Netflix streaming is added to the UK’s official inflation-tracking index, Netflix DVD is dropped


netflixThere’s a rather dismal idea coming out of the dismal science these days, that we face a Great Stagnation in innovation and thus in economic growth and living standards for the future. Two major names putting this idea forward are Robert Gordon and Tyler Cowen.

I have to admit myself that watching the tech world whizzing by, I find the basic contention to be difficult to believe. Their argument back is that sure, the Internet and the Web are great, but they’re nothing like as important as the invention of the indoor toilet or electricity. There’s just one little detail that’s come out of the Office of National Statistics in my native UK that rather neatly makes my point for me about technological change.

Netflix has both been added to the index by which we measure inflation and also dropped from it at the same time. For a company that’s only 17 years old that’s pretty good going if we’re in an era of technological stagnation.

The full report is here, and allow me to explain what’s going on. We’d like to measure inflation in the economy. For if we try to deal with the whole thing with nominal numbers, then we’re going to get all sorts of calculations about it wildly wrong. We want and need to convert the prices we actually see into something comparable with the earlier data sets we have from previous years. We want, in short, to be able to see what’s happening to real prices, not nominal ones.

To do this we need to be able to work out what it is that people are buying, for only then can we work out what the inflation rate is on the basket of goods that people actually do consume is. And of course that “typical” basket changes over time in two important ways. The first being that of course what people do buy changes. There’s not much point in tracking the prices, nominal or real, of buggy whips these days. But, as an example of today’s changes to that basket, canvas shoes perhaps should be added, because many more of us are buying these as well as the leather and synthetic leather shoes that are already counted.

The second change is in quality improvement of what we’re buying. This is a horribly contentious issue, and there’s a lot of people who think that the US stats guys have been getting this wrong and thus overstating inflation and understating growth over the past few decades. An obvious example is that an iPhone 5S isn’t today particularly different in price than the original iPhone was on its release. There have obviously been some quality improvements along the way though. Wrestling with this is known as hedonic adjustment and is controversial: Fortunately it’s not the point I’m talking about here.

And what we’ve got in today’s changes to the basket is the following. DVD rental/video on demand subscription services have been added to the basket. They’re a sufficiently common item that we think it necessary to track their prices so that we can mimic the consumption patterns of the average household. So that’s Netflix into the basket then along with several other companies. But also at the same time we get that DVD rental Internet subscription drops out of the basket. Which means that that’s Netflix leaving the list of things that are sufficiently common that we can take it as part of a normal household’s consumption.

Which is rather where I take issue with the concept of the Great Stagnation. When a company that has only been around since 1997 sees one of its major services being dropped as being too ancient to bother tracking any more, that same company on the same days sees its second major service being added to the average consumption basket, well, I’m really, really, inclined to the idea that we’ve got technology moving along pretty briskly here.



You Should Be Scared: While I Was Away, My SEO Rankings Dropped!


You Should Be Scared: While I Was Away, My SEO Rankings Dropped! image im back17

Hello Friend,

…and I am back.

When I was away, I had time to reconsider a few things about my online business.

Because, just like you, I am scared I might be doing all the wrong things as far as creating effective web content and SEO go.


You Should Be Scared: While I Was Away, My SEO Rankings Dropped! image back7

That two-week hiatus saw my Google rankings fall. And fall really bad. The Internet is a fast-paced environment and less than 14 days of inaction has left me with a bad taste in the mouth. And fear.

See, I was convinced that even if I took breaks as I willed (since I freelance), I would still shine on Google. I would still continue enjoying that nice spot that we all compete for – that #1 spot. But I was wrong and now I have to fire up every SEO technique that I know.

You Should Be Scared: While I Was Away, My SEO Rankings Dropped! image effective web content ninja7So, here are the few techniques that I will be implementing in the next few days to reclaim my ‘deserved’ position in Google. That number 1 spot for my various keywords including creating effective web content, effective web content, latest SEO techniques and trends and blah blah…

SEO Techniques

Image & Video SEO

Before I sat down to write this newsletter, I uploaded three (3) SEO-optimized feature images to my blog. At the backside of each image, I attached a clever ‘alt’ tag that is supposed to woo Google bots. What’s more? All image titles have one or two of my keywords.

In this Image & Video SEO blog post, I illustrated how to optimize your images for better rankings on Google, so I won’t go into the fairy details. Check that post here…

I have been very lazy in the video SEO department. I have no videos of my own and I have to rely on what others in my niche are posting to Youtube. But my images will be enough for the time being.

SEO Content
If you go for two weeks without publishing new SEO content on your blog, your rankings will suffer. That I know firsthand.

Good thing VistaMedia, Inc. still ranks first for “latest SEO techniques and trends”. Otherwise, I would feel heartbroken and stuff…You Should Be Scared: While I Was Away, My SEO Rankings Dropped! image seotrendsandtechniques7

While the above quoted keyword is very popular at the moment, I would rather rank first for my primary keywords, which have everything to do with creating effective web content and what nots.

But, don’t mistake this for ungratefulness – I am happy that I still rank well for “latest SEO techniques and trends”.

You Should Be Scared: While I Was Away, My SEO Rankings Dropped! image heavy weight SEO content effective web content7Link Building

I have an outrageous confession to make. My blog has performed well in Google since I started thanks to high quality SEO content and Image SEO.

I suck at link building. I hate reaching out to a thousand webmasters only for ten to respond half-heartedly.

But there is a but.

Image SEO and SEO content won’t cut it in terms of generating sustained traffic if I don’t improve my link building skills.

Because when your site drops off from the first page of Google, you can only count on link building to keep the traffic flowing to your site. And you need traffic or else no one will ever read your great web content.


First, I will image-up my entire blog – add images where none existed before and optimize the same with my primary keywords.

I will be creating more SEO content as well as a million and one guest posts to flood the whole place up. You can bet that all my articles (guest posts included) will feature my SEO keywords. About 2.5% per 500 words. Google will have no choice but to marry VistaMedia, Inc.

Then I will approach more webmasters (preferably in my field) and request for those links like a madman. They will give me those links because I plan to learn more about the art of link building. Don’t worry, I will share all the juicy details with you.

Then I will sit back and watch as I rise up the ranks in Google.

* Keep blogging on a regular/constant basis.
* Optimize your images/Videos using your keywords
* Create effective SEO content

Till Sunday, I will be nursing back pains that I sustained when I was away. I guess lifting weights isn’t my thing after all. 🙂

Please share this newsletter with a few friends, I will appreciate the help.


[This post is the exact copy of the email newsletter I sent my subscribers on Thursday – 08/08/2013. I feel it might benefit a few of you 🙂 ]

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