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Killexams : Google Reporting test Questions - BingNews Search results Killexams : Google Reporting test Questions - BingNews Killexams : Google outage reported by tens of thousands of users

Tens of thousands of users reported being unable to access various Google services on Monday night, according to outage monitor Downdetector.

"User reports indicate Google Maps is having problems since 9:36 PM EDT (0136 GMT)," Downdetector tweeted.

More than 40,000 users, including in New York City and Denver, Colorado, reported disruptions when trying to use Google's services, particularly the maps and search engine.

After around two hours, reports of the outage began tapering, but a small number of users continued to report trouble accessing Google's cloud and calendar functions, according to Downdetector.

"We're aware of a software update issue that occurred late this afternoon Pacific Time and briefly affected availability of Google Search and Maps, and we apologize for the inconvenience," a Google spokesperson said.

"We worked to quickly address the issue and our services are now back online."

On Twitter, some posted screenshots of the 500 they received while trying to use Google, which said the server had "encountered an error and could not complete your request."

© 2022 AFP

Citation: Google outage reported by tens of thousands of users (2022, August 9) retrieved 9 August 2022 from

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Mon, 08 Aug 2022 20:09:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : The Best Marketers Experiment Every Day

Here’s a sobering statistic for marketers: Google, Meta and Amazon took in more than 74% of all global digital ad spending last year. That’s a lot of dollars chasing the same consumers in the same place.

So how do you stand out? There’s still too much uncertainty about what works and what doesn’t and what channels are best for which messages. That’s because to get the most out of each channel, marketers have to experiment — a lot. You have to constantly test and learn; test different messages, test different landing pages, test different designs and learn what works to inform your tactics.

And even once you find what works, you need to continue testing to keep pace with changes in consumer tastes, the competition and the online ecosystem in general.

Experimenting That Much Sounds Radical. It’s Not

It’s essential. In all of my work with companies, agencies and brands, the biggest predictor of campaign success is the utilization of rapid experimentation and real-time measurement. What determines whether you’re going to get the most out of a channel or not is directly connected to the frequency of your experiments, and how well you can measure them to synthesize the insights. Iteration matters more than your budget, your time or even your creative assets.

When you invest in Google or Facebook for example, you can compare them against each other in a rudimentary way. It’s very easy to answer the question of which one earned the most impressions, greatest number of clicks and largest number of conversions.

But if you want to get the most out of your investment in each ad channel and control for variables (for example, which message, which targeting, which time of day, which creative and which tactics worked best), you can’t just stop there; you have to dig deeper. You need to be able to ask more detailed questions, compare different segments and deploy multiples of the same campaign, with slightly varied parameters.

The Most Successful Companies Launch Campaigns Daily

Or more precisely, they launch new experiments every day. And the more experiments they launch, the more they learn about what works and why.

One major European car maker, for example, was able to increase its conversion rate by 30% over their immediate competitor with rapid testing and measuring. And when you’re spending millions of dollars a year, 30% better utilization of marketing budgets is a serious competitive edge. In another case, a marketing agency was able to spot an opportunity for better budget allocation across all its clients. While it would usually take weeks to test such a large-scale hypothesis, experiment-first design and a modern data stack architecture allowed them to validate the hypothesis in one day.

One reason most companies can’t do this yet is that their marketing teams are simply not structured to iterate, experiment and analyze data. Another, as the agency test suggests, is about implementing a relevant data stack architecture to make the difference.

A 2021 survey of more than 1,700 marketers found over than 88% say they spend most of their time on reporting tasks, including tracking performance, creating competitive analyses and producing audience insights.

While the most obvious conclusion lies with the aspects of team design and workstream prioritization, we should also take into account the huge amounts of marketing data within organizations. Then again, it’s mainly about how you handle the data — a backbone for further workflow improvements. You may choose to hire marketing data analysts, but even that weighs down a marketing budget, reducing your pathways to revenue.

A Change is Gonna Come

Enterprise IT is quickly figuring out more effective ways to manage marketing data from multiple sources and present rational insights through no-code or low-code data aggregation tools. It’s making for more immediate insights, more responsive campaign experimentation and a clear picture of what it takes to create more consistent revenue streams.

Top marketers are eager for the opportunity in front of them. To wit: building an experiment-friendly team and data environments, shifting from tracking and reporting and getting back to creating and experimenting for higher conversions.

Nikita Bykadarov is VP of Demand Gen and MarTech for Improvado

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 07:14:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Where We Are Today With Google’s Mobile-First Index

Okay, so it’s been a few years now since Google announced the mobile-first index.

Most sites have been moved over to Google’s mobile-first index and it’s no longer a “hot” syllabu in SEO.

I found a tweet from John Mueller, Google Search Advocate, in 2021 that sums up the lack of focus on this syllabu the best:

Going with that mentality that mobile-first indexing is a “part of life” (which I wholeheartedly agree with), as an SEO, it is helpful to know some of the history and where we are today.

For instance, since the announcement of the mobile-first index years ago, Google has now also placed emphasis on Page Experience, which is a ranking factor and very much incorporates mobile.

Before we jump into that topic, let’s first get into the beginnings of the mobile-first index and what we know so far.

Then, we’ll get into what Google is looking for in mobile usability, what it means to have an identical experience on mobile and desktop, how you can meet Google’s expectations of mobile-first best practices, and more.

Google’s Mobile-First Indexing

No, There Are Not Two Indexes

Google has stated that there isn’t a separate mobile-first index.

Instead, mobile-first indexing means Google primarily uses the mobile version of the webpage for ranking and indexing purposes.

In 2018, Google explained that with mobile-first indexing, the URL of the mobile-friendly version of your site is indexed.

If your website has separate mobile and desktop URLs, Google shows the mobile URL to mobile users and the desktop URL to desktop users.

Regardless, the indexed content will be the mobile version.

Shifting To The Mobile-First Index

At the end of 2017, Google announced that it would start slowly rolling out mobile-first indexing.

By March 2018, Google stated that they were expanding the rollout and instructed websites to prepare.

Fast forward three years later and not all websites have been switched over to the mobile index.

In June 2020, Google stated that while most websites were set to mobile indexing, there were still many that were not.

Google announced at that point that instead of switching in September 2020, it would delay mobile-first indexing until March 2021.

Google cited a number of issues encountered with sites as a reason for delaying the rollout, including problems with robots meta tags, lazy-loading, blocked assets, primary content, and mobile images and videos.

Eventually, Google removed its own self-imposed deadline in November 2021 explaining that there were still sites that were not yet in the mobile-first index because they weren’t ready to be moved over.

Google went on to say that the lack of readiness was due to several unexpected challenges faced by these websites.

According to Google, “because of these difficulties, we’ve decided to leave the timeline open for the last steps of mobile-first indexing.”

Google also stated that “we currently don’t have a specific final date for the move to mobile-first indexing and want to be thoughtful about the remaining bigger steps in that direction.”

Mobile-First Indexing As The Default For New Websites

If your website was published after July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing is enabled by default.

Google made this announcement in May 2019 and explained that the change applied to websites that were previously unknown to Google Search.

The announcement went into detail about why Google would make mobile-first indexing the default for new websites.

