There are some content marketing rules that are okay for small businesses to break. Elisa Gabbert takes us through a handful. Experts will tell marketers they need a content marketing strategy. And while that's all fine, small businesses need a direction more than a strategy. The strategy might get derailed -- and being limber and nimble with the ability to change direction in a snap can resonate so much louder with an audience than staying on track because that's part of the strategy. Follow the road map, but be prepared to take a back road once in a while.
While not exactly agreeing with News Corp’s recent assessment that Google is prohibiting competition in the EU, Danny Sullivan isn’t buying Google’s defense on the matter. “Google employed its oft-used defense that Google’s competition is ‘just one click away,’” Sullivan writes in Marketing Land. Yet, “Google is a habit, one that can be as hard to break as smoking -- and one that people often have little interest in breaking, since for huge numbers of people, Google does a great job helping them find what they want, for free.”
Propaganda operatives from Islamic State (Isis) are piggybacking on popular Internet hashtags and videos to boost the distribution of their extremist material on Twitter and YouTube. The Guardian reports that a specialist British police squad is working with companies like Twitter and YouTube to block and delete about 1,100 pieces of gruesome content weekly. The vast majority relate to Syria and Iraq.
DHL, owned by Germany's Deutsche Post, will begin using a drone to fly parcels to a German island, beating Amazon and Google to the punch. The company will start delivering medicine and other urgent goods to Juist, a German island in the North Sea. The delivery service has received permission from the German transport ministry and air traffic control authority for restricted flight area for the project.
Earlier this month, News Corp. complained to the European Commission that Google was abusing its market position in true monopolistic fashion. Initially, a Google spokesperson told BBC News: “What a scorcher! Murdoch accuses Google of eating his hamster!” Taking a more sober tone, Google just released a letter in which it argues that, “competition is just one click away online, [and] barriers to switching are very, very low.” In other words, the search giant is saying that it would be silly to think it could hold a monopoly on Web activity.
Alibaba's Taobao marketplace, supported by a search engine, allows consumers to look for products by entering keywords similar to google.com, bing.com, and others. Merchants selling products participate in auctions of search keywords. About 7 million merchants participate in the auctions, per The Wall Street Journal, which describes how the platform works. Taobao's ad revenue during Q1 2014 to the end of March was about $1.24 billion -- more than half of Alibaba's $1.96 billion revenue for the quarter, per the WSJ, citing estimates from iResearch. Aside from Baidu, Alibaba generates the most revenue from search in China.
A new data center in the Netherlands will cost Google 600 million euros, or about $773 million), the company announced Tuesday. The center, set to open in 2016 and become fully operational by 2017, will employ 150 people in a variety of jobs, including IT, engineering, and security. The center will be "free-cooled" to take advantage of natural assets like cool air and grey water to keep servers cool. Google said its data centers use 50% less energy than a typical data center. The intention is to run the new facility on renewable energy.
Yandex has launched a marketplace for household services similar to Angie's List in the U.S., where consumers can find professionals to do jobs ranging from cleaning and plumbing, to delivery and appliance repair. The marketplace, called Yandex.Master, aggregates services from more than 70 providers, as well as lists their prices and client reviews. Yandex said residents in two of Russia's largest cities make about 800,000 searches monthly related to helping with errands or household services.
The European Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia presented a report at its annual conference Tuesday stating that Google must improve its proposal to serve queries in search results alongside its own. In February, Google reached an agreement with the EU to display search results from three of its competitors alongside its own search results and mark them in a way that was clear for users to see, per reports.