Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Facebook Announces “Graph Search” That Gives You Answers {the web is changing}

Facebook Announces Its Third Pillar “Graph Search” That Gives You Answers, Not Links Like Google

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Today at Facebook’s press event, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced its latest product, called Graph Search.

Two of the members of the Graph Search team, Lars Rasmussen and Tom Stocky were very high up at Google, which is extremely important to note. Facebook is calling it a “Dream Team.”

Zuckerberg made it very clear that this is not web search, but completely different:

What’s more interesting than any of these things (that Facebook currently does) is giving people power and tools to take any cut of the graph that they want.

Zuckerberg explained the difference between web search and graph search. “Web search is designed to take any open ended query and give you links that might have answers.

Graph search is designed to take a precise query and give you an answer, not give you links that might provide the answer” For example, you could ask Graph Search “Who are my friends that live in San Francisco?”

Linking things together, based on things that you’re interested is a “very hard technical problem” according to Zuckerberg. The main difference from web search is that Graph Search helps you find answers to direct queries. Zuckerberg joked that a difference is “filters”, which grabbed a few chuckles.

We were shown a video that points out an autocomplete feature for search, and Zuckerberg says that Graph Search is in “very early beta.” People, photos, places and interests are the focus for the first iteration of the product.

Facebook Graph Search is completely personalized. Tom Stocky of the search team explains he gets unique results for a search of “friends who Like Star Wars and Harry Potter”. Then, “If anyone else does this search they get a completely different set of results, even if someone had the same set of friends as me, the results would be different [because we have different relationships with our friends].”

Stocky says you can also use Graph Search for Dating. He wanted to set up a girl with a potential date so he searched “Who are single men?” Stocky says “I get the set of single men that are friends of people I’m friends with.” Then he can refine that to just San Francisco, and add the filter “and are from India] since his friend is Indian.

You can use Graph Search for Recruiting. Stocky says if he was looking for people to join the team at Facebook, NASA Ames employees who are friends with people at Facebook. If I anted to reach out and recruit them, I could see who their friends are at Facebook. To refine them I can look for people who wrote they are “founders”.

Photos is another big part of Graph Search. Results are sorted by engagement so you see the ones with the most likes and comments at the top. For example, Lars Rasmussen of Facebook showed off a search for “photos of my friends taken at National Parks”. He got a gorgeous page of photos from Yosemite, Machu Pichu, and other parks.

Some more things you can do include searching for photos you Like, or a query for “Photos of Berlin, Germany in 1989″ that brings up Berlin Wall tear-down shots.

The interest search portion of Graph Search is pretty extensive, unlocking all types of content on Facebook. This is why the company has been collecting your interests for all of these years. Graph Search makes it so that you’ll never want to leave Facebook.

Before, to find out what your friends Liked you had to go to everyone’s different profile.

But with Graph Search you can query “Movie my friends Like” which brings up the movies liked by the most of my friends. A “People also liked” suggestion section shows movies also Liked by the people that liked a result. So for The Dark Knight Rises, you get suggestions to check out Batman: The Dark Knight, and Transformers.

It seems a lot like Amazon, but for interest discovery rather than purchasing — at least for now.

Stocky explained that “If I wanted to find a new show to watch, the best way is to see a video clip of it.” He showed a search for what friends have watched that brought up clips ofArcher, Modern Family, Seinfeld, and more. Stocky beamed “I can find something new to watch through the filter of my friends.”

The last area that Graph Search touches is “places”, allowing you to search through places by city, or by places where your friends have been anywhere in the world. This will definitely grab the interest of Foursquare, who has been working on its own search and exploration product.

Naturally, privacy will come in to question, so the team is discussing this now. In the upper-right of Facebook’s bar, you will find shortcuts to privacy settings. The new Graph Search product will be integrated into privacy as well. You can granularly control which photos show up to the world, which will of course remove them from search results.

Mark Zuckerberg, re-joining the stage, just announced a partnership with Microsoft’s Bing, so Facebook, in a way, is a true Google competitor. This is a huge lift for Microsoft.

Graph Search is rolling out in “limited beta” today, says Zuckerberg:

We’re going to start with a limited rollout of Graph Search now but starting very slowly. But we need to get data from people using it so we can make the data better but looking forward to getting more people onto it over the coming weeks and months.

