Posts By: Curator
As the “Manager of First Impressions” you will be the first face that people see when they get off the elevator! A warm welcome, an approachable demeanour, and a willingness to help are all things this position requires. We pride ourselves on our fun and progressive work culture at Vendasta and you will be a large part of this! As a part of the Vendasta Operations team you will engage with both staff and visitors on a regular basis and be an integral part of a growing technology company here in Saskatoon.
- Front Reception for a growing technology company in downtown Saskatoon
- Responds to phone, email and in person enquiries – using discretion and fielding communication.
- Receive all incoming and outgoing mail and packages
- Guest and visitor coordinator for visitors coming to HQ including ensuring 404 is clean and stocked, ordering lunches for out of town guests as needed with food operations assistance
- Assist with monthly recruiting event “Ideas on Tap”: putting out food, chairs, organizing kitchen, guest liaison.
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Skills and Qualifications:
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Posted by randfish
The perfect blog post length or publishing frequency doesn’t actually exist. “Perfect” isn’t universal — your content’s success depends on tons of personalized factors. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains why the idea of “perfect” is baloney when it comes to your blog, and lists what you should actually be looking for in a successful publishing strategy.
Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about blog posts and, more broadly, content length and publishing frequency.
So these are things where a lot of the posts that you might read, for example, if you were to Google “ideal blog post length” or “ideal publishing frequency” will give you data and information that come from these sources of here’s the average length of content of the top 10 results in Google across a 5,000-keyword set, and you can see that somewhere between 2,350 and 2,425 words is the ideal length, so that’s what you should aim for.
I am going to call a big fat helping if baloney on that. It’s not only dead wrong, it’s really misleading. In fact, I get frustrated when I see these types of charts used to justify this information, because that’s not right at all.
When you see charts/data like this used to provide prescriptive, specific targets for content length, ask:
Any time you see this, if you see a chart or data like this to suggest, hey, this is how long you should make a post because here’s the length of the average thing in the top 10, you should ask very careful questions like:
1. What set of keywords does this apply to? Is this a big, broad set of 5,000 keywords, and some of them are navigational and some of them are informational and some of them are transactional and maybe a few of them are ecommerce keywords and a few of them are travel related and a few of them are in some other sector?
Because honestly, what does that mean? That’s sort of meaningless, right? Especially if the standard deviation is quite high. If we’re talking about like, oh, well many things that actually did rank number one were somewhere between 500 words and 15,000 words. Well, so what does the average tell me? How is that helpful? That’s not actually useful or prescriptive information. In fact, it’s almost misleading to make that prescriptive.
2. Do the keywords that I care about, the ones that I’m targeting, do they have similar results? Does the chart look the same? If you were to take a sample of let’s say 50 keywords that you cared about and you were to get the average content length of the top 10 results, would it resemble that? Would it not? Does it have a high standard deviation? Is there a big delta because some keywords require a lot of content to answer them fully and some keywords require very, very small amounts of content and Google has prioritized accordingly? Is it wise, then, to aim for the average when a much larger article would be much more appreciated and be much more likely to succeed, or a much shorter one would do far better? Why are you aiming for this average if that’s the case?
3. Is correlation the same as causation? The answer is hell no. Never has been. Big fat no. Correlation doesn’t even necessarily imply causation. In fact, I would say that any time you’re looking at an average, especially on this type of stuff, correlation and causation are totally separate. It is not because the number one result is 2,450 words that it happens to rank number one. Google does not work that way. Never has, never will.
INSTEAD of trusting these big, unknown keyword set averages, you should:
A. look at your keywords and your search results and what’s working versus not in those specific ones.
B. Be willing to innovate, be willing to say, “Hey, you know what? I see this content today, the number one, number two, number three rankings are in these sorts of averages. But I actually think you can answer this with much shorter content and many searchers would appreciate it.” I think these folks, who are currently ranking, are over-content creating, and they don’t need to be.
C. You should match your goals and your content goals with searcher goals. That’s how you should determine the length that you should put in there. If you are trying to help someone solve a very specific problem and it is an easily answerable question and you’re trying to get the featured snippet, you probably don’t need thousands of words of content. Likewise, if you are trying to solve a very complex query and you have a ton of resources and information that no one else has access to, you’ve done some really unique work, this may be way too short for what you’re aiming for.
