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Tag: Industry

Startups at the speed of light: Lidar CEOs put their industry in perspective

June 30, 2019 No Comments

As autonomous cars and robots loom over the landscapes of cities and jobs alike, the technologies that empower them are forming sub-industries of their own. One of those is lidar, which has become an indispensable tool to autonomy, spawning dozens of companies and attracting hundreds of millions in venture funding.

But like all industries built on top of fast-moving technologies, lidar and the sensing business is by definition built somewhat upon a foundation of shifting sands. New research appears weekly advancing the art, and no less frequently are new partnerships minted, as car manufacturers like Audi and BMW scramble to keep ahead of their peers in the emerging autonomy economy.

To compete in the lidar industry means not just to create and follow through on difficult research and engineering, but to be prepared to react with agility as the market shifts in response to trends, regulations, and disasters.

I talked with several CEOs and investors in the lidar space to find out how the industry is changing, how they plan to compete, and what the next few years have in store.

Their opinions and predictions sometimes synced up and at other times diverged completely. For some, the future lies manifestly in partnerships they have already established and hope to nurture, while others feel that it’s too early for automakers to commit, and they’re stringing startups along one non-exclusive contract at a time.

All agreed that the technology itself is obviously important, but not so important that investors will wait forever for engineers to get it out of the lab.

And while some felt a sensor company has no business building a full-stack autonomy solution, others suggested that’s the only way to attract customers navigating a strange new market.

It’s a flourishing market but one, they all agreed, that will experience a major consolidation in the next year. In short, it’s a wild west of ideas, plentiful money, and a bright future — for some.

The evolution of lidar

I’ve previously written an introduction to lidar, but in short, lidar units project lasers out into the world and measure how they are reflected, producing a 3D picture of the environment around them.

Gadgets – TechCrunch


The Importance of Educating Clients in the PPC Marketing Industry

June 28, 2019 No Comments

When a Search Marketing Agency pitches a new client, they may provide them a complimentary audit, initial strategy overview, competitive analysis, etc… However, once the client signs on the dotted line and the work begins, more often than not, overt time the client slips into the dark with regard to the specifics. These specifics consist of the day-to-day “blocking and tackling” of PPC. (keyword matching, search queries, ctr%, quality score, competitive bidding, affiliate hijacking, etc…). When something goes wrong with an account (and is always does), the PPC Marketer/Agency needs to explain the cause and effect and it is that situation where the client needs to know what they hell they are talking about.

In this post, I will discuss some specific instances where it’s in the best interest of both parties to educate one another in order to not only grow the business, but to keep the relationship from turning sour.

Discuss What Metrics Matter Most

Regardless of how seasoned a client/prospect might be with regard to “PPC metric lingo”, it’s in the best interest of both parties to explain which metrics matter the most and why. Sometimes, Adwords metrics such as interactions, engagement rates, etc… are not exactly accurate on measuring success. Success is should identified by conversions. For example, take this scenario.

  • Increased Impressions: In general, one might think this is a good thing but depending on the targeting and platform, absolutely NOT and here’s why.
    • Search Networks: More impressions can reduce the CTR% which in turn lower Quality Score and hence, result in higher costs and worse AVG Position. This also results in additional “irrelevant” traffic that will drive up budgets and lower the overall Cost/Conversion.
    • Display Networks: Depending on the bidding options, (especially CPM) an increase in impressions will only drive up costs. Need to make sure CPC is set to this option.

The Influence of Competitors:

When a company enters the world of PPC Marketing, they will encounter competitors not only bidding on similar keywords, but also their “sacred” brand terms and this can have a detrimental effect on the overall performance of the account. It’s important to keep a watchful eye on this and develop strategies to counteract this problem. Here are some strategies to protect the brand:

  • Make sure the client files their trademark with Google to ensure no one else can use their trademarked term in text Ads.
  • Send an email/letter to all Affiliates and Resellers that they are NOT permitted to bid on the trademarked name in any of their Text/Banner Ads.
  • Contact competitors directly and ask them to stop bidding on their trademark terms. (if they do not oblige, getting legal assistance would be beneficial)

Attribution of other Online or Offline Advertising

Attribution can be a tricky thing to interpret, especially to a client, but it’s imperative to tell a story that makes sense. Understanding attribution varies depending on the life cycle of the client (history, offline advertising, social media presence, etc..). Typically, a new advertiser will have to rely on “non-brand” terms to drive the most relevant traffic to their product or service. Once history as been accumulated and more people get familiar with the brand, consumers will ultimately type in their brand name (Search Engine, Direct/Bookmark) to get to their site.

