Apple And Google Are Hosting Fake Crypto Apps Designed To Defraud Investors


In recent years, apps that enable cryptocurrency fraud have popped up on Apple’s App Store and on Google Play. In some cases, they’re meant to spoof legitimate apps and trick users into giving up their login credentials, while others provide a medium to false exchange platforms. In either case, real people are getting their crypto stolen.

On Thursday, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee sent nearly identical letters to Apple and Google, seeking explanations as to how these tech giants are evaluating and ultimately allowing these types of trading apps that seemingly enable cryptocurrency fraud. The letters came hours before the committee held a hearing on “scams and risks in crypto and securities markets.”

Neither Apple nor Google immediately responded to a request for comment, but both companies do not allow apps to impersonate bona fide apps or to engage in illegal or fraudulent activity. However, last month, Apple said it stopped nearly $1.5 billion in fraudulent transactions in 2021, and noted that its App Store is the “safest place to find and download apps.”

Chairman Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who authored the letters, noted that it is “imperative” that app stores have “proper safeguards” to mitigate fraud. The companies have until August 10 to respond.One such app, known as Metatrader 5, which is still available on both companies’ app stores, has been linked to alleged cryptocurrency scams.

Often, a scammer will begin to lure a victim through an unsolicited text message or a message on LinkedIn. Sometimes they start messaging a victim on a dating app. After engaging the person in conversation for a time, the scammer will usually direct their victim to buy cryptocurrency from a legitimate company, like Coinbase, and then instruct the victim to send it to a purported exchange mediated through an app like Metatrader.

There, the attacker can lure the victim into believing that they have made profits. However, when the victim tries to withdraw their money, they will ultimately find that they cannot do so. One California-based victim, whose identity Forbes is withholding at his request, said that after he lost $1.2 million late last year via a scam and purported trades made on Metatrader, he had suicidal thoughts.

“On my way to my parents’ house in San Francisco, I had this thought of ramming the car into a barrier and just let that be and let God decide whether I would live through this or I would die,” he told Forbes. Metatrader’s website lists no phone number for any of its offices around the globe. Forbes left a message on what appears to be its Cypriot headquarters voicemail and sent emails to multiple email addresses linked to the company. The company did not immediately respond.

Earlier this month, the FBI issued a formal warning to the public, noting that at least 244 victims had collectively lost $42.7 million through such fake apps. According to the Federal Trade Commission, related losses from romance scams, many carried out using online dating sites, have “skyrocketed” recently. Last year, reported losses reached an all-time high of $547 million. A subset of these romance scams involve cryptocurrency, and are sometimes known as “pig butchering” scams, in which victims are enticed to put in more and more money into a fraudulent crypto app—fattening them up—before the scammers abscond with vast sums of cryptocurrency.

The FTC also reported that in 2021, crypto payments to scammers jumped five-fold—reaching $139 million—between 2020 and 2021. Last month, the Global Anti-Scam Organization, an advocacy group, told Forbes that it is extremely rare for victims to be able to recover their lost funds. “I’ve talked to 50 people in the last six months,” said Arlo Kipfer, a Seattle attorney who has also consulted with scam victims on how to move forward. “The most heartbreaking thing is they bleed the victims dry—the odds of recovery are still low.”

I cover Silicon Valley — in particular surveillance technology and artificial intelligence — from beautiful Oakland,

Source: Apple And Google Are Hosting Fake Crypto Apps Designed To ‘Defraud Investors,’ Senator Says

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The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a public warning about fraudulent cryptocurrency applications, which have swindled U.S. investors out of an estimated $42.7 million so far. According to an advisory published on Monday by the securities and intelligence agency, cybercriminals have created apps using the same logos and identifying information as legitimate crypto companies to defraud investors. The FBI noted that 244 people had already fallen victim to these fake apps.

One case saw cyber criminals convincing victims to download an app that used the same logo as an actual U.S. financial institution, encouraging them to deposit cryptocurrency into wallets purportedly related to their accounts. When victims attempted to withdraw from the app, they would be asked to pay taxes on their withdrawals. However, this was just another ruse to part more funds from victims, as even if they made the payments, the withdrawals would continue to be unavailable.

Around $3.7 million was defrauded from 28 victims between December 2021 and May 2022, said the FBI. Another similar operation saw cybercriminals operating under the company name “YiBit,” defrauding at least four victims of around $5.5 million between October 2021 and May 2022, using a similar method of deceit. A third case involved criminals operating under the name “Supay” in November 2021. They defrauded two victims by encouraging them to deposit cryptocurrency into their wallets on the app, which would then be frozen unless more funds were deposited.

Warnings about fraudulent apps have also made the rounds on Crypto Twitter. One user said a friend recently fell victim to a scam that started on the online messenger service WhatsApp, which encouraged the victim to download a fake crypto app and load funds into the app’s wallet. A week later, the crypto app vanished.

Another user says they have fallen victim to a fake Ledger Live crypto wallet app, reportedly called “Ledger Live Plus,” in the Microsoft app store. The user claims the fraudulent app has already stolen $20,000 from him.  Earlier this year, cybersecurity firm ESET uncovered a “sophisticated scheme” that would distribute Trojan applications disguised as popular cryptocurrency wallets. These applications would then attempt to steal crypto assets from their victims. 

Last year, a scam cryptocurrency app dressed up as a mobile Trezor app on Apple’s App Store reportedly led to one user losing $600,000 in Bitcoin (BTC) at the time. A report from the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in June 2022 found that as much as $1 billion in crypto has been lost to scammers since 2021, with nearly half of all crypto-related scams originating from social media platforms.

The FBI has recommended crypto investors be wary of unsolicited requests to download investment apps, verify an app (and the company) is legitimate, and treat apps with limited and/or broken functionality “with skepticism.”

Related contents:

Apple And Google Under U.S. Senate Scrutiny For Crypto App Fraud Bitcoinist.com

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Is Google Dying? Or Did the Web Grow Up?

A few weeks in the past my home had a septic-tank emergency, which is as terrible because it sounds. As unspeakable issues started to burble up from my bathe drain, I did what any smartphone-dependent individual would: I frantically Googled one thing alongside the strains of poop coming from bathe drain dangerous what to do. I used to be met with a slew of cookie-cutter web sites, most of which appeared rapidly generated and had been choked with sufficient repetitive buzzwords as to be barely readable.

