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Wearables addictive and unstoppable says Google X’s Mary Lou Jepsen

Wearable computing is an unstoppable, addictive force that could well step in to address neurodegenerative illnesses where medicine cannot, Google X’s Mary Lou Jepsen says, though the display division chief refuses to be drawn on what her team is working on inside the clandestine lab. “It’s coming. I don’t think it’s stoppable” Jepsen said of wearables like Google’s Glass which she wore round her neck while speaking at MIT’s EmTech conference on Thursday. However while it may be inescapable, Jepsen still can’t tell us about her particular role in the future; “Sergey insists” on continued secrecy around her project, she explained, referring to Google X lab overseer and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Jepsen’s background was already in game-changing hardware. As well as co-founding the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, which aims to bring affordable computing equipment to both developing nations and classrooms closer to home – most recently with the XO Tablet – the display expert founded Pixel Qi, arguably the most successful transflective LCD manufacturer. Pixel Qi products not only work as regular LCDs in normal lighting, but can be used in high-contrast mode outdoors in bright sunlight or when minor power consumption is required.

She joined Google X earlier this year, as “Head of the Display Division”, working on Google’s so-called “moonshot” projects like self-driving autonomous cars which are not so directly connected to the bottom line as products like search, Gmail, and AdWords.

Jepsen is clearly convinced by wearables such as Glass. Describing them as “a way of amplifying you”, much in the same way that she for a long time felt that her laptop was an extension of her mind, the benefit from wearable tech is that it “lets you do more, fast and easily” she suggests. In fact, “you become addicted to the speed of it” Jepsen warned, not only for more everyday tasks like taking photos, but one day for helping people with memory loss and similar conditions.

In ten years for instance, Jepsen predicted, wearables like Glass will be able to quickly identify those people around you, which the exec pointed out would be a real benefit to people with Alzheimer’s among others. That’s assuming Google can get past the privacy concerns; at the moment, the company has said it will not allow face-recognition on Glass until those worries are settled.

Although wearables may end up being ubiquitous, that doesn’t mean that we’ll all be wearing Glass – or, indeed, hardware that looks like anybody else’s – Jepsen claims. As well as her opinion that a range of choice in the design of any body-worn gadget is essential if they’re to be commercially successful, given users will approach them as they do their personal taste in clothing and accessories, she suggested that physical and UI design are only part of a challenge in the segment that’s still yet to be addressed.

The current Glass Explorer Edition is offered in five colors, ranging from the more discrete black through to bright tangerine orange and “sky” blue. That, Google’s Isabelle Olssen, lead industrial designer on the wearable, said at the company’s own I/O conference, was because a single color was deemed too restrictive given Glass’ requirement to “satisfy different personalities.”

Future iterations, such as perhaps the consumer model which Google has suggested is on track for a 2014 release, could even be modular so as to be more flexible or scalable in how they integrate with whatever else the user is wearing.

That need for prior consideration of how a product will scale once launched is something Jepsen touched upon during her talk. In fact, she argued, it’s vital that it’s understood from very early on in the product-development cycle.

As for what Jepsen’s team in particular is working on, that might be rolled out into the public eye in 2014. The division is “maybe sleeping three hours a night to bring the technology forward” but, as with other Google X projects, Brin had sworn her and the others to secrecy in the meantime.

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Google Says ‘Discovered – Currently Not Indexed’ Status Can Last Forever

This is stated during the Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout recorded on February 18.

An individual named Davor Bobek joins the livestream to ask Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller about the ‘Discovered – Currently not indexed’ message and how long it can be expected to last.

That message means the page was found by Google, but not crawled yet.

There are various reasons why Google wouldn’t crawl a page, despite knowing it exists.

It could be due to technical reasons. Google may have tried to crawl the URL but the site was overloaded. If that’s the case then Google will reschedule the crawl for a later date.

Another reason for the ‘Discovered – Currently not indexed’ message could be because the website doesn’t meet a certain threshold for quality, in Google’s view.

