Archive for the ‘web’ tag
It’s interesting to watch the impact that the mobile device explosion has on various industry verticals, and especially so in e-commerce – a market that has yet to take full advantage of the platform by offering mobile-friendly websites and apps. But that’s not stopping people from shopping on mobile by any means. According to new data from e-commerce technology company Monetate, top e-commerce websites receive 3.31% of their total visits from Android smartphones, which is up from 1.76% last year. iPhones, on the other hand, account for 5.41% of those sites’ total traffic, up from 2.45% a year earlier.
But even though the iPhone base delivers more visitors, it’s Android users who convert better. 1.26% of Android users convert as compared with 1.00% of those on iPhone.
Here’s another figure to throw into the mix: on tablets, Android users again are converting at higher percentage points, with 3.58% converting compared with iPad’s 3.19%. However, the iPad is driving the most tablet traffic to these sites. 88.31% of tablet visits to these e-commerce sites are from iPad, while Kindle Fire and other Android tablets now account for 10% of the market share. Seeing the chart below, you can tell that Android has made some headway into eating into iPad’s dominance here.
We asked execs at Monetate why they thought Android users were converting better (percentage wise), and they noted that the difference between the platforms was nominal, but interesting. They’re not sure why it’s the case, however. Could it be that iOS users have other means to shop, such as through native apps? Monetate CMO Kurt Heinemann hedges a guess.
“Android devices come in many different configurations whereas the iPhone only comes in one size, he says. “A large portion of Android devices that have been released over the last year have had larger screens and provide a better web surfing experience than a smaller iPhone. With a larger screen and the ability to display more website real estate the user has a more comfortable and less frustrating experience which results in higher conversion.”
In case you’re wondering what websites we’re talking about here, Monetate can’t talk in specific out of respect for its customers’ privacy, but it aggregates data from its top 150+ e-commerce customers and samples from over 100 million shopping experiences to reach these figures. Its customer lineup includes QVC, Urban Outfitters, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy and Brooks Brothers, to give you an idea of what types of sites may be included in this study.
While Apple and Google battle for market share in terms of traffic, the company’s report found that mobile is one of the fastest-growing customer segments today, and it’s now suggesting to its customers that they experiment with offering alternative ways to allow visitors to checkout without having to pull out a credit card. For example, try PayPal, Monetate tells its customers. It’s also stressing to its e-commerce customers that they need to invest in both web analytics and usability testing to make their sites work better for mobile shoppers because, by doing so, they have a real opportunity to increase their average order value significantly.
I covered this at Search Engine Land last night, but it is worth covering here as well.
When you do any A/B testing or Multivariate testing with your web pages or web site, it is important that you do not confuse GoogleBot. If Google thinks you are breaking their guidelines or they just think something is off, it can have serious repercussions on your search rankings.
Susan Moskwa wrote a detailed blog post on how you can do A/B testing or Multivariate testing and reduce the risk of losing rankings in Google. In short, she said do not cloak, use 302 redirects (not 301s), use the rel=”canonical” attribute and do not run the test for too long.
Here is her advice:
- No cloaking.
Cloakingâ”showing one set of content to humans, and a different set to Googlebotâ”is against our Webmaster Guidelines, whether youâre running a test or not. Make sure that youâre not deciding whether to serve the test, or which content variant to serve, based on user-agent. An example of this would be always serving the original content when you see the user-agent âGooglebot.â Remember that infringing our Guidelines can get your site demoted or removed from Google search resultsâ”probably not the desired outcome of your test.
- Use rel=âcanonicalâ.
If youâre running an A/B test with multiple URLs, you can use the rel=âcanonicalâ link attribute on all of your alternate URLs to indicate that the original URL is the preferred version. We recommend using rel=âcanonicalâ rather than a noindex meta tag because it more closely matches your intent in this situation. Letâs say you were testing variations of your homepage; you donât want search engines to not index your homepage, you just want them to understand that all the test URLs are close duplicates or variations on the original URL and should be grouped as such, with the original URL as the canonical. Using noindex rather than rel=âcanonicalâ in such a situation can sometimes have unexpected effects (e.g., if for some reason we choose one of the variant URLs as the canonical, the âoriginalâ URL might also get dropped from the index since it would get treated as a duplicate).
- Use 302s, not 301s.
- Only run the experiment as long as necessary.
The amount of time required for a reliable test will vary depending on factors like your conversion rates, and how much traffic your website gets; a good testing tool should tell you when youâve gathered enough data to draw a reliable conclusion. Once youâve concluded the test, you should update your site with the desired content variation(s) and remove all elements of the test as soon as possible, such as alternate URLs or testing scripts and markup. If we discover a site running an experiment for an unnecessarily long time, we may interpret this as an attempt to deceive search engines and take action accordingly. This is especially true if youâre serving one content variant to a large percentage of your users.
