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Will Smith just dropped $10K on a startup that pitched him on stage at Disrupt

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Will Smith just dropped $10K on a startup that pitched him on stage at Disrupt

Actor and Hollywood media mogul Will Smith surprised the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019 audience this afternoon by announcing he would invest $10K in a startup that pitched to him onstage as part of an “elevator pitch” contest, where the winner would get to take a selfie with the star. The company, Socionado.com, helps companies with their social media presence. However, what got Smith’s attention was their well-delivered pitch, he said.

The startups didn’t get much time to prepare, having been plucked from the Startup Alley earlier in the day.

In addition to responding well to the pitch itself, Smith also liked the concept and the business model.

“As I built out my social media team, that was the idea — I wanted to take back my storytelling,” said Smith. “I think that’s hugely important.”

“That was really the best pitch so we’re gonna rock a selfie,” Smith said, jumping up to snap a photo with the founder.

Smith’s investment strategy isn’t usually this off-the-cuff, however.

Speaking onstage at the Disrupt conference, he also offered more details on his plans for Dreamers VC, the investment firm founded with Japanese soccer star Keisuke Honda, which was announced last year by Honda’s management firm KSK Group.

Smith noted the firm has an interest in “doing good” with its funds — pointing, in particular, to an investment in “Boring tech.” (He actually means The Boring Company, per the Dreamers VC website, where it’s listed alongside a host of others.)

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He also offered a little background on how Dreamers VC came to be in the first place.

“Well, you know, I met with [Keisuke Honda] and we just hit it off immediately. And, you know, we felt like there was a beautiful intersection between being able to create businesses, but also to stay focused on solving problems of the world,” Smith explained. Honda already had banking relationships in Japan that were looking to make their way into the U.S.

“So the relationship worked out well,” he said.

Plus, Smith adds, “I had already been investing and he had already been investing and our values were in alignment. We want to solve some of the world’s problems. We want to do well by doing good.”

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.

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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.

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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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Searchenginejournal.com

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