Trending December 2023 # Apple @ Work: The Top New Features In Macos Monterey For Enterprise Users # Suggested January 2024 # Top 15 Popular

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With macOS Monterey on the horizon soon, businesses will quickly begin looking at their rollout strategy. I know many IT professionals miss the old 18-month macOS upgrade window, but Apple has done a fantastic job of making a macOS upgrade break less over time. Sure there are bugs, but app developers and hardware manufacturers are doing a great job quickly updating their apps. For the past few years, we’ve all gotten into the fall upgrade cycle with all of our devices.

Over the next two weeks, I will take a look at the features in Apple’s upcoming macOS upgrade that will be impactful at work.

Erase All Content and Settings

System Preferences now offers an option to erase all user data and user-installed apps from the system, while maintaining the operating system currently installed. Because storage is always encrypted on Mac systems with Apple silicon or the T2 chip, the system is instantly and securely “erased” by destroying the encryption keys.

Daily, Erase All Content and Settings will be the most significant feature of macOS Monterey for IT professionals. When a device is ready to be decommissioned, you’ll be able to send a command over your mobile device management system to securely wipe user data from the machine without needing to reinstall the OS. Reinstalling macOS can easily take an hour and requires a manual process, so for larger deployments, Erase All Content and Settings will allow massive time savings.

Keep your FaceTime calls going while simultaneously sharing your whole screen or just a specific app. Collaborate with coworkers, have a game night with friends, or plan your next vacation as a group.

Now you can send friends and family a link to connect on FaceTime — even if they’re using Windows or Android.1 And it’s still end‑to‑end encrypted, so your call is as private and secure as any other FaceTime call.

For smaller teams, the upgrades to FaceTime in macOS Monterey will be an excellent Zoom alternative. Now, you’ll be able to make presentations over FaceTime and invite Windows and Android users to group calls.

While apps like Zoom have a generous free plan, Apple is now putting FaceTime on par with Google Hangouts and Spike Video as simple video chat options.

Will it scale to a 20+ person organization? No, but it’ll be great for small businesses needing to chat with their team and customers. Apple is included scheduled FaceTime links for an event in your calendar, as well.

Focus helps you stay in the moment when you need to concentrate or step away. Choose a Focus that only allows the notifications you want — you can get work done while you’re in the zone, or enjoy a distraction-free dinner. Pick from a list of suggested Focus options or create your own.

My Mac is where I do 100% of my work, so I am excited about the Focus Tools that Apple is adding to macOS. The idea behind this feature is that you can customize your alerts and notifications based on your work. So, for example, if you want to zone in while you’re doing focused work like writing code or writing, you can pause all notifications from Slack, Email, etc.

Your focus settings will sync across iCloud to all your devices, so if you use multiple Macs or iOS devices at work, you can have access to them. Your status will be automatically displayed in the Messages app so people will know you aren’t ignoring them.

What’s next?

These are what I believe will be the most used features in macOS Monterey. Next week, I’ll look at tools like Quick Note, Low Power Mode, Universal Control, AirPlay to the Mac, and Spatial Audio to see how they’ll be used in the workplace.

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Apple Stores In 2023: The Top New Architecture And Innovative Designs

Just over four years ago, Apple began rolling out a new generation of retail stores across the world. The idea was straightforward but challenging: Apple Stores should be spaces conducive to creative experiences — spaces for communities to gather. Over 200 redesigned stores later, Apple has learned how to express its values through architecture. Each new space builds on the last with refined ideas, designs, materials, and fixtures.

This is part two of a three-part series documenting Apple retail in 2023. In this section, we’ll study Apple’s latest architecture and in-store designs.

For in-depth looks at Apple Store initiatives and Today at Apple over the past year, visit parts one and three. For further background, check out last year’s field guide to Apple retail in 2023 or browse Department Map, a glossary designed to help you learn more about Apple Stores.

Between added locations and existing stores that were rebuilt, Apple completed 23 entirely new store spaces in 2023. Many of these projects introduce striking new designs, classic ideas reinterpreted in new ways, and clever solutions to challenging design problems.

