E432: The future of mobile search, attention in online publishing, and Bing Launch of the Week!



about this episode

Yahoo is bidding to become the default search on the iPhone and iPad. And while Marissa Mayer has high-level connections at Apple, including designer Jony Ive, it’s very unlikely that Apple will ditch Google and Bing any time soon, according to Danny Sullivan. Founding editor at Search Engine Land, he’s covered the world of search for 14 years. No formal presentation has been made yet, but Yahoo is pushing hard toward the pitch, according to internal sources scooped up by Re/code’s Kara Swisher.

How do we really focus our attention online? Is the emphasis on clicks and social sharing for web publishers overshadowing the attention that readers give? Namely to high quality content? Tony Haile of Chartbeat wrote an essay for Time based on the company’s data, and explains in detail.

Plus, Google snatches Titan Aerospace away from Facebook, Hotel Tonight lets you peek ahead at room rates all next week. And, in the Bing Launch of the Week: editing video of your triumphs inside the PS4, a rolling pocket-sized robot printer is nearing half a million dollars on Kickstarter, and some college hackers have cracked Siri to turn on your lights, control a Nest thermostat, even unlock a Tesla.

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Launch Ticker: http://launch.co 
Launch Festival: http://festival.launch.co

Special thanks to the members of the TWiST Backchannel Program!

Executive Producers
Magnus Ingvarsson
Mary Ann Halford

Anthony Ortenzi
Jeffrey Hoffer
Marcos Trinidad
Greg Meadows
Lisa Jones
Michael Piggott
Jose Fuentes
Austin Miller
William Paoletto
Louis-Eric Simard
James Shute
Shelley L Gaskin


1:21 – intro
2:00 – TH: We’re at 70 people now at Chartbeat…~4000 customers. 80% of top publishers.
3:16 – JC: TWiSTlist plug

3:40 – JC: Yahoo! default search on iPhone
4:05 – DS: Yahoo! doesn’t have search tech to pitch. Gave that up when they signed deal w/ Microsoft. Would have to put it all back together.
4:40 – JC: All of Yahoo!”s searches are actually Bing now, right?
4:50 – DC: When you search through Yahoo!, you’re getting Bing search results…when deal up in 6 years, the tech might be handed back to Yahoo!…like Model T when everyone is driving Teslas
6:15 – JC: How important is search when most sites seem to be getting more traffic through social and apps?
6:33 – TH: Across the network, Google still driver of traffic. 36% of referral traffic. FB = 16%. Twitter at 2.6%. Google still incredibly important. Number one referrer for most of these sites…. everyone I spoke to at Yahoo! yesterday was from a startup or a startup that had recently been acquired. Word on the street, Marissa will keep Alibaba money and go on massive buying spree. 8:35 – JC: chance that new head of MS says “we don’t have to be in the search engine business?”
8:50 – DC: It’s possible, but I don’t think so. Now that Cortana has rolled out. Close to Google Now. For them to give up Bing, they’re giving up back end. Not like Google Now, still has some learning to pick up. Interesting things – reminders when you’re in certain places. remarkable that they have some of the same tech that Google Now does. 18th year of covering search. I’m pretty jaded, but Google Now transformative.
10:55 – JC: If you switched out in the iPhone (bing and Google), could they tell the difference?
11:08 – DS: they probably wouldn’t. Results aren’t bad. If Apple were smart, Siri search. If they stumble, it will be worse than if Google stumbles.
12:20 – JC: Primary referrer tease

12:40 – New Relic ad read

15:25 – JC: Tony, what sites have crossed over from SEO-driven to Upworthy era?
15:42 – TH: It’s hard for me to talk about specific sites (privacy), but you can see Gizmodo’s traffic right now (Nick Denton lets us share). Tremendous traffic stream. As a source for new visitors, they can affect it. Social, mobile, video = 3 things everyone is talking about. SEO is important, but this is something people have built a certain amount of expertise. Still a lot of work to get done right, but seeing people like Upworthy growing and they want a piece
17:38 – JC: What’s the longterm impact of this on Google?
18:00 – DS: Google’s future is just fine. Gizmodo prob has not seen Google traffic drop. When you start to talk to people, search didn’t go away. New audience from social. Pie has gotten bigger.
19:20 – TH: One thing to remember, w/ Google having moved to https:, no referrer info in the header. There may well be more traffic coming in, but hidden.
19:50 – DS: Even if it’s https:, you should be able to know it’s Google. Just stripping search terms.
20:00 – JC: Why did Google do that?
20:15 – DS: they said “privacy” at first…by going to secure, they make it harder for people to eavesdrop.

21:40 – Titan Aerospace intro
Will Google give everyone internet access
22:35 – TH: This is consistent – own everything between person and search itself. Chrome, etc. Make sure no one controls what’s between them and user. Titans are good for getting internet into hard to find places.
23:38 – DS: They do seem to do these crazy things… eventually Chrome felt like the better product.
25:00 – JC: How much would you pay for high-speed internet to get fiber installed? What would other people pay
25:20 – DS: Probably $1000 over time, part of a contract. It’d have to be super fast. My choice is one provider. I think drones might also be useful for mapping they do already.
26:10 – JC: They have your Chrome and gmail behavior. They’re reading and collecting browser data. With fiber, are they listening to the line? How much info do you think will go into ad network?
26:40 – TH: At this point, law of diminishing returns. Once you get past few key factors.

