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Archive for January, 2012

Google profits from illegal ads

January 30, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: AdWords, Google, Online Marketing, Pay Per Click, Search Engine Marketing, search engines, Technology Companies, Twitter

Google is profiting from ads for illegal products generated by its pay per click advertising system.Google profits from illegal adsThe ads include unofficial London 2012 Olympics ticket resellers, as well as cannabis and fake ID card sellers.

Google has since taken down links to illegal Olympic ticket resellers following requests from the police.

But the search engine confirms that the company keeps any money it might make from companies advertising illegal services before such adverts are removed.

Selling tickets on the open market without permission from the Olympic authorities is a criminal offence in the UK under the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act 2006.

The maximum penalty fine for reselling Olympic tickets without authorisation from the Olympic authorities was raised last year from £5,000 to £20,000.

Despite this, Google has placed adverts for unofficial ticket resellers which are breaking the law by selling London 2012 tickets to customers in the UK.

But research found other sponsored Google adverts – for online cannabis sellers, fake ID cards, and fake UK passports.

Google’s Pay Per Click AdWords advertising system is partly automated and this helps make the initial selection of the advertisements which appear at the top of its search results.

Google’s AdWords does filter key words that can help sift out adverts which might be offering unlawful services.

If a filter flags an advert, then Google will run a manual assessment – a human takes a look – and if it breaks Google’s policy, the advert will be taken down.

In a statement, Google said: “We have a set of policies covering which ads can and cannot show on Google. These policies and guidelines are enforced by both automated systems and human beings.

“When we are informed of ads which break our policies, we investigate and remove them if appropriate. Our aim is to create a simple and efficient way for legitimate businesses to promote and sell their goods and services whilst protecting them and consumers from illicit activity.”

However, dubious online retailers are still finding their way to the top of the advert results and can do so by paying a higher cost per click than other advertisers.

Google says the quality of ads also plays a role in the ranking advertisers achieve, as well as the price the advertiser is willing to pay.

Google’s sponsored links have proved costly in the past and, in August, Google agreed to forfeit £324 million ($500 million) for publishing online adverts from Canadian pharmacies selling illegal drugs to US customers.

Blackberry cofounders step down from control

January 27, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: BlackBerry, mobile phones, smart phones, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has said its co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down from control of the company.Blackberry cofounders step down from controlMr Lazaridis, who founded RIM in 1984, will become vice chairman. Mr Balsillie will continue to sit on the board but not have any operational role.

Investors have called for a strategy change as the company struggles to compete with Apple and Google.

The departure of RIM’s co-chief executives was long overdue. Not even troubled computer giant Hewlett-Packard – which lost two CEOs in less than a year – was as bad a technology car crash as Research In Motion.

Here was a company that defined what smartphones were all about; that had cornered the important corporate market; that had made serious inroads into the youth market with cheap entry-level smartphones. And then threw it all away in an orgy of poor executive decisions, lacklustre innovation, unkept promises in delivering new product and – the greatest sin of all – a total lack of understanding that its part of the tech industry was undergoing a fundamental shift.

First Apple, then Google managed to eat the Blackberry pie, and RIM did nothing to stop them. The company’s new boss will have to work very hard to keep RIM in the smartphone game.

Mr Lazaridis, speaking after the announcement, said he recognized things needed to change at the company.

“There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership,” he said at a press conference at RIM’s headquarters in Waterloo, Canada.

“Jim and I went to the board and told them that we thought that time was now.”

Mr Heins started at RIM in 2007, having previously worked at Siemens Communications. He became the chief operating officer in August 2011, according to the company.

Mr Heins said: “As with any company that has grown as fast as we have, there have been inevitable growing pains. We have learned from those challenges and, I believe, we have and will become a stronger company as a result.”

Barbara Stymiest, who has been on the board of RIM since 2007, has been made the new chairman, a post that Mr Balsillie and Mr Lazaridis also shared.

It had its worst service outage in 2011 and has been losing market share to its competitors in the smartphone markets.

Billions of dollars have been wiped from its market value as shares have tumbled 75% over the past 11 months and sales have dropped.