According to Google, after crawling the web with a smartphone Googlebot over the years, they concluded that new websites are typically ready for this type of crawling.

Mobile Usability And Mobile-First Indexing Are Not Synonyms

In January 2019, Mueller explained that if your content does not pass the mobile usability test, it could still be moved to mobile-first indexing.

Even if Search Console’s “mobile usability” report showed that your site had valid URLs, it didn’t mean those pages were ready for mobile-first indexing.

Mobile usability is “completely separate” from mobile-first indexing, according to Mueller. Consequently, pages could be enabled for mobile-first indexing even if they were not considered usable on a mobile device.

You can hear Mueller’s explanation in the video below, starting at the 41:12 mark:

“So, first off, again mobile usability is completely separate from mobile-first indexing.

A site can or cannot be usable from a mobile point of view, but it can still contain all of the content that we need for mobile-first indexing.

An extreme example, if you take something like a PDF file, then on mobile that would be terrible to navigate. The links will be hard to click, the text will be hard to read.

But all of the text is still there, and we could perfectly index that with mobile-first indexing.

Mobile usability is not the same as mobile-first indexing.”

In summary, mobile-friendliness and mobile-responsive layouts are not mandatory for mobile-first indexing.

Since pages without mobile versions still work on a mobile device, they were eligible for indexing.

The Mobile & Desktop Experiences Should Be The Same

Google added to their mobile-first indexing best practices in January 2020, and the big emphasis was on providing an identical experience on mobile and desktop.

Matt Southern provided a great summarized list of what Google meant by the same experience:

  • Ensuring Googlebot can access and render mobile and desktop page content and resources.
  • Making sure the mobile site contains the same content as the desktop site.
  • Using the same meta robots tags on the mobile and desktop site.
  • Using the same headings on the mobile site and desktop site.
  • Making sure the mobile and desktop sites have the same structured data.

Google warns that if you purposefully serve less content on the mobile version of a page than the desktop version, you will likely experience a drop in traffic.

The reason? According to Google, they won’t be able to get as much information from the page as before (when the desktop version was used).

Instead, Google recommends that the primary content on the mobile site be the same as on the desktop site. Google even suggests using the same headings on the mobile version.

To drive this point home, even more, Google mentions in its mobile-indexing documentation that only the content on the mobile site is used in indexing.

Therefore, you should be sure that your mobile site has the same content as your desktop site.

Mueller reiterated this fact during Pubcon Pro Virtual 2020 with the following comment:

“…we’re now almost completely indexing the web using a smart phone Googlebot, which matches a lot more what users would actually see when they search.

And one of the things that we noticed that people are still often confused about is with regards to, like if I only have something on desktop, surely Google will still see that and it will also take into account the mobile content.

But actually, it is the case that we will only index the mobile content in the future.

So when a site is shifted over to mobile first indexing, we will drop everything that’s only on the desktop site. We will essentially ignore that.

…anything that you want to have indexed, it needs to be on the mobile site.”

You can read more about Mueller’s comments here: Google Mobile-First Index – Zero Desktop Content March 2021.

Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Best Practices

Google provides a comprehensive list of best practices for mobile-first indexing “to make sure that your users have the best experience.”

Most of the information Google shares as best practices is not really new.

Instead, the list is a compilation of various recommendations and advice that Google has provided elsewhere over the years.

In addition to the list of recommendations above about creating the same experience on mobile and desktop, other best practices include:

  • Making sure the error page status is the same on the mobile and desktop sites.
  • Avoiding fragment URLs in the mobile site.
  • Making sure the desktop pages have equivalent mobile pages.
  • Verifying both the mobile and desktop sites in Search Console.
  • Checking hreflang links on separate mobile URLs.
  • Making sure the mobile site can handle an increased crawl rate.
  • Making sure the robot.txt directives are the same on the mobile and desktop sites.

Google offers an entire section focused on suggestions for separate URLs.

The “Troubleshooting” section of the best practices document is also worth checking out.

It includes common errors that can either cause your site to not be ready for mobile-first indexing or could lead to a drop in rankings once your site is enabled.

Note that Mueller explained nothing has changed with mobile-first indexing related to sites with separate mobile URLs using rel-canonical. Mueller recommends keeping the annotations the same.

Google will use the mobile URL as canonical even if the rel-canonical points to the desktop URL.

Mueller created a helpful graphic that shows a “before and after” indexing process for desktop and m-dot URLs.

Read more: Google’s John Mueller Clears Confusion About Mobile-First Index.

One last note about best practices.

In Google’s mobile-first indexing best practices documentation, it states, “While it’s not required to have a mobile version of your pages to have your content included in Google’s search results, it is very strongly recommended.”

While it might seem obvious to have a mobile version, I have gotten pushback when speaking about mobile-first.

At one conference, an attendee asked during my session if having a mobile version of the site was necessary if no one was coming from a mobile device.

He kept emphasizing “no one.” My answer? Do it anyway.

Not only does Google very highly recommend it, but visitors, especially repeat visitors, might not be using mobile devices because of the poor experience.

We need to focus not just on getting pages ranked in search results, but also on ensuring that the visitor has a good experience once on the page.

Page Experience Update + Mobile-First

The Page Experience update also needs to be part of the conversation.

The Page Experience update was officially released for mobile devices in 2021 and includes measurement signals regarding how visitors perceive their experience of interacting with your web page.

According to Google, this perception goes beyond just the information value provided on the page. Therefore, Google takes into account loading performance, visual stability, and interactivity of the page, which is known as Core Web Vitals.

Page Experience also looks at mobile-friendliness, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitials, which were already a part of the ranking algorithm.

For instance, mobile-friendliness was announced as a ranking factor in 2015, which led to Mobilegeddon (the industry’s name for the update… not Google’s name).

This factor took into account text readability, spacing of tap targets, and unplayable content.

A year later, Google announced that it was strengthening this ranking factor.

Originally, the mobile-friendly update was meant to apply to mobile search results only, but now with the mobile-first index, it applies overall.

Let’s get back to Core Web Vitals.

Core Web Vitals are factors Google considers important in a user’s overall experience on the webpage, including Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

Each of these factors contributes to the user experience and is scored as “Good,” “Needs Improvement,” or “Poor.”

Now, let’s see how this relates to mobile-first indexing.

There is a lot of overlap between Core Web Vitals and the mobile-first index because both look at how a page performs on a mobile device.

To tie this together, you can reference one of the mobile-first indexing best practices provided by Google, which is to ensure your mobile site loads fast.

Google offers specific recommendations, including using Google PageSpeed Insights and focusing on the “Speed” section. Note that there are other tools you can use too to test speed, such as GTMetrix and WebPageTest.

Martin Splitt, who works in Google’s Developer Relations, was asked in May 2021 if the Page Experience Update was going to roll out on mobile and desktop pages at the same time.

His response was that it would start with mobile pages first, which it did in August 2021. It would be rolled out on desktop pages in February 2022.

It was also made clear that Google would assess mobile pages separately from desktop pages, meaning there is no aggregate score of mobile and desktop (at least not for now).

You can access both the desktop and mobile Page Experience reports in Google Search Console.

