Apple invests $390 million into laser chipmaker Finisar

The company made the investment via its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, reports CNBC. Finisar makes some of the VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) chips found in the iPhone X and Apple’s AirPods wireless earbuds. VCSEL chips enable depth and proximity sensing and are among the critical tech used to enable Face ID, Animoji, and ARKit. …

The company made the investment via its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, reports CNBC. Finisar makes some of the VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) chips found in the iPhone X and Apple’s AirPods wireless earbuds. VCSEL chips enable depth and proximity sensing and are among the critical tech used to enable Face ID, Animoji, and ARKit. Finisar will use Apple’s cash injection to transform a shuttered manufacturing plant in Texas into a VCSEL manufacturing facility and with it create 500 jobs.

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Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Amazon, Honda, Google and More

Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than seven million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time yesterday.

A few highlights: Honda promotes the advantages of a plug-in hybrid”the end of your battery charge isn’t the end of the world”in a commercial for the 2018 Honda Clarity. Amazon plays up the fact that its Fire TV device can integrate with its Alexa digital assistant in case you’ve got any questions you want answered while watching TV. And Google hypes “The Last Jedi” AR stickers that are available exclusively on the Google Pixel camera.

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I am Jack (again)

Jack Morton shoe

After 2.5 years establishing the strategy practice at Genuine in Boston, I’m happy to be coming back to Jack Morton NYP.

Taking a digital-first approach to dozens of projects over the last few years has not only given me some new perspectives, it has confirmed for me the primacy of experience in building bonds between brands and the people who matter most to them.

But when I say experiences, I don’t just mean the physical, face-to-face aspects of them. And a simple review of the work my new/old colleagues at Jack have been doing shows that they agree.

The blending of digital and physical into experiences that are simple, moving, and original is evident across so much of the work Jack Morton has been doing all around the world.

I’m proud to be a part of Jack at a time when the rest of the industry is recognizing the importance of experience.

And I’m especially proud to see how much our collective thinking around the globe has evolved to include the latest technologies – from VR/AR and mixed reality, to environmental technologies, data visualizations, robotics, social, and mobile experiences.

At the same time, it’s nice to know that we have a digital agency as part of our core capabilities that recognizes that digital experience is no longer constrained to a desktop, laptop, or mobile phone. Digital happens everywhere people gather.

I wrote a short article a while back (as head of digital strategy) that claimed there was no such thing as digital strategy – just as there’s no such thing as experiential strategy that does not include digital thinking. Our audiences don’t make the distinction when they are experiencing something extraordinary, and neither should we.

From my point of view, there’s simply strategy in a digital world.

I know that’s not crazy insightful. But that’s all I’ve got.

So…I’m happy to be back. And I feel more strongly than ever that experiences are the future of marketing and branding.

If you agree, don’t hesitate to reach out and I’ll do my best to be helpful.

Xo, joep

The post I am Jack (again) appeared first on Jack Morton.

Official: Google’s New SEO Starter Guide – 63 SEO Practices to AVOID in 2018

Google has released a new SEO Starter guide. This will be a useful place to start for beginners.

Read the full article here Official: Google’s New SEO Starter Guide – 63 SEO Practices to AVOID in 2018

A Hobo Site Review can quickly identify any issues on your site that is holding your site back. See Hobo SEO Review Prices

© Copyright 2006-2017 Shaun Anderson

SapientRazorfish’s Adam Grohs Out After Reports of ‘Creating Hostile Work Environment’

Adam Grohs, elevated earlier this year at SapientRazorfish to business development lead for North America, is no longer with the company, following reports that he created a hostile work environment and discriminated against women.

Ad Age spoke to five different women regarding Grohs’ behavior. One female SapientRazorfish executive said she made a formal complaint to human resources in the last few months. But Ad Age has learned of at least one other formal complaint made by a woman executive to the company’s HR department about Grohs, along with other informal complaints alleging he created a hostile work environment. Grohs did not respond to inquiry for comment.

A now-former employee says she made the initial formal complaint to HR in spring of 2016 that she says led to an internal investigation. The woman who filed this complaint alleges that Grohs discriminated against women and created an antagonistic work culture.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Toxic Link Analysis and Removal

By Gabriel Grossman, Director of SEO & Performance Content

When it comes to organic search, links are the fuel that can propel a website to the top of Google. High quality inbound links are the holy grail of SEO. Google assumes, if the sites linking to you are credible, then your website must then be pretty important too. But did you know that links can also be detrimental to SEO health? The wrong kind of links can land brands in hot water – attracting penalties or demotions aimed at punishing websites that don’t follow Google’s quality guidelines.

