Friday, September 25, 2015

Wikipedia leaks, Asos wins SEO.

- Wikipedia leaks page views
- Infinitely scrolling content feeds
- ASOS wins with the basics
- A trillion streams
- Periscope looking over the top
- Look out email, Slack impresses
- Google’s New Logo

Special Bonus: Americans in Space

Wikipedia has lost a quarter of a billion visits/month from Google over the last 3 months. Though they haven't commented on it, Google has clearly made a quiet change to it's algorithm to favor brand sites over Wikipedia for the first time. This is a big big change. For years, Wikipedia's search authority has been unchallenged for almost any term they had a page for, including pages about a brand, but most importantly, up until now, brands could not effectively compete for the right to win many generic search terms that Wikipedia expounded on. Google has apparently decided that allowing brands to win terms like this will also increase their bids for these terms and that logical business decision has trumped their previous leaning toward impartial purveyors of information.

I wanted to point out a relatively new trend in Web site content presentation. A number of sites that I spend time on have started to load one article after another in an infinite scrolldown. Similar to a Facebook or Twitter feed and very mobile friendly. Most often there's some intelligence built in so the next article you see is related. This is because for many sites, the article page has become the new home page because that's the search bait where people enter the site. I think this is a very cool development because until this, if you're on a content site you have to keep clicking back to the home page to find the next thing to read. As we get more into the content marketing business, we should follow this model. Digiday has added a new wrinkle, a TLDR button. in Internet Slang, TL;DR means Too Long, Didn't read. But this button is a way of switching to summaries of each article, of course you can always switch back. This is even better for mobile and a really good user experience. Wish I'd thought of it. But I'm not too proud to implement best practices when I see them.

Speaking of Search, L2's recently released Digital IQ Index of department stores surfaced an unexpected leader. It's ASOS, Britain's big online only retailer. How has it beaten global Digital Omnichannel success stories like Burburry and Macy's? First page search visibility is their secret sauce. And they're beating their competitors across the world for 650 incredibly high value keywords like Shoes, Shirts, Socks and the like. How are they pulling this off? They're doing it by blocking and tackling and getting the SEO basics right. Tagging photos, consistent use of Keywords in Title Tags, H1 Headers and intro paragraphs as well as correct keyword density. They're careful not to allow their pages compete against each other for the same keywords and they have relevant content that answers searchers' needs precisely. It's really not a secret at all. They behave less like a retailer and more like an SEO company that sells clothes.

Music streaming has had it's best year ever, over a Trillion. That's Trillion with a T, songs were streamed in the first 6 months of this year. That's already twice the number streamed in all of 2014. Last year 41Mn people payed for streaming services and streaming revenue increased almost 40%. Can't wait to see the stats for this year.

And staying with the subject of streaming, I can give you an update on the Periscope/Meerkat battle of live-video streaming apps, Periscope appears to be winning due to its native access to 300Mn twitter users and incrementally better design. The result is that over 40 years of footage are watched on Periscope every day and it appears to be the favorite of brands just recently streaming one of Ralph Lauren's runway shows.

Anybody sick of email? I know I am as I receive over 300 emails a day, many of them cold solicitations from vendors. But what's the alternative? Well it could be Slack. An app trying to replace email for internal business communications. This small company has grown from nothing in Jan of 2014 to 1.1Mn daily active users in March of this year. But the most amazing thing is that its most recent round of funding in June valued the company at $2.8Bn. This works out to $2500 per user which is completely unprecedented. The nearest competitor is LinkedIn at $282 per user. Seems like some people are expecting big things from this company and they're putting their money where their mouth is. The generation coming up behind us is managing to do just fine without email, preferring Instant Messaging and Social Media. So as they enter the workforce, it's very possible that there's hope for the end of this time sucking scourge of business.