Posted on June 17, 2014 by Thoughtwire News - Uncategorized
“Project Catapult” has finally arrived.
In November 2012, Microsoft started on a project that looked to revolutionize their Bing search servers through field-programmable arrays (FPGAs) processors. Basically, the processors could be customized for use with Microsoft-specific software, dramatically increase the speed of search and improve upon current Microsoft services.
“Using FPGAs, Microsoft engineers are building a kind of super-search machine network they call Catapult. It’s comprised of 1,632 servers, each one with an Intel Xeon processor and a daughter card that contains the Altera FPGA chip, linked to the Catapult network,” reported Robert McMillan of Wired.com.
Now in 2014, Project Catapult is ready to launch and Microsoft will hope the massive budget for the construction and engineering will be worth it.
With the FPGAs, processing is 40 times faster than Bing’s custom algorithms.
“Right off the bat we can chop the number of servers that we use in half,” said Doug Burger, the Microsoft man that inspired the idea.
Although the “official” release isn’t slated until 2015, Catapult is set up and passing test after test, and don’t be surprised if it’s already working on certain Bing applications.
“There are large challenges in scaling the performance of software now. The question is: ‘What’s next?’ We took a bet on programmable hardware,” Burger said.
Posted on June 12, 2014 by Thoughtwire News - Uncategorized
It will be impossible to escape the (copyrighted) 2014 FIFA World Cup from infiltrating your life over the next month. Even when starting to research for this blog, Google had already begun, making their Doodle a clickable icon that turns the company name into a dancing Brazilian collage.
Are your marketing goals in the right place?
The key for marketing agencies is taking advantage of the massive platform of the once-every-four-years tournament. For the huge corporations and business entities, this won’t be a problem. Coca-Cola, Adidas, Sony and Visa, for example (and just to name a few), all are official World Cup sponsors. So their brand, message and products will be plastered, painted and coated all over everything, coverage related.
Even non-official sponsors, like Twitter, that are still backed by millions, have the human power to blend their products with the almighty World Cup. “Love every second. Join every chant. Celebrate every goal. Our new World Cup features put you at the center of all the action, wherever you are,” wrote Twitter in a spam email to its users, followed by a call to action button of “Choose your team.”
What can the smaller and more local businesses do to compete with the big ad campaigns from Fortune 500 companies? Nothing. And that is just fine. Here’s why: smaller companies simply can’t compete—and they don’t need to do so.
The key to incorporating an event watched by billions is to be extremely specific as it relates to your industry. If you own a tire company and you’re on social media, don’t end your tweet with #WorldCup. That just throws you into a social pool of millions. #WorldCupTires will allow you to stand out in your field.
Whether it is drink and food specials during the games or discounts when your team wins, marketers that are specific and proactive will reap the benefits of soccer’s greatest moment.
Posted on June 4, 2014 by Thoughtwire News - Uncategorized
The world of search engine optimization (SEO) can be a bit boring at times (to put it nicely)—constantly studying and staying up-to-date on algorithm changes, monitoring front and back end processes on websites, adding new technology and innovation to appear first on search, etc. Although a rewarding task, SEO can be a lot like a construction project—putting a lot of hard work into bettering someone else’s environment.
Google’s eggs are hidden in the program. Can you find them?
But SEO and search don’t always have to be rudimentary, technical and bland. Google “Easter Eggs” are just one example of enhancing the user experience while making web browsing fun for the professionals as well.
Easter Eggs are intentionally hidden messages, actions, images or other inside jokes programmers make while building different platforms. They span games, portraits, movies, theme parks and any form of media where layers of deception can be applied.
In the arena of web crawlers, Google has implemented several different Eggs that you can try out for yourself right now. Just open the search engine and type in these words:
Tilt—the screen does just that.
Do a barrel roll—grab a jet ski for your computer.
Zerg rush—play a video game on the Google homepage. Not advisable at work.
Festivus—the spirit of Seinfeld lives on.
If you watch videos on YouTube, here are some more recommended Egg fun:
Do the Harlem Shake—your computer will obey.
Use the force Luke—test to see if you have the power of the Jedi.
Clocking—not sure why, but this exists.
Posted on March 26, 2014 by Thoughtwire News - Uncategorized
At Thoughtwire Media, without patting ourselves too hard on the back, we have talked about the switch to content-focused SEO marking plans since before Hummingbird was even unveiled. The days of keyword stuffing, bad link building and other Black Hat techniques are dying and almost dead. The search engines keep evolving, but one thing has remained throughout the changes—content is king.
A new marketing survey by the Custom Content Council revealed that content marketing budgets have continued to rise, currently sitting around $44 billion. Needless to say, a very high price tag and priority have been placed on digital content.
OK, content is important, we already know that, so what? The key is matching your search engine optimization (SEO) approach to that of your content. Yes, you still have to create the good sentence structure and flow, but why not make your marketing message help you appear higher on the search engine results page (SERP)?
One of the first things to consider is that search queries themselves are becoming more “long-tailed,” or more resembling that of actual speech. The algorithm was adapted to accommodate the big increase in mobile searches and quires done through Siri and the like, where users say what they are thinking, often in elongated sentences.
Aid your SEO efforts by writing content that engages your audience while helping the crawlers ID your products and services.
“Yet, with the fusion of media comes a fusion of minds. The modern-day marketer balances left- and right-brain thinking. They use SEO and technology as an enabler and distributor, using content marketing creativity to build holistic content and SEO programs that result in measurable business outcomes,” reported Jim Yu in his 3-step alignment of content and SEO.
Posted on March 17, 2014 by Thoughtwire News - Uncategorized
A lot of people wonder, how do I get my picture to appear beside the search results for articles, content and websites with which I’m associated? The answer is establishing authorship and publisher credentials for your website and for the content you create.
It’s easy to see the value in having a picture beside a search result, as more people are likely to click on content with images and videos, but what beyond that?
Last week, at the SMX West conference, Search Engine Land founder Danny Sullivan asked the head of Google search, Amit Singhal, “You say you are not using anything like an AuthorRank now. Why not use “AuthorRank” in the future? Would it not add value?” Amit replied, “Possible it could.”
That vague response reaffirms what many already believe—not only is AuthorRank in the works, but it will definitely help your SEO efforts and assist you in establishing yourself as an authority in certain areas.
Google’s head of spam, Matt Cutts, has hinted that establishing authorship is being picked up and used by the crawler, albeit in small doses. “To be fair, it does come into play in some ways. For example, in-depth articles use that data, I’m pretty sure,” Cutts said.
In December of last year, Google said that they were cutting back on some author photos to make sure they appeared at relevant times. From Google: “We rolled out new algorithms designed to show author photos when they’re more likely to be relevant and interesting.”
The future of Google Authorship Rank to help SEO is still being perfected. But one thing we do know is that putting your face next to your words certainly doesn’t hurt, especially if you want more traffic, exposure and authority.
Sources: Google.com, SMX West