All right. Let’s switch over to publishing frequency, where you can probably guess I’m going to give you similar information. A lot of times you’ll see, “How often should I publish? Oh, look, people who publish 11 times or more per month, they get way more traffic than people who publish only once a month. Therefore, clearly, I should publish 11 or more times a month.”
Why is the cutoff at 11? Does that make any sense to you? Are these visits all valuable to all the companies that were part of whatever survey was in here? Did one blog post account for most of the traffic in the 11 plus, and it’s just that the other 10 happened to be posts where they were practicing or trying to get good, and it was just one that kind of shot out of the park there?
See a chart like this? Ask:
1. Who’s in the set of sites analyzed? Are they similar to me? Do they target a similar audience? Are they in my actual sector? What’s the relative quality of the content? How savvy and targeted are the efforts at earning traffic? Is this guy over here, are we sure that all 11 posts were just as good as the one post this person created? Because if not, I’m comparing apples and oranges.
2. What’s the quality of the traffic? What’s the value of the traffic? Maybe this person is getting a ton of really valuable traffic, and this person over here is getting very little. You can’t tell from a chart like this, especially when it’s averaged in this way.
3. What things might matter more than raw frequency?
- Well, matching your goals to your content schedule. If one of your goals is to build up subscribers, like Whiteboard Friday where people know it and they’ve heard of it, they have a brand association with it, it’s called Whiteboard Friday, it should probably come out once a week on Friday. There’s a frequency implied in the content, and that makes sense. But you might have goals that only demand publishing once a quarter or once a month or once a week or once every day. That’s okay. But you should tie those together.
- Consistency, we have found, is almost always more important than raw frequency, especially if you’re trying to build up that consistent audience and a subscriber base. So I would focus on that, not how I should publish more often, but I should publish more consistently so that people will get used to my publishing schedule and will look forward to what I have to say, and also so that you can build up a cadence for yourself and your organization.
- Crafting posts that actually earn attention and amplification and help your conversion funnel goals, whatever those might be, over raw traffic. It’s far better if this person got 50 new visits who turned into 5 new paying customers, than this person who published 11 posts and got 1 new paying customer out of all 11. That’s a lot more work and expense for a lot less ROI. I’d be careful about that.
One aside I would say about publishing frequency. If you’re early stage, or if you were trying to build a career in blogging or in publishing, it’s great to publish a lot of content. Great writers become great because they write a lot of terrible crap, and then they improve. The same is true with web publishers.
If you look at Whiteboard Friday number one, or a blog post number one from me, you’re going to see pretty miserable stuff. But over time, by publishing quite a bit, I got better at it. So if that is your goal, yes, publishing a lot of content, more than you probably need, more than your customers or audience probably needs, is good practice for you, and it will help you get better.
All right, everyone. Hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Whiteboard Friday. We’ll see you again next week. Take care.
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Are we really litigating trademark references in white-on-white text in 2017??? Yes, we are, and yes, the whole case is a throwback to the mid-2000s (e.g., the 2008 Venture Tape case)–with effects that would be comical if they weren’t so sad.
The litigants compete in the “plant diagnostics” business. Agdia’s tagline: “Keeping your crops happy…it’s our passion.” Agdia claims the defendant, in 2007, put the Agdia trademark in white-on-white text on over 200 pages. This is an archaic practice; Matt Cutts disparaged it at least as early as 2005. Google has long configured its algorithms to ignore white-on-white text, making the practice ineffectual as well as risky to search engine indexing. Agdia claims the defendant’s website was still showing up for its branded organic searches as late as 2015, which the court implicitly attributes to the white-on-white text though the court doesn’t really seem to know why…or care. The defendant adopted the business name ACD and a domain name acdiainc.com, and did some comparative advertising against an Agdia product brand name, and Agdia doesn’t like these practices either.