Just as you need to pay attention to the desktop and mobile versions of your site for the mobile-first index, you also need to for the Page Experience update.

Check out Core Web Vitals: A Complete Guide for detailed information about this update and how to implement fixes.

One last note before we move on: When Google scores a page, it will test the speed, stability, and usability of the page version that the user ends up seeing.

Here’s where things get tricky. For Core Web Vitals, if you have an AMP version, Google will use it for page experience scoring (i.e., speed, quality, and usability). The mobile version would not be used.

Yet, the mobile version is what would be crawled for the mobile-first index.

So, to sum it up, the AMP version would be used for Core Web Vitals scoring and the mobile version would be used for mobile-first indexing.

Read Google Mobile-First Indexing and Scoring of Sites with Mobile and AMP Versions for the full explanation from Mueller.

Improve Performance In Google’s Mobile-First Index

Here is a consolidated list of items to check that build on some of the best practices already provided.

1. If You Have Multiple Versions, Make Sure Important Content Is Shown On All

Make sure your important content – including structured data, internal links, images, and so on – is on the mobile version of your website, too.

Google even warns in its mobile-indexing best practices that if you have less content on your mobile page than the desktop page, you will experience some traffic loss when your site is moved to mobile-first indexing,

Read more here: Google: Mobile-Friendly Does Not Mean Ready For Mobile-First Index.

2. Let Googlebot Access And Render Your Content

Google recommends that you use the same meta robots tags on the mobile site, avoid lazy-loading primary content (Googlebot can’t load content that requires user interaction), and allow Googlebot to crawl your resources.

3. Verify Structured Data

Double-check that your structured data is the same on both the desktop and mobile versions of your website and also ensure the URLs are correct.

4. Strengthen Mobile Page Speed

Page speed has been a factor to consider for a long time and it is even more important with the mobile-first index and Page Experience update.

Advanced Core Web Vitals: A Technical SEO Guide is packed with how-to advice on identifying and addressing speed-related factors that impact Core Web Vitals and mobile-first indexing.

5. Keep An Eye On Mobile Errors

As with most SEO work, getting a site to perform well in the mobile-first index is not a “one and done” task. You need to be closely monitoring Search Console so that you can identify and fix mobile errors.

Make it a habit to regularly view the “mobile usability” and “Core Web Vitals” reports in Search Console.

Keep Reading: Google’s Changelog On Mobile-First Indexing

The changelog in Google’s mobile-first indexing best practices gives a quick recap of the changes since 2016.

As you can tell, there is a lot to know and keep in mind on mobile-first indexing.

Make sure you are staying on top of best practices and monitoring your website’s performance to succeed in the world of mobile-first indexing.

More Resources:

Featured Image: DisobeyArt/Shutterstock

Fri, 15 Jul 2022 20:48:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Week In Review, Manufacturing, Test

Post-CHIPS Act

Micron is discussing a potential new fab that could employ thousands of workers, following the passage of the Chips and Science Act. Idaho is hoping it will be built near its headquarters facilities in Boise, but Micron hasn’t committed publicly. Rob Beard, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Micron, told the Idaho Statesman the company is considering locations in several states across the country.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive guiding the implementation of the CHIPS Act in Michigan. The signing ceremony at Hemlock Semiconductor Operations (HSC) was joined remotely by President Biden. Said Whitman: “The ongoing chip crisis is having a stark impact on Michigan. We need to move fast, which is why I signed an executive directive today preparing Michigan to harness every available resource from the CHIPS and Science Act to set up our state for decades of growth.”

According to a Reuters report, the United States is considering limiting shipments of American chipmaking equipment to memory chip makers in China, including Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. Ltd (YMTC), part of a bid to halt China’s semiconductor sector advances and protect U.S. companies.

New funding from the CHIPS Act recognizes supply chain risks, but it raises a lot of challenges and unanswered questions, in A Sputnik Moment For Chips.


Italy and Intel are hammering out the details of a $5 billion investment to build an advanced semiconductor packaging and assembly plant, according to Reuters. They earlier reported that Italy may fund as much as 40% of any Intel investment in the country. Meanwhile, chipmakers aren’t yet clamoring to take advantage of Spain’s government incentives.

Polymatech Electronics said it will invest $1 billion in its home country of India toward semiconductor manufacturing by 2025. Polymatech has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government, with an initial investment of $130 million.

JCET’s “Microelectronics Wafer-level Microsystems Integration High-end Manufacturing Project” officially started construction of JCET’s new plant in Jiangyin City of Jiangsu province. Senior leaders from Wuxi and Jiangyin attended the groundbreaking ceremony and laid the foundation stone for the project. “The project is a large-scale smart manufacturing project representing the highest level of manufacturing technology, and the largest single investment project in the history of China’s IC packaging and chipset manufacturing industry. It will support various applications, such as 5G, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and automotive electronics, and meet the demand from our strategic domestic and international customers.” said Li Zheng, JCET’s CEO.

GlobalFoundries has joined Google’s open-source silicon initiative. They are jointly releasing a process design kit (PDK) for GlobalFoundries’ 180MCU technology platform under the Apache 2.0 license, along with a no-cost silicon realization program to manufacture open source designs on the Efabless platform. Google calls the partnership “an unambiguous affirmation of the viability of the open-source model for the foundry ecosystem.”

TSMC celebrated “topping out” its Fab 21 in Arizona. Four thousand people attended the ceremony celebrating the completion of the building, the first step in creating a new facility.

Global Sales & Earnings

Global semiconductor sales hit $152.5 billion in Q2 2022, increasing 13.3% year over year. June 2022 sales decreased 1.9% month-to-month.

Amkor reported second quarter sales of $1.5 billion, a 7% growth year-over-year. Advanced packaging solutions drove 16% year-on-year growth in the Automotive & Industrial end market.


Human resources officers from leading industry companies, including AMD, Intel, and TI have written a letter to Congress asking for help expanding the semiconductor workforce, including investing more in developing qualified U.S.-born STEM students and excluding foreign advanced degree holders from green card caps.

A partnership of a dozen universities are establishing a network titled “Midwest Regional Network to Address National Needs in Semiconductor and Microelectronics” with a goal of advancing semiconductor “research, innovation and production.”  Founding members include Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, Columbus State Community College, Lorain County Community College, Michigan State University, Purdue University, Sinclair Community College, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame and Wright State University.

Flash breakthrough

The talk of this week’s Flash Memory Summit is SK Hynix’s announcement of a 238-layer 3D NAND, scoring five layers over Micron’s 232 layer 3D NAND, which already is shipping. SK Hynix’s chip is planned for 2023.

Research—optical switches

The quest for the ever-elusive all-optical switch has taken another step forward with research from Caltech that describes a non-linear splitter, in which light pulses are routed to two different outputs based on their energies in less than 50 femtoseconds. The paper, entitled Femtojoule femtosecond all-optical switching in lithium niobate nanophotonics, was published in Nature Photonics.

Did the U.S. undercut itself?

The Department of Energy (DOE) canceled a deal to license vanadium battery technology to China following protests.