Virtually all the things I discovered was unhelpful, so we did the old school factor and known as an expert. The emergency got here and went, however I stored desirous about these middling search outcomes—how they typified a zombified web wasteland. Like many, I exploit Google to reply most of the mundane questions that pop up in my day-to-day life. And but that first web page of search outcomes feels prefer it’s been surfacing fewer satisfying solutions currently. I’m not alone; the frustration has develop into a persistent meme: that Google Search, what many contemplate an indispensable instrument of recent life, is useless or dying.

For the previous few years, throughout varied boards and social-media platforms, folks have been claiming in viral posts that Google’s flagship product is damaged. Search google dying on Twitter or Reddit and you’ll see folks grousing about it going again to the mid 2010s. Lately, although, the criticisms have grown louder. In February, an engineer named Dmitri Brereton wrote a weblog publish about Google’s search-engine decay, rounding up main theories for why the product’s “results have gone to shit.”

The publish rapidly shot to the prime of tech boards similar to Hacker News and was extensively shared on Twitter and even prompted a PR response from Google’s Search liaison, Danny Sullivan, refuting one among Brereton’s claims. “You said in the post that quotes don’t give exact matches. They really do. Honest,” Sullivan wrote in a series of tweets.

Brereton’s most intriguing argument for the demise of Google Search was that savvy customers of the platform not kind instinctive key phrases into the search bar and hit enter. The finest Googlers—the ones on the lookout for actionable or area of interest data, product critiques, and attention-grabbing discussions—know a cheat code to bypass the sea of company search outcomes clogging the prime third of the display. “Most of the web has become too inauthentic to trust,” Brereton argued, due to this fact “we resort to using Google, and appending the word ‘reddit’ to the end of our queries.”

Brereton cited Google Trends knowledge that present that persons are looking the phrase reddit on Google greater than ever earlier than. Instead of scrolling via lengthy posts plagued by pop-up adverts and paragraphs of barely coherent search engine optimization chum to get to a evaluation or a recipe, intelligent searchers received vigorous threads with testimonials from actual folks debating and interacting with each other. Most who use the Reddit hack are doing so for sensible causes, but it surely’s additionally a small act of protest—a technique to stick it to the Search Engine Optimization and Online Ad Industrial Complex and to aim to entry part of the web that feels freer and extra human.

Google has constructed wildly profitable cellular working methods, mapped the world, modified how we e mail and retailer pictures, and tried, with various success, to construct vehicles that drive themselves. This story, for instance, was researched, partly, via numerous Google Search queries and a few Google Chrome searching, written in a Google Doc, and filed to my editor through Gmail. Along the manner, the firm has collected an unfathomable quantity of information on billions of individuals (regularly unbeknownst to them)—however Google’s mother or father firm, Alphabet, remains to be primarily an promoting enterprise.

In 2020, the firm made $147 billion in income off adverts alone, which is roughly 80 p.c of its whole income. Most of the tech firm’s merchandise—Maps, Gmail—are Trojan horses for a gargantuan personalized-advertising enterprise, and Search is the one which began all of it. It is the fashionable template for what the know-how critic Shoshana Zuboff termed “surveillance capitalism.” The web has grown exponentially and Google has expanded with it, serving to usher in a few of the internet’s greediest, most extractive tendencies. But scale shouldn’t be all the time a blessing for know-how merchandise.

Are we wringing our fingers over nothing, or is Google a sufferer of its personal success, rendering its flagship product—Search—much less helpful? One can’t actually overstate the manner that Google Search, when it rolled out in 1997, modified how folks used the web. Before Google got here out with its purpose to crawl the complete internet and set up the world’s data, search engines like google and yahoo had been reasonably helpful at finest. And but, in the early days, there was far more search competitors than there may be now; Yahoo, Altavista, and Lycos had been common on-line locations.

But Google’s “PageRank” rating algorithm helped crack the downside. The algorithm counted and listed the quantity and high quality of hyperlinks that pointed to a given web site. Rather than use a easy key phrase match, PageRank figured that the finest outcomes can be web sites that had been linked to by many different high-quality web sites. The algorithm labored, and the Google of the late Nineteen Nineties appeared virtually magical: You typed in what you had been on the lookout for, and what you bought again felt not simply related however intuitive. The machine understood.

Most folks don’t want a historical past lesson to know that Google has modified; they really feel it. Try trying to find a product in your smartphone and also you’ll see that what was as soon as a small teal bar that includes one “sponsored link” is now a hard-to-decipher, multi-scroll slog, crammed with paid-product carousels; a number of paid-link adverts; the dreaded, algorithmically generated “People also ask” field; one other paid carousel; a sponsored “buying guide”; and a Maps widget exhibiting shops promoting merchandise close to your location. Once you’ve scrolled via that, a number of display lengths beneath, you’ll discover the unpaid search outcomes. Like a lot of the web in 2022, it feels monetized to dying, soulless, and exhausting.

There are every kind of theories for these ever-intrusive adverts. One is that the cost-per-click charges that Google costs advertisers are down, due to competitors from Facebook and Amazon (Google is rolling out bigger commerce-search advert widgets in response this 12 months) in addition to a slowdown in paid-search-result spending. Another problem could stem from cookie-tracking modifications that Google is implementing in response to privateness legal guidelines similar to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

For the previous two years, Google has been planning to take away third-party cookies from its Chrome browser. And although Google Search received’t be affected by the cookie ban, the glut of search adverts may be an try to recoup a few of the cash that Google stands to lose in the modifications to Chrome. If so, that is an instance of fixing one downside whereas creating one other. But after I instructed this to Google, the firm was unequivocal, arguing that “there is no connection” between Chrome’s plans to part out assist for third-party cookies and Search adverts.

The firm additionally stated that the variety of adverts it exhibits in search outcomes “has been capped for several years, and we have not made any changes.” Google claims that, “on average over the past four years, 80 percent of searches on Google haven’t had any ads at the top of search results.” Any hunt for solutions about Google’s Search algorithms will lead you into the world of search engine optimization consultants like Marie Haynes. Haynes is a marketing consultant who has been learning Google’s algorithms obsessively since 2008. Part of her job is to maintain up with each small change made by the firm’s engineers and public communication by Google’s Search-team weblog.

Companies that may divine the whims of Google’s continuously up to date algorithms are rewarded with coveted web page actual property. Ranking excessive means extra consideration, which theoretically means more cash. When Google introduced in October 2020 that it will start rolling out “passage indexing”—a brand new manner for the firm to drag out and rank discrete passages from web sites—Haynes tried to determine how it will change what folks finally see after they question.

