Weekly Industry News Round-Up
Welcome to the Bright Design Tuesday Newsday segment! This is where we get you up to speed with all that is happening in the tech and SEO world.
The right to free knowledge
If you have kept up with our recent Tuesday News Days, you may have noticed that we have discussed the recent developments with Google and their plan to introduce a new version of their search engine that will be available for the Chinese public. Recently, more and more information has come out about Google’s decision to re-enter the Chinese market with a new censored version of their renowned search engine. The latest update to this on-going story is the response to Alphabet and Google by their own employees.
Over the past couple of weeks, hundreds of different Google employees have written to Google and Alphabet protesting the decision to turn back on their moral stand for freedom of knowledge. The Google employees have stated that the named project Dragonfly raises urgent moral and ethical questions; they also urged Google and Alphabet to be more transparent.
The dilemma has raised many worries among the ‘Googlers’ as they “Currently do not have the information required to make ethnically-informed decisions about their work”.
It seems that as Google and Alphabet decide to push on with the project Dragonfly, more people are voicing their concerns about the impact that Google could have on the Chinese public. By enforcing the Chinese government’s ban on certain subjects such as democracy and religion, it has been made clear that Google could be more concerned with pushing their service to another potential 1.379 billion people than to stand by their employees and millions (potentially even billions) of people for the right of free information without governments restricting the information available to us.
Dirtier than a smart phone
Are you using your phone to read this? Well if you are then you might want to go and clean your phone right now! Because if you are one of the 35% of people that never clean their phones then you might be in for a bit of a shock.
A company by the name of Insurance2go experimented with three highly popular phone handsets; the iPhone 6, a Samsung Galaxy 8 and a Google Pixel. Insurance2go tested for aerobic bacteria, mould and yeast on the most commonly handled areas of the phone (such as the lock button, screen and home button). The results of these tests are quite shocking.
The results came back showing a significant amount of mould, bacteria and yeast living on the surface of the three phones. The typical toilet seat will have roughly 24 units, over the three phones being tested by Insurance2go, the average units of bacteria, mould and yeast was a staggering 84.9 units just on the screen alone (I’m seriously starting to doubt all those long phone calls now!)
But what started this investigation into the cleanliness of our phones? Well, since Ofcom released their findings over the UK’s smartphone addiction, it is only natural to start digging further into what we don’t already know about the devices we use on a daily basis.
Ok so we all now know how disgusting our phones are, but how do we clean them? Now obviously we are not going to suggest your shower with your phone. But we would recommend that at least once a week (preferably every day) you use a wet wipe, clean damp towel or even disinfectant spray (just be careful not to damage your phone).
It’s strange to think that out of all the large companies, Google is the one who collects some of the largest databases of personal data. Yes, that’s right, Google holds more than just your browser history; where you go, what you do and what you search. Google manages to track you, listen to you and know where you are all thanks to the functions that they have built into their search engine.
Ok so if Google “stalks” me, how can I stop them? Well, first of all, you have to access your settings page, then find the location activity controls. There you are able to turn these settings off. Furthermore, if you wish to remove all the data Google has stored about you (e.g. where you have been, what you have searched for) what you need to do is visit the timeline page, find the small settings cog symbol in the bottom right-hand corner and select delete. And there you have it, Google should no longer store where you have been and what you have done.
The resurrection of Google Goggles, but not as you might think
Back in 2009 Google had announced their latest feat in mobile phone technology. The app was called Google Goggles. The mobile phone image recognition app was developed to run on Android phones and would identify physical objects by using Google’s almost limitless gallery of images. This would then display information about the object. The software was originally only developed for Android phones but later releases for the iPhone and BlackBerry were developed.
The last we saw of Google Goggles was an update all the way back in 2014. But luckily a new update has just rolled out officially rebranding Google Goggles into Google Lens. Along with the re-branding, Google Lens comes with an all-new feature – being able to copy and paste text from photos. So if you’re taking notes in class or writing down a list of ingredients from a recipe book, you can simply take a photo of the text – Google Lens will recognise the text in the image and allow you to copy and paste it into your notes app. The possibilities for this feature are endless, and it will undoubtedly make a world of difference for many.
Search engine importance?
For every business that invests in SEO, there is always one typical goal. To reach the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) for their chosen keywords. But is reaching #1 really that important anymore? With such a massive amount of people searching for something on Google every day.
All businesses want to be the first point of contact when you search for a new query in Google. That is why getting to the number one position has been so important for so long; not only does it increase a business’s exposure but also improves traffic and your website’s authority.
Back in 2013, the Google SERPs listings worked differently to how they do now. An example of this is in 2013 the #1 position would receive roughly 33% of all traffic, #2 would receive 17.6%. If you compare Google to what it is today, instead of simply showing the listings for the SERPs, Google nowadays displays paid ads, featured snippets, news and even local information and maps. All these new additions to the SERPs has an effect on the click-through-rate.
But the question still remains, is reaching the number one position still important for SEO? Well it depends, it is great to rank first for your chosen keywords, but as a business, you must look at the time and money invested and your overall return on investment.
Somewhat of a new term, but digital dementia seems like it is becoming a real issue. As we rely on our phones, tablets and computers more and more we are losing our ability to retain information such as phone numbers. As we develop smarter devices to help us with our everyday lives, the less independent we also become.
As our technology evolves, it’s taking away many of the mental tasks from our day-to-day lives. If we aren’t conscious of ensuring that we continue to educate ourselves and progress with our mental development then we’re at risk of becoming entirely dependent on tech. Ironically, there are many apps for training our brains, for example, apps that make learning a language or coding a game, and podcasts for general education – so where do we draw the line?