Despite the allegation that white-on-white text was implemented in 2007, the court doesn’t discuss any statute of limitations. That’s because the Lanham Act doesn’t have a statute of limitations, though sometimes a statute of limitations is imported from analogous legal doctrines; and courts often use laches instead. The upshot is that, yes, in 2017 we are litigating over an archaic practice that started in 2007. Sigh.
The court denies the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. A few “high”lights from the court’s multi-factor likelihood of consumer confusion analysis:
* in considering the manner of concurrent uses, the court says “Because users can easily navigate through websites, as opposed to physical store locations, it is “more likely” that consumers will “be confused as to the ownership of a web site than traditional patrons of a brick-and-mortar store would be of a store’s ownership.”” Citing a case from 2001, naturally.
* regarding consumer sophistication, the litigants compete in a B2B industry with highly specialized customers. Still, the court says “while accomplished in the area of agricultural science, that does not automatically make these customers website coding experts nor instill in them the ability to identify whether their internet searches are yielding manipulated results.” I guess if you haven’t coded your own perl script, you’re a clueless web browser.
* the plaintiff doesn’t have any evidence of actual confusion, so it relied on the initial interest confusion doctrine. Blech. The court starts off on the right foot:
Asserting initial interest confusion does not alter the likelihood of confusion analysis. More specifically, to create an issue of fact here as to whether there was any actual confusion, the record must contain evidence that initial interest confusion actually occurred – not merely theories that would create a risk of initial interest confusion
Right, except plaintiffs never can provide credible evidence of initial interest confusion; and the uncited Lens.com case from the 10th Circuit set an evidentiary bar so high that no plaintiff can ever meet it. So this factor should swing decidedly in the defendant’s favor. Yet this court continued:
Plaintiff has presented evidence of a search engine user being diverted to ACD’s website upon running a Google search for an Agdia product in January 2015. ACD’s website showed up on the second page of a search yielding over 1,000 results. Thus, a reasonable factfinder could determine that initial interest confusion actually occurred related to the Agdia mark.
FFS. Really? The court says that a competitive website appearing in the organic search results, without any evidence that any potential customer actually clicked on the link, constitutes credible evidence of “diversion”? As I explained in this expert report, and as the Lens.com case expressly held, an organic search result cannot constitute “diversion,” period. There’s also the awkwardness of counting a Google search from over 2.5 years ago as credible evidence, the irrelevance of results that appear only on the second page of SERPs, and the fact that the entire initial interest confusion doctrine is a POS.
In a footnote, the court further discusses the white-on-white text issue:
Defendants repeatedly argue against the application of this Circuit’s seven-factor likelihood of confusion test because customers never “saw” the white-on-white text with their naked eyes. This argument fails. First, to say that the white-on-white text was totally invisible to customers is somewhat inaccurate. Plaintiff notes that, when pages containing this text are printed on paper, or even when a computer user performs a “Control + F” find function on the webpage, the white-on-white text indeed reveals itself. Second, the white-on-white text, a type of metatag, need not be visible to the naked eye in order to have its intended effect; clearly it is visible to the public via search engine technology that directs potential customers to various websites. Defendants offer no substantive authority to support their invisibility theory, and the few cases they do cite miss the mark.
Both parties’ experts agreed that white-on-white text was ineffectual, so this passage reminds me of a venerable online trademark koan: if a trademark tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it constitute trademark infringement?
This is the second time in a week that I’m blogging on rulings that repeatedly cited the antiquated and still pernicious Seventh Circuit ruling in Promatek v. Equitrac (the other is the Harley Davidson v. SunFrog case). The Seventh Circuit has issued other–and better–initial interest confusion rulings, so the jurisprudential shadow being cast by Promatek continues to muck up Seventh Circuit trademark law. I hope one day the Seventh Circuit cleans out that mess, just like how the Ninth Circuit substantially cleaned up its junky online trademark law in its 2011 Network Automation ruling.
Meanwhile, if you/your clients’ websites still include competitors’ trademarks in white-on-white text, (a) you probably should upgrade your website to the 2010s, and (b) clean it out. White-on-white text is nothing but liability bait.
