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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Smartphone s are the most popular way to browse internet – Ofcom report

Friday, February 10th, 2017



Smartphones are the UK’s and possible the world’s most popular devices for getting online for the first time (2015 study), according to industry monitor Ofcom.

The change has largely been driven by our increased appetite for video, and its availability with the expansion of high-speed 4G data networks. Over the past couple of years, this has allowed many more people to watch video clips from YouTube or Vine and TV on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix on the go.

Smartphones are now responsible for a third of internet access, up from a great deal from 2015. Ofcom’s Communications Data Report shows the success of the devices has been at the expense of laptop computers, the latter dropping from 40% of online connections in 2014 to 30% in 2015 and is continuing today.

Two-thirds of adults now have a smartphone, and the amount of time we spend using them to go online has risen to one hour and 54 minutes per day.

Jane Rumble, director of market intelligence at Ofcom, said the change in internet access was a “landmark shift”.

She said: “You can see these devices are becoming more and more an important vital hub of information and communication throughout the day, with smartphone owners spending almost two hours (on them) each day, almost double the amount of time that those people are spending on their laptop or desktop.

She said younger age groups were driving the change. “Those aged 16 to 24 are much more likely, as well as 25 to 34, to say their smartphone is the most important device to get online, whereas for the older age groups, they are much more likely to be sticking with their laptop. This is a landmark shift.”

Amongst the 55s to 64s there has also been growth, with half the older age group now owning a smartphone.

Smartphone addicts

More than a third of all adults (34%) use their smartphone within five minutes of waking up, a figure that rises to almost half (49%) of those aged 18-24, the report’s research found.

But the big difference from the previous year’s report was down to 4G. Subscriptions to the high-speed mobile internet, which was first introduced in the UK in 2012, rose eightfold from 2.7 million in the last quarter of 2013 to 23.6 million in the last quarter of 2014, as it became more widespread.

The 4G technology allows video content and streaming services to be watched on the handsets, which older, slower connections could not handle without irritating buffering, and that leads to a big difference in how people use their smartphones: almost two-thirds (62%) of 4G phone owners told Ofcom they “couldn’t live without” their phone, compared to 52% of all smartphone users.

Rumble said: “It really is becoming an important and vital device throughout the day. The increase in 4G subscriptions has been very stark in the last year.”

It was not just smartphones which reported increased use for online access, as tablets rose to 19% in 2015, up from 15% in 2014 and 8% in 2013. Both laptops and desktop computers declined, with desktops now accounting for just 14% of internet use.

Wired internet has sped up too, with superfast broadband now available to 83% of UK premises (still 12% short of government targets) while around a quarter of homes are actually subscribed to a service delivering speeds of 30 megabits a second or more, the speed required to gain the “superfast” label.

Perhaps as a result, the report also showed society’s increasing digital connectivity. The total amount of time people spent online rose from 9.9 hours per week in 2005 to 20.5 hours per week in 2014.

However, traditional television remains the entertainment king. The average adult watched three hours and 40 minutes of television per day in 2014, 11 minutes less than in 2013. Last year was the second year in a row that watching time had declined.

Article Provided By: The Guardian

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Friday, August 19th, 2016

iPad’s – Why Doctors Love Them

These days it seems like everyone especially healthcare professionals have fallen in love with the iPad. Since the launch of Apple’s iPad in 2010, doctors and other healthcare professionals have been bringing them in their offices and onto hospital wireless networks. With the continued growth of hospital wifi, so to has the use of iPads. They present healthcare providers with ways to improve care and documentation workflows, provide improved and more engaged patient interactions, and to deliver instant easy access to medical references and tools.


Healthcare professionals love their iPads; in fact their adoption of the iPad has exceeded expected growth. Actually, Manhattan research found that tablet use, predominately iPad use, among U.S. physicians had doubled in one year with 62% of doctors reporting that they regularly use a tablet for professional purposes. Half of them use iPads in point of care situations involving patients.

After surveying both doctors and nurses, Aruba Networks studies found that 85% of those surveyed support BYOD. 83% reported iPad use making iPads the most commonly used personal devices with iPhones or iPod touches coming in at 65%. They expect iPads will only continue their rapid proliferation into the medical field too!