Dr Search is now a Member of the Association of MBAs

January 26, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Dr Search, Online Marketing, Search Clinic, Uncategorized

Dr Search- the Search Clinic’s Principal Consultant has now been recognised by the Association of MBAs as a qualified Member.
Dr Search is now a Member of the Association of MBAsThe Association of MBAs is the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education and was established in 1967.

AMBA is the only professional membership association for MBA students and graduates, accredited business schools, and MBA employers. The membership network currently includes 9,000 members living in 88 countries.

The accreditation service is the global standard for all MBA, DBA and MBM programmes. They currently accredit programmes at 189 business schools in over 70 different countries.

In June 1967, a small group of business graduates, eight with MBAs from the US and two from the first intake at London Business School, gathered in London to found the Business Graduates Association (BGA).

Recognising that despite the value of the MBA, there was a distinct lack of knowledge about the qualification in the UK and Europe, the BGA’s intention was to promote the benefits of business education through five key objectives: help the development of existing business schools, support the founding of new business schools, encourage employers to take on MBAs, help increase the number and quality of students attending business school, and advocate the importance of professional business education in general.

By the end of their first decade the BGA had grown to a membership of 1,900.

In 1983, in response to the growing number of polytechnic business schools offering an MBA programme, the BGA established an accreditation programme to champion the MBA as a brand and to ensure standards were maintained. It soon became clear that there was considerable demand for this kind of quality assurance in the MBA market.

By 1987 the BGA’s stakeholder group had evolved into graduate members, accredited business schools and MBA employers. To reflect this change the BGA became the Association of MBAs.

Throughout the 1990s, the Association of MBAs continued to grow, adding members and accrediting programmes, including many outside the UK. The Association, until then staffed by volunteers, also adopted a more professional structure, adopting a full-time head and management team.

Jeanette Purcell came on board as Chief Executive in 2003. In 2007, the Association of MBAs celebrated its 40th anniversary as the leading international impartial authority on postgraduate business education.

You can contact Dr Search by clicking here now.

Apple posts record £8.36 billion quarterly profits- up 118%

January 25, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Apps, Computers, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Apple reported record breaking profits for the three months to 31 December 2011 of £8.36 billion ($13.06 billion)- more than doubling  up 118% from the same period in 2010.Apple posts record £8.36 billion quarterly profits- up 118%The company also sold 37 million iPhones- more than twice as many as they sold in the last quarter of 2010.

“Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline,” said chief executive Tim Cook.

The firm is expected to release its iPad 3 in March this year.

“We are very happy to have generated over $17.5bn in cash flow from operations during the December quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.

“Looking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2012, we expect revenue of about £20.96 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about £5.48 ($8.50).”

Apple saw strong sales for both its iPads and its Mac range of computers, rising 111% and 26% respectively compared to the same period in 2010.

Google sales growth worse than expected

January 24, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Ecommerce, Google, Pay Per Click, search engines, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Google reported a 27% increase in revenues for the last three months of 2011, but even that was not good enough to meet Wall Street estimates, sending the shares tumbling.Google sales growth worse than expectedGoogle shares fell 10% in after hours trading to £370 ($575) .

It reported 3 month revenues of £6.8 billion ($10.6billion) and its net profit rose 6.4% to £1.74 billion ($2.7 billion).

“Google had a really strong quarter ending a great year,” said chief executive Larry Page.

“I am super excited about the growth of Android, Gmail, and Google+, which now has 90 million users globally – well over double what I announced just three months ago.”

But analysts were less impressed with Google’s figures.

Expectations were very high and Google have missed thier estimates.

The number of clicks on Google’s AdWords Pay Per Click networks rose significantly in the fourth quarter, but the amount that Google was able to charge advertisers for each click fell 8%.

For the full year, Google reported a 29% rise in revenue to £24.45 billion ($37.9 billion), with net profits up 14% to £6.25 billion ($9.7 billion).

Microsoft’s quarterly profits fall

January 23, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Gaming, Microsoft, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Microsoft’s profits in the three months to the end of December fell as lower computer sales hit its core Windows business.Microsoft's quarterly profits fallThe world’s largest software firm made a net profit of £4.27 billion ($6.624 billion), against £4.42 billion for its second quarter last year.