You’re probably aware that many of Apple’s recent and most significant store projects are a collaboration with Foster + Partners, the team of architects that worked on Apple Park. But store projects often involve hundreds of other architects, engineers, designers, and suppliers, frequently at a local level. Though not typically mentioned by name, these talented teams play key roles in bringing a store to life. Here are some highlights from the past year.

Apple Carnegie Library

Presented with the opportunity to preserve a cultural gem in Washington, D.C., Apple left no detail to chance. Tim Cook called Apple Carnegie Library Apple’s “most historic, ambitious restoration by far, in the world.”

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects worked with Apple on a preservation strategy, and Evergreene Architectural Arts treated the building’s exterior to stabilize decaying marble details. Care was taken to keep the facade as close to its original appearance as possible.

Sculpted pilasters beyond repair were replicated and will acquire a matching patina over time. The two glowing Apple logos on the south facade were cut into new slabs of marble that have been placed over the originals so as to not damage the building. Original wood windows were reglazed rather than replaced.

In the basement, a restored Guastavino ceiling is the highlight of the Carnegie Gallery, a space to learn about the library’s history. Guastavino tile is a type of ribbed structural tile used in the construction of vaulted ceilings. Upstairs, the store’s new Forum is the first with a video wall trimmed in bronze to match the door hardware and railings present throughout the structure.

Apple had to get creative to implement its store design elements in a way that was respectful of the library’s history. The original stack room uses columns of white Vermont Marble to reference the towering book stacks that once filled the room. Unique fixtures were designed to bring Avenue display shelving out of the walls and into the center of each reading room. The original design of bookcases along the walls was reinterpreted as a clever solution to hide the store’s ventilation system.

Apple Carnegie Library was also the second Apple Store in the world and first in the United States with an Experience Room, a place to try products like HomePod and Apple TV in a more relaxed environment. Each store with an Experience Room is designed with a totally unique layout and style.

Read more: Apple Carnegie Library: An inside look at Apple’s most ambitious store yet

Photo courtesy of Storeteller Apple Xinyi A13

Apple’s New Store Design aesthetic has been rooted in the styling of Apple Park since the beginning, but nothing better expresses the look than a transparent pavilion design. Taiwan’s Apple Xinyi A13 blends ideas from Apple Park Visitor Center with local landscaping and a second level underground.

It’s not often that a customer’s first impression of an Apple Store is from the air, but that’s exactly what happens in Taipei. Visitors to Taipei 101’s Observatory can spot the carbon fiber reinforced roof from 89 floors up, so Apple outlined its logo on top.

Photo courtesy of Tony Chen

Surrounding the pavilion are carved blocks of basalt and camphor trees. The plaza landscaping is inspired by the geography of Taiwan and includes a misting water feature for hot days.

Photos courtesy of Storeteller

The earthquake-resistant pavilion is wrapped by curved panes of glass and features two marble composite sculptural staircases that descend to the Forum below. Xinyi A13 is the first location outside of Apple Park to use the freestanding staircase design.

Read more: Apple Xinyi A13 brings a taste of Apple Park to Taipei

Photo courtesy of Matthew Tsang Apple Bondi

Apple Bondi isn’t brand new — the store first opened in 2010 — but it received a big upgrade in 2023. Apple closed the store in late March for a three-month renovation as part of its store upgrade program to expand the reach of Today at Apple.

When the store reopened, it brought much more than a video wall. A vertical garden of 7,000 plants carpets two sides of the Forum, stretching more than 30 feet from the floor to the skylight above. A custom irrigation system waters the green walls, and plants have been arranged by sunlight priority.

Photo courtesy of Campbell Hor

Bondi’s green walls are the largest ever built inside of an Apple Store, closer in stature to the plaza green wall at Apple Union Square than the green Avenue seating Apple often includes at larger stores. The unique design replaced a set of interior trees which were the first ever used in an Apple Store.

Read more: Bondi Apple Store upgrade features floor-to-ceiling green walls

Photo courtesy of Storeteller Apple Jewel Changi Airport

Apple Jewel Changi Airport is the first Apple Store in an airport and one of only a few enclosed within a shopping center that spans two floors.

The storefronts at Jewel Changi Airport curve in a circle around a central rain vortex. The width of Apple’s space required a custom facade solution. Panes of double-height curved glass wrap the front of the store until they meet composite marble panels cut with a backlit Apple logo. Structural columns are pushed back behind the glass, resulting in a sweeping, unbroken facade.