Further Reading

SemiEngineering’s latest Manufacturing, Packaging & Materials newsletter features:

  • Hybrid Bonding Moves Into The Fast Lane
  • Scaling, Advanced Packaging, Or Both
  • How Quickly Can SiC Ramp?
  • New Materials Open Door To New Devices
  • Fab Investments Head Toward Record High

In case you missed July’s Test, Measurement & Analytics newsletter, check out the stories on improving yield with machine learning, finding frameworks for end-to-end analytics, and why e-beam’s role is growing for defect detection.

Upcoming events

In-person and hybrid conferences are back. On the schedule:

  • SPIE Optics & Photonics, Aug. 21 – 25 (San Diego, CA)
  • TSMC Taiwan Technology Symposium, Aug. 30 (Taiwan)
  • AI Hardware/Edge AI Summit, Sept. 13 – 15 (Santa Clara, CA)
  • Semicon Taiwan, Sept. 14 – 16 (Taipei, Taiwan)
  • SPIE Photonics Industry Summit, Sept. 21 (Washington, D.C.)
  • SPIE Photomask Technology/Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, Sept. 25 – 29 (Monterey, CA)
  • 55th International Symposium on Microelectronics, Oct. 3 – 6 (Boston)

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 19:03:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Ring, Google and the Police: What to Know About Emergency Requests for Video Footage

Ring, the Amazon-owned video doorbell and home security company, came under renewed criticism from privacy activists this month after disclosing it gave video footage to police in more than 10 cases without users' consent thus far in 2022 in what it described as "emergency situations." That includes instances where the police didn't have a warrant.

"So far this year, Ring has provided videos to law enforcement in response to an emergency request only 11 times," Amazon vice president of public policy Brian Huseman wrote. "In each instance, Ring made a good-faith determination that there was an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to a person requiring disclosure of information without delay."

The disclosure, released in response to questioning from Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, comes after years of extensive and controversial partnerships between Ring and various police institutions. Now privacy advocates at organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation say that warrantless footage requests endanger civil liberties.

"There is no process for a judge or the device owner to determine whether there actually was an emergency," EFF analysts Jason Kelley and Matthew Guariglia wrote in a post on July 15. "This could easily lead to police abuse: There will always be temptation for police to use it for increasingly less urgent situations."

Max Isaacs, a staff attorney with New York University's Policing Project and co-author of a 2021 audit of the Ring Neighbors app, says such fears are understandable.

"On the one hand, if there really is an emergency, if there's an armed shooter or if there's someone who's absconded with a child and time is of the essence, then disclosing the data without user consent to law enforcement could save lives," Isaacs said. "Those circumstances are very rare, but I think they exist. Another way of looking at it is, often when you supply police an inch, they take a mile."

The issue raises key questions about consumer privacy rights and the proliferation of smart home data. But without the guidance of any meaningful federal privacy regulations, clear answers are difficult to come by. Still, here's everything you should know about the matter, along with a look at how the rest of the smart home industry handles law enforcement requests for user data.

Ring asks law enforcement officials making emergency requests for user footage to fill out this two-page form. Along with explaining the nature of the emergency, the form also asks officers to explain why there isn't time to obtain a warrant or other "valid and binding legal demand."


What Ring is saying now -- and what it's not saying

As a company spokesperson explained it in a call and series of emails over the last week, Ring underscores a distinction between law enforcement requests for footage as part of an ongoing, nonurgent investigation, what it calls Requests for Assistance, and emergency requests that might be extraordinarily time-sensitive. 

"Law enforcement requests, including emergency requests, are directed to Ring (the company), the same way a warrant of subpoena is directed to Ring (and not the customer)," the spokesperson explained. "Every company is subject to receive an ER made by law enforcement -- the federal law allows law enforcement to make these requests."

Ring also told me that all requests from law enforcement, including emergency requests, are reviewed by dedicated members of the Ring legal team. For emergencies, Ring requires requesting police officers to fill out a two-page form (PDF) providing details about the emergency situation, including who is in immediate danger, what information they believe Ring to have, and how that information can assist in responding to the emergency.

"We also require officers to explain why there is not sufficient time to get a valid and binding legal demand like a search warrant," the spokesperson added. "We deny emergency requests when we believe that law enforcement can swiftly obtain and serve us with such a demand."

Of the 11 emergency requests Ring has complied with so far in 2022, the company said they include cases involving kidnapping, self-harm and attempted murder, but it won't provide further details, including information about which agencies or countries the requests came from.

We also asked Ring if it notified customers after the company had granted law enforcement access to their footage without their consent.

"We have nothing to share," the spokesperson responded.

A lack of transparency

It's been barely a year since Ring made the decision to stop allowing police to email users to request footage. Facing criticism that requests like those were subverting the warrant process and contributing to police overreach, Ring directed police instead to post public requests for assistance in the Neighbors app, where community members are free to view and comment on them (or opt out of seeing them altogether).

"Public safety agencies will only be able to request information or video from their communities through a new, publicly viewable post category on Neighbors called Request for Assistance," Ring said last June, when it announced the change via blog post. "All Request for Assistance posts will be publicly viewable in the Neighbors feed, and logged on the agency's public profile."

That post made no mention of a workaround for the police during emergency circumstances. I asked Ring why it left that out.

"When we introduced Request for Assistance posts, we deprecated our previous Video Request tool and made all 'requests for information or video from their communities' publicly viewable, as we noted in the blog," a company spokesperson explained. "Law enforcement requests, including emergency requests, are directed to Ring (the company), the same way a warrant or subpoena is directed to Ring (and not the customer), which is why we treat them entirely separately."

A chart from Ring's 2020 transparency report on law enforcement requests for user footage

Ring's transparency report on police footage requests from 2020 provides details about warrants, subpoenas and court orders the company received, but it makes no mention of warrantless requests for footage in times of emergency. Ring says it has shared footage in such circumstances 11 times so far in 2022.

Ring/Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

Additionally, while Ring has included its emergency request policy in its guidelines for working with law enforcement and its privacy policy, the same can't be said of Ring transparency reports about law enforcement requests from past years. For example, Ring's 2020 report on law enforcement requests details the number of search warrants, court orders and subpoenas Ring received, along with national security-based requests for user data filed under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as well as how Ring responded to all of them – but there's no mention of warrantless emergency requests that lack independent oversight.

Ring had no response when I asked if the emergency request policy was in place when that report was released, and if so, why emergency requests were omitted from it. However, the emergency request process is mentioned in the NYU's Policing Project's audit of the Ring Neighbors app.

"We were aware of the exception," Isaacs told CNET when asked about the audit process, which began in 2020.

The Nest Hello video doorbell mounted outside of a home.

Google, which makes video doorbells under the Nest brand, says that it reserves the right to share user footage with law enforcement during emergencies, too, even absent a warrant.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Not just a Ring thing

While Ring stands alone for its extensive history of police partnerships, it isn't the only name I found with a carve-out clause for sharing user footage with police during emergencies. Google, which makes and sells smart home cameras and video doorbells under the Nest brand, makes as much clear in its terms of service.

"If we reasonably believe that we can prevent someone from dying or from suffering serious physical harm, we may provide information to a government agency -- for example, in the case of bomb threats, school shootings, kidnappings, suicide prevention and missing persons cases," Google's TOS page on government requests for user information reads. "We still consider these requests in light of applicable laws and our policies."

