Posts By: Curator
I’m pleased to announce “Content Moderation & Removal at Scale,” a conference we’ll be holding on campus on February 2, 2018. I anticipate a full house, so we’ve set a registration cap. When we reach the cap, we will put subsequent registrations on a waitlist. If you’d like to come, I strongly recommend early registration. If the registration fees pose a hardship in any way and you don’t fit into one of the free registration categories, please contact me.
The Backstory: I was disheartened when I initially saw the first draft of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (what I call “the Wagner bill;” its Senate companion is SESTA) to exclude sex trafficking violations from Section 230. The bills reflects unrealistic assumptions about how most online services manage incoming third party content. I thought that we might find more common ground if policymakers better understood how Internet companies actually handle content moderation and removal operations, so they could know what’s easy, what’s feasible but hard and expensive (and thus more likely to be undertaken only by incumbents, not startups), and what’s not possible at any price.
However, companies rarely publicly discuss their content moderation and removal operations. As a result, we lack many basic facts, such as how many people each company employs, what are their job titles, how do they fit in the org chart, and how are they trained. Some reporters and researchers have covered the topic over the years, but often in piecemeal fashion based on secondhand information. Some of these details have been shared in various smaller closed-door events, but the confidentiality cloak has prevented information diffusion. In my initial calls with companies pitching them on the conference, I often learned an incredible amount in the first 3-5 minutes of our conversations–despite the fact that I have studied and written about Internet law for 20+ years. In my conversations, it also became clear that these details weren’t trade secrets or even confidential, they just had not been shared publicly.
I hope this conference is the first of many public conversations about the operations of content moderation and removal. These conversations ought to help the industry accelerate the development of best operational practices. They also should help policymakers better understand the tradeoffs in any efforts they undertake to impose greater content moderation or removal obligations.
Because policymakers are a key audience, there will be a sibling conference held in DC with an agenda customized for its audience. That event is scheduled for January 23, 2018.
Most Internet Law conferences focus on the scope and meaning of substantive rules. In contrast, this conference focuses almost exclusively on how substantive rules are operationalized. Whatever the rules say, and wherever the rules come from–whether it’s legislators, common law, industry standards, or idiosyncratic “house rules”–how do companies translate them into operational practices? Of course, operationalization might differ due to the consequences for violations (i.e., violating legislative rules might lead to jailtime, while violating internal house rules might only be embarrassing). I hope we’ll tease out those nuances through the course of the day.
The main attraction in the morning will be a series of 10 minute presentations by 10 companies about the facts and figures of their content moderation and removal operations. The participating companies are: Automattic, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Medium, Nextdoor, Pinterest, Reddit, Wikimedia, and Yelp (Note: Nextdoor isn’t listed on the agenda yet but will be added in the next revision). As you can see, this roster of companies ranges from industry giants to much smaller organizations; and the companies have a diversity of editorial practices that should highlight how they’ve optimized operations for their “local” conditions. All of them have agreed to publicly “describe their content moderation and removal operations, such as org charts, department names and job titles, headcount, who determines the policies, escalation paths, and ‘best practice’ tips.” I’m very confident everyone in attendance will learn a lot from these presentations.
(I would have loved to diversify the participant list to include companies outside the Bay Area. I did approach some companies in other regions without success. We might hear from companies in other regions at the DC event).
The main attraction in the afternoon will be four panels on topics that should be interesting to anyone in the industry or observing it:
- Employee/Contractor Hiring, Training and Mental Well-being
- Humans vs. Machines
- In-sourcing to Employees vs. Outsourcing to the Community or Vendors
- Transparency and Appeals
(Note: I have more panelists to add to the afternoon panels in future revisions).
In addition to the morning presentations and afternoon panels, the conference will feature some brief legal primers, a lunchtime discussion about the history and future of content moderation and removals, and more.
All of the conference proceedings will be on-the-record, and we expect reporters will attend and cover the event. We plan to record the proceedings and are considering a live-stream option.
In addition to the day’s proceedings, many of the participants will be writing a short essay on thematic topics. We plan to bundle the essays into a package and publish the package through a not-yet-identified publication venue.
