Organic SEO Blog

231-922-9460 • Contact UsFree SEO Site Audit

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Original Story:

Microsoft Corp. unveiled new partnerships with politically connected Chinese companies in an effort to open doors to more sensitive and official business in the vast China technology market.

The deals—which include a tie-up with a state-owned Chinese military-technology consortium—were disclosed on Wednesday, the same day Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella joined other U.S. business leaders in meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seattle. They come as Microsoft seeks to make inroads into the world’s second-largest economy, a market that has been challenging for the company amid cybersecurity and antitrust challenges. Mr. Xi toured Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., campus with Mr. Nadella on Wednesday. A Denver antitrust attorney is following this story closely.

Microsoft said its Chinese cloud partner 21Vianet Group Inc.—which operates Microsoft’s cloud services in the country—is setting up a joint venture with an arm of state-backed chip-maker Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. that will sell cloud services to Chinese state-owned enterprises. Microsoft will provide technical training and support to the joint venture, Microsoft said in a news release on its China website. An Atlanta joint venture lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.

Microsoft also struck a deal with state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corp. to explore ways to configure, deploy and maintain a “localized” version of Windows 10 for clients in Chinese government organs and state-owned enterprises operating critical infrastructure. The Chinese consortium, known as CETC, provides technology for Chinese military and civilian use, including major communications and electronic equipment and key components.

The companies didn’t disclose financial terms.

Western technology firms have forged partnerships with Chinese companies in response to challenges in the Chinese market that worsened with allegations by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that the U.S. government used U.S. tech firms’ products to conduct widespread spying. A Shanghai international trade lawyer provides high-quality legal services for clients' international trade needs.

Microsoft in particular has had problems with the massive but complicated market. A Chinese state agency last year said it was probing the way it distributes software. Microsoft has said it is cooperating. Also last year, China’s Central Government Procurement Center banned government agencies from purchasing computers loaded with Microsoft’s Windows 8 software.

Also on Wednesday, Microsoft struck a deal with Chinese search giant Baidu Inc. to make the default search engine and home page for Web surfers in China who are using Microsoft’s Edge browser.

There are already hundreds of millions of PCs running Windows, but because of widespread piracy, Microsoft has traditionally had difficulties extracting revenue from many of these users. The Baidu deal is designed to help Microsoft capture more users for its new Windows 10 software. In exchange for the search placement, Baidu will make it easier for its own customers to update to Microsoft’s new operating system. A Mexico City intellectual property lawyer assists clients with intellectual property and technology issues.

Internet users who search for Windows 10 on the China search engine will be greeted with a large banner advertisement on the top of their screens, which will then take users to a special Windows 10 download site, Baidu said.

Microsoft says it isn’t giving up on its own search engine, Bing, in China. But with a negligible market share in the country, it makes sense for the company to play down Bing to promote its more popular Windows software, said Danny Sullivan, founding editor of website Search Engine Land.

“If Google can’t win the search market in China, then Microsoft can’t,” Mr. Sullivan said. “But there’s a lot to gain by pushing the Windows adoption.”

With the deal, Baidu will fortify its grip on Web search in China. More than 92% of Internet users in China have used Baidu for search, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. Google, with 27%, is ranked fourth in the country by number of people who have used it, while Microsoft’s Bing is used by less than 2%.

Monday, September 21, 2015


Original Story:

If you answer a phone call and hear a recording claiming to be Google, the odds are good that you're being scammed. That's the message of a new Google Business post and a new lawsuit from the company, targeting a company that used robocalling to target businesses using Google Adwords. A San Diego unfair competition lawyer is following this story closely.

According to the complaint, a company called Local Lighthouse Corp. made telemarketing calls to Adwords customers, using misappropriated logos and other methods to represent themselves as agents of Google. Once they gained a target's trust, they attempted to milk them for $100 fees in exchange for Search benefits like "front page domination." Based on those claims, the lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, false advertising, and unfair competition. A Roseland trademark lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.

