics. There are plenty of affordable email tracking tools that provide insights like email opens, link clicks, and other statistics.

Good email tracking tools will allow you to split test your copy. You’ll also gather information on when people open your email and who opened your message multiple times but didn’t respond. You can use this data to improve your campaign results, for example, by scheduling your emails for the optimal time or day of the week or deciding on who to send multiple emails to.

Wrapping up

In this guide, I outlined how you can include blog posts and guest posts in your cold outreach to generate leads for your business. It’s a strategy that I’ve used to consistently land fresh clients, which has, in turn, helped me grow my business.

If you’re a B2B company selling a product or service with a high-profit margin, outbound marketing will normally provide you with a positive Return On Investment (ROI). It’s logical to utilize blog content as a sales resource, especially if you presume that the content will eventually generate leads through inbound marketing. Most companies don’t do this; I hope this article has provided you with the impetus to try.

Nico Prins is an online marketer and the founder of Launch Space. He helps companies develop their digital marketing strategies. He’s worked with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to startups helping them develop content marketing strategies that align with their business goals. Follow him on Twitter @nhdprins.

The post How to immediately profit from your next piece of content appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

Five fears of channel owners: What spooks you about creating your own CTV app?

October 30, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Recent data from Roku shows that 85% of Americans are now streamers. Making them feel excited about some new CTV app is not a piece of cake but also not totally unfeasible.
  • In the dark, dark woods of AdTech, Connected TV (CTV) apps are a dime a dozen. This may sound spooky enough for a proper Halloween horror story.
  • The market is currently dealing with many potentially brilliant content creators having cold feet when thinking of launching their own CTV channels.
  • Alex Zakrevsky, CEO of Allroll, helps you overcome these fears.

In the dark, dark woods of AdTech, Connected TV (CTV) apps are a dime a dozen. This may sound spooky enough for a proper Halloween horror story. In reality, the impressive growth of the CTV market strengthened the competition and endowed it with many “survival of the fittest” features. As a result, the fact that the number of connected TV devices in the US reached 400 million this year, as per Leichtman Research Group, is not that appealing and comforting for channel owners anymore. The market is currently dealing with many potentially brilliant content creators having cold feet when thinking of launching their own CTV channels. To overcome these fears, it’s important to embrace them first.

1. Failing to start

There is a belief that developing a channel from scratch requires either proficient coding skills or paying a fortune to those who have such skills. So, instead of starting, let’s say a Roku channel, content producers tend to be terrified of the prospect of coding or not being able to make ends meet. To lower the level of anxiety, it’s always useful to look at available options. 

If watching someone building a channel for you is the most preferable model, specialized agencies are the best choice to make. These companies usually have their own in-house developing teams and charge a set price or a revenue share, which gives room for maneuver. Alternatively, there are freelance developers whose price tag normally starts from $ 25/hour on Upwork.

The downside of both solutions is that they will depend on developers’ availability and may eventually turn out to be slow-moving and quite pricey. Yet, they will definitely help have less on one’s plate. At the same time, there are ways of developing a CTV app without going bankrupt or going full-on with programming languages.

CTV Roku

In addition to custom channel development, some CTV platforms, such as Roku or Amazon Fire, offer their no-coding solutions for channel owners. Roku, for example, has its on-the-house model called Direct Publisher. Yes, this tool limits customization, monetization, and third party analytics options, but it does save time, money, and, more importantly, keeps channel owners with no coding experience sane. As a compromise between basic and advanced features, there’s a moderately-priced service for developing Roku channels that is cloud-based and code-free. Instant TV Channel costs $ 45.95/month. It creates and maintains a video feed as well as offers a range of customization opportunities. Consequently, if coding isn’t a channel owner’s strong suit, it’s needless to pay millions or spend months trying to make sense of programming. What’s crucial is the idea that drives a publisher and the content that will drive potential viewers. 