As you can see, this should be an enlightening and important conversation. I hope you can join us.
Source: Eric Goldman Legal
Posted by MartyMeany
Apple has just launched their latest flagship phones to market and later this year they’ll release their uber-flagship: the iPhone X. The iPhone X is the most expensive iPhone yet, at a cool $999. With so many other smartphones on the market offering similar functionality, it begs the question: Do iPhone users simply spend more money than everyone else?
At Wolfgang Digital, we love a bit of data, so we’ve trawled through a massive dataset of 31 million iPhone and Android sessions to finally answer this question. Of course, we’ve got some actionable nuggets of digital marketing strategy at the end, too!
Why am I asking this question?
Way back when, before joining the online marketing world, I sold mobile phones. I couldn’t get my head around why people bought iPhones. They’re more expensive than their Android counterparts, which usually offer the same, if not increased, functionality (though you could argue the latter is subjective).
When I moved into the e-commerce department of the same phone retailer, my team would regularly grab a coffee and share little nuggets of interesting e-commerce trends we’d found. My personal favorite was a tale about Apple users spending more than desktop users. The story I read talked about how a hotel raised prices for people booking while using an Apple device. Even with the increased prices, conversion rates didn’t budge as the hotel raked in extra cash.
I’ve always said this story was anecdotal because I simply never saw the data to back it up. Still, it fascinated me.
Finding an answer
Fast forward a few years and I’m sitting in Wolfgang Digital behind the huge dataset that powered our 2017 E-Commerce Benchmark KPI Study. It occurred to me that this data could answer some of the great online questions I’d heard over the years. What better place to start than that tale of Apple users spending more money online than others?
The online world has changed a little since I first asked myself this question, so let’s take a fresh 2017 approach.
Do iPhone users spend more than Android users?
When this hypothesis first appeared, people were comparing Mac desktop users and PC desktop users, but the game has changed since then. To give the hypothesis a fresh 2017 look, we’re going to ask whether iPhone users spend more than Android users. Looking through the 31 million sessions on both iOS and Android operating systems, then filtering the data by mobile, it didn’t take long to find the the answer to this question that had followed me around for years. The results were astonishing:
On average, Android users spend $11.54 per transaction. iPhone users, on the other hand, spend a whopping $32.94 per transaction. That means iPhone users will spend almost three times as much as Android users when visiting an e-commerce site.
Slightly smug that I’ve finally answered my question, how do we turn this from being an interesting nugget of information to an actionable insight?
What does this mean for digital marketers?
As soon as you read about iPhone users spending three times more than Android users, I’m sure you started thinking about targeting users specifically based on their operating system. If iOS users are spending more money than their Android counterparts, doesn’t it make sense to shift your spend and targeting towards iOS users?
You’re right. In both Facebook and AdWords, you can use this information to your advantage.
Targeting operating systems within Facebook
Of the “big two” ad platforms, Facebook offers the most direct form of operating system targeting. When creating your ads, Facebook’s Ad Manager will give you the option to target “All Mobile Devices,” “iOS Devices Only,” or “Android Devices Only.” These options mean you can target those high average order value-generating iPhone users.
Targeting operating systems within AdWords
AdWords will allow you to target operating systems for both Display Campaigns and Video Campaigns. When it comes to Search, you can’t target a specific operating system. You can, however, create an OS-based audience using Google Analytics. Once this audience is built, you can remarket to an iOS audience with “iPhone”-oriented ad texts. Speaking at Wolfgang Essentials this year, Wil Reynolds showed clips of people talking through their decision to click in SERPs. It’s incredible to see people skipping over year-old content before clicking an article that mentions “iPhone.” Why? Because that user has an iPhone. That’s the power of relevancy.
You’ll also be able to optimize and personalize your bids in Search, safe in the knowledge that iPhone users are more likely to spend big than Android users.
There you have it. Don’t let those mad stories you hear pass you by. You might just learn something!
