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Tech Beat by Namecheap – 3 February 2023

With a rapid increase in battery-powered products, the demand for non-renewable metals like lithium is being pushed to the limit. Projections show that the demand will rise much higher in the next few decades, yet various environmental and social issues mean that battery power may not be as clean as it claims to be. Can the battery industry overcome these challenges and help the world sustainably and ethically reach net zero? Read our latest article, Are batteries becoming a problem for the world?

In other news

  • Yandex leak leads to an exciting week for search engine optimizers. The Yandex ‘leak’ revealed a comprehensive list of 1,922 ranking factors used by the Russian search engine. These factors are similar to many of the signals Google uses for its search, but the list also includes some unique and surprising elements that many SEOs are scrambling to make use of. The leaked files even contain code for Yandex’s search algorithm. According to multiple reports, the code was allegedly stolen in July 2022 and includes information on end-user behavior, link-related factors, and host reliability. Yandex employs an unknown number of ex-Google employees, Ars Technica says.
  • New phishing scam could let hackers control your PC. The CISA and NSA have warned of mail phishing campaigns that trick victims into downloading remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, allowing hackers to access their bank accounts. According to ZDNet, the scam doesn’t trigger antivirus alerts because the RMM tools themselves are legitimate software, not malware. As an ongoing phishing method since June 2022, these emails commonly warn victims that an ongoing subscription is about to be renewed for hundreds of dollars. Victims, panicked by the cost, are then encouraged to download RMM software so that a “help desk” employee can help them cancel the payment. This then gives hackers access to their bank accounts.
  • Will these robot musical instruments change music forever? In an impressively complex display of software engineering and musical prowess, one dedicated man has trained a guitar, bass, and drums to play themselves. Known as One Man Band, TheRegister reports that the instruments can perform multiple custom versions of popular songs from bands like Metallica, Aerosmith, and Deep Purple. Check out their cover of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit to see what you think.
  • “Going the way of the dodo” may soon have a new meaning. Genetic engineering company Colossal Biosciences announced that it plans to bring back the extinct dodo bird. Gizmodo described how the company’s $150 million in funding will support its “de-extinction” process. The company also wants to restore the woolly mammoth and the Tasmanian tiger, all in an effort to restore a degree of “normalcy” to the creatures’ native environments. It’s worth noting that the creatures that will be resurrected are not exact copies of their ancestors, but rather the closest analog that science can produce, by implanting genetic material into eggs of similar host creatures. 
  • An end to animal testing? In other animal news, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has signed a new law that will reduce, and perhaps one day even eliminate, animal testing for drug approval. As reported in Wired, the FDA Modernization Act 2.0 allows drugmakers to use high-tech alternatives to lab animal testing. Studies have shown that animal testing is unreliable in predicting human toxicity, and because of vast differences between humans and animals such as mice and dogs, numerous drugs that work in animals fail in human trials. Alternative testing methods include microfluidic organs-on-chips, organoids, and AI-driven computer models trained on human data. However, with this new law, the decision of whether to allow a drug to progress still rests with the FDA. 
  • Do as we say, not as we do? Apple has been sued for privacy violations, with the plaintiff Julie Cima alleging that the company captures customer data despite device settings indicating otherwise, according to The Register. The lawsuit cites previous research that shows that Apple collects analytics data even when users have set a preference disallowing data collection, and argues that the company’s privacy policies and marketing slogans make misleading promises. Apple has yet to respond to these privacy claims or those in previous similar cases filed in November 2022 and January 2023.

Tip of the week:  Optimize your site for long-tail keywords

The leak from Russian-owned Yandex corroborated a long-held understanding of how search engines use long-tail keywords. And while most people aren’t trying to do business in Russia these days, optimizing your site for long-tail keywords will help you rank better on Google, Bing, and Yahoo! as well.

Long-tail keywords are, well, longer. They contain more words that make the phrases more specific. 

  • Typical keyword: tech news
  • Long-tail keyword: latest global AI technology news

Focus on keyword research, relevancy, and intent to use long-tail keywords effectively.

When researching long-tail keywords, you should look for phrases with low competition and high search volume, as this indicates that many people are searching for this type of content. Additionally, you should ensure that your keywords are highly relevant to your website, as search engines will notice immediately if you are stuffing an irrelevant, random long-tail keyword onto a page.

Consider the intent of the search carefully. Are people looking for more general information (like on a blog post), or are they searching for a specific product or service (like on a landing page)? This scrutiny will help you determine which keywords will be most effective and where’s the best place to use them.

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Robert O'Sullivan avatar

Robert O'Sullivan

Robert has lived and worked in distant locations around the globe and is currently based in the Balkans. In addition to travel, he has a passion for language, writing, technology, and making sophisticated concepts more appealing and understandable for readers, which are talents he puts to good use at Namecheap. More articles written by Robert.

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