Google says such scams are routine, but the company is usually unable to prosecute because scammers are too successful in hiding their tracks. In this case, the accused party is a California search engine optimization company, making it significantly easier for Google to take action. Still, the company reminded users that it rarely contacts Adwords users over the phone, and never does so through pre-recorded calls. Anyone receiving such a call should contact both Google and the Federal Trade Commission to lodge a complaint.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Original Story:

Twitter Inc.’s direct messages may not be as private as it claims, according to a lawsuit filed against the company on Monday.

A lawsuit seeking class action status alleges that Twitter “surreptitiously eavesdrops on its users’ private direct message communications. As soon as a user sends a direct message, Twitter intercepts, reads and, at times, even alters the message.” A Charleston class action lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.

The lawsuit takes particular issue with the hyperlinks sent within the private-chat function. The plaintiff claims that, for example, when a hyperlink to a New York Times story is sent via direct message, Twitter goes in and replaces the link with its own link-shortening tool,, before it reaches the intended recipient, which it then masks by displaying the original New York Times link. Link shorteners are commonly used on Twitter to make the most of a tweet’s 140-character limit, though Twitter removed the character constraint on direct messages last month.

“Twitter’s algorithms will read through the Direct Message, identify the hyperlink, and replace it with its own custom link, thereby sending the person clicking on the link to Twitter’s analytics servers before passing them on to the original linked-to website,” claims the suit.

The lawsuit, filed in a San Francisco federal court, alleges that Twitter is doing this to benefit its advertising business. By using its own link shortening tool, Twitter can better track and show publishers how much Twitter drives traffic back to their site. A Minneapolis class action lawyer is following this story closely.

According to the lawsuit, this interference represents a violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California’s privacy law.

“We believe these claims are meritless and we intend to fight them,” said a Twitter spokesman.

The lawsuit was filed by law firm Edelson PC and brought by Wilford Raney, a resident of Texas, seeking to represent two classes: U.S. Twitter users who have sent direct messages and U.S. Twitter users who have received direct messages. And it wants as much as $100 a day for each user whose privacy was violated.

“When you have a privacy policy and the company is not being clear or transparent about what they’re doing, the reason is usually because economic gain is really their focus,” said Jay Edelson, managing partner at the Chicago-based firm Edelson PC that is representing Mr. Raney.

Mr. Edelson said that its internal forensic experts were able to piece together how and why Twitter replaced the hyperlinks with its own URL shortener. But it has yet to come across evidence that Twitter was actually able to charge higher advertising rates thanks to the traffic data gleaned from intercepting hyperlinks sent through direct messages. “That’s obviously going to be a focal point of the litigation,” he said, adding “we feel confident that we understand why they’re doing it.” Mr. Edelson said a lot of people have been contacting the firm with questions since the lawsuit was filed this week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Original Story:

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOGL - Get Report) shares are slumping 0.31% to $653.30 on Monday after Russia's antitrust regulator found that the search giant violated the country's antitrust rules, The Wall Street Journal reports. A Denver antitrust lawyer is following this story closely.

Google was guilty of "abusing its dominant market position," but not of "unfair competition practices," the regulator told the Journal.

This action comes after Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) started the probe back in February. Russia's Internet firm Yandex (YNDX) often called the "Google of Russia," had asked the country's regulator to look into whether or not the tech giant violated Russia's antitrust rules.

Yandex specifically pointed to Google's Android operating system and how the company bundles apps with the system, according to the Journal. A Charleston unfair competition attorney represents clients in matters involving deceptive trade practices, domain infringement issues, and in non-compete and non-disclosure agreements.

The regulator's decision will "help restore competition on the market," Yandex added.

Shares of Yandex are jumping 7.99% to $12.17 on heavy trading volume in Monday's afternoon trading session.

Based in Mountain View, CA, Google builds technology products and provides services to organize the information.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GOOGLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GOOGLE INC (GOOGL) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

GOOGL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. An Aiken unfair competition lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.

Although GOOGL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.60, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income increased by 17.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $3,351.00 million to $3,931.00 million.

Net operating cash flow has increased to $6,985.00 million or 24.13% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GOOGLE INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 19.50%.