Google doesn’t make any guarantees to crawl and index every webpage.

Even though Google is one of the biggest companies in the world, it has finite resources when it comes to computing power.

The computing resources Google uses to crawl the web are reserved for websites considered valuable and high quality.

To that end, the ‘Discovered – Currently not indexed’ status can possibly last forever.

Mueller says as much in his response, which you can read in the next section.

Google Index Coverage Report: ‘Discovered – Currently Not Indexed’

When asked how long webpages can remain discovered but not indexed, Mueller says:

“That can be forever. It’s something where we just don’t crawl and index all pages. And it’s completely normal for any website that we don’t have everything indexed.

And, especially with a newer website if you have a lot of content, then I would assume it’s expected that a lot of the new content for a while will be discovered and not indexed.

And then over time usually it kind of shifts over, like well it’s actually crawled, or it’s actually indexed, when we see that there’s actually value in focusing more on the website itself. But it’s not guaranteed.”

So, what can you do if you have a number of pages that Google has discovered but not indexed?

Rather than leaving the content as-is and hoping it will get indexed one day, you should continue working on your website to improve its overall quality.

Mueller continues:

“So from that point of view it’s not that I would say you should just wait a little bit and suddenly things will get better with crawling and indexing. It’s more that, like continue working on the website and making sure that our systems recognize that there’s value in crawling and indexing more and then over time we will crawl and index more.”

Hear Mueller’s full response in the video below.

For more insight into how quality issues can prevent content from getting indexed, see the following articles:

Featured Image: IB Photography/Shutterstock

Facebook Visited More Than Google In 2010, Traffic Analyst Firm Says

Facebook Visited More Than Google in 2010, Traffic Analyst Firm Says

To be “bigger than Google” in the tech world is a pretty big feat. But for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, it’s something that he can officially mark off of his “to-do” list, if he’s got one. According to Hitwise, a traffic analyst firm, the social networking site has officially surpassed the search giant as the most visited website in 2010, and by a pretty significant margin, no less. These numbers, though, reflect traffic based in the United States only, though.

Hitwise has reported that Facebook accounted for a total of 8.93 percent of all Web visits in the United States, between the months of January and November. Google on the other hand, which is still ranked high on the chart at number 2, obviously, managed to nab “only” 7.19 percent of the US’ total Web visits between the same period. There’s a few honorable mentions to go around, though.

For one, Yahoo! took two spots on the rankings, with Yahoo! Mail grabbing the number three spot. Yahoo!’s main search engine snatch the fourth spot. And finally, happy to have a spot in the top 10 (we’re sure), is Microsoft’s decision engine, Bing. After winning Person of the Year, and now this, Zuckerberg certainly has quite a bit to celebrate going into 2011.

You can read the full press release below for more information, including more details about most searched-about products and people.

Press Release

New York, N.Y., Dec. 29, 2010 – Experian® Hitwise®, a part of Experian Marketing Services, has analyzed the top 1000 search terms for 20101 and Facebook was the top-searched term overall. This is the second year that the social networking website has been the top search term overall, accounting for 2.11 percent of all searches.1 Four variations of the term “facebook” were among the top 10 terms and accounted for 3.48 percent of searches overall.

The term “facebook login” moved up from the 9th spot in 2009 to the second spot in 2010. YouTube was the third most-searched term in 2010, followed by craigslist, myspace and chúng tôi Analysis of the search terms revealed that social networking-related terms dominated the results, accounting for 4.18 percent of the top 50 searches.

When combined, common search terms – e.g., facebook and chúng tôi – for Facebook accounted for 3.48 percent of all searches in the US among the top 50 terms, which represents a 207 percent increase versus 2009. YouTube terms accounted for 1.12 percent, representing a 106 percent increase versus 2009. Aol search terms accounted for 0.34 percent of searches in 2010, but grew 22 percent versus 2009. Google terms accounted for 0.63 percent, and Craigslist terms accounted for 0.62 percent.

