Missing the Big Picture

by Jonathan Goodman on September 9, 2013

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Hi everyone. It’s Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. It’s great to have you with us. Today’s episode is “Missing the Big Picture.” And now the news….

Social Media

It’s not April 1st, but we’re certainly getting a lot of laughs from Goggle’s new announcement. They are saying that the new operating system for Android will be nicknamed KitKat, in cooperation with its partnership with the candy company. A direct quote from Greg Sterling of MarketingLand:

English: KitKat chunky. Français : Barre de Ki... English: KitKat chunky. Français : Barre de KitKat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It should significantly raise the profile and boost sales of KitKat in the short term. There will be a ton of coverage in newspapers and TV, which will drive sales. The Nexus/Google Play promotion will also drive sales.”

KitKat will promote the new partnership with more than 50 million specially branded KitKat bars available in 19 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Middle East, Russia, and the United States and several Nexus tablet giveaways.

Some initial sketches/images of the upcoming Samsung Smartwatch have recently been released. The drawings strongly resemble the design of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet. The touch screen’s design is a tiled-like format with a series of options available to click. The wristband part of it appears to be customizable.

Your Semantic Minute

When Goggle Glass launches next year to the general public, a dedicated app store will coincide the launch. It is unclear if the app store will be within the bounds of the Goggle Play store or if it will be a stand-alone. Pricing is also uncertain, as the current API states developers cannot charge for apps to Goggle Glass. Several unofficial Glass directories exist currently where users can find free apps.

The number of venture capital investors in the education sector has more than doubled since two years ago. The enormous size of the education world is one main reason technology has sparked recently. A direct quote from Thomas Zadvydas of thedeal.com:

“The investment activity comes with the education sector undergoing a technological revolution of sorts. Computers and the Internet allow for instantaneous delivery of content, and venture capitalists and traditional publishers have established businesses that are helping to drive these changes.”

Companies continue to invest in edtech because of the potential growth it holds. Students are constantly surrounded by technology, and they almost require a new way of delivering information.

Hacker News

An Indian security enthusiast is $12,500 richer for discovering vulnerability inside Facebook. Arul Kumar discovered a way to delete any photos from Facebook, including those of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s page. This hack comes days after another person’s hacked Zuckerberg’s wall because Facebook ignored a security request.

According to security documents provided by Edward Snowden, the NSA hacked into news agency Al Jazeera’s website because it held the potential for information about terrorists. The agency also had admitted to using PRISM for personal use, as in spying on spouses or loved ones. I think I already mentioned that was bound to happen. Another document turned over by Snowden reveals the NSA has bugs in the UN’s New York headquarters, as well as in several international buildings.

App Highlight

I thought I’d spend a little bit of time focusing on one of the applications that I’ve used for years. One of the best ways that I use it is by talking to potential clients and really showing them instant data and comparative data. The application is Open Site Explorer by Moz.com. If you’re in this industry or if you are in any type of industry in the Internet, this is not news to you. You’ve heard this before. But on the off chance you’ve never actually used it, I’m going to walk through what are really some incredible pieces of information.

The Open Site Explorer actually runs on a separate domain than Moz.com, but you can get to it through Moz.com as well as OpenSiteExplorer.com. It is a pay app and it does cost money, but it is very helpful especially as a consulting company that we are. We get instant data from it. It has 87 billion URLs indexed. It has 164 million root domains indexed and 779 billion links indexed. I use it as a link profiler. I can get up to 5 website information.

The way you do it is you put in the key website that you’re looking for and then you have the option to add 4 other competitors to that website, which makes it a very dynamic conversation. When I’m talking to potential clients and I say to them, ‘Well, what are the websites of your competitors?’ Half of them don’t even feel that they have competitors, which is interesting. Or that they have competitors that are on the Web, only to find out that their competitors are generally doing better than they are. But it also goes through and shows information like domain authority, page authority, linking root domains, total links, Facebook shares, Facebook likes, tweets, Google +.

Let me just explain, in case you’re not aware what that is. The way I like to explain it because I’m talking to nontechnical people, so I have to kind of bring it down to something that they can understand. Domain authority is your scorecard primarily against your competitors that are trying to rank for the same keywords that you are. Open Site Explorer will provide you with a score and your competitors with a score out of 100. It’s not a percentage. It’s more of an index that says this is where you are compared to where your competitors are. In other words, if you’re scoring a 25 out of 100 and your competitors are scoring a 50 out of 100, if you’re going against the same keyword, it would for all intents and purposes be that your competitors score in the 50 above your 25 would rank higher than you would.

It does that on the full domain, so it takes the full domain into consideration. It also can do per page. So if you wanted to see how one page was specifically ranking, you would be able to put that direct URL in and get that data. Linking root domains is critically important because right now we’re in an era where backlinks are the major way to explain to Google and the other search engines that here are all of the outside websites linking to me and that’s why I’m important. Now I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I believe that by 2015, backlinks will be gone. They won’t be a factor in the algorithms because SEOs like myself have skewed the data so much that you need to work with an SEO in order to get them to get you’re the backlinks so that you then improve and increase in your search ranking.

