Archive for the ‘June’ tag
It’s back. And it’s bigger than ever. I’m talking about Google’s monthly announcement of search quality/algorithm changes — an announcement that the company skipped in July, making the one that they posted late Friday afternoon the biggest ever, with a reported 86…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
After missing the June search quality update, Google came back with a dual post in August for 86 updates in June and July.
You can see the full list on the Google Search blog but here it is broken down by category…
You can see the full list on the Google Search blog but here it is broken down by category, excluding some of the more user interface or smart answer options.
- ng2. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] Better ordering of top results using a new and improved ranking function for combining several key ranking features.
- Ref-16. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] Changes to an “official pages” algorithm to improve internationalization.
- Bamse. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This launch helps you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
- Bamse-17L. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This launch helps you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
- GreenLandII. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] We’ve incorporated new data into the Panda algorithm to better detect high-quality sites and pages.
- #82353. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This change refreshes data for the Panda high-quality sites algorithm.
- komodo. [project codename âQuery Understandingâ] Data refresh for system used to better understand and search for long-tail queries.
- #82367. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] This launch helps you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
- Lime. [project codename âFreshnessâ] This change improves the interaction between various search components to improve search results for searches looking for fresh content.
- #82666. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This launch helps you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
- #82541. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] This is one of multiple projects that we’re working on to make our system for clustering web results better and simpler.
- PandaMay. [project codename âSearch Qualityâ] We launched a data refresh for our Panda high-quality sites algorithm.
- Hamel. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This change updates a model we use to help you find high-quality pages with unique content.
- #82301. [project codename âIndexingâ] This change improves an aspect of our serving systems to save capacity and improve latency.
- Panda JK. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] We launched Panda on google.co.jp and google.co.kr to promote more high-quality sites for users in Japan and Korea.
- rrfix4. [project codename âFreshnessâ] This is a bug fix to a freshness algorithm. This change turns off a freshness algorithm component in certain cases when it should not be affecting the results.
- JnBamboo. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] Weâve updated data for our Panda high-quality sites algorithm.
- NoPathsForClustering. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] We’ve made our algorithm for clustering web results from the same site or same path (same URL up until the last slash) more consistent. This is one of multiple projects that we’re working on to make our clustering system better and simpler.
- bergen. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] This is one of multiple projects that we’re working on to make our system for clustering web results better and simpler.
- Zivango. [project codename âRefinementsâ] This change leads to more diverse search refinements.
Snippets & Sitelinks
- gas station. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This change removes the boilerplate text in sitelinks titles, keeping only the information useful to the user.
- Manzana2. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This launch improves clustering and ranking of links in the expanded sitelinks feature.
- yoyo. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This change leads to more useful text in sitelinks.
- Challenger. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This is another change that will help get rid of generic boilerplate text in Web results’ titles, particularly for sitelinks.
- #80568. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This change improves our algorithm for generating site hierarchies for display in search result snippets.
- SuperQ2. [project codename âImageâ] We’ve updated a signal for Google Images to help return more on-topic image search results.
- CapAndGown. [project codename âImageâ] On many webpages, the most important images are closely related to the overall subject matter of the page. This project helps you find these salient images more often.
- Vuvuzela. [project codename âSafeSearchâ] We’ve updated SafeSearch to unify the handling of adult video content in videos mode and in the main search results. Explicit video thumbnails are now filtered more consistently.
- ItsyBitsy. [project codename âImagesâ] To improve the quality of image results, we filter tiny, unhelpful images at the bottom of our image results pages.
- Labradoodle. [project codename âSafeSearchâ] We’ve updated SafeSearch algorithms to better detect adult content.
A Look Inside Airbnb’s Record Night: 60,000 Guests, 174 Countries, 30 Languages, And 8 Private Islands
Airbnb, the online marketplace for listing and booking short-term housing accommodations, has been on a roll lately: In June it hit 10 million nights booked, boasting hockey stick-like growth along the way. Well, it had a really big night last Saturday, hitting a new record with more than 60,000 guests booking lodgings through the service. Not only was that five times the number of guests it had a year prior, but a large number of those guests — 75 percent — were using the marketplace for the first time.
Airbnb is using the occasion to highlight the international community it has amassed, along with some of the unique lodgings that it boasts. It noted guests from 174 different countries around the world, including guests from far-off locales like Zimbabwe and Nepal.
Two-thirds of guests were from outside the United States, and speak more than 30 different languages, including Japanese, Arabic, Bengali, Punjabi, Tagalog, Finnish, and Sign Language. Of the international community, France had the most number of guests, with 6,800, as pretty much the entire country goes on vacation during August. Airbnb also saw 800 guests from Brazil and 120 from India.
Not surprisingly, there was a lot of activity in London due to the Summer Olympic Games. Airbnb prepped for this by acquiring UK-based Crashpadder earlier this spring, and had 3,400 guests in London that night. Altogether, Airbnb had guests staying in 500 different cities, including 1,900 in Los Angeles, 300 in Reykjavik, 250 in Rio de Janeiro, and 200 guests in Bali.