Google's page also notes that the company will notify users when it receives a government or law enforcement request for their info unless legally prohibited from doing so.

"We might not supply notice in the case of emergencies, such as threats to a child's safety or threats to someone's life," the policy adds, "in which case we'll provide notice if we learn that the emergency has passed."

A Nest spokesperson explained that the company reserves the right to make these emergency disclosures to law enforcement even in cases where there isn't a warrant, subpoena or other legal imperative compelling it to do so.

"Consistent with our terms of service and this site, we do make limited disclosures in the context of emergencies," the spokesperson said. "This legal basis for doing so is set forth in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which provides that a provider like Google may disclose information to law enforcement without a subpoena or a warrant 'if the provider, in good faith, believes that an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires disclosure without delay of communications relating to the emergency.'"

Note the wording there: "A provider like Google may disclose information." The company isn't required to disclose user information during emergencies, but it may choose to do so. After this story was originally published, Google told CNET that it never has.

"If there is an ongoing emergency where getting Nest data would be critical to addressing the problem, we are, per the TOS, allowed to send that data to authorities," a Google spokesperson said. "To date, we have never done this, but it's important that we reserve the right to do so."

That draws a contrast with Ring's disclosure of 11 emergency shares thus far in 2022, but the company uses a similar legal basis as Google. Isaacs explained that Ring's policies are written in alignment with the Stored Communications Act, which limits what Ring can share with law enforcement, but includes an exception for emergency requests of user data in cases of imminent death or serious bodily harm.

"That doesn't mean that Ring couldn't impose stricter obligations," Isaacs noted. "The Stored Communications Act says that Ring may provide that data in response to emergency requests -- but they're not obligated to."

An Arlo video doorbell mounted on the exterior of a home.

Arlo, which makes video doorbells and smart security cameras, tells CNET that it only shares user footage with law enforcement when served with a valid warrant, subpoena, or court order.

Chris Monroe/CNET

What about the rest of the industry?

In addition to Google and Ring, I spoke with other key makers of smart home cameras, including Arlo, Eufy and Wyze, as well as Apple, which processes smart home video footage according to its HomeKit Secure Video protocols. Most manufacturers reserve the right to share user footage with law enforcement when served with a warrant or other compelling legal action -- but unlike Ring, they draw the line there. 

"We have used the reasoning that if a situation is urgent enough for law enforcement to request a warrantless search of Arlo's property then this situation also should be urgent enough for law enforcement or a prosecuting attorney to instead request an immediate hearing from a judge for issuance of a warrant to promptly serve on Arlo," a spokesperson for Arlo said. "Consequently, it is our policy to NOT produce videos to law enforcement no matter the situation, unless we are compelled to do so by a valid warrant or court order."

"Video or audio cannot be accessed without permission by anyone besides the owner, except when required by law," a Wyze spokesperson said, adding, "We only share if the police provide a valid subpoena or warrant."

Others, most notably Apple, use end-to-end encryption as the default setting for user video, which blocks the company from sharing that video at all.

Despite recent privacy missteps of its own, Eufy, which makes smart home cameras and video doorbells, tells CNET that it uses end-to-end encryption as well, and adds that its products store video locally as another enhanced privacy measure.

"[The] Eufy Security team doesn't hold footage in the cloud," a spokesperson said. "Consumers have footage locally so they would have to share directly with the law enforcement if needed."

Ring enabled end-to-end encryption as an option for users in 2021, but it isn't the default setting, and Ring notes that turning it on will break certain features, including the ability to view your video feed on a third-party device like a smart TV, or even Amazon devices like the Echo Show smart display. It's worth noting that through its HomeKit Secure Video standard (and because of its generally more locked-down HomeKit ecosystem), Apple has developed a way to maintain end-to-end encryption for cameras that support it, while also allowing you to view their footage on external devices.

The takeaway

Google, Ring and other companies that process user video footage have a legal basis for warrantless disclosure without consent during emergency situations, and it's up to them to decide whether or not to do so when the police come calling. That makes this a difficult philosophical question for smart home brands that process user video -- and consumers have a choice to make about what they're comfortable with, too. You might prefer a product capable of granting law enforcement quick access to potentially life-saving data during an emergency.

That said, you can't make informed choices when you aren't well-informed to begin with, and the brands in question don't always make it easy to understand their policies and practices. Ring published a blog post last year walking through its new, public-facing format for police footage requests, but there was no mention of emergency exceptions granted without user consent or independent oversight, the details of which only came to light after a Senate probe. Google describes its emergency sharing policies within its Terms of Service, but the language doesn't make it clear that those cases include instances where footage may be shared without a warrant, subpoena or court order compelling Google to do so. 

For now, the best bet for anyone concerned about police access to their smart home footage is to use products that transmit user data using end-to-end encryption. That's the default for cameras transmitting via Apple's HomeKit Secure Video protocols, for instance, and it's an option that Ring users can enable, too. We'll continue to make those options clear as we continue to test and review smart home cameras and video doorbells.

Still, no matter the maker or device, your digital footprint will always be subject to subpoena, and companies that process user data will always be subject to police requests for access to it. Ring's policies and partnerships might facilitate that process more than some people would like, and with less transparency than some people would be comfortable with, but the law doesn't compel Ring to act otherwise. Sweeping federal privacy regulations similar to Europe's GDPR provisions or the CCPA in California could potentially help create stronger standards for disclosure and bring better transparency to the industry, but without them, you'll need to decide for yourself which brands, if any, you want to trust with a place in your home.

Update, July 27: This piece has been updated with new context from Google, which says it reserves the right to comply with warrantless requests for user data during emergencies but, to date, has never actually done so.

Tue, 26 Jul 2022 06:37:00 -0500 See full bio en text/html
Killexams : Google's parent reports slowest quarterly growth in 2 years

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google’s revenue growth during the past quarter decelerated to its slowest pace in two years as advertisers reined in their spending amid intensifying fears of an economic recession.

The regression reported Tuesday by Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet, is the latest sign that the tailwinds propelling big technology companies during the pandemic have shifted. The array of new challenges facing the industry has already caused the tech-driven Nasdaq composite index to plummet by 26% so far this year.

In Alphabet’s case, revenue during the April-June period totaled $69.7 billion, a 13% increase from the same time last year.

That would be impressive growth for most companies outside of tech. But it marked Alphabet’s lowest growth rate since the the April-June quarter of 2020, when the company suffered the first, and so far only, year-over-year revenue decline in its history. The cause: advertisers retreated while most consumers were being corralled at home during the pandemic’s early stages.

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The more sluggish spending was especially evident at YouTube, where major advertisers have increasingly gravitated to promote their brands with short commercials. YouTube’s ad revenue rose by 5% from the previous year during the second quarter, the lowest rate of year-over-year quarterly growth since Alphabet began to disclose the video site’s financial results in late 2019.

Ruth Porat, Alphabet's chief financial officer, attributed some of YouTube's meager growth to “truly extraordinary" ad spending at the same time last year as vaccines emboldened more consumers to begin returning to their pre-pandemic lifestyles and spending patterns.

