Category Archives: iOS

A GOOGLEBOT CRAWLER UPDATE FROM IPHONE TO ANDROID SMARTPHONE USER-AGENT IS ON THE WAY

mobile-user-agent

April 21, 2015 is a date that a lot of businesses find hard to forget. The day is best remembered as the Mobilegeddon day, when Google rolled out a mobile friendly algorithm update which took a lot of businesses by surprise. The SMEs’ chronic lack of preparedness is what really did them in on that fateful day.

And as they say, history repeats itself. Cometh April 18, 2016 Google will be updating the smartphone user-agent of Googlebot crawler from iPhone to Android platform. As such, businesses don’t need to worry because according to Google, the change in the user-agent will have no impact on 99% of the websites.

Yet to save themselves from future embarrassment, SMEs need to constantly monitor their website for changes taking place post Google user-agent update or better still, stay prepared well in advance to handle any changes that occur in Googlebot crawler update.

SMEs especially, need to watch out for this new Googlebot smartphone user-agent crawler updated string, which is as given below:

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.96 Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

The updated string a bit different from the Googlebot smartphone user-agent string which is currently running, as shown below:

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12F70 Safari/600.1.4 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

As you can see, the only visible difference between the two strings is that in the first string Google replaced the Apple iPhone, and in the Safari string the user-agent has been replaced with Android and Chrome.

About the change in the user-agent, Google says it’s being done so that the renderer can adjust itself with pages that use new, evolving web technologies. Google added that the change was needed to keep up with the ever-evolving web technologies. The change in the user-agent string shows that it is more similar to Google’s Chrome than Apple’s Safari. However, Google says that the user-agent change will have no effect on 99% of businesses and that it’s only the remaining 1% of businesses, especially the SMEs, that needs to prepare in advance. Businesses can make use of Google’s Fetch and Render Tool to ensure that their online presence stays intact post the Googlebot crawler update on April 18, 2016.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

HOW TO GET USERS & KEEP ‘EM COMING BACK TO YOUR MOBILE APP

apps

In this ever changing digital era, timely examination of your app marketing strategy is crucial to keep up with the pace.

The year 2015 will be remembered for many reasons, and one of them will be “Mobilegeddon”. In 2015, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches and studies shows that the number of mobile usage will only increase. Also, a recent study showed that by 2020, there will be approximately 6.1 billion smartphones. Now that’s a huge number! For an app owner or marketer, this really is a welcoming estimation.

However, with the growing number of mobiles, one thing you should keep in mind is that people love changes. If you are not changing your approach, you are taking a huge risk of being left behind.

We have witnessed that too many app publishers are caught up in the old ways while targeting their mobile customers, instead of using in-app behaviours to figure out who their audience really are.

We don’t want you to make the same mistake and thus, we are sharing a few tips & examples that will help you up your app marketing game.

Showing the value of push notifications to users

Nowadays, people have a lot of apps installed in their mobiles, and as majority of these apps use aggressive push notification strategies, people have stopped opting for these notifications. At present, most people do not enable push notifications. The number of people who have enabled push notifications is as low as 43%! So if you really want to have a successful push notifications strategy, you should start providing value to the users.

Recently a company named  “Last Minute Travel” managed to boost their opt-in rate from 22% to a whopping 62%. What they did was brilliant.  Instead of forcing people to opt for push notifications, they indirectly explained to them why push notifications are extremely useful.

They asked users for permission to send updates on “potential flight delays after they booked a trip”. And as you can probably guess, most of their users enabled push notifications. This smart strategy helped them increase their opt-in by 182%.

Re-engaging your mobile app audience

Offering discounts is surely a full-proof way to re-engage audience, but there are other ways as well, which can rejuvenate user engagement.

For instance: A brain-game & brain training app, “Lumosity” saves its discount offerings only for die-hard fans of their app. For users who do not visit frequent, they offer reminders!

Firstly, they ask the users if they’d like to receive training reminders. They then enable users to choose the data that they want to receive over email or push notifications. After that, they carefully choose the perfect time of the day to remind their users to come back to the app & complete their daily training session.