The demographics highlight that Airbnb is no longer just about post-grad backpackers using the service, as more than half of guests booking lodging last Saturday were over the age of 30. Almost ten percent (5,500) were over the age of 50, and it even counted 320 that were 70 or older.
That’s also demonstrated in the types of lodgings people are booking. Last Saturday, 1,200 guests stayed in villas, while 10 stayed in castles and eight booked private islands. There were also 120 guests staying in boats, 30 in treehouses, and 15 staying in (shudder) caves.
Airbnb’s record night came after the startup redesigned its website in June, so it looks like that’s going well and isn’t having any adverse effects on bookings. The startup, which is based in San Francisco, has raised about $120 million over the years, and has more than 500 employees worldwide.
There’s been no shortage of tantalizing details coming out of Apple and Samsung’s big legal spat in San Jose, and that trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Case in point: Samsung’s legal team filed a document (first spotted by AllThingsD) the other day that shed some new light on the two companies’ smartphone and tablet sales over the years. The data was put together by the Invotex Group (who also whipped this handy PDF chart outlining what Apple think it deserves in damages), and it appears they’ve left no stone unturned.
Take a look at this little guy, for instance.
Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on there — 24 of Samsung’s smartphone models are under fire in this case, and there’s sales data here for each of them. In case you don’t quite feel like poring over the entire thing, here it is in a nutshell: Samsung sold a total of 21.2 million of those accused smartphone models between June 2010 and June 2012 which works out to $7.5 billion in sales revenue over the two years.
Surprisingly, the top selling Samsung smartphone is the prepaid Galaxy Prevail, with 2.25 million sold during the timeframe in question. Boost Mobile must be mighty pleased.
Apple’s numbers on the other hand are a fair bit more imposing — the Cupertino company has sold over 85 million iPhones since the device made its debut back in 2007 (netting Apple a cool $50.7 billion in revenue), but that’s hardly a fair comparison to Samsung’s figure because of the timeframe involved.
Apple’s financial calendar doesn’t match up terribly well here, but from Q3 (July) 2010 to Q2 (April) 2012, Apple sold over 60 million iPhones. This still isn’t the most accurate number — the provided sales numbers don’t account for every single one of Samsung’s smartphones — but it’s still a considerable difference between the two. Samsung’s Android devices may be taking over the rest of the world, but it’s still got a hell of a fight in front of it here in the states.
Things get even more interesting when we turn to look at tablet performance. Apple has sold a total of 34 million iOS tablets since 2010, raking in $19 billion in revenue as a result. Meanwhile Samsung’s Galaxy Tab sales haven’t been quite as amazing — the Korean electronics giant shipped a total of 1.4 million Galaxy Tabs, Galaxy Tab 10.1s, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTEs between October of 2010 and March of this year.
Again, it’s worth noting that the portrait this data paints is missing some crucial pieces, like the handful of tablets that Samsung has released since March. There’s a small silver lining to be found here though — as Zach Epstein over at BGR points out, Samsung’s average revenue per tablet during that period was just shy of $450, compared to roughly $353 in revenue for each accused smartphone it sold.
Hint: It’s not one of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S smartphones.
The Apple v. Samsung trial continues to reveal juicy details about both companies, with the latest court filing breaking down just how much phones they sold over the past two years, AllThingsD reports.
The biggest surprise? Samsung’s most popular phone in America has been the Galaxy Prevail, a mid-level phone on prepaid provider Boost Mobile. Samsung sold 2.25 million units of the Galaxy Prevail, out of a total of 21.21 million phones sold between June 2010 and June 2012, the filing shows.
In second place for Samsung was the Epic 4G on Sprint, which sold 1.89 million units and was also its biggest revenue generator by bringing in $855 million. The company sold 4.1 million of its Galaxy S II models in total.
The Galaxy Prevail’s success shouldn’t be that surprising: It’s Samsung’s cheapest mid-range smartphone, and since it’s on the prepaid carrier Boost Mobile, it doesn’t come with the same hefty monthly fees as contracted smartphones. The Prevail may be unsexy, but it’s a damn good deal for consumers.
The same documents also bring up questions around Samsung’s reported table sales, Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt reports. While Samsung boasted that it sold more than 2 million Galaxy Tabs in early 2011, the filing shows that Samsung sold only 262,000 tablets in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2010 and 77,000 during the first quarter of 2011. Those numbers don’t include overseas sales, but even counting those Samsung’s numbers seem a bit inflated.
The filing unfortunately doesn’t break down Apple’s device sales beyond iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Apple sold 85 million iPhones during the period (worth $50 billion in revenue) and 34 million iPads ($19 billion in revenue). The iPod Touch is no slouch either, with 46 million units sold earning $1o.3 billion.
Check out the court filing below (via CNet):
The fear and loathing of RIM has been well-documented by this point. At the end of June, the company released its Q1 2013 earnings, which were more than a little disappointing, with RIM reporting its first operating loss in eight years, that it would be cutting 5K+ employees and that the release of its new BlackBerry were again being delayed — this time until the beginning of 2013.
