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If there’s one thing that really came as a surprise this month, it’s certainly not the iPad mini, or any other product announcement, but the executives shake up and shuffling at Apple. SVP of Retail John Browett is gone, and that’s a good thing, and really, hardly a surprise. The biggest surprise was that he was hired in the first place. The real bombshell in yesterday’s abrupt announcement is the departure of SVP of iOS Software, Scott Forstall.

Although it was the biggest kick, Apple’s press release also told us that Ive would now be in charge of Human Interface (aka everything design), iOS and OS X groups are now one, Maps and Siri are now part of the Internet Services unit, and Mansfield will lead the new Technologies group.

Now that we’ve gathered a little more information about the news and that I’ve had time to really soak it in, I’d like to share my thoughts on the situation, and what it all means for the new Apple…


First, the announcement, which came as a surprise to anyone outside Apple, was made at a convenient time. As Ryan Jones remarks, there might be chances that the announcement was made yesterday as the markets were closed in the US due to hurricane Sandy. Apple is an opportunistic company, and the chance to tame down potentially harmful movements of the stock might have been too good to pass. Or maybe the announcement had been scheduled for yesterday for a while. We’ll never know.

Forstall out

At the beginning of the year, Fortune’s editor Adam Lashinsky published his book “Inside Apple,” in which he revealed that “Scott Forstall stands out among the rest of Apple’s executive team as the most likely to succeed Steve Jobs once the Tim Cook era is over“. Indeed, seen for a long time as the successor for Steve Jobs once Cook would be out, Forstall almost felt like a natural fit. Brought by Steve Jobs himself from NeXT, Forstall is largely responsible for the success of iOS as we know it today. For those of you that are interested in learning more, we recently published a story on how Forstall built his iOS team on the early days of the iPhone.

Known as a political man with an abrasive personality, Forstall had more enemies than friends at Apple. The rumor has it that he couldn’t be in the same room as Mansfield and Ive unless Jobs or Cook were here to mediate the meeting. That sure doesn’t look as a healthy work environment, especially at such a high level. But Forstall was Jobs’ favorite kid, and he clearly had made things happen at Apple, so the decision to fire him must have be a hard one to ponder.

What might have sealed his fate could be the obvious failure of Maps and the fact that he didn’t want to sign a public apology for Apple’s shortcomings in its new mapping service. Instead, Tim Cook himself took the responsibility for it, and wrote an open letter apologizing for Apple’s Maps flaws.

Don’t worry, few will miss Forstall at Apple, as Om Malik highlights, “Forstall’s firing was met with a sense of quiet jubilation, especially among people who worked in the engineering groups.”

So what’s next for Forstall? What’s next for you when you’ve helped build the best mobile operating system? A job at Google? I doubt Forstall would take a job at Google to work on Android. I believe Forstall has more drive and ambition than working on Android. A job at Microsoft? His brother works there so that wouldn’t be too far out of his reach. Windows Phone 8 is refreshing, original, and different. That sounds like a challenge. But maybe the most suitable job for Forstall, given his personality, would be to work for himself, possibly as a consultant. Last option for Forstall? Retirement. He recently cashed out about $40 million worth of Apple stocks, and he probably has more. No matter what happens, you shouldn’t worry too much about Scotty.

What about iOS?

iOS now goes under the supervision of Craig Federighi, who will lead both iOS and OS X. This is hardly a surprise and really makes sense considering the obvious convergence of the two operating systems. No matter how you look at it, the line between OS X and iOS is getting more and more blurry, and it’s only a natural decision to put them both under the same roof. More close control, more uniformity, more consistency.

There is a strong sentiment that now Forstall is gone, iOS is in deep trouble. I think it’s a normal feeling to have at first, but when you look at it more closely, this feeling might not be justified.

iOS, formerly known as iPhone OS, has been out for five years now. Along the years, Apple has made it better and stronger, and although it still lacks some very obvious features, you’d have to be an Android fanatic to believe iOS isn’t the best mobile operating system in the world.