New terms that entered into the top 50 search terms for 2010 included – netflix, verizon wireless, espn, chase, pogo, tagged, wells fargo, yellow pages, poptropica, games and hulu.

Top-visited Websites in 2010

Facebook was the top-visited Website for the first time and accounted for 8.93 percent of all U.S. visits between January and November 2010. chúng tôi ranked second with 7.19 percent of visits, followed by Yahoo! Mail (3.52 percent), Yahoo! (3.30 percent) and YouTube (2.65 percent).

The combination of Google properties accounted for 9.85 percent of all U.S. visits. Facebook properties accounted for 8.93 percent, and Yahoo! properties accounted for 8.12 percent. The top 10 Websites accounted for 33 percent of all U.S. visits between January and November 2010, an increase of 12 percent versus 2009.

Other top searches from various categories include:

Personality – top 5 people searches

1. Kim Kardashian

2. Oprah

3. Rush Limbaugh

4. Miley Cyrus

5. Glenn Beck

Movie Titles – top 5 searches from within Movies category:

1. Star Wars

2. Paranormal Activity 2

3. Avatar

4. Transformers 3

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow

Music – top 5 searched for artists/bands:

1. Lady Gaga

2. Justin Beiber

3. Eminem

4. Taylor Swift

5. Michael Jackson

Branded Destinations top 5 search terms:

1. Disney World

2. Disneyland

3. Six Flags

4. Universal Studios Orlando

5. Great Wolf Lodg

Top TV show searches from Television category

1. Dancing with the Stars

2. American Idol

3. Young and the Restless

The top generic search term was “hulu” within Television category

Sports – the top searched for athlete was Tiger Woods and the top sports team was the Dallas Cowboys from within the Sports category.

News and Media – the top searched for person was Bret Michaels followed by Tiger Woods and Sandra Bullock within the News and Media category in 2010.

Mueller Says Don’t Focus On What Google Thinks Is Quality. Focus On This Instead

In a Google Webmaster Hangout someone asked John Mueller what was quality content for Google. Mueller essentially said that publishers know what “quality” is better than Google does. Mueller then shared what the publisher should focus on instead.

What is Quality Content for Google?

To put this question into context, a few years ago the SEO community kept announcing what they called a Quality Update every month. Month after month, they kept saying an update was happening and it was about quality.

Google denied that those updates were actual updates. But the idea that “quality” might be an important ranking factor persisted.

Even after Google introduced BERT, Neural Matching, RankBrain and other strides in Natural Language Processing to search results,  publishers still think in terms of creating “quality content.”

Quality is good. But in my opinion, based on twenty years of search marketing experience and following the latest developments in search, Google primarily ranks websites for usefulness, which is about relevance to the search query intent.

Authority is a part of determining what is relevant.

Relevance is the end and authority is the means.

Bill Slawski, a search marketer who follows search related patents, published an article in 2023 about a patent related to authority. In it he quoted this about authority:

Whether the search system considers a site to be authoritative will typically be query-dependent. For example, the search system can consider the site for the Centers for Disease Control, “,” to be an authoritative site for the query “cdc mosquito stop bites,” but may not consider the same site to be authoritative for the query “restaurant recommendations””

Here is the question:

“What is quality content in Google’s eyes? If two people are writing on the same content it’s possible they have a different opinion on the same thing. Then how does Google decide which one is better?”

John Mueller answered:

“With regards to quality content, in general this is something where you as the site owner probably know a lot more about what is actually quality content for your specific kind of site.”

What is quality? It’s a subjective opinion of excellence. There aren’t really any patents or research papers about creating a subjective opinion of quality across a range of topics.

Something like authoritativeness has been researched. Authority is about accuracy and factual truth. A site that acquires links and other signals of affirmation can be said to be authoritative.

A concept like quality is abstract and subjective. Search, in my opinion, is not about providing subjective answers but about providing useful answers that are accurate in terms of solving the question or need that underlies the search query, also known as search intent.