2. Being mediocre

As CTV ad spend is surging and has already increased by 19% this year, based on IAB’s figures, more and more publishers are getting on board each day. This makes creating original content pretty challenging. Ultimately, channel owners are surrounded, on the one side, by fears of meeting their channel-doppelganger and, on the other side, being ‘eaten alive’ by channels-giants, like Netflix, Animal Planet, and others. Sounds quite dramatic, doesn’t it? If someone is still wondering whether there’s any space left for new apps in the CTV universe, it’s worth checking on how many people delightfully watch channels, which others would not even think of, in the screensavers or special interest sections on the Roku platform. 

As for the chances of becoming a copycat of your own concept, great minds do think alike but most of the time not so literally. Therefore, becoming a successful channel owner calls for out-of-the-box thinking, doing some research, and being generally both strategic and brave.

3. Having zero installs

Recent data from Roku shows that 85% of Americans are now streamers. Making them feel excited about some new CTV app is not a piece of cake but also not totally unfeasible. So, if there is a genuine fear that no one will ever install a new Roku channel, here are several promotional techniques for not letting this happen.  

First of all, it’s essential to make as many people as possible aware of a new channel via a website, emails, and social media. This is absolutely free, a bit time-consuming but worthwhile. Secondly, it’s important to attend online/offline events and accept all networking opportunities where a channel owner can meet potential viewers and introduce a channel to them. Then, it’s good to think of collaborating with like-minded channels so as to make friends with indirect competitors and promote each others’ content.

Additionally, it would be beneficial to be included in one of those guides with top new channels one should install. For this purpose and in general, getting feedback on the content from influencers can be really game-changing. Finally, in case there’s a request to level up the current promotional approach, it’s time to consider monetization. 

Roku has its self-serve platform for growing publishers’ audiences using the tailored display and video ads. While its CPM rates can range significantly with no guaranteed number of installs, the platform is quite flexible in terms of budgets and can meet various needs and wants. What’s more, there’s the Allroll marketing platform aimed to drive viewers to Roku channels by the means of advanced targeting options and personalized advertising messages. It provides higher apps’ exposure and, ultimately, + 60% installs with the same budgets as those required for the native platform. So, there’s definitely a lot one can do to enhance the channel’s results without getting overwhelmed.

4. Surrendering to YouTube

When talking about video channels, there is always an elephant in the room. This elephant’s name is of course YouTube. Some publishers are still skeptical about CTV platforms, thinking their videos will never perform there as well as they do on good old YouTube. They might as well imagine having to stick to one platform to have windfall gains. In fact, there’s much more to this than meets the eye.

No matter how successful, YouTube is just a service. At least for a content owner and not an employee of YouTube. Thus, there is no need to choose between different stages on which to play the content. On the contrary, it is better to use as many platforms as one can manage to reach out to as many viewers as possible. This is the smart way of promoting video content, raising brand awareness, and maximizing profit in the soaring digital space. 

5. Getting lost in streaming obscurity

It’s not particularly a secret that the world of streaming is currently run by four major operating systems: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV/Google TV, or Apple TV. The first two have the biggest share of 100.2 million (Roku) and 72.7 million (Amazon Fire) users, according to eMarketer. The rest of the players are of somewhat a lower caliber. Picking one platform for an app may seem like a tough job, bearing in mind their characteristics resemble each other in so many ways. For instance, Roku uses Audience Network with broad geolocation options for targeting and a revenue share model for monetization within its Direct Publisher mode. In the meantime, Amazon Fire’s code-free Amazon Creator offers extensive data on consumers’ preferences collected from Amazon devices and a commission-based monetization. This may rightly seem quite confusing.

The reasonable tactic for not getting puzzled by the best bets is to follow the audience. People mainly prefer streaming platforms that relate to an operating system they are plugged into in their everyday lives. So, if they have an Amazon Prime account that they actively use or they are fond of Alexa, these consumers are likely to go for Amazon Firesticks in their streaming experience.

Similarly, Apple products’ adepts will favor Apple TV, whereas Android users will stand for Android TV. Roku is sort of a black sheep in this family, as it has always been solely TV-oriented. Though, it’s extremely user-friendly, very affordable and its devices were voted the best of this crowd on numerous occasions. Without beating about the bush, knowing your audience is the key. 


