Online Reputation Management Blog

Fashion Guru Zoella Upgrades Living Situation, Gives Online World a Lesson on the Influence of Blogging

Social Media with Blogging
Fashion blogging sensation Zoe Sugg — labeled by InStyle as the “undisputed pin-up girl for the digital generation,” has cashed in on her success and bought a stunning new Brighton home in the U.K.

Sugg, better known by her blogging name Zoella, is only 24 years old. She began her online career when she was just a teen, reviewing beauty products from her bedroom in YouTube videos.

Six years later, she now pulls in over $30,000 each month from advertisers who want to place their products alongside her videos. She has seven million subscribers and gets about 12 million hits per month.

Her new home has five bedrooms with ensuite baths, a gourmet kitchen and even an additional log cabin for casual relaxation. She will share the residence with her 21-year-old boyfriend, Alfie Deyes, and has announced on social media that they have dubbed their home the “Zalfie Pad.”

Many other fashion bloggers make a living — though perhaps not as luxurious a living as Sugg’s — by linking to products for which they receive commissions, Yahoo! Finance reported Feb. 19, and fashion bloggers are fast becoming the best avenue for major designers and retailers such as Bloomingdales to reach customers.
Blogging and Branding
Sugg’s success doesn’t just indicate her personal charisma; it’s a perfect example of the rapidly expanding power of blogging, both for individuals and major brands.

“Blogging is an opportunity you do not want to miss out when it comes to publishing for your personal brand,” Susan Gilbert wrote in a Feb. 13 article for the website Business 2 Community, neatly summing up the potential blogging offers businesses of all sizes.

Instead of simply advertising products, blogs rely on a persona with whom customers can identify (even on blogs where that persona is actually constructed by multiple individuals). Blogging, therefore, can help businesses develop a more comprehensive brand identity, create conversations and make customers feel that they’re being included in an inner circle — as opposed to simply being told what to buy.

In this case, as in many others, better branding leads to better sales, as well. Research shows that blogs are actually 63% more likely to impact buying decisions than newspapers are. That’s an important lesson for any online marketing experts debating the nature of online influence.

Secure Search Engine Sees Significant Growth

Google vs. Facebook: Who Will Come Out on Top in the Mobile Ad Market?

"Search" button
While Google still reigns supreme on the search engine market, the gap is closing. Still a small company, search engine DuckDuckGo tripled its growth at the end of 2014, receiving approximately seven million direct search queries daily.

But what makes DuckDuckGo special? Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo promises not to track users – and it keeps that promise by not storing search histories, computer or location information. It also keeps users’ search queries from other websites. These are all things other search engines do to increase advertising.

According to DuckDuckGo’s daily usage statistics, the end of 2014 marked two full years of dramatic growth. While there was steady growth in the beginning of 2014, usage rose exponentially toward the end of the year. The first eight months of 2014 saw a steady monthly increase of 3.5%. Then, from September to December, monthly growth rose to 10.2% – almost triple the usage.

What caused the sudden growth spurt? In September, Apple added DuckDuckGo as a search option that users could select in the Safari browser, though Google remains the default option. Later, in November, DuckDuckGo was added to Mozilla’s Firefox browser as well. Unsurprisingly, there don’t seem to be any plans to add DuckDuckGo to Google Chrome in the foreseeable future.

“DuckDuckGo has significantly increased its user base from both integrations,” CEO Gabriel Weinberg told Quartz. “Though the exact amount is unclear since we don’t track people.”

While the Mozilla and Apple distribution certainly helped DuckDuckGo become more popular, the company’s largest growth to date followed revelations of mass government surveillance in June of 2013. Because DuckDuckGo does not collect any information that could be used to identify users or their search habits, many people felt that it was an obvious choice to make the switch from other search engines.

DuckDuckGo has a long way to go before it rivals Google, but if their usage continues to grow at this rate, eventually they will get there.

smartphone with social media bubbles (like, tweet, friend, share
The mobile advertising market is fiercely competitive, with Google and Facebook both vying for the attention of consumers. While Google is currently winning the mobile advertising battle, it seems that Facebook may be winning the war.

According to a report published at The Information by senior tech Amir Efrati, Google is at risk of losing precious mobile advertising to Facebook.

Google generates more than twice as much revenue as Facebook in regards to mobile advertising — thanks to search — however, in terms of graphical and video ads viewed on mobile devices, Facebook comes out on top, generating three times as much revenue than Google. In fact, Google’s share of these ads is decreasing.

The inability to track the efficacy of ads across various mobile devices seems to be Google’s greatest hurdle, meaning it’s difficult for Google to prove a sale was made due to a user seeing on its mobile advertisements.

On the other hand, Facebook’s mobile advertising platform seems to be more comprehensive, since it is able to determine if a user views an app on Facebook’s mobile ad and purchases that product on their laptop because of it. Facebook uses cookies — indicators that link a user’s web browser to their smartphone — to gather data about its users.

This is unsurprisingly, considering an estimated 50% of mobile phone owners use their smartphone as their primary internet source.

While Google also collects cookies, it fails to distribute them across its ad products. Data from Google’s search engine isn’t combined with data from Google DoubleClick, which is used to track Google’s ads on non-Google sites. On top of that, Google also has no way of determining whether or not a user has purchased the product they’re already seeing an ad for.

Google seems to be leery of getting flack for using the information they collect on users. The company’s own employees have said that limited ad tracking is a direct result of concerns with government regulations. Though the choice to not integrate Google’s ad products may have been made by its executive some time ago, the exact reasons have not been made clear.

Yahoo and Bing Battle to Win Spot as Safari’s New Default Search Engine

Having already settled a deal with Mozilla to take over as its default search engine on the Firefox browser, Yahoo! has now set its sights on Apple.

Google’s deal with Apple is set to expire in the new year, giving Apple the opportunity to provide another default search engine. Both Yahoo! and Microsoft didn’t waste any time to jump on the opportunity.

Both companies have popular search engines (though not as popular as Google) that could create a strong partnership with Apple, and officials from both Yahoo! and Microsoft have had discussions with Internet Software and Services Senior Vice President of Apple, Eddy Cue, in hopes of taking over for Google.

After signing a deal with Mozilla to become Firefox’s new default search engine, Yahoo! has been hard at work to revamp its current search page, as well as its mobile search. The company is hoping that the updates appeal to Apple, as well.

Despite their best efforts, Yahoo! remains at a slight disadvantage. Microsoft’s Bing is currently the default search for Siri, and it is also well-integrated with Apple’s new Yosemite system upgrade. With a partnership already in place, Microsoft seems the natural choice.

With all the excitement over Yahoo!’s new deal with Firefox and the potential for a new deal with Apple, many are probably wondering, what’s the big deal, anyway? For search engine companies like Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, earning a spot as a major Internet browser’s default search engine is a huge deal.

For starters, over 90% of Internet sessions begin with a search engine. All search engines are competing to be the number one pick of Internet users, and while Google has held onto first place for quite some time now (and likely will continue to do so), losing its default spot on both Firefox and Safari would be a big blow to business while giving either Yahoo! or Bing a leg up on the competition.

While many Internet users already have a favorite search engine site, a good number of people use whatever default search engine shows up on their browser, which is good news for whichever company is able to earn a deal with Apple.