If you want to avoid the Google sin bin, early detection and treatment of toxic links is crucial. Read on for a beginner’s guide on how to maintain a clean looking link profile and keep the Google wolves at bay.

Step 1 – Use a Backlink Checker Tool

The first step to safeguarding SEO health is by “lifting the hood” on a site’s backlinks. There are several great tools out there designed for this. The best of the bunch is ahrefs Site Explorer. Its powerful, yet easy-to-use interface makes it a breeze for even an SEO novice to spot potential hazards before they get out of control.

For best results, you don’t want to limit yourself to any one tool, but ahrefs is a great starting point if you’re looking to conduct a basic audit.

Step 2 – Export Your Link Data

Once you’ve signed up for an account, you’re ready to go. Plug your domain into the search field at the top and head to the “Backlinks” report in the left navigation menu to view all links pointing to your site.

For enterprise brands, the sheer volume of data can be overwhelming and sometimes it’s simply not realistic to comb through ALL links. To counteract this, click on the “One link per domain” button, applying the “DoFollow” filter from the “Link Type” drop down, and selecting “Live”.

Voilà! Your unwieldly list of links should now be considerably shorter (in the example of, this would leave you with just 43,314 links out of a possible 26,346,676!).

Time to hit “Export”. At this point you might be asking yourself, “what does a spammy link look like?” According to Google’s own definition:

“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”

As is often the case with Google, this is a pretty vague explanation that leaves plenty open to interpretation.

The Performics take:

Unless you’re suffering from one of Google’s manual penalties, your primary concern should be to identify those links which are obviously unnatural.

If a link is coming from a low quality site but doesn’t have the appearance of being manipulative, ignore it and move on. They might not be helping you surge up the organic leader board, but they’re unlikely to be hurting you either – think of it as striking a fine balance.

On one hand, you want to future proof your site against a Google action, but on the other hand, you don’t want to go in with a shotgun and blast links that could potentially be assisting your organic search visibility – even if only marginally. Taking a surgical approach is best, but it will ultimately be up to you to determine your comfort threshold.

The main categories of links that Google penalize include:

  • Paid links
  • Reciprocal link schemes
  • Links resulting from automated programs or services
  • Links on press releases
  • Links embedded in widgets
  • Forum signature links
  • SEO directories.

Ahrefs simplifies this process by categorizing links by platform, including “Blogs”, “Comment Systems”, and “Message Boards.”

Step 3 – Put Your Detective Hat On

Although there are tools that can automate the process of classifying links as potentially hazardous, there really is no substitution for doing things manually and using your own common sense and seeing what a machine may not.

Create a column in your spreadsheet with the heading “Toxic Link” and beside each URL, assign a rating on a scale of 1-5 (1 being very clean and 5 being very toxic). Aside from reviewing the category of link, you should also be on the lookout for:

  • Keyword rich anchor text: Anchor text is a fancy term for the clickable part of a textual link. The anchors of natural links typically contain a variation of the site’s domain or company’s own branded terms. When the anchor text of a backlink profile is dominated by generic SEO-relevant keywords such as “buy mobile phones online”, it should raise an eyebrow.

Expert tip: For a quick glance at your website’s most popular inbound anchor link terms and phrases, head to the “Anchors” report under “Backlink profile > Referring domains” in ahrefs, select “Dofollow” from the drop down filter, and make sure that it’s sorted by “Referring Domains” high to low.

  • The site’s country of origin: The geo-location of an inbound link can also be a red flag. For example, if you’re operating a site for a Brisbane based clothing retailer, it probably wouldn’t make sense for you to be receiving a large quantity of backlinks from a remote village in Russia. Expert tip: Ahrefs does a great job of illustrating which countries your inbound links originate from. Simply navigate to the dashboard and scroll down the page to view the top level domain distribution. Hover your cursor over a country to see the percentage of links attributed to that particular location.

  • The link environment: Often the best way of validating a link is simply to look at the website it originates from. Ask yourself, “does this site look like a credible source of information?” If your gut is telling you otherwise, mark it down in your spreadsheet.

Step 4 – It’s Detox Time

With the investigating out of the way, it’s time to look at the results.

If you haven’t identified any potentially toxic links, you’re in a good spot. Your job is done (for now at least). But if your spreadsheet is littered with questionable websites, you will want to take quick action to protect the SEO health of your site. You can reach out to each site owner individually and politely request that they either change the link into a “nofollow“, or failing that simply remove the backlink from their website altogether.