The client needs to understand that it will take time to grow their brand and that this is a revolving cycles. For example, “non-branded” terms are more costly and do not provide many conversions so we automatically want to pause the campaign. Bad Idea! Quite often, the “non-brand” terms are the first point of contact that introduce the brand. Yes, it costs more money, does not result in an immediate conversion, but over time it’s what generated the customer.

Importance of “After-the-Click”

Perfecting the fundamentals of Quality Score in a campaign is a good thing. Buuuut….. it’s only half the battle. The other half is persuading the customer to take an action and frankly that is the only thing that matters here. Even though the term “after-the-click” is simple in its meaning, execution is another story. It is this strategic obstacle that can be achieved, but requires constant and intelligent testing to ensure maximum effectiveness. Bottom line: The client needs to understand that in order to maximize their Ad dollars, they will need to the invest time and money into these strategies. The following Tactics would include:

  • A/B Landing Page Testing
  • Cart/Form Testing
  • Audience Testing
  • Promotion/Offer Testing

The Trust Factor:

It’s very easy for customers to trust the platform that they are advertising on. There is this “fuzzy / comfortable” feeling that if Google recommends it, then it must be a good strategy. However, I would strongly recommend that any of the Google’s Opportunities  (even though sometimes justified) need to be viewed as a just a suggestion, not an immediate decision. Remember, Google is a lucrative business because they want advertisers to spend more money with them. Increasing traffic and spend may sound good on paper, but they do not come with any guarantees in terms of conversions. When appropriate, clients need to understand the difference.

In Conclusion:

There is a “fine-line” that needs to be met where Agencies need to maintain control the PPC Accounts, while allowing the client to continue to interact and take part in the overall strategy. One way to overcome any potential issues is to educate them on all of the intricacies that may occur throughout the client-agency relationship. Once the client has developed a good rapport with the agency, it becomes easier to properly manage their performance expectations.


PPC Marketing Consultant | Google Ads Agency


Regulation in the SEO industry – Impossible or essential?

June 8, 2019 No Comments

We all get them, the offers of free SEO audits, of thousands of backlinks from “DA 40 and above” sites for just $ 10 and the “helpful” list of spurious SEO issues with your website.

Checking your junk folder every morning reveals another round of emails offering the SEO-moon-on-a-stick for a low, low price. As an SEO working for a search marketing agency I used to find receiving these emails misplaced but amusing.

Screenshot of email received listing questionable SEO issues with the Avenue Digital website

Email received listing questionable SEO issues with the Avenue Digital website

I no longer laugh at these emails. These annoyances, although easily ignored through the press of the “delete” key, reveal something more sinister about the SEO industry – really anyone can offer SEO services. What the SEO-literate might discard as part of their daily email purge others will read, digest and panic over. Receiving an email claiming you could be losing hundreds of dollars a day through the poor optimization of your website is enough to make anyone outside of the industry sit-up and take notice. Small businesses appear to be particularly vulnerable, and it’s not just emails that they are subjected to. During my time working as an in-house marketer, I became aware of just how often businesses are pestered over the phone by people claiming to work for Google, who, in reality, wanted to sell links or directory listings. I’ve also seen the regret of local businesses who have taken them up on their offer and then needed to turn to a legitimate SEO to fix their sites after they’ve accrued manual actions or dropped off the SERPs for their core, revenue-driving terms.

The problem, as I see it, is that “legitimate SEO” is a subjective term. Within our industry, there are no definitive criteria someone must meet before they can call themselves an SEO.  Whereas in other professions there are minimum qualifications before one can practice, with search engine optimization the barrier to entry is a laptop and enough knowledge of the lingo to convince a layman of your expertise.  How, then, are prospective clients supposed to determine if the practitioner they are looking to work with, or hire, actually has the ability to do a good job?

