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Archive | October, 2012

Samsung Taking Potshots at iPhone 5

A new ad was released by South Korean technology giant Samsung with the recent launch of the iPhone 5 and its associated hoopla. The digs are uploaded on the Web, where YouTube has counted off three million views.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf5-Prx19ZM

The ad reiterates that the iPhone has fewer features than Samsung’s very own Samsung Galaxy S III while at the same time saying what it has always said since the Galaxy S II, that “The Next Big Thing is Already Here.” In a nutshell, Samsung takes a dig at Apple’s claims of bigger screens and LTE connectivity in its iPhone 5 when the very same features have been with Samsung even in earlier versions.

This very same tact, insulting customers to lure them to buy one’s products, was used by Apple in its “Get a Mac” commercials in the past. In reality, there are features in the Galaxy SIII that are not found in the iPhone5. When the user requires a big screen as well as an existing NFC chip, then the iPhone falls behind the mightier Galaxy S III.

Not only is there a battle in the marketing arena, but in the courts as well. According to Samsung, Apple’s iPhone5 will be included in the patent infringement suit filed against the American technology innovator. The amendment will be filed with the original case at the Northern District Court of California after Samsung has undertaken a ‘reasonable opportunity’ to examine the new phone. The Korean giant is ‘anticipating’ that it will find reason to include the phone in their court case.

In a formal statement, Samsung declared, “We have always preferred to compete in the marketplace with our innovative products rather than in courtrooms. However, Apple continues to take aggressive legal measures that will limit market competition. Under these circumstances, we have little choice but to take steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.”

The effect of this legal battle won’t affect the ultimate end users, the consumers, as the iPhone5 has been launched and made available in the next few months to the corners of the Earth, both far and wide.

Round one seems to have gone Apple’s way, as a jury found that Samsung had infringed on Apple’s patents on a different intellectual property case, ordering the Korean firm to pay the American firm over one billion dollars in damages. The case covers a number of technologies in smartphones, media players and tablets and is currently on appeal.

Let the Games continue!

Updates on Panda and Penguin

Matt Cutts, speaking before a SES conference in San Francisco last month, announced another round of major changes that would again turn the Web Traffic Optimization world on its head. Google, as Cutts described, is currently in the process and would soon be releasing updates. This means another death knell for companies that have invested time and effort into their SEO campaigns, requiring another round of going back to the SEO strategy fundamentals as well as a review of social networking processes to avoid being hit hard, again.

Many now understand that manipulation of the Internet through purchase of links for advertising purposes is a definite no- no with Google. Many fail to realize that social media platforms are immune to the upcoming updates even from Google.

Cutts admits this by saying, “Google can only use social signals from Open Graph sources. It can’t crawl Facebook pages to see who is reputable, reliable or has real world impact as a brand has on those platforms. (Twitter) is a private service, If Twitter wants to suspend someone’s service, they can. Google was able to crawl Twitter until its deal ended and Google was blocked from crawling those pages for 1.5 months. As such, Google is cautious about using that as a signal – Twitter can shut it off at any time.”

This means that businesses that utilize social media should continue on their social media marketing campaigns. Bots from Google may not be able to check you social media page all the time but with Twitter, Google may be able to shut down these errant SEO strategies and tactics.

Thus for the time being, it is best to forge ahead with your plan, but do be prepared for the coming storm. When your site is compliant with current updates, resulting in great content and high page ranking, avoid making changes. It is best to leave the changes with the experts before being decimated again by a Google update.

Yahoo Becoming More Like Google

One of the first moves of new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is patterning the workplace to look like her former office, Google. (For the uninitiated, Marissa Mayer was a former Google executive who was recently hired as CEO of Yahoo). Her first order of business is to have a weekly Friday afternoon all-hands-on-deck general meeting at the search engine’s Sunnyvale HQ.

At the first meeting, her first change was to make available food at Yahoo’s URL Café in Silicon Valley for free for all engineers and employees. This has caused some ripples with the finance department, but this is how she envisions Yahoo for the next generation: much like her old office at Google. Other reported changes are to the layout of work spaces and buildings to make it more collaborative friendly, and upgrades to its current store shelves.

This focus on work culture at Yahoo is a known blueprint for Google in co-opting with the employees to produce not only sterling work but also a great work environment. The past few years for Yahoo have been more than dismal, with a string of layoffs, management changes and continued doldrums in market share and other business prospects.

According to one long time Yahoo employee, “It might be just a small thing, but people are thrilled.” These are but small changes, and CEO Mayer has more serious business to undertake, especially pushing for product innovation as the only means to have Yahoo survive. These include having better email, better Flickr, better search, better ad-serving or in a nutshell, being better in all that Yahoo has to offer. This is a tall order even for a Google savvy exec bent on search and innovation, which is where her vision lies in her new role as CEO of Yahoo.

According to one insider, “This is the sound of Yahoo becoming a technology company again. It will be all about platforms and products.” This translates to a big splashy tech innovation or product deals in the coming days, maybe even through acquisition of other media tech companies. On the menu are ad tech company Pubmatic and high profile product Flipboard.

In order to achieve this, the new CEO would need a team that shares in her vision and acumen. The question is, will all the new hires of the new CEO be given the green light as Google CEO’s Larry Page gave her during her tenure at Google? One such way that she seems to be moving forward is her asking all her direct reports for specific strategic plans in the next 45 days. While the old guard may leave CEO, many Google brethren are joining Mayer in Yahoo.

As many say, there are many Google changes in Yahoo.