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Have you ever wished there was a way to instantly promote your business’s raving 5-star reviews on a banner or display them in your storefront window? Google has taken the work out of the process for businesses just like yours with a little something called Small Thanks with Google. Never again will you need to contact a designer to format posters in various sizes, fonts and colors, as Google has streamlined this entire process for people just like you. This is the perfect way to show off your numerous star-studded Google reviews to society in a new and vibrant manner.
Though it’s currently only available to your clientele in the United States, it gives you the opportunity to market yourself out in an innovative way. Customer reviews are vital to the growth and sustainability of your business. With 91% of consumers utilizing the existe nce of online reviews, make it easier for them to get a birdseye glimpse into just what your business can do for them by showcasing one of your numerous 5-star reviews both publically and creatively. Reviews are what keep your business moving forward, and with the helping hand from Thanks with Google, you’ll increase credibility for your services thanks to social repertoire. Positive reviews take the anxiety and worry out of the minds of consumers, reassuring them of their choice to invest in your business’s products and services.
To utilize Small Thanks With Google, simply visit the homepage and type in your business’s name in the search bar, as seen below:
Next, you’ll have the choice to select which banners you’d like to proceed with, and are also given the option to create and customize your own. This allows you to brand your posters in the appropriate manner according to your business’s brand guidelines:
After you’ve selected which prints you’d like to move forward with, you’ll be given the opportunity to share your 5-star review banners via your social channels, or to print them. With printing, you’ll be given the option choose what proportion you’d like to be created for the print prior to moving forward:
This allows you to create banners where necessary or poster-sized images to place on signs in front of your business if so desired. Ultimately, Thanks with Google is an easy way to showcase to the public who your business is and what you’re capable of by verified word-of-mouth. Carrying on your business’s good looks has never been easier or more accessible. So: what are you waiting for?
The post Google Makes it Easy to Showcase Your 5-Star Google Reviews appeared first on ReviewPush.
Source: Review Push
Posted by jocameron
Welcome to the newest installment of our educational Next Level series! In our last post, Brian Childs offered up a beginner-level workflow to help discover your competitor’s backlinks. Today, we’re welcoming back Next Level veteran Jo Cameron to show you how to find low-quality pages on your site and decide their new fate. Read on and level up!
With an almost endless succession of Google updates fluctuating the search results, it’s pretty clear that substandard content just won’t cut it.
I know, I know — we can’t all keep up with the latest algorithm updates. We’ve got businesses to run, clients to impress, and a strong social media presence to maintain. After all, you haven’t seen a huge drop in your traffic. It’s probably OK, right?
So what’s with the nagging sensation down in the pit of your stomach? It’s not just that giant chili taco you had earlier. Maybe it’s that feeling that your content might be treading on thin ice. Maybe you watched Rand’s recent Whiteboard Friday (How to Determine if a Page is “Low Quality” in Google’s Eyes) and just don’t know where to start.
In this edition of Next Level, I’ll show you how to start identifying your low-quality pages in a few simple steps with Moz Pro’s Site Crawl. Once identified, you can decide whether to merge, shine up, or remove the content.
A quick recap of algorithm updates
The latest big fluctuations in the search results were said to be caused by King Fred: enemy of low-quality pages and champion of the people’s right to find and enjoy content of value.
Fred took the fight to affiliate sites, and low-value commercial sites were also affected.
The good news is that even if this isn’t directed at you, and you haven’t taken a hit yourself, you can still learn from this update to improve your site. After all, why not stay on the right side of the biggest index of online content in the known universe? You’ll come away with a good idea of what content is working for your site, and you may just take a ride to the top of the SERPs. Knowledge is power, after all.
Be a Pro
It’s best if we just accept that Google updates are ongoing; they happen all.the.time. But with a site audit tool in your toolkit like Moz Pro’s Site Crawl, they don’t have to keep you up at night. Our shiny new Rogerbot crawler is the new kid on the block, and it’s hungry to crawl your pages.
If you haven’t given it a try, sign up for a free trial for 30 days:
If you’ve already had a free trial that has expired, write to me and I’ll give you another, just because I can.
Set up your Moz Pro campaign — it takes 5 minutes tops — and Rogerbot will be unleashed upon your site like a caffeinated spider.