One thing she adds is that if you follow the recommendations above then it should have “little or no impact on your site in search results.” But she goes on to explain that there may be an impact do to content changes.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.
Image credit to ShutterStock for comparing image
Noodle Labs, the mobile development startup that’s part of Y Combinator’s summer batch, launches today with its newest product: An iPhone and web app called Everyday.me. Co-founders Yu-Kuan Lin (a former Googler who worked on Maps, specifically for China), Weiting Liu (already a YC alum) and Yu-Te Lin (a former engineering lead at Wyse) describe their new app as “Evernote for your life.”
In other words, Everyday.me is a mobile and web-based notebook, with bells and whistles, which allows you to record your life and save those updates indefinitely. It’s a bit like Facebook Timeline were it plugged into all of your social networks and were it tailored to be a personal journal in one timeline.
To that point, an even bigger differentiator and likely a point of appeal for many, is that Everyday.me is a private, personal journal. Users can plug in their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles so that each feed is funneled into the app (with Foursquare, Tumblr next up for integration as well as life-logging apps like Nike+ and Fitbit) and can then tag using Twitter-style hashtags to organize and group posts so they’re easier to digest.
If you’re looking to tame your Twitter feed, it’s not a bad way to organize them, especially if you’re looking for that kind of functionality within the framework of a note-taking and journalizer. Everyday.me adds to its own feed, then, with some basic emoticons and integrates with your iPhone’s camera, so you can upload pics directly.
The founders also said that perhaps the most important aspect of Everyday.me is that it’s available everywhere, on the Web, on your phone (although a few mobile platforms would argue it’s not everywhere, at least not natively), offline and via email. The latter is a nifty little feature, taking a page out of Posterous’ book, meaning that users can update Everyday.me directly from their inbox by sending their emails to email@example.com.
The co-founders have developed a Quarterly Report, which will will offer a deluxe print edition of your timeline (complete with infographics), inspired by the Feltron Report. And, for the nostalgic among us, the app has a “Blast From The Past” feature, which sends you (via email) a social media update on where you were on that day in the past.
Everyday.me is obviously competing with a whole mess of different micro-blogging, journalizing, note-taking and life-logging apps and services, so it has plenty of work ahead. The team will have to nail the user experience to set itself apart from the pack and to help do that, I’d really like to see it be translated to tablets. The team says they’re working on an iPad version, but has no timeline for launch as of yet.
Pose a fact-based question to Google from your favorite mobile device, be it phone or tablet, and the search leader can now better understand what you want and provide you with a pretty-to-look-at answer posthaste.
“Quick answers,” as they’re called, are Google’s instant search results for queries with answers that the search company can calculate or determine on the fly. Google has long been able to show you the weather forecast, provide you with a stock quote, solve an equation, and do your pounds-to-kilograms conversions on the web, but Thursday it’s updating its handy-dandy instant results and making them more attractive, more engaging, and more readily available on mobile.
“Search has always been about getting you the answers you need as quickly as possible,” Google user experience designer Jeromy Henry said in a blog post. ”Today, when you search on mobile or tablet, you’ll see some more improvements in the way we provide these quick answers, including better understanding what information you need and surfacing the most relevant information for you.”
Check on a friend’s flight status on your phone, for instance, and you’ll now see a progress indicator, along with bigger arrival and departure times so you can better glean the most important information right away.
The update also applies to finance-related queries, currency conversions, unit conversions, dictionary definitions, local time checks, and holiday and sunrise times, the company said.
The changes are currently being rolled out to the English version of Google on mobile devices.
Photo credit: designsstock/Shutterstock
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Google’s SEO Guide On A/B & Multivariate Testing Google posted their official word on how you can conducting web site testing using A/B testing or…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.
Search Engine Roundtable Stories:
- Gmail In Search Results Test Concerns Users
Google announced they are having an opt in field trial of including Gmail emails, contacts and flights in the right hand side bar of the Google search results…
- Google Knowledge Graph: Worldwide, Carousel & Instant
Google announced changes to the Knowledge Graph yesterday.
The big change is that Google’s Knowledge Graph is now available worldwide for all English language versions of Google. So now if you are in the UK…
- Google’s Internal Campaign Builder Tool
A WebmasterWorld thread has an advertiser who is speculating based on specific referrer URLs he spotted in his analytics software that Google AdWords representatives have specialized internal tools to quickly and effectively build campaigns for AdWords advertisers…
- Google Search Pagination Bug
A Google Web Search Help thread has confirmed reports of a bug with Google Search and the next page button.