27:27 – ShareFile ad read

28:38 – Bing launch of the week intro

28:48 – JC: Playstation video editor
29:50 – JC: Rolling Printer intro
30:28 – Google hack intro
31:36 – DS: [kid who hacked into Siri] – the idea sounds cool, but my understanding is that it could change at any time.
32:10 – JC: why isn’t Siri open with an API? Do you think it ever will be?
32:22 – DS: I think Cortana stuff might put some pressure on. Apple likes to do things very carefully.
32:58 – TH: I don’t use Siri anymore. I was obsessed for an entire day and got frustrated with it not really working. This was something hacked together. You question it in some ways, but GroupMe was a hackathon and sold for something like $80M.

34:02 – TH: [rolling printer] amazing. That would be a really cool thing to own
34:40 – DS: sounds cool. would be far happier if someone could come up with regular printer that always works. Literally threw one out the window.
35:30 – Playstation – kids would love
35:50 – TH: more people watch the league of legends final vs world series games. This is incredibly popular. Smart move.
36:30 – DS: favorite: video game, then rolling printer
36:40 – TH: printer, then Siri (I like little guys)
36:50 – JC: video editing cool, but been done. Rolling printer gorgeous, see kids loving that. Nanotechnology, like a bunch of insects, but I love the kids who built the hack. Can you imagine if Yelp was connected to Siri?
37:50 – DS: Yelp integration exists.
38:50 – JC: I’m going with the college kids.
40:05 – JC: HotelTonight intro
40:30 – TH: I haven’t used HotelTonight. Interesting from strategy perspective. Are they going to start being another priceline or kayak down the line?
41:05 – DS: I haven’t used it but it’s been on my list. I like the idea.
42:20 – JC: YouTube intro…they are going to do a specific project with YouTube stars and do TV spots. Going against television, who does upfronts, etc.
43:22 – DS: I think it’s smart. Mad Men spot. effective placement.
44:15 – TH: Video for everyone is huge to publishers. Only inventory that’s reliably sold out as they go. This is very smart for the audience and advertising perspective. They can talk about a TV show and will know what they’re talking about. When it comes to YouTube, the agencies will be fairly lost.
45:20 – JC: Yahoo! plays. These moves show clearly that YouTube stars are going to be hired by AOLs, Twitters, etc. If they want to keep them, they need to covet them a little bit.
46:25 – DS: they’re doing this horribly. Google’s roots historically, conflicts between the best and trying to have the best stuff weren’t issue. Now they want to have the best stuff. Search side saying “no favoritism,” but will have stuff that deliberately promotes good stuff out there. They don’t address the issue…. they’ll go after some… my opinion of anti-trust agencies is so incredibly low. incredibly stupid. They wasted all the time and energy chasing down whether Google was being unfair. Should have spent their time on whether Google has too much of a closed loop. spend on time on whether you should put links on your own destination content.
50:05 – JC: How do publishers look at Google today, do they trust them?
50:35 – TH: TKTKT wrote open letter to eric schmidt talking about the challenges of Google having far too much power. You have a range of emotions among publishers. You can see their fortunes change dramatically with an algorithm change. When you live by the platform, you die by the platform.
51:25 – JC: Is part of the value prop of chartbeat the fact that it’s not google analytics?
52:00 -TH: they use us for different purposes. Never become a real selling point.
52:30 – YouTube star ad
53:08 – JC: Charbeat myths
53:30 – TH: we’ve been assuming that what people click on, they read, but page view isn’t a measure of content, but link to content. Dramatic percentage aren’t reading. On standard page, 55% won’t make it past 15 seconds. When you look at other topics (news, Zimmerman, etc.) people will actually read. Not about tricking people, but good stuff
55:17 – DS: I like that insight.
55:50 – TH: Data was pretty clear on what works / doesn’t.
56:05 – DS: as small publisher, we’ll think of headlines as much as anyone else and want to attract clicks, but we’re not a Buzzfeed. Our pubs aren’t designed to pull people in. We want to build an audience. Build an audience that keeps returning. Our people come back from newsletters – that’s most important to us.
57:10 – How does this affect advertising?
57:17 – TH: one of most interesting things. The reason so many people are down on publishing, people say shrinking industry. CPMs collapsing. Dealing in impressions, we have a problem. Infinite inventory and marginal cost of 0. Of the Attention and quality. Longer attention, greater ability to recall ad. Time and attention.
58:40 – JC: Medium.com, telling people how long read is going to be. Is this a trend?
59:00 – DS: If you tell people how long it’s going to take, they may be more likely. Not a lot of time and a lot of things competing for our attention.
1:00:00 – TH: When You have to compete with the sum of human knowledge to get their attention for 5 minutes ,that’s amazing.
1:00:50 – DS: I don’t know the CPMs are. We get conversions. Did this convert in a way you can tell? Some advertisers don’t care – buzz is enough. More are sophisticated and understand they got the right audience. One thing that would help are ad reps that understand and are more thoughtful.
1:02:20 – JC: Tony, new metric that will be engagement level? Do we track engagement?
1:02:40 – TH: happening now. Track, down to ad placement, how long time spent with ad. DIfferent view of pages. Old heuristics out. Instead, look at more valuable data. Early days, because industry based on inertia, but if we understand a brand’s goals… being able to understand attention is valuable.
1:04:00 – Danny close
1:05:40 – Tony Haile close
1:07:50 – Brandice goodbye

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