Rogerbot hops from page to page following links to analyze your website. As Rogerbot hops along, a beautiful database of pages is constructed that flag issues you can use to find those laggers. What a hero!
First stop: Thin content
Site Crawl > Content Issues > Thin Content
Thin content could be damaging your site. If it’s deemed to be malicious, then it could result in a penalty. Things like zero-value pages with ads or spammy doorway pages — little traps people set to funnel people to other pages — are bad news.
First off, let’s find those pages. Moz Pro Site Crawl will flag “thin content” if it has less than 50 words (excluding navigation and ads).
Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with Google’s Quality Guidelines. Think long and hard about whether you may be doing this, intentionally or accidentally.
You’re probably not straight-up spamming people, but you could do better and you know it. Our mantra is (repeat after me): “Does this add value for my visitors?” Well, does it?
Ok, you can stop chanting now.
For most of us, thin content is less of a penalty threat and more of an opportunity. By finding pages with thin content, you have the opportunity to figure out if they’re doing enough to serve your visitors. Pile on some Google Analytics data and start making decisions about improvements that can be made.
Using moz.com as an example, I’ve found 3 pages with thin content. Ta-da emoji!
I’m not too concerned about the login page or the password reset page. I am, however, interested to see how the local search page is performing. Maybe we can find an opportunity to help people who land on this page.
Go ahead and export your thin content pages from Moz Pro to CSV.
We can then grab some data from Google Analytics to give us an idea of how well this page is performing. You may want to look at comparing monthly data and see if there are any trends, or compare similar pages to see if improvements can be made.
I am by no means a Google Analytics expert, but I know how to get what I want. Most of the time that is, except when I have to Google it, which is probably every second week.
Firstly: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages > Paste in your URL
- Pageviews – The number of times that page has been viewed, even if it’s a repeat view.
- Avg. Time on Page – How long people are on your page
- Bounce Rate – Single page views with no interaction
For my example page, Bounce Rate is very interesting. This page lives to be interacted with. Its only joy in life is allowing people to search for a local business in the UK, US, or Canada. It is not an informational page at all. It doesn’t provide a contact phone number or an answer to a query that may explain away a high bounce rate.
I’m going to add Pageviews and Bounce Rate a spreadsheet so I can track this over time.
I’ll also added some keywords that I want that page to rank for to my Moz Pro Rankings. That way I can make sure I’m targeting searcher intent and driving organic traffic that is likely to convert.
I’ll also know if I’m being out ranked by my competitors. How dare they, right?
As we’ve found with this local page, not all thin content is bad content. Another example may be if you have a landing page with an awesome video that’s adding value and is performing consistently well. In this case, hold off on making sweeping changes. Track the data you’re interested in; from there, you can look at making small changes and track the impact, or split test some ideas. Either way, you want to make informed, data-driven decisions.
Action to take for tracking thin content pages
Export to CSV so you can track how these pages are performing alongside GA data. Make incremental changes and track the results.
Second stop: Duplicate title tags
Site Crawl > Content Issues > Duplicate Title Tags
Title tags show up in the search results to give human searchers a taste of what your content is about. They also help search engines understand and categorize your content. Without question, you want these to be well considered, relevant to your content, and unique.
Moz Pro Site Crawl flags any pages with matching title tags for your perusal.
Duplicate title tags are unlikely to get your site penalized, unless you’ve masterminded an army of pages that target irrelevant keywords and provide zero value. Once again, for most of us, it’s a good way to find a missed opportunity.
Digging around your duplicate title tags is a lucky dip of wonder. You may find pages with repeated content that you want to merge, or redundant pages that may be confusing your visitors, or maybe just pages for which you haven’t spent the time crafting unique title tags.
Take this opportunity to review your title tags, make them interesting, and always make them relevant. Because I’m a Whiteboard Friday friend, I can’t not link to this title tag hack video. Turn off Netflix for 10 minutes and enjoy.
Pro tip: To view the other duplicate pages, make sure you click on the little triangle icon to open that up like an accordion.
Hey now, what’s this? Filed away under duplicate title tags I’ve found these cheeky pages.
These are the contact forms we have in place to contact our help team. Yes, me included — hi!