Source: Eric Goldman Legal
By now if you have been considering improving your public relations campaigns, online reputation, or ability to reach new customers/clients through the internet, you’ve heard about content marketing. Content marketing…
The post Content Outreach: How it Can Improve the Online Reputation of Your Business appeared first on Massive Brand PR.
Source: Massive Alliance
hiQ Labs has scraped LinkedIn public profiles for several years. hiQ offers two products, entirely predicated on LinkedIn-scraped data: (1) a prediction to employers which employees were mostly likely to be recruited away, and (2) a summary of employee skills.
LinkedIn sent a cease and desist letter telling hiQ to stop scraping or face litigation. The parties tried to resolve the dispute but were unable to. hiQ then filed a preemptive lawsuit seeking declaratory relief, and sought a preliminary injunction allowing it to access public LinkedIn profiles pending resolution of the dispute.
It was a bold move–and it paid off, at least for the moment.
Judge Chen granted hiQ’s request for an injunction, meaning that it can continue to aggregate information from public LinedIn profiles. While an appeal is inevitable, the order has a lot of language that open internet advocates will like.
The CFAA: Regarding the CFAA, the big question is whether LinkedIn’s cease and desist letter expressly revoked hiQ’s permission to access the site. In craigslist v. 3Taps, Judge Breyer said yes. Judge Chen takes a different tack. Examining Nosal II and Power Ventures, the court says that those cases deal with password-protected information—neither of those cases, which allowed unauthorized access claims based on access following express revocation of permission, involved publicly available information. Judge Chen comes back to the CFAA’s purpose and says it “was not intended to police traffic to publicly available websites on the Internet.” He likens LinkedIn’s publication of its data to a business displaying “a sign in a storefront window” which “it may not prohibit on pain of trespass a viewer from photographing [the sign]…or viewing…with glare reducing sunglasses.” He agrees with hiQ that interpreting the CFAA in a manner urged by LinkedIn would “expand its scope well beyond computer hacking.” Judge Chen says it’s problematic because such revocation could obscure things like discrimination or (more apropos in this case) anti-competitive conduct.
Among other relief, the court grants hiQ relief against LinkedIn for implementing any technological barriers. The order directs LinkedIn to roll back any such barriers to the extent they’ve been implemented.
California Constitution (Pruneyard) Claim: The court also is sympathetic to hiQ’s argument that LinkedIn, as a publicly available website, is the Internet-equivalent of a modern shopping center. California’s constitution limits the rights of some property owners to exclude people. Specifically, in Pruneyard, the California Supreme Court found that a shopping mall owner could not exclude those wanting to enter to engage in political speech. The court notes that no court has extended Pruneyard to the internet “generally”. The court says the analogy between the shopping mall and the internet is “imperfect” and there are numerous line-drawing problems that will likely come up. The court concludes that the sweeping implications of hiQ’s argument and the lack of authority weigh in LinkedIn’s favor on this point.
UCL claim: The court also considers hiQ’s claim that LinkedIn revoked its access for improper purposes. Specifically, hiQ made an anti-trust claim that LinkedIn was leveraging its power in the professional networking market to secure an advantage in the data analytics market. The court says this claim is likely viable. hiQ plausibly asserts LinkedIn is the dominant player in the networking space, that LinkedIn’s competing against hiQ in the data analytics space, and that LinkedIn shut off access to hiQ in order to quash its product.
Other arguments: The court rejects hiQ’s promissory estoppel claim and declines to rule on its First Amendment arguments (based on the doctrine of constitutional avoidance).
This is a blockbuster ruling and has the potential to reshape internet law doctrine in many key respects.
Judge Chen’s CFAA ruling diverges from Judge Breyer’s ruling in the 3Taps case, where Judge Breyer found that craigslist effectively revoked access and set up a CFAA claim by sending a cease and desist letter. It’s tough to characterize the two decisions as anything other than directly conflicting.
As mentioned above, there is a lot of language that open internet advocates and researchers can get excited about in this order. Consider the language below in Judge Chen’s conclusion:
at issue is the right to receive and process publicly available information. In view of the vast amount of information publicly available, the value and utility of much of that information is derived from the ability to find, aggregate, organize, and analyze data . . . conferring on private entities such as LinkedIn, the blanket authority to block viewers from accessing information publicly available on its website for any reason, backed by sanctions of the CFAA, could post an ominous threat to public discourse and the free flow of information promised by the Internet.