That doesn’t really mean then that the right websites are being shown for the right searches. So as we move into a semantic web search arena, the algorithms will focus less and less on backlinks. Backlinks, of course, were the primary doctoral degree or Master’s degree that Sergey Brin and his counterpart Larry Page worked on. The thesis that they worked on in school that then of course became Goggle. But that one indicator of how something should be ranked in the search engines has gotten so manipulated that it’s going to eventually go away. We need to move to web search 3.0 in order for that to happen. But for right now, linked root domains are critical to the search engines and how they’re going to place you. So this gives you an indicator. It also allows you to do the competitor analysis like we do for our clients to then wind up seeing all of the backlinks that your competitors have and those are the first ones we go after.

You can look at total links, and specifically the linking root domain. In the linking root domains – CNN.com. NYTimes.com – their power is so much bigger than a mom and pop shop that it’s not just quantity in the domain backlinks, it’s actually quality. So if you’re able to get a backlink from a primary website like a CNN or a New York Times, it’s going to weigh heavily against the thousands and thousands of backlinks that your competitors are getting from mild to worthless websites. It also shows inbound links, top pages, linking domains and anchor text. This is really good because you’re able to see from the top pages section where people are coming in and what’s primarily indexed well on your site. If you then see that it’s not what you need, then that’s where the SEO comes in.

You’ve got to redefine what your top pages are and work with your optimizer to make sure that those are getting traffic. Sometimes that requires re-navigation of the website. Sometimes it just requires SEO on the specific pages. For the anchor text, knowing what people outside of your website are actually using when they click through to you. What keywords they are back linking to you is critical. It used to be that you could do every single backlink, the same exact keyword, over and over again because that’s the keyword you wanted to get. That’s not the case anymore. Now you really have to diversify your anchor text. One of the ways to be sure you’re doing it correctly is using this tool. So it is a really helpful tool. We use it here all the time with current clients and potential clients. I really recommend it.

The Main Event

Al Jazeera has a documentary every Sunday. They kicked off the series with a documentary called “Goggle and the World Brain.” It was a very interesting documentary talking about Goggle having approached first universities and second national libraries asking them to be able to scan books and put that into their database. What I thought was rather interesting was that it seems even though now today there are lawsuits from publishers and authors and all this stuff is being figured out. But in hindsight it’s obviously what Google had done. The interesting thing is that they’re still missing the big picture. One person said that they had a conversation with Larry Page and in that conversation, Larry Page admitted that the idea behind Goggle is not a search engine, but AI.

Artificial General Intelligence through Large-... Artificial General Intelligence through Large-Scale, Multimodal Bayesian Learning (Photo credit: brewbooks)

What I thought was interesting was that nobody connected the dots. Everybody in this documentary was so focused on the legitimacy and legality behind the ability to scan all of these books that nobody really got the idea behind that statement that Google really wants to be an AI, not a search engine and why Goggle in fact needed all of these books. It works a little bit into the Web 3.0 and probably in the future, 4.0 will be even more solidly using this type of idea of an AI. But what is the one thing that AI needs in order to grow? Well, think about it from a baby’s perspective, right? You have a newborn baby and that baby needs to understand and comprehend the universe in which they are in, and they need to take in data to understand that. They need to use their eyes, their nose and their mouth, and they need to comprehend what is around them.

When they get to the part where they’re starting to learn the alphabet, what do they do? They read books. Now you could read books and see the letters on the page, but it’s comprehension that is the key. When you’re talking about computers, it’s impossible for the search engines as they exist right now to know the difference – and I talk about this sometimes during my lectures – if I’m sitting at my computer and I go to Goggle and I type in apple, they don’t know whether I’m looking for the company or the fruit. They don’t have the comprehension behind the intent of the search. How do you teach a computer that is based on zeros and ones comprehension of the English language? They can read a search, but they can’t comprehend a search. So how do you slowly or quickly, in the case of Goggle, build an AI that allows for user intent and comprehension?

You feed it every single book in the known universe and you work on semantic web to correlate comprehension with words. The computer can read “Wuthering Heights” and it has it stored as data, but to understand the concept of love, the concept of loss, the concept of all the factors that come into a novel, like “Les Miserables,” how do you explain starvation? Starvation can be defined as it is in the dictionary, but for the comprehension behind that, you have to have the correlation. So what’s fascinating now is when you look at a tool like Freebase, which is being used by Goggle. It was originally Metaweb’s search engine, which was then purchased by Goggle, it is trying to add semantic intent to the comprehension of a search. You take that and you take every single book in the known universe. That is what Goggle is attempting to do.

It has nothing to do with copyright law. They have no interest in providing a human the entire transcription of the Pope’s Easter service. That’s not what they need it for. They needed it for comprehension. Now they’re not willing to say that because they’re not ready with an AI. Semantic web is in the gestation period. You can’t even say that semantic web is at a point where there’s any comprehension going on. But as soon as apple equals computer company and apple equals fruit because it’s reading a health nutrition guide and it understands what an apple is in that instance, that’s the second that all of those books are going to matter to Goggle.