Rather than reverse engineer posts to sound like bot-written babble, she and her workforce try to stability sustaining a web page’s integrity whereas additionally interesting to the algorithm. And although Google offers search engine optimization insiders with frequent updates, the firm’s Search algorithms are a black field (a commerce secret that it doesn’t need to give to rivals or to spammers who will use it to govern the product), which implies that realizing what sort of data Google will privilege takes a whole lot of educated guesswork and trial and error.

Haynes agrees that adverts’ presence on Search is worse than ever and the firm’s determination to prioritize its personal merchandise and options over natural outcomes is irritating. But she argues that Google’s flagship product has truly gotten higher and far more advanced over time. That complexity, she suggests, may be why looking feels totally different proper now. “We’re in this transition phase,” she advised me, noting that the firm has made vital developments in synthetic intelligence and machine studying to decipher consumer queries.

Those technical modifications have precipitated it to maneuver away from the PageRank paradigm. But these efforts, she instructed, are of their infancy and maybe nonetheless figuring out their kinks. In May 2021, Google introduced MUM (brief for Multitask Unified Model), a natural-language-processing know-how for Search that’s 1,000 instances extra highly effective than its predecessor.

“The AI attempts to understand not just what the searcher is typing, but what the searcher is trying to get at,” Haynes advised me. “It’s trying to understand the content inside pages and inside queries, and that will change the type of result people get.” Google’s concentrate on searcher intent may imply that when folks kind in key phrases, they’re not getting as many direct phrase matches. Instead, Google is attempting to scan the question, make which means from it, and floor pages that it thinks match that which means. Despite being a bit sci-fi and creepy, the shift may really feel like a lack of company for searchers.

Search used to really feel like a instrument that you simply managed, however Google could begin to behave extra like, effectively, an individual—a concierge that has its personal concepts and processes. The problematic results of elevated AI inference over time are simple to think about (whereas I used to be writing this text, a Google researcher went viral claiming he’d been positioned on administrative depart after notifying the firm that one among its AI chatbots—powered by totally different know-how—had develop into sentient, although the firm disagrees).

Google may use such know-how to proceed to steer folks away from their meant searches and towards its personal merchandise and paid adverts with higher frequency. Or, much less deviously, it may merely gently algorithmically nudge folks in sudden instructions. Imagine all the life selections that you simply make in a given 12 months primarily based on data you course of after Googling. This implies that the stakes of Google’s AI deciphering a searcher’s intent are excessive.

But a few of Google’s lifeless outcomes are made by people. Zach Verbit is aware of what it’s prefer to serve at the pleasure of Google’s Search algorithms. After school, Verbit took a freelance-writing gig with the HOTH, a advertising firm that makes a speciality of search-engine optimization. Verbit’s “soul crushing” job at the HOTH was to jot down weblog posts that might assist purchasers’ websites rank extremely. He spent hours composing listicles with titles like “10 Things to Do When Your Air-Conditioning Stopped Working.”

Verbit wrote posts that “sounded robotic or like they were written by somebody who’d just discovered language.” He needed to write as much as 10 posts a day on topics he knew nothing about. Quickly, he began repurposing previous posts for different purchasers’ blogs. “Those posts that sound like an AI wrote them? Sometimes they’re from real people trying to jam in as many keywords as possible,” Verbit advised me.

That his rapidly researched posts appeared excessive in search outcomes left him dispirited. He stop the job after a 12 months, describing the business of search-gaming as a home of playing cards. His time in the search engine optimization mines signaled to him the decline of Google Search, arguably the easiest, simplest, and most revolutionary product of the fashionable web. “The more I did the job, the more I realized that Google Search is completely useless now,” he stated.

HOTH’s CEO, Marc Hardgrove disputed the notion that its shopper weblog posts had been “over-optimized” for search engine optimization functions and that the firm discourages jargony posts as they don’t rank as excessive. “Overusing keywords and creating un-compelling content would be detrimental to our success as an SEO company, he wrote in an email. “That’s why The HOTH does not require, or even encourage, the writers we work with to overuse keywords into their blog posts to help with optimization.”

Google is nonetheless helpful for a lot of, however the tougher query is why its outcomes really feel extra sterile than they did 5 years in the past. Haynes’s principle is that that is the results of Google attempting to crack down on misinformation and low-quality content material—particularly round consequential search matters. In 2017, the firm began speaking publicly a couple of Search initiative known as EAT, which stands for “expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.”

The firm has rolled out quite a few high quality rater pointers, which assist choose content material to find out authenticity. One such effort, titled Your Money or Your Life, applies rigorous requirements to any pages that present up when customers seek for medical or monetary data. “Take crypto,” Haynes defined. “It’s an area with a lot of fraud, so unless a site has a big presence around the web and Google gets the sense they’re known for expertise on that topic, it’ll be difficult to get them to rank.”

What this implies, although, is that Google’s outcomes on any matter deemed delicate sufficient will probably be from established sources. Medical queries are way more prone to return WebMD or Mayo Clinic pages, as a substitute of non-public testimonials. This, Haynes stated, is very difficult for folks on the lookout for homeopathic or alternative-medicine treatments. There’s a wierd irony to all of this. For years, researchers, technologists, politicians, and journalists have agonized and cautioned towards the wildness of the web and its penchant for amplifying conspiracy theories, divisive material, and flat-out false data.

Many folks, myself included, have argued for platforms to floor high quality, authoritative data above all else, even at the expense of revenue. And it’s potential that Google has, in some sense, listened (albeit after far an excessive amount of inaction) and, perhaps, partly succeeded in exhibiting higher-quality leads to a variety of contentious classes. But as a substitute of ushering in an period of excellent data, the modifications may be behind the complainers’ sense that Google Search has stopped delivering attention-grabbing outcomes.

In principle, we crave authoritative data, however authoritative data could be dry and boring. It reads extra like a authorities kind or a textbook than a novel. The web that many individuals know and love is the reverse—it’s messy, chaotic, unpredictable. It is exhausting, endless, and all the time just a little bit harmful. It is profoundly human. But it’s price remembering what that humanity appeared like inside search outcomes. Rand Fishkin, the founding father of the software program firm SparkToro, who has been writing and desirous about search since 2004, believes that Google has gotten higher at not amplifying conspiracy theories and hate speech, however that it took the firm far too lengthy.

“I don’t know if you searched for holocaust information between 2000 and 2008, but deniers routinely showed up in the top results,” he advised me. The similar was true for Sandy Hook hoaxers—in reality, campaigns from the Sandy Hook households to combat the conspiracy theories led to a few of the search engine’s modifications. “Whenever somebody says, ‘Hey, Google doesn’t feel as human anymore,’ all I can say is that I bet they don’t want a return to that,” Fishkin stated.

