Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

British Airways, schooling the likes of Disney, Coca Cola and IBM when it comes to building a Google+ following.


A Google+ profile is like a gym membership, everyone’s got one, but most don’t use it. This makes building a social following on Google+ notoriously difficult for major brands. So isn’t it just awesome when a select few show the masses exactly how it’s done. That select few are the airline brands.

British Airways are leading the way in a Google + follower phenomenon emerging amongst airlines. Whilst most top 100 global brands including Disney and IBM struggle to gain Google+ followers, leading airline brands British Airways, Delta and Emirates fly ahead.

Let’s take a look at the airline success stories in a little more detail.

The numbers do the talking

For the purpose of this post, I’ve contrasted Google+ followers for five of the top 100 Global Brands according to the Financial Times, with five leading airline companies that are putting them to shame.
Let’s take a look at the numbers as of 09/12/2013:

Google+ following for the Top 100 Global 
Google + Following for airline brands     
Coca Cola – 1,195,542
British Airways – 2,420,092
eBay – 375,047
Delta – 1,839,806
Amazon – 353,654
KLM – 1,900,065

Disney – 236,716
American Airlines – 1,682,864

IBM – 30,057
Emirates – 1,438,385

These figures are astonishing; British Airways currently outperform Coca Cola by a ratio of 2:1.  Take into account Coca Cola’s $90.2 billion valuation with British Airways $3.7 billion valuation and the assumption there is a vast gulf in marketing budget, this contrast begins to take on the biblical quality of David vs. Goliath.

Who cares?

Whilst the average Social Media Manager is furrowing their brow and thinking the airline brands success a minor victory, the SEO savvy amongst you will be nodding knowingly at British Airways and Co.’s success. Who cares? Google, that’s who.

Moz, a leading authority on SEO, have just released their 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors report in which there is an undeniably strong correlation between followers and +1’s on Google+ with, improved search results in Google.

The knock on effect is quite simple:

More Google+ followers and +1s = Improved Google Search Results = More visits from Google = £££s

Replicating British Airways success story

As the most followed airline brand on Google+, we took a closer look at British Airways to find out just what has made them so successful. After trawling their many websites and scouring the web for marketing promotions, British Airway’s strategy looks like it’s all about doing simple things.

Here’s how we think they did it:

  • Implement Adwords social extensions to boost +1’s
  • Across the main BA site and subdomains, they have added the “follow” button to the footer
  • Sharing lots of great content from their sites BA high life, BA business life, Club BA and other third parties… Mashable etc.
  • Using lots of big images and video content to make the Google+ page visibly appealing
  • Adding the “follow” button into their mailer.
  • Linking their Google+ profile  with their main site so it shows in the Google search results

It’s not all success….

It looks almost too easy, for six months British Airways maintained a linear growth of almost exactly 50,000 followers a week. It does however look like the bubble may have burst, in the last few weeks British Airways have experienced a slowdown to what would now seem a meagre 3500 extra followers a week. And they are not alone, KLM and Emirates have experienced an almost identical plateau with Delta now losing followers!

Image from Social Bakers

Where British Airways dominated on Google+ against the top 100 global brands, the same can’t be said for their Facebook and Twitter profiles. A quick look shows only 1,083,743 Facebook ‘likes’ and 337,838 Twitter followers. Not so impressive when compared against the same top 100 global brands they so thoroughly embarrassed earlier.



British Airways

Coca Cola

This deficit becomes amplified as British Airways seem to be placing greater marketing focus on Twitter and Facebook, compared with their Google+ counterpart. They have run a series of viral campaigns, such as Race the Plane and their Perfect Day competition, which were not run on Google+. Despite this, they haven’t been able to match the top 100 global brands, nor even their following on Google+.

Where it counts

Still, British Airways and the other airline brands have created the success where it counts. Success on Google+, compared with Facebook and Twitter is likely to have far greater benefits with improved search rankings and more traffic.

It’s only a matter of time before all the major brands turn their focus to Google+ whilst aiming for SEO success. Why not join them by checking out our new accelerated 3 day Search Engine Optimisation course.

Think we’ve missed a trick?

Spotted other examples of how the airline brands are succeeding that we’ve failed to highlight, why not comment below?

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Google student coding contest


Calling all student coders: The Hardcode contest begins tomorrow!

It takes a lot of responsibility to protect user security and privacy.  You must understand how to break applications, find vulnerability  and understand how to prevent them from happening. As we saw last week with Oracle-Sun and its Java plugin, even one vulnerability can give hackers and cyber criminals the opportunity to exploit and attack millions of people.