My agency, Avenue Digital, has been trying to combat this issue with education.  Our guide on how to find the best SEO agency for your business is the culmination of years of talking to clients about their previous disappointments with agencies and our own experiences of taking over the websites of clients who have suffered at the hands of mavericks. Unfortunately, this is just one step in the right direction. Does there need to be more done to protect vulnerable businesses from the expensive mistake of hiring a poor performing SEO or agency? Does our industry need to be regulated?

This is something I’ve been mulling over for a while, so I threw the question out to SEO Twitter, and was surprised and impressed by the volume of responses.

It appears that many SEOs in the industry are in favor of doing something to bring a quality standard to our work. There were many suggestions; qualifications, ongoing professional development, and governing bodies.

The issue

Unlike medicine which has a set of accepted premises and procedures that each aspiring doctor must train in and be tested on, SEO is highly disputed and one person’s “best practice” is another’s route to failure. In response to my question about regulation Dawn Anderson, MD of Move It Marketing raised a very good point that, “the industry is based largely on educated opinion. We cannot even agree on subdomains versus subfolders.” How then are we to regulate an industry that can’t even agree with what “right” is?

It’s true that as SEOs our methods often differ, but is there a way we can ensure that all people offering it as a service are upholding a minimum standard of quality?

Governing body

An obvious way of regulating the industry would be through the formation of a body that oversees the conduct of registered members. Through membership the SEO would agree to be subject to the governance of the body, adhering to its rules. Members could be recorded on a list that would be available to companies to access in order to check if the agency or contractor they are considering is a member.

This would have its own limitations, however. As previously discussed, agreeing on rules under which the SEOs would operate would be tough. It would be simple to agree on client treatment and standards of reporting for instance, but as there’s no universally agreed upon method of conducting search engine optimization. It would be hard to police the methods and results of these registered practitioners.

External auditing

For a governing body to be successful at monitoring the work of its members there would need to be a robust auditing process.  Stephen Kenwright, SEO speaker and trainer suggested, “The most obvious way for a regulator to work in this industry is to turn Google’s webmaster guidelines into a checklist and audit an agency’s accounts like Ofsted in schools.”

Twitter message from Stephen Kenwright suggesting regulation through a Google-inspired checklist

Twitter message from Stephen Kenwright suggesting regulation through a Google-inspired checklist

This would ensure that members are adhering to the guidelines that Google sets out for inclusion in its search engine and could help protect clients from suffering manual actions as a result of poor SEO practice.

External auditing checklists may need to be extended past Google’s guidelines. In order to ensure SEOs’ optimizing for other search engines are still monitored but not hampered in their efforts, the list would need to be more generic. There is also the question of how “grey hat” SEO would be treated under this system.

There might also be client privacy issues and the associated paperwork could be too time-consuming for sole-practitioners to bare. Fees would likely need to be charged which could be cost prohibitive for newer agencies or contractors.

Code of practice

Perhaps the answer isn’t in a series of rigid rules, but a code of practice that the practitioner signs up to?  As SEO Consultant Ric Rodriguez suggested, “regulating the industry is going to be really difficult. To start with, we’d need to establish a baseline code of practice, which given the subjectivity of the channel, is difficult in its own right”. This is a fair point, how does a code of practice get universally accepted in an industry that does not have an agreed upon standard of “good practice”? As Ric suggests, “given SEO is unpredictable, it’s hard to regulate mis-selling around results because no one can predict them”, so perhaps the code should center around tempering the promises made to prospective clients, to prevent unrealistic expectations following impossible claims.

Education

Suggestions have been made that the onus shouldn’t be on the SEO industry to regulate itself but on educating clients to make more informed decisions.  Rodriguez proposed, “what I think could work is an established body, that puts out information on “good advice”, offers a support function, that’s impartial […] it’s not regulation, but it may help filter out bad selling practices”

Through the formation of a trusted body that provides support and advice, businesses with little understanding of SEO good practice might feel more confident in what to look for in SEO support. They would have access to impartial experts who could provide advice on whether an agency seems trustworthy.