Original Story:

Pinterest is trying to distance itself from the Facebooks of the world in an effort to convince advertisers that it deserves a piece of their search advertising budgets.

Over the past few months, the image-bookmarking service has been making the rounds with advertisers trying to persuade them it’s not a social network but rather a place where consumers search for and discover products.

Pinterest is not a place where people come to connect with family and friends, it’s a “catalog of ideas,” says Tim Kendall, the company’s head of monetization. People “go through the catalog and do searches,” he added.

Part of the challenge for Pinterest has been to shake the image that it’s merely a scrapbooking tool where users can save images to “pin boards” based around themes like wedding dresses and dessert recipes, which can then be shared with other users. The company has created a library of over 50 billion user-collected pins and according to Pinterest executives it is that trove that sets Pinterest apart from its social networking cousins. Organic search engine optimization secures top keyword placements in search results as an endorsement of your company, products, and services.

Pinterest’s positioning makes financial sense. While social media has dominated the headlines over the past few years, search advertising has remained the dominant force in the digital ad ecosystem, grabbing the biggest share of marketing dollars.

According to estimates from eMarketer, search ads accounted for over 45% of all digital ad spending in the U.S. in 2014. Advertisers are expected to shell out roughly $26. 5 billion on U.S. search ads this year while ad spending on social media is expected to reach $10.4 billion, the research firm says.

And the social media arena is getting crowded – with giant Facebook looming large alongside Twitter, Snapchat, and a host of other smaller players.

Still, Pinterest’s push for search budgets won’t be easy, ad buyers said. “Pinterest will have to show the same kind of conversion rate that Google search does,” said Sarah Hofstetter, chief executive officer of 360i, a digital ad firm own by Dentsu. Google AdWords services helps companies reach their target market.

“The mindset is there but the dream has to be realized and that is still a work in progress,” Ms. Hofstetter added. (Conversion rate is the number of visitors who take a desired action on a site after clicking through on an ad.)

Google controls 72.4% of total search ad spending in the US, eMarketer estimates.

Mr. Kendall said it will take some time for advertisers to understand how Pinterest fits into the search picture but added that he is “starting to see search budgets.”

He also noted that the site isn’t solely dependent on one type of ad budget and already pulls dollars from marketer’s display budgets.

Pinterest, which investors have valued at $11 billion in an investment round earlier this year, has significantly ramped up its push for revenues by launching multiple ad products and most recently adding “buyable pins,” which allow users to buy products directly via Pinterest.

ComScore estimates Pinterest had about 76.2 million unique U.S. visitors in July, up 24% from a year ago.


Original Story:

Microsoft Corp. General Counsel Brad Smith was appointed the company’s president and chief legal officer, positions that will have him taking a broader role at the company.

Microsoft appoints regional sales presidents, but Mr. Smith is the first company-wide president since Richard “Rick” Belluzzo resigned in 2002. However, Mr. Beluzzo had a more operationally focused role.

“Brad has long had a broad role at the company and now I’m asking him to lead more new initiatives,” wrote Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella in a Friday email to employees. In addition to handling the company’s legal work, Mr. Smith will be responsible for “privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion,” Mr. Nadella wrote.

Mr. Smith will manage employees beyond the legal division, but it’s unclear which parts of the company he will oversee. He will continue to report to Mr. Nadella, and his promotion won’t affect the company’s existing senior leadership structure, the company said.

A 22-year Microsoft veteran, Mr. Smith has served as Microsoft’s general counsel since 2002, the year the company agreed to change its business practices following an antitrust court settlement and consent decree. A Kansas City antitrust lawyer is following this story closely.

Mr. Smith has been increasingly involved in policy issues in the past decade, weighing in on debates over whether law enforcement should be able to circumvent encryption software or access customers’ email messages.


Original Story:

Yahoo Inc. is losing its marketing chief to a Hollywood movie studio, the latest setback for the Sunnyvale, Calif., tech giant.

Kathy Savitt, Yahoo's chief marketing officer since 2012, will join the new Burbank film and television company STX Entertainment to lead its digital content business next month, the studio said Friday.