Google Search may be worse now as a result of, like a lot of the web, it has matured and has been ruthlessly commercialized. In an try to keep away from regulation and be corporate-friendly, elements of it may be much less wild. But a few of what feels useless or dying about Google may be our personal nostalgia for a smaller, much less mature web. Sullivan, the Search liaison, understands this eager for the previous, however advised me that what seems like a Google change can be the search engine responding to the evolution of the internet.

“Some of that blog-style content has migrated over time to closed forums or social media. Sometimes the blog post we’re hoping to find isn’t there.” Sullivan believes that a few of the latest frustrations with Google Search truly replicate simply how good it’s develop into. “We search for things today we didn’t imagine we could search for 15 years ago and we believe we’ll find exactly what we want,” he stated. “Our expectations have continued to grow. So we demand more of the tool.” It’s an attention-grabbing, albeit handy, response.

Google has rewired us, reworking the manner that we consider, course of, entry, and even conceive of knowledge. “I can’t live without that stuff as my brain is now conditioned to remember only snippets for Google to fill in,” one Reddit consumer wrote whereas discussing Brereton’s “Google Is Dying” publish. Similarly, Google customers form Search. “The younger generation searches really differently than I do,” Haynes advised me. “They basically speak to Google like it’s a person, whereas I do keyword searching, which is old-school.” But these quirks, tics, and ranging behaviors are simply knowledge for the search large.

When youthful generations intuitively begin speaking to Google prefer it’s an individual, the instrument begins to anticipate that and begins to behave like one (that is a part of the purpose behind the rise of humanized AI voice assistants). Fishkin argues that Google Search—and plenty of of Google’s different merchandise—can be higher with some competitors and that Search’s high quality improved the most from 1998 to 2007, which he attributes to the firm’s must compete for market share. “Since then,” he stated, “Google’s biggest search innovation has been to put more Google products up front in results.”

He argues that this technique has truly led to a slew of underwhelming Google merchandise. “Are Google Flights or Google Weather or Google’s stocks widget better than competitors? No, but nobody can really compete thanks to the Search monopoly.” “Is Google Search dying?” is a frivolous query. We care about Search’s destiny on a sensible stage—it’s nonetheless a major technique to faucet into the web’s promise of limitless data on demand. But I believe we additionally care on an existential stage—as a result of Google’s first product is a placeholder to discover our hopes and fears about know-how’s place in our life.

We yearn for extra comfort, extra innovation, extra chance. But after we get it, usually we are able to solely see what we’ve misplaced in the course of. That loss is actual and deeply felt. It’s like shedding a bit of our humanity. Search, due to its utility, is much more fraught. Most folks don’t need their data mediated by bloated, monopolistic, surveilling tech firms, however additionally they don’t need to go all the manner again to a time earlier than them. What we actually need is one thing in between. The evolution of Google Search is unsettling as a result of it appears to recommend that, on the web we’ve constructed, there’s little or no room for equilibrium or compromise.

By: James Crugnale

Source: http://theatlantic.com

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How eBay Turned The Internet Into a Marketplace

The story of the modern web is often told through the stories of Google, Facebook, Amazon. But eBay was the first conqueror. One weekend in September 1995, a software engineer made a website. It wasn’t his first. At 28, Pierre Omidyar had followed the standard accelerated trajectory of Silicon Valley: he had learned to code in seventh grade, and was on track to becoming a millionaire before the age of 30, after having his startup bought by Microsoft. Now he worked for a company that made software for handheld computers, which were widely expected to be the next big thing.

But in his spare time, he liked to tinker with side projects on the internet. The idea for this particular project would be simple: a website where people could buy and sell. Buying and selling was still a relatively new idea online. In May 1995, Bill Gates had circulated a memo at Microsoft announcing that the internet was the company’s top priority. In July, a former investment banker named Jeff Bezos launched an online storefront called Amazon.com, which claimed to be “Earth’s biggest bookstore”. The following month, Netscape, creator of the most popular web browser, held its initial public offering (IPO).

By the end of the first day of trading, the company was worth almost $3bn – despite being unprofitable. Wall Street was paying attention. The dot-com bubble was starting to inflate. If the internet of 1995 inspired dreams of a lucrative future, the reality ran far behind. The internet may have been attracting millions of newcomers – there were nearly 45 million users in 1995, up 76% from the year before – but it wasn’t particularly user-friendly. Finding content was tricky: you could wander from one site to another by following the tissue of hyperlinks that connected them, or page through the handmade directory produced by Yahoo!, the preferred web portal before the rise of the modern search engine.

And there wasn’t much content to find: only 23,500 websites existed in 1995, compared to more than 17m five years later. Most of the sites that did exist were hideous and barely usable. But the smallness and slowness of the early web also lent it a certain charm. People were excited to be there, despite there being relatively little for them to do. They made homepages simply to say hello, to post pictures of their pets, to share their enthusiasm for Star Trek. They wanted to connect. Omidyar was fond of this form of online life. He had been a devoted user of the internet since his undergraduate days, and a participant in its various communities. He now observed the rising flood of dot-com money with some concern.

The corporations clambering on to the internet saw people as nothing more than “wallets and eyeballs”, he later told a journalist. Their efforts at commercialisation weren’t just crude and uncool, they also promoted a zombie-like passivity – look here, click here, enter your credit card number here – that threatened the participatory nature of the internet he knew. “I wanted to do something different,” Omidyar later recalled, “to give the individual the power to be a producer as well as a consumer.” This was the motivation for the website he built in September 1995. He called it AuctionWeb. Anyone could put up something for sale, anyone could place a bid, and the item went to the highest bidder. It would be a perfect market, just like you might find in an economics textbook.

Through the miracle of competition, supply and demand would meet to discover the true price of a commodity. One precondition of perfect markets is that everyone has access to the same information, and this is exactly what AuctionWeb promised. Everything was there for all to see. The site grew quickly. By its second week, the items listed for sale included a Yamaha motorcycle, a Superman lunchbox and an autographed Michael Jackson poster. By February 1996, traffic had grown brisk enough that Omidyar’s web hosting company increased his monthly fee, which led him to start taking a cut of the transactions to cover his expenses. Almost immediately, he was turning a profit. The side project had become a business.

But the perfect market turned out to be less than perfect. Disputes broke out between buyers and sellers, and Omidyar was frequently called upon to adjudicate. He didn’t want to have to play referee, so he came up with a way to help users work it out themselves: a forum. People would leave feedback on one another, creating a kind of scoring system. “Give praise where it is due,” he said in a letter posted to the site, “make complaints where appropriate.” The dishonest would be driven out, and the honest would be rewarded – but only if users did their part. “This grand hope depends on your active participation,” he wrote.