Ethics clauses

Another argument is that the risk is so great that SEO consultants should make a point of formalizing their commitment to their clients’ successes in their contracts. This would give clients legal recourse if they felt their agency had not met their agreement, however they would only be as enforceable as local laws allowed and it would be natural for agencies or individuals engaging in shady practices to opt-out of including these clauses or make them so loose they wouldn’t really protect the client from much.

Certification

If the industry and self-regulation are too hard to achieve then perhaps the answer lies in increasing the knowledge and expertise of SEOs and recognizing this through qualifications. Many tool providers and agencies offer SEO training programs of varying subject matter and complexity, often accompanied by a certificate. These go some way to reassuring clients that their prospective SEO partner knows a thing or two about the industry but they don ‘t necessarily guarantee that the knowledge gained through the course could be put into action effectively on their or others’ campaigns.

The other issue with training courses and certification is the qualifications are only good at certifying the knowledge gained at that moment in time. With the way digital marketing and SEO progress, it would be hard to prevent a certification from becoming outdated quickly.

Continuing professional development

Perhaps then, if the certification process isn’t sufficient due to the ever-changing nature of SEO, we need to look at continuing professional development. Institutes like the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in the UK marries both the certification and ongoing development process well. Members of the Institute become “chartered” after displaying sufficient knowledge of marketing either through the CIM qualifications or work experience. Once they are chartered they need to undergo a certain number of hours to continue professional development each year in order to remain chartered. A similar system for the SEO industry would ensure that practitioners are kept current on developments through attendance at conferences, training courses, and meetups.

Conclusion

It’s important to ensure that clients and in-house teams are confident that the SEO they get support from knows what they are doing. How this is achieved is a more complex issue. As with SEO itself, there isn’t a cut and dry solution. One thing is clear however, for the quality of SEO provision to improve education is key – both for practitioners and the businesses who hire them.

Helen Pollitt is the Head of SEO Avenue Digital. She can be found on Twitter @HelenPollitt1.
Share your views, opinions, and suggestions in the comments.

The post Regulation in the SEO industry – Impossible or essential? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Google Ads conversion rates by industry: How do you compare?

January 5, 2019 No Comments

Google Ads is an expensive game if you get it wrong.

So, we figure you’re doing what you can to measure the performance of your campaigns. But just how are you doing that?

Our best guess is you’re using your own historical data to measure your success. Of course, the inbuilt problem there is that it’s only your data. And there are few actionable insights you can get from it.

Now, we’re not saying it’s useless. These metrics will show you if you’re improving month-on-month, but the data will only show you how you’re improving against yourself.

Because when you look at your own historical data, pretty much all you can take from it is: are we doing better than we were doing before?

If the answer is no, then back to the drawing board, but if the answer is yes, you’re doing better than before, so good for you.

But how does your data stack up against the average across your industry?

We’re going to go out on a limb and say you don’t know the answer. You don’t know how you stack up against industry averages. And we’ll tell you why you don’t know…

Because that information is not so easy to get your hands on, and for most businesses it’s to all practical intents impossible.

And until you do know how you’re doing against industry averages, you’ll never know if your campaign is a true blockbuster.

Numbers: Google Ads across industry

A few years ago, Wordstream started running analysis of their client accounts to find answers on conversion rates, cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), and cost per action (CPA) by industry.

We also covered this back in 2016, if you’d like to compare how the numbers have changed.

These figures are based on a sample of 14,197 client accounts in all verticals — totaling more $ 200 million in aggregate Google Ads spend.

Their stated goal was to establish CVR (average conversion rate) for both search and display ads.

They ran the analysis across 20 different industries including the following:

  • Auto
  • Advocacy
  • B2B
  • Consumer Services
  • Dating & Personals
  • Ecommerce
  • Education
  • Employment Services
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Hospitality
  • Home Goods
  • Industrial Services
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Medical
  • Real Estate
  • Technology
  • Travel

So, what is the average conversion rate for Search and Display?