I’ve got some inside info for you all. We’re actually in the process of redesigning our Help Hub, and these tool-specific pages definitely need a rethink. For now, I’m going to summon the powerful and mysterious rel=canonical tag.
This tells search engines that all those other pages are copies of the one true page to rule them all. Search engines like this, they understand it, and they bow down to honor the original source, as well they should. Visitors can still access these pages, and they won’t ever know they’ve hit a page with an original source elsewhere. How very magical.
Action to take for duplicate title tags on similar pages
Use the rel=canonical tag to tell search engines that https://moz.com/help/contact is the original source.
Review visitor behavior and perform user testing on the Help Hub. We’ll use this information to make a plan for redirecting those pages to one main page and adding a tool type drop-down.
More duplicate titles within my subfolder-specific campaign
Because at Moz we’ve got a heck of a lot of pages, I’ve got another Moz Pro campaign set up to track the URL moz.com/blog. I find this handy if I want to look at issues on just one section of my site at a time.
You just have to enter your subfolder and limit your campaign when you set it up.
Just remember we won’t crawl any pages outside of the subfolder. Make sure you have an all-encompassing, all-access campaign set up for the root domain as well.
Not enough allowance to create a subfolder-specific campaign? You can filter by URL from within your existing campaign.
In my Moz Blog campaign, I stumbled across these little fellows:
This is a classic case of new content usurping the old content. Instead of telling search engines, “Yeah, so I’ve got a few pages and they’re kind of the same, but this one is the one true page,” like we did with the rel=canonical tag before, this time I’ll use the big cousin of the rel=canonical, the queen of content canonicalization, the 301 redirect.
All the power is sent to the page you are redirecting to, as well as all the actual human visitors.
Action to take for duplicate title tags with outdated/updated content
Check the traffic and authority for both pages, then add a 301 redirect from one to the other. Consolidate and rule.
It’s also a good opportunity to refresh the content and check whether it’s… what? I can’t hear you — adding value to my visitors! You got it.
Third stop: Duplicate content
Site Crawl > Content Issues > Duplicate Content
When the code and content on a page looks the same are the code and content on another page of your site, it will be flagged as “Duplicate Content.” Our crawler will flag any pages with 90% or more overlapping content or code as having duplicate content.
Officially, in the wise words of Google, duplicate content doesn’t incur a penalty. However, it can be filtered out of the index, so still not great.
Having said that, the trick is in the fine print. One bot’s duplicate content is another bot’s thin content, and thin content can get you penalized. Let me refer you back to our old friend, the Quality Guidelines.
Are you doing one of these things intentionally or accidentally? Do you want me to make you chant again?
If you’re being hounded by duplicate content issues and don’t know where to start, then we’ve got more information on duplicate content on our Learning Center.
I’ve found some pages that clearly have different content on them, so why are these duplicate?
So friends, what we have here is thin content that’s being flagged as duplicate.
There is basically not enough content on the page for bots to distinguish them from each other. Remember that our crawler looks at all the page code, as well as the copy that humans see.
You may find this frustrating at first: “Like, why are they duplicates?? They’re different, gosh darn it!” But once you pass through all the 7 stages of duplicate content and arrive at acceptance, you’ll see the opportunity you have here. Why not pop those topics on your content schedule? Why not use the “queen” again, and 301 redirect them to a similar resource, combining the power of both resources? Or maybe, just maybe, you could use them in a blog post about duplicate content — just like I have.
Action to take for duplicate pages with different content
Before you make any hasty decisions, check the traffic to these pages. Maybe dig a bit deeper and track conversions and bounce rate, as well. Check out our workflow for thin content earlier in this post and do the same for these pages.
From there you can figure out if you want to rework content to add value or redirect pages to another resource.
This is an awesome video in the ever-impressive Whiteboard Friday series which talks about republishing. Seriously, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t watch it.
Broken URLs and duplicate content
Another dive into Duplicate Content has turned up two Help Hub URLs that point to the same page.
These are no good to man or beast. They are especially no good for our analytics — blurgh, data confusion! No good for our crawl budget — blurgh, extra useless page! User experience? Blurgh, nope, no good for that either.