Apple’s new iPad Mini that was released in October is expected to be a huge hit with doctors and could cause the rate of adoption to accelerate even more. A small survey conducted earlier this year by Epocrates found that one-third of physicians were planning to buy one. The biggest reason being the smaller size, which just so happens to perfectly fit most lab coat pockets. So you are likely to start seeing these smaller iPads peeking out of many physicians’ lab coat pockets.

So the love of iPads in healthcare is obvious, but what are exactly some of the reasons why? Here’s a list of some of the top ways doctors are using iPads in hospitals that make them adore these devices.

1) Medical Updates and Education

iPad in healthcare, wireless solutions for healthcare,

The medical field is constantly changing, so keeping healthcare professionals up-to-date with the latest medical information is imperative, but sometimes difficult for busy physicians. iPads make keeping up with all this new medical information much easier with apps like Newsstand, which allows physicians to easily access and flip though all the latest medical journals. Any new books, reference material, or notes can all be kept on their iPad and accesses when they get a spare moment throughout the day.

2) Communication Enhancement

iPad in hospitals, hospital wifi, wifi companies,

Communication enhancement between doctors and patients is central to improving point-of-care. Sometimes verbal descriptions or even static medical images simply cannot deliver the information the patient needs to get the complete picture. iPads allow doctors to more clearly explain illnesses, injuries, procedures, and treatment options with multimedia. iPads can also facilitate doctor-patient engagement virtually through the use of online portals as well. This allows patients to gain a fuller understanding of their medical treatment and any potential complications.

3) Quick EMR Access

iPads on hospital wireless networks, hospital wifi, wifi service providers,

The iPad offers electronic medical records (EMR) is the form of a small sleek mobile devices that’s definitely much easier to keep up with than a clipboard full of papers or a laptop. Doctors that still use laptops for EMR find they sometimes create a barrier between doctor and patient that iPads can prevent. iPads offer quick and easy access to EMR anywhere at any time.

4) Diagnostic Tool

It seems like there’s an app for everything these days and there’s definitely not a shortage of medical apps. Some iPad medical apps actually allow doctors to use iPads to assist them with diagnosing patients. For example the Airstrip Cardiology, allows physicians to extensively review their patient’s ECG history and make life-saving decisions quicker. Another app, which saves time and is much more accurate than the pen and paper method is the Mersey Burns app. It generates rapid and exact calculations for fluid management, which is critical for burn victims.

iPads in healthcare. wireless solutions for healthcare, wifi companies,

5) Performing Hospital Rounds

Healthcare professionals consider the iPad very helpful when performing hospital rounds, a time when physicians are truly mobile. When on rounds they can’t just conveniently leave a patient to access a PC. With iPads they have everything they need to pull patient records, document visits, and makes notes with the swipe of a finger. With iPads hospital rounds are faster and easier than ever.

iPads are incredible mobile devices that have the ability to make a huge impact in healthcare. They are changing the way medical professionals perform and improving overall workflow and ultimately the quality of patient care.

Article Provided By: SecurEdge

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Know Your iPhone – 10 Cool Things

Friday, June 24th, 2016


With so much tech out there these days, the learning curve for what different devices can do can be quick and easy. However, not everyone knows about some of these handy capabilities to help make your life easier.

For instance, iPhones — a device most use every day — can do anything to sending tweets, identify planes overhead or have self-destructing messages.

If you’d like to tap into the true potential of your iPhone, check out the below cool features. Before you get started, it is important to note, not all may work with your current model or operating system.


It’s really as easy as just asking Siri “What flights are overhead?”

A list will pop up with detailed information about different flights currently right above you high in the skies.


This is a great tool to use if your hands aren’t free or you’re on the road. It’s a simple process, too.

  • Press the “Home” button and hold it.
  • When you hear a beep, tell Siri a command, like “Read my texts.”
  • After she has finished reading you her texts, Siri will ask what she should do with the messages. You can either have her reply to a text or if you need her to read them again, you can ask her to do so.


You know that compass app everyone always forgets about and hardly uses? Well, just swipe left and you’ll discover your iPhone comes complete with a functioning level, too. Who knows when that might come in handy!


This tip could be what you needed and finally, get the ultimate selfie, especially since taking a photo with one hand can get a bit tricky.

Make it easier by holding your iPhone with two hands horizontally and opening the camera app. To take a picture, press down on the “+” button for volume on the side of your phone. The same trick works for your headphones, too. Just hit the volume up button on the Apple Remote Earphones to snap a pic.