On average then, Google Ads advertisers are getting conversion rates of 3.17% on the Search network and 0.46% on the Display network. These averages have climbed significantly over the past couple years, an encouraging trend for agencies and advertisers alike.

How do those figures compare to what you are seeing — are they a relief or a shock?

Benchmark figures are important to your business

Without a benchmark it really is next to impossible to say how well you’re doing.

Maybe you had a CVR of 0.5% and you boosted that up to 1.5% — if you report that based only on your own historical data then it sounds great, right? However, you now know that the industry benchmark for the Search network is 3.17%. So if your CVR is 1.5% then you’re a long way behind the industry average.

And if your campaign isn’t hitting the average, then there’s no way to dress it up. A lot of work needs to be done just to get it to average levels. Let’s be blunt, who wants to be average?

Ask anyone if they want to be average and you already know the answer you’re going to get – nobody!

Now, if you’re not even halfway to the average CVR then average might seem attractive – but you can do so much better than average. Don’t settle for it. Use the average as marker, get your campaign up to the average and then do all you can to push it over and above. Make it a super high performing unicorn instead!

via GIPHY

Now, we know that the top 10% of advertisers are getting five times better than the average rates. Once you get past that average marker you can go onto create highly profitable campaigns.

Okay, that’s the Search network, now what about Display ads?

The top converting ads on the display network will surprise you

What do you think the top converting ads on the Display network are?

Perhaps ecommerce? Or maybe travel and hospitality because they are so much fun compared to insurance?

Well, as we said, you might be surprised.

Ecommerce along with travel and hospitality are among the very lowest of all conversion rates across all industries on Google Display ads.

The number one winner is…

Dating and personals!

That’s right. Converting at an average of 3.34%, this swelling industry has outflanked finance and insurance to lead the pack for average CVR in terms of Display.

The top five best converting industry types (according to SEW) for Display:

  • Dating and Personals 3.34% CVR
  • Legal: 1.84% CVR
  • Employment Services: 1.57% CVR
  • Finance and Insurance: 1.19% CVR
  • Auto: 1.19% CVR

And who comes in at the bottom of the pile for Display?

The very worst CVR of all industries is…

Home Goods. The CVR here is an abysmal 0.43%.

The top industry smashing it for Search CVR is dating and personals. This has a staggering 9.64% CVR on the SERPs, which is an unbelievable 2.66% higher than legal in a distant second place.

Here are the top 5 converting industries for Search:

  1. Dating and Personals: 9.64% CVR
  2. Legal: 6.98% CVR
  3. Consumer Services: 6.64% CVR
  4. Employment Services: 5.13% CVR
  5. Finance and Insurance: 5.10% CVR

Knowing these benchmarks is vital to your business. As we stated from the get-go, you need to know where you stand against others in your industry. This is the only meaningful way to accurately estimate your costs and ROI. If you don’t do this, you’ll take the historical data you have and maybe think you’re doing well — when really you’re way behind even the average.

Here are the rest of the numbers for Google Ads conversion rates by industry for Search and Display:

google ads conversion rates by industry

Image Source: WordStream

The post Google Ads conversion rates by industry: How do you compare? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Search industry news and trends: Best of 2018

January 1, 2019 No Comments

It’s that time of the year again: reflecting on the year that’s past as we prepare for 2019 lurking around the corner. In this article, we have a roundup of some of our fan favorite pieces from 2018 on news and trends from the search industry.

From alternative search engines to future trends, best online courses to algorithm updates, these were some of our highlights from the past year.

We also have a roundup of our top articles on SEO tips and tricks here.

1. No need for Google: 12 alternative search engines in 2018

While many of us use “googling” synonymously with “searching,” there are indeed a number of viable alternatives out there. In this article, we try to give some love to 12 alternative search engines.

Most of us can name the next few: Bing, Yandex, Baidu, DuckDuckGo.

But some on the list may surprise you — how about Ecosia, a Co2-neutral search engine? With every search made, the social business uses the revenue generated to plant trees. On average, 45 searches gets one more tree for our little planet.