The value of AuctionWeb would rely on the contributions of its users. The more they contributed, the more useful the site would be. The market would be a community, a place made by its members. They would become both consumers and producers, as Omidyar hoped, and among the things they produced would be the content that filled the site. By the summer of 1996, AuctionWeb was generating $10,000 a month. Omidyar decided to quit his day job and devote himself to it full-time. He had started out as a critic of the e-commerce craze and had ended up with a successful e-commerce company. In 1997, he renamed it eBay. Ebay was one of the first big internet companies. It became profitable early, grew into a giant of the dot-com era, survived the implosion of the dot-com bubble, and still ranks among the largest e-commerce firms in the world.

But what makes eBay particularly interesting is how, in its earliest incarnation, it anticipated many of the key features that would later define the phenomenon commonly known as the “platform”. Ebay wasn’t just a place where collectors waged late-night bidding wars over rare Beanie Babies. In retrospect, it also turned out to be a critical hinge in the history of the internet. Omidyar’s site pioneered the basic elements that would later enable Google, Facebook and the other tech giants to unlock the profit potential of the internet by “platformising” it.

None of the metaphors we use to think about the internet are perfect, but “platform” is among the worst. The term originally had a specific technical meaning: it meant something that developers build applications on top of, such as an operating system. But the word has since come to refer to various kinds of software that run online, particularly those deployed by the largest tech firms. The scholar Tarleton Gillespie has argued that this shift in the use of the word “platform” is strategic. By calling their services “platforms”, companies such as Google can project an aura of openness and neutrality. They can present themselves as playing a supporting role, merely facilitating the interactions of others.

Their control over the spaces of our digital life, and their active role in ordering such spaces, is obscured. “Platform” isn’t just imprecise. It’s designed to mystify rather than clarify. A more useful metaphor for understanding the internet, one that has guided its architects from the beginning, is the stack. A stack is a set of layers piled on top of one another. Think of a house: you have the basement, the first floor, the second floor and so on, all the way up to the roof. The things that you do further up in a house often depend on systems located further down. If you take a shower, a water heater in the basement warms up the cold water being piped into your house and then pipes it up to your bathroom.

The internet also has a basement, and its basement also consists largely of pipes. These pipes carry data, and everything you do further up the stack depends on these pipes working properly. Towards the top of the stack is where the sites and apps live. This is where we experience the internet, through the pixels of our screens, in emails or tweets or streams. The best way to understand what happens on these sites and apps – on what tech companies call “platforms” – is to understand them as part of the broader story of the internet’s privatisation.

The internet started out in the 1970s as an experimental technology created by US military researchers. In the 80s, it grew into a government-owned computer network used primarily by academics. Then, in the 90s, privatisation began. The privatisation of the internet was a process, not an event. It did not involve a simple transfer of ownership from the public sector to the private, but rather a more complex movement whereby corporations programmed the profit motive into every level of the network. A system built by scientists for research was renovated for the purpose of profit maximisation. This took hardware, software, legislation, entrepreneurship. It took decades. And it touched all of the internet’s many pieces.

The process of privatization started with the pipes, and then worked its way up the stack. In April 1995, only five months before Omidyar made the website that would become eBay, the government allowed the private sector to take over control of the network’s plumbing. Households and businesses were eager to get online, and telecoms companies made money by helping them access the internet. But getting people online was a small fraction of the system’s total profit potential. What really got investors’ capital flowing was the possibility of making money from what people did online. In other words, the next step was figuring out how to maximize profit in the upper floors, where people actually use the internet. The real money lay not in monetizing access, but in monetizing activity.

This is what Omidyar did so effectively when he created a place where people wanted to buy and sell goods online, and took a cut of their transactions. The dot-com boom began with Netscape’s explosive IPO in August 1995. Over the following years, tens of thousands of startups were founded and hundreds of billions of dollars were invested in them. Venture capital entered a manic state: the total amount of US venture-capital investment increased more than 1,200% from 1995 to 2000. Hundreds of dot-com companies went public and promptly soared in value: at their peak, technology stocks were worth more than $5tn.

When eBay went public in 1998, it was valued at more than $2bn on the first day of trading; the continued ascent of its stock price over the next year made Omidyar a billionaire. Yet most of the startups that attracted huge investment during these years didn’t actually make money. For all the hype, profits largely failed to materialize, and in 2000 the bubble burst. From March to September, the 280 stocks in the Bloomberg US Internet Index lost almost $1.7tn. “It’s rare to see an industry evaporate as quickly and completely,” a CNN journalist remarked. The following year brought more bad news. The dot-com era was dead.

Today, the era is typically remembered as an episode of collective insanity – as an exercise in what Alan Greenspan, during his contemporaneous tenure as chair of the Federal Reserve, famously called “irrational exuberance”. Pets.com, a startup that sold pet supplies online, became the best-known symbol of the period’s stupidity, and a touchstone for retrospectives ever since. Never profitable, the company spent heavily on advertising, including a Super Bowl spot; it raised $82.5m in its IPO in February 2000 and imploded nine months later.

Arrogance, greed, magical thinking and bad business decisions all contributed to the failure of the dot-com experiment. Yet none of these were decisive. The real problem was structural. While their investors and executives probably wouldn’t have understood it in these terms, dot-com companies were trying to advance the next stage of the internet’s privatisation – namely, by pushing the privatization of the internet up the stack. But the computational systems that could make such a push feasible were not yet in place. Companies still struggled to turn a profit from user activity.

In his analysis of capitalist development, Karl Marx drew a distinction between the “formal” and “real” subsumption of labour by capital. In formal subsumption, an existing labour process remains intact, but is now performed on a capitalist basis. A peasant who used to grow his own food becomes a wage labourer on somebody else’s farm. The way he works the land stays the same. In real subsumption, by contrast, the labour process is revolutionised to meet the requirements of capital. Formerly, capital inherited a process; now, it remakes the process. Our agricultural worker becomes integrated into the industrialised apparatus of the modern factory farm.

The way he works completely changes: his daily rhythms bear little resemblance to those of his peasant predecessors. And the new arrangement is more profitable for the farm’s owner, having been explicitly organised with that end in mind. This is a useful lens for thinking about the evolution of the internet, and for understanding why the dot-coms didn’t succeed. The internet of the mid-to-late 1990s was under private ownership, but it had not yet been optimised for profit. It retained too much of its old shape as a system designed for researchers, and this shape wasn’t conducive to the new demands being placed on it. Formal subsumption had been achieved, in other words, but real subsumption remained elusive.

