Google Maps is about to get a lot more ads

Katherine Boehret:

Get a good look at Google Maps now, because it may soon start filling up with lots of company logos. In a blog post today, Google says it will start experimenting with showing logos for physical business locations on Google Maps, both in your desktop browser and on the mobile app.
 These are what Google calls “promoted pins,” or companies that paid to appear in your map. Logos could appear as you look at a map, or could show up in your driving route. For example, the logo for Walgreens might appear as you follow on-screen directions from your office to a meeting. The business page, which appears at the bottom of the screen when you tap on a logo, could display coupons for items at that store or let you browse the store’s inventory.

The U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls Again, Nearing a 48-Year Low

Laura Kusisto:

The homeownership rate fell slightly in the first quarter of 2016, dashing hopes that it had finally hit a bottom.
 In the first three months of this year, the rate was at 63.5%, not seasonally adjusted. That is down from 63.8% in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to estimates published on Thursday by the Commerce Department. That puts it back near its 48-year low of 63.4% in the second quarter of 2015.
 At the end of last year, economists had said the homeownership rate appeared to have stabilized and might begin to tick upward after falling for years following the housing crisis. When adjusting for seasonality, the homeownership rate in the first quarter also fell slightly to 63.6% from 63.7% in the fourth quarter of last year.

Foundation for the Future

Completely re-written, our 6th generation apps and cloud system, introduced last fall, are the groundwork for your recruiting and retention future.

Working together, we can provide the best experiences for agents, clients, managers, staff and affiliates.

1. Speed wins.

2. Integration. Clients and agents share information in real time across apps and websites. Contacts, listings, leads, CMA’s, trends and statistics, documents, activities and showings.

3. Simple. One tap delivers useful information for agents, buyers, sellers and homeowners.

4. Voice. Spoken inquiries are growing rapidly (1). Our new apps include the ability to use voice to search and complete forms. Fast for today and ready for tomorrow’s opportunities.

[1] Ben Thompson on the strategic and tactical implications of Google’s recent voice announcements:

The problem is that as much as Google may be ahead, the company is also on the clock: every interaction with Siri, every signal sent to Facebook, every command answered by Alexa, is one that is not only not captured by Google but also one that is captured by its competitors. Yes, it is likely Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are all behind Google when it comes to machine learning and artificial intelligence — hugely so, in many cases — but it is not a fair fight. Google’s competitors, by virtue of owning the customer, need only be good enough, and they will get better. Google has a far higher bar to clear — it is asking users and in some cases their networks to not only change their behavior but willingly introduce more friction into their lives — and its technology will have to be special indeed to replicate the company’s original success as a business..

Virtual Properties’ app and cloud platform provides the best and longest lasting experience for your organization and clients.


Google: The End of the Advertising Bubble and “This is just the start for the growth of voice search, in my opinion. Before long, I would expect closer to 50% of all searches to be comprised of voice searches” – Matt Southern.

A compelling experience is the surest means to delight customers, engage employees and stand out from competitors” – , Frédéric Debruyne and Andreas Dullweber, Bain & Company.

Silicon Valley Mansions Linger on Market in Real Estate Slowdown

Alison Veshkin:

 A custom-built home in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley had its price cut by $500,000 last week after sitting on the market since the end of March — a move that would’ve been almost unfathomable a year ago and a signal that frenzied demand has peaked.
 The six-bedroom, five-bath house in Palo Alto — located blocks from Stanford University and the homes of Google co-founder Larry Page and Steve Jobs’s widow, Laurene Powell Jobs — is now listed for $7.5 million. It joins a growing inventory of high-end homes in the area that are taking longer to sell.

Messaging Apps Are Eating The World, Here’s What to Do as a Business

Chatkoo Blog:

Back to 2010, the first messaging app that i downloaded was WhatsApp. I love to use it because of its simplicity.
 Since then, many messaging apps raise with their own differentiations, like WeChat, Viber, LINE, Tango, and many more, but for me WhatsApp is like a must-have messaging app i need to install, because almost all of my friends and family are there.