The iOS train is on. The iOS train has been going on for 5 years and it’s going at full speed right now. Forstall might have been a major piece of the puzzle in the past, but now that the foundations are solid, he isn’t really needed anymore. In short, he’s done his job, and he can now leave because iOS will be in good hands with people that are as capable, if not more capable than he was.

Craig Federighi is a rising star at Apple, and if he does as good a job as he did with the recent releases of OS X, then one should not worry about iOS. Remember that the hardest part of the iOS job is done. We’re now basically on maintenance mode.

Human Interface

Ive is now in charge of Human Interface at Apple, which is a fancy term for “everything design”. As I see it, Jony Ive is now Apple’s right brain, the side that’s in charge of artsy and esthetic things. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not sure yet. Ive has clearly proven himself as a brilliant and revolutionary industrial designer, but does that make him a brilliant decision maker when it comes to everything related to design? I don’t know.

According to Om Malik’s sources at Apple, “There is a sense of excitement around Jony Ive taking over as in charge of newly created human interface group. The reason for the excitement: hope for a new design direction for many software products.”

I, for one, wouldn’t mind a new design direction for iOS. I wouldn’t be surprised if iOS 7 came with a revamped GUI and got rid off the aging pinstripes that are plaguing many parts of the OS, such as the Settings app for example. Ive’s disdain for skeuomorphic design might have the best of many gimmicky elements of the iOS design (think the shredder in Passbook) as well.

The big picture is also, once again, that a sense of uniformity is being created. With Ive in charge of Human Interface for both OS X and iOS, I expect to see more consistency and homogeneousness in Apple’s operating systems.

Maps and Siri: it’s big business

Prior to yesterday’s shuffling, Maps and Siri were falling under the iOS business unit. It was Forstall’s responsibility and, as we saw, it might have been his downfall too. Maps and Siri are now part of the Internet Services group, under the direction of Eddie Cue. As the press release highlights, “This group has an excellent track record of building and strengthening Apple’s online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.”

To me, the fact that Maps and Siri are now part of a more focused business unit means two things. One, Apple is really serious about Maps and Siri. Two, it’s just getting started.

Maps and Siri were two products that were shipped way too early. I know, Siri is still labeled as a beta product, but I don’t care. The reality is that Siri is rarely helpful, even when she understands me. Maps is the same way. It shipped too early. It wasn’t ready, and Tim Cook had to publicly apologize for it. Moving the two products to a business oriented unit tells a lot about the faith Apple has in Maps and Siri. They’re not two “nice features to have” anymore. They’re critical products, in Apple’s eyes.

Siri is a personal assistant, but I think that in the grand scheme of things, Siri represents “search”. Maps, well, represents “maps”. And who is the leader in search and mapping service right now? Google, of course.

Apple understands that the future is mobile. The future is that instead of launching a web browser and typing a query, I will just verbally speak what I’m looking for, and my phone will give me answers. In this perfect Apple world, Google is out of the picture. There is no more need for Google as most search results can be provided either by an app, or by a third party partner (ie. Wolfram Alpha). This is a major blow to Google, whom, let me remind you, makes four times more money from iOS than it does from Android.

The rationale is the same with Maps, although to a lesser extent. In the end, stronger search and maps for Apple, means even more control for Apple. It’s in the company’s DNA, and whether you love it or hate it, you’re going to have to deal with it. This control is what has made Apple the most valuable company in the world.

Going forward

Understandably, this situation can come across as worrisome, but it seems to me it was very well thought through and laid out. The new organization chart makes real sense to me. As a matter of fact, it makes even more sense to me today than it did two days ago. It is a logical and natural step forward. A step that will increase uniformity and consistency among Apple products, but also a step that will put emphasis on critical business units and grow them to their full magnitude.

