Now, “mobile” is bigger than ever and the trend does not stop as more and more services come online which focus on a great mobile user experience. So it is not really a surprise that Google expresses a clear focus on web optimization for mobile access and mobile devices.
Gary Illyes announced at the Pubcon  conference in Las Vegas on Oct. 13, 2016 that Google is switching to mobile-first indexing. This means websites which are not mobile friendly in Google's eyes will be kicked out and moved to the secondary index. Furthermore the secondary index is not updated as frequently as the primary index is. This will be a huge disadvantage for those sites if they rely on search engine traffic from Google.
Responsive design or serving an optimized “mobile version” of a site to users on mobile devices has become the industry standard for “mobile friendliness.” However, that's not where Google wants the improvements to stop. Coping with small screens limited input capabilities is not nearly enough. Users want that sites load very quickly in under 2 seconds.
Therefore, Google has launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) (↑) open source project in February 2016. This project tackles low Internet connections speeds as well.
At first, this seems counter-intuitive since mobile high speed LTE Internet connections with speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s become more widely available at affordable rates. In fact in many rural areas mobile connectivity is the only and in many cases best choice you can get. LTE/4G Internet access is nowadays available in 102 countries, … but with limited coverage. On a worldwide scale only 50% of mobile users are covered with at least 3G.  The remaining 50% of mobile users are stuck with low speeds: 56 kbit/s for 2G and 220 kbit/s for 2.5G like EDGE. Now the AMP project makes more sense.
It has never been more important to provide users with mobile devices the best user experience possible. Google will hold you accountable.
Adopting AMP does not need to create you a headache, at least, if your website is powered by popular software like WordPress which has 70% market share among content management systems (CMS) and powers more than 20% of all websites on the Internet. Just search for the appropriate plugin.
Gary Illyes also gave the impression the site-wide use of the secure HTTPS
protocol for all websites could be something Google has on its wishlist for the future. We will see.
John W. Furst
 Pubcon, is the premier social media and optimization conference, is supported by the industry's leading businesses, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors involved in social media, Internet marketing, search engines, and digital advertising, and offers an in-depth look at the future of technology presented by the world's top …
A month ago I've attended the “Austrian Media Days Conference 2016”(#oemt2016), and it kept me thinking.
On September 20th & 21st, 2016 the country's leading media, advertising and marketing experts discussed the status quo and the outlook of their industries at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna, Austria.
Of course, there was some agitated melancholia about disruption, destructive changes and threats to old fashioned business models in print and TV. And yes, I could even hear statements like
“Google and Facebook are evil.”
Invited politicians picked that up immediately. Hereupon the Secretary of State for Media, Thomas Drozda, foolishly proposed the idea of a new tax for digital advertising. Any believed positive effect of this measure is a strong misconception of course.
The said extra tax of currently 5% on paid advertising already exists for print media and goes back to 1927 (!). Originally it was supposed to be limited for a period of 5 years. Well, we are in Austria: The tax at some point rose to as high as 20% and even 30% and survived all efforts to abolish it altogether. In June 2000 the corresponding tax law was adapted and changed the last time. The Professional Association Advertising and Market Communication within the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber argues with politicians against this industry specific tax for ages. Obviously without much success so far. Now the time has come to tackle it again, and even more vigorously, because an expansion of this obsolete tax into the digital domain is not useful nor acceptable.
To have large international corporations pay higher taxes to individual nations in general is heavily debated not only in the European Union right now. However, it is a much larger issue and cannot be solved on the back of the advertising industry. The problem with tax avoiding practices is of global scope and is not limited to companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple in Silicon Valley.
As if any such tax could save individual businesses or industries that do not embrace change. Outdated business models will disappear inevitably. New generations of founders and smart business owners will embrace the digital age and seize the opportunity.
Media formats like linear TV, radio, print, and certain types of agencies that serve the advertising industry are under high pressure. They are literally forced to find alternative business models, create new offers, and operate on a more efficient and effective level than ever before. What else should they do?
International keynote speakers and successful local business owners shared what works in order to thrive in the digital era. Here is a short list in arbitrary order:
Mobile services, location based features
Anything with high entertainment and fun factor
Unique, quality content goes a long way, e.g. local content or niche content: Free medium with paid advertising or subscriptions paid by readers work in digital space, in print or in a combination of both
Connecting people with alike interests
Providing room for user generated content and user engagement
Collaborating with other participants in the market
Advertising becomes more cost-effective with programmatic advertising, ad re-targeting and cross media marketing. (Works well for publishers and for advertisers.)
And the list goes on.
Much has changed but not those economic principles:
No money is made unless a product or service has been purchased by someone.
People buy what they want from sources they trust if the provided value exceeds the perceived price.
The digital revolution has turned previously expensive goods and services into commodities of which many have become available to everyone for free altogether. It's too late for those young commodities, but there is infinite possibility for creating something new people are willing to pay for.
Let’s have a quick look at this. Both quotes are closely related.
Henry Ford (1921)
“Whether you think you can or you can't, you are right.”
~ Henry Ford
Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.
Although Ford invented neither the automobile nor the assembly line, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the 20th Century. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As the owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. (Source: Wikipedia)
Napoleon Hill (1937)
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) was an American author and impresario who became an early producer of personal-success literature. At the time of Hill's death in 1970, his best-known work, Think and Grow Rich (1937) had sold 20 million copies. Hill's works insisted that fervid expectations are essential to increasing one's income. Most of his books were promoted as expositing principles to achieve "success". Hill was an advisor to two presidents of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (Source: Wikipedia)
Focus on what you want to do and not on what you cannot do.
Or what else should I write to start this post? After all I have not posted often in recent years. Let's get started. Just quickly following up with a new story regarding PRINCE and then getting back to business as usual in forthcoming posts.
However, I likely will visit Paisley Park in the future when I come to the neighborhood. That might take a couple of years though. It's a fairly long trip from here — 4,700 air miles with at least 1 stop, minimum 12½ hours.
Distance Vienna, Austria to Minneapolis, MN, USA 4,700 miles
Prince News Resources
There is a plethora of dedicated sites and social media accounts to follow. A good start is the following one:
I am still speechless about this loss. No other Artist has entertained and at the same time influenced me so much. No other Artist that I came that close with - even though he was a Superstar from another continent, from another World. Those are very personal stories. Maybe at some point in the future I will reveal one or another.
Prince's Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN, USA 1991
photographed by myself
Thank you, Prince.
John W. Furst (formerly known as John Prince in the early '90s in New York City)
P.S.: Our last encounter 2 years ago when Prince performed a show on his 56th birthday on June 7th, 2014 in Vienna, Austria. Unforgettable.
Ultimate Prince Concert in Vienna on Prince's 56th birthday on June 7th, 2014