Revenues rose 5% to £13.47 billion, slightly down on some analysts’ expectations.

Revenue at the Windows operating system division fell, but rose at its server, Xbox 360 and online services arms.

Wall Street welcomed the figures, with Microsoft’s shares rising 2.1% in after-hours trading.

Tighter cost control and a continuing reduction of losses at the Bing search engine helped boost the figures.

Analysts were expecting a fall in business at the Windows division due to slower sales of PCs.

The computer industry is facing a worldwide shortage of hard disk drives due to flood devastation in Thailand whit hit the global supply chain of suppliers in November.

But Windows is also facing competition from the growth of tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad and mobile devices using Google’s Android system.

However, Microsoft is hitting back with the release of Windows 8, an operating system for PCs and mobile devices.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said in a statement: “We delivered solid financial results, even as we prepare for a launch year that will accelerate many of our key products and services.”

During the quarter the Windows and Windows Live division posted revenue of £3.05 billion, a 6% fall on the previous year.

The Entertainment & Devices division saw the sharpest revenue rise, up 15% to £2.78 billion.

CES review- Smart TVs are primed for growth

January 20, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apps, Broadband, Browser, Customer Service, Ecommerce, internet, smart phones, Smart TV, Technology Companies, Televisions, Uncategorized

Smart TVs sets with the ability to stream online content, run apps and show television channels simultaneously dominated the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) exhibition.CES review- Smart TVs are primed for growthAt the end of 2011 there were 82 million connected TVs in homes worldwide according to research group Informa. By 2016 it forecasts that number will have ballooned to 892 million.

For years much of the tech industry has pursued a vision of the computer as the home’s digital hub. Owners used their PCs to copy photos off digital cameras, download music and movies and then transfer the material to other compatible devices.
Camera built into Samsung smart TV Samsung’s built-in camera allows its TV to recognise gestures and identify users

Advanced users might have connected their laptop to their TVs or streamed content to the sets wirelessly, but the televisions were at most at the end of a spur coming off the hub, rather than its heart.

The roll-out of cloud services allied to faster internet speeds now offers televisions the chance to usurp the PC’s place, and offers users further freedom from the confines of broadcasters’ schedules.

Samsung – the world’s best-selling TV-maker – has been at the forefront of efforts to deliver this vision.

One of the promotional videos it showed at this year’s event claimed watching television by appointment would become a foreign concept in the future, and its executives talk of the TV being the centre of the home.

Users are offered thousands of apps allowing them to use social networks, play video games, run educational software and follow exercise routines.

But smart TV makers recognise that people still want a sit back rather than lean forward experience most of the time.

Furthermore they acknowledge that increasing numbers of homes own other connected devices. So users may still find it preferable to tweet about a show via their tablet or smartphone rather than shrink the TV picture to pull up an app alongside.

However, manufacturers insist there are instances where it makes more sense to have everything on one screen.

While Samsung and Panasonic are developing their own system software, Google is taking a second crack at offering its own smart TV service.

At the show, LG and Vizio unveiled new sets with the search firm’s Android-based software built in. Sony also added the facility to two devices – a set-top box and a Blu-ray player.

The first version of Google TV launched in October 2010 to much fanfare, but proved a flop – enabled devices were criticised for being too expensive, and several TV networks blocked the US-only service from accessing their web content.

This time round a focus on apps may tempt content providers to co-operate, but for now it remains reliant on its own YouTube service as well as streams from Netflix, Amazon and several niche operations.

UK-based Canonical was punting a rival Linux-based Ubuntu operating system at the trade show. It says it offers a solution to clients who do not want to develop their own software and content deals, but feel uncomfortable linking up with Google.

Whichever operating system proves most popular, the internet poses a threat to the rest of the pay-TV market.

Furthermore, it says that recent developments have spurred pay-TV providers on to furnish its boxes with more material.

For now, the smart TV market looks fragmented from the point of view of content, and immature in terms of some of the technologies involved.