Blockchain Company Wants to Reinvent Companies

Matt Levine:

One of the great joys of our modern age, with its rapid advances in financial technology, is examining the latest innovation to try to figure out what centuries-old idea has been dressed up in cryptographical mystification. Sometimes this is pretty easy. Ethereum, the fascinating blockchain/smart-contract platform, has a pyramid scheme helpfully named “Ethereum Pyramid Contract.” The innovation is calling the pyramid scheme a pyramid scheme. (Also, blockchain!)

The Science of Speaking is the Art of Being Heard

First Round Review:

For years, people have constructed cairns, a human-made stack of stones, as landmarks, monuments or tributes. These days, hikers will add a rock to a cairn as they reach a summit of a mountain or a turning point on a trail. The longer one sits across from Khalid Halim in Reboot’s San Francisco office, the more one realizes his sofa is a modern day cairn. Instead of stones, well-known tech leaders, angels and VCs have dropped their guard there—along with their stories, ambitions and fears. It marks the start of many technologists’ inflection points.

Home Builders Say They Are Squeezed by Rising Compliance Costs

Chris Kirkham:

home builders to comply with regulations for new home construction has increased by nearly 30% over the last five years, according to new research from the National Association of Home Builders.
 Regulatory costs such as local impact fees, storm-water discharge permits and new construction codes, which have risen at roughly the same rate as the average price for new homes, make it increasingly difficult for builders to pursue affordable single-family construction projects, the group argues.

Smartphones Rule the Internet Among the world’s most popular websites, most traffic comes from mobile devices.

Adrienne LaFrance:

Laptops aren’t exactly quaint yet, but we’ve officially reached the point in the mobile revolution when desktop Internet access is waning.
 The trend toward smartphones—and away from desktops—has been underway for the better part of a decade. But in recent years, the shift toward mobile has been particularly pronounced. In 2014, by several measures, total mobile Internet usage outpaced desktop Internet access. In Africa and Asia, people of all ages call smartphones—not laptops—the most important device they use to go online, according to a GlobalWebIndex survey last year. Worldwide, most people under age 34 say the same thing.

Cord cutting update

Jan Dawson:

gather data on a quarterly basis on the major cable, satellite, and telecoms companies in the US and their reported numbers for pay TV subscribers (as well as broadband and voice subscribers). I package this up into a slide deck for subscribers to the Jackdaw Research Quarterly Decks Service, but it’s also available as a one-off standalone purchase. This post analyzes the data on pay TV subscriptions for Q1 2016.
 Cord cutting continues to accelerate
 The headline here is that cord cutting continues to accelerate, a trend we’ve seen now for several quarters. As a reminder, in order to really gauge this trend, you can’t look at quarterly adds, because those are highly cyclical, and you have to look at the full set of players in the market, and not just largest, and certainly not just one type of player, such as cable or satellite companies. I’ll provide some more insight into this later in the post. On that basis, then, the chart below shows the year on year growth numbers for the industry, based on all the major public companies in the US and estimates for Cox and Bright House, two of the larger private companies.



When it comes to technology, sometimes there is a world of difference between wanting something and actually needing something. In the case of smartphones, the devices’ ubiquity in terms of U.S. penetration of 82% and cross-platform functionality definitely put them in the latter category.
 According to Nielsen’s fourth-quarter 2015 Comparable Metrics Report, smartphones across all adult demographic groups are the most used platform, in terms of days per week among users of each medium—with adults 18+ using their devices nearly every day in the week (5.8 times per week), followed by television (5.5 times per week). Adult TV viewers watch an average of 5.5 days per week. Tablets are used more often by people ages 35-49 than ages 18-34. Penetration among ages 50 and over is only 19%, but those owners use tablets most often. Smartphone owners within the age range of 35-49 use their phones most often. (This includes app and web usage, not talk, text or email).