When you get to page three of the results, the results continue to repeat themselves…
- Google AdSense Discontinuing Payments By Check
Google announced plans to discontinue paying AdSense publishers by check in all countries where they officially support paying by electronic funds transfer (EFT).
Google said “EFT payments are free of charge, less error prone…
- Musical Droid
Jason Mayes from Google shared a picture on Google+ of this life size Android figure that seems to appreciate music. A musical droid that is into all sorts of tunes? He posted this a week ago at som
Other Great Search Forum Threads:
- A Thief Has taken Out "Google Authorship" over my youtube channel, Google Webmaster Help
- Send destination to Ford Sync broken since July 22nd, Google Web Search Help
- Whether or not to lie to Google in reconsideration request, WebmasterWorld
Google Inc. has been ordered to crack open the wallet and pay a $22.5 million civil penalty for misrepresentaion of privacy policies.
The FTC says Google told users that the Safari browser was set to block cookies by default. Taking their word for it, users continued to surf the web, believing they were free of prying eyes. Not so. The FTC says that for a few months between 2011 and 2012, Google created a work around that placed tracking cookies for their DoubleClick network on millions of Macs, iPhones and iPads.
As if lying to the public wasn’t bad enough, the FTC says Google violated an agreement they had with the government agency that specifically forbid them from misrepresenting privacy options.
In layman’s terms, that means they agreed not to con people, then conned people anyway and lied about doing it.
Does Google care? Maybe that they got caught, but I don’t think they’re losing sleep over the $22.5 million. That’s just the cost of doing business.
Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC, says the penalty is about sending a message to all companies about the evils of non-compliance.
“The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order. No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place.”
The FTC has been pushing for more clarity of privacy options online, firmly suggesting an obvious Do Not Track option throughout the web. The reality is, that even with this option, most people won’t bother to check the box and ad networks will continue to thrive. The big problem would be if they force all web properties to not track by default, requiring people to opt-in if they wish to have cookies while they surf the web.
The Europeans are all over it. Can the US be far behind?
Join the Marketing Pilgrim Facebook Community
How to integrate SEM with emerging media channels This white paper discusses: How web analytics can transform your business Becoming insight-rich through data How to create a “single version of the truth” Download now »
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Guitar-making is a noble and beautiful art and it’s high time luthiers started thinking about the web. MacKenzie & Marr is a tiny company in Quebec that designs and hand makes relatively inexpensive but amazingly handsome guitars. While they do outsource much of the manufacturing to China, there is not a single robot involved in the building of their cedar-top git-fiddles and guitarists can order their handsome axes with a few button-clicks.
Why did the boys go online? “The music business is the worst distribution channel imaginable. Factory to brand to warehouse to multiple distributors to dealers. High end guitars are almost always in small retailers,” said John Marr, co-founder. This allows them to cut 60% off of the price of hand-crafted guitars.
As an ecommerce play, instruments are a fairly benighted industry. They’re niche, so, like fine wristwatches and pens, there’s some tendency to focus on authorized dealers and networks. By eschewing this, the team saves a lot of hassle and money.
“I was looking for a product that could be sold on the web..had to be expensive (not interested in selling 25 cent widgets) had to evoke passion (word of mouth) and one day Jonathan asked if I had played any Chinese guitars. I said ‘Yes, total garbage,’” said Marr.
“Jon replied that I needed to go try one of the newer solid wood ones. I did and they were good and we knew how to make the better. Voila! The product I was looking for!” he said.
Marr went on to spend a week working in China in order to better understand the process. He said the lack of contract manufacturers and cost prevented him from building guitars with the same craftsmanship in Canada.
“Everyone said no musician would buy a guitar over the Internet. We knew they would.”
And they did. The company sold out of their first run fairly quickly after appearing on Canada’s Dragon’s Den, which is a sort of Shark Tank for the Great White North. You can obviously pick up Fenders and Martins at various online stores but this is the first factory-direct sales model I’ve seen in the guitar world.
They’re not quite ready to offer custom work just yet, but inlays may be on the horizon. “For most makers the quantities we produce would be laughable so even a huge production run by our standards is custom work for someone like Martin,” he said. The guitars start at about $1,000, but some “less than perfect” models can be had for $600.
Jon MacKenzie and Marr met in grade school and have been friends for over fifty years. Marr plays blues fingerpicking and Jon likes folk and Celtic. Marr describes himself as a real hack, but he knows how to build a mean axe.