Despite the slowdown, Alphabet remains extremely profitable. The Mountain View, California, company earned $16 billion, or $1.21 per share, during the second quarter — although even that was a 14% decrease from last year. As usual, most of that money poured in from Google’s dominant search engine and a wide range of other popular services, including its maps, Gmail, Chrome browser, YouTube video site and Android software for smartphones.

Even though both the revenue and earnings came in slightly below analyst estimates, the numbers apparently weren't as bad as investors feared. Alphabet's slumping stock price gained more than 5% in extended trading after the numbers were released. The rally gained momentum after Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and other top executives assured analysts during a late Tuesday conference call that the company intended to be more judicious about its spending in the months ahead — a commitment likely to bolster profits even if revenue growth continues to falter.

“Personally, I find moments like this clarifying," Pichai explained during the call. “It gives us a chance to look at everything we do through a critical lens."

The second-quarter results reflect greater caution among digital advertisers are remaining cautious as the Federal Reserve contemplates more aggressive action — meaning higher interest rates — to bring down the highest inflation in more than 40 years, a mission that threatens to drag the economy into a recession. The next rate increase is expected Wednesday.

“We use the term ‘uncertainty' because that is the best way to characterize what we are seeing,” Porat said during a conference call with analysts late Tuesday. She also acknowledged Google has been affected by “pullbacks" among an unspecified number of advertisers.

The tightening in ad budgets has repercussions beyond Google. It squeezed the social platform Snap so severely that its earnings plunged below management warnings of poor business results, creating such a cloudy outlook that its executives refused to make predictions for the current quarter.

Facebook’s corporate parent, Meta, also has been bracing for tougher times ahead. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to elaborate on his take on the current state of digital advertising Wednesday when the company is scheduled to release its second-quarter results.

Besides the current economic certain, both Snap and Facebook have been hurt by privacy protections that Apple imposed last year to prevent social media services and a wide variety of other apps from tracking people’s interests and locations on iPhones to help sell ads without users’ permission. That safeguard hasn’t affected Google as much because its search engine can learn so much about people from their queries.

Although the company is better positioned than most to navigate the economic turbulence that appears to be looming ahead, “it’s clear Google has its work cut out for it in the back half of the year," said Insider Intelligence analyst Evelyn Mitchell.

Google already began girding for potential recession by recently announcing plans to slow hiring and then went even further by imposing a two-week freeze on extending job offers to candidates.

But before that pause, Alphabet beefed up its payroll significantly during the quarter. It added more than 10,000 employees from the end of March through June, up from increase of roughly 7,400 workers during the first thee months of the year. The company ended the quarter with about 174,000 employees worldwide.- Porat told analysts the downturn in Google's hiring probably won't start showing up in its quarterly numbers until next year, partly because of the job offers already in the pipeline and the expectation that it will complete its $5.4 billion acquisition of cybersecurity specialist Mandiant and its roughly 2,300 employees later this year.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Tue, 26 Jul 2022 10:30:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Why Google’s cookies extension is no reason to take our foot off the pedal on measurement innovation

News this week that Google will delay its cookies sunset from 2023 to 2024, may be a welcome extension for publishers, brands (and their agencies) and the ad tech platforms, who have been hoping for more time to adjust to a new data landscape.

Given the complexity of the challenge, the worst response for anyone in the industry would be to kick the can down the road at a time when most companies were already late in creating a forward strategy regarding a cookieless future.

Regardless of whether cookie-loss looms large on your list of priorities, inarguably we are in a period of rapid change as an industry. Two non-cookie examples that we’re also living through are the impact of Apple’s ATT/Relay VPN changes and Google sunsetting its baseline Google Analytics offering.

In the face of all of these changes, the key to understanding site visitors, app users, and video streamers across all devices and audiences will be consistent, timely, and complete measurement with rigorous methodology.

In this blog article, I’ll share what we’re doing here at Comscore to solve the Third-Party Data problem and how you can work with us to emerge stronger from any challenges that arise.

1. Work with a Trusted Measurement Provider to Enable a Seamless Transition

At Comscore we’re working to preserve both consumer privacy and ensure the continued granularity of our unduplicated, person-based measurement of online audiences, which is unmatched in market.

With Comscore’s measurement tools, one can understand how their audiences engage across their owned property, competitive properties, and what their other attitudes, interests and lifestyles are – on desktop, mobile browsers, mobile apps, social, and connected TV. We are first to market with a complete measurement product by using our massive and global digital panel as a source of truth, and this as a data source will not diminish with the demise of cookies. In 2010, we pioneered the use of census event data collection and usage with panels. Through the advent of tagging content and ads, Comscore has been measuring more entities and campaigns as consumer’s media consumption grows across channels, devices, and environments. Grounded in rigorous methodology and by tying this data to panel observations, we use these assets together in what we call Comscore Unified Digital Measurement (UDM). We’re ensuring our new iteration (UDM 2.0) will stand the test of time whether that’s in 2024 or beyond.

2. Guard against complacency

In the coming weeks, we encourage publishers and advertisers to begin the discussion with us to understand their best path forward in transitioning their measurement to a cookieless future. We’ve been talking to many of you and what’s become clear is that we all need to maintain momentum to meet even a 2024 target. History will show, the market will move with those who paid attention and took action, while those hoping to ‘wait and see’ what others decide, will fall off the proverbial data cliff.

If there’s only one takeaway you remember from this update, it’s that we are here to help with the transition to a cookieless world in any way that works for you as publishers or brands, whether that’s via website or video streaming tags, app SDKs, or via Server-to-server data sharing. We’ll work with you on “where your data resides” to ensure accurate and robust reporting.

Connect with us to begin the discussion. If you are already tagging with Comscore, and have any questions, reach out to your account manager to learn more about measurement solutions for the cookieless world ahead. If you’re not currently tagging with Comscore to participate in UDM 2.0, reach out to me here and share your thoughts on navigating the loss of cookies.

Fri, 29 Jul 2022 00:26:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : The Kawaller Report: Talking to LAPD Cops at National Night Out

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Fri, 05 Aug 2022 20:15:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : What New Attorneys Need to Know About Client Expectations

Friday, August 5, 2022

It is no longer enough for a lawyer to graduate from law school and successfully pass the bar test in the current legal climate. New lawyers are also expected to have acquired some soft skills along the way, including how to manage client expectations.

Today’s legal clients expect more than just legal advice from their attorneys. According to David Pester, a managing partner at UK law firm TLT, clients “look to their lawyers as true partners and consultants, able to bring a wide range of expertise to the table to deliver a successful outcome.” A 2020 Wolters Kluwer survey found that 79 percent of legal clients say efficiency and productivity are vital; however, just 29 percent of those surveyed said these words accurately describe their current law firm. Seventy-four percent of the lawyers surveyed said meeting these changing client expectations is considered a trend with high impact, yet just 31 percent said they are ready to do it. 

Obviously, lawyers still have a lot to learn about client expectations.

Client Expectations – Pre-pandemic vs. Now

The legal industry has never been particularly willing to embrace change. For decades, decisions were made by attorneys who had been practicing law the same way for many years, either because they were resistant to change or unwilling to adapt their business model to meet the shifting needs of their clients. These attorneys and law firms often focused on developing their knowledge and skills to produce better outcomes for clients. Still, their clients were often disappointed in the quality of their attorneys’ services due to inaccessibility, poor communication, lack of empathy, and an absence of respect.