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Walkthrough And Thoughts On Nitotv Package Manager For Apple Tv

To jailbreak tvOS 10.2.2 with greeng0blin, follow our guide. To jailbreak any other supported firmwares, use the Mac installer from the nitoTV website.


Upon launching nitoTV on your Apple TV you’ll be greeted by the Featured Packages page, a curated selection of apps. Favourites such as Kodi can be found here, as well as various games and media solutions which Apple would not accept on the App Store.

The layout is much the same as the App Store itself, featuring Top Shelf images for each app and individual information pages which can be viewed when selecting an app. With luck, this page will become increasingly populated as developers start to build for the platform.

By scrolling across the tabs at the top of the view you can reach other sections of the app. Below is the About page which displays developer credits, current installed version, and a useful change-log:

The adjacent tab is Settings, housing several useful options. Here you can update nitoTV itself, prevent your Apple TV from updating (a very handy feature given the device’s propensity for unwanted updates), respring and reboot your device, and more. In my testing, all of these options worked flawlessly, not bad for an initial release.

Next up is a Search tab, and then a page which will be familiar to all Cydia users: Sources. This is where third-party repositories will be added, in order to download packages from other developers. This is one of the few parts of nitoTV which did not seem fully functional yet, but there is a good reason for that: there aren’t yet any other developers, packages, or repositories made for the Apple TV/nitoTV, so we’ll have to give it some time.

The final tab is Installed, which lists all the current packages on your device. The same as Cydia’s Installed (Expert) listing, it shows required system packages too. Many of the packages, such as Cydia Substrate and dpkg, will be familiar to iOS jailbreakers, as they are essential to both platforms’ infrastructure.

By selecting a package from either the Installed list, the Search results, or the Featured Packages homepage, users can view its description and information, as well as Install, Uninstall, or Update it. Below you can see the package page for another widely-used package, RocketBootstrap:

Selecting Install, Uninstall or Update takes you to a loading screen as in Cydia where the progress of the installation is shown, as well as a helpful summation of the number of packages added, altered, and removed.

I didn’t have any trouble in my testing with any of these features. All of my installations and uninstallations completed smoothly with helpful readout.

Installing a Featured app from nitoTV

This is very self-explanatory, but for illustrative purposes I’ll show the app installation process for a much-loved app, Kodi. Simply select it on the Featured Packages page and you’ll be taken to a well-tooled product page, from which you can install it. Hit install to begin:

You’ll be told how much storage the installation will require. Barring any problems (of which I had none), after installation the app will be waiting for you on your Home Screen:

All apps installed by nitoTV are not subject to Apple’s signing restrictions, which means they do NOT need re-installing every seven days. This is a massive upside to having an Apple TV jailbreak, though please note that the apps will only launch when in jailbroken mode.

Impressions and future possibilities

My initial impressions of nitoTV have been very favourable. It’s clear that the long delays to its release were not in vain, and that stability has been a key priority for the developer throughout. The range of firmwares supported for an initial release is also broad and helps the userbase by excluding almost nobody.

There have been some reports of the Mac installer failing to work for users on tvOS 10.1, though I do not have a matching device to test this. It’s been added to the developer’s to-do list.

Although stability is very good, it will take a while to populate the platform more heavily with tweaks and apps. The current offerings include several classics (such as Provenance, tvOS Browser, Flappy Bird, and Kodi), but lack the range of system tweaks which Cydia users are accustomed to. Only time will tell if they will spring up.

The future functionality of nitoTV is interesting, as unlike Cydia it is in its infancy and could be shaped by anyone with an inclination. Possible future features which have occurred to me during my short usage of it include:

An AppSync equivalent for installing side-loaded or downloaded unsigned apps of the users choice (even if not hosted directly on nitoTV) without signing limits. This would be a major feature for this platform as it is very app/content-based.

An App Admin equivalent for downgrading to previous versions of tvOS apps directly from Apple’s servers. This would be invaluable to users as they preserve their jailbreaks, as they would not be forced to upgrade to keep app compatibility, which seems to be dropped quickly in the tvOS ecosystem.