The CTV market has been on the rise offering publishers more advanced opportunities to reach their viewers. Meanwhile, the stakes of being bog-standard or outdated got higher, as the competition became more severe. This left some content producers panicked about their chances to succeed instead of being focused on bringing new creative ideas to life. After all, living in fear is counterproductive. Hence, the best method of facing fears is to meet them in person. The launch of a new CTV app will consist of a series of important rendezvous on each of the steps: a platform or platforms to use, development strategy, content ideas, promotional tools, and monetization models. It’s vital to pay attention to every single decision throughout this journey. Now, time to get down to business.

Alex Zakrevsky is the CEO of Allroll marketing platform for CTV/OTT channel owners. Innovator, product lover, CTV, and programmatic enthusiast. He believes that the quality of the product always wins.

The post Five fears of channel owners: What spooks you about creating your own CTV app? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

October 2020 Updates to Paid Media Platforms

October 29, 2020 No Comments

In this monthly post, we bring you the latest news and changes from all of the major ad platforms. This month is focused on Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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LinkedIn’s Career Explorer helps you identify new kinds of jobs based on the skills you have

October 29, 2020 No Comments

One of the key side-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been how it has played out in the economy. There are currently 12.6 million people out of work in the U.S. alone, with estimates from the International Labour Organization noting that globally number some 245 million full-time jobs have been impacted.

To meet some of that challenge, today, LinkedIn is launching a new Career Explorer tool to help people find new jobs. Out in beta today in English (and adding further languages soon), this is not another job search engine. It’s a tool that matches a person’s skills with jobs that she or he might not have otherwise considered, and then provides pointers on what extra skills you might want to learn to be even more relevant.

Alongside this, LinkedIn is launching a new skills portal specifically to hone digital skills; subtle profile picture “frames” to indicate when you’re looking for work, or when you are hiring; and interview prep tools.

The Career Explorer tool is perhaps the most interesting of the new features.

Built with flexibility in mind, LinkedIn is leaning on its own trove of data to map some career paths that people have taken, combining that with data it has on jobs that are currently in higher demand, and are extrapolating that to help people get more creative about jobs they could go for.

This would be especially useful if there are none in their current field, or if they are considering using the opportunity of a job loss to rethink what they are doing (if Covid-19 hasn’t done the rethinking for them).

The example that LinkedIn gives for how this works is a notable one. It notes that a food server and a customer service specialist (an in-demand job) have a 71% skills overlap.

Neither might be strictly considered a “knowledge worker” (interesting that LinkedIn is positioning itself in that way, as it’s been a tool largely dominated by the category up to now), but both interface with customers. LinkedIn uses the Explorer to then suggest what training you could undertake (on its platform) to learn or improve the skills you might not already have.

The Career Explorer is a development on the skills assessment tool that LinkedIn launched last year, which were tests that people could take to verify what skills they had and what skills they still needed to learn for a particular role.

In the midst of a pandemic, that effort took on a more pointed recovery role, with skills training developed in partnership with Microsoft (which owns LinkedIn) specifically to address digital gaps in the employment market, which when filled could help the economy rebuild. LinkedIn said that to date, around 13 million people have used the those tools to learn new skills for the most in-demand jobs.

The idea with these new tools is that while people may be losing their jobs, there is still work out there. LinkedIn itself says it has more than 14 million positions open right now, with close to 40 million people coming to the site to search for work every week, and three people getting hired each minute. So the aim is to figure out how best to connect people with the opportunities around them.

And given that LinkedIn, now with 722 million users, has long made recruitment and job searches a central part of its business — both in terms of traffic and in terms of the revenue it makes from those services; I often think of it as the place where professionals go to network and look for work — launching these tools not only can help LinkedIn be a more useful partner in the job-search process. It helps keep that jobs business evolving at a time when it otherwise might feel somewhat stagnant. And after all, despite the activity on LinkedIn, unemployment remains high and some believe will get worse before it gets better again.

Social – TechCrunch

‘Watch Dogs: Legion’ Tackles Surveillance Without Humanity

October 29, 2020 No Comments

The game envisions a near future full of techno-dystopian surveillance, but it doesn’t have much to say about the people it affects.
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Where will we go with Personalized Knowledge Graphs?