Accomplishing the latter would involve technical, social and economic developments that made it possible to construct new kinds of systems. These systems are the digital equivalents of the modern factory farm. They represent the long-sought solution to the problem that consumed and ultimately defeated the dot-com entrepreneurs: how to push privatisation up the stack. And eBay offered the first glimpse of what that solution looked like.Ebay enlisted its users in its own creation. They were the ones posting items for sale and placing bids and writing feedback on one another in the forum. Without their contributions, the site would cease to exist.

Omidyar was tapping into a tradition by setting up eBay in this way. In 1971, a programmer named Ray Tomlinson invented email. This was before the internet existed: Tomlinson was using its precursor, Arpanet, a cutting-edge network that the Pentagon created to link computers across the country. Email became wildly popular on Arpanet: just two years after its invention, a study found that it made up three-quarters of all network traffic. As the internet grew through the 1980s, email found an even wider reach. The ability to exchange messages instantaneously with someone far away was immensely appealing; it made new kinds of collaboration and conversation possible, particularly through the mailing lists that formed the first online communities.

Email was more than just a useful tool. It helped humanize the internet, making a cold assemblage of cables and computers feel inhabited. The internet was somewhere you could catch up with friends and get into acrimonious arguments with strangers. It was somewhere to talk about politics or science fiction or the best way to implement a protocol. Other people were the main attraction. Even the world wide web was made with community in mind. “I designed it for a social effect – to help people work together,” its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, would later write.

Community is what Omidyar liked best about the internet, and what he feared the dot-com gold rush would kill. He wasn’t alone in this: one could find dissidents railing against the forces of commercialisation on radical mailing lists. But Omidyar was no anti-capitalist. He was a libertarian: he believed in the liberating power of the market. He didn’t oppose commercialisation as such, just the particular form it was taking. The companies opening cheesy digital storefronts and plastering the web with banner ads were doing commercialisation poorly. They were treating their users as customers. They didn’t understand that the internet was a social medium.

Ebay, by contrast, would be firmly rooted in this fact. From its first days as AuctionWeb, the site described itself as a community, and this self-definition became integral to its identity and to its operation. For Omidyar, the point wasn’t to defend the community from the market but rather to recast the community as a market – to fuse the two. No less a figure than Bill Gates saw the future of the internet in precisely these terms. In 1995, the same year that Omidyar launched AuctionWeb, Gates co-authored a book called The Road Ahead. In it, the Microsoft CEO laid out his vision for the internet as “the ultimate market”: “It will be where we social animals will sell, trade, invest, haggle, pick stuff up, argue, meet new people, and hang out.

Think of the hustle and bustle of the New York Stock Exchange or a farmers’ market or of a bookstore full of people looking for fascinating stories and information. All manner of human activity takes place, from billion-dollar deals to flirtations.” Here, social relationships have merged so completely with market relationships as to become indistinguishable. The internet is the instrument of this union; it brings people together, but under the sign of capital. Gates believed his dream was at least a decade from being realised. Yet by the time his book came out, AuctionWeb was already making progress toward achieving it.

Combining the community with the market was a lucrative innovation. The interactions that occurred in the guise of the former greatly enhanced the financial value of the latter. Under the banner of community, AuctionWeb’s buyers and sellers were encouraged to perform unpaid activities that made the site more useful, such as rating one another in the feedback forum or sharing advice on shipping. And the more people participated, the more attractive a destination it became. More people using AuctionWeb meant more items listed for sale, more buyers bidding in auctions, more feedback posted to the forum – in short, a more valuable site.

This phenomenon – the more users something has, the more valuable it becomes – is what economists call network effects. On the web, accommodating growth was fairly easy: increasing one’s hosting capacity was a simpler and cheaper proposition than the brick-and-mortar equivalent. And doing so was well worth it because, at a certain size, network effects locked in advantages that were hard for a competitor to overcome. A second, related strength was the site’s role as a middleman. In an era when many dot-coms were selling goods directly – Pets.com paid a fortune on postage to ship pet food to people’s doors – Omidyar’s company connected buyers and sellers instead, and pushed the cost of postage on to them.

This enabled it to profit from users’ transactions while remaining extremely lean. It had no inventory, no warehouses – just a website. But AuctionWeb was not only a middleman. It was also a legislator and an architect, writing the rules for how people could interact and designing the spaces where they did so. This wasn’t in Omidyar’s plan. He initially wanted a market run by its members, an ideal formed by his libertarian beliefs. His creation of the feedback forum likely reflected an ideological investment in the idea that markets were essentially self-organising, as much as his personal interest in no longer having to mediate various disputes.

Contrary to libertarian assumptions, however, the market couldn’t function without the site’s ability to exercise a certain kind of sovereignty. The feedback forum is a good example: users started manipulating it, leaving praise for their friends and sending mobs of malicious reviewers after their enemies. The company would be compelled to intervene again and again. It did so not only to manage the market but also to expand it by attracting more buyers and sellers through new categories of goods and by expanding into new countries – an imperative that shareholders imposed after eBay went public in 1998.

“Despite its initial reluctance, the company stepped increasingly into a governance role,” writes the sociologist Keyvan Kashkooli, in his study of eBay’s evolution. Increasing profitability required managing people’s behaviour, whether through the code that steered them through the site or the user agreements that governed their activities on it. Thanks to network effects, and its status as both middleman and sovereign, eBay easily turned a profit. When the crash of 2000–01 hit, it survived with few bruises. And in the aftermath of the crash, as an embattled industry, under pressure from investors, tried to reinvent itself, the ideas that it came up with had much in common with those that had formed the basis for eBay’s early success.

For the most part, eBay’s influence was neither conscious nor direct. But the affinities were unmistakable. Omidyar’s community market of the mid-1990s was a window into the future. By later standards it was fairly primitive, existing as it did within the confines of an internet not yet remodelled for the purpose of profit maximisation. But the systems that would accomplish that remodelling, that more total privatisation of the internet, would do so by elaborating the basic patterns that Omidyar had applied. These systems would be called platforms, but what they resembled most were shopping malls.

The first modern shopping mall was built in Edina, Minnesota, in 1956. Its architect, Victor Gruen, was a Jewish socialist from Vienna who had fled the Nazis and disliked American car culture. He wanted to lure midcentury suburbanites out of their Fords and into a place that recalled the “rich public social life” of a great European city. He hoped to offer them not only shops but libraries and cinemas and community centres. Above all, his mall would be a space for interaction: an “outlet for that primary human instinct to mingle with other humans”. Unlike in a city, however, this mingling would take place within a controlled setting. The chaos of urban life would be displaced by the discipline of rational design.