Who Pays Influencers

An anonymous crowd-sourced list of which companies/brands pay their artists/influencers and how much. Art by Julian Glander (who was paid)

After analyzing 200 founders’ postmortems, researchers say these are the reasons startups fail

Alice Truong:

It’s a common adage in Silicon Valley that 90% of startups ultimately fail. To understand why that’s the case, a pair of researchers meticulously pored over 193 blog posts—startup postmortems, if you will—written by founders examining what went wrong.
 It was a heartwrenching experience for Kerry Jones, an employees at data-marketing firm Fractl, to be involved in the project. “It’s extremely emotional, and I think it’s really obvious how much of their lives most people sink into their companies,” she says. (Here’s one sample from Zirtual founder Maren Kate: “I cry for all the employees we hurt. I cry for all the clients we infuriated. And I cry for the investors we let down.”)
 There are, of course, limitations to this data set. For starters, there are fewer than 200 posts in it, and they all were written by founders willing to share their stories—or the portions of their stories that they were willing to reveal, anyway. “There isn’t some outside entity that went in and evaluated this company,” Jones notes. “That’s something important to keep in mind.”

News Goes Mobile: How People Use Smartphones to Access Information

Nielsen and Knight foundation :

 This report is based on a research study conducted with Nielsen and commissioned by Knight Foundation to explore how people use mobile platforms for news.

Nine trends in US media consumption: in charts

Damien Radcliffe:

1. Mobile is driving digital media growth
 Desktop audiences are still significant for media publishers; but smartphones are the platform to watch. Between 2013-15 viewing of content on these devices grew by 78%, compared to 30% for tablets.
 Nonetheless, although audiences are viewing less content via their desktop, viewing (in terms of total minutes) via this platform is still more than three times that of total tablet viewing.
 Tablet use – like smartphones – is growing, but the resilience of the desktop audience should not be overlooked. It’s still a significant market.

3 charts that show the very different news audiences for mobile web and apps

Jeff Sonderman:

So, asking whether all publishers should do an app or just a mobile website is the wrong question. Each publisher must match the opportunities of the two platforms to the type of audience you intend to reach and that your business model can monetize.

Sales Slump In Malls Leaves Retail Executives “Scratching Our Heads”

Sapna Maheshwari:

Ask the executives at Macy’s and Gap to explain their brutal sales declines so far this year, and they’ll likely give you some version of the following answer: Americans just aren’t spending on clothes the way they used to.
 That’s true. But it’s not the whole truth.
 On Wednesday Macy’s reported a 6.1% sales decline for the first quarter of 2016, with CEO Terry Lundgren citing “continued weakness in consumer spending levels for apparel and related categories.” But not all apparel suffered — the company did see success when it came to the discounted stuff.
 Its finance chief noted today that two rare bright spots for Macy’s were Last Act, its new “centralized clearance areas” within stores, as well as the new Macy’s Backstage chain, which is an outlet store that competes with T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom Rack.

Advertising Eats the World

Bob Hoffman:

The squalid corruption of media is not just limited to product placements and “native advertising” (gag me) in TV, movies, print, and online. It has now infected the news.
 “We believe branded content and native solutions is a large-scale opportunity for Time Inc.,” Joseph A. Ripp, chief executive of Time Inc.,
 “Branded content” and “native solutions” are just fancy-ass bullshit for advertising disguised as editorial. (And just a word, Mr. Ripp, “branded content and native solutions” are two different things and require a plural verb. But I guess we can’t expect much from the chief executive of a major publication these days.)

Bing Says 25% of All Searches are Voice Searches

Search Engine Journal:

This is notable, but no doubt amplified by the fact that three of the world’s top voice assistants are powered by Bing. Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa all rely on Bing for their voice search queries. This is something that has to be put into perspective when reading this news.
 Google has not revealed how many of its searches are voice searches, but the search giant is clearly invested in the future of voice search. Just take this recent example of Google’s AI reading romance novels in an attempt be able to recognize conversational speech in voice searches

The Robot Revolution in Caregiving

Geoff Watts:

In truth my reaction to Charlie, far from being odd or childish, is pretty typical. Robots, of course, are hardly new. Over the last few decades we’ve had industrial devices that assemble cars, vacuum our floors, and shunt stuff around warehouses. But the 2010s have seen a rise in the attention paid to robots of the kind that most of us still think of as robots: autonomous machines that can sense their surroundings, respond, move, do things and, above all, interact with us humans. We all recognize R2-D2, WALL-E and scores of their lesser-known kin. The unnerving thing is that their nonfictional counterparts are extremely close at hand. Some press stories are exotic—those about ‘sexbots’ being among the more sensational—but many have featured robots at the less hedonic end of social need: disability and old age.
 This has set me wondering how I might cope with the experience—not for an hour or a day, but for months, years. Not tomorrow, but very soon, I will have to get used to the idea of living with robots, most likely when I’m elderly and/or infirm. Contemplating this, my line of thought has surprised and disturbed me.

