Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ad Competition in Google Adwords - Keyword Ranking

Google's keyword ranking tool seems to be presenting data on the competiveness related to advertised keywords a bit differently.

The keyword ranking tool previously used green bars to represent keyword competitiveness- the more green it was the more competition there would be. The tool now only shows text descriptions of competitiveness (low, medium, high) - see below for an example. 

While this quick view is different, advertisers are still able to download the report which displays the exact amount of competitiveness. For example, a low designation would indicate competitiveness under .33, a high designation would indicate competitiveness over .67 and medium of course would have a competitivness somewhere in between - .34 to .66. 
It is important to note that the competitivness score relates only to Adwords and not organic search volume or compeitiveness.

Sample of the keyword ranking tool's new designations of advertiser keyword competition levels:

Sample of the spreadsheet download which shows the exact amount of advertiser keyword competition:

Trick or Treat? Truth About Today's Shoppers

With the height of the holiday shopping season just weeks away, it’s in the best interest of online retailers to cull every bit of data they can about today’s consumers and what they may bring to the table come November and December.

One of the more informative and perhaps surprising reports comes from performance marketing agency Performics, which reports that men are more likely than women to conduct five of six social shopping activities online. Contradicting commonly held beliefs about gender and social behaviors, the study showed that men more frequently research product information, read reviews, compare products, find product availability and get store information via social networks, shopping and deal sites.
Women, meanwhile, reign supreme when searching for deals, coupons and specials on similar sites.
“Women are reported to control about 80 percent of household spending, so it may be surprising for some to see men play a more dominant role in the social shopping and research process,” says Dana Todd, a senior vice president of marketing and business development for Performics. “But given recent reports of ‘digital dads’ and increases in shared shopping activities across genders, this new data is intriguing. We’ve layered social network behavior with shopping patterns and the results are helpful for marketers trying to predict how social shopping figures into upcoming holiday campaigns. Many may not have considered specifically targeting men in social ads.”

One of the most helpful takeaways from the study can help marketers do just that more effectively. With the exception of Facebook, as the report's data below shows, men frequent social networking sites substantially more than women do:
•    YouTube (54 vs. 34 percent)
•    Twitter (37 vs. 24 percent)
•    Google+ (36 vs. 24 percent)
•    Myspace (31 vs. 20 percent)
•    LinkedIn (20 vs. 16 percent)
•    Facebook (96 vs. 97 percent)

The study, conducted by ROI Research Inc., also revealed that active social networkers most often turn to shopping sites like Amazon, eBay or brand websites to begin the purchase process when searching for a product (87 percent), and right before they commit to a purchase (83 percent). They are more likely to turn to social networks such as Facebook immediately after the purchase to share their experience (59 percent).

“Many people have integrated social media in all phases of the shopping process, particularly because Facebook is how they connect with friends on mobile devices and at home. We all do it — asking friends, family or colleagues to weigh in on a purchase, or posting a great find,” says Todd. “But it’s not all about social activity. Shopping and deal sites are certainly holding their own and offer an excellent opportunity for marketers to participate with customers.”
Online activity while shopping in-store is also gaining in popularity, according to the poll. Many respondents said they occasionally or frequently conduct in-store social (20–50 percent) or search (18–62 percent) activities, as the additional findings below show:

•    Sixty-two percent said they conduct competitive price searches while in a retail location
•    Forty-five percent “check-in” at a store
•    Forty-one percent use a search engine on their mobile phone to look for information
•    Thirty percent use a barcode scanner on their mobile phone to shop for prices
•    Twenty-five percent pause while at a physical location prior to finalizing a purchase in order to seek advice on a social network
•    41 percent said they wait between 5 and 10 minutes for advice on social sites before proceeding with their purchase

So, what does it all mean for Web retailers this holiday season? Don't ignore your social media campaigns, of course, and be sure to have a current mobile strategy that includes easily accessible product reviews, price comparisons and QR codes.

Perhaps most important, however? Don't ignore the men this year -- they may be your most important online customers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Google Analytics Visualizes Visitor Flow

Google has announced a new feature for its Google Analytics product called Flow Visualization, which, not suprisingly, is a tool for visualizing visitor flow. On its blog, the company says that many users have expressed interest in a product that will provide "better ways to visualize and quickly find those insights about how visitors flow through your sites." The Google Analytics design team opted not to build individual path analysis, but rather came up with Flow Visualization to make it easier for marketers and analysts to better optimize their visitor experience "by presenting the ways that visitors flow through their sites in an intuitive and useful way."

Flow Visualization is split up into two different services. The first is Visitors Flow, in which the graphics in question can be viewed by traffic source, or any other dimensions, and allow site owners to track a visitor's journey, including where they drop off. The graphics will provide instant insights into how many visitors are on and interacting with the page. Google Analytics provides high levels of interaction with these visualizations, allowing users to do things like highlight different pathways or see information about specific nodes and connections. This helps owners to address crucial, specific questions, "such as 'How successful is my new promo page?'"

The feature even allows users to focus more precisely on one node by "exploring the traffic." Owners will be provided data on all of the visits that lead to that node, as opposed to just those that come from "top sources in the Visitors Flow." Paths can also be traversed forwards or backwards. The tool works by showing users site insights in a graphic, which allows them to instantly understand how visitors are "flowing" across pages on the site.

Forward paths can be visualized as well, which helps users see which pages are most visited from goal steps or "to see visitor flow leakage that a site owner might be unaware of." Goal Flow is the other part of Flow Visualization, and it provides users with graphical representation of the ways in which visitors flow through specific "goal steps" (and where they dropped off). Goal steps are defined by site owners to represent important pages and page groups that are of highest interest to the site. This allows users to see exactly how visitors arrive at pages of interest by selecting that page and visualizing backwards; these "reverse paths" should help owners find the best choices for suboptimal placement of content.

Flow Visualization was announced yesterday at the Web 2.0 Summit. Google Analytics hopes to release other types of visualizers in the coming months. "These two views are our first step in tackling flow visualization for visitors through a site," says the Google Analytics team on their blog.

LinkedIn Talent Pipeline for Recruiters

LinkedIn has announced Talent Pipeline, a new solution that aims at helping companies efficiently recruit talent, all in one place. The solution is a one-stop shop for recruiters to track and stay connected with all of their talent leads, from any source. However, the solution won’t be available until the first half of 2012, and, it will only be available to those with either a standard Recruiter seat license or to those that purchase a new LinkedIn Talent Pipeline seat.

To use Talent Pipeline, recruiters must import leads and resumes, which are then automatically connected to their LinkedIn record and are able to be searched, tracked and shared across the team. Then, leads should be connected to their profiles with up-to-date data and insights from LinkedIn – like recommendations, activity updates, shared connections, groups and more. New tools will also be available for tagging and tracking sources and statuses, which will help recruiters manage talent in the pipeline.

The solution will also provide search filters that will allow recruiters to search by status, activity conducted on a lead, as well as the data that the team has created, such as tags and notes. 

Additionally, Pipeline reports will help users manage recruiting, including reporting on leads for a specific role, top sources of leads and the status of leads in the pipeline.

Win Premium Web Hosting For A year

This contest is for all our members or bloggers who wants to get premium cpanel shared hosting absolutely Free for a year.
What is required to take part
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The first 20 best bloggers with most invites will win a premium hosting worth 3000 Rs or 60$ per year
Winners Declaration Date:-
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Contests partner

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Google Cloud Going Prime time

Google announced several enhancements to its cloud services over the past week that are worthy of note. The improvements will likely be attractive (or at least interesting) to businesses looking to build apps on its platform, as competition in the marketplace - from Microsoft’s Azure to Amazon’s AWS – heats up.

Are Google’s cloud services ready for developer primetime? Here’s a quick roundup of the new features and offerings:

- Premier accounts for App Engine have been released. Priced at $500/mo, the enterprise SLA promotes “premier” support and a 99.5% uptime guarantee, along with the ability to create an unlimited number of apps in the account.

- Google recently announced a limited preview of Google Cloud SQL, which powers applications on App Engine with a relational database. The offering is now available free available free of charge but Google indicated it will likely have to charge developers in the future – right after it works out the “kinks”.

- Developers are now able to read and write files to Google Could Storage via the App Engine Files API, and Google will be providing detailed access information, including access analytics and storage use data.

- Those interested in machine learning will be excited by the v1.4 release of Google’s Prediction API – which now includes two user-suggested features including PMML v4.01 and data anomaly detection. Launches Real-Time Social Search

In an effort to continue to expand its role on the Web, popular link shortening service just launched a new beta search platform and "reputation monitoring service."

The company will be using information gathered over time by crawling every URL that it has shortened to check each one's potential to go viral. This allows the company to provide a look at trending content and, more impressively, to predict the future by declaring that content which is going to trend through user search.

According to a blog post by the company, "Instead of pagerank we're using a different filter -- for any given search query, we display the stories that we predict will get the most attention over the next 24 hours. Then we use bitly's analytics to refine our predictions in realtime."

"Many pages are so new, so fresh, that they don't have any pagerank," says the company on its blog. "Often [stories] reach a broad audience on social media before more conventionally-authoritative newsgatherers amplify their messages."This is all a part of the company's growing realtime social search initiative.

The idea of this realtime search effort is to act as an "early-warning system" to project upcoming swings in what users are saying about specific brands, which is what sets it apart from traditional clipping or trending engines.
The current beta version is only available for the services paying Enterprise customers.

Friday, October 14, 2011

5 Build-your-own Product Solutions

Do you love to know about websites that allow to create your own product These types of sites that provide the “product configurator” feature give consumers the feeling of empowerment — like a child that has just gone to the local Build-A-Bear Workshop and made their very own, personalized and unique stuffed creation. 

So why don’t more retailers offer this customizable feature? And more importantly, how can e-tailers provide this feature to their customers? Aside from getting this feature built custom, there are some options for integrating this feature into a site. Below are five product configurator solutions that are worth checking out. However, feel free to add some more options in the comments section.

Treehouse Logic
This solution provides shoppers with the ability to customize and personalize products at fast speeds, without having to refresh the browser. This solution is easy to maintain and integrates with most of the popular e-commerce platforms. Notable features include hover previews, recommendation and sharing options — through email, Facebook and Twitter. Check out this custom bag and custom children furniture site for examples of what Treehouse logic can do.

Product Cart
From Early Impact, this solution is targeted for small businesses. It is a complete e-commerce solution that also includes a built-in product configurator. The product configurator feature allows merchants to organize items within stores, so that the items become options that users can select. This solution includes a quoting system, the ability to provide product details and flexible pricing options. Check out this solution's computer-store demo.

Compatible with most existing CMS or e-commerce systems, this plug-in puts consumers in control by letting them customize products or services according to their needs. This build-to-order option is compatible with solutions like Prestashop, Magento, VirtueMart, OS Commerce and more. Additionally, this option is ideal for an array of industries — ranging from shoes and clothes to pens and cars.

Fluid configure is a solution that allows brands to offer product customization easily and cost-effectively.  This solution includes an instantly updated, photo-real product with zoom, multiple views and color changes, as well as sharing options for customers through email, SMS and social media. This solution also offers complete compatability with exisiting e-commerce platforms, analytic services, manufacturing and fulfillment systems. Big name brands from Avery to Timberland have used this solution.

This company claims to be “mass customization experts.” The platform is designed to manage the complexity of custom products, including defining the rules and options of products, displaying product information in an online configurator, managing production and fulfillment. While this is an end-to-end outsourced technology solution, it is able to integrate with ecommerce solutions, provides social media tools and facilitates production materials, order tracking and integration with shipping vendors. Clients of Archetype include QVCand Lands' End.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Where to add url/submit site for free to get more Traffic ?

There are many places on the web where a person can submit a url or website for free. Many search engines such as Yahoo, Bing and Google offer free website submission. They also offer Search Engine Optimization for a small price. A person that is trying to get an article or a certain webpage a higher page rank would pay to have the SEO service. What this service does is automatically works to ensure their page gets the highest search engine rankings. This article will discuss a few different ways to help a person get the word out there for free submissions. will get your URL submitted to over seventy websites for free. For best placement on the search engines you can use their free META tag generator to make the best keywords. With this service you are allowed to submit your url once a month. lets a person submit their website for free. In return, your site will be submitted to twenty handpicked sites that offer a one way link which means that you do not have to reciprocate by adding a backlink to their site. With a person would sign up for their free account, copy and paste the code given onto their homepage to receive thousands of links relevant to their site. This is an automated service so after the registration form is filled out, the website would instantly be in their link directory. Some people like to create blogs via, etc. and wonder how to get exposure to their content.

You should add your site to free backlink generator like, which offer high quality one-way link exchange. Completely free Voltrank also promotes quantity of links with their automated feature. Quantity and quality can be truly reconciled. From you can download best backlinking software of all for free.

Well with the above information they would be able to submit a url free onto the search engine optimizer or the link exchange sites and try to drive traffic to the content to rank higher. also has a place where you can post your site and visit their classifieds everyday to refresh where your submission is to keep it high on the rankings. As an individual surfs the internet by putting keywords in they'll find all kinds of information on how to freely submit a site or link for free.

Google Adsense and Amazon Affiliate programs are great places to also advertise a site/url for free. Both ask for ads to be placed on the website pertaining to what your audience's interests might be which would gain exposure to the person's content and to their product/services. This advertising is a win win situation unless you don't want a bunch of ads on your site which would have to be the individual's call.

Adsense Reporting Enhancements

Google announced two new reporting and administrative features for Adsense publishers. If you’re focused on identifying the cause of revenue fluctuations and where earnings are coming from, keep reading. 

The new Event History feature will show publishers a small flag on reporting graphs which note actions that have been taken that could influence earnings. For example, if you blocked a category of ads and then created a new leaderboard, publishers will see the two actions marked in the reports.

Google also added earnings from tablets to its Platforms report, which shows earnings based on the type of device being used by visitors. These earnings were previously included under “high-end” mobile earnings but with the growing trend towards mobile and tablet devices, having some granular information will be helpful as you optimize a website and ads specifically for mobile users.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why do Companies Use Social Media

While almost every company uses social media, the top initiative for doing so may be different than one might think — recruitment.

The “ROI of Social Media in the Enterprise” survey from SelectMinds — a developer of social recruiting and community management solutions — shows that while 86 percent of firms are using social media in their organizations, the top social media initiative is recruiting/talent acquisition, at 72 percent.

According to the survey, 81 percent of the participating HR professionals claim to use social networks to help recruit candidates, with LinkedIn and Facebook being the most frequently used sites.

And although most corporations are maintaining Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups and Twitter accounts — in-house social networks have also gained momentum, with 63 percent of respondents claiming that their companies are using social networks for current employees.

For corporations using an in-house network, most (62%) are using it for job listing/recruiting, while 53 percent use it for training and learning and 52 percent use it for HR benefits/incentives, event information or accessing news.

In a correlating — yet still surprising — revelation, one of the most common metrics used for evaluating social media programs is the amount of hires that come from social networks, at 66 percent. While 65 percent evaluate social media success by website visitors and 63 percent count Facebook fans.

Furthermore, 69 percent of corporations think that social media is important enough to increase their social media budgets, yet only 5 percent rated themselves as “very confident” that they are accurately measuring the ROI of their social media activities.

So, although according to this study, companies seem not to be sure if their social media strategies are working. At least we know someone is getting recruited during this rough economic time.

How to get free high quality backlinks.

Getting backlinks is as easy as subscribing to a spam site. Getting high quality backlinks, however, is a different story. The makeup of a high quality backlink is as follows:

1. The main content of the linking page is similar to the anchor text's topical relevance.

2. The destination of the backlink is similar to both the content and page title.

3. The PageRank of the page that is linking you is at a level 4 or greater.

4. Rich keyphrases or targeted keywords are used as anchor text.
5. If the backlink has the "dofollow" attribute.
6. If the linking domain has a good trust rank and is seen as an authority in the industry.
7. Backlinks from .edu and .gov sites are given special preference, as they are not allowed to be commercial.
8. If the backlink is placed within the copy of the body text.
9. If the backlink looks natural or is more likely to have been placed as a reference by a user.
10. If the backlink is placed on a web page with less than 30 external links.
11. If the linking root domains are unique.
12. Backlinks that have seniority.
13. If the building links vary in their anchor text.
14. The anchor text of the backlink should meet the required keyword density in the title of the page, which is 40% or more, and the body text at 1 to 2%, and the destination page's anchor text.
Getting these types of backlinks for free can be done without technical expertise, as there are plenty of web sites which detail how to create backlinks (it is more of a marketing effort with technical expertise able to make the process much, much faster), but the time and manpower spent on obtaining enough to keep up with competitors is often more than a growing or small business can withstand.

A free backlink generator may get you inbound links, but a free backlink from a low quality site hurts more than it helps in many cases. Do not let getting any backlink free from an unproven free backlinks submitter cloud your judgment as to what a backlink generator should truly be about. When it becomes less profitable to add to a marketing campaign than to leave it, it is time to get some help. 
Backlinks, or links back to a website or article, are increasingly important for increased traffic for two reasons: One, the backlinks themselves allows for increased traffic, and more importantly, search engines give higher ranking to articles with links. Here's how to get backlinks.

Content Backlinks

There is no reason why someone cannot link from one thing they want people to read to another thing they want people to read. In addition, this type of linking will direct views from content that has lots of traffic to content that has little traffic. Choose best websites for writing online all allow one to do this, so it is best to take advantage of content backlinks.

Comment Backlinks

One effective, albeit annoying way to get views is to search for the search term the article or site is written around, and then leave a comment containing a link to it on whatever website shows up first on the search engine. More and more web sites are getting strict about policing comment backlinks, though, so this method does not always work.

Backlink Services

Certain websites help suggest places to do targeted comment backlinks, though these web sites aren't always high traffic ones. A good rule of thumb is that one should never, ever pay for backlink services. If one has to pay for bac, its a scam. One reason to write articles online is that there are no publishing costs and it can be used to promote other content or web sites.

Social Networking Backlink

Facebook, Myspace, and the social networking backlink in general, are great ways to add links and promote content. Yahoo Answers allows one to do this as well, but they have become more strict about their policies and have begun to ban people who abuse the social network backlink too frequently.

Article Spinning

Article spinning is a deceptive and dishonest practice on many levels. It involves a computer program splicing up content and repackaging it together in order to fool search engine's duplicate content filter. Most of these services, including the pay ones - which are scams - do not work effectively. So there is dishonesty happening to both the reader and the author. If one spends hours upon hours duplicating and backlinking articles, one may briefly enjoy a perch at the top of a search engine result page. It's generally not a worthwhile investment unless one is running a scam business - which, ironically, most article spinning services are.

High Quality Content
When one writes high quality content, they increase the likelihood of individuals texting, instant messaging, emailing, "word of mouthing," social bookmarking, or good old fashioned linking that content. Readers aren't psychic, but with today's technology they can submit their thoughts to others almost instantly. This is all done without any effort on the part of the author, it requires no fraud, and it works very effectively at increasing traffic. High quality content is undoubtedly the best way to permanently build up traffic and backlinks in the long term. With these strategies, one can effectively build techniques for how to get backlinks and traffic. What is most important to keep in mind, however, is if the content one is linking to is worth reading. If it is, then in a certain sense, the content will promote itself.

How to improve SEO and Trafic to your website ?

It is common for business owners and entrepreneurs to try to create web sites and add url to draw traffic and increase sales. However, it can be difficult to tell if your web site is actually drawing people in or if it is just taking up space on the internet. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a way to help you increase your ability to market your site and submit url to develop your online presence.

Before anything else, you should consider backlinks. Backlinks are links to web sites or to content that has been written. This makes it easier to increase search engine rankings. You can do this more easily through a bcaklink builder, a backlink generator , or a free backlink . A free backlinks generator is very helpful for helping you add link quickly. Backlink gratis is something you should really take advantage of when you submit site to a free directory submission or a free website submission .

However, without a firm foundation of solid web practices and ree backlink , it can be hard to take advantage of these measures and techniques. This article will discuss broad strategies you can use to improve your SEO and the amount of traffic you draw to your site. There are a wide range of techniques that can be used to add url free and foster SEO, including participating in a free link exchange or free directory submission , working with other web site owners to add link or add url , or planning to submit site or submit link to search engines and free backlinks generator to increase web traffic.

First of all, you need to keep free link exchange and performance at the front of your thoughts. Web site productivity starts with making sure you have concrete goals and taking inventory to figure out which content, functionality, and design elements will help you to achieve your goals. While it is nice to be popular, what is more important is finding ways and techniques that will ultimately benefit your business or product.

It is not enough to build a site and wait for people to come to it; rather, you need to promote it, and promote it constantly to improve SEO and traffic. People are less likely to visit web sites that are essentially static and unchanging collections of pictures and words. When you begin to evaluate your web site, you will discover that the number of clicks on links or visitors is not what is most important. Rather, what is most important is to know and please your audience while getting them to continue to return to your site and forge commitments with you. If you have high rankings, they must be associated with high outcomes, such as having guests register at your web site or visit your e store or subscribe to your feed or purchase your products.

You need to continually revise and update your web site with newer articles, links, comments, videos, pictures, and responses to feedback from your visitors. The more dynamic your site is, the more people will want to come back to it to discover what has changed and what they can take from those changes.
Once you have a web site that has been assembled properly, with the necessary assets, architecture, links, and tools, as well as compatibility with all of the major browsers, you will need to begin to pay attention to the design of your site. It should be pleasing to the eye. There should not be ads everywhere, and certainly not the pop up kind that annoy visitors and drive them permanently away.
Rather, you should have object labels that are easily readable and comprehensible. Your domain name should match whatever brand you are trying to promote, and the hosting company you use should be stable with plenty of up time, servers that are reliable, and rapid resolution of maintenance concerns.
The next step to optimization is to make your site easy to use for whoever stumbles upon it. You should have a clear idea of what you are trying to convey at your site, and you should test it thoroughly to make sure other people have the same impression when they visit.

Once you have people regularly coming to your web site, you might think your work is done, but in truth it has only just begun. The next step is to make your site focused on your users instead of on the search engines you are trying to attract. Remember that you will want to link readily to a number of authoritative sites, blogs, and tweets, in order to build your connections to others. At the same time, you will want to reward others rather than hoarding links in a vacuum. The goal is to help everyone prosper, rather than to try to game the system.

Rather, the best approach is to include a variety of media that supports the overall goals and aims of your web sites. In the long run, sites that are optimized for users will garner more consistent membership and readership than sites that focus exclusively on search engines. It is not good to deceive your users or to have one set of information for search engines and another for users, as this will displease search engines if they discover this and it will certainly displease human users when they are drawn to your site but cannot find the content they expected.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs’s secret legacy: Jobs left plans for 4 years of new products

Blueprints for new  iPod, iPad, iPhone and MacBooks in place

  • Permission for futuristic new Apple headquarters secured by Jobs in June
  • Despite knowing he was dying, Steve Jobs worked for more than a year on the products that he believed would safeguard the company's future.

    It will be big enough to hold 12,000 employees in a park-like setting near the existing base in Cupertino. He appeared at a town council meeting in June to plead for the planning go ahead. It was also revealed today that Jobs fought hard to get plans approved for a spaceship-style company headquarters in California.

    Pre-order sales of the first authorised biography of Steve Jobs increased by a staggering 44,000 per cent. He has also been overseeing the development of the delayed iCloud project, which will allow Apple users to store their music, photos and other documents remotely and masterminding updated versions of the iPod, iPad, iPhone and MacBooks, ensuring at least four years’ worth of products are in the pipeline, according to Apple sources.

    Brand consultancy firm Interbrand predicted that Jobs death could actually boos the value of Apple by around $670million (£431million) from $33.5billion as fans make sympathy and impulse purchases.Jobs died on Wednesday, aged 56, following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. According to the official description, the book, out on October 24, is ‘based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues’.
    A day later, thousands continued to gather at shrines dedicated to Jobs from California to London, Sydney and Tokyo, Japan. Within minutes of his passing being confirmed, tributes had been paid by world leaders, the most famous technology bosses and fans throughout the world.

    Devastated Apple staff, meanwhile, celebrated the life of their former boss with memorial services in his honour. At Apple stores across the world and the company's headquarters, makeshift shrines quickly sprang up as Apple's legions of fans gathered together to remember the life of a man they revered as a hero. Well-wishers flocked to his home in California to leave flowers and cards, as his family mourned inside. Jobs is survived by a wife, a son and two daughters.

    Global leaders from politics and business spoke out about how they had been inspired by the celebrated innovator. Tributes, led by President Barack Obama, began pouring in within minutes of the company confirming Jobs's death.'We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,' read a statement by Apple's board of directors on Wednesday.  'We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon,' Apple chief executive Tim Cook said yesterday.

    'Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

    'His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.'

    The homepage of Apple's website switched to a full-page image of Jobs with the text, 'Steve Jobs 1955-2011.'
    Clicking on the image revealed the additional text: 'Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.

    'Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.'His relatives also released a statement, which said he 'died peacefully, surrounded by his family. 'Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the news of Jobs's death to Apple employees via e-mail, in which he said: 'I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today. 'In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve's illness.'

    Mr Obama later gave a fuller statement, in which he praised Jobs as a 'visionary' who was 'bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it'. Within minutes of his death being confirmed, tributes to Jobs began flooding the web, led by President Barack Obama, who tweeted: 'Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. From all of us at #Obama2012, thank you for the work you make possible every day - including ours.' 'No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honour his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.'

    'Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.' He added: 'Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.' 'The world has lost a visionary,' he said. 'And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. 

    Steve Jobs' high school friend who founded Apple with him in his parents' garage wiped away tears as he paid tribute to the visionary genius.

    Steve Wozniak, who helped start Apple in 1976, said he will miss his fellow co-founder 'as much as everyone.'
    'We've lost something we won't get back,' Mr Wozniak said. 'The way I see it, though, the way people love products he put so much into creating means he brought a lot of life to the world.'

    Social media sites were inundated with tributes from fans, with one of the most popular messages being that three apples changed the world: ‘The One that Eve ate, the one that dropped on Newton’s head and the one that Steve built.’

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Steve Jobs died at 56

    Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO who invented and masterfully marketed ever-sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology, from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone, has died. He was 56. Apple announced his death without giving a specific cause. Steve Jobs had no formal schooling in engineering, yet he's listed as the inventor or co-inventor on more than 300 US patents. These are some of the significant products that were created under his direction:

    Former chief executive and co-founder of US technology giant Apple Steve Jobs has died, the company says. He was 56. He had been battling cancer and other health issues for several years and had a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Apple announced his death late on Wednesday night without giving a specific cause. The Silicon Valley icon who gave the world the iPod and the iPhone resigned as CEO of the world's largest technology corporation in August this year, handing the reins to current chief executive Tim Cook. Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO, invented and masterfully marketed ever-sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology, from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone. "We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today," the company said in a brief statement.
    "Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve," they added
    Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January - his third since his health problems began - and officially resigned in August.
    Jobs started Apple with a high school friend in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was forced out a decade later and returned in 1997 to rescue the company. During his second stint, it grew into the most valuable technology company in the world.
    Cultivating Apple's countercultural sensibility and a minimalist design ethic, Jobs rolled out one sensational product after another, even in the face of the late-2000s recession and his own failing health.
    He helped change computers from a geeky hobbyist's obsession to a necessity of modern life at work and home, and in the process he upended not just personal technology but the cellphone and music industries. For transformation of American industry, he has few rivals.
    Perhaps most influentially, Jobs in 2001 launched the iPod, which offered "1,000 songs in your pocket." Over the next 10 years, its white earphones and thumb-dial control seemed to become more ubiquitous than the wristwatch.
    In 2007 came the touch-screen iPhone, joined a year later by Apple's App Store, where developers could sell iPhone "apps" which made the phone a device not just for making calls but also for managing money, editing photos, playing games and social networking. And in 2010, Jobs introduced the iPad, a tablet-sized, all-touch computer that took off even though market analysts said no one really needed one.
    By 2011, Apple had become the second-largest company of any kind in the United States by market value. In August, it briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company.
    Under Jobs, the company cloaked itself in secrecy to build frenzied anticipation for each of its new products. Jobs himself had a wizardly sense of what his customers wanted, and where demand didn't exist, he leveraged a cult-like following to create it.
    When he spoke at Apple presentations, almost always in faded blue jeans, sneakers and a black mock turtleneck, legions of Apple acolytes listened to every word. He often boasted about Apple successes, then coyly added a coda - "One more thing" - before introducing its latest ambitious idea.
    In later years, Apple investors also watched these appearances for clues about his health. Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with a very rare form of pancreatic cancer - an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. He underwent surgery and said he had been cured. In 2009, following weight loss he initially attributed to a hormonal imbalance, he abruptly took a six-month leave. During that time, he received a liver transplant that became public two months after it was performed.
    He went on another medical leave in January 2011, this time for an unspecified duration. He never went back and resigned as CEO in August, though he stayed on as chairman. Consistent with his penchant for secrecy, he didn't reference his illness in his resignation letter.
    Steven Paul Jobs was born Feb. 24, 1955, in San Francisco to Joanne Simpson, then an unmarried graduate student, and Abdulfattah Jandali, a student from Syria. Simpson gave Jobs up for adoption, though she married Jandali and a few years later had a second child with him, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.
    Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, California, a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics. He saw his first computer terminal at NASA's Ames Research Center when he was around 11 and landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard before he had finished high school.
    Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, in 1972 but dropped out after six months.
    "All of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it," he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005. "I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out."
    When he returned to California in 1974, Jobs worked for video game maker Atari and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club - a group of computer hobbyists - with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.
    Wozniak's homemade computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple Computer Inc. in Jobs' parents' garage in 1976. According to Wozniak, Jobs suggested the name after visiting an "apple orchard" that Wozniak said was actually a commune.
    Their first creation was the Apple I - essentially, the guts of a computer without a case, keyboard or monitor.
    The Apple II, which hit the market in 1977, was their first machine for the masses. It became so popular that Jobs was worth $ 100 million by age 25.
    During a 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Jobs again spotted mass potential in a niche invention: a computer that allowed people to control computers with the click of a mouse, not typed commands. He returned to Apple and ordered the team to copy what he had seen.
    It foreshadowed a propensity to take other people's concepts, improve on them and spin them into wildly successful products. Under Jobs, Apple didn't invent computers, digital music players or smartphones - it reinvented them for people who didn't want to learn computer programming or negotiate the technical hassles of keeping their gadgets working.
    "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas," Jobs said in an interview for the 1996 PBS series "Triumph of the Nerds."
    The engineers responded with two computers. The pricier Lisa - the same name as his daughter - launched to a cool reception in 1983. The less-expensive Macintosh, named for an employee's favorite apple, exploded onto the scene in 1984.
    The Mac was heralded by an epic Super Bowl commercial that referenced George Orwell's "1984" and captured Apple's iconoclastic style. In the ad, expressionless drones marched through dark halls to an auditorium where a Big Brother-like figure lectures on a big screen. A woman in a bright track uniform burst into the hall and launched a hammer into the screen, which exploded, stunning the drones, as a narrator announced the arrival of the Mac.
    There were early stumbles at Apple. Jobs clashed with colleagues and even the CEO he had hired away from Pepsi, John Sculley. And after an initial spike, Mac sales slowed, in part because few programs had been written for it.
    With Apple's stock price sinking, conflicts between Jobs and Sculley mounted. Sculley won over the board in 1985 and pushed Jobs out of his day-to-day role leading the Macintosh team. Jobs resigned his post as chairman of the board and left Apple within months.
    "What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating," Jobs said in his Stanford speech. "I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."
    He got into two other companies: Next, a computer maker, and Pixar, a computer-animation studio that he bought from George Lucas for $ 10 million.
    Pixar, ultimately the more successful venture, seemed at first a bottomless money pit. Then in 1995 came "Toy Story," the first computer-animated full-length feature. Jobs used its success to negotiate a sweeter deal with Disney for Pixar's next two films, "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2." In 2006, Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Co. for $ 7.4 billion in stock, making him Disney's largest individual shareholder and securing a seat on the board.
    With Next, Jobs came up with a cube-shaped computer. He was said to be obsessive about the tiniest details, insisting on design perfection even for the machine's guts. The machine cost a pricey $ 6,500 to $ 10,000, and he never managed to spark much demand for it.
    Ultimately, he shifted the focus to software - a move that paid off later when Apple bought Next for its operating system technology, the basis for the software still used in Mac computers.
    By 1996, when Apple bought Next, Apple was in dire financial straits. It had lost more than $ 800 million in a year, dragged its heels in licensing Mac software for other computers and surrendered most of its market share to PCs that ran Windows.
    Larry Ellison, Jobs' close friend and fellow Silicon Valley billionaire and the CEO of Oracle Corp, publicly contemplated buying Apple in early 1997 and ousting its leadership. The idea fizzled, but Jobs stepped in as interim chief later that year.
    He slashed unprofitable projects, narrowed the company's focus and presided over a new marketing push to set the Mac apart from Windows, starting with a campaign encouraging computer users to "Think different."
    Apple's first new product under his direction, the brightly colored, plastic iMac, launched in 1998 and sold about 2 million in its first year. Apple returned to profitability that year. Jobs dropped the "interim" from his title in 2000.
    He changed his style, too, said Tim Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for Creative Strategies.
    "In the early days, he was in charge of every detail. The only way you could say it is, he was kind of a control freak," he said. In his second stint, "he clearly was much more mellow and more mature."
    In the decade that followed, Jobs kept Apple profitable while pushing out an impressive roster of new products.
    Apple's popularity exploded in the 2000s. The iPod, smaller and sleeker with each generation, introduced many lifelong Windows users to their first Apple gadget.
    The arrival of the iTunes music store in 2003 gave people a convenient way to buy music legally online, song by song. For the music industry, it was a mixed blessing. The industry got a way to reach Internet-savvy people who, in the age of Napster, were growing accustomed to downloading music free. But online sales also hastened the demise of CDs and established Apple as a gatekeeper, resulting in battles between Jobs and music executives over pricing and other issues.
    Jobs' command over gadget lovers and pop culture swelled to the point that, on the eve of the iPhone's launch in 2007, faithful followers slept on sidewalks outside posh Apple stores for the chance to buy one. Three years later, at the iPad's debut, the lines snaked around blocks and out through parking lots, even though people had the option to order one in advance.
    The decade was not without its glitches. In the mid-2000s, Apple was swept up in a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into stock options backdating, a practice that artificially raised the value of options grants. But Jobs and Apple emerged unscathed after two former executives took the fall and eventually settled with the SEC.
    Jobs' personal ethos - a natural food lover who embraced Buddhism and New Age philosophy - was closely linked to the public persona he shaped for Apple. Apple itself became a statement against the commoditization of technology - a cynical view, to be sure, from a company whose computers can cost three or more times as much as those of its rivals.
    For technology lovers, buying Apple products has meant gaining entrance to an exclusive club. At the top was a complicated and contradictory figure who was endlessly fascinating - even to his detractors, of which Jobs had many. Jobs was a hero to techno-geeks and a villain to partners he bullied and to workers whose projects he unceremoniously killed or claimed as his own.
    Unauthorized biographer Alan Deutschman described him as "deeply moody and maddeningly erratic." In his personal life, Jobs denied for two years that he was the father of Lisa, the baby born to his longtime girlfriend Chrisann Brennan in 1978.
    Few seemed immune to Jobs' charisma and will. He could adeptly convince those in his presence of just about anything - even if they disagreed again when he left the room and his magic wore off.
    "He always has an aura around his persona," said Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for more than 20 years as a Creative Strategies analyst. "When you talk to him, you know you're really talking to a brilliant mind."
    But Bajarin also remembers Jobs lashing out with profanity at an employee who interrupted their meeting. Jobs, the perfectionist, demanded greatness from everyone at Apple.
    Jobs valued his privacy, but some details of his romantic and family life have been uncovered. In the early 1980s, Jobs dated the folk singer Joan Baez, according to Deutschman.
    In 1989, Jobs spoke at Stanford's graduate business school and met his wife, Laurene Powell, who was then a student. When she became pregnant, Jobs at first refused to marry her. It was a near-repeat of what had happened more than a decade earlier with then-girlfriend Brennan, Deutschman said, but eventually Jobs relented.
    Jobs started looking for his biological family in his teens, according to an interview he gave to The New York Times in 1997. He found his biological sister when he was 27. They became friends, and through her Jobs met his biological mother. Few details of those relationships have been made public.
    But the extent of Apple secrecy didn't become clear until Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagonosed with - and "cured" of - a rare form of operable pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The company had sat on the news of his diagnosis for nine months while Jobs tried trumping the disease with a special diet, Fortune magazine reported in 2008.
    In the years after his cancer was revealed, rumors about Jobs' health would spark runs on Apple stock as investors worried the company, with no clear succession plan, would fall apart without him. Apple did little to ease those concerns. It kept the state of Jobs' health a secret for as long as it could, then disclosed vague details when, in early 2009, it became clear he was again ill.
    Jobs took a half-year medical leave of absence starting in January 2009, during which he had a liver transplant. Apple did not disclose the procedure at the time; two months later, The Wall Street Journal reported the fact and a doctor at the transplant hospital confirmed it.
    In January 2011, Jobs announced another medical leave, his third, with no set duration. He returned to the spotlight briefly in March to personally unveil a second-generation iPad and again in June, when he showed off Apple's iCloud music synching service. At both events, he looked frail in his signature jeans and mock turtleneck.
    Less than three months later, Jobs resigned as CEO. In a letter addressed to Apple's board and the "Apple community" Jobs said he "always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."
    In 2005, following the bout with cancer, Jobs delivered Stanford University's commencement speech.
    "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," he said. "Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."
    Jobs is survived by his biological mother, sister Mona Simpson; Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter with Brennan; wife Laurene, and their three children, Erin, Reed and Eve.

    Widely hailed as one of the greatest CEO's in history, Jobs handed the reins over to longtime operations chief Tim Cook in August, and many analysts believe the company is well-positioned for the future. But his death still leaves many questions.
    Q: Can Apple succeed without Jobs?
    Jobs was famous -- some say notorious -- for keeping an iron grip on every step of the product development process, from conception to execution. The Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad all shine with his distinct design sensibility. Still, investors and consumers alike had grown accustomed in the past year to the idea of Apple without its visionary leader. Since January 2011, when Jobs went on his third medical and Cook again took over, most observers expected that Jobs would not return to full-time, active duty. Yet investors and customers remained confident in the company.
    Apple has plenty of new products in the pipeline, and there should be few bumps in the short term. But it's not clear if Jobs' brilliance -- both as a product visionary and a super-salesman -- was ultimately transferable. The lukewarm reaction to Cook's first big product introduction on Tuesday could be seen as a warning sign.
    Q: What will happen to Apple's share price?
    Jobs' health had been an issue with investors for years (he was diagnosed in 2004), but that has not stopped Apple shares from marching higher. The stock moved little when Jobs announced in August that he was stepping down as CEO, and it moved little in after-hours trading after the announcement of his death Wednesday.
    The biggest factors affecting the stock currently are the reliability of its iPhone and iPad product pipeline, and how well the company wards off smartphone challenger Google Inc and burgeoning rival Inc.
    Q: What is Jobs' legacy?
    Jobs is counted among the greatest CEOs in history, mentioned in the same breath as Henry Ford and other historical giants of corporate America. One of his most unique achievements was vaulting Apple to world leadership not just once, but twice. After co-founding the company with Steve Wozniak in 1976 and giving the world the Apple II and the Macintosh, he was famously pushed out in a clash with his hand-picked CEO, John Sculley. When Jobs returned in 1997 the floundering company's survival was in doubt, but he proceeded to radically transform an ageing computer-maker and take it in a new, and wildly successful, direction. There are few examples in any field of such a brilliant second act.
    Along the way, Jobs in 1986 also bought Pixar, which was then little more than an experiment in digital animation technology. The company ultimately became a juggernaut of its own, and when it was acquired by Disney in 2006, Jobs became the largest shareholder of the entertainment giant. Again, there are few examples of a CEO turning a side project into a world-class innovator and business success story.
    Jobs' few critics say the Macintosh was mostly borrowed technology, and beyond that all Apple gave the world was a sleek cellphone and an improved music-player. But many people -- in the tech world and beyond -- believe his impact on society and culture was monumental. He prompted millions to embrace digital technology, online media and mobile communications in ways they never did before.
    Q: Will Apple change under Cook?
    While both Cook and Jobs have earned reputations as hard-driving perfectionists, Jobs' successor is considered easier to work with. While Jobs was infamous for chewing out employees -- multiple stories have him firing workers in the elevator -- Cook is said to be better at forging consensus.
    Whether and how Apple will transform under his stewardship is an open question. But Cook's success at Apple is due in large part to his sharing many of his boss's traits: a demand for perfection, an exhaustive attention to detail, and a hard-nosed attitude at the negotiating table.
    In Cook's early days, insiders say, his boss occasionally had to step in to get tough media-content negotiations going again. But after years of wringing concessions from Asian production partners and three stints running the empire in Jobs' absence, Cook has a lot of credibility, and confidence in his leadership runs high.
    Who else is important to the company's future success?
    Design guru Jonathan Ives, marketing chief Phil Schiller, and mobile-software head Scott Forstall are three of the most important players. Schiller filled in for Jobs on several product launches, and with Cook being more low-key by nature, Schiller may gain a higher public profile.
    Q: What will be Apple's "Next Big Thing"?
    There's no shortage of speculation on what direction Cook will take Apple in, and whether Jobs had already laid the foundation for Apple's "Next Big Thing". For now, industry speculation centers around some sort of concerted attempt to shake up the living room, and TV. Apple has delivered results in the past by diving into fragmented, stagnating industries -- notably music and telephones -- and re-imagining them through technological innovation. Many experts say TV and its confusing array of options is ripe for an Apple-like "simple is beautiful" makeover.

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