The move comes at the end of a difficult week for Yahoo. The firm told investors Tuesday that the Internal Revenue Service declined to approve Yahoo’s proposed tax-free spin-off of its $23-billion stake in the Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group. Yahoo also lost its top European executive Dawn Airey. Yahoo’s stock has declined nearly 40% this year, but rose 28 cents, or 1%, on Friday to $31.43.

But Savitt’s departure is a boost for STX. Producer Bob Simonds launched the company last year with TPG Capital, a private investment firm, to focus on films with low- to mid-level budgets of $20 million to $60 million. In April, STX secured an investment from Chinese film production company Huayi Bros. Media Corp. to co-produce and co-distribute movies. A Mumbai investment lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.

STX is gearing up to make original short videos and long-form series for the Web at a time when Silicon Valley companies have increasingly courted Hollywood for content. Amazon Inc. and Netflix Inc. have invested heavily in original shows and Apple also has taken steps to get into the content business.

Savitt will report to Simonds and STX President Sophie Watts in her new role.

Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer had tasked Savitt with reviving Yahoo's flagging brand to appeal to a younger generation of consumers. Along with traditional marketing, she was responsible for the company’s editorial teams and its push into original video. Last year she inked a deal with Beverly Hills music promoter Live Nation to air a daily series of concerts online.

Savitt was instrumental in reviving the cult series “Community” and launching the Paul Feig sci-fi comedy “Other Space” for Yahoo. Still, the company’s digital video efforts have yet to yield many major hits.

“We appreciate her contributions to Yahoo over the past three years and wish her well,” a Yahoo spokesperson said in a terse statement.

Before joining Yahoo, Savitt founded Lockerz, a short-lived social commerce website focused on young audiences. She also previously led marketing at clothing brand American Eagle Outfitters, and ran content and entertainment initiatives for Amazon. A Birmingham entertainment lawyer is following this story closely.

Simonds said Savitt will help kick-start the studio’s online content business, leveraging its relationships with movie stars and major writers and directors.

“What we're trying to do is say, how do we take the talent swirling around us and channel it into the digital infrastructure?” Simonds said.

STX achieved early success last month with its first release “The Gift,” a low-budget thriller produced by horror maestro Jason Blum. The $5-million movie has grossed more than $40 million in the United States and Canada.


Original Story:

The project might have a CEO, but Google isn’t ready to make self-driving cars an official Alphabet company.

Google has hired automotive veteran John Krafcik as CEO of its self-driving car project, a signal that the company is preparing to turn its experiment into a business.

Krafcik will take over the newly formed position in late September, Google announced Sunday. Most recently, Krafcik was president of online car shopping service TrueCar  TRUE , a position he has held since April 2014. A Detroit automotive attorney has experience representing clients in automotive matters involving technological developments and general commercial transactions.

“This is a great opportunity to help Google  GOOG develop the enormous potential of self-driving cars,” Krafcik said in an emailed statement. “This technology can save thousands of lives, give millions of people greater mobility, and free us from a lot of the things we find frustrating about driving today. I can’t wait to get started.”

Krafcik has deep automotive roots that include management stints at Ford  F and Hyundai Motor America. However, he’s not just some automotive management flak. He’s really known for his product development prowess—a strength that Google is likely attracted to.

Krafcik has a mechanical engineering degree from Stanford University and was one of the first engineers for New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., or NUMMI, the former joint-venture plant in Fremont, Calif., operated by Toyota and General Motors  GM . The NUMMI plant, which closed in 2010, is now owned and occupied by Tesla Motors  TSLA . An Atlanta joint venture lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.

He went to work at the International Motor Vehicle Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before signing on at Ford, where he held various product development leadership positions over 14 years, including as chief engineer for the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator vehicles. Krafcik later joined Hyundai Motor America and eventually became president and CEO, a position he held for five years. After presiding over a period of expanding market share and consumer regard for the brand, Hyundai suddenly replaced Krafcik in late 2013 with David Zuchowski, who had been head of sales for the automaker.