Related: How to Create High-Quality Content

Mueller continues:

“So that’s something where I wouldn’t worry too much about what Google thinks about quality content. But rather you need to show that you really have something that’s unique and compelling and of high quality.”

Mueller appears to be saying to stop focusing on what Google might algorithmically think is high quality and start focusing on what users will respond to as high quality.

His follow up statement encourages publishers to focus on how users may respond and that might sound “holistic” and new age-y and non-actionable. But it’s not.

Here’s Mueller’s follow up statement:

“So instead of trying to work back how Google’s algorithms might be working, I would recommend trying to figure out what your users are actually thinking and doing things like user studies, inviting a bunch of people to your office or virtually to show them something new that you’re providing on your website and ask them really hard questions where sometimes the answer might be we don’t like your website or we were confused by your website or we don’t like the color of your logo or something.

But kind of this is the hard feedback that’s really important to get and a lot of times these are things that you might not agree with but if all of your users are saying this then maybe that’s something you need to consider as well.”

In my opinion and experience what Mueller is describing is a pragmatic approach for ranking. What I mean is that when people talk about delighting users what they are really talking about is providing relevant answers or relevant experiences or relevant usefulness (utility).

Relevant answers

Relevant experiences

Relevant usefulness (utility)

Then to put a bow around those concepts of relevance there are considerations like ease of use and attractiveness.

Attractiveness is About Relevance

In my opinion, attractiveness is more about being appealing and less about being stylish. Attractiveness, when considered in terms of being appealing, is really about relevance.

For example, a site about tying fishing flies might work best if it looks like it was hand coded by a twelve year old. That will resonate with people who are focused on the information and not on how pretty a site looks. Attractiveness is about relevance. So when you design a site a consideration should be understanding how a user might feel about the look of the site and how it relates to them (relevance).

Importance of Being Relevant to Users

Finally Mueller shared how Google itself focuses on being relevant to users:

Here he mentions being relevant:

“This is something we do all the time as well. We do a/b tests in the search results all the time to see how can we make sure that we continue to provide relevant results, even when users needs and expectations continue to change over time.”

Now Mueller describes the importance of how users experience Google:

“We do user studies in search console as well where we try new features out and try to kind of see which ways users are either confused by these new features or which way they can work better with these new features.”

Finally he underlines the usefulness of approaching the problem of ranking in the same way Google approaches the problem of ranking.

“These are things you always need to do and you should focus on your users rather than on how Google’s algorithms might currently be trying to figure out what is high quality content.

One of the other reasons why you shouldn’t be focusing on how Google’s algorithms figure this out is that Google’s algorithms will also continue to evolve and continue to focus on the users and see what they need.

And if you’re just focusing on Google’s algorithms you’re always a step behind.

So try to focus on your users and figure out what their needs are and what you can do to provide something that is really unique and compelling and different from everyone else in that area that you’re active in.”

Related: The Three Pillars of SEO: Authority, Relevance, and Trust

Relevance Versus Quality

A not uncommon issue I find when performing a site audit is that the publisher focuses too much on the excellence of the content and not enough on being relevant to the user they are trying to reach.

Content quality becomes defined within the context of being comprehensive.  So they write 5,000 word web pages.

Meanwhile their competitors are outranking them with pages that are significantly shorter in content.

Why is that? That’s the answer I provide and it’s always different but it mostly centers on relevance.

This is what I meant when I said that Mueller’s answer kind of sounds new age-y but in reality there are some pragmatic and actionable takeaways.

Watch the Google hangout here:

Smartwatches & Wearables Black Friday Deals 2023

Smartwatches & wearables Black Friday deals 2023

Don’t skip out on these wearable wonders.

Black Friday smartwatches and wearables deals are almost upon us, with the day itself poised to be an utter deluge of delicious deals that we can’t wait to sink our teeth into. Here at WePC, we’re crawling through the best deals on Black Friday to ensure that you’re not left there waiting to see what the best deals are, and scrambling to find them all and eventually miss out. But, if we do our jobs properly that’s not going to happen, especially in the competitive category of smartwatches and wearable technology.  