Tired of annoying ringtones or vibrations? Why not use the built-in LED on your iPhone, instead?

Go to Settings, General and then Accessibility and turn on the slider for LED Flash for Alerts, and the next time something comes in, the LED will flash whenever you have a corresponding notification.


Sometimes you’re just on the go and don’t want to have to go through the flak of dealing with the lock screen to respond to a message. Luckily, there’s a way you don’t have to.

When you get a notification, just swipe left on the message and blue “Reply” button will appear. Tap it, and then you’re free to type your message and send it on its way.


Turns out you don’t exactly need Snapchat to send a photo or video that would disappear after a set amount of time. You can actually just use your own iPhone and a handy settings shortcut.

Once in settings, press the green messages icon and go to the audio messages section. There, you’ll see an option to set messages to expire after two minutes.


Sometimes, group conversations can  more annoying than they are useful. But unlike Facebook chats, there’s an easy way to escape the clutches of group messages on your iPhone.

It’s simply a three step process:

  1. In your Messages app, select the group message you don’t want to be a part of anymore
  2. Hit the word “Details” in the top right corner
  3. You will be taken to a page with information pertaining to the conversation (e.g. who is taking part in it). At the bottom, in red lettering, you will see, “Leave this Conversation.” Tap it, and you are out.


If you’d like to streamline the process of making a reading list free of advertisements, Reader may be the way to go. The tool itself is built into Safari. All you have to do is click on the small “Reader” button located to the left of the URL and the article will appear without any other distractions, with just the text.


We’ve got reminders and alarms set for time, but what about tapping into that phone GPS for reminders sent by location?

All you have to do is go into the Reminders app on your iPhone, make a reminder and then select the option “remind me at a location.” You are then taken to a page, where you can choose your current location or a specific address.  Once you insert the information, it will ask if you want the reminder to come up for when you leave or when you arrive. Be warned, however, since the app would constantly access the GPS, it would eat up your battery.

Article Provided By: Entrepreneur

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HP wearable effort turns serious as new Titan smartwatches go on sale

Friday, April 1st, 2016


Smartwatches And The Wearable Market

Is the consumer wearables market just a sideline for HP, as the company has claimed? As new smartwatches — like Titan’s Juxt — keep rolling out, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Two new Titan Juxt smartwatches now on sale are built on HP technology. The US$250 Juxt Stainless and $285 Juxt Titanium look like analog smartwatches, but have black-and-white OLED screens that serve up digital features.

The watches can show calendar alerts or text, call and social media notifications. The devices can also track steps and tell you when fitness goals are reached.

Titan claims the watches have a battery life of five days. The digital features on the smartwatches are reliant on smartphones. The watches work with devices like the iPhone with iOS 8 and 9 and Android smartphones with version 4.4 and above.

The smartwatch market is still evolving and audiences have expressed preferences for different designs. Devices like Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear can do more than the Titan smartwatches and have color screens. But smartwatches like the Titan Juxts and Tag Heuer Connected retain an old-school look while adding basic smartwatch features.

HP is not interested in consumer wearables but would help other companies out in developing their products, a company official said in an earlier interview with the IDGNews Service. A small group of technologists in the CTO’s office is also developing new wearable ideas, but the company’s effort is widening.

An increasing list of smartwatches from Movado, Isaac Mizrahi, Michael Bastian and Titan now carry the “Engineered by HP” tag. HP is providing the software, and in some cases, hardware designs for these watches.

The enterprise market is a bigger focus for HP, and the company has expressed a desire to make wearables that could be used by businesses. An example provided by an HP executive included a firefighter wearing a suit full of sensors feeding environmental and other relevant data to assist in rescue operations. However, those devices could be far off.

Article Provided By: CIO

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Lost Technology

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Technology Soviet Shuttle in Ruins

Breathtaking ruins of the Soviet space shuttle program

This derelict shuttle ( image above ) was once at the forefront of the Soviet space program technology. It was one of a number of dilapidated spacecraft found at the Bakikonur Cosmodrome site in Kazakhstan by urban explorer Ralph Mirebs.