October 28, 2020 No Comments

I’ve written a couple of posts about patents at Google on personalized knowledge graphs (a topic worth thinking about seriously).

Personalized Knowledge Graphs are structured information about entities personally related to a particular searcher, the attributes of those entities, the classifications of those entities, and knowledge about relationships between those entities, and between the entities and those attributes.

If Google creates a personalized knowledge graph for you, Google may look at your search history, pages that you have browsed, your emails, your social network posts, and other sources that may contain personalized information about you. Searchers and SEOs do not create personalized knowledge graphs, though Google may create personalized knowledge graphs for specific people.

These are not the knowledge panels that you see about specific entities in search results, but information seen in knowledge panels may be taken from knowledge graphs.

When Google introduced the “Knowledge Graph” in 2012, they told us about just one knowledge graph. But it appears that they didn’t intend the idea of a knowledge graph to be a singular one – there is more than one knowledge graph.

Google later came out with a patent that told us about how each query might return a set of results that a new knowledge graph could be created from to answer the original query. Those mini-knowledge graphs could end up being combined into a larger knowledge graph. I wrote about that patent (filed in 2017) in this post:

Answering Questions Using Knowledge Graphs.

Another patent I wrote about was one on User-Specific Knowledge Graphs: User-Specific Knowledge Graphs to Support Queries and Predictions. This patent was filed in November of 2013 and was created back then. These are personalized knowledge graphs based upon information taken from your search history, from pages you have browsed, and from documents such as emails and social networking posts that you have made and received. This patent tells us that these personalized knowledge graphs could be joined together to lead to a universal knowledge graph (combining non-user-specific knowledge graphs, and user-specific knowledge graphs.)

I also wrote about how Google might create personalized entity repositories for people to carry around with them on their mobile devices: A Personalized Entity Repository in the Knowledge Graph. What makes this interesting is that it causes a knowledge base of information to be contained on your computing device, such as a mobile phone or a tablet, which means that your answer doesn’t have to come from a server somewhere, and can come from a knowledge graph built on that personalized knowledge base from an entity repository built from a machine learning approach based on your search history and documents (emails, documents, social network posts) that you may access

A Google whitepaper created for the International Conference on Theory of Information Retrieval (ICTIR) 2019, October 2–5, 2019 – Personal Knowledge Graphs: A Research Agenda by Krisztian Balog and Tom Kenter Captures a lot of the ideas behind the User-Specific Knowledge Graph patent (originally filed in 2013).

The abstract tells us:

Knowledge graphs, organizing structured information about entities, and their attributes and relationships, are ubiquitous today. Entities, in this context, are usually taken to be anyone or anything considered to be globally important. This, however, rules out many entities people interact with daily.

In this position paper, we present the concept of personal knowledge graphs: resources of structured information about entities personally related to its user, including the ones that might not be globally important. We discuss key aspects that separate them for general knowledge graphs, identify the main challenges involved in constructing and using them, and define our search agenda.

The paper tells us about the purposes behind knowledge graphs:

Obvious use cases include enabling rich knowledge panels and direct answers in search result pages, powering smart assistants, supporting data exploration and visualization (tables and graphs), and facilitating media monitoring and reputation management

These are important and essential aspects of how search engines such as Google are working these days. What makes this paper interesting is that it tells us about knowledge graphs that do these things that are personalized to work with individuals. As the authors tell us:

In this position paper, we present the concept of a personal knowledge graph (PKG)—a resource of structured information about entities personally related to its user, their attributes, and the relations between them.

This paper is a good look at the direction that knowledge graphs are evolving towards, and is worth spending time with to see where they might go. This could be very much true when it comes to something such as personal assistants which you may use to with personal errands, such as making a restaurant reservation or booking a flight, or helping with entertainment at homes, such as movies or music or news.

The paper suggests some research that might be done on personalized knowledge graphs in the future and presents several ideas on how to bring these concepts into actual use.

Krisztian Balog was a visiting Scholar at Google for over a year, and a computer science professor when he wrote the above paper. He has an open access book on the Springer Website (at no charge) on Entity Oriented Search, which is highly recommended. It captures well a lot of what I have seen at Google on Entities.

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