The acquisition rumors had already been swirling around the BlackBerry maker, and since then, they’ve intensified, with some big names kicking the company’s tires. This morning, Chris wrote about Samsung’s confirmation that (again) it was neither considering a buy-out nor a licensing agreement, even though it’s been reported numerous times that it, in fact, it’s been considering both. And, today, Bloomberg has reported that IBM has “made an informal approach” to acquire RIM’s enterprise services unit, which is really at the core of BlackBerry’s business.
While RIM has certainly been hurting, the company still has hopes that BlackBerry 10 can reinvigorate consumer interest in its products. That’s obviously part of the reason why RIM’s board has reportedly turned down IBM’s interest in its enterprise unit — after all, as new CEO Thorsten Heins has said (via The Verge), “enterprise is where BlackBerry lives best.” Big Blue obviously knows a thing or two about enterprise, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see it continue to seek an acquisition in the event BlackBerry 10 isn’t the panacea RIM hopes it could be.
What’s more, Heins has said in the past that RIM might consider licensing BlackBerry 10 to hanset manufacturers, which naturally he believes to be a scenario preferable to one in which RIM is broken up into pieces and sold to the highest bidders. In keeping with that preference, RIM’s board has allegedly nixed the idea of selling its divisions, to both Samsung and now IBM.
There are a lot of people (customers and beyond) both quietly and loudly pulling for RIM, hoping that it nails BB 10. However, as the long wait for its arrival continues, the pressure on the company to produce big innovations in the market and release some sort of WonderBerry may be too great.
It’s increasingly likely that RIM will have to, at the very least, undergo a major restructuring, and if BB 10 should fail, the enterprise unit will likely curry the highest price as it’s really the most valuable component of RIM’s business. So this probably isn’t the last time we’ll hear reports of big names jockeying for first dibs.
Excerpt image from MyBankTracker
A court document filed by Samsung on Thursday revealed the company’s smartphone and tablet sales numbers from June 2010 to June 2012, metrics that have been kept strictly confidential until now.
U.S. video game retail sales fell 20 percent in July, with total industry sales falling to $548.4 million from $686.3 million a year ago, according to consumer market research firm NPD Group. This reflects the continuing trend of gaming growth as a business, the number of games sold through physical stores is falling.
Hardware sales are also down, with a 32 percent decline from last year’s $221.4 million to $150.7 million. Video game software sales are down 23 percent, to $260.7 million from $338.5 million a year ago. Only Nintendo’s handheld consoles showed any positive movement.
“Of the hardware platforms that were on the market last July, only one, the 3DS, realized a unit sales increase over last year,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Both the DS and the 3DS, however, realized a month-over-month unit sales increase over June 2012 while the other platforms declined.”
The poor overall performance in July was a little better than in June, when sales fell 29 percent, and May, when sales fell 28 percent when compared to a year ago. NPD says that the total consumer spending on games — when adding digital sales and used games, rentals, and subscriptions — was more like $1.36 billion in the month of June, compared to $1.17 billion in May.
According the NPD Group, total consumer spending on used and rental games reached $386 million, and content in digital format, including full games, add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games, generated $1.47 billion.
“In the second quarter of this year, sales of content in a digital format have grown 17 percent over Q2 2011,” said Frazier. “While this growth is in stark contrast to the declines in new physical software and hardware sales, the size of digital sales is not quite large enough to offset these declines, leading to an overall drop in consumer spending in Q2 by 16 percent.”
NPD is working with video game research company EEDAR to try to come up with more accurate numbers for global digital and physical game sales worldwide.
The top game of July is NCAA Football 13 (pictured at top) for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Warner Bros.’s Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, available for multiple platforms, is the No. 2-selling game of the month, down from its top spot last month in June. The third-best seller is The Amazing Spider-Man from Activision Blizzard, also for multiple platforms, up from last month’s 10th spot.
The rest of the top 10 sellers in order are Just Dance 3 from Ubisoft, Batman Arkham City from Warner Bros., Call of Duty: Black Ops from Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, NBA 2K12 from Take-Two Interactive, Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Dead Island from publisher Deep Silver.
Appeasing its vociferous power users, Foursquare has returned a popular feature for viewing just the check-ins of nearby friends to its mobile application.
Nearby friends, as the filtered view is called, comes back to iPhone and BlackBerry today, giving users of the location-based check-in and exploration application a way to switch between a global view of all activity and a view of activity from friends who are in the same city.
If you recall, the nearby filter had been stricken from the application in early June when Foursquare put out a striking update to the mobile experience that emphasizes social interactions.
At the time, the startup chose to remove the city-centric stream to favor the feed of updates and activities from friends everywhere. The idea was to get people liking, commenting, and engaging with friends’ updates, regardless of their locations, but a vocal minority was none too pleased about losing the capability to see the same-city activities of friends.
Photo credit: qiaomeng/Flickr