The Space-Race

In the late 1950’s the United States and the Soviet Union entered what we now know as the Cold War. The two great super-powers found themselves pitted head to head in a race to explore space and to land a man on the moon. This competition sought to prove the superiority of each countries technology and its military firepower. This race by extension, also sought to prove their political/economic systems.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet’s launched Sputnik (Russian for traveler) which was the world’s first artificial Satellite and the first man-made object to be placed into Earth’s orbit. This surprised many Americans who saw space as the next great frontier for exploration. This helped to fuel the United States for many years, when in 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the Moon.

Today the space-race is not as fast-paced as it was 5o years ago. This is of course because of the fall of the Soviet Union’s Communist government in December of 1991. With its low economic power of the time, the Soviet Union was forced to scale back its space programs. The space-race was just to expensive for the Soviet Union to maintain.

For more than 25 years now the Soviet Space Shuttle Program has sat silent. The once great machines of Soviet pride now sit in ruins of the Cosomodrome where they were under construction so many years ago.

Today with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia and the Ukraine have inheirited the space program. Russia created the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, now known as the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), while the Ukraine created the National Space Agency of Ukraine (NSAU).

Article By Lance Roberts

For more images of the Shuttle and the Ruins Click Here

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Malware And Its Damaging Effects

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The Damaging Effects of Malware - Malware

The Damaging effects of malware is a major concern for growing businesses.
Say what you will about hackers, they are a smart and diligent group of people,
constantly creating new strategies for scamming or corrupting your computers,
networks, and websites with various types of malware. What is malware? Simply
put, it is malicious software that comes in a variety of forms.

Having malware on your site (even if it doesn’t attack the customers) will turn away
those savvy enough to run security software that detects it; they might not return
after such an experience. You could only lose a single sale or ad impression, or they
could spread the word and you’ll stand to lose a lot more.

If the malware ends up attacking users, the situation could become much worse.
Depending on how much data, money, or privacy customers lose, they may
never come back. Worse than the loss of individual customers is the loss of your
reputation. If you experience just one malware infestation, you could become
blacklisted by security software companies and even blocked by search engines.
You may even be open to legal action, depending on the nature of the attack and
the compliance regulations that apply to your business. At the very least, you can
be sure that disaffected users will tell others to avoid your site. Many businesses
never truly recover from this sort of reputation-destroying event.

Types of Malware

Just as the name implies, phishing is when folks with ill intentions “fish” around for
your confidential information. Usually what happens is you’ll receive an email from
what appears to be a legitimate company that attempts to trick you into handing
out personal information, such as a credit card number or a social security number.
Identity Theft
It is often your worst possible nightmare. Unbeknown to you, someone has
managed to steal your personal information, such as a credit card number or social
security number, and then uses this information to obtain credit, merchandise, and
other services, all on your dime. Oftentimes, people don’t realize their identity has
been stolen until the damage is already done.
A computer virus is a self-replicating computer program that is bound and
determined to infect as many computers as possible, destroying every piece of data
it can in its wake. Many viruses are found in executable files. This is exactly why
your computer prompts you with a message notifying you that you are downloading
an executable file and that you are absolutely sure you trust and know the sender.
Some describe pharming as phishing without a lure. How’s that? Well, when a
scammer “phishes” for your personal information, they are usually luring you
or someone else with an email that appears to have been sent from a legitimate
website. It’s an individual attack. With pharming, a large number of users can be
attacked. Multiple users are essentially directed to a fraudulent website (even
when they think it’s a legitimate site).
Everyone has probably received by now at least one email, typically written in all
caps and in broken English, from a wealthy foreigner requesting you help him move
large sums of money through your bank account and offering a significant reward
in the process. Guess what? There is neither a wealthy foreigner nor reward at the
other end of that email wielding a large check with your name on it.
As the name suggests, spyware is software that spies on you. It begins
accumulating bits and pieces of your online habits without you knowing it. Spyware
is typically associated with adware (display advertisements) that can sometimes
be bundled into other software you wish to install on your computer and starts
collecting your personal information without your consent. Some can even change
the configuration of your computer.

Trojan Horses
You’ve probably heard these terms a million times, but still aren’t exactly what
it is. It’s pretty simple. It’s an email virus hidden with an email attachment. If
it’s opened, then it will search your hard drive for any personal and financial
information it can find, such as social security numbers, PIN numbers, and
checking or savings account information.