However, COVID-19 disrupted the world – and the legal sector – in numerous ways. Before the pandemic, the legal industry was already in the process of change driven by various forces: financial, demographic, supervisory, technological, and competitive, and even the most traditional practices began to accept the need to grow with the times. COVID-19 significantly accelerated the demands of those working in the legal profession and client expectations regarding the services they receive. The pandemic has revealed a new breed of legal client – more tech-savvy, selective, comfortable with online research, and accustomed to high levels of customer service in other areas – who are demanding more from their law firm as well. 

Research has repeatedly shown that too many attorneys deliver the legal expertise that clients need but fail to provide the customer service they want. However, faced with stiffer competition, tighter finances, and clients prepared to walk if they don’t get the service they want, many small and medium-sized law firms are now attempting to execute a customer-driven makeover in the following areas:

  • Communication. One critical area of change involves communications, and clients are increasingly expecting to be able to contact their attorneys whenever and however they want, on the device they choose. According to Raconteur, more and more clients are choosing to communicate with their lawyers via instant messaging, web chat and social media channels like LinkedIn and Twitter.

  • Cost. Although clients are now more discerning about cost, the price is no longer associated with the time or complexity of the legal work being performed, the factors that attorneys have traditionally used to calculate their fees. Instead, clients expect precise cost estimates in advance and align the price of legal services with risk or the value to them or their business. They are looking for the best service, not necessarily the cheapest, appreciate quality, and increasingly demand that ad hoc advice be supplied whenever they request it, without charge. However, they will happily pay their lawyer’s fees if they feel that they are the right person for the job.

  • Collaboration. Today’s legal clients expect legal services to be delivered in the most efficient way possible and consider the process of producing work to be as much a part of the law firm psyche as the law itself. Accordingly, they expect their lawyer to bring a wide range of expertise to the table in the form of multi-disciplinary teams with the ability to draw on backgrounds in project management, technology, outsourcing, and resourcing to deliver the best possible outcomes as quickly as possible. 

  • Innovation. Clients want their lawyers to use technology to provide efficient legal services that meet their needs, and for them, a paperless law firm is a must. However, they understand that technology will never replace the skills of a good lawyer and believe that innovations in the legal sector need to focus on streamlining client services. In addition, they need to rely on their law firms’ security practices and expect that their lawyer will protect their confidential information and keep it secure.

  • Responsiveness. Suppose your firm wants to attract younger clients. In that case, you need to understand that they are the most likely to expect their law firm to have an online presence, offer various online modes of communication, and respond to inquiries quickly. If you provide what the modern legal client is looking for, you will be able to differentiate your law firm from the competition.

  • Specialization. Generalists are out, and certified are in. Modern legal clients want their lawyers to specialize in the type of service they need. The 2020 Wolters Kluwer survey found that while 70 percent of the attorneys surveyed expect an increased demand for specialization and a decline in generalist work, only 29 percent feel prepared to address this trend. According to the report, the leading reason a client would replace a firm is its inability to meet their needs, followed closely by its failure to offer specialized services.

  • Trust. Most legal clients are looking for an attorney who they can trust, and many people request referrals from trusted sources when deciding which law firm they should hire. However, if they cannot obtain a referral, they frequently turn to the next best source: the internet, where positive reviews from strangers often substantially impact who they will retain. The level of trust that clients put in online reviews makes it imperative for attorneys to ask satisfied clients to leave reviews of their firm on sites like Google, Yelp, Avvo, and Martindale-Hubbell.

Change is underway, and industry insiders say that evolving client expectations will be a driving force in the transformation occurring within the legal sector. Today’s clients expect more – they want to pay for what is produced, not how many hours it took to deliver it, and they want ready access to their attorneys and their expertise. In response to this client-centered legal environment, law firms are exploring new ways to structure their organizations, reviewing their services and how they offer them, and analyzing the talent and technology necessary to deliver value to clients and meet their growing expectations.

What Will Always Remain Constant About Client Expectations (What Hasn’t Changed)

Many lawyers associate client satisfaction with case outcome. However, what clients want most from their lawyers is something that law schools and continuing legal education courses have historically given little attention to: effective attorney-client communication. One 2013 study that covered the UK, Australia, and the U.S. found that skills like listening, explaining, and open communication (dismissed as “hand-holding” by some lawyers) are highly fundamental to client service. According to the research, clients value these skills so much that an attorney who fails to provide them would likely be considered ineffective. 

This perceived lack of communication skills is certainly nothing new. In 2006, the BTI Consulting Group found that the most significant cause of legal malpractice claims was not a client’s dissatisfaction with the outcome of their case but rather the handling of the client relationship – failure on the part of the lawyer to listen, ask appropriate questions, and explain the relevant aspects of the matter. According to BTI: “Responsiveness to clients . . .  goes beyond returning phone calls and replying to emails . . . Clients expect law firms to be responsive not just to their phone calls, but also to their needs.”

However, being responsive to clients doesn’t mean committing to their unrealistic expectations. When clients come in for their initial consultation with an attorney, they sometimes ask, “Can you certain that (fill in the blank) will happen?” The expectation that a lawyer can commit to a specific result has persisted for decades, but an attorney cannot ethically make such a promise. Even if they could, the legal system is highly unpredictable, and it would be very foolish to make this kind of guarantee. The lawyer’s job is (and has always been) to get the best possible result for the client and counsel them regarding the likely outcome, including best and worst-case scenarios.

Many clients shop around for legal representation and will continue to do so. After all, not every attorney is a fit for every client. But lawyers that provide excellent customer service and can temper and manage client expectations will likely thrive in this extremely competitive market, while those who do not risk failure.

Key Identifiers of Prospective Clients Who Will Be a Good Fit

According to Statista, more than 85 percent of all global consumers shop online, and 90 percent of these shoppers make their buying decisions from online reviews. A Google search is also an extremely popular way for prospective clients to find a lawyer. According to a latest Martindale-Avvo report, 43 percent of 6,300 legal consumers surveyed said they use Google searches to research a potential attorney. Nearly half who obtained a referral from a personal recommendation still used online review sites to check an attorney’s reviews before contacting them.

But how can you identify prospective clients who will be a good fit for your law firm? Clients often fall into several categories, and it is helpful for attorneys to recognize certain patterns in behavior and motivation when they consider whether to take on a new client. These include:

  • Inexperience. If a client lacks experience with lawyers, the legal system, or the area of law that their issue involves, they can seem overwhelmed and exhausted much of the time. The best strategy to handle this type of client is to patiently walk them through the process and provide detailed explanations of each step. If you don’t have the time and patience to meet these expectations, a relatively “green” client might not be the best fit for you.

  • Know-it-all. The opposite of the “green” client, the know-it-all is a habitual client who has been involved in the legal system before, and perhaps worked with multiple attorneys. To manage this client, you will need to establish your position immediately – you are the attorney in charge, not them. If you don’t mind working with someone who is somewhat familiar with the legal process and not afraid to say so, this arrangement could work, but if not, you might think twice about representing this type of client.

