Archive for August, 2016

Pop-up Sites Punished By Google

pop upsGoogle recently announced plans to punish websites that utilize intrusive pop-up advertisements. To do this, the tech mogul plans to update its algorithms for ranking search results so that pages with pop ups are more likely to get lower placings in the ranks. According to Google, the revision of the algorithms should come into affect starting on the 10th of January.

While Google does make most of its profits from placing ads on the internet, experts have seen this decision as more strategic than altruistic. The company likely hopes that, by making ads more sparse, users are less likely to use ad-blockers or search within ad-blocking apps when they surf the web.

Google claimed in its blog that the change would be coming about in an attempt to simply make using its results a little less frustrating:

“Pages that show intrusive interstitials [elements that cover the content] provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible,” it explained. “This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller,” it added.

google dockAs for the precise processes that the Mountain View-based company hopes to discourage, Google gave three examples: pop-ups that cover part of the main content of the website when a user clicks on a page, intermediary webpages that have to be dismissed before the main content can be seen, and ads that fill a web browser’s screen so that a user is forced to scroll down “below the fold” before they can see the material they actually hoped to access.

Google also added that it would be making some exceptions to its anti-pop-up stance. Pop-ups that tell readers about a webpage’s use of cookies, for example, are still kosher. Another exception will be pop-ups that require log-in details before a visitor can transgress a paywall.

“Google is one of the largest advertising companies in the world, but it’s in a very different position to Facebook, Snapchat and other global media consumption apps,” explained Daniel Knapp, senior director of advertising research at the IHS consultancy. “Google is still very reliant on the desktop and mobile web to make money, and it’s much more difficult to clean up that experience than the native app environments,” he continued.

“That’s why it needs to tighten the screws on everyone with this crackdown.”

googPerhaps the real reason that Google needs to “tighten up the screws” is that people are wising up to the pop-up game, and without a more powerful advertising-combating browser the mogul’s seat on the search engine throne may be compromised. After all, people are making web browsers that promise to block all ads except those that users consent to seeing. Pop-up blocking browser additions are normal and suggested, and apps devoted to blocking apps on mobile devices are widely used.

If Google cannot itself provide a less obnoxious advertising environment, it will risk losing its users to the entities working hard at the cutting edge of the internet media-advertisement relationship.

Let’s hope this tech race remains one where the consumer wins.

The New Kings of the Mobile Mountain

Believe it or not the long standing kings of the mobile tech mountain(the silicon valley) has been dethroned by China.  Hong Kong to be exact. There is Snapchat and Kik as we know when it comes to messaging services but which use bar codes that look like they came from a drunken checkerboards to connect people and share information with a snap of their smartphone cameras. Facebook is working on adding the ability to hail rides and make payments within their so called messaging app but a lot of variables remain to be seen. There are Still many questions that need to be answered and a lot of things need to unfold within the market to be totally certain, but we can be fairly certain that the next big thing is Hong Kong.

All of the so called developments have something that runs within it a common thread of market expectation and minimal access data reformation. And that is the fact that the technology was first popularized in China, not the United States which is in opposition to popular opinion. WeChat and their competition Alipay are both two Chinese big time money making apps. This is going to have ramifications that are immense but are not really being discussed because they are not really considering the scale to which they will be felt. Consider this before Venmo became an app for young people to send money here and there within the United States, both young and old in the land of China were investing, and thus reimbursing each other, and paying bills, and buying products from stores with their smartphones on a digital based wallet system.

“Quite frankly, the trope that China copies the U.S. hasn’t been true for years, and in mobile it’s the opposite: The U.S. often copies, China. For the Facebook Messenger app, for example, the best way to understand their road map is to look at WeChat.”

to be honest China is still king of lagging when it comes to some of the most important areas of the industry and frankly it will start to leave them in the dust in certain respects, and at the very least its in bad taste. The most glaring is the status of their environmental destruction within their city centers and more densely populated areas. In many ways China is going to take a lot of market potential from the Silicon Valley and that is a fact. But when it comes to the reality that the top engineers in the world are going to have to make the choice between living in the Bay area weather with Silicon Valley worker coddling in opposition to the poisioned air of urban China where you are not only in a less desierable physical environment you are forced to operate within the Chinese tech culture where you are essentially expected to live at your desk and put in upwards of 80 hours a week on your projects. I don’t know about you but I’m going Berkeley sunset every time. Still China is set to take a big bite of the market within 2 years.