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Google Tag Manager has added a native scroll depth trigger tool to report scroll-tracking data in Google Analytics.
According to Simo Ahava’s blog post on the new feature, the native scroll depth trigger includes basic options that allow users to track both vertical and horizontal scrolling. Site owners can track scrolling activity on all or select pages of a website.
“The new trigger comes with all the base features you’d expect in a scroll depth tracking plugin,” writes Ahava, “There’s no option to track scrolling to specific HTML elements, but luckily the recently released Element Visibility trigger takes care of this.”
To enable the feature, go to the “Trigger Configuration” menu within Google Tag Manager and select “Scroll Depth.” From there, users can configure “Scroll Depth Threshold,” “Scroll Depth Units” and “Scroll Direction” tracking parameters.
While Ahava reports the new plugin works well and makes it easy to set up a Google Analytics Event tag for scroll-depth tracking, he notes that users should be mindful of certain tracking options.
“If you load the page so that you are on or have crossed any one of the defined thresholds, the gtm.scrollDepth trigger will automatically fire for all the thresholds you have crossed,” writes Ahava, “So, if you are at the very bottom of a page and you reload the page, GTM will fire a trigger for each of the thresholds 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%, without the user explicitly scrolling.”
Mobile security is paramount and Google is stepping up to the plate to ensure your apps are safe. Today, Google announced that it was launching a new bug bounty program named the “Google Play Security Reward Program”. It aims to encourage developers and white hat hackers to poke and prod apps from the Play Store for vulnerabilities.
Right now, the apps in the new program will be via invite only. The list is small, but distinguished. It includes Alibaba, Dropbox, Duolingo, Headspace, LINE, Snapchat, and Tinder. In addition to those headlining apps, Google will also include all of its Google-developed Android apps currently available in the Play Store. Once the program rolls out further, Google says the program will be opt-in instead of using an invite system.
According to the terms of the program, researchers will work directly with app developers once a bug is found. Google says it doesn’t even want to know about the bug until a fix has been rolled out. The researcher can then contact Google to claim their $1,000 bounty, which will be paid out after Google confirms with the app developer. In addition to the bounty from Google, researchers will still be eligible to receive bonuses from the app developer themselves if they also run a bug bounty program.
Google is setting up this program to reward researchers, but it doesn’t want to get too heavily involved. In addition to being kept in the dark about the bugs, it’s tapping HackerOne to handle most of the organization for the program. HackerOne will be in charge of submitting reports and inviting white-hat hackers into the program as it expands. You might remember that Qualcomm recently teamed up with HackerOne on a similar project. If you’re interested in the program, you can read more about the program’s rules and criteria at the link below.
The Google Play Security Reward Program is part of Google’s wider effort to make its platforms as safe as possible. It currently runs rewards-based programs for Google-developed websites and apps for Chrome and Chrome OS and for the latest version of Android running on Pixel devices. Those programs are responsible for the fixing of hundreds of vulnerabilities and paying out millions of dollars in bounties.
THE proposal to sell shares in Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, stunned the financial markets last year. Muhammad bin Salman, now Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, promised that it would be the biggest initial public offering (IPO) of all time, valuing Aramco at $2trn. It was to be the centrepiece of his plan to transform the Saudi economy, reducing its dependence on oil. It was meant to foster financial transparency and accountability in one of the world’s most hermetic kingdoms. Above all, it would cement the young prince’s image as a bold moderniser soon to inherit the throne.
Alas, youthful impatience appears to have got the better of him. His tendency to micromanage the IPO and vacillate over where Aramco should be listed has caused delay and confusion. Matters came to a head this week when advisers, speaking anonymously, and company executives doing the same, gave conflicting reports, suggesting a mutinous atmosphere.
The kingdom’s advisers say…Continue reading
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Recently, I’ve found myself focusing more and more on optimizing page load times. Improving page speed is something that is generally pretty easily understood by clients, and it positively impacts user experience and conversion as well as SEO.
But there’s one element of page speed optimization that even non-technical marketers and content creators can contribute to: image optimization. As Kristine Schachinger points out in her excellent article on image optimization, resizing and compressing images can often be the easiest and highest-impact action for speeding up pages on your site.
Schachinger does a great job of outlining image compression and resizing best practices, but once you know which images need work (or if you just have some new images to add to your site), what’s the best tool for actually compressing images?
Since image compression can be such an easy win, I wanted to test the capabilities of five different free, standalone image compression tools that writers, designers or marketers can use to ensure that they’re keeping their image file size in check.
For this post, I ran three images from a site I own through each of the tools:
Two of the images were PNG, and one was JPG, and each had been generated without any focus on optimizing for size or for ultimately being compressed (as will frequently be the case “in the wild”).
There are a lot of different free image optimization tools. While I’m sure I’m not aware of all of them, I’ve checked out 15 to 20 different tools and found these five to be the best suited for most purposes. I think its likely that most people reading this post will find that one of these five is a good fit for their image compression needs.
Let’s run through the various tools I used to compress the images.
Optimizilla has a very simple interface:
The biggest “pros” in Optimizilla’s favor are that the tool allows you to run up to 20 images through for compression at a time (a couple of the others on this list do as well) and that it has a great image preview feature which lets you dial up or down the “quality” of the photo.
This quality slider feature allows you to adjust your image compression based on whether the resulting image will look acceptable. Dialing down the quality shrinks the size of the image, so if you can’t see much of a difference at 60 percent versus 90 percent image quality, you may want to dial things down to 60 percent to reduce the image size as much as possible.
Like Optimizilla, TinyPNG has a nice, simple interface and allows you to run up to 20 images at a time. It also has a convenient “export to Dropbox” option:
Compressor.io also offers compression. Unfortunately, there’s not a bulk upload feature here, so you have to upload one image at a time:
Kraken does allow you to upload multiple files. It also has some nice features, like allowing you to easily export files to Dropbox or import files from Box, Dropbox or Google drive. Additionally, Kraken allows for “advanced” customization, like altering quality and orientation and preserving metadata for your photos.
The major downside to Kraken is that it was the only tool on the list that wouldn’t execute compression for all of the files in the free version of the tool. Our large infographic (which was a very big file at 1.7MB) hit their free cap. Their pro plans currently range from $5 to $79 a month.
As you can see below, all of the tools had a significant impact on image size. It’s worth noting that in each instance, I took the default version of the compressed image from each tool — I likely could have experienced even larger gains by tweaking the advanced settings in tools like Kraken and Optimizilla.
As you can see, on raw default performance, TinyPNG had the smallest file size for the two larger images, and Compressor.io had the smallest size for the logo. If you’re curious about before and after image qualities, I’ve uploaded all of the files to a public Dropbox folder here.
If you’re looking for a tool for your team to use that is very easy to use and outputs a much smaller image by default, I’d probably recommend TinyPNG. Personally, I’ll frequently use Optimizilla, as I find it’s the best combination of a simple interface with some easy-to-use customization (where I can preview and dial down the quality to help shrink a file if necessary).
You might be thinking, “OK, great, so you made these image files much smaller — but how much of an impact does that really have on how quickly my page loads?”
To help demonstrate how dramatic the impact can be, I created a page on a WordPress site and first added the initial images (and nothing else) to the body of the page and logged the total load time for the page, then removed them and replaced them with the smallest version of each file.
Page load with all of the original images added to a page:
Page load with the best-optimized version of each image added to a page:
So, page load time decreased by more than half once the three images were optimized.
Now, this is obviously a particularly pronounced impact given the presence of the large infographic file, but your logo (and similar files) are present on every page on your site, and there’s a good chance that between blog posts, product images and other areas of your site, you have several non-optimized images. How much of an aggregate page load impact (and ultimately how much traffic and revenue) are you forfeiting by using these unoptimized images?
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have officially been released and many pre-order customers should be receiving their packages today. It’s an exciting time for Android fans, but tempering that excitement is news that the Google Pixel 2 XL may have some “issues” with its display.
Reports on Reddit and the XDA Developers forums suggest that the Pixel 2 XL’s screen is the victim of several problems, including muted/undersaturated colors, grainy images when scrolling down web pages, and a blue tint.
CNET has subsequently compared some phones at its office, including a couple of Pixel 2 XLs, to try and get to the bottom of this. They learned that the display situation amounts to “more of a nuanced issue, and less of an open and shut case.” This comes as no surprise, for reasons I will discuss further down.
When put side-by-side with the Galaxy S8, CNET found that the Pixel 2 XL’s display was less saturated, even when the XL’s vivid mode was switched on. But, honestly, having a less saturated screen than a flagship Samsung phone isn’t really a big deal — Samsung has kind of nailed that particular aspect of manufacturing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of phone displays struggled to match the Galaxy S8 for quality. CNET also added that you might not notice this lack of saturation in day-to-day use.
Meanwhile, the issue of grain or blotches seems even more niche: it may only be present only when viewing the display in dark rooms when scrolling on white backgrounds with the brightness turned down (yes, really). One of CNET‘s staffers actually said that they couldn’t even see the supposed problem.
It’s not yet known if this just relates to pre-release units or if it is, in fact, a wider problem, but the screen blotches defect does sound like something that was noticed on the LG V30 display too. With both devices making use of the same screen, it seems entirely possible that the same problems could affect both.
In a statement to CNET, Google had this to say about its Pixel XL 2 display:
We designed the Pixel display to have a more natural and accurate rendition of colors this year but we know some people prefer more vivid colors so we’ve added an option to boost colors by 10% for a more saturated display. We’re always looking at people’s responses to Pixel and we will look at adding more color options through a software update if we see a lot of feedback.
A few things to bear in mind, here. Firstly, screen complaints often come up at the launch of a new device, and we’ve seen a number already this year. Whether it’s jelly scrolling on the OnePlus 5, or the red display of the Galaxy S8, it’s not uncommon. Seeing such comments at the release of a highly anticipated phone like the Google Pixel 2 XL isn’t completely unexpected.
The other consideration is that feelings on display vibrancy are subjective: some people prefer rich colors while some people prefer something more neutral. Similarly, some people like warmer display colors and some like them cooler. In other words, what is a lack of saturation to one person could just be a well-balanced screen to another.
Google might want to tweak the amount of saturation that its “vibrant” mode adds to the display (10% possibly isn’t enough) and it might roll out more color options in the future. It might even need to address the potential low-light blotchiness, which its statement didn’t address. But while that statement may look to some like an admission that the company still has work to do, I think Google knows that a quick comment that promises nothing — for a potentially small issue that may blow over quickly — is a smart way to deal with unrest.
What are your thoughts on the situation? Let us know in the comments.
by John Valiton, CEO at Reemo Health
While leaps and bounds beyond what we saw even five years ago, the health tech industry has yet to be fully explored. There is such a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to use their technical abilities to advance the way individuals deal with their health — especially in terms of aging care. To put the space’s potential into perspective: the senior care industry is projected to reach a worth of $400 billion by next year alone.
While we’ve seen numerous startups come into the scene that focus on easing the challenges adult children and family members face as their loved ones age, there is still a huge gap that needs filled with technology that specifically delivers everyday value to individual seniors. And this isn’t just a job for those entrepreneurs already immersed in the healthcare space. Entrepreneurs coming from outside of traditional healthcare should consider leveraging their knowledge and experience to achieve novel solutions that would not have been delivered from inside the traditional health ecosystem.
Why? First — their solutions can have meaningful improvements on seniors’ day-to-day lives and the quality of their care. Second — the 74.9 million Baby Boomers have more wealth than any other generation and are looking for ways to maintain their independence and quality of life. They may be slower to adopt technology than Millennials, but show plenty of appetite for tech that can support their health and wellness.
So, how can entrepreneurs muster what it takes to enter the senior care space? Like any successful business venture, there has to be a personal element to the venture. As I and the founders of my company quick found out, there’s a lot more motive to create a solution that vastly increases care when it’s directly impacting a loved one. Once you’ve identified that area of senior care that sparks your passion, it’s time to start doing your research.
Take time to identify if that need is something that others struggle with, then dive even deeper. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, and take the time to sit down with individuals to gather personal anecdotes about their struggles or victories. Once you’ve learned all the ins and outs, specific challenges, and developed deep empathy for that specific need, you’ll be in a position to truly make a difference — and your chances of actually succeeding will be substantially better, because your solution will resonate with people. Stay open and listen to the voice of the users. Your product and your business will be better for it.
John Valiton is CEO of Reemo Health, a senior health technology solution designed to empower caregivers with actionable insights to improve the aging experience. He has been an avid technology enthusiast since an early age, and applied his interest in all things tech at the intersection of IoT, wearable technology, healthcare and data science through his position as a strategic advisor, Chief Revenue Officer, and now CEO for Reemo.
This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.
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Few SEO nightmares can compare to the horror of waking up to a sudden drop in rankings — and worse, traffic — and discovering that your site has been penalized by Google.
A variety of factors impact rankings both positively and negatively — schema/rich snippets, links, and mobile user experience — to name just a few. Determining the precise cause of a sudden change can take some investigation, but when a site receives an actual penalty by Google, the webmaster is notified via Google Search Console.
Despite these notifications, Google penalty notices are the subjects of some of the most frequently asked questions at both our “Meet the SEOs” and “Ask the Search Engines” Q&A sessions at our search marketing conferences. What does this penalty mean? How do we respond? What actions do we need to take to get the penalty reversed? To answer those questions and provide a resource for readers to reference on an ongoing basis, we’ve partnered with Search Engine Land contributor and former Google Search Quality engineer, Kaspar Szymanksi of SearchBrothers.com.
Kaspar has put together the ultimate guide to Google penalties. This comprehensive Google penalty guide addresses:
We’ll be featuring specific sections of the guide over the next few weeks, and will have a wrap-up FAQ where Kaspar will address some of the outstanding questions readers have after digesting the guide. We encourage you to submit your penalty questions for Kaspar here.
We’ll be keeping this guide current and updated, and encourage you to submit feedback and suggestions you may have.