Copywriting Blog

In an attempt to succeed where they have failed before, Google has announced a low-cost TV dongle: Chromecast. The device works by plugging it into your television’s HDMI port. It will then allow you to stream media from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Priced in the US at an affordable $35, how much it will cost on the international market is still unclear. This isn’t the first time that Google has attempted to create a presence in the TV industry. In 2010, Google TV was introduced. It failed due to the fact that most TV networks blocked the service and users were required to buy expensive hardware. Two years later, Google teamed up with Sony to introduce a £200 set-top box, which was also a failure, like last year’s Nexus Q device. After plugging into your television through its HDMI port, the Chromecast device will use your home wireless internet to link it to your...

A recent survey carried out by the Content Marketing Institute and Direct Marketing Association found that approximately 64 per cent of marketers in the UK expect to increase their budgets in 2014. This is supported by the findings that companies investing in high-quality content marketing were highly successful in 2013. The focus for content marketers this year has been primarily on creating high-quality content that can be shared across social channels. The success of content marketing in the UK is apparent, with 94 per cent of all marketers adopting content marketing into their campaigns. Social Leading content marketing companies have stressed that future success will be partially determined by major social media campaigns to help maximise the effectiveness of quality content. Twitter and LinkedIn were widely seen as the most effective social platforms for distributing content, with Facebook coming a near third. This will come as interesting news to content marketing agencies who are yet...

The ongoing investigation into Google’s abuse of its dominant market share has seen a further development after Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia rejected their proposal to help even the playing field. Google submitted the proposal to the EU competition regulators last April after numerous complaints that the search engine had been overly aggressive in the promotion of its own services. The proposal aimed to address concerns that Google have been manipulating search results in their favour. Google suggested that clear labelling of their services as well as promoting at least three rival sites would be enough to allow for competition in the market. With a share of over 80 per cent of the search market, there are massive concerns that Google are blocking competitions in search results. On analysis of the proposal, complainants such as Microsoft, Foundem and Oracle have suggested that the changes are insufficient and will have little or no effect on...

Following the Guardian’s exposé of papers that allege close links between the NSA and various technology giants in the US, further details of the level of Microsoft’s co-operation with the NSA have been released. Microsoft aided the NSA, helping them get around their own encryption systems so that the agency could freely spy on the users of all of Microsoft’s services. These services include Hotmail, Outlook, SkyDrive and Skype. Outlook.com features data-scrambling technology that was designed to hide messages from spies and hackers. In this case, Microsoft assisted with the NSA to undo the privacy that they prided themselves on. Microsoft is claiming that they collaborated with the NSA purely out of legal obligations. This comes amid a new advertising campaign for Microsoft with the tagline: ‘Your Privacy is our Priority’. The exposed documents include claims from the NSA that they were able to reap 3 times as many calls from Skype than before,...

Google Reader’s remaining fans will be distraught to know that Google has finally shut down its content aggregator, citing declining use, despite the multitude of online petitions that have been passed around the internet imploring them to reconsider. Google has left a goodbye message on the site in question: ‘Google Reader has been discontinued. We want to thank all our loyal fans. We understand you may not agree with this decision, but we hope you’ll come to love these alternatives as much as you loved Reader.’ Among the alternatives listed that Google Reader’s fan base is probably investigating at the moment, Feedly seems to be the most popular substitute, having announced that they received 500,000 new users a mere 48 hours after Google announced Reader’s discontinuation. A further 3 million new users joined over the following two weeks. Digg has also announced plans to build their own Google Reader replacement, with modifications to try...

Facebook unveiled its very own semantic search engine in March this year, naming it Facebook Graph Search. Facebook unveils Graph Search New challenger to traditional search engines? How can search results be optimised? Designed to give answers to user natural language queries, as opposed to a list of links, Graph Search signals a major change in online social searching. It matches natural language search terms from the user with content from the user’s own network (referred to as a social ‘graph’), identifying and returning relevant results based on several different factors such as the amount of ‘likes’ certain content has received. Although it is yet to be made available to the majority of Facebook users, analysts are claiming that this may be the first genuine challenger to traditional search engines. Of course, it remains to be seen how consumers will adapt to social searching after years of using traditional search engines. Analysts are also...

Twitter has acquired Spindle, a local discovery app, in an attempt to increase its product line. Spindle makes use of Facebook and Twitter updates from local businesses to create notifications and feeds for local events and offers. The app is currently only available in certain cities in the United States and has proven highly successful in the trial cities. The acquisition of Spindle will no doubt mean that more and more people will have access to the app. Using your social profiles, Spindle creates notifications that mention products or things you like or follow based on your location. This includes up-to-the-minute notifications for one-off promotions and last-minute cancellation suggestions. The benefits of this app are huge, for both consumers and businesses alike, and there are high hopes for Spindle to be introduced into the European market. In their blog, the Spindle team highlighted that joining forces with Twitter will mean even more access...

Facebook has formally introduced hashtags as a feature on its interface in order to make it easier for users and advertisers to zoom in on ‘hot spots’ of user activity around certain events or topics of discussion. The hashtag appears as the # symbol and it was first made popular by Twitter. By including a phrase or a word after the # symbol, users can follow specific streams of conversation through myriad other conversations and topics by clicking on the word or phrase. Similarly, Facebook users will now have the ability to categorise comments and conversations by typing the hashtag symbol alongside a keyword at the end of a post. This system is very useful in social networking, particularly with following comments and conversations about real-time events, like sports, political debates, TV shows and so on. It’s particularly useful for advertisers to reach their desired audience. Now, Facebook hashtag users will be able to...

Google have had a busy week in the news after a number of important changes to the algorithm, high profile court hearings and the acquisition of mapping software Waze. We run though some of the highlights that may affect SEO from the past 5 days: Ranking Update Google engineer Matt Cutts recently announced the release of a new ranking update that is said to affect approximately 0.3% - 0.5% of all English search queries. The update intends to target spammy search queries such as payday loans and pornographic websites. Cutts was quick to stress that this update was a work in progress and to expect changes in the coming months. Check out the video here: http://t.co/KOMozoc3lo Smartphone ranking changes A recent blog post on the Webmaster Central Blog has mentioned that sites that are poorly written for smartphone users will be hurt in search results. Google want webmasters to focus on bringing the richness of the...

A new survey carried out by Microsoft examined the attitudes of 4,000 consumers towards internet privacy as part of their Your Privacy Type campaign. The survey sought to determine different kinds of privacy types amongst users across the globe as well as examine attitudes towards privacy in the digital age. Research found that the majority of UK users (84 per cent) were concerned about their online privacy. However, further questioning revealed that almost half of users do nothing to help protect their privacy online. This data has been instrumental in Microsoft’s recent ad campaign: “At Microsoft, your privacy is our priority”. In light of the recent American Online surveillance operation (Prism), the question of internet privacy has never been so pressing – how safe is any data online? And who is looking at it? Recent reports have shown that the software giant Microsoft were the first company to open their doors to the NSA....