2019 might be a year for a little more time spent with some G alternatives.

2. Which is the best search engine for finding images?

Human beings process visuals faster than they do text. So it makes sense that in the last decade, the number of images on the internet has ballooned.

In this post, we compare the best search engines for conducting three categories of image search on the web.

First, general / traditional image search, looking at Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Then, reverse image search, looking at TinEye, Google, and Pinterest.

Third, free-to-use image search, looking at EveryPixel, Librestock, and the Creative Commons.

3. The 2018 guide to free SEO training courses online

As all good SEOs know, this is a never-ending process. The SEO world seems to be constantly evolving, and nearly everyone in the field has learned their snuff largely through online material.

For anyone who’s new to the scene, this can be an encouraging thought. We all started mostly just poking around on the interwebs to see what to do next. And happily, a lot of the best SEO material is freely available for all.

In this article, we look at the best online, free SEO training courses. From Google to Moz to QuickSprout and more, these are fundamentals that anyone can start with.

We also highlight a number of individuals and businesses to follow in the industry.

4. Video and search: YouTube, Google, the alternatives and the future

One third of all time spent online is accounted for by watching video. And, it’s predicted that 80% of all internet traffic will come from video in 2019.

This year was further proof that videos engage growing numbers of users and consequently have an impact on the SERPs. In fact, video has been seen to boost traffic from organic listings by as much as 157%.

In this article, we explore how the ways in which we search for video are changing. From YouTube to Google Search, Facebook to Vimeo, video — and how we interact with video content online — has seen some interesting changes.

5. Are keywords still relevant to SEO in 2018?

Sneak peak: this one starts out with, “What a useless article! Anyone worth their salt in the SEO industry knows that a blinkered focus on keywords in 2018 is a recipe for disaster.”

We go on to explore why focusing on just keywords is outdated, how various algorithm updates have changed the game, and what we should do now instead.

Ps: the snarky take sticks throughout the read, along with the quality overview.

6. Google’s core algorithm update: Who benefited, who lost out, and what can we learn?

This was an interesting piece following an algorithm update from back in March. There were suspicions, Google SearchLiason tweeted a confirmation, and everyone had to reassess.

Via a simple query, “What’s the best toothpaste?” and the results Google outputted over the course of half a dozen weeks, we can trace certain changes.

What pages benefitted, what can those insights tell us about the update, and how do we handle when our content visibility nosedives?

7. A cheat sheet to Google algorithm updates from 2011 to 2018

Who couldn’t use one of these hanging around?

Google makes changes to its ranking algorithm almost every day. Sometimes (most times) we don’t know about them, sometimes they turn the SERPs upside down.

This cheat sheet gives the most important algorithm updates of the recent years, along with some handy tips for how to optimize for each of the updates.

Well, that’s it for SEW in 2018. See you next year!

The post Search industry news and trends: Best of 2018 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Podcast industry aims to better track listeners through new analytics tech called RAD

December 12, 2018 No Comments

Internet users are already being tracked to death, with ads that follow us around, search histories that are collected and stored, emails that report back to senders when they’ve been read, websites that know where you scrolled and what you clicked and much more. So naturally, the growing podcast industry wanted to find a way to collect more data of its own, too.

Yes, that’s right. Podcasts will now track detailed user behavior, too.

Today, NPR announced RAD, a new, open-sourced podcast analytics technology that was developed in partnership with nearly 30 companies from the podcasting industry. The technology aims to help publishers collect more comprehensive and standardized listening metrics from across platforms.

Specifically, the technology gives publishers — and therefore their advertisers, as well — access to a wide range of listener metrics, including downloads, starts and stops, completed ad or credit listens, partial ad or credit listens, ad or credit skips and content quartiles, the RAD website explains.

However, the technology stops short of offering detailed user profiles, and cannot be used to re-target or track listeners, the site notes. It’s still anonymized, aggregated statistics.

It’s worth pointing out that RAD is not the first time podcasters have been able to track engagement. Major platforms, including Apple’s Podcast Analytics, today offer granular and anonymized data, including listens.But NPR says that data requires “a great deal of manual analysis” as the stats aren’t standardized nor as complete as they could be. RAD is an attempt to change that, by offering a tracking mechanism everyone can use.