Managing Sellers, Part 3

C. Share the Listing Activity Report

Part 1 and Part 2.

Oh, the comment that prompted this post? “My agent only showed me paper during her listing presentation. There has been no further followup.”

Managing Sellers, Part 2

B. Stay Connected

1. Install your iPhone, iPad or Android app on their devices. Log them in and tap to set yourself as their favorite agent.

2. Setup several saved searches for them using your Agent App. Create the search and associate it with their contact information. The searches will automatically appear on their device.

3. Next time you meet, review those searches and display the hot sheet view.

4. Show them the app’s notifications, which include new listings, price and status changes, sold properties and open houses.

5. Favorite competitive listings. Clients receive status and price change notifications.

6. In all cases, your personal brand appears with the notifications.

Part 1.

Managing Sellers, Part 1

I recently discussed market conditions with a friends selling their home and simultaneously moving to a new city.

This series of in person and electronic conversations revealed an opportunity to improve agent and broker management of seller relationships and outcomes.

A. The Listing Presentation

Discuss market activity over the past few years and begin to set expectations using the Agent App’s CMA.

Searching is simple and fast. Start with your client’s neighborhood and add a few similar areas. This helps them understand the market and the choices buyers make.

Signing the listing agreement is simple with the Agent App. Contact and listing information auto-fills your contracts. Sign in person or share using e-signature services.

One app from leads to closing.

Part 2.

Americans now have nearly as many smartphones as TVs

Ina Fried:

According to the trade group, the average American home owns 2.4 smartphones, compared with 2.8 televisions.

Facebook Is Teaming With DigitasLBi to Create a Brand-Friendly Live Morning Show

Christopher Heine:

Facebook made waves at DigitasLBi’s presentation during the Digital Content NewFronts today without even taking stage. The ad agency unveiled a program called Rise and Shine, a livestreamed morning “feed show” on Facebook that will include local weather, exercise workouts, recipes and more.

The sponsored shows will air three to five times a week and appear on a brand’s Facebook page, in the news feed as well as in Facebook Messenger. In terms of the latter channel, Facebook users will be invited to subscribe to a Rise and Shine messaging bot, which will alert them when new content from the program becomes available on demand. In a statement, the companies described the initiative as a “a deconstructed morning talk show…built-for-feed, audience-first branded programming.”

Facebook loses first round in suit over storing biometric data


Facebook lost the first round in a court fight against some of its users who sued the social networking company, alleging it “unlawfully” collected and stored users’ biometric data derived from their faces in photographs.
 The judge presiding over the case in a California federal court on Thursday turned down Facebook’s motion seeking dismissal of the suit.
 Facebook filed the motion arguing that the users could not file a complaint under Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) as they had agreed in their user agreement that California law would govern their disputes with the company, and that BIPA does not apply to “tag suggestions.”

Google : End Of The Online Advertising Bubble


 The online advertising market is saturated, and has no more room to grow. The traditional space for ads is overcrowded, and has started to shrink, as Internet users start to use ad blockers.
 Ad placement companies have compensated by displaying ads on ever lower quality websites. Worse, they have led their clients into pay-per-display advertising instead of pay-per-click, much less efficient and difficult to track.
 As a result, online advertising efficiency has been decreasing for years, and companies have to spend more ad dollars for the same result.

What Happens When Your Tech Predictions Tank

Adrienne LaFrance:

In the 1980s, Erik Sandberg-Diment was a household name in Silicon Valley.
 He had what was at the time a radical gig at The New York Times, or any other mainstream publication for that matter. He was a software and technology columnist, and wrote weekly reviews and reflections about the burgeoning personal computing industry. It was an era when terms like “pixels,” “megabytes,” and “floppy disks” earned painstaking explanations, and printers came with sound shields because they were so noisy.

Can Google and Apple Pull the Plug on the PC Market?