This almost looks like it was written by an EFF lawyer.
The fact that Judge Chen actually prevented LinkedIn from implementing technological measures, and did so relatively casually, is somewhat jaw-dropping. Does this mean that LinkedIn cannot rate-limit hiQ, or decide it wants to implement robots.txt?
The court alludes to the fact that LinkedIn had been “tolerating” hiQ’s access for “years.” Unfortunately, the ruling does not provide many additional details about this and this fact also does not figure centrally into the ruling, although it undoubtedly influenced the court’s view of the equities.
LinkedIn’s privacy arguments rang hollow. It appeared to have scant actual complaints regarding the practices in question. More importantly, LinkedIn appeared to be talking outside of both sides of its mouth when it came to privacy. This is something the big social networks have to contend with. In fact, a particularly interesting aspect of Judge Chen’s ruling is how he used LinkedIn’s own arguments against it. In a privacy case against LinkedIn, LinkedIn argued that it was using publicly available information to encourage users’ contacts to join LinkedIn. (See my blog post on that ruling: “Email Harvesting: Repeated Emails From LinkedIn May Violate Publicity Rights.”) Judge Chen says that similarly, hiQ is merely accessing information that users have “chosen to make public.” The networks walk a fine line with it comes to issues such as privacy and the First Amendment, and this case is a great illustration that very often their arguments in one case can be used against them in another.
I was surprised to see discussion of LinkedIn’s user agreement relegated to a footnote. hiQ had to agree to it in order to set up its page (which Judge Chen notes LinkedIn disabled). While the court notes that hiQ’s aggregation wasn’t “dependent” on the user agreement, couldn’t the restrictions in the agreement arguably bind hiQ on a forward looking basis? Perhaps this would be viewed as overreaching but that’s how this question would normally be approached as a matter of contract doctrine.
It was also surprising to see little or no discussion at all of robots.txt and LinkedIn’s behavior with respect to search engines generally. The players in the internet have a generally accepted understanding, even a norm, of when crawling by search engines is appropriate. It would have been useful to see discussion of LinkedIn’s treatment of crawling generally and what parts of its site it allowed the search engines to crawl. The networks also walk a fine line here, always being interested in search-directed traffic, but at the same time, opening themselves up to the argument that if something is open to being crawled by a general purpose search engine, it should also be allowed to be crawled by a vertical one.
The biggest blockbuster is probably Judge Chen’s conclusion about the likelihood of success on the antitrust-based unfair competition claims. Antitrust arguments against the big networks are perennially bandied about (see, for example this New York Times Opinion piece), but they have rarely gotten any traction in court. (Facebook recently settled a case brought by a gaming company alleging that Facebook used its monopoly power to obtain benefits as a purveyor of virtual currency.) The part of Judge Chen’s order that is probably getting the most attention in LinkedIn’s legal department (and those of others) are the pages where he says hiQ could plausibly state an antitrust claim. (Given that Microsoft owns LinkedIn, there may be heightened sensitivity to this point.)
This is a big win for hiQ. But it will not be the last word, given that it will undoubtedly be appealed.
* I agree with Venkat that this is a blockbuster ruling, because it conflicts with numerous precedents and because (if it survives on appeal) it would significantly reshape the expectations of many web publishers and other website operators. However, I would be shocked if this ruling survives any appeal intact, so the chaos this opinion creates may be short-lived.
* I was confused about how the court distinguished Power Ventures. It’s true that Power Ventures used the login credentials of Facebook users, but the court flatly says “none of the data in Facebook…was public data.” I’m pretty sure this is just wrong. Facebook users can make some or all of their profiles publicly available, so surely some of the data gathered Power Ventures had been “public” data….?
* The opinion doesn’t mention what, if any, APIs or datafeeds LinkedIn offers. In the Power Ventures case, the availability of Facebook’s API seemingly helped its case because it was clear Power Ventures was skirting Facebook’s API rules. On the other hand, making an API available confirms that a site’s data protection efforts have nothing to do with protecting users’ privacy, thus mooting one of LinkedIn’s key arguments in this case. Still, I wonder how this case looks different if LinkedIn offered an API subject to various limitations.