This strategy is working very well, for so many reasons. First and foremost, they are offering free training & anyone who is into mind games would like to sharpen his/her skills for free. Secondly, by enabling users to choose the data they’d like to receive, they are ensuring that only relevant data is been sent to them. And last but not the least, they carefully choose the right time of the day for sending push notifications; i.e. at night when a person is about to go to sleep after dinner, or at daytime during the lunch break.

Cost-effective user acquisition

You might like to try out a full range of customer acquisition channels. There are many customer acquisition channels available, such as social mobile advertising, in-app advertisements, etc. Try out each and every channel to figure out which channel works the best for your business.

Also, don’t target just high-value users. Because if you pay for them appropriately, both high & low-value users can be profitable.

For detailed information on any particular aspect, you can reach out to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

INVESTORS RELUCTANT YET APPLE’S APP STORE MANAGES ANOTHER RECORD BREAKING HOLIDAY SEASON

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Apple Inc., despite witnessing a slight dip in the 2015 holiday season gadget sales, is the one smiling all the way to the bank. And the recent press release from the company is somewhat an extension to our earlier reports. The new press release reports that Apple made a massive $20 billion earning through its App-Store installations in the last year. It includes the $1 billion earnings in the last two weeks upto Jan 3, 2016.

In the two weeks ending January 3, customers spent over $1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases, setting back-to-back weekly records for traffic and purchases. January 1, 2016 marked the biggest day in App Store history with customers spending over $144 million. It broke the previous single-day record set just a week earlier on Christmas Day.

The company’s latest press release highlights the revenue generated by developers as well. Company sources revealed that since 2008, Apple has earned through its App developers a whopping $40 billion, one-third of which came in 2015.

A great revenue inflow system follows a robust job creation process. And Apple claims that through their App Store and App Ecosystem, they have contributed to the employment generation system by creating job opportunities for a mammoth 4.5 million professionals worldwide. Around 2 million of these jobs are U.S. based.

As the market matures, the growth levels take a beating or two. This is what the mobile giant came to realize in the past year. According to a job estimate from the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s App Store registered a growth of around 43% in 2015, which is slightly on the lower side from the previous recorded margin of 50%.

Fearing the softening of iPhone demands, investors aren’t holding any Apple shares in their portfolios despite the company’s consistent financial performance. As Nikkie reports, Apple’s apparently cutting down on orders specifically due to iPhone 6′s weaker demand in the market.

Besides that, we will have to wait till January 26, 2016, as the company will provide a more comprehensive report into its holiday quarter earnings of 2015.

For more details, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

FACEBOOK IS MAKING IT EASIER FOR iOS USERS TO DISCOVER NEARBY EVENTS

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New Year celebrations are just around the corner and if you still haven’t decided on your party destination then Facebook has got some options for you. Facebook has just launched Events Discovery Application to help iOS mobile users to track nearby events. This new mobile feature will be made available to 44.53 million iPhone users in 10 Major US cities, who can search for latest events update on the basis of their location. Besides improving its event notification service, Facebook is aiming to attract more online audiences, since its social login activity in the past two years has taken a slight dip.

Additionally, it allows iOS users to choose a particular event of their liking from categories ranging from Entertainment & Music to Food & drinks, Nightlife, Sports and Fitness. And if you’re not too happy with the current happenings in your city then you can search for a different location to get a fair idea about what’s happening in other nearby places.

At present, though this feature is being rolled-out to iPhone users across 10 major US cities, there’s no need for Android users to get disheartened. Team Facebook, after beta testing it out in these 10 cities, will extend the service to Android users as well.

With only 450 million active world-wide users, Facebook’s Events section has for long, taken a back seat. It is one of the reasons why Facebook wants to revamp it completely by displaying such public events in its News Feeds section alongside smarter notifications of related events. Nowadays, with more information related to public events being dispersed regularly in its news feed section, Team Facebook is only too happy to build a strong Event Product for its dashboard.