Before we rollout Graph Search we’re going to put an encouragement on the on the homepage for people to check out what they’re sharing. We built a few tools so you can see the photos and information that will be in Graph Search. You can bulk untag things for the first time.

Our own Josh Constine asked Zuckerberg how this new product could open up new avenues for revenue, via advertising, and Zuckerberg responded:

This could potentially be a business over time, but we’re just focusing on building a good experience for users.

When asked about whether Facebook was interested in working with Google, after a few laughs from the audience, Zuckerberg said “I would actually love to work with Google.” Zuckerberg contests that even with Bing’s integration, Facebook still doesn’t assume that users will want to come to Facebook to do web search.

It will be interesting to see how this is received by Facebook users, as the team feels like this initial offering is strong. There has been a few rounds of testing in a “user experience lab”, with people playing with the product while Facebook collected feedback.

This is developing, so the stock market isn’t quite sure how to react to this news yet. Its stock currently sits at $30.67.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

E-commerce: 6 quick cart changes {love this sort of stuff}

MarketingExperiments Blog: Research-driven optimization, testing, and marketing ideas E-commerce: 6 quick cart changes

Tis the season to discuss all things e-commerce and one of the most underutilized optimization opportunities that can potentially add some serious ROI to your bottom line – the shopping cart.

Shopping cart optimization is considered a highly strategic tactic as presenters Austin McCraw, Senior Editorial Analyst, MECLABS, and Jon Powell, Senior Manager of Research & Strategy, MECLABS, explained in one of our recent Web clinics on shopping cart optimization.

“It’s likely, depending on how many products you have, that your shopping cart might be the most visited page on your entire website,” Austin said. “If you can make a change to increase conversion in the shopping cart, then it will apply site wide.”

So to help you tweek your shopping carts, today’s MarketingExperiments blog post will share the six last-minute changes you can make to your shopping carts that Austin and Jon presented in the Web clinic “Optimizing Shopping Carts for the Holidays,” which you can use to aid your shopping cart optimization efforts.

First, before you explore the changes you can make, here are some key principles that were featured in the clinic:

  • Effective tests are not simply designed to achieve a valid result, but a valuable result. The goal of a test is to get a learning, but some “learnings” are more strategic than others.
  • Marketers must be able to identify where in the funnel is the greatest opportunity for optimization.
  • For e-commerce companies approaching a holiday season, often the most opportune place for the increase is in the shopping cart for two reasons:

    1. Increased motivation levels
    2. Convergent funnel paths

Also, to help in getting this information to you faster, we’ve split up all the changes and direct linked to specific times in the hour-long Web clinic video replay when those topics are discussed.


Change #1: Remove unnecessary steps

Looking for opportunities to simplify your checkout process is a great starting point for cart optimization. This section of the clinic also features an experiment that shows how one fitness company increased its conversion 29% by removing unnecessary steps.

Although a change like might seem obvious, as Austin points out, “Common knowledge is not always common practice.”


Change #2: Eliminate competing options

Another last minute change you can test is reducing multiple calls-to-action to just a single call-to-action. This will help cut out unsupervised thinking and guide your customers to the next step in your checkout process.


Change #3: Demonstrate a clear sequence

You have around seven seconds to orient your customers to your shopping cart and answer these three questions for them:

  • Where am I?
  • What can I do here?
  • Why should I do it with you?

“The quickest ways to lose a customer is through disorientation,” Austin explains. “They’ll just click the back button and go to someone else’s site that is easier to use.”

To help make this change actionable, this section of the clinic includes additional changes based on customer orientation that you can add to your testing queue.


Change #4: Express value in every step

The idea here is that just because a customer is ready to purchase, it does not mean you have finished your value proposition work — most likely it’s only getting started.

Placing value throughout your checkout process can significantly impact your ROI. The featured experiment demonstrates this in how a monthly wine and cheese club increased subscription conversion 17% by integrating value proposition into its checkout process.  


Change #5: Justify every action

When you ask for information from your customers, you should also explain to them why you need it.

The information you’re asking for may be necessary to complete the sale and valuable for your future campaigns, but I promise your customers don’t see it that way.

They perceive everything you ask for as a cost to them, and when you ask without justifying why, you run the risk of losing those customers.

The slide above is a side-by-side example from an experiment in the clinic that touches further on this change by sharing how an online college textbook seller was able to increase conversion 19% by justifying each step the customer was asked to take in its process.