* Oral arguments were done by heavyweight litigators who surely cost the parties a lot of money: Prof. Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law for hiQ; former Solicitor General Donald Verrilli for LinkedIn. In this clash of the giants, score one for Prof. Tribe.
* It’s interesting that the seminal case in online trespass, Intel v. Hamidi, isn’t mentioned once. That opinion dealt with a lot of the same policy issues as this case (but 15 years ago!), including much of the stuff the court explores by reviewing Prof. Orin Kerr’s work. The even-earlier eBay v. Bidder’s Edge, also an ND Cal opinion and also a case involving significant anti-competitive issues, didn’t make an appearance either.
* Similarly, the court’s offline analogy was explored some in the Hamidi case. It is, as usual, terrible:
An analogy to physical space, while inevitably imperfect when analyzing the digital world, may be helpful. With respect to a closed space (e.g., behind a locked door which requires a key to pass), the Court intuitively understands that where an individual does not have permission to enter, he would be trespassing if he did so. Even if the door is open to the public for business, the shop owner may impose limits to the manner and scope of access (e.g., by restricting access to a storage or employees-only area). But if a business displayed a sign in its storefront window visible to all on a public street and sidewalk, it could not ban an individual from looking at the sign and subject such person to trespass for violating such a ban. LinkedIn, here, essentially seeks to prohibit hiQ from viewing a sign publicly visible to all.
[in a footnote, the court continues:] To take the analogy above another step, when a business displays a sign in a storefront window for the public to view, it may not prohibit on pain of trespass a viewer from photographing that sign or viewing it with glare reducing sunglasses.
FFS. First, of course there’s no real property trespass when there is no physical encroachment on the retailer’s premises. See, e.g., every First Year Property course. Second, and more importantly, viewing or taking a photo of a sign through a window consumes absolutely zero scarce resources of the retailer. Viewing content–even that intended for public consumption–DOES consume scarce resources of the website operator, i.e., the server’s processing power, electricity and Internet connectivity. To me, that’s fatal to the analogy. Warning to my Internet Law students: bogus offline analogies, even accompanied a disclaimer that the analogy will be terrible, are a fast track to getting an opportunity to repeat my course.
* Like Venkat, I’m curious why there was no discussion about contracts a la Register.com v. Verio and its stupid “continuing to take benefits knowing there were terms attached which had been communicated in a C&D letter” (and don’t forget the case raised huge competition concerns). I’m also curious why there was no discussion about common law trespass to chattels or copyright.
* The court’s discussion of the First Amendment includes this passage:
Because the Court rejects LinkedIn‟s interpretation on the grounds discussed above, it need not reach hiQ’s First Amendment arguments.
Yet, despite this declaration that it need not keep talking, the court keeps talking…
LinkedIn is not a state official or governmental agency; it is a private party and there is no evidence that the CFAA has served to compel or encourage LinkedIn to withdraw hiQ‟s authorization to access its website.
So far so good. But then…
because the act of viewing a publicly accessible website is likely protected by the First Amendment [cite to Packingham], the doctrine of constitutional avoidance might well be properly considered in interpreting the CFAA, even if the First Amendment were not directly implicated in this particular case….The doctrine of constitutional avoidance, if applicable, would substantiate the Court’s doubt about the applicability of the CFAA to hiQ’s conduct.
What does that even mean?
Also, I’m going to blog another case citing Packingham for the plaintiff soon. Collectively, it looks like some courts are reading Packingham to enshrine a general purpose right of users to get content without restriction on the Internet–which would be an interesting and potentially far-reaching implication of the ruling.
* The court’s discussion about antitrust should send chills down the spines of Facebook and Google. They leverage their data advantages to compete effectively in multiple markets.
[Note: the picture above is from hiQ’s website which has a page devoted to this case (“Our Commitment to Privacy, Free Speech and Fair Use“).]
Case citation: hiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn, 17-cv-3301-EMC (N.D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2017).
Source: Eric Goldman Legal