In the meantime, let’s see what Facebook’s Product Manager, Aditya Koolwal has to say about this new development through his recent blog post.

“We have a good sense of how people look for things to do. The social signals we have, the friends who are interested in going, the friends you can potentially go with — that’s our bread and butter, so we’re going to try and take advantage of that as much as we possibly can as we roll out more discovery features.”

For more information, email us at sales@ebrandz.com or call 888-545-0616 Toll-Free.

FACEBOOK, GOOGLE & APPLE FEATURE PROMINENTLY IN THE NIELSEN GROUP SURVEY OF TOP APPS OF 2015

apps

Facebook, Google and Apple dominated the list of Top Ten Smartphone Apps of 2015 according to a survey conducted by Nielsen group.  In the process, the above mentioned three companies swept away all the top ten positions.

The online survey reported an 80% growth in the ever blooming US smartphone market at the end of Q3, 2015. In comparison, a recent popular survey by comScore reported a 78% surge in the smartphone market.

Talking about the survey report by Nielsen group, it placed Facebook and YouTube in the first and second position in the list of Top Mobile Apps of 2015. Facebook Messenger came a near third followed by Google subsidiaries taking up the next four positions. Google Apps – Search, Play, Maps and Gmail grabbed these honors.

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On the other hand, it was the Facebook Messenger which reported a growth surge of 31% on a yearly basis. Following suit was Apple Music, which grew at an amazing pace after its launch a year ago. The most amazing thing about the survey was that three companies dominated the listings of top ten apps and apparently the online traffic. However that doesn’t reflect in the Nielsen group’s reports, which ranked the top ten apps on basis of their audience reach.

In comparison, comScore’s most recent survey that lists Top 15 Apps slightly differs from the Nielsen group’s. It includes Pandora, Yahoo Stocks, Twitter and Amazon with the final two entries getting a mention in the last five positions. In addition to that, comScore’s Top 15 Apps do not list Apple Music or Apple Maps in the top 10 positions.

top-15-apps

For more information, email us at sales@ebrandz.com or call 888-545-0616 (Toll-Free).

GOOGLE ROLLS-OUT MORE POPULAR “GOOGLE MAPS” INSTALLATION FOR iOS USERS

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Seems like Google is slowly but surely giving up its monogamous trait of competing with everyone. That’s the reason why even after its recent spat with Apple computers, it’s finally waking up to serve iOS users’ needs. Not just that, it recently pushed the next installation of iOS Maps to update its features which are more in line with its compatriot Android. The new update includes features such as offline maps & navigation, busiest store hours and gas prices.

While there are have been other useful mobile apps in the past that offered to show current gas prices, this recent update by Google adds more to your convenience and utility levels. It allows consumers to not only locate the nearest gas service station, but it also matches prices of various gas service providers in your area.

Another useful add-on that comes with the recent iOS Map update is the busiest store traffic hours, which previously supported only the Android version. The company fetches this data through random Google users who have opted to share their location data.

Amongst the three recent updates, Google offline maps & navigation is the most significant one. This pre-announced feature was rolled out last month on first preferential basis to android users and now finds its way to the iOS users as well.

The iOS Google Map users will now be able to download their desired map areas for offline access. This includes every relevant information along with turn-by-turn navigation based on the desired map content (including contact information, ratings and business hours) for a particular location. Let’s see what Google has to say about these recent map inclusions.

“You can download an area by searching for a city, county or country, for instance, and tapping “Download” on the resulting place sheet, or by going to “Offline Areas” in the Google Maps menu and tapping on the “+” button. Once downloaded, Google Maps will move into offline mode automatically when it recognizes you’re in a location with spotty service or no connectivity at all. When a connection is found, it will switch back online so you can easily access the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route.”

Having said that, Google has pushed down these iOS Map updates amidst reports that Maps on the iOS platform are viewed 3 times more than Google Maps and that Apple have been getting more than 5 billion map-related requests on a weekly basis from its iOS users.

For more information, email us at sales@ebrandz.com or call 1-888-545-0616 (Toll-Free).