Paul Thurrott:

Folks, this is a potential extinction moment, with Android and iOS playing the role of the asteroid that is hurtling to earth to kill off the Windows dinosaurs. And if you think PCs are a small part of personal computing today, it’s only going to get worse a few years down the road as an entire generation of Google-services-using, Apple-hardware-wielding youngsters streams into the workforce expecting to use the tools they’re familiar with. Our children are not growing up on Microsoft technologies. To them, Microsoft is as relevant as Sears, AOL or IBM.

More from Steven Sinofsky.

Inevitability in technology

Benedict Evans:

Indeed, the dynamics were against Facebook, since the shift to mobile brought new dynamics to social that removed the winner-takes-all effect that it enjoyed on the desktop (push notifications, the shared address book and photo library, and the home-screen icon model all make it much easier to use more than one network on mobile than on the desktop). Facebook didn’t have inevitability on its side.

More from Sinofsky.

America’s great housing divide: Are you a winner or loser?

Ted Mellnik, Darla Cameron, Denise Lu, Emily Badger and Kat Downs:

The Post analysis, based on data from Black Knight Financial Services spanning 2004 through 2015, shows how the nation’s housing recovery has exacerbated inequality, leaving behind many Americans of moderate means. It also helps explain why the economic recovery feels incomplete, especially in neighborhoods where the value of housing — often the biggest family asset — has recovered little, if at all.

While a typical single-family home has gained less than 14 percent in value since 2004, homes in the most expensive neighborhoods have gained 21 percent. Regional factors such as the Western energy boom explain some differences, but in many cities the housing market’s arc has deepened disparities between the rich and everyone else, such as in Boston, where gentrifying urban neighborhoods have thrived and far-flung suburbs have fallen behind.

Also striking is how minority neighborhoods lag in the recovery. Zip codes where blacks are the largest population group are more than twice as likely as white Zip codes to have homes now worth less than in 2004.

10 Things That Abruptly Happen When Real Leadership Shows Up

Benjamin Hardy:

“There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.”―Jocko Willink
 What does the environment around you look like?
 Is it obvious to you and everyone else what you stand for?
 Is your benchmark for success clear and understood by all?
 Do you, as the leader, clearly reflect your vision and standards to such a degree that reading them is unnecessary?
 Are you consistent in good times and bad times?
 Are you a master of the basics and technical stuff, or have you lost touch?
 When you experience failure, do you confront

“As makers, being early is essential, otherwise you are late.”

Steven Sinofsky:

The biggest change that will happen is not with the tablet platform or apps. That change has happened. What needs to happen is the cultural change that will permit the technology change to happen.
 In old business culture you communicated with your boss or team through in person meetings or printed memos stuffed in an interoffice mailbox. Email was invented 45 years ago but it didn’t become part of mainstream corporate culture until the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. The tool change was one thing but what really changed was how people worked and the expectations of communication. While it took decades, once the change started happening it became normal for someone 5 levels down to send mail to their boss or to fire off an incomplete thought/idea, or to send rough drafts of documents to many people. What were seen as limitations or defects became the positives of the technology shift. It is hard to overstate what a huge change that was at the time.
 The shift to this new form factor and new platform will bring with it cultural changes that take advantage of what are perceived as disadvantages.

How Hyperconnected Cities Are Taking Over the World, According to Parag Khanna

Tanva Misra:

In the medieval period, empires battled and colluded with each other in the quest for land. The resulting system, in which nations became the main actors on the global stage, is perhaps the one most of us know best. But it’s changing.
 We’re now moving toward a new era where insular, political boundaries are no longer as relevant. More and more people are identifying as “global citizens,” and that’s because we’re all more connected than we’ve ever been before. As a result, a “systems change” is taking place in the world today in which cities—not nations—are the key global players, argues Parag Khanna in his new book, Connectography: Mapping the Future of the Global Civilization. In it, Khanna, who is a global strategist and world traveler, writes:

Google Tests Feature That Lets Media Companies, Marketers Publish Directly to Search Results

Jack Marshall:

Google is experimenting with a new feature that allows marketers, media companies, politicians and other organizations publish content directly to Google and have it appear instantly in search results.
 The search giant said it began testing the feature in January and has since opened it up to a range of small businesses, media companies and political candidates.
 Fox News has worked with Google to post content related to political debates, for example, while published posts related to the Oscars in February. Earlier this week, HBO published “news” articles related to fictitious characters in its popular show “Silicon Valley” to promote the season 3 premiere.

