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The Best Laptops Of 2020…And Other Small Business Tech News

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the-best-laptops-of-2020…and-other-small-business-tech-news

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them? 

1 — These are the best laptops for 2020 according to Tech Radar.  

Tech Radar— a consumer technology news and review site based in the UK—has revealed its picks for the top 15 laptops of this past year. The picks include laptops that have the most up-to-date mobile technology, the most cost-effective, efficient laptops, as well as 2-in-1 laptops, to name a few. Currently, the top pick for best overall laptop goes to the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) due to its long battery life, and fanless, silent design. Dell’s XPS 15 and HP’s Spectre x360 rounded out the top three. (Source: TechRadar)

Why this is important for your business:

A great list from a very reputable source. If you’re planning on laptop purchases in 2021 this should be on your research list.

2 —TikTok launched a new small business resource center for marketers.      

TikTok has announced that they are adding business offerings by launching its new Small Business Resource Center. The feature will provide small businesses with a variety of case studies, tools to help creativity and video production, and information to assist owners navigate many other areas of business. (Source: Social Media Today)

Why this is important for your business:

With more small businesses planning to bolster digital marketing to include TikTok, the newest addition will assist owners and provide support on best practices.

3 —Congress approved a COVID-19 spending bill with contentious copyright measures.  

Congress has approved a new COVID-19 relief package but not without including a highly contended copyright bill titled the CASE act. According to the act, internet users illegally streaming for profit could be charged with a felony and fined $30,000. The bill appears to target individuals who profit from their illegal streaming services, but the bill doesn’t necessarily hold accountable Twitch streamers who potentially use work that is unlicensed as part of what they stream. Additionally, the bill will allow designers and artists to make copyright infringement challenges without the need to federally open a case. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

The new provisions may add extra liabilities for your business if you’re using copyrighted material – unknowingly or unknowingly – on your website or on social media platforms. On the other hand, the bill is also providing you with more protections if others are doing the same with your copyrighted material.

4 — RingCentral acquired conversational AI startup DeepAffects.

Cloud product platform RingCentral announced that it has obtained startup DeepAffects which focuses on conversational AI. DeepAffects has been developing tools that can identify unique voice prints through an audio clip, recognize emotion, detect intent, recognize multiple speakers, and metrics surrounding conversation. (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

The technology is allowing businesses to extract analytics from their voice-based communication which is believed to be vital as businesses continue to work remotely or using a hybrid schedule. It is being predicted that 15% of customer service exchanges will be done using AI by 2021, which is 400% more than what it was in 2017 – a growing trend that may impact your customer operations.

5—Bambee raised $15 million to help small business owners solve challenging HR issues.  

Bambee—which provides HR solutions for SMBs—shared that it has raised $15 million. Launched in 2016, Bambee provides an experienced HR manager to small and medium-sized businesses who otherwise did not have one. The goal is to help reduce the often contentious relationship that can be the result of businesses lacking an HR strategy or expertise. Bambee plans to use the funding to expand its offerings in order to help more businesses. (Source: AIThority)  

Why this is important for your business:

The majority of SMBs in the United States do not have a qualified, professional HR manager, typically due to the high cost. Bambee is one of a growing number of HR platforms that are providing lower cost tools to help allow small businesses behave more like big businesses, particularly in this era of more regulation.

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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