Article Provide by Symantec

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Google May Someday Rank Web Pages On Facts, Not Links

Thursday, April 16th, 2015


Google May Someday Rank Web Pages On Facts, Not Links

Will Google someday rank web pages based on how accurate they are? A new paper suggests they might.

Close your eyes and imagine a world where web pages are ranked not only on popularity — i.e., the links that point to them — but also by the accuracy of information they contain. That world may not be too far off.

As New Scientist recently reported, a team of research scientists at Google has published a paper (PDF) explaining the idea of Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT), an alternate way of determining the quality of web pages by looking at how accurate they are.

The quality of web sources has been traditionally evaluated using exogenous signals such as the hyperlink structure of the graph. We propose a new approach that relies onendogenous signals, namely, the correctness of factual information provided by the source. A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy.

The paper goes on to describe how Google could use an extraction process to compare the facts it finds on web pages to facts that are stored in a knowledge base (think Knowledge Graph/Knowledge Vault), and reward pages that are found to be more accurate. In cases where a single web page doesn’t have enough facts, the paper suggests relying on other pages from the same website to determine trustworthiness.

Google has been building a massive database of known facts for years, and in 2012 introduced its Knowledge Graph. That’s the source of those information boxes that show on the right side of Google search results (primarily) for searches involving people, places and known entities.

The authors say their early tests of Knowledge-Based Trust have been promising. “We applied it to 2.8 billion triples extracted from the web, and were thus able to reliably predict the trustworthiness of 119 million web pages and 5.6 million websites.” (Note: The paper uses “triples” to describe the factual elements found and extracted from web pages.)

This KBT concept wouldn’t necessarily work uniformly across the internet, since many web pages don’t exist to share facts and aren’t about entities that exist in a Knowledge Graph-style database.

Along those lines, the authors say this way of measuring trustworthiness “provides an additional signal for evaluating the quality of a website,” and could be used “in conjunction with existing signals such as PageRank” — not necessarily as a replacement.

Article Provided By Search Engine Land

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SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

On March 15, 2015, the article “SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal” was posted on the web. It is a most read for any website owner.

SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal - Responsive Design

New Changes Start April 21

Do you have a mobile or responsive site? If not, on April 21 you may find it harder to rank in Google’s mobile search results.

Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers. The update improves rankings for sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience to searchers on mobile devices, and, by association, demotes sites that do not.

Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers.

Note that the mobile-friendly update only affects mobile search results — i.e., searches from smartphones and tablets — not searches conducted on a desktop or laptop computer.

In addition, the algorithm is applied worldwide, page by page, on a real-time basis. “Worldwide” means that the algorithm update affects mobile searchers and search results in all countries at the same time, rather than just rolling out in the U.S. first.

“Page by page” means that each page’s mobile friendliness is judged separately. That’s good news if your ecommerce catalog is mobile friendly but your forums or other content sections are not. The unfriendly sections will not cause your entire site to be ranked as unfriendly.

“Real time” means that you can expect to see the mobile ranking benefit of making your site mobile friendly right away. The next time Googlebot crawls your pages and determines that they are newly mobile friendly, the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm would kick in for those pages. This is especially good news because some algorithm updates have been processed on a monthly or unknown time cycle and applied to the algorithm in batches.

Beware, though, because real time also works both ways. If an update were made to your site that makes pages unfriendly, the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm would kick in for those pages the next time your site is crawled.

In addition, content from indexed Android apps can now be ranked in search results for searchers who are signed in to Google and have that Android app installed on their mobile device. Since Google would have no access to Apple’s iTunes database, iOS apps would not be included in this app ranking improvement.

Google’s stated goal is to improve searcher experience. It’s frustrating to search on a phone and land on a page that’s so tiny you can’t accurately click the links without pinching and zooming and scrolling to find the right text or links.

Google is converting that frustration into an improvement in its search results, so that more mobile searchers will land on sites with positive mobile experiences. It makes sense from the searcher’s perspective, which is what matters to Google.

But from an ecommerce perspective, it could possibly be a very costly update in terms of lost mobile traffic and revenue.

Example of Mobile Impact

Say you use your smartphone to search for “formal dresses.” Starting April 21, the results on your smartphone will be reordered based on the relative mobile friendliness of the sites. The image below shows my mobile search result for “formal dresses.”

SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal - mobile impact

Keep in mind that the mobile search result is probably personalized in some way. Your mobile search results may vary. The important thing to note is that the first, second, and fifth organic search results are already deemed “Mobile-friendly,” as I have highlighted above.