As Gruen’s invention caught on, the grander parts of his vision fell away. But the idea of an engineered environment that paired commerce with a public square remained. Gruen’s legacy would be a kind of capitalist terrarium, nicely captured by what urban planners call a “privately owned public space”. The systems that dominate life at the upper end of the stack are best understood, to borrow an insight from the scholar Jathan Sadowski, as shopping malls. The shopping malls of the internet – Google, Facebook, Amazon – are nothing if not privately owned public spaces. Calling themselves platforms, they are in fact corporate enclosures, with a wide range of interactions transpiring inside of them.

Just like in a real mall, some of these interactions are commercial, such as buying clothes from a merchant, while others are social, such as hanging out with friends. But what distinguishes the online mall from the real mall is that within the former, everything one does makes data. Your clicks, chats, posts, searches – every move, however small, leaves a digital trace. And these traces present an opportunity to create a completely new set of arrangements. Real malls are in the rental business: the owner charges tenants rent, essentially taking a slice of their revenues. Online malls can make money more or less the same way, as eBay demonstrated early on, by taking a cut of the transactions they facilitate.

But, as Sadowski points out, online malls are also able to capture another kind of rent: data rent. They can collect and make money from those digital traces generated by the activities that occur within them. And since they control every square inch of the enclosure, and because modifying the enclosure is simply a matter of deploying new code, they can introduce architectural changes in order to cause those activities to generate more traces, or traces of different kinds. These traces turn out to be very valuable. So valuable, in fact, that amassing and analysing them have become the primary functions of the online mall. Like Omidyar’s community market, the online mall facilitates interactions, writes the rules for those interactions, and benefits from having more people interacting with one another.

But in the online mall, these interactions are recorded, interpreted and converted into money in a range of ways. Data can help sell targeted advertising. It can help build algorithmic management systems that siphon more profit out of each worker. It can help train machine learning models in order to develop and refine automated services like chatbots, which can in turn reduce labour costs and open new revenue streams. Data can also sustain faith among investors that a tech company is worth a ton of money, simply because it has a ton of data. This is what distinguishes online malls from their precursors: they are above all designed for making, and making use of, data. Data is their organizing principle and essential ingredient.

Data is sometimes compared to oil, but a better analogy might be coal. Coal was the fuel that powered the steam engine. It propelled the capitalist reorganization of manufacturing from an artisanal to an industrial basis, from the workshop to the factory, in the 19th century. Data has played a comparable role. It has propelled the capitalist reorganization of the internet, banishing the remnants of the research network and perfecting the profit engine. Very little of this vastly complex machinery could be foreseen from the vantage point of 1995.

But the arrival of AuctionWeb represented a large step toward making it possible. The story of the modern internet is often told through the stories of Google, Facebook, Amazon and the other giants that have come to conquer our online life.  But their conquests were preceded and prefigured by another, one that started as a side project and stumbled into success by coming up with the basic blueprint for making a lot of money on the internet.

By

Source: ‘Wallets and eyeballs’: how eBay turned the internet into a marketplace | eBay | The Guardian

More contents:

eBay, Inc. 2021 Annual Report (Form 10-K)”. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Global Trade: 1. Finding International Items On eBay”

Skype and PayPal – A Different Set of Rules”.

PayPal Spinoff Day Has Arrived — What Does It Mean for Investors?”.

The Perfect Store.

How did eBay start?”

The perfect store

The eBay Business Model”

The Myths of Innovation

Ebay Enters The NFT Space, Launches First NFT Collection

“EBay Founder Pierre Omidyar Steps Down From Board”.

“Brand New: eBay Settles for Lowest Bid”

eBay selling fees”.

Ebay’s history – know your roots!”.

eBay Guides – Tickets Buying Guide”.

Taxes and import charges”.

eBay Inc. – eBay Inc. Outlines Global Business Strategy”

The brand that auctioned the www: eBay

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Microsoft Boosts Revenue Forecast, Alphabet Growth Slows

It was a tale of two tech companies and their quarterly results after the bell on Tuesday.

Microsoft reported the tech equivalent of a hat trick. For the quarter, Microsoft reported profit and revenue that topped expectations, and the company forecast double-digit revenue growth for the next fiscal year.

The key driver being demand for cloud computing services, and its shares jumped about 4%.

Microsoft forecast Intelligent Cloud revenue of $21.1 billion to $21.35 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter. That is compared with a Wall Street consensus of $20.933 billion, according to Refinitiv data. Microsoft & Google’s parent Alphabet recorded results on Tuesday

“It was a record third quarter, driven by the continued strength of the Microsoft Cloud, which surpassed $23 billion in revenue, up 32% year-over-year,” said CEO Satya Nadella, in the post-earnings call. “Going forward, digital technology will be the key input that powers the world’s economic output.”

The company reported revenue of $49.36 billion, compared with $41.7 billion a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $49.05 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net income rose to $16.73 billion, or $2.22 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $15.46 billion, or $2.03 per share, a year earlier. That topped analyst targets of $2.19.

In contrast, Google parent Alphabet Inc reported that Google Cloud’s growth rate in the first quarter fell slightly to 43.8%, from 44.6% in the 2021 fourth quarter. Alphabet’s first-quarter revenue came in below expectations.

Shares were down 4% in after-hours trading after the company posted its slowest quarterly revenue growth since 2020.

Alphabet’s revenue during the January-March period totaled $68 billion, a 23% increase from the same time last year. The figure fell about $40 million below the average estimate among analysts polled by FactSet Research.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 270.22 -10.50 -3.74%
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 2,373.00 -88.48 -3.59%

The first-quarter profit drooped 8% from last year to $16.4 billion, or $24.62 per share. That was also below the average analyst projection of $25.47 per share, according to FactSet.

CLICK HERE TO INVEST MORE ON TECH STOCKS

Google’s ad sales totaled $54.7 billion, during the first quarter, a 22% increase from the same time last year.

Source: Microsoft boosts revenue forecast, Alphabet growth slows | Fox Business

.

Critics:

By: Peter Cohan

Wall Street’s favorite FAANG is mired in its worst monthly stock performance in two years and analysts are counting on earnings to pull it out of the tailspin. Google owner Alphabet Inc. is down about 13% in April, erasing $237 billion in market value as jittery investors dump growth stocks amid fears of bigger and faster rate hikes thanks to rising inflation.