Change #6: Intensify anxiety reduction

According to Austin, this is perhaps the easiest change you can make, but you must first discover what anxieties your cart may present to customers.

“Don’t just throw testimonials and security seals on you pages,” Austin said. “Identify what is causing those concerns, and address them specifically.”

The final experiment Jon shares in the clinic shows how addressing anxiety specifically can have a heavy impact on the bottom line, as one wholesale collector item retailer was able to increase annual revenue by $500,000.


Related Resources:

MarketingExperiments Slideshare (Download slides from our Web clinics for free)

Discovering Your Value Proposition: 6 ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace (MarketingExperiments Web clinic replay)

See the Research in Action: Flint McGlaughlin personally optimizes your landing pages (MarketingExperiments Web clinic replay)


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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Retail sector, Australian use of internet grow

eWAY eCommerce articles Retail sector, Australian use of internet grow

Retailers who don't have a digital presence may soon have to re-examine their business strategy, after a confluence of factors have indicated both internet use among Australians and the retail sector are growing.

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, as of 30 June 2012, the Australian population downloaded 52 percent more data than they did last year. Some 11 million people are now online daily, with Aussies spending on average 82 hours a month on the internet. Forty-nine percent also owned a mobile phone, double the percentage in 2011.

"Mobile and internet services are driving growth in the digital economy," said Chris Chapman, ACMA chairman. "Australians are increasingly connected, adopting whichever devices best meet their needs."

Retail is one of those needs Australians have turned to the internet to satisfy. And a growth in the retail sector has come along at the best time for etailers as the Christmas season revs up and internet use is booming.

According to the Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index (PSI), the retail sector improved 13.6 points to 55.2, an important milestone, as a score below 50 indicates contraction and one above 50 suggests expansion.

The time is ripe for businesses to enter the online arena, and there may be no better way for Australian retailers to equip themselves for the digital transition that using an online payment gateway to streamline the transaction process.


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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Change to Google Apps - hope you signed up to your free account early.

Hello from Google,

Here's some important news about Google Apps--but don't worry, there's no
need for you to take any action. We just want you to know that we're making
a change to the packages we offer.

Starting today, we're no longer accepting new sign-ups for the free version
of Google Apps (the version you're currently using). Because you're already
a customer, this change has no impact on your service, and you can continue
to use Google Apps for free.

Should you ever want to upgrade to Google Apps for Business, you'll enjoy
benefits such as 24/7 customer support, a 25 GB inbox, business controls,
our 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited users and more for just $5 per user,
per month.

You can learn more about this change in our Help Center or on the
Enterprise Blog.
Help Center:
Enterprise Blog: <http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/>

Thank you for using Google Apps.

Clay Bavor
Director, Google Apps

(c) 2012 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043

You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you
about important changes to your Google Apps product or account.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Australian online shoppers go mobile

eWAY eCommerce articles Australian online shoppers go mobile

Ecommerce in Australia is still growing, but that growth is further fuelled by a mobile revolution. Now, consumers aren't shackled to desktops, but are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to complete their shopping needs

According to research done by Nielsen and Stokes Mischewski, 22 percent of Australians will shop with their mobile devices this Christmas season. Already, the study found mobile accounts for nearly $1.1 billion in fashion sales and another $1 billion in electronics annually.

Consumers will be using mobile more this holiday season, with 45 percent predicting it will give them an advantage in gift-buying. Purchasing isn't the only thing consumers are using mobile ecommerce sites for, as 62 percent said they used a mobile device to research products.

Predictably, the more tech-savvy Gen Y consumers are driving increased mobile shopping rates. Seventy-four percent of Gen Y mobile device users have researched a product online, compared to 62 percent of Gen X and 49 percent of Baby Boomers.

Online businesses that want to reach new customers ought to look into mobile ecommerce advancements, particularly a merchant gateway system than can help streamline a mobile site when it comes to payment. The faster the site and transaction process, the happier the customer.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Top 10 Viral Charity Video Campaigns of 2012 {review later}

Reel SEO Video Marketing The Top 10 Viral Charity Video Campaigns of 2012

The Top 10 Viral Charity Video Campaigns of 2012

It's that time of year when we start seeing lists of the top everything from everywhere, and Visible Measures has just announced their top 10 most viral charity campaigns of 2012.  In the year that is clearly PSY's as far as viral video extravaganzas, it's easy to forget that there are a number of other videos in other genres just looking to make a noticeable dent on YouTube.  Charity/cause videos had a really good year, even if you don't count KONY's amazing run.  It goes to show that the worldwide reach of online video is an amazing tool in reaching a sympathetic audience.