Google has already been annotating mobile-friendly pages for searchers, in an effort to help influence mobile searchers toward a better mobile experience.

On April 21, the annotation will become part of the ranking algorithm, affecting the order of search results directly. In Google’s words, the change will have a “significant impact” on search results for mobile searchers.

The burning question is how significant the impact will be.

Will the fifth ranking site move up to the third place, ahead of the non-friendly sites so that the new ranking order becomes 1, 2, 5, 3, 4? Or will the sites that rank third and fourth today disappear completely from the first page of results, so that only mobile-friendly sites grace the first page? There’s no way to know until April 21.

Ecommerce Impact

Maybe it’s easy to dismiss the example above. It’s one keyword, likely not even related to your industry. How many people even search for formal dresses on their phones anyway?

It turns out that searchers want to find “formal dresses” over 100,000 times a month, according to Google’s Keyword Planner, and nearly 300,000 more want some variation of formal dress keywords, such as a semi-formal dress.

Of all those nearly 400,000 searches on average per month in Google in the U.S., only 39 percent of them happen on a computer. That means that 61 percent — about 240,000 searches a month — occur on smartphones and will be significantly impacted by Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update on April 21.

SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal - stats

If a consumer is searching on a mobile device for a product sold specifically by your ecommerce brand, my prediction is that your brand will continue to rank at the top regardless of mobile friendliness. For example, for site-branded keywords, such as “macys formal dresses,” mobile search results are unlikely to change dramatically. There’s no way to know for certain until April 21, but logically Google should respect the searcher’s ecommerce brand navigational search intent.

The same would presumably not hold true for product brand searches, such as “UGG boots,” where many etailers sell that brand. We should expect the mobile-friendly update to impact product branded keywords in the same way as it would a completely unbranded keyword like “winter boots.”

Impact on Your Ecommerce Performance

First, determine if Google sees your pages as mobile friendly. It doesn’t matter if you think they’re mobile friendly or your agency tells you that they are. What matters is what Google determines algorithmically because it has 100 percent control over how your site ranks.

Google has provided a mobile-friendly testing tool that analyzes each page that you enter and tells you whether it’s mobile friendly or not. The image below shows a page that is not mobile friendly, and the resources that Google recommends to resolve those issues.

SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal - mobile friendly

Resolving the issues could be as simple as asking your developer to update your robots.txt file to remove a block on certain files (your developer will know what this means). Or it could be as difficult as a redesign to implement responsive design or mobile site best practices.

How this affects your ecommerce business depends a great deal on your mobile search performance today. Remember that the only traffic and sales at risk here is organic search driven via a mobile device (smartphone and tablet).

Analyze the risk in any change that will impact search engine optimization in terms of worst-case scenario.

The worst-case scenario is that all of the sales-driven organic search traffic via a mobile device disappears instantly when the change happens. That’s the worst case. It can’t get worse than losing it all. In all likelihood, the worst case won’t actually occur, and the decrease would be more like 80 percent, or 50 percent. But measuring the worst case helps you decide if the issue really is significant enough to act on immediately.

Start by measuring the amount of affected traffic and sales today and determine the real impact of losing it all. Remember, filter the visits and sales so that the data only contains organic search-driven traffic via a mobile device. Then determine the impact to your ecommerce business if those traffic and sales disappeared completely on April 21.

That’s how to determine the actual cost. What’s more difficult to measure, however, is the opportunity that this algorithm update represents.

How many of your competitors will be boosted by the mobile-friendly update? How many will be demoted? Can you capitalize on their loss? Is this an opportunity to surpass the competition?

Keep in mind, receiving few visits and sales via mobile search today does not in any way indicate the true size of the opportunity.

Head to the Google Keyword Planner and identify the actual opportunity that mobile search represents. Test your assumptions using keyword research and determine the true size of the mobile search opportunity before dismissing it as a useless channel.

I was skeptical, for example, that “formal dresses” would drive any real mobile search traffic. I was wrong.

Article Provided By PracticalEcommerce

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WhatsApp Messenger

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Open, Connected, Successful

WhatsApp Messenter

Striking it rich, dreaming of endless wealth, and finding the veritable “pot-of-gold” is part of the dream that most every entrepreneur who creates a software application in today’s business environment is shooting for.  Entrepreneurs hope that the business will be attractive and sell for a ridiculous sum of money based on the evaluation. WhatsApp Messenger definitely struck it rich this past week when Facebook bought the relatively new firm for $19 billion dollars; $4 billion in cash and another $15 billion in Facebook stock options.

