Net neutrality ruling got you down? You can always build your own ISP

It’s been just over a month since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to put an end to Obama administration net neutrality rules. After repealing Title II, the FCC ultimately put the future of the internet into the hands of internet service providers (ISPs), effectively killing the open internet. And while we’ve yet to see the fallout from the move, some are already thinking of a backup plan. The most popular of these, if you’re flush with cash, is to create your own ISP. It’s no cakewalk, and it’ll set you back about $25,000 (plus $2,700 a month) according to…

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Bitcoin as art: This breath-taking visualization might distract you from the dip

Tell them the tears in your eyes are from witnessing the beauty of Bitcoin as art, not because the dip below 10K has you curled into a corner crying. Symphony of Blockchains is a mesmerizing live 3D visualization and audio experience that’s not just gorgeous, but also incredibly informative. IOHK, the creators of Cardano, and digital art studio Kuva, have combined efforts to create something that you just have to see to believe. Users at the website are invited to explore the concept of Bitcoin through interactive art featuring imagery, text, and music. Bitcoin blocks are represented in a chronological…

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How BitConnect pulled the biggest exit scheme in cryptocurrency

In a menacing turn of events yesterday, Bitcoin investment lending platform BitConnect abruptly announced it is shutting down its lending and exchange services. But while this sudden “curveball” might have come as a massive surprise for thousands of gullible investors, the writing was on the wall all along. The company, which made its foray into the cryptocurrency scene with an initial coin offering (ICO) in late December 2016, swiftly cemented its position as one of 2017’s best performing currencies on CoinMarketCap. Indeed, during its heyday, BitConnect boasted a market cap of over $2.6 billion and a value exceeding the $400…

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How Hawaii’s Emergency Alert System’s interface SHOULD have looked

Honolulu Civil Beat managed to get a screenshot of the system that was used to accidentally launch the wrong emergency alert. It’s an absolute mystery why such a high-impact task has an absolutely horrible interface: As a UI designer, I was stunned and embarrassed that these types of interfaces are out there. A bad interface can cause harm to people. So I decided to spend the evening redesigning the part of the Emergency Alert System’s UI where the decision is made to send an alert. Here’s my suggestion: Instead of hiding such an important action somewhere in a drop-down menu,…

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Slack tests private shared channels for companies to share secrets

Slack today announced several new features coming to its new shared channels, including the ability to make them private. Shared channels, currently in beta, are channels which can exist on two different Slack workspaces, enabling different organizations to work together. The new update adds private shared channels, which, as it sounds, are Shared Channels that are hidden except to the invited. Private shared channels can be public on one end and private on another, or private on both, depending on company needs. Admins will also get a new, consolidated menu from which to manage shared channels, create new ones, and…

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Why AI has to develop a personality to succeed

What’s so interesting about talking robots? From The Tin Man and C3P0 to HAL 9000, humans have long fantasized about bringing their lovable idiosyncrasies to metal and silicon. Now, as intelligent assistants and chatbots become real presences in our lives, owing to impressive technological developments in machine learning and natural language understanding, a look at that history shows personality, not technology, is actually just as necessary for success. The chatbot story begins in the early sixties In 1966, a German-American professor at MIT, Joseph Weizenbaum, unveiled ELIZA. ELIZA was a virtual psychotherapist, running on an IBM 7090, one of the first…

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Native Instruments new is a music-maker’s wet dream

Native Instruments today unveiled, an online sample bank for music production. If you’ve ever been frustrated trying to find the perfect snare, or wished you could just grab some loops and score your video, this might be the answer to your prayers. Typically gaining samples for music production involves digging through the crates (buying a lot of used records), scouring dozens of websites, or purchasing prohibitively expensive software banks. Native Instruments is trying to change that with Currently the website remains in beta and is only accessible to customers in the US, but the company has plans to extend…

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Get these stylish wireless earbuds for just $39.99 today

Finding the sweet spot between awesome sound and a low price is the eternal quest of the audiophile. That’s the sweet spot where the Cresuer Touchwave Bluetooth Earbuds live, especially with the current price drop bringing these $100 earbuds down to only $39.99 from TNW Deals.

Search advertising vs. display advertising: Which delivers the best returns?

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned vet, determining if you should use search advertising or display advertising for your marketing campaign is tough.

Use the wrong channel and you potentially ruin the maximum success of your whole campaign.

Thankfully, there are ways to decide which is the best for your business and which will generate the most conversions.

Display advertising

Display advertising is everywhere online. Every website you visit has ads that showcase products for sale. But have you ever noticed you keep seeing the same ads on your social media feeds and the like?