The Top 10 Charity Videos of 2012

The total number of views are from Visible Measures, who have a "True Reach" statistic to measure the amount.  So these aren't just YouTube-only views, but views across a variety of platforms and sites, although YouTube makes the bulk of the total viewership.

10. Africa for Norway: Official Christmas Video (1.7 million views)

This is the type of ironic video that will have some people missing the point.  The point of this is that it's easy to think of a country, or even a whole continent, as a series of issues and forget that there is a more complex world out there.  Africa for Norway actually comes from The Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund.  It's a funny video and it brings to light that countries, regions, continents, whatever, are more complex than a set of causes:

Click here to watch this video.

9. Girls Going Wild in Red Light District (1.7 million views)

Enjoy the show, fellas, but the women behind the glass are representative of victims of human trafficking.  This video, which has elements of the old "The Truth" cigarette videos that you used to see on TV for years, came from Duvall Guillaume.

Click here to watch this video.

8. How to Grow a Moustache with Nick Offerman (1.8 million views)

Offerman is best known as Ron Swanson on Parks & Recreation.  He made this humorous video on how to grow an amazing 'stache for MadeManDotCom, raising awareness for men's health.

Click here to watch this video.

7. The Real Bears (1.9 million views)

CSPITV has taken a popular soda company's polar bears and has flipped the script, by showing those polar bears as obese and in danger of suffering from diabetes.  Along with a song by Jason Mraz, this video is something we don't usually see in relation to soft drinks, the kind of video that would make anti-smoking campaigns proud:

Click here to watch this video.

6. First World Problems Anthem (1.9 million views)

The Gift of Water would like you to know that your really small, insignificant, non-life-threatening problems are not nearly the same as not having water to drink.  And of course, hearing impoverished people state these insignificant "first world" problems puts it in perspective:

Click here to watch this video.

5. Fragile Childhood - Monsters (2.1 million views)

To children, monsters can be a real thing: monsters created by the adults who drink too much.  This video actually is pretty scary when you see how close these "monsters" are to their children.  The lack of screaming and running actually makes this video scarier than most horror movies:

Click here to watch this video.

4. Thai Health Promotion Foundation - Smoking Kid (3.3 million views)

Watch as kids ask young adults for a smoke, and the supposedly older, wiser of the two gives ironic anti-smoking advice to the kids:

Click here to watch this video.

3. Boyfriend Went Vegan (3.4 million views)

Quite possibly the Rebecca Black "Friday" of the group, because it's PETA and they often have controversial messages in their advertisements.  It has a nearly 4:1 dislike ratio.  It implies that once this woman's boyfriend went vegan, he was an absolute force in the sack:

Click here to watch this video.

2. World Humanitarian Day (Beyoncé - I Was Here) (17 million views)

Buoyed by Beyoncé, the United Nations put out this video about people making a difference, giving to those in need:

Click here to watch this video.

1. KONY 2012 (213 million views)

Invisible Children came out with a video illustrating the evils of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, and it was one of the most amazing rises to virality you will ever see, especially since the it's 30 minutes long.  Director Jason Russell didn't do much to help the cause after an unfortunate incident in San Diego that was mercilessly spoofed by "South Park" later in the year, and the organization Invisible Children themselves were under fire after the video was made.  Still, for our purposes, it's an example of content that took off when the media started running with it, showing that sharing with the right people can lead to overwhelming success if the content is just right:

Click here to watch this video.

We'd like to thank Visible Measures for their list!


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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Got this email from Getresponse {take the lesson}

Product: GetResponse

Question Category: General questions

(2012-11-30 07:53:45) GetResponse Support:
Hello David,

My name is Paulina and I am a Customer Success
Specialist at GetResponse.

I am writing because as one of our most
loyal customers, we would like to send
a Christmas present.

I would like to verify your mailing address,
so we can be sure that it makes it to you.

Here is the address we have on file:


Is this correct?

If you wouldn't mind to verify this at your
earliest convenience, we would love to
get your Christmas present on its way!

I look forward to hearing from you,

Paulina Lippert

Customer Success Team


And the lesson?  Look after your best customers :) Need help with marketing ideas? Contact www.melbourneSEOservices.com