But as smart TVs become ever smarter, previous generations of unconnected sets may soon appear only slightly less antiquated than the black and white models of yesteryear.

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigns from its board

January 19, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Broadband, Customer Service, Email, Pay Per Click, search engines, Social Media, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Yahoo

Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo!, has resigned from its board of directors with immediate effect.Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigns from its boardJerry Yang founded the online company in 1995 with David Filo and was its chief executive from June 2007 until January 2009.

His resignation comes two weeks after the company hired former PayPal executive Scott Thomson to be its new chief executive.

Mr Yang annoyed some shareholders by turning down a £31 billion ($47.5 billion) takeover offer from Microsoft in 2008.

Since then the value has plummeted and the company’s current market value is only about £13 billion.

Mr Yang has also resigned from the boards of Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group and said in a statement: “The time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo!”.

In addition to leaving the boards, Mr Yang is also giving up his title of “Chief Yahoo”. He also expressed support for the company’s current management.

“I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo! into an exciting and successful future,” he said.

Some observers had seen Jerry Yang as an impediment to the sale or restructuring of the business as it provides a more objective and unemotional approach to the variuos strategic alternatives which are being considered as the company attempts to reinvent itself.

Wikipedia joins SOPA blackout protest at US anti piracy censorship

January 18, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Blogs, Computers, Customer Service, Ecommerce, Google, internet, Personal Security, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Wikipedia has taken its English language site offline as part of protests against proposed anti piracy censorship laws in the US.Wikipedia joins SOPA blackout protest at US anti piracy censorshipAnyone attempting to access the site just sees a black screen and a political statement: “Imagine a world without free knowledge.”

Wikipedia, which attracts millions of hits every day, is opposed to the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) being debated by Congress.

The legislation would allow the Justice Department and content owners to seek court orders requiring search engines to block results associated with piracy.

The site’s founder, Jimmy Wales, told the BBC: “Proponents of Sopa have characterised the opposition as being people who want to enable piracy or defend piracy”.

“But that’s not really the point. The point is the bill is so over broad and so badly written that it’s going to impact all kinds of things that, you know, don’t have anything to do with stopping piracy.”

The message replacing the normal Wikipedia front page on the internet says: “For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopaedia in human history. Right now, the US Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: ”These bills are very badly written”

Even joined the protest, blacking out its logo and linking to an online petition urging Congress to not censor the web.

Sopa’s supporters in the House of Representatives say the legislation is designed to stop revenue flowing to “rogue websites”. A similar bill, Pipa, is making its way through the US Senate.

A sign of how bad this legislation may be is that even the arch hacker Murdoch- whose media organisation has been likened to the mafia for it’s “industrial illegal activities” aka phone and email hacking- supports these bills.

On Saturday the White House issued a statement that appeared to side with critics of the legislation.

It said: “While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet.”

Despite the hint of a presidential veto, Wikipedia said that the English site’s administrators had decided to stage its first ever public protest because the bills “would be devastating to the free and open web”.

It added: “We don’t think Sopa is going away, and Pipa is still quite active. Moreover, Sopa and Pipa are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we’re seeing the development of legislation intended to fight online piracy, and regulate the internet in other ways, that hurt online freedoms.”

HTC quarterly profits plunge 25%

January 17, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Ecommerce, mobile phones, smart phones, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

HTC’s new smartphone Raider 4G HTC is the world’s number four smartphone maker.HTC quarterly profits plunge 25%Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has reported a 25% fall in fourth quarter profit, as its models struggled to compete with those of its rivals.

Net profit dropped to 11bn Taiwan dollars (£235 million) in the three months to December, from 14.8 billion dollars in the same period a year earlier.

Sales for December fell 20.3% from a year ago to 26.3 billion Taiwan dollars.

In October the firm said it expected lower revenues in the fourth quarter due to “uncertainties from new models”.

But its latest update also revealed that net profit for the whole of 2011 rose 57% to 62 billion Taiwan dollars.

HTC is the world’s number four smartphone maker, behind Samsung, Apple and Nokia.

Many of the world’s technology companies have also been hit by the recent floods in Thailand- which knocked the global supply chains of may manufacturers.