To help raise awareness of the risks involved in insecure development habits, Google is hosting Hardcore. A contest based on secure coding on the Google App Engine platform.
Google Hardcode contest logo 
The contest is designed for full-time students and is open to teams of up to five. The contestants will have to develop open source applications that follow a set of requirements in functionality and security.

There will be two rounds. The first one will be a qualifying round over the Internet, with participation from any team of students. The final round will take place during SyScan on April 23 - 25 in Singapore.

During the first round, teams will be told to build an application and describe its security design. A group of judges will then evaluate all submitted applications and choose the top five to move to the final round.

The five qualifying teams will have to develop additional features and fix any security issues found in their first submission.

After two more days of hacking, the judges will rank the projects and select the grand prize winning team that will receive $20,000 Singapore dollars. The 2nd-5th place finalist teams will receive $15,000, $10,000, $5,000, and $5,000, respectively.

Hardcode begins on Friday, January 18th 2013.

Full contest details will be announced through Google’s mailing list, you can subscribe here for more information.

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, , IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Google Introduces Analytics Premium

Google has developed an already sophisticated premium version of 'Google Analytics'. It boasts of features such as:

  • Extra processing power - increased data collection, more custom variables and downloadable, unsampled reports
  • Advanced analysis - attribution modeling tools that allow you to test different models for assigning credit to conversions
  • Service and support - experts to guide customized installation, and dedicated account management on call - all backed by 24/7 support
  • Guarantees - service level agreements for data collection, processing and reporting

Monday, 15 August 2011

Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility

Internet giant Google has announced that a deal has been struck to acquire the Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn (£7.7bn). A joint statement said that the deal should be finalised by the end of this year, or 2012.

According to Google, the acquisition will allow them “supercharge” their Android operating system. Mobility will run as a separate business, they added.

“Motorola Mobility's total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies," said Larry Page, Google's CEO.
Sanjay Jha, his counterpart at Mobility, said: "This transaction offers significant value for [our] stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers and partners around the world."

Friday, 29 July 2011

Google+ vs Facebook

For more than 5 years, Facebook has held a monopoly over all the social networks. Launched in February 2004, it has single handedly destroyed the likes of Hi5, MySpace and the lesser known bebo.
As of July 2011, Facebook has more than 750 million active users, making it the 3rd most populated "country" in the world. Arguably, Facebook has changed the way we are. You write on someone's *wall*, you *like* someone's status, you *facebook* someone (I'm pretty sure we've all used "I'll facebook you"). It truly is more than just another social networking website.

But now, after years of being the leaders of the social media, Facebook would be apprehensive of the new phenomenon called Google+.

Google+, as you guessed, is a social networking website designed by Google. It is still in the trial beta mode, and will be launched shortly for the public at large. Google CEO Larry Page announced recently that Google+ has already attracted 10 million members on its website. This is a staggering figure.

So what's new that Google+ has, which Facebook doesn't?

1. Google+'s homepage is very similar to what Facebook's users are familiar and comfortable with - like updates from friends, photo uploads, events etc.With Circles, Google has tried to set itself apart from Facebook. While your information you post in Facebook is shared immediately to those who are in your friend list, Circles allows one to choose people we want to share information with. In fact, users can make groups for sharing information such as parents, close friends, casual acquaintances, and so on.

2. With an instant upload feature, one can easily upload pictures that he is taking with his camera (of course when he so wishes). This is in sharp contrast with Facebook where uploading of photos and videos takes an eternity and members get bored. The slogan “share just the right things with just the right people” says it all.

3. “Hangouts” is a new feature that allows you to disclose your location to chosen friends and then wait to see who drops by to join the fun.

4. Sparks is the feature that allows you to post your likes and dislikes and the app automatically sends you latest and exciting news and offers on your likes. It could be on music, books, fashion or a category made by you.

5. Huddle is another feature that allows users to chat instantly with many friends at the same time unlike windows that are created in Facebook chat. All friends drop down to a single chat and you feel you are in the midst of your friends. Unlike Facebook, you do not jump from one window to another or reply wrongly to your friends.

There is also the use of Web 3.0, which Google+ is introducing to the world. Web 3.0 will certainly be worth a look. Privacy is another big advantage which Google+ has over Facebook.

Only time will tell if Google+ can take on the might of Facebook, but it certainly has attractive features to lure potential members. With features like Skype video call and Chat members side bars, you can see
Facebook will not give up without a fight. We'll just have to see which giant prevails.