The 30-year fixed mortgage should disappear

Edward Pinto

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage should be retired — for good. Despite continued proof that it fails to build up wealth for the most disadvantaged Americans, and that mortgage debt should not be a burden as homeowners approach their 50s and 60s, misguided advocates maintain that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage should be at the core of the U.S. housing finance system. The latest proposal by five respected economists including Gene Sperling and Mark Zandi aims to reformulate taxpayer backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in an effort to keep the 30-year fixed mortgage alive.

The state of digital advertising

Mitch Joel:

true state of digital advertising.
 If you’re wondering just how healthy the state of digital advertising is, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released their 2015 Internet Advertising Revenue report today, and the numbers are impressive. U.S. digital advertising revenue hit $60 billion last year. As expected, mobile was a beast, growing 66%, from $13 billion in 2014 to $21 billion in 2015. So, as people complain about the size and quality of digital advertising, the market just continues to soar.
 Who’s getting what out of this $60 billion?
 When it comes to the mobile revenue total ($11 billion), the vast amount of the spend comes from display-related mobile formats such as video, according to this IAB report (meaning: not search). Still, with all of this money spent, mobile mostly gets its spend from other media, digital media and through experimental budgets, if you dig into the report (meaning: it’s not mainstream and being allocated the same way that media agencies work with TV, print, etc…).

PC Sentiment

Creative Strategies:

In several studies, we probe the “need” question around PCs. The bottom line is, the vast majority of PC-owning consumers are happy with what they have, regardless if its one or seven years old. I’ll also highlight the intent question on buying a tablet or 2-in-1 PC as a replacement for their current PC. Tablets viewed as replacements or products positioned as a tablet that can replace your PC are currently resonating with consumers.

“Smartphones provide advertisers and marketers with the opportunity to reach consumers with information throughout the day.”


“Smartphone penetration is nearly as high as TV set and radio ownership, and consumers carry their phones everywhere. High penetration plus portability and customized functionality have made them a staple of consumers’ media diet,” said Glenn Enoch, SVP of Audience Insights at Nielsen. “Smartphones provide advertisers and marketers with the opportunity to reach consumers with information throughout the day.”

Singapore Is Taking the ‘Smart City’ to a Whole New Level


This wealthy financial center is known world-wide for its tidy streets and tight controls on personal behavior, including famous restrictions on the sale of chewing gum to keep the city clean.
 Now Singapore may soon be known for something else: the most extensive effort to collect data on daily living ever attempted in a city.
 As part of its Smart Nation program, launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in late 2014, Singapore is deploying an undetermined number of sensors and cameras across the island city-state that will allow the government to monitor everything from the cleanliness of public spaces to the density of crowds and the precise movement of every locally registered vehicle.

A new report signals disaster for American shopping malls

Hayley Peterson:

Shopping malls are losing some of their most valuable tenants — department stores — at an alarming rate.
 Retailers like Sears, JCPenney, and Macy’s have been closing hundreds of locations over the last several years, leaving dead or dying shopping malls in their wake as they try to remain profitable amid the growing threat of e-commerce.
 But these closures are just the tip of the iceberg, according to a new report from real-estate research firm Green Street Advisors.

Property sellers warned not to email solicitors: ‘We lost £204,000’

Amelia Murray:

The ruse is dubbed “Friday afternoon fraud” because criminals typically target transactions being processed ahead of the weekend or bank holidays. This limits the chance of detection.
 Telegraph Money disclosed the first cases of this fraud 12 months ago in May 2015.
 Since then, the legal community has done little to protect homebuyers and sellers. Fresh cases continue to emerge, with this newspaper being aware of at least three six-figure losses arising since February

How is Google’s mobile revenue rising if 50% of people do zero searches per day?