Action to take for messed-up URLs causing duplicate content
Zap this time-waster with a 301 redirect. For me this is an easy decision: add a 301 to the long, messed up URL with a PA of 1, no discussion. I love our new Learning Center so much that I’m going to link to it again so you can learn more about redirection and build your SEO knowledge.
It’s the most handy place to check if you get stuck with any of the concepts I’ve talked about today.
While it may feel scary at first to have your content flagged as having issues, the real takeaway here is that these are actually neatly organized opportunities.
With a bit of tenacity and some extra data from Google Analytics, you can start to understand the best way to fix your content and make your site easier to use (and more powerful in the process).
If you get stuck, just remember our chant: “Does this add value for my visitors?” Your content has to be for your human visitors, so think about them and their journey. And most importantly: be good to yourself and use a tool like Moz Pro that compiles potential issues into an easily digestible catalogue.
Enjoy your chili taco and your good night’s sleep!
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Spotlight on Community Manager Molly Knobloch
At Main Street Hub, building a strong sense of community plays a large part in what we do for our small business customers. We love being able to bring people and communities together.
This is a passion that Community Manager Molly Knobloch has not only for our customers, but for the Main Street Hub Team.
Molly saw an opportunity to help our team grow closer, so she created Hub Happenings. This monthly email send allows Hubsters to share projects they’re working on outside of the office, upcoming events, their favorite local businesses, and even their pets.
Learn more about Molly and how she’s bringing the team together:
Tell us about yourself!
“I’m from Boston, and I went to school in New Orleans at Tulane University. I’m very interested in art — that’s what I majored in during college, and I still have a studio here in Austin. I’m training for my second half marathon, and I just adopted a dog.”
What drew you to Main Street Hub?
“My friend started working here, and it sounded really interesting. I love local businesses, and it’s fun to represent them. I’m an artist and a visual person, so creating content is really fun for me — especially when you’re working with beautiful images like our photographers take. It’s pretty exciting.”
What’s one of the things you value most in an office culture?
“In an office culture, I definitely value honest feedback. I think if everyone can be honest about what they need and what they’re looking for, everyone can be more productive and efficient. I really like that about Main Street Hub.”
Tell us about Hub Happenings — what is it, and why did you create it?
“Hub Happenings is a monthly email that lets people know about the events that are coming up that Hubsters are involved in. It also has other fun things, like meet-ups, people’s pets, and local business highlights.
“When there was a call for people to help plan team bonding, I started thinking about ways we could bond as a team, and I thought this was something that was missing.
“I always hear through the grapevine that other people are comedians and musicians and actors and artists. I feel like you can miss out on a lot of cool events if you haven’t talked to the people involved in them. I think everyone should have the opportunity to go support their coworkers and find out common interests with other people. Hub Happenings is a good way to get the word out about your interests and what you’re doing in the community.
“I’m excited other people are excited about it and that people can connect outside of the office.”
How has it impacted the office?
“I’ve gotten a really good response from it. A lot of people have said ‘This is so fun!,’ ‘I had no idea so-and-so was a comedian, musician, etc.,’ and they’re excited to learn new things about their coworkers.
“People also get really excited about sharing their pets, so I have a backlog of pet photos I’ll be putting out in future emails. Also, I think the local love spotlight is really fun because there are so many new businesses to try.”
What’s your favorite Main Street Hub value?
“My favorite value is Speak Up. I’m a really vocal person. I like working in an office where we’re encouraged to Speak Up if we think something can be improved, if someone deserves recognition, or if we need help.”
Why is helping Hubsters build relationships with each other important?
“It helps connect everyone in the office — you may not know how much you have in common with the person sitting next to you or across the room from you. Knowing that a lot of people at Main Street Hub have creative passions is an awesome way to get connected and feel like you belong in this workplace.
“We’re representing local businesses around the country and that translates into our everyday lives. We want to support local in our everyday lives. Whether it’s a local business someone loves or somebody is performing at a local bar or having a show at a local theatre, we’re all part of the local community, and it’s cool to connect that way.”
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to always know what’s happening with our team!
Source: Main Street Hub