Today is Wednesday, 23rd August 2017

Prime Day was Biggest Day in the History of Amazon

Screen-Shot-2016-07-13-at-3.44.00-PMAmazon knocked it out of the park on yesterday’s Prime Day with customer orders surpassing Prime Day 2015 by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the United States. Amazon said it was also the biggest day ever for Amazon devices globally and set sales records for every Amazon device category including Kindle, Alexa, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Globally, the Fire TV Stick was Amazon’s best-selling device.

“Prime itself is the best deal in the history of shopping, and Prime Day was created as a special benefit exclusively for our Prime members,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President, Amazon Prime. “We want to thank our tens of millions of members around the world for making this the biggest day in the history of Amazon. We hope you had as much fun as we did. After yesterday’s results, we’ll definitely be doing this again.”

Small businesses and selling partners on Amazon with Prime deals had nearly triple year-over-year sales, both worldwide and in the US. “We offered customers our best products at great deals and they responded in a big way,” said Dov Brafman, CEO of Sharkk, which offers cool and unique audio solutions and other consumer accessories. “Prime Day helped us reach our highest sales day ever.”

“Sales were much higher than I was expecting with that 60% growth rate,” says R.J. Hottovy on CNBC. Hottovy is a Consumer Equity Strategist at Morningstar. “That will probably put the company ahead of where it was last year. You are talking about sales in the $500 to $600 million range for this day alone. The real take-a-ways for me are that international markets seem to be adopting Prime and competing sales from the likes of Walmart don’t seem to be impacting Amazon sales at all. We estimate there are more than 70 million Prime members globally, about 80% of that, or 56 million, coming from the US. What it has shown is that there is real stickiness to this business.”

The real impact of Prime Day for Amazon is not sales but in enticing more “sticky” Prime memberships. “Sales are really besides the point, it’s about driving Prime membership,” said Shelly Banjo of Bloomberg. “One estimate had Amazon adding 6 million Prime members. What that does is lock you in an average of 7 years according to one estimate. Prime is Amazon’s secret sauce.”

People get “hooked on Prime” she says and no longer making shopping lists to go to Walmart or somewhere else. Instead they think of something to buy and with a couple clicks of the phone it’s done.

Rich Ord

YouTube Bigger Than Ever

Screen-Shot-2016-07-12-at-2.14.06-PM-865x410YouTube was founded in February 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were among the first employees of PayPal. According to Wikipedia “Hurley and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos that had been shot at a dinner party at Chen’s apartment in San Francisco.” By July 2006 “the site was receiving 100 million video views per day.” YouTube was sold to Google in November 2006 for $1.65 billion, a deal by today’s standards.

On April 23, 2005, at 8:27 p.m., according to CompsMag, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim uploaded the very 1st YouTube video titled “Me at the zoo.” The video was shot by Yakov Lapitsky, Karim’s high school buddy.

 

That was Then and This is Now

According to Alexa data, YouTube is now the 2nd most visited website in the world and the 3rd most visited in the US.

According to internal YouTube stats, they now have over a billion users, which is almost one-third of all people on the Internet and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views daily. The last specific number of video views released by YouTube was 2012 where they said they had 4 billion views per day. YouTube video views are likely much higher at this point where video is now mainstream and YouTube videos are routinely found in online news articles, Facebook, Twitter and other social media and are intensely consumed on mobile devices.

There are 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, which is 432,000 hours a day or “approximately 50 years worth of videos.”

YouTube is bigger than any cable network in the US and its growth has been accelerating “up at least 50% year over year for three straight years.” In fact, the number of people watching YouTube per day is up 40% year over year since March 2014. Over 80% of YouTube views are from outside of the US with 88 country versions covering 76 different languages, which includes almost everybody. The time people spend watching YouTube videos is also up, with mobile viewing average sessions now over 40 minutes which is up 50% year over year.

Content producers are also making more money, with partner revenue up 50% year over year for 3 straight years and the number of channels earning $100,000 or more per year also up 50%.

Copyright holders are also earning more YouTube payouts, having paid out $1 billion to rightholders as of 2014 (last data available). YouTube’s in-house content team, YouTube spaces, which is “focused on helping creators make great content through strategic programs and workshops largely administered at the YouTube Space production facilities in Los Angeles, New York, London, Tokyo, Sao Paulo and Berlin” is also going well. “As of March 2015, creators filming in YouTube Spaces have produced over 10,000 videos which have generated over 1 billion views and 70+ million hours of watchtime,” according to a YouTube posting.

“To date, the most watched YouTube video has approximately 2.2 billion views,” Kyle Brigham who is SEM Director at Chicago based Marcel Digital wrote in a 2015 blog post. It is that of Psy’s “Gangnam Style”, the popular hit from 2012. At a distant second is Justin Bieber’s “Baby” at 1.2 billion.”

As of this writing “Gangnam Style” now has over 2,606,130,861 views!

Pinterest Launches New Rich Pin Type ‘How-To Pins’

pinterest-generic1Pinterest announced the launch of a new type of Rich Pin called How-To Pins. These include step-by-step instructions to help users accomplish whatever the pins pertain to.

As a Pinterest spokesperson tells us, “When you tap a Pin for a closer look, you’ll see all the info you need to try an idea on Pins in food & drink, hair & beauty, fitness and DIY.”

how-to-android-blog

 

At first, users will start seeing How-To Pins from Home Depot, Food.com, Style Me Pretty, Greatist, ELLE, Marie Claire, Brit & Co., Sunset, Delish and others, in the home feed (only from brands they follow), in search or by visiting a brand’s profile.