  • Uncommunicative. Just as lawyers need to be effective communicators, so do clients. If a client can clearly express what they want and need, chances are they will be a good fit for your firm. However, if they seem to lack honesty and transparency, this will undoubtedly affect the quality of your services. Two-way communication is vital to the delivery of excellent client service.

  • In a hurry. The legal world is full of clients who want results “yesterday,” and are willing to rush an attorney toward what could be a premature and potentially unfavorable result. If your firm is well-staffed, tech-driven, and known for being fast and efficient, you might be able to work with this kind of client. However, if you value clients who understand that quality work takes time and plan accordingly, a rushed client could try to pressure you to make mistakes and take more time rather than less.

  • Cost-conscious. A good client understands the difference between the value and the cost of legal services. However, if a potential client appears to be more concerned with your fee than the quality of the services you will provide, this can be a red flag of trouble to come, particularly if their case resolves in a manner that they did not expect.

  • Loyal. For most attorneys, the best clients value an ongoing relationship with their attorney that includes some realistic give-and-take, mutual respect, and appreciation. If you like and trust your clients and vice versa, this will likely positively influence not only the day-to-day interactions but also the case outcomes.

Most attorneys would agree that when they work with clients who are a good fit for them, they feel highly motivated to obtain the best results, a win-win situation for everyone involved.

How to Solicit, Collect, and Implement Feedback from Clients

Consumers research nearly everything online, including their attorneys. To compete in this online marketplace, firms need to survey their online presence periodically, and if your research tells you that you need more or more favorable client reviews, here are some things you can do:

  • Make it a practice to ask satisfied clients to review you and your law firm online.

  • Include a review request in your standard closing email to clients.

  • Practice regular online networking by practicing online discussions, blogging to your target audience, and engaging them where they gather, be it on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

  • Educate your staff on the importance of good customer service by modeling it yourself.

In many industries, it is common to conduct a post-engagement review to ask the client how they feel the project went. Many lawyers are not accustomed to doing this, preferring to move forward with other cases instead. However, when they skip this important step, they miss an opportunity to ask clients with recently closed files what they were (and weren’t) happy about, how you could have performed better, and whether they would consider retaining your services again. Find out how you compare with other lawyers they’ve retained in the past and whether they would be willing to recommend you to others in need of legal services.

Habits that Will Help You Avoid Straining the Client Relationship

The goal of most law firms is to attract the right clients, not chase them away, and forming some positive habits will help forge strong relationships. Here are some examples of how to stay in harmony with those you represent:

  • Avoid multi-tasking. It’s easy to become impatient when you are supposed to be listening to your clients, particularly in initial client consultations when you’re busy and have probably heard the same story many times before. But all clients want the chance to tell their story. They need to believe that you are genuinely interested, will anticipate their future needs, can avoid potential problems, and will take advantage of all opportunities to obtain a positive outcome for them. 

  • Automate busy work. It can be challenging to supply each client the attention they deserve when the firm’s administrative work keeps piling up. However, nurturing client relationships becomes much easier when you automate repetitive tasks. All the time previously spent on monotonous and time-draining activities can instead be used to focus on billable activities. Practice management software does the administrative work, allowing you to turn your attention to delivering high-quality legal services that will make each client feel like they're your only client. A bonus: you’ll also reduce the risk of lawyer burnout.

  • Gauge expectations early on. When a client becomes unhappy with their lawyer, the issue often lies with the client’s expectations. Maybe the case hasn’t gone the way they thought it should have, and they are confused and disappointed with the outcome. This problem can be avoided by managing your clients’ expectations from the onset of the relationship, and the initial consultation is your first opportunity to gauge what expectations they have for their case. To keep a client realistic, be honest from the start about all possible incomes, including worst-case scenarios, and revisit expectations as the case progresses.

  • Don’t assume you know what is best for them. Instead of listening to their clients, many lawyers are simply waiting for them to stop talking, thinking that they’ve “got the picture” and know what needs to be done. However, they’ve probably just gotten part of the picture. When an attorney does this, they’re taking away a client’s voice, making them afraid to express their viewpoints, and probably encouraging them to look for another lawyer who will listen to what they have to say.

  • Reach out. With little or no significant progress to report, it can be easy for an attorney to ignore client calls and messages. But don’t make this mistake. Frequent communication is critical to a healthy attorney-client relationship, even if there have been no new developments on a case. But unless the client asks you, don’t feel the need to explain the legal intricacies of what you are doing – clients want you to handle their case, not teach them about the law. Instead, stick with explaining the implications of what is going on with their case, any decisions they need to make, and advise them on the best course of action to take. 

There’s more to building a successful law firm than building strong client relationships, but without them, you risk damaging your reputation as well as your bottom line.

Above post written by Jan Hill

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 11:56:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Industry warns marketers to avoid complacency as Google delays cookie demise again

Stay alert, don’t get complacent and don’t delay shifting off your reliance on cookies is the overall advice from industry following news that the cookie’s final demise has been delayed once more.

Google has yet again delayed removal of the cookie, now saying it’ll take until the second half of 2024 to mass adopt an alternative solution for the advertising industry. In a blog post, VP of Google Privacy Sandbox, Antony Chavez, attributed Google’s decision to the need for more time to evaluate and test replacement technologies. The Privacy Sandbox initiative was established in order to devise next-generation targeted advertising solutions in collaboration with the industry advertising ecosystem.

The decision marks the second time Google has delayed removing cookies. Having first announced its intention to phase out cookies on Chrome in 2020, the search giant told the market last June last year it was extending the deadline until late 2023, again for the reason of requiring more time to find an alternative.

The news came after Google confirmed there would be no replacement for unique identifiers to track individuals once cookies are removed. This will mean the sole way of targeting and measuring digital ads across Google’s browser outside of a first-party data arrangement will be via proposals managed within Google’s Privacy Sandbox.

The original delay also came off the back of rising anti-competitive concerns raised by governments and industry in the US, UK and Europe about the impact removing cookies would have on the advertising ecosystem. In January 2021, for example, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced plans to focus on Privacy Sandbox’s potential impacts on both publishers and users. This was followed by amendments to ongoing antitrust complaint in the US stating the Privacy Sandbox changes would require advertisers to use Google as middleman to advertise.

Upon announcing its first delay, Google made it clear publishers and advertisers will be given at least nine months to migrate once a replacement solution has been widely tested with Web communities.  In announcing the latest delay, Chavez’s blog post also tried to stress progress was being made.

Over latest months, Google has released trial versions of a couple of alternative advertising solutions in the works, including new Privacy Sandbox APIs in Chrome for developers to test. Earlier this year, the company also reached an agreement with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on how to develop and release the Privacy Sandbox in Chrome worldwide.

“The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome,” Chavez stated. “This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions.

“This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the Web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting.

“For these reasons, we are expanding the testing windows for the Privacy Sandbox APIs before we disable third-party cookies in Chrome.”

Google now expected the Privacy Sandbox APIs to be generally available in Chrome from Q3 2023. As developers adopt these APIs, phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome will begin in the second half of 2024. Chavez confirmed Privacy Sandbox trials are to be expanded to millions of users globally from early August.