 WhatsApp Messenger Does What?

WhatsApp Messenger, a five-year-old-company, is a (not so) proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging subscription service for smartphones. In addition to text messaging, users can send each other images, videos, and audio media messages as well as their location using integrated mapping features.  Competing with a number of Asian-based messaging services (including LINE, KakaoTalk, WeChat), WhatsApp has over 450 million monthly active users around the world, and has been adding a million users daily.   According to the Financial Times, WhatsApp “has done to SMS on mobile phones what Skype did to international calling on landlines.”

Essentially, this application allows users to communicate between all different types of mobile phones on all different carriers, world-wide. All you need to do is enter your phone number and WhatsApp “looks” through your contact list for other people who are using the app. Then you can message those users all you want without limits or overage charges. The technology behind WhatsApp is not very complicated or even that proprietary; the application allows for Multimedia messages (an image, audio or video) to be sent to an HTTP server and then a link to the content along with its Base64 encoded thumbnail is sent to the contact indicated.  In the simplest of terms, the user sending the information does so by sending the information to a web server via the mobile app. The designated user(s) receive the message in the form of a link on the same mobile app.  The app is free to download and has no ads, but it costs $1 per year after the first year.

WhatsApp allows for the circumvention of regular SMS messaging which basically exploits a “loophole” in mobile phone carrier pricing.  Additionally and maybe even as importantly, WhatsApp is a stark reminder of how much money phone carriers are losing out on as competitors let users text and chat at no charge.  According to research done by Ovum Ltd, free social-messaging applications like WhatsApp cost phone providers around the world $32.5 billion in texting fees in 2013.  That figure is projected to reach $54 billion by 2016.  As more customers switch to smartphones with increased and better Internet access, people are relying more on applications such as WhatsApp to communicate.  This is particularly true in areas outside the United States where carriers do not include unlimited texting into voice and data plans.  The rise of these Instant-Messaging applications has offered a cheaper source of communication, especially between users located in different countries, and they are undercutting the texts that, up to now, had been a key source of income.

Why the Acquisition?

According to Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook acquired WhatsApp because it wants to, “make the world more open and connected.” But, did Facebook really acquire WhatsApp because it wants to enter the mobile phone market? (This reason has been suggested with other acquisitions).  J.P. Morgan analyst, Doug Anmuth said, “Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp gives the company a strong position in mobile messaging, which we think is a crucial part of the company’s core mission of connecting the world.” Still, others speculate that Facebook wants to expand their global social media footprint.   As TechCrunch’s Josh Constine notes, “WhatsApp is huge in developing countries. Facebook could also use WhatsApp to help bring more people online through subsidized Internet, which Facebook already offers in some countries.  The acquisition is a shortcut to owning those growing markets.”  Others believe that Facebook wants to corner the photo sharing market.  With a user base of 450 million (compared to 1.23 billion for Facebook), WhatsApp users send 500 million pictures back and forth per day, about 150 million more than Facebook users generate.   Maybe Facebook is weeding out the competition as it has did with Instagram while blocking any future deals with other rivals like Twitter.

What is certain is WhatsApp will provide mountain loads of data about the things that people world-wide are truly interested in; information which, until the acquisition, Facebook didn’t have access to.  This new data can then be used for targeted advertising on other Facebook properties.

Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp is definitely setting precedence in the acquiring of newly formed user-based start-up companies.  Using an “evaluation” process of the firm (number of users that currently use the application, combined with the potential income that may be derived from advertising to the user base, or from an increase in the cost of the app, or the possibility of adding additional revenue based services) instead of structuring an offer based on actual revenue (WhatsApp declined to comment on their sales figures) has stirred up the financial world.

With a rapidly developing coding community taking off in South Carolina, this news is both thrilling and exciting!  I know I am encouraged!  I am a serial entrepreneur with two established businesses in the Upstate, and beginning a third – a new social application called SocialSprig.  It is my dream, and the dream of many entrepreneurs like me, who hope that our startups ultimately have a higher evaluation than XEROX, Marriott, and American Airlines.

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