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Design For Online Ltd comments on Cambridge Analytica and the growing need for more transparency from Facebook and also more ethical advertising standards.

Everyone is now more than aware of Cambridge Analytica which is currently making the rounds on every news platform imaginable. Channel 4 recently released video and exposed Cambridge Analytica as “The undercover secrets of Trumps data firm”.

How did this all start?

Aleksandr Koga, a Moldovan researcher from Cambridge University, admitted to harvesting personal details of 30 million users via personality app.  He then passed the data on to firms such as Cambridge Analytica who assured him this was legal, albeit at the time, Facebook reportedly told companies in possession of this data to delete it.

Whistleblower Christopher Wylie, told the Observer data was used to influence the outcome of the US election. Whilst Cambridge Analytica denies this claim, he goes on to say that “we spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles”

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica and Koga, however Koga is being treated much like a scapegoat.  Koga thought they were doing something that was normal and acting perfectly appropriately.

See below for the interview from whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

Christopher goes on to say that Cambridge Analytica is a full service propaganda machine. I would watch this video, it is very interesting to watch.

What is our opinion & how do we use social media advertising?

Lots of people don’t know the level of targeting when it comes to social-media advertising.  Facebook gives you a tool that allows you to focus your ad to reach your target customer, such as location, the age, male or female, their interests, job title & also relationship status.

We use adverts take advantage of these tools to target specific audiences such as reaching a specific age range and within a location who are more likely to purchase one of their products. Although we never come into contact with the data itself, nor get to see who specifically views the add.  You get a sense of the amount of data Facebook has and when in the wrong hands can be given to manipulate large amounts of people.

We use non intrusive Facebook approved ad targeting campaigns to ensure we reach only the intended audience for your advert, not spamming other users and also ensuring that we do not spam the intended consumer of the advert.  We also do not harvest nor come into contact with any of the data that Facebook obtains from its users.  Whistleblower Christopher also explains that they were able to harvest things such as status updates, likes and scarily private messages.

Summary

I think there is a need within these organisations to be more transparent, but also to impose further restrictions on these huge data analytics firms.  They need to say how they get their data, what data they have and how they are using this. The data they have should not have been able to be harvested in the first place.

Here is a sample of the channel 4 expose, full article here

Website Speed, SEO, UK

Why is website speed so important?

1. First Impressions

Website speed, why?  We are all living in a world where first impressions are just a part of life, if you meet someone in today’s world, chances are you have made a first impression almost immediately, and that is ok!  Websites are no different, in fact, it can be the difference between you getting a customer to trust you enough with their money and them clicking straight off your page and opting for another website that is quick and shows them what they want, right now.

2. We all expect things now!

Do you have Amazon Prime and hate when an item isn’t available for delivery today or tomorrow? Opting for something more expensive that is ready to be at your doorstep yesterday?  It is exactly the same with your website.

Some interesting statistics:

  • 48% of visitors expect your website to load in just 2 seconds.
  • 40% of visitors will leave the website altogether if it takes just 3 seconds!

This is the same on Mobile where you need your 3g or 4g to load something fast, you are used to how fast facebook loads, or how long to get to Google, so when you visit a website that takes 5x longer to load are they really going to hang around?

3. Complexity

There used to be a time where complicated, bloated websites that will have apps, links, images all on one page and try to show you everything at once.  That is not today, today is much cleaner, almost too clean, with some websites just opting for a couple of words, it’s how Google succeeded over websites such as Yahoo and Excite.  The same can be said today, everything has grown to be much simpler, clean and easily read, they want to see things load quickly because they also want to see the stuff they need to see, leaving irrelevance behind.

4. Website Speed affects your overall Google rank

That’s right, one of Google’s mottos is to “Make the whole web fast”.

Although right now it is a small percentage of websites that are affected by the speed check, any websites that are just way too slow, chances are your website may not suffer from this problem.  Google does, however, reduce the amount of crawlers it sends to your site if it takes longer than 2 Seconds to load!  So any regularly updated content, blog posts, articles, new store items you list, if your website is slow, it will take longer to show up on Google.

That being said, the primary reason for speed right now is keeping customers and not allowing speed to make the visitors decision before they even see what you have to offer.

We love making websites fast, our website scores at least a 99% rating on GTMetrix, we can do the same for you.  Check out our pricing, or contact us now and lets have a conversation.