“We’re building a catalog of +50 billion ideas, and this is the latest update to Pins as we add more rich data to make them as useful and actionable as possible,” the spokesperson says, adding, “Pinterest is increasingly the app for finding ideas. According to an IPSOS Survey of online adults 18-64, an overwhelming majority said Pinterest was the best app to find inspiration, plan, and try something new, while Facebook is about making connections and Twitter is about staying updated on current events.”

How-To Pins are rolling out today to all Pinterest users in the US, UK, and Germany on Android and the web. iOS will gain support in the future.

Images via Pinterest

Chris Crum

Yelp Is Looking For Small Business Owners To Offer Advice

By

yelp-life_1310294_616Yelp put out an announcement calling for small business owners to volunteer for its Small Biz Advisory Council. Specifically, they’re looking for Yelp aficionados who wish to act as representatives for business owners around the world and share insights with Yelp execs.

Yelp manager of local business outreach Rosie Akenhead writes:

Every year, Yelp selects a diverse group of people from around the world to serve as the collective voice of small businesses on Yelp. Those chosen will join in on regular conference calls to provide insight on existing Yelp features, policies, products under development, and to brainstorm new ideas. Even better, new members will also travel to Yelp HQ to participate in our annual summit where they’ll meet with Yelp’s top executives and department heads to share their perspectives as small business owners. The feedback provided during these sessions are often used to shape new tools and features like the Yelp for Business Owners mobile app.

Ready to sign up yet? Good. We’re ready for you. The official call for new Yelp Small Business Advisory Council members is here and all are welcome to apply. Our council members are thought leaders who enjoy sharing their insights with other business owners.

According to the company, those selected will be able to make connections with small business leaders from around the world, travel to San Francisco for a summit at the Yelp headquarters, provide input on products in development, brainstorm new ideas for the company to consider, and be a resource for other business owners who have questions about Yelp’s products.

There’s no question that a lot of business owners would like to see things about Yelp changed, so this could be a chance to have your voice heard. There’s an application here.

Google “Believes” The Doorway Page Algorithm Update Has Rolled Out

By · April 24, 2015

Last month, Google announced that it’s cracking down on doorway pages with a new ranking adjustment. At the time, the company said this would launch soon, but didn’t give an exact time frame.

It appears that now, the update has already been rolled out. SEOs and webmasters have apparently been largely unable to tell if the the update ever launched, but the subject came up in a Webmaster hangout with Google’s John Mueller, in which he said, “I believe that has rolled out, yea.”

You never really get a firm answer on these things from Mueller. It’s always “I think” or “I believe,” and sometimes that has led to seemingly contradictory statements from Google, but unless we hear otherwise, we’re just going to have to assume that Mueller is right.

Here’s the video (via Search Engine Roundtable):

Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable, a known forum tracker, says he’s been tracking a “ton of forums” (both whitehat and blackhat), and people are still asking if the update has really launched.

In case you’re wondering what this update means exactly, doorway pages have historically been known as pages created specifically to get in search results for various queries, and then send users to a different page.

This practice has long been against Google’s quality guidelines, but that’s hardly stopped people from trying it. In 2005, Google’s Matt Cutts advised people not to hire an “assclown SEO that makes doorway pages with sneaky redirects,” and that advice still holds up today, apparently more than ever.

Five years ago, Google started sending webmasters messages when Webmaster Tools detected doorway pages on their sites.

“We have a long-standing view that doorway pages that [are] created solely for search engines can harm the quality of the user’s search experience,” says Brian White from Google’s Webspam team. “For example, searchers might get a list of results that all go to the same site. So if a user clicks on one result, doesn’t like it, and then tries the next result in the search results page and is taken to that same site that they didn’t like, that’s a really frustrating experience.”

Google has “freshened” its definition of doorway pages in the Quality Guidelines:

Doorways are sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries. They are bad for users because they can lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination. They can also lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination.

Here are some examples of doorways:

Having multiple domain names or pages targeted at specific regions or cities that funnel users to one page

Pages generated to funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site(s)

Substantially similar pages that are closer to search results than a clearly defined, browseable hierarchy.

Remember when Google launched the Panda update, and gave webmasters a list of questionsthey could ask themselves to determine if a page is high quality? Last month, they provided a list of questions to determine if your pages may be seen as doorway pages:

 

  • Is the purpose to optimize for search engines and funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site, or are they an integral part of your site’s user experience?
  • Are the pages intended to rank on generic terms yet the content presented on the page is very specific?
  • Do the pages duplicate useful aggregations of items (locations, products, etc.) that already exist on the site for the purpose of capturing more search traffic?
  • Are these pages made solely for drawing affiliate traffic and sending users along without creating unique value in content or functionality?
  • Do these pages exist as an “island?” Are they difficult or impossible to navigate to from other parts of your site? Are links to such pages from other pages within the site or network of sites created just for search engines?

 

“Over time, we’ve seen sites try to maximize their ‘search footprint’ without adding clear, unique value,” says White. “These doorway campaigns manifest themselves as pages on a site, as a number of domains, or a combination thereof.”

According to White, sites with “large and well-established doorway campaigns” may notice a significant impact from the adjustment.

This update hasn’t received nearly as much as attention as another major Google update thatstarted rolling out this week. Businesses who don’t have mobile-friendly sites are going to start feeling the heat from that one if they haven’t already.


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