Charles Arthur:

At this point one has to raise a hand. First, Google wouldn’t have made that change if it meant fewer clicks on ads. But how – how? – can having more ads piled on top of the organic results be an “improved user experience”? If the ads are better for the user than the organic results, then why have organic results at all? (Nowak seems to be hinting at this too. All ads would mean Google would absolutely coin it.) If the change means you have to scroll further to get to unpaid results, how is that better? I really don’t get it.
 So what are we left with?
 • Google stolidly refuses to tell us what’s happening with trends in search on mobile
 • there are more ads above the results on both mobile and desktop than a year ago
 • Google is getting more revenue, in total from adverts on both mobile and desktop
 • Google insists that the addition of adverts above the results on the desktop results in an “improved user experience”
 • happily, this improved user experience also results in improved revenues for Google.

Google’s Chrome “Apps”

Cade Metz:

The Weather Company offers a smartphone app, like any other sane company that harbors aspirations on the Internet. But it has seen more and more people visit its mobile website in recent years. According to Sheri Bachstein, the Weather Company’s vice president of web, about fifty percent of its web traffic now arrives on mobile phones and tablets (as opposed to the desktop). Yes, more people use the company’s various apps, but increasingly, the mobile web is a vital way of reaching its worldwide audience—not to mention maintaining and expanding that audience.

Average web page is now 2.2MB


2015 was clearly a crisis year for the web. Multiple events raised awareness of just how bad performance had gotten: ad blockers arrived on iOS; Facebook and then Google announced schemes to help make the web faster; web page bloat even made the pages of the New York Times. Vox Media (the company behind The Verge) declared performance bankruptcy.
 While ads are still the web’s pantomime villain the reality is that we haven’t been paying enough attention to performance. As the web went through its awkward teenage years we let creeping featuritus take hold and eventually clutter simply got the better of us. New JavaScript gallery module? Sure, why not? Oooh that new web font would look nice here but why not add a another analytics tool while we’re in there? Should I bother resizing this 6,000 pixel image? Nah, let the browser do it, works for me.

“They’ve looked at the decline of the PC market and clearly decided that they are going to put most of their effort elsewhere,”

Don Clark:

Sales of PCs, meanwhile, have been mainly declining since Apple’s iPad emerged in 2010. The market recently seemed to plateau, but sales again dropped in the first quarter, falling nearly 10%, Gartner Inc. estimated.
 The continuing decline has forced Intel to focus on growth areas such as computers for data centers and noncomputer devices outfitted with data processing and communications capabilities, known as the Internet of Things.

“20% of US households rely exclusively on mobile at home vs.10% just two years ago”


Via Rich Greenfield:

Surprising stats: 20% of US households rely exclusively on mobile at home vs.10% just two years ago cc: @WaltBTIG…


Amazon SEO Insights – What makes a product rank well? | Ripen


This section explores key observations uncovered as part of our study. Using the following information as a guide, SEO professionals should be able to familiarize themselves with Amazon’s search engine, including what factors influence search results and how product rankings work on the site.
 Use these links to skip ahead to a specific set of ranking factors:

85% of every $1.00 in Internet advertising goes to Facebook or Google

John Herrman:

This month, Mashable, a site that had just raised $15 million, laid off 30 people. Salon, a web publishing pioneer, announced a new round of budget cuts and layoffs. And BuzzFeed, which has been held up as a success story, was forced to bat back questions about its revenue — but not before founders at other start-up media companies received calls from anxious investors.
 “It is a very dangerous time,” said Om Malik, an investor at True Ventures whose tech news site, Gigaom, collapsed suddenly in 2015, portending the flurry of contractions.

The Supermarket Must Die. App-Fueled Services Can Kill It

Courtney Balestier:

Thanks to the smartphone-addicted consumer, GPS, apps, and the Internet, a new breed of startup is building systems that make it easier for producers to know just how much to produce, for shoppers to order just what they want, and for food to get from one to the other faster and with fewer stops in between. They range from offerings like Instacart, which gets us partway there by providing a digital portal into existing stores, to more advanced services, like Farmigo, that show the potential to eliminate physical stores entirely. All emphasize convenience. Many promote transparency, responsible practices, and shorter supply chains. The upsides: ­higher-quality food, easier-than-pie delivery, a wider range of growers, and reduced waste and carbon emissions. The downsides: For now it tends to be expensive, and the market will need to grow before these services can break out of elite cities. But the future they promise—the end of the strip mall monolith and better and smarter food, to boot—is hard to resist.