Google launched its self-driving car project in 2009 and until recently has primarily tested its software in Mountain View, Calif. In July, the company began testing its outfitted Lexus RX450h sport-utility vehicles in Austin, Texas.

Google has 23 Lexus RX450h SUVs self-driving on public streets in Mountain View and Austin. The company also has 25 two-seater prototypes, five of which are self-driving in Mountain View. These prototype cars, which look more like gumdrops on wheels, are coming to Austin later this month.

Google says it still has a lot to learn about how people perceive its vehicles, and hopes to run pilot programs with its built-from-ground-up prototypes at some point, spokeswoman Kara Berman told Fortune. For now, the company says it’s focused on building out a team. Chris Urmson, the former director of Google’s self-driving project, will stay on and lead technical development.

The Krafcik hire illustrates Google’s need to find someone with the technical and auto industry expertise to expand the project—possibly into a business. But not just yet. A Detroit automotive lawyer is following this story closely.

Google was quick to note in an email that the “self-driving car project is not becoming an Alphabet company at this stage, though it’s certainly a good candidate to become one at some point in the future.” The self-driving project is still part of the company’s X lab. In August, Google announced it had created a holding company called Alphabet. Google, which is under Alphabet, is the company’s legacy business and includes search, advertising, YouTube, and Android. Meanwhile, Alphabet houses its experiments, including Google X, health-related investigations as well as Nest and two investment arms.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Original Story:

Google is retiring its Photo Sphere Camera app on iOS and the Street View feature from the Google Maps app on Android in favor of a new app for both operating systems: the Street View app.

The tech giant announced Thursday the standalone app will let people explore collections of 360-degree panorama photos of locations (both interior and exterior), and make their own contributions to public photo galleries.

Users can snap 360-degree “spherical” photos directly from their Android phone or iPhone, or use a dedicated 360-degree camera such as the Ricoh Theta S or NCTech iris360. They can then geotag the images and upload them directly to Google Maps. Other users can then view those images when they tap on a map location within the app.

“In one gallery, you can explore Street View collections and content from Google Maps alongside photo spheres contributed from people around the globe,” said a product manager at Google Maps, Charles Armstrong. “So whether you want to track the Loch Ness monster in Scotland, scale the famed rock wall El Capitan in Yosemite, or hike Mt. Fuji, the Street View app has you covered.”

To combat inappropriate content that often goes hand-in-hand with user-generated content, the app will have a feature that lets users report problems.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


Original Story:

A Facebook product manager has joined Snapchat’s growth team in Venice, becoming the latest Silicon Valley worker to be drawn south by the fast-expanding entertainment app maker.

Anthony Pompliano said Tuesday on Twitter that he moved to Los Angeles over the weekend to “lead Snapchat’s growth team.” His experience at Facebook included helping launch features related to elections and child abduction notifications, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Funded by more than $1 billion in venture capital and millions of dollars in ad revenue, Snapchat has brought on more than 300 software engineers, content producers and business executives since its founding in 2011.  An Atlanta venture capital lawyer is following this story closely. Many new hires have relocated to Los Angeles from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, seeing great potential in the company’s push to make the app a major force in chat and online video.


Original Story:

In just three months, Snapchat has doubled the number of video views it gets per day to 4 billion, a spokeswoman for the social media app said. Search engine optimization secures and maintains premium keyword positions in the organic search engine results pages, increasing traffic for your company.

That puts Snapchat on equal footing with social media giant Facebook, which announced it hit 4 billion daily views in the first quarter of this year.

Snapchat's newest numbers, which were first reported by the International Business Times, are being driven by the popularity of its “Live Stories” feature, which curates clips from around the world.


9 a.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that the news site Business Insider first reported Snapchat's latest video views numbers. It was the International Business Times.

Snapchat’s founder and chief executive, Evan Spiegel, told Bloomberg in May that the company was generating 2 billion views a day.

The numbers will boost Snapchat’s bottom line as advertisers gravitate toward the app’s millennial audience.

Snapchat has raised over $1 billion, implying a valuation of about $16 billion.