Investors still love shares of companies that beat expectations and raise guidance. So it’s no wonder that Alphabet shares were up some 11% to an all-time high in pre-market trade on February 2.

The catalyst is the company’s fourth quarter revenue and earnings — which exceeded investor expectations. According to CNBC, Alphabet’s revenue increased 32% to $75.33 billion — $3.17 billion more than expected while its earnings per share of $30.69 was 12% above the Refinitiv consensus.

Alphabet has another advantage when it comes to boosting its stock price — most people in the world use its services many times a day. Those satisfied customers might be inclined to follow the dictum of Fidelity Magellan ex-honcho, Peter Lynch, and invest in what they know.

Sadly, that has been difficult in the last several years because of Alphabet’s high stock price. But that problem could be alleviated through Google’s plan for a July 15 “20-for-1 stock split in the form of a one-time special stock dividend,” according to Bloomberg.

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How Long Will It Take for SEO To Show Results?

“How long does SEO take to yield results?” is one of the most frequently asked queries of SEOs. It is a hot topic in the industry.

Companies want to know when they are going to see the impact of their investment (and rightfully so), but SEO is not like paid media where results can be seen almost as soon as ads are activated. It takes time to see SEO success. But how long?

You should expect to see SEO results within 6-12 months…

SEO should show results in a period of 6 to 12 months. A quantifiable increase in traffic, as well as accompanying leads or conversions, is what we mean by results.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve achieved your goal at this point, but any business investing in SEO should expect to be able to see progress within this time frame.

It is impossible to give a figure that applies to all websites, and the best that an SEO can do is to give a rough estimate based on the analysis of the current performance of a website and the proposed strategy.

There is no escaping the fact that SEO takes time. Google (and other search engines) want to show the best result for any given search query, and it takes time to earn a ranking. You have to gain maximum search visibility.

But with the right strategy in place, 6-12 months is long enough to see the impact of your SEO efforts and justify continued investment in growth.

To help you better understand how long it takes to see SEO success, let’s take a look at the factors that determine this.

History of your website

Whether or not you’re working on a new domain, it’s one of the key factors that influence how long it takes to see SEO results.

A new domain will almost always take longer to show success than an established one since it hasn’t built any authority or gained any backlinks yet. By comparison, an established domain will generally have gained at least some level of authority and will have some backlinks pointing to it.

A new domain should expect to see results within 9-12 months, rather than 6-12.

However, an established domain doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get faster results. You may not see quick results if the domain was previously affected by a penalty, a core algorithm update, or had SEO work that goes against Google’s webmaster guidelines.

The competition

Results can be seen much faster on low competition niches and low competition search queries than on competitive ones.

Trying to rank a website for competitive personal finance keywords (e.g. “credit cards”)? It could take 2 years or more to get featured visibility on page 1.

On the other hand, for narrower local or less competitive keywords, it might be possible to show promising results within 3-6 months.

Keyword difficulty is another factor. This is a percentage from 0 to 100, and the higher the percentage, the harder it would be to rank.

You should expect it to take longer to show results against keywords with a high keyword difficulty percentage. But there is more to competition than just keyword difficulty.

You need to consider how your competitors got to their current position and what they are doing to maintain this visibility. Your strategy and projections should consider what you’re competing against, including the aggressiveness of other people’s strategies.

Your resources

You cannot control the history of a website or the competition. But what you (usually) can control are the resources that are allocated to an SEO project.

It’s important to understand exactly how this plays a role in the time it takes to see results from a campaign. The more resources you can allocate to SEO, the faster you’ll see results.

The most important resource you need is time.

Reasons for lack of SEO success

1. Technical SEO issues

If there are technical SEO issues with a site, they will need to be resolved before you can experience the growth you want to see.

Technical SEO relates to things like:

  • Tracking and indexing
  • Site speed
  • Canonicalization
  • Structured data
  • Duplicate content
  • XML sitemaps
  • and more

Solving problems in some of these areas will have a greater impact than others, but the fact is that any technical problem must be solved. Call Small Biz Web Design Studio to take a look at these glitches, so as to ensure quicker SEO success.

2. Content

You’ve probably heard that content is king, and the fact is that content is still one of the top 3 Google ranking factors. Google’s goal is to return the best results for a given search query, so why would poor content perform well in the SERPs?

It’s important that you make creating great content that matches searcher intent a high priority. But take the time to understand what’s currently ranking and figure out how to create something better. You can learn a lot by studying the content that is already being done.

Low-quality (or even average) content can mean it takes longer to see results, while great content that’s carefully planned and adds something new to a topic can help your site rank faster.

3. Backlinks

Along with content, backlinks are also one of the top 3 ranking factors for Google. These are indicators of trust and popularity and have the ability to improve a website’s ranking.

After all, links are effectively two-way votes of confidence. But you need to understand that there is seldom a shortcut to getting quality backlinks.

It takes time, and it usually entails producing excellent content that others want to link to. And when there is a sizeable link gap with competitors, this can take time to close.

That said, not all links are created equal, and ultimately higher quality links have the ability to drive rankings faster than lower quality links.

4. You gave up too quickly

Ultimately, many people fail when it comes to SEO because they start out good but give up. In other words, they work hard for a few weeks and expect quick results. But when they don’t see immediate changes, they give up altogether.

If this sounds like you, this is probably why you’re not seeing the desired effect. You didn’t follow your strategy long enough.

5. You took optimization too far

When you’re learning about SEO, you’ll recognize the necessity of optimizing your content. But, it’s easy to do too much without realizing it. To put it another way, you might well be optimizing your content more than you need to.

While many people assume this will mean they’ll see better results faster, it can actually have a damaging effect. That is, too much optimization can generate penalties and drop in Google rankings.

6. You didn’t have a strategy

SEO can be complicated. You need to think about it and come up with a strategy that is suitable for your new website. Many people make the mistake of just trying a few different things here and there.

But you have to be consistent and have a strategy to work on. After a while, you can adjust your strategy based on the results you receive.

SEO is not an easy thing. It requires a lot of time, perseverance, and, ultimately, constant work. This is particularly true when you have a new website and have to start from scratch.

Be prepared to wait a while for your efforts to pay off. But, if you create the right SEO through Small Biz Web Design Studio, you will rank higher and gain more traffic.

Author: Kevin Jones

 

By Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones specializes in the marketing and distribution of web design and development products. He is in Market Development at Small Biz Web Design Studio, a web design & development company in Los Angeles.

Source: How Long Will It Take for SEO To Show Results?

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