A tvOS equivalent of Extender: Reloaded to help alleviate the 7-day signing restrictions placed on users without a paid developer account. This greatly increases the usability of a jailbreak for most users, and makes them more likely to use/remain in the ecosystem.

A tvOS VPN. This could be a port of Cydia’s existing offerings such as GuizmOVPN or an adaptation of a popular, configurable iOS VPN app, such as OpenVPN Connect. Perfect for privacy-conscious users, those who stream torrents, and those who wish to watch paid services such as Netflix or iPlayer whilst outside their country of residence.

A nonce-setter which is run on each jailbreak. This might be better included in the jailbreak app rather than nitoTV, but in either case would give users a safety net in case of a boot loop and the ability to restore/upgrade their devices at a later date.

On-device saving of blobs for the Apple TV, as provided by TSS Saver. This appears to be in development already and would perfectly complement the nonce-setting functionality.

Controller support, much like Controllers For All provided on jailbroken iOS.

Interface tweaks, themes, and back-porting of future tvOS firmware features. These are popular classes of tweaks in the iOS jailbreaking realm, and I could see them being ideal on Apple TV too.

Going Green: The Ups And Downs Of An Eco

Every day, several hundred thousand people drive to work in Boston. And last spring, after moving into the heart of Dorchester, I became one of them.

I’m not proud of this. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy, thousands of Massachusetts vehicles contribute to the more than 31 million metric tons of carbon dioxide that annually flood our atmosphere. So, when BU Today decided to publish a series on green living, I volunteered to take public transportation to work three days a week. During my five-week commuting experiment, I tracked the trade-offs — time, expenses, carbon footprint, and mood. Both commutes scored their victories, but in the end, the numbers favored public transportation. Still, if my five weeks on the road and the rails taught me anything, it’s that lifestyle decisions go way beyond the numbers.

As the crow flies, my home in Dorchester is just 4.5 miles from my office. My commute, however, is a 26-minute, six-mile tangle of surface streets. Add eight minutes to that because I park at a meter a quarter mile away until it’s legal to park on the street in front of my building. Driving home during rush hour takes longer, thanks to Boston’s abundance of one-way streets and no-left-turns that force me into a 43-minute, seven-mile route.

Pretty shabby. But the MBTA is worse. Our hub-and-spoke subway system forces me from Red Line to Green Line, eating up about an hour each way. Over five weeks, this led to more than seven hours of extra commuting time.

Biking to work, as 1.4 percent of Bostonians do, isn’t an option. Those cyclists are either far braver than I, or their routes aren’t crowded with buses and peppered with double-parked cars. Besides, there’s no shower in my building, and after such a harrowing ride, I know I’d reek.

So, it was either drive or take the T, and I was eager to find out how my choice impacted our planet. After all, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for one-third of the carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel use in the United States — the most of any economic sector.

The good people at chúng tôi an online guide to green living, say the average passenger car emits one pound of carbon dioxide per mile. But I don’t drive the average passenger car. I have a 2003 Subaru Forester, also known as a small SUV, and according to chúng tôi a service of the U.S. Department of Energy, my car emits 1.16 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile.

That means that over the five weeks I traveled by subway, 226 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide were pumped into the atmosphere by my car. And if chúng tôi is right — the average American is responsible for about 20 tons of carbon dioxide a year — I’d cut my personal contribution to global warming by nearly 10 percent if I rode the T every day.

But let’s snap out of these green dreams and get back to reality — i.e., money. A round-trip T commute is $3.40, or $10.20 over three days. The price of gas fluctuates, but a fair estimate would be $2.90 a gallon; my car gets 19 miles per gallon in the city. Thus, driving for those three days costs $5.95, which doesn’t include feeding the meter ($4.50 a week). That brings the total to $10.45 a week, just 25 cents more than the T. Still, there are other costs associated with driving. For instance, two new tires set me back $250 (the old tires had to be disposed of — another green demerit).

I was also tagged with a $25 parking ticket, which brings me to my final metric: mood. In general, while the majority of Americans get to work by car, they’re not happy about it. And the commute’s not getting any easier. Between 1982 and 2005, worsening traffic congestion increased the average annual delay for rush hour drivers from 14 to 38 hours, costing the American economy $78.2 billion a year, according to the 2007 Urban Mobility Report by the Texas Transportation Institute. The report ranks Boston as the 12th worst commute in the country.

It’s a grim scene, particularly because driving has never held much romance for me, especially in this town. My abysmal sense of direction and penchant for turn signals make me ill-suited for Boston’s streets. All things being equal, I’d rather walk or take the T.

However, you have to like people to ride the subway during rush hour. More specifically, you have to like standing really close to a lot of people for a long time. Boston has an extensive public transportation system, but it’s overbooked. Recent figures from the Boston Metropolitan Planning Commission reveal a subway system operating at about 185 percent of capacity during rush hour. Reading is a juggling act, and even space-out time is hampered by constant jostling.

In the end, I was surprised by how quickly I had become addicted to driving to work, considering I’d only been doing it for a few months before beginning my green-living experiment. Even taking into account the aggravation of traffic, the cost of gas and vehicle upkeep, and the knowledge that I’m contributing to the warming of our planet, I craved my own space during that half hour between home and work, and I found myself greedy for the time I could save on four wheels.

Still, when September brought more vehicles and a road resurfacing project to my route, I decided to continue taking the T once or twice a week. The other day, a drive to work that began at 7:05 a.m. took me a full hour. So I’m not ready to give up my Charlie Card just yet.

Chris Berdik can be reached at [email protected].

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Cook On Why Apple Isn’t Rushing Out New Products

Following Apple’s earnings release yesterday, Tim Cook expectedly teased new products on a conference call with Wall Street analysts and investors. Hints of new gadgets were also dropped in Apple’s media release announcing the earnings.

“We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market,” Cook was quoted as saying in Apple’s press release.

And now responding to pressure from analysts who demand new-category devices, Cook sat down with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday to reflect on Apple’s development process, touch on such subjects as mobile payments and explain why Apple isn’t rushing out new stuff to market just to please investors…

In the interview, Cook admits that it will take new blockbuster products to revert the notion that the company is declining, quipping that “Maybe it will take some new products.”

Here’s your money quote:

You want to take the time to get it right. Our objective has never been to be first. It’s to be the best. To do things really well, it takes time. You can see a lot of products that have been brought to market where the thinking isn’t really deep and, as a consequence, these things don’t do very well.

We don’t do very many things so we spend a lot of time on every detail and that part of Apple isn’t changing. It’s the way we’ve operated for years and it’s the way we still operate. I feel great about what we’ve got coming. Really great and it’s closer than it’s ever been.

As for mobile payments, this is what Cook had to say:

I think it’s a really interesting area. We have almost 800 million iTunes accounts and the majority of those have credit cards behind them. We already have people using Touch ID to buy things across our store, so it’s an area of interest to us.

And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet. I realize that there are some companies playing in it, but you still have a wallet in your back pocket and I do too which probably means it hasn’t been figured out just yet.

Discussing Apple’s earnings yesterday with the NBC, Cook reiterated that the firm’s “laser focus” separates it from the competition.

“I think some companies decided that they could do everything,” he said, alluding to Samsung’s strategy of throwing enough mud at the wall to see if some of it will stick. “We know we can only do great things a few times, only on a few products.”

“We are not ready yet to pull the string on the curtain but we have got some great things that we are working on that I am very, very proud of and I am very, very excited about,” he also said in a question-and-answer session with Wall Street analysts following the earnings release.

And yes, Apple is embarked on entering some new categories.

“We currently feel comfortable in expanding the number of things we are working on,” he said. “So we have been doing that in the background.”

“When you care about every detail and getting it right, it takes longer to do that,” said the CEO. “That has always been the case. That is not something that just occurred.”

If you ask me, Cook thus far has mentioned phrases like “laser focused” and “exciting new stuff in the pipeline” too many times to be dismissed automatically as PR talk.

Naysayers be damned, Apple is of course working on new stuff as we speak.

“There is no shortage of work going in on that nor any shortage of ideas,” he said.

This process is taking time and the company will delight us with exciting new innovation when its management feels that products in development are up to Apple’s high standards, not when crazypants analysts in their wet dreams think they should be ready.

Fair enough?

Have A New Apple Watch? Turn On These Health

Apple Watch can be an excellent health monitor just by wearing it, but there are some opt-in features that you need to turn on to access. Even if you don’t plan on working out with Apple Watch, you may want to double check that these health-monitoring features are turned on so you can get the most out of the Apple Watch.

Update watchOS

First, make sure you’re running the latest version of watchOS, the software that powers your Apple Watch. Some features require newer versions of watchOS to work, and all features work best when your Apple Watch is up-to-date. Our step-by-step guide can help you check what version of watchOS your Apple Watch is running and help you update to the latest version.

You’ll also want to know which Apple Watch model you have before going forward. Some features require newer Apple Watch hardware even if you have the latest software. Our guide can help you identify which Apple Watch model you have, and Apple explains which health features work with which watch in this useful chart:

Heart Rate Alerts & ECG

The built-in heart rate sensor on Apple Watch powers a variety of useful heart monitoring features that passively work in the background. If you have Apple Watch Series 1 or later (sorry, the original Apple Watch is excluded), your Apple Watch can alert you when it detects three things.

High Heart Rate alerts are sent when Apple Watch detects a heart rate above 100-150 beats per minute during a 10 minute period of inactivity. You can set which threshold triggers the alert based on 10 bpm intervals.

Low Heart Rate alerts are triggered when Apple Watch notices a heart rate below 40-50 bpm for a 10 minute period. You can set the threshold based on 5 bpm intervals.

Irregular Rhythm alerts notify you when Apple Watch identifies multiple heart rhythms that could be atrial fibrillation, a condition that may lead to “stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Each of these features can be turned on and customized in the Watch app on iPhone under the Heart section on the My Watch tab.

If your Apple Watch notifies you that an irregular heart rhythm has been detected and you have Apple Watch Series 4, you can now take an electrocardiogram with the new ECG app right from your Apple Watch. You can use our guides to learn how to access the ECG app and capture the best results when taking an ECG before sharing results with your doctor.

If you have an Apple Watch Series 4, you can also use the upgraded heart rate sensors to capture your current heart rate with faster readings and higher fidelity using the Heart app and Digital Crown.

Fall Detection

Apple Watch Series 4 also introduces fall detection thanks to its upgraded accelerometer and gyroscope, but it’s only on by default if the Health app knows you’re 65 or older. From my Series 4 review:

This feature intelligently detects when someone wearing Series 4 falls, presents an option to call emergency services or dismiss the alert, then automatically calls emergency services and notifies your emergency contact if you don’t respond within one minute of a detected fall.

Fall detection is turned off by default if you’re under 65. Apple says that’s because younger people often participate in activity that could be mistaken for a fall, like playing sports, but you can turn it on manually.

You can turn it on manually regardless of your age in the Emergency SOS section of the Watch app on the iPhone.

You may also want to take a moment and update your emergency contact information from your iPhone using our guide. Apple Watch uses this information when a fall is detected and you become unresponsive so it can automatically notify your emergency contact.

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Google’s John Mueller On Why Some Sites Rank

In a Google Webmaster Hangout Google’s John Mueller was asked why content published on an established site tended to rank higher. The publisher asked why articles on this site consistently received “top Google rankings.”

There is no simple way to answer this question. Google’s John Mueller offered a nuanced explanation of why Google trusted some sites enough to consistently rank them at the top.

The question was asked if the success was due to a lack of competition or “is it somehow even though each individual site is a sub site of the main site, any blogging gets you ranked because” of the website itself.

John Mueller responded that it’s not directly related to the domain.

“It’s more a matter of your putting out new content… that’s relevant for people who are searching at the moment and that we’re ranking them based more on that.

That’s something that we often see from various sites like, should I be blogging, should I write… ten articles articles a day or five articles a day?

…from our point of view it’s not a matter of going out and blogging and creating so many articles a day… but more a matter of… you have some really fresh content here, some of this content is really relevant for some searchers at the moment so we’ll show that.

…it’s not that blogging itself is something that makes the site rank higher or makes the content rank higher. It’s just you happen to have some new content here that happens to be relevant so we’ll show that.”

There’s an approach to content that seems to focus on quantity and quality but leaves out the part about relevance. A common mistake I see in site audits is chatty and conversational content, like you might hear at the water cooler.

For certain situations, content that is focused on relevance to a person’s situation, their goals or aspirations are more appropriate.  I believe that’s what John Mueller was getting at when he encouraged the publisher to create content that is relevant to the searchers at the moment they were searching.

I think it’s worth pointing out that he didn’t say to be relevant to the keywords. He encouraged the publisher to create content that is relevant to the searcher. 

John Mueller went on to focus on the blogging part of the question, whether blogging was the secret behind the site’s top ranking.

But that answer might not have been what the questioner was hoping for. She appeared to be focused on whether the domain itself, perhaps some kind of authority, was powering the rankings.

Thus, the publisher asked again in an attempt to get John Mueller to focus on whether or not the domain itself was powering the rankings.

She asked:

“…so it’s completely independent of the domain that I’m blogging on? There’s a lot going on on that website other that has no effect if I… start my own dot com it was blogging it would have the same effect?”

John Mueller responded,

“Pretty much… there are always some kind of supplemental effects with regard to us able to find the content quickly, us being able to understand that this website is generally creating high quality content. So there is some amount of… additional information that we collect for the website on a whole.”

This is interesting because it expands on his previous statement that you just can’t create content and expect it to rank. Here he adds that there is a process whereby Google gains an understanding that the site is a good resource to rank. He alludes to “additional information” that Google collects in order to make the determination that a site is creating high quality content.

What might he be referring to? Google’s algorithm has so many moving parts to it that it could be any number of things.

Just as an example of the complexity involved, there’s a patent filed in 2012 called, “Classifying Sites as Low Quality Sites”  that discusses a number of factors that Google could use to create a “link quality score” that could be used to classify an entire site as low quality.

The patent classifies inbound links to a site as Vital, Good, and Bad.

According to the patent, Google could then use this link rating system to lower a website’s chance of ranking:

“The system decreases ranking scores of candidate search results identifying sites classified as low quality sites.”

The above is an example of a patent that may or may not be in use at Google. The point is that there are so many ways that a site can be ranked, from links to the content itself. The reference to “additional information” can be a reference to so many things including the plethora of ranking factors themselves.

Google’s John Mueller goes on to say,

“So it’s not that you could just create random URLs on the web and put your blog post up there and we would find them magically and rank them number one.

It kind of does require some amount of structure within that so that we can understand that over time actually this is pretty good content and we should check it regularly to make sure that we don’t miss any of the updates. “

At this point the publisher tried a third time to get Google’s Mueller to say that there is something about the domain that is helping posts published on that domain to rank better.

“Okay, so there is something to the domain itself and that it’s got your attention.”

He then suggested that it was her option to choose to build her own site but that it would take time for the site to get established. He positioned it as a choice between taking the time to establish something of her own for the long run or taking the easy route and using the established website to rank her articles on.


It’s not enough to just create content.

Content must be relevant to a user at the moment they are searching

Top rankings do not come right away

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