If the judge came back tomorrow and said Goggle get rid of all of the books that you’ve scanned, Goggle would simply ask ‘What if we just didn’t provide it in the search engines? Can we keep the data? We need the data of that internally.’ And that is where we’re going with semantic web – billions of articles, letters, novels and encyclopedia being fed into a gigantic AI. So I thought the documentary was good, but the documentarian missed the point. I understand it was probably a documentarian with legal expertise who was able to interview lawyers and was able to interview the publisher side and the author side from a legal standpoint, but at no time did they say….Well, that one time when Larry Page explained that Goggle isn’t a search engine. It will eventually be an AI. That’s the only time. And they kind of just put that to the side. They didn’t really focus in on the idea that maybe Goggle doesn’t even want these books to be searchable. Maybe they just want the big brain, the world brain. It was a good documentary, but it did definitely miss that point.

Rant of the Week

Instead of a Rant of the Week, I’d like to offer a heartfelt apology. For those of you in the affiliate community, you’ve already read my apology, but I do feel the need to go one step further and put it into this podcast. I attended Affiliate Summit East in Philadelphia. I had a fantastic time. I met incredible people and I walked away with some great business cards and some great contacts. I was so enthused by the conference that I submitted sessions to Affiliate Summit West. Had you asked prior to my attending Affiliate Summit East if I was going to go, the answer would have been an absolute no. I had no intention of going to Las Vegas in January.

As you know, I try to stay on the East Coast. It’s getting harder and harder because I’m getting requests. Not that Affiliate Summit requested that I go to the West conference. I submitted and that’s part of the whole apology. But I am going back out there in I believe April of 2014. I’m also heading out to Seattle. I’m going out West more often in 2014. Those are the conferences and they’ve asked me to speak. I am not an affiliate marketer. I have to make that very clear. I am also not what you would call a social media expert. We do social media here, but it is in conjunction with larger campaigns. So it is a component of what we do.

Here’s the story: In Affiliate Summit conferences, the way that it works is that the board of directors reads through the sessions that have been submitted. They then put that into a website and they ask all attendees who are going to that conference to vote on those sessions. Now I’m a Type A personality person. I am driven and I am extremely competitive. So I messaged out to all my friends, the contacts that I had made there at the conference and some other people I knew who were going to go to Affiliate Summit West and I said, “Could you please vote for me?” That’s exactly where I should have stopped, and I didn’t. That’s where the apology comes in.

I say this in my written apology to everybody, but the sessions that I had put in for had good votes. They had 8 votes and 6 votes and everything was good. Because I am so competitive, when I saw the front page with the numbers of the sessions that were ranking at the top and they were in double digits, I went a little bananas. And I decided that the best way to promote my session was to find out who voted in those top sessions, and I direct contacted them through Twitter. If you’re not affiliated with them, you can’t direct contact them, but you can do @ their user name on Twitter, put in a message and use the hashtag that is used for that conference. So they see it and everybody in the stream sees it.

So I just went bananas and I sent it to 10, 15 or maybe 20 people over a 12-hour period. I can definitely understand why people got upset. Now I will say that I do a little bit of affiliate marketing in a very specific niche area of culture, and I run contests and promotions for that niche area. They love that. They tend to be younger. They’re in the 18-24 year old range. They are very tied to specific products, as young adults are. When I’m promoting those products and contests for those products, when I send an @ message to a specific person because they’d commented that they wanted this product or that they just bought this product and I inform them of a contest, promotion or a sale, they love it. They eat it up. They follow the website. They Facebook. They send it to all their friends. In fact, I’ve had situations where somebody says why aren’t you directly talking to me too?

It’s such a completely different scenario than what occurred over the last couple of days with this older, more mature, technology-focused group. So that is my apology. Based upon my experiences within affiliate marketing and this one particular niche area, I thought it was okay to do what I did and it certainly wasn’t. I’ve apologized to everybody. I will say just to be fair that it is always nice to pat somebody on the head and say ‘You’re doing it wrong’ than start belittling them. So obviously I’m not in that community. I got yelled at, which could have been handled somewhat differently.

It could have been handled more directly. Somebody did email me and said you’re not doing this right. That was productive, but to yell and scream and say ‘Why are you bothering me?’ You know, it’s the Internet and based upon my other experiences, people do want to be contacted like that. But I completely respect that this is a group. This is a community that doesn’t like that and doesn’t want that to be done. So fair enough. That’s my apology, and I hope to see everybody at Affiliate Summit West in 2014.

Speaking Gigs

I’ve been talking about Affiliate Summit East 2013 and PubCon Las Vegas on October 21-25, but I’ve completely neglected to talk about the fact that I’m going to be speaking at SMX East 2013, which is Search Marketing Expo at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City on October 1-3. I was confirmed a long time ago that I was going to speak there, but I’ve never mentioned it on the podcast. So I’ll be speaking at SMX East 2013 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center October 1-3. I’ll be at PubCon Las Vegas on October 21-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center South Halls.

You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs.

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman. Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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