Already, RAD has a lot of support. In addition to being integrated into NPR’s own NPR One app, it has commitments from several others that will introduce the technology into their own products in 2019, including Acast, AdsWizz, ART19, Awesound, Blubrry Podcasting, Panoply, Omny Studio, Podtrac, PRI/PRX, RadioPublic, Triton Digital and WideOrbit.

Other companies that supported RAD and participated in its development include Cadence13, Edison Research, ESPN, Google, iHeartMedia, Libsyn, The New York Times, New York Public Radio and Wondery.

NPR says the NPR One app on Android supports RAD as of now, and its iOS app will do the same in 2019.

“Over the course of the past year, we have been refining these concepts and the technology in collaboration with some of the smartest people in podcasting from around the world,” said Joel Sucherman, vice president, New Platform Partnerships at NPR, in an announcement. “We needed to take painstaking care to prove out our commitment to the privacy of listeners, while providing a standard that the industry could rally around in our collective efforts to continue to evolve the podcasting space,” he said.

To use RAD technology, publishers will mark within their audio files certain points — like quartiles or some time markers, interview spots, sponsorship messages or ads — with RAD tags and indicate an analytics URL. A mobile app is configured to read the RAD tags and then, when listeners hit that spot in the file, that information is sent to the URL in an anonymized format.

The end result is that podcasters know just what parts of the audio file their listeners heard, and is able to track this at scale across platforms. (RAD is offering both Android and iOS SDKs.)

While there’s value in podcast data that goes beyond the download, not all are sold on technology.

Most notably, the developer behind the popular iOS podcast player app Overcast, Marco Arment, today publicly stated his app will not support any listener-tracking specs.

“I understand why huge podcast companies want more listener data, but there are zero advantages for listeners or app-makers,” Arment wrote in a tweet. “Podcasters get enough data from your IP address when you download episodes,” he said.

The developer also pointed out this sort of data collection required more work on the podcasters’ part and could become a GDPR liability, as well. (NPR tells us GDPR compliance is up to the mobile apps and analytics servers, as noted in the specs here.)

In addition to NPR’s use of RAD today, Podtrac has also now launched a beta program to show RAD data, which is open to interested publishers.

Mobile – TechCrunch


BlueJeans Network names industry vet Quentin Gallivan as CEO

August 9, 2017 No Comments

 BlueJeans Network, the cloud video and collaboration company, announced today that Quentin Gallivan, an industry veteran who has helped run several tech companies, will be taking over as CEO. Former CEO and company founder Krish Ramakrishnan will remain with the company and take on the role of executive chairman. He will also continue to lead strategy and innovation. Ramakrishnan doesn’t… Read More
Enterprise – TechCrunch


The Best of the Best Industry Updates of 2017

June 9, 2017 No Comments

Every month, the PPC experts at Hanapin have a day of training that includes the newest updates and features our team needs to know. We know how hard it is to keep up with the all the consistent changes in the PPC world, and we want to help you out. In this whitepaper, we’ll discuss what we’ve dubbed as our favorite updates that you can’t miss out on when you’re seeking a refresh in your marketing mix.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


Eligible founder Katelyn Gleason’s plan to upend the billion dollar medical billing industry

March 27, 2017 No Comments

 Medical billing is a largely untapped and lucrative industry, potentially pulling in $ 55 billion globally by 2020. But its inner workings are still very murky — most of the time it’s not clear how much something will cost and sometimes you don’t even get the (possibly whopping) bill until months down the road. Founder Katelyn Gleason wants to make it easier to know what and… Read More
Enterprise – TechCrunch


Reduced Energy Microsystems pits startup chip chops against industry giants

March 17, 2017 No Comments

 Whether or not you like the so-called Internet of Things, the fact is that we do live in an internet of things, and every one of those things has a chip inside it. These chips are very advanced, of course, but also in many ways very traditional. Reduced Energy Microsystems wants to upend the status quo with a chip tech that the competition is too set in their ways to adopt. Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch