Bing to start encrypting search traffic by default this summer

bing notre dame football

Microsoft will sharpen Bing’s security when it starts encrypting all of its search traffic by default this summer.

Bing has offered HTTPS encryption for the past year and a half as an opt in feature, but now Microsoft will default to locking down everybody’s search queries.

Providing encryption gives a new layer of protection to Bing users and helps guard their traffic from snooping.

With this move, Microsoft catches up to its peers in the search market. In 2011, Google began encrypting searches by default for users who were signed in to their Google account. Starting in 2013, the search giant moved all search traffic through HTTPS. Yahoo, Microsoft’s search alliance partner, began encrypting search traffic from its homepage by default in early 2014.

With the switch to encrypted traffic, Microsoft is also changing the way that webmasters get information about searches that lead to their websites. The company will still offer a referrer string so that website operators and marketers can see that the encrypted traffic is coming from Bing, but won’t provide the exact search term that led people to a page.

Instead, Bing Webmaster Tools will continue to provide aggregated keyword and ranking data so that website operators can keep track of what draws users to their websites along with how they compare with the competition. Advertisers will be able to see what search queries triggered their Bing ads using the Search Query Terms Report, which also provides information on other performance metrics like clicks, impressions and conversions.

How to use Google Now cards: 7 tips for managing what they show you, when and why

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Google Now and its “cards”—those bite-sized alerts, reminders, and personalized recommendations—are so prescient, they’re positively spooky. One such card might tell you that today’s the birthday of a close friend, while another might point out a news article that it somehow knew you’d want to click.Google Now cards may also alert you to traffic jams on the way home, thunderstorms in tomorrow’s forecast, that dinner rezzie you made for Friday, a thrilling victory by your favorite baseball team, or a hot new bistro in your neck of the woods.

So, what’s going on here? Is Google Now reading our minds or something? Can these Google Now cards be controlled—or stopped?

Read on for 7 things to know about your Google Now cards, starting with…

1. Google Now knows all about you thanks to Google, Gmail and your apps

Google Now knows all about you thanks to Google, Gmail and your apps
Google Now gets help from Google itself when it comes to picking out your “Now” cards.

As you may have already guessed, Google Now gets a lot of help from Google itself when it comes to picking out your Now cards—for example, by keeping an eye on what you’ve searched for, which links you’ve clicked, and where you (and your phone and/or tablet) have been.

Google Now has another clever trick up its sleeve: It scans your Gmail, looking for confirmation messages and other clues that might trigger helpful alerts and reminders. (If that sounds creepy, remember that Google already scans your Gmail so it can display “relevant” ads next to your Gmail messages.)

Certain apps on your handset may tip off Google Now about new reminder cards. For example, Spotify might recommend new playlists based on songs you’ve listened to recently, while the Lyft app might let you know how much it’ll cost to take a cab home.

Bonus tip: You can control whether Google uses your so-called “web history” for Google Now cards, search suggestions and other uses.

2. You can change which Google Now cards you get

customize google now cards on android phones 2
Just answer a few questions to customize the cards you’re getting from Google Now.

If you’re not loving the cards you’ve been dealt, you can always nudge Google Now in a different direction.

For example, you can tell Google Now that you want your weather cards with degrees in Celsius rather than Fahrenheit, or that no, you don’t want to see any more cards about that new café down the block. You can even nix an entire category of cards—such as, say, cards about recent stories that might interest you.

Just tap the (tiny) three-dot menu button sitting on the top-right corner of a card (or the little “i” button if you’re using Google Now for iOS), and answer the questions that follow (like “Which distance units do you prefer?” and “Continue to get updates for your research projects?”). Google Now will remember your likes and dislikes and deal new cards accordingly.

3. You can dismiss a card with a swipe

You can dismiss a card with a swipe
Done reading a Google Now card? Just dismiss it with a swipe.

Once you’re done with a specific Google Now card, just swipe it off the screen, a gesture that essentially marks a card as “read” and clears the clutter from your Google Now screen.

4. You can tell Google Now about your interests

Add personal details to Google Now for Android
You can tell Google Now a little more about yourself in the “Customize” menu.

Say you’re an otherwise proud San Franciscan who (when it comes to football, anyway) is bleeding green. There’s an easy way to tell Google Now that your favorite NFL team is, in fact, the Philadelphia Eagles, and not the Niners.

For Android devices:

Tap the three-line menu button in the top-left corner of the main Google Now screen, tapCustomize > Sports, then Add a team.

While you’re at it, you can also add stock tickers, specify your home and work addresses (handy for helping Google Now serve up cards about your commute), your cable company, and your favorite streaming-video services.

A final category labeled “Everything else” lists a hodge-podge of details that’ll help tailor your other Google Now cards, including questions you may have answered after tapping the three-dot menu button for a specific card.

For iOS:

The iOS version of Google Now offers many more options for customizing your Now cards. Tap the three-dot button in the top-right corner of the screen, tap Settings, then scroll down to the Cards section. From there, you can tweak the settings for more than a dozen categories, from birthdays and flights to travel and weather.

5. You can tee up a Google Now reminder card

Set up a Google Now reminder
Reminders are among the few Google Now cards that you can set up yourself.

Typically, Google Now doles out your daily cards automatically, with a bare minimum of effort on your part. One notable exception, though, is reminders.

Tap the three-line menu button in the top-left corner of the main Google Now interface (or, if you’re on iOS, tap the three-dot button in the top-right corner of the screen), tap Reminder, then create a reminder for yourself.

Once you do, Google Now will deal a reminder card when the time is right, or when you’re approaching a specific place (if you set a “geofence” in your reminder rather than a time).

Bonus tip: Rather than going to the trouble of tapping out a reminder, just tap the microphone in the Google search box and tell Google Now to remind you of something.

6. Google Now reminders can set off Android or iOS notifications (or not, if you’d prefer)

Google Now notifications setting for Android
You can disable Google Now notifications in just a few taps.

Whether you’ve got a dinner reservation coming up, a sunny day in your future, or (gulp) a flash flood headed your way, you might see Google Now card alerts popping up in your Android or iOS notification window.

If you don’t want Now cards cluttering your notifications, there’s an easy fix.

For Android:

Tap the three-line menu button at the top of the Google Now interface, tap Settings > Now Cards, then flip off the Show notifications for card updates switch.

For iOS:

Tap the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner of the screen, tap Settings, then toggle the Notifications setting.

7. You can turn off Google Now cards altogether

Turn off Google Now cards for Android
Had enough Google Now cards? You can always just turn them off.

If all these Now cards are more annoying than they are helpful, you can ask Google Now to deal you out.

For Android:

Tap the three-line menu button again, tap Settings > Now cards, then switch off the Show Cards setting. In the confirmation pop-up, tap Turn Off to deactivate Now cards on the device you’re using, or check the box to wipe all your Google Now preferences and stop dealing cards on all your Google handsets.

Isro’s Mangalyaan Enters 15-Day Blackout Period on Monday

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India’s Mangalyaan Mars mission spacecraft orbiter got ‘eclipsed’ early Monday with the Sun blocking the Earth from the Red Planet over the next 15 days, a senior space official said.”Orbiter has entered into a 15-day blackout period, as the Earth is blocked by the Sun from the Red Planet till June 22, snapping our communication links with it (spacecraft),” an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) told IANS in Bengaluru.

Orbiting around Mars since September 24, 2014, the 1,340-kg spacecraft is on an extended life after completing the six-month intended lifespan on March 24 by conserving the remaining fuel (37kg) on board.

“As eclipses or blackouts are a cosmic phenomenon in the solar system, no cause for concern as the Orbiter has been put on autonomous mode in advance by sending the required commands from here to survive the eclipse phase,” the official asserted.

Admitting that it was first time when the deep space network at Baylalu, about 30km from Bengaluru, would be out of touch with the Orbiter for such a long time, the official said the spacecraft had been equipped and programmed to undergo the transition.

“Though our command network will not receive or send any signal during the blackout, we will regain control over the spacecraft after it comes out of the Martian shadow to contact us again,” the official said.

The space agency’s track and command network centre in the city had tested the spacecraft’s ability to survive a solar eclipse by simulating the conditions earlier.

“As the Oribter is on a borrowed life, its longevity and ability to keep spinning around Mars at a safe distance from its hot red surface is a windfall for us,” the official added.

India created history by becoming the first country to enter the Mars orbit in maiden attempt after a nine-month voyage through the inter-planetary space from the Earth.

India also became the first Asian country to have entered the Mars sphere of influence (gravity) on maiden attempt, as a similar mission by China failed in 2011.

The $70-million (Rs.450-crore) Mars mission was launched on November 5, 2013, on board a polar rocket from Isro’s spaceport Sriharikota off the Bay of Bengal, about 80 km northeast of Chennai.

When launched, Orbiter had 855kg fuel but consumed about 800kg since then (November 5) for its orbit-raising exercises undertaken during its nine-month long journey and on entering the Martian sphere.

“The five scientific instruments on board the spacecraft (Orbiter) will continue to collect data and relay them after June 22 to our earth stations for analysis,” the official said.

Of the five payloads (instruments) on board, Mars Colour Camera (MCC) has been the most active, taking stunning images of the Red Planet’s surface and its surroundings, including valleys, mountains, craters, clouds and dust storms.

“The camera has beamed many breathtaking pictures of the Martian surface and its weather patterns such as duststorms. We have uploaded some pictures on our website (www.isro.gov.in) and our Facebook account for viewing,” he pointed out.

The other four instruments have been conducting various experiments to study the Martian surface, its rich mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane gas to know if it can support life.

“As methane is an indicator of past life on Mars, the sensor is looking for its presence in the Martian orbit. If available, we will know its source in terms of biology and geology. The thermal infrared sensor will find out if the gas is from geological origin,” the official added.

Scientists at the mission control centre in Bengaluru monitor the orbital movement of the spacecraft around Mars and check health of its instruments round the clock.

Orbiter takes 3.2 earth days or 72 hours, 51 minutes and 51 seconds to go around Mars once while orbiting at a distance of 500km nearest and over 80,000km farthest from its red surface.

Shopping for Wave 2 Wi-Fi? Don’t rush into it

 

The new world of Wi-Fi is a bit like the proverbial airplane being built in mid-air: Unless you really need to enter the new world of LANs right now, it might make sense to hold off. A case in point is the first 802.11ac Wave 2 access point from Cisco Systems, introduced on Tuesday in advance of the Cisco Live conference next week.

That Cisco Aironet 1850 Series Access Point, due to ship in July, can offer users a data rate of 1.7Gbps using both of the main Wi-Fi frequency bands. It can also transmit to three users at a time so they don’t have to share time on the network. That’s far short of what 11ac Wave 2 will ultimately deliver, with a theoretical speed of 6.8Gbps, but a big step up from Wave 1, which tops out at 1.3Gbps.

But the 1850 Series AP doesn’t come with the new multigigabit ethernet ports that are expected to help make Wave 2 Wi-Fi reach its potential. Instead of the new interfaces that can operate at 2.5Gbps or 5Gbps, the new Cisco APs come with two regular Gigabit ethernet ports.

The second wave of products built to the IEEE 802.11ac standard bring Wi-Fi throughput well above 1Gbps and can include other performance-boosting features. They’re just starting to go on sale now, and chips to power this new generation are in the spotlight this week at Computex in Taipei.

The souped-up Wi-Fi could mean a lot more packets flowing through each access point, ultimately too much to carry over the Gigabit ethernet interfaces that tie most APs back to wired LANs today. So there’s a new type of ethernet emerging to help IT departments take care of all that traffic without having to use 10-Gigabit ethernet, which requires newer cables that most users don’t have. A few products with a pre-standard form of this technology are starting to come out, too, and a standard is starting to come together.

Cisco is almost ready to ship such multigigabit ports for some of its wired switches, which are intended eventually to connect Wave 2 APs to the LAN. The eight-port Catalyst 3560-CX, and a 48-port module for the Catalyst 4500E chassis, both of which will have some multigigabit ports, are due to ship this month. A switch for the Catalyst 3850 line with multigigabit ports is set for July. Hewlett-Packard and other vendors also have switches with these ports in the pipeline.

Asked why the 1850 Series AP announced Tuesday won’t get the new ports, Cisco said they aren’t necessary on these products. The 1850 Series is designed for medium-size customers or the lower end of large enterprises. The size of their deployments and the density of use at their sites isn’t likely to generate more than 2Gbps of uplink traffic through the AP, Cisco said.

The APs will balance the traffic load between the two Gigabit ethernet ports to take advantage of their combined capacity, Cisco says. However, making that work would require two ethernet cables out to the AP.

Unless an enterprise already has twin wires to each AP, which is rare, pulling those cables would be an expensive step to take just to deploy this particular generation of product, Dell’Oro Group analyst Chris DePuy said.

“Hoisting the ladder is the most expensive part,” DePuy said. Avoiding cable installation is the main point of multigigabit ethernet, after all.

Cisco isn’t the only company coming out with a first-generation Wave 2 product with only Gigabit ethernet: The Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex R710 likewise has two Gigabit ethernet wired interfaces. But he expects most Wave 2 products in the future to have multigigabit ethernet ports.

IT departments are likely to take a good, long look before committing to APs that don’t have the faster ports, because their needs could grow and change over time, DePuy said.

The market for such products may be fairly small, but it’s not nonexistent, DePuy said.

“It’s likely this is better than the Wave 1 products. So if you need to buy something now, this is the one you’re going to buy,” he said. “But if you can wait a little while, you might wait for the other ones.”

Meanwhile, there’s good news for IT shops that want to make sure they get multigigabit uplinks and can use them with different vendors’ products. The IEEE 802.3bz Task Force, formed earlier this year to set a standard for 2.5-Gigabit/5-Gigabit ethernet, adopted baseline proposals for all the main components of the specification at its first meeting in May. The group is now beginning to write the first preview draft of the standard and will next meet in July, said Dave Chalupsky, chairman of the task force.

“The process went as quickly as it possibly could,” Chalupsky said. The Task Force won’t have an official timeline for finishing the standard until after that meeting, but it’s possible the standard will be fully signed off by late 2016, he said. If that sounds like a long time, keep in mind that vendors often can safely develop interoperable products well before a standard is official.

Google teams with Adobe to reduce Flash use in Chrome

 

browser roundup sept 2014 chrome screen

Google and Adobe have teamed up to reduce Chrome’s battery usage by cutting down on the amount of Flash content the browser plays automatically.

The new functionality, enabled by default in the latest beta release of Chrome, will automatically pause bits of Flash content the browser determines “arent central to the webpage.” Important items, like the main video on a page, will play uninhibited. If Chrome pauses content that users want to see, they can click on it to resume playback. The change should make webpages with that sort of content load faster and reduce the amount of battery they use.

Google expects to move the Flash-blocking capabilities from Chrome’s beta channel to all users of its browser as soon as September. People who still want to see pages in all their Flash-laden glory can toggle the setting off by ticking “Run all plugin content” in Chrome’s content settings. To re-enable the automatic Flash blocking, toggle “Detect and run important plugin content.”

The changes could help Chrome, which has a reputation for being a battery hog relative to other browsers. Tommy Lee, a software engineer and power conservationist at Google, said the feature is aimed at allowing users to “surf the web longer before having to hunt for a power outlet.” (That said, he didn’t provide any concrete numbers about how much battery savings users could expect.)

It’s also potentially bad news for online advertisers who rely on Flash ads. Because that content isn’t central to enjoying a webpage, there’s a chance it will get stopped while a user is browsing rather than continue to run. That’s why Google’s AdWords service allows advertisers to convert new and existing flash campaigns into HTML5, so people will still see the same ads. The company also offers tools for building HTML5 ads, and will soon allow advertisers to upload their own HTML5 campaigns as well.

Getting advertisers away from Flash will also help with mobile advertising efforts from Google and other firms. None of the leading mobile platforms feature native support for Flash, so any advertisements made with it will be blocked from a growing percentage of web traffic. HTML5 ads, on the other hand, will run across devices.

Facebook Messenger dumps auto-location tracking for a pin drop

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Facebook Messenger is making location sharing a little less creepy, with finer controls over when to divulge your whereabouts.

Previously, Facebook Messenger used a location toggle that was enabled by default on Android phones, and required a one-time permission on iPhones. With the toggle turned on, every post would include location details automatically. Recipients could then view the sender’s location with a tap, or even use an extension to harvest friends’ data over time.

With the new version of Facebook Messenger for iOS and Android, users must choose to share their location manually. By tapping the “More” button or the location pin at the bottom of the screen, users can see a map with a location pin, which they can send as a separate message. Users can also drag the pin around the map, which could be useful for showing a past location or future meeting point.

As TechCrunch reports, Facebook sees the new location tool as a foundation for much greater things. The company hinted at tying location into other services, so for instance users could coordinate pickups in a ride-sharing app like Uber.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has stalled on automatic location sharing. Last year, the main Facebook app gained an voluntary feature called “Nearby Friends,” which would track your location and alert you when your favorite people were in proximity. But Facebook’s help page says the feature is “only available in some areas right now,” and at least on my iPhone, there’s no trace of it.

Why this matters: Just as Facebook backtracked on the “frictionless sharing” of the songs you listen to and the webpages you visit, the company has realized that automatic location sharing is a burden. As the hypothetical Uber example shows, sharing can be much more powerful when people have control over it.

Yahoo axes Maps, Pipes, other services as it narrows focus

 

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Yahoo says it’s all about search, communications, and digital content, and now a few of its older services must go. Caught up in Yahoo’s digital divide are people on aging iOS devices, some Mac OS X Lion users, fans of Yahoo Maps, and power users attached to Yahoo Pipes.

Sayonora iOS 4 and Mac OS X 10.7

Yahoo says it can no longer service the built-in mail app for iOS 4 and earlier. Anyone running that system will have to turn to Yahoo Mail’s web app. The company says it is doing this “in order to maintain focus on the security, speed, and functionality of Yahoo Mail on the latest systems.”

Also on the outs is support for syncing Yahoo contacts on Macs running OS X 10.7 Lion devices and earlier. Mac owners with 10.7 and earlier will also have to turn to the web to access their contacts stored with Yahoo.

Off the grid

Yahoo Maps is also set to vanish, and pretty quickly too. The company plans to shut down maps.yahoo.com at the end of June. Even though the public-facing site is going away Yahoo’s mapping efforts will remain alive for other purposes. Flickr will still have maps support after June and several other unnamed Yahoo properties will also keep maps integration.

The Pipes run dry

Since 2007, Yahoo Pipes has been a convenient way to bring web content together. Based on the pipes concept from Unix-style command lines, Yahoo Pipes lets you createcustom RSS feeds from multiple websites.

On August 30, Yahoo will no longer accept the creation of new Pipes, and a month later the service will stop working entirely. Anyone who uses Pipes will have until September 30, 2015, to get their data out.

Beyond those major changes, Yahoo also shut down a number of country-specific versions of its specialty websites, including Yahoo Autos, Yahoo Entertainment, Yahoo Movies, Yahoo Music, and Yahoo TV. The U.S. versions of all five of these properties remain untouched, while Canada is losing Yahoo Music and Yahoo TV.

The story behind the story: For years, Yahoo has been a confusing company to watch. It had no clear direction, but a lot of different services and content that attracted loyal followings. CEO Marissa Meyer is starting to give Yahoo more shape than it previously had with its “three pillars” of search, communications, and digital content. As Yahoo gets a clearer sense of where it’s headed this likely won’t be the company’s last major house cleaning.

 

How to Beat the Newest Facebook Algorithm Change

How to Beat the Newest Facebook Algorithm Change

On April 21, 2015, Facebook announced another update to their News Feed algorithm. For Facebook users and page admins, this change means two different things.

With the new algorithm, Facebook will try even harder to show usersa good mix of relevant and trending content from friends/family and the brand pages they follow. They’ll show you more posts they assume you don’t want to miss and fewer updates about which stories your friends have liked and commented on.

Facebook Page admins might be frustrated by the move,  but they also need to realize that Facebook’s trying to make news feed content more relevant to every user. This means everyone will see a different mix of content based on the pages and posts they’ve historically liked; the effects of this update will vary from page to page. If you manage a page or pages and craft posts that get lots of likes, shares and comments, you might not notice any difference at all.

On the other hand, if you’ve noticed another dip in engagement and are you’re looking for tips to help combat Facebook’s latest algorithm update, here are four you can start implementing today:

1. When you post videos, make sure they’re “native”

People who use Facebook as a marketing tool tend to notice when certain kinds of content get momentum. Take video. Earlier this year, it was hard not to notice the autoplay videos that were suddenly appearing in everyone’s news feeds. Almost overnight, Facebook seemed to give preference to native videos. Marketers who study their Facebook Insights and other data immediately took notice because natively uploaded videos get 52 times more views than links to videos on YouTube on Facebook, according to data fromGetResponse.

So if you normally got 1,000 views on Facebook videos, you could make one small change in the way you upload the video and, voila!you could get 1500+ views. That’s a huge difference!

In case you’re wondering, here’s what the different types of video look like:

Native Facebook Video

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Video with Link Posted from YouTube

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2. Make sure all links are mobile ready

There are two reasons you should check links — on a mobile device — to anything you’re linking to from Facebook. This includes links to blog posts, ads’ landing pages, and downloadable resources like PDFs infographics, ebooks, etc.

First, Facebook users prefer mobile. Of Facebook’s 1.44 billion monthly active users, 40 percent of them use Facebook on mobile devices only. That’s not quite a majority, but it might as well be. Each quarter, more and more people are accessing Facebook via mobile, so the sooner you think “mobile first,” the more likely Facebook will reward you. And if you’re not thinking about your users’ mobile experiences when you share content on Facebook, you’ll lose them.

A few other stats from Facebook’s 2015 Q1 report:

  • Mobile DAUs were 798 million on average for March 2015, an increase of 31% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 1.25 billion as of March 31, 2015, an increase of 24% year-over-year

Second, Facebook’s algorithm detects the quality of the links you share. Since August of last year — when Facebook made an announcement about penalizing click-baiting — the platform’s news feed algorithm has been tracking “how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook.”

If a person clicks on a link you share and actually consumes the content they’ve linked to, Facebook considers the content valuable. On the other hand, if someone clicks a link and then quickly returns back to Facebook, the content gets a negative mark in Facebook’s eyes. Facebook only wants to show users the most relevant and otherwise “best” content in their news feeds, so it makes sense that links that lead people to linger get preferential consideration.

The final thing to remember is that the neither mobile nor desktop exists in a vacuum. You have to be conscious about both since what happens on mobile affects what appears on desktop, and vice versa.

3. Create unique Facebook content

Studying what other page admins are doing — whether they’re in your industry or not — will help you learn about the kinds of posts that get great reach and engagement. It’s been my observation that the Facebook posts that get the most attention have been made specifically for … Facebook.

One brand that tailors their posts especially well is Clinique. Not too long ago I listened to an episode of Jay Baer’s Social Pros podcastwith special guest Shannon Otto, Clinique’s North American social media community manager (full disclosure, we sponsor Jay’s podcast so I was doing some research :)).

Clinique’s team typically doesn’t often create a post that they’d share on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Tumblr. Instead, they tend to create unique images to suit each platform.

Below are examples from Clinique — notice they are highlighting the same product, but each has a totally different feeling.

Facebook Post

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Instagram Post

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As you can see, Clinique’s Facebook image has some text overlay. The same image would never fly on Instagram because it is too sales-y. Clinique’s presumably has people looking for different things on different social networks.

Another company that does a great job of adjusting their content to suit specific networks and audiences is Tootsie Roll Industries, maker of the iconic Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pop, and a whole bunch of other sweet treats.

Here’s just a sampling of the posts they’ve recently put on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Notice the difference in the messaging, as well as the visual elements of each post.

5 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Organic Reach

Looking for ways to more effectively reach your audience?

With changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm, you’re facing increased competition to get your content in front of your fans.

In this article I’ll show you five ways to improve your Facebook organic reach.

How to Track Your Organic Traffic

To look at your organic traffic, you need to dig into your Facebook Insights. Go to the Posts tab to check out your posts’ performance for the last month. Click on See More to find out about older posts.

You can track your post reach in terms of organic and paid by selecting Organic/Paid from the Reach drop-down menu.

post reach comparison

Use Facebook Insights to see a breakdown of organic reach versus paid reach for your posts.

Look at three months of data at least. If you discover your organic reach is gradually decreasing or you simply want to improve your results, there are a number of ways you can do that.

#1: Publish Evergreen Content

The lifespan of a Facebook post depends on many factors. One is its usefulness. Even an old post can show up in your news feed if your friends like, comment or share it.

For example, this update was 18 hours old when it showed up in a user’s news feed because one of her friends liked the update. It’s as simple as that.

humorous facebook post

A humorous post can retain its value for a long time.

So when posting to Facebook, it’s important to create some evergreen content that will remain fresh and relevant to users for a long period of time. The more people engage with your content over time, the longer the lifespan of those posts.

#2: Post Quality Content, But Less Often

We’re living in an age of content overload, and Facebook is no exception. According to Facebook, “Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300.” As a Facebook marketer, you’re fighting for one of those precious spots.

You don’t need to post a high volume every day to get attention. Instead, work smarter by creating quality content. More posts won’t necessarily bring you more love from Facebook.

The graphic below shows an analysis of the Facebook pages for Coca-Cola India and Pepsi India on Fanpage Karma. Coca-Cola India posts less frequently on their Facebook page than Pepsi India, but when it comes to fan engagement, Coca-Cola India is the clear winner.

audience engagement comparison for coca-cola and pepsi

Posting frequently to Facebook doesn’t necessarily result in more engagement.

There’s no rule for how many times you should post each day. The Buffer blog suggests that two posts per day is a good number for businesses on Facebook. The Post Planner blog recommends that you post three different types of posts per day. You’ll need to figure out the right number of posts for your business. Also try tomix and match links, images, videos and text updates.

#3: Use Organic Post Targeting to Serve Relevant Content

Facebook’s organic post targeting enables you to deliver your content to the audience most likely to engage with it. In other words, Facebook gives you the option to target your content to specific groups of fans.

Facebook offers eight options to set your target: gender, relationship status, education level, age, location, language, interests and post end date. Select the targeting options that will help you zero in on the right audience for your content.

For example, this post is targeted to 150 fans, selected by their interests and educational status.

post targeting options

Choose targeting options to narrow your audience to a specific group of fans.

Only the people who are most likely to be interested in this content can view it on their timeline. If this post had been targeted to all 12,000+ fans of the page, the engagement would have been much lower. Targeting posts to specific groups of fans is one way to increase your post engagement rate.

#4: Post at Off-peak Hours

During times when fewer people are sharing content on Facebook, your chances of getting noticed are higher. Typically the best time to post on Facebook is 3 pm. But you can try posting at different times, depending on when your fans are online.

Go to your Facebook Insights to check out when your fans are logged into the network. Then choose the hours when the majority of your fans are online and your competitors aren’t posting.

audience insights graph

Use Facebook Insights to find out the days and times your fans are online most often.

 

 

If you don’t know how to track your competitors and their posting trends, this articlewill help you find out.

#5: Choose Content Types That Resonate With Your Audience

According to a Socialbakers study published in February 2015, Facebook audiences love videos and links more than images.

socialbakers study placeit image

 

If you look closely at the results of the study, images get the lowest organic impressions, links and text-only status updates perform better and video is the highest impression generator of all.

But before jumping on this trend, examine your Facebook Insights to see what type of content resonates well with your audience. If you discover that your fans still prefer images to other types of content, don’t change your strategy now. Instead, introduce different formats slowly and track how they perform.

Over to You

Facebook organic reach has gradually declined for many business pages. Try any of the tips in this article to improve the chances that your content will appear more often to your Facebook fans, through organic means.

Nokia Launches Localised Data Centre Service for Telecom Firms

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Finnish telecoms equipment maker Nokia launched a new localised data centre service for mobile network operators on Monday, enabling the operators to better compete with the likes of Amazon and Google in providing internet services.Nokia said it will offer cloud-based data centres running on Intel Corp’s platform to network operators seeking to contend with the soaring growth in mobile data traffic.

Nokia is turning the notion of highly centralised data centres on its head by allowing mobile operators to spread data center functions across their networks, enabling customer data to be handled locally and thereby boosting the speed of network services. These local datacentres can then be connected to and backed up by centralised, large data centres.

Normally data centres are massive facilities used to house vast amounts of computers needed to run the most demanding Web and mobile services.

By taking a modular approach, Nokia’s data centres come in pizza box-sized services and provide operators with ultradense computing power they can install alongside existing antennas and base station gear that connect callers in local areas to wider voice and data networks.

Nokia’s AirFrame data centre products will allow data processing capacity to be shared by adjacent base station cell sites or by a centralised data centre when any particular part of the network becomes congested with mobile users.

“It is entirely practical to put these anywhere that you might put a base station, for example,” said Phil Twist, a Nokia Networks executive. “You can actually put the processing right to the edge (of the network)”, he said, which means mobile phone users would not get many of the delays they currently experience in watching video or downloading emails.

Telecom network operators are keen to build data centres to reduce the cost of hardware spending within their networks, improve services they offer subscribers and to obtain the Web-wide reach of the big internet companies.

The new data centre offering puts Nokia in competition with technology suppliers such as Hewlett-Packard and Cisco, while its larger rival in the network gear business, Ericsson, has also recently entered the data centre market with products based on Intel’s platform.

“Nokia’s announcement shows an openness that is distinct from similar approaches by Ericsson, HP and others,” said Elisabeth Rainge from technology market research firm IDC.

Nokia is set to become the world’s second-biggest network equipment maker once it completes its takeover of French rival Alcatel-Lucent.