Apple’s Siri Pro-life?
“Is Apple pro-life?” Siri’s inability to search for abortion clinic, along with its other interesting results to searches for terms like “Jew” and “miserable failure”, got people asking that question. Apple is definitely getting a lot of heat for blaming it on a bug that needs fixing and not addressing this issue fully by revealing how Siri works. Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land takes a stab at it anyway. The problem dials down to the fact that Siri is a meta search engine which tries to generate associated keywords with what you’re asking for, which are then sent off to other search engines to perform the search.
Danny used the example of condoms. When people ask Siri, “I need condoms.” Siri understands condoms to be sold in a drug store and gives a list of drug stores nearby. However, when people ask for the morning after pill or a brand for it like “Plan B”, Siri fails to provide decent answers. Siri seems to know the answers to keywords that are more straightforward, but when faced with some variation of that keyword term like brand names (ex. Trojans), chemical name (ex. Acetaminophen) or even a different spelling of that word (ex. Raped vs. Rape), Siri is generally confused.
Ironically, although Siri isn’t helpful in finding an abortion clinic, it has no problem locating a place for you to bury a dead body. No doubt the response was intentionally programmed that way.
Mobile Commerce SEO Tips
With Cyber Monday only two weeks ago and Christmas shopping going into full force as the holiday approaches, online retail businesses are on their toes to make shopping online easier and more “mobile”.
While many try their best to work around the small mobile screen by hiding product descriptions or providing a “more info” link, Sherwood Stranieri reminds online retailers of the root of the problem, which is pulling product descriptions to display on the mobile site from the desktop site. He suggests writing concise SEO friendly content and lists a bunch of no-nos for these mcommerce product descriptions, including no description from the manufacturer, no marketing lingo and no lists of specs. Content writing is costly so besides brainstorming your resource options like hiring interns or finding a team of remote workers, Sherwood gives a list of fixes of high priority to help you tackle each mobile site issue one at a time.
Twitter’s got a facelift!
Twitter announces its major redesign on twitter.com, tweetdeck and its mobile app this Thursday to make it “simpler not just for people already engaged but easier for new people to discover it and find value in it.”
Three new buttons have been added to the top of the page: Home, @Connect (which shows who has mentioned you and suggests some accounts you might want to follow) and #Discover (which shows what’s trending and points you to notable stories and videos.)
Twitter shows how it’s earning its way to the hearts of bloggers and website developers by introducing embeddable tweets, which allows visitors to reply, retweet and favorite without leaving the page.
From a quick screen capture of readers’ comments on mashable, Twitter is definitely fulfilling its latter part of the statement and helping website owners “find value” in it, as everyone welcomes these new features with open arms.
Wrap up for 2011
As we approach the end of 2011 and get ready for the New Year, here are some reports to wrap up the digital trends and highlights of this year.