Smartwatches and wearable technology have grown to be an essential part of many people’s lives, especially for those of you who are more fitness-inclined. This means that you don’t want to be left without, as these devices can range from costing very little for the more basic offerings, to incredibly expensive and luxurious, with products such as the Apple Watch. Unlike many other things that we’re keeping our eyes out this Black Friday, Smartwatches appear to be looking like they’ve not been incredibly impacted by the global semiconductor shortage that is poised to last for at least another year, and instead, due to demand, going to be in healthy supply this Black Friday shopping season. 

Current Smartwatch deals

When will the best smartwatches and wearables Black Friday deals happen in 2023?

We can expect to see Smartwatches and wearables go on sale slightly ahead of Black Friday, with many retailers entering the Black Friday ring starting from November 12. Black Friday itself begins on November 26. We expect to see retailers duke it out with pricing of these devices ahead of Black Friday, coming to their natural apex at around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, meaning that you could save big.  

Best Sellers on Amazon

How much will smartwatches and wearables be on Black Friday 2023? 

Since smartwatches and wearables are such a competitive category, you can expect bigger discounts on the smaller brands such as TicWatch, since they’re less in demand and want to get more products into consumers hands. Expect less dramatic deals on things such as the Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, which have enjoyed discounts on previous Black Fridays, but still retain strong pricing to ensure that their brands are not devalued over the Black Friday shopping season.

However, where you still might be able to find great deals is in the realm of older models which retailers are looking to clear out, so look to stay a year behind or so and you could save quite a bit instead of going for recently-released models. 

Tips for buying a smartwatch or wearables on Black Friday 2023

Stay behind the curve

It might be a little strange to say in the world of technology to move slowly, but smartwatches and wearables are a category which we don’t see leapfrogging itself year after year, instead, we’re given smaller incremental improvements, which means that older models are more than likely to be completely competent, even though they have a successor. This is called planned obsolescence, meaning that companies just look to push out a new model for the sake of having one, instead of waiting for bigger improvements to push out a revolutionary product. 

Set a budget

Don’t fall for a scam

It can be easy to see certain high-ticket items offered at low prices around Black Friday, so be sure to remind yourself to stick only to the websites or places that are reputable such as Amazon and more. If you see a no-name site offering a price that looks too good to be true, it probably is. So, be sure to keep your wits about you, as millions of people are scammed out of their money every Black Friday with promises of products that are never exactly what they expect. 

You can check out more Black Friday deals right here on WePC. 

How Wearables Take Hotel Operations To The Next Level

Behind the effortless hospitality that guests see, hotels are beehives of staff activity that must be carefully orchestrated to ensure a pleasant, successful stay. That has prompted a growing number of properties to adopt task management and collaboration platforms. But the need to use handheld devices to send and receive tasks, alerts and other messages as part of these solutions is producing an unintended consequence: hotel employees often have to look down at their phones to use them. To guests, that can read more as distraction than attentiveness. That’s one reason savvy hoteliers are beginning to adopt employee wearables.

Wearables such as Samsung’s Gear S3 are proving an ideal tool to speed and streamline hotel operations and boost guest satisfaction. They provide an instant, hands-free view of tasks, which can reduce response times significantly and enhance service. IDC predicts commercial watch deployments will grow from just 3.3 million units in 2023 to reach over 11.5 million units by 2023, a compound annual growth rate of 34 percent.

At the Beverly Hills test property of Viceroy Hotels, for example, staff with wearables running the ALICE task management platform respond one to three minutes faster to guest requests than at properties where they only use handhelds. Cutting that response time “definitely improves the feedback you’ll get from the guest,” says Darren Clark, vice president of technology at Viceroy Hotels and Resorts. “This is going to affect the department’s speed, efficiency and operation. It helps the hotel employees and it helps the guest as well.”