In our experience, the success rate from this kind of outreach is likely to be low. A less complicated and more efficient approach is to use the disavow tool. This tool allows you to upload a list of the spammy domains directly to Google Search Console, letting the search giant know that you don’t want these links to be taken into account when assessing your website’s domain authority. While there is some contention surrounding its effectiveness for preemptive link curation, it is still the preferred backup option.

To create:

  1. Copy your toxic links into a new Excel tab
  2. Create a column containing the root domain for each URL e.g. “” will become “”
  3. If you haven’t already, dedupe the list so that each root domain is only represented once
  4. Assuming the root domains are in column A, add “domain:” before each domain in your list by typing the following formula into B1:


  1. Create a new file in Notepad
  2. Copy the contents of column B into Notepad and save it as a “.txt” file
  3. Upload the file to your site’s property in Search Console.

Word of warning: The incorrect application of this tool can harm your rankings, so it’s best to consult with an SEO expert before upload.

The Final Word

Just as your website is going through constant change, so is your backlink profile. Given how important links still are to the SEO equation, it pays to be vigilant. By scheduling regular link reviews and clean-ups, you can stay a step ahead and protect against the devastating effects of a Google penalty.

If you would like to maximize your brands potential and avoid Google penalties, contact Performics today.


The post A Beginner’s Guide to Toxic Link Analysis and Removal appeared first on Performics.

Influencers, ads and social media: 2017 in review

Shots recently published this article by our Head of Strategy, Harvey Cossell, discusses why 2017 has been the year for Influencer Marketing, the role that social media plays in society & the emergence of new potentially ad-friendly platforms. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it below.

What’s been the biggest talking point in social media marketing in 2017?
Influencer marketing has been on the agenda for a while, but this year it’s taken a firm grip on the industry and it’s not letting go. It’s now considered an essential part of a brand’s marketing strategy, rather than an add-on to a social campaign, as it has been in previous years. But this doesn’t mean everyone is now doing it well; most brands know they should be working with influencers, but they don’t know how to go about it effectively or measure the results.

What’s the most creative social media campaign you’ve seen in 2017 and why?
Heineken’s Worlds Apart campaign stood out for me. It was a beautifully simple idea that captured the tension in a post-Brexit Britain coming to terms with a rise in intolerance in society.

And the most influential?
We’ve been working with adidas for the last few years to build up the Tango Squads – a huge network of micro-influencers across European cities, connected with adidas using dark social [social sharing that can’t be tracked by web analytics, such as via email or WhatsApp]. We’ve recently brought this out into the light with a long-form content series called Tango Squad F.C. Brands need to be clever in the way they approach influencer marketing. This campaign has harnessed the power of dark social to build a network of passionate ambassadors for adidas, and now it’s evolving into a campaign to reach a mass market target audience.

You mentioned last year that live-streaming was a big thing through 2016. Has that upswing continued and, if so, how has it manifested itself?
Live-streaming is now just part of the furniture. Its next evolution may come when (if?) Facebook Watch establishes itself as a mainstream channel, given its schedule features live content.

You’ve said brands need to be more aware of “social thinking” and not simply use social media as another platform opportunity. Do you think more brands have achieved that?
The brands we work with are definitely focussed on a more culturally-led way of communicating. I think more brands are aware that they need to play an authentic and relevant role in consumers’ lives.

However, the challenge remains that platforms are still talking the language of interruption when it comes to ad formats – the focus for them is on reach, frequency and brand awareness only. So, there’s often a lack of synchronicity when trying to push a cultural message.

VR, despite the hype and money invested, has still not really broken through to the mainstream. Do you think that’s because it is not, inherently, a social medium?
VR allows us to connect with each other so it is inherently social. I’d say its issue is a case of accessibility. There’s no critical mass of VR headsets yet, which we need for it to be regarded as a bona fide social medium.

Do you think that President Trump using Twitter to declare political strategy and debate world events has helped or hindered the legitimacy of the platform?
It’s great PR for Twitter, keeping the platform front of mind as a news source and turning it into a modern-day newswire. Given Twitter’s push towards becoming a breaking news-focussed platform, having an ambassador like Trump (who is after all, President of the US) using the site to do just this can surely only help legitimise its position as a credible [or fake!] news aggregator.

What do you think the next big trend in social media will be?
I’d like to see a flip in the focus on creating three- or six-second pieces of content on social to 10, 15 or even 30 minutes. It could spell the second coming of Advertiser Funded Programming (AFP), as platforms like Facebook Watch will be ad funded and will need content. Despite today’s push of short-form video, marketers need to be more ambitious – it is possible to succeed on social with longer-form content, assuming it’s culturally relevant.

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