That’s because display advertising tracks a user’s behavior in order to put the right ads in front of the right customers. Display ads are also sometimes known as banner ads, like this one:

Major advantages

Brand awareness

In order to properly utilize display advertising, you need to understand its purpose. In short, display ads are great for driving brand awareness because, generally, these types of ads are found in a place a potential customer may be found.

For example, if a customer is on a website for vegetarian recipes, a display ad that may show up would be an advertisement for a health food store. The customer may not be aware of this type of store, but the ad would drive awareness. Marketers generally gather this information by studying customer behaviors, demographics, and previous search histories.


Let’s say a user has visited your website but hasn’t converted. Display ads give you the opportunity to pull those users back in with retargeting. Your display ad reminds the user about your brand; thus improving the chance of them converting. Check out our ‘5 remarketing strategies to prep for Q4‘ to learn more about retargeting as a whole.

High volume

Display ads may promote your brand to the right people, but they also have high visibility. When you use display ads, they’re also being shown to customers who may not have thought to look for your products or services (even if they’re not part of your demographic).

Even if you’re not targeting an audience, they’ll still see your business in front of them.

Search advertising

Search advertising, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is an easy, low-budget way to reach the right audience. You’re able to control who sees the ads with nearly instant results. The PPC ads are shown directly on search engine websites after a keyword or phrase has been searched.

For example, here’s two PPC ads that might show up at the top of a Google search:

Major advantages

Qualified leads

A PPC campaign, done effectively, boosts traffic to your website and drives higher conversions. This is because customers are actively searching for keywords that result in seeing your PPC ads, so long as their keywords match your product or service. PPC ad campaigns generally drive higher click-through rates than display ads because of qualified leads.

Measurable data

Google AdWords is not only the place to setup your search advertising campaign, but it makes it easy to track how well your PPC campaign is doing. Simply pull up your AdWords account, choose the Campaigns tab, and choose “Keywords.” This shows you exactly how well customers are responding to your keywords and phrases.


If you’re just starting out or starting your campaign on a lower budget, PPC may be the best bang for your buck. With a PPC campaign, you’re not paying for the ads unless a user has clicked on them—hence their name.

This means, if you’re choosing and bidding on keywords that are relevant to your product or service, the users are most likely qualified leads, resulting in higher conversion rates.

It’s a great way to test what works before moving on to more time-intensive marketing strategies like SEO and content.

Determining factors

Now that you’re aware of the major differences between search and display advertising, consider some of the factors that you should take into account before making a decision.

Search volume

What are your potential customers searching for? Are they already actively looking for the products you’re selling? Here’s where Google AdWords helps yet again. Use this tool to determine if the keywords you’re using are high volume.

If relevant keywords for your business are showing as high competition keywords, your best bet is to start with a PPC campaign. Here’s an example using the keywords “health foods.”


Brand awareness is another determining factor when deciding. The first question you should be asking: How many people are aware of your brand already? If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, display ads are your best bet. However, a search campaign can also benefit from brand awareness, especially if your campaign focuses on brand-specific keywords.

Type of services or products

Certain ads may not bring you the highest ROI right away depending on the type of product or service you’re offering.

For example, services like towing, locksmiths, and doctors (also known as “urgent” services) are all services that users will specifically look for, and need, quickly. Using a display ad to advertise may not be the most beneficial if your service is something potential customers may need immediately.

However, this doesn’t mean your services wouldn’t benefit from a display ad—it just won’t be as beneficial to the customer in their time of need.

Mobile first

Did you know that almost 60% of searches are done on a mobile device? Typically, search ad campaigns are better equipped at handling mobile searches.

For example, a user may search for a service on their mobile device, which means they won’t be scrolling through a website. They’ll choose the first ad that comes up, and that’s generally going to be a PPC ad.

The takeaway

When you’re starting a new campaign, it’s not always easy to identify which type of advertising to use. Factors such as your budget, your search volume, and your main goal are only some of the things you should consider before choosing one.

Sometimes, it’s in your best interest to utilize both platforms to maximize your ROI. Using both at the same time means you’re reaching customers at different points in the customer journey, which may be a huge payoff for you in the end.

What has worked for you when it comes to search versus display advertising? Let us know your thoughts and your story in the comment section below!


Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer for No Risk SEO, an all-in-one reporting platform for agencies. You can connect with Amanda on Twitter and LinkedIn, or check out her content services at

Instagram tests new ‘Type’ feature for Stories and screenshot alerts

Instagram’s Stories are one of the most popular ways to share content on social media, but sometimes images and videos just aren’t as effective as plain old text. Instagram knows this too, so now it’s testing a new feature – simply called ‘Type’ – that puts the emphasis on written stories. The feature shows up as another option at the bottom of the Stories camera, next to older choices like Boomerang and Rewind. You can choose from several fonts, and Instagram automatically selects a plain background or gradient. Alternatively, you can upload an image of your own to use as…

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