Staff Wearables at Work

Wearables offer benefits over smartphones in every department. In fact, they also help break down departmental silos, by enabling easy, quiet, hands-free communication and collaboration across any hotel-defined group. That’s ideal for requests and tasks that cross department boundaries.

Key hotel operations use cases for employee wearables include:

Bellman/Valet: Staff members can receive messages and accept tasks even while carrying bags or heading out to retrieve a car. Wearables enable a quick, hands-free glance at the next task, and optional LTE capability reaches garages and other areas without Wi-Fi coverage.

Housekeeping: The task management system automatically locates the closest staff member for a towel or bottled water request and sends a silent, vibrating alert to the watch, so guests aren’t disturbed by a ringtone or squawky radio. Via push-to-talk, staff members can instantly communicate with the team to coordinate cleaning or request supplies.

Front desk: Front desk staffers can discreetly send or respond to a request while only momentarily breaking eye contact with the guest.

Maintenance: Instead of tracking down the best available repair technician by radio and then calling the guest with an expected wait time, the system can quickly locate the tech, send a silent, instantaneous response, and get back to the guest much faster.

Security: Hotel security staff can communicate instantly and discreetly, avoiding noisy disruptions that disturb and unnecessarily alarm guests.

How Employee Wearables Improve Hotel Operations

Wearables take task management and communication to the next level by putting messages in direct eyesight of hotel operations staff. Faster communication paired with capabilities like push-to-talk improve productivity in just about every hotel department. Other benefits include:

Faster response times: Messages and tasks reach the staff member much faster, because they don’t have to wait for a sound or vibration, fish the phone out from a pocket, activate the screen and then read and respond to a message. A silent vibration alerts them to a message, which they can read hands-free and instantly acknowledge with a brief touch to the wearable device.

Translation: Each smartwatch can be configured for the particular tasks, communication groups and preferred language of the wearer, enabling clear communications across multilingual staff.

Ensuring high service levels: If a staff member does not touch their smartwatch to acknowledge an assignment in a certain amount of time, the software’s logic engine automatically escalates it to other staff members and/or a supervisor, to ensure guests are served quickly and no request goes unfulfilled.

Customizing Wearables in the Workplace

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Streamlined communications: With radios, staff members often share channels and conversations can drag on, so others have to wait to communicate. Wearables’ streamlined profiles promote concise, efficient communications, with no waiting. Hotels can designate specific communications groups for each type of alert and message.

Measurement: Staff members touch the smartwatch to acknowledge a task, then again when they receive it. That enables managers to audit response times to ensure the right number and location of staff to respond quickly to guest requests.

Less damage: Because their waterproof and strapped on the wrist, smartwatches like the Gear S3 get less wear and tear, keeping repair and replacement costs low.

Higher employee satisfaction: Staff members appreciate being empowered with cutting-edge technology that simplifies tedious tasks and helps them focus on the best parts of their jobs.

At Houston’s Hotel Alessandra, using Samsung Gear S3 with Hipaax TaskWatch software means staff respond to guests more quickly, every message sees follow-through and the property maintains its quiet ambiance, while avoiding excess staffing and shielding guests from the hubbub of running a hotel.

Making Wearables Work

Samsung’s wearables products and services make smartwatches easy for hoteliers to use and own. Integration with the ALICE product suite means hoteliers can order Gear S3 smartwatches with the software already preloaded, or Samsung can help integrate wearables with other applications. Samsung’s EMM for Wearables helps manage the fleet by automatically pushing out updates and locking down the software, among other features all without the need to pair the smartwatch with a mobile phone.

Keeping hotel operations humming and guests satisfied demands carefully orchestrated communication and coordination. Hotel wearables help boost guest experience and satisfaction by enabling staff to view tasks at a glance and keep staff focused on engaging with guests.

Learn how you can impress your guests and streamline operations by checking out our latest hospitality technology solutions.

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