WHAT IS APP INDEXING AND HOW IT IS BENEFICIAL

app-indexing

Imagine the possibilities that will be unlocked once Google starts listing In-App content too, in its search results.

If this happens, the accuracy and convenience a user will get will be immense. It will allow the users to choose whether they want to see content  from a web page or via an already installed app, which will dig out content from deep inside. That way they will have complete command over their viewing experience.

It will connect with the last remaining platform of the Internet (Apps), thus creating a revolutionary multi-platform experience. Revolutionary, because it will make the entire Internet world searchable!

The presence of mobile apps in mobile search results will increase rapidly since developers are now allowing Google to index their app content.

So is it yet another appreciable move by Google to enhance user experience? Or is it a threat to our privacy since Google can now dig out data and content from the deep ends of your phone? It can be explained as follows:

Notice that both the statements “why do you want to know everything Google, why are you spying on me?” and “Ain’t nobody got any perfect results for the new search terms in Google” are highly interconnected and demonstrate an insane level of irony!

Meanwhile, the question that arises is – What does this really mean for Mobile users and App developers?

Let’s see the answers:

What is indexing?

Google keeps updating its searchable database with new information which is called “Indexing”. In other words, Google gathers data from a website by sending “Spiders”… well not literally! This data gets stored in Google’s library and every time you search for something on Google, you actually end up accessing this data. Thus creating more sources of data. Meaning, more information and enhanced search experience.

Until 2013, app developers were very particular about their privacy and hygiene. They wanted no spiders crawling in their houses. As a result, app data was walled off from searchable Internet.

stay-away

But soon they realized that these Google spiders are extremely helpful and thus the scenario began to change.

The gradual inclusion of app content in search results

In 2013, Google announced that it would begin indexing content from Apps as well. However, the number of publishers was limited and it was meant only for Android apps. But in 2014, the criteria of app search escalated as Google proposed that any webmaster who would like to list their app content in search results can contact them.

In 2015, iOS version of chrome was allowed to be indexed along with the Apple’s own web browser “Safari”. However, Safari arrived really late. Maybe because Safari was partying hard and passing out, I guess!

How does app indexing work?

Through sitemap or Google’s Webmaster Tools, Google can search out (index) in-app content. When someone searches for this content, present in the already installed app, the user gets the option to view that content directly from the app instead of viewing it in the normal mobile webpage.

If the website has the same content over their webpage and app both, then the app results will appear as deep links in the search results. If the user already has that app installed, then clicking on the deep link will redirect him to the app.

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What is a deep link?

It’s not that deep that you can see Adele rolling in it. In fact, it’s a link that directs a user to a specific page where the desired content is available. And in the case of Mobile apps, it directs the user to that specific page in the app instead of the homepage.

How to let Google index your apps

If you are an app developer yourself and want to get your app indexed for your own “reasons” then let Google understand and explore your app. But how will you do that? Moz has listed many tips that explain in detail. To know more you can refer to that post. Listed below are a few tips in brief.

  • Configure support for universal links in iOS. It’s basically HTTP links with a single URL that can be used to open both, content in the app and a specific webpage.
  • Let Google index your app using API for Android or SDK for iOS 9.

For the best implementation of app indexing on both Android and iOS, Google has explained things in detail. Currently, iOS users will see app results only if they have that app installed but Android users have the privilege to view app content in their search results even if they don’t have the app installed on their devices.

Why should you allow Google to index you app?

You should allow Google to index your app only if you’d like to attain  good rankings, since Google has announced it as a ranking factor. It doesn’t matter if the user has your app or not.

The pros of app indexing seem quite impressive since, your in-app content will also be used as a signal in ranking factors and not just the webpage content. It means you can elevate your online presence by using it.

Also, the apps have precise data that went unexplored until now. That precise data will help in creating a magnificent and the most relevant user experience in near future. Also, now the user has more options to choose from. If you hate any apps, you can ignore them, if you love certain apps you can directly jump to them. So overall, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

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