Photos courtesy of Storeteller

Tucked away outside of the main sales area, Apple brought its famous recessed handrails to the staircase connecting both floors of the store. A similar spiral version of the design is used at Singapore’s first Apple Store, Orchard Road.

Read more: Sweeping glass facade of Apple Jewel Changi Airport unveiled in Singapore

Apple Aventura

Apple Aventura’s transformation from an outgrown indoor mall store to a state of the art gem among the leagues of flagship stores in Chicago and San Francisco is perhaps Apple’s most surprising project of 2023.

Nearly every detail inside and out was created uniquely for Aventura by Foster + Partners and ODP Architecture and Design, starting with the store’s sculpted white concrete roof, a nod to Miami Modernism. Each vault was precast and transported to the site, where the completed roof acts as a sustainable system to harvest rainwater.

Most major Apple Stores are designed with local culture and environment in mind, but Apple Aventura pushes the limits. Eckersley O’Callaghan Engineers designed a triple-height glass facade that passed missile testing to ensure that the store can stand up to Florida’s hurricane season.

The flow of the store follows one sweeping line from an outdoor plaza landscaped with local plants and trees to the indoor Genius Grove, where trees continue and are planted right into the floor. Since 2023’s Apple Scottsdale Fashion Square, Apple has iterated on its design for planting trees indoors with sculpted terrazzo access panels.

Left: Apple Scottsdale Fashion Square (2023) Right: Apple Aventura (2023)

A tiered amphitheater connects the store’s first and second floors to define a Forum composed entirely of terrazzo benches topped with leather seats. Apple Aventura is the first store in the world to include a Forum without wood and leather cubes for seating. Today at Apple-first architecture continues to command more attention and influence over store design.

Read more: The all-new Apple Aventura: A tropical Apple Store inspired by the coast

Photo courtesy of Timothy Apple Rennweg

Apple’s latest store in Zurich wasn’t a historic restoration project, but it is housed in a historic building on Rennweg, an ancient passageway through the city. The storefront was last an Audi e-tron pop-up gallery, giving Apple a blank slate interior to work with.

On the outside, Apple has retained the charm of the narrow red brick and cream stucco spaces it occupies. Inside, customers familiar with Apple Store design will notice an exceptionally uncommon assortment of fixtures and finishes.

Apple Rennweg blends New Store Design elements like Avenue shelving with classic store elements like previous-generation display tables and a tiled ceiling. The space is bright and cheery with a skylight on the second floor, but not large enough for a Forum or video wall, critical elements of the full Today at Apple experience.

Photos courtesy of Lars Augustin

The discrepancies are noteworthy in particular because the store is likely intended to be temporary rather than a long-term replacement to the now-shuttered Apple Bahnhofstrasse nearby. Given the circumstances, it’s admirable how much effort Apple put into creating a store that feels one with the rest of the fleet. Apple is no stranger to temporary stores, but Rennweg might be the most polished yet.

Read more: Apple Rennweg opens to replace Bahnhofstrasse store in Zurich

Photo courtesy of Daiki Shimizu Apple Marunouchi

The gridded structure of Tokyo’s Mitsubishi Building afforded Apple and Foster + Partners the chance to try a new design for Apple Marunouchi at its base.

Inside and out, the store references a structural grid. Outside, the design is expressed through two-story vitrine windows, extruded from the face of the building in cast aluminum. The vitrines create narrow passages between both floors of the store, where custom planters are filled with bamboo that partially obscures the windows and calms the busy street. Apple Marunouchi was the second Apple Store in the world to use bamboo, following 2023’s Apple Cotai Central.

Photo via Foster + Partners

Photo via Apple

Photo courtesy of Yota Suzuki

Read more: Grand opening: Apple Marunouchi arrives at Tokyo Station

Photo courtesy of Jordan Clemons Apple Oxmoor

Like Apple Aventura, Apple Oxmoor transformed from expected to exceptional. The new space reimagined a vacant loading zone by carving a green plaza into the mall. For the first time, an exterior entrance brings natural light into the store and improves customer flow into the mall.

Photo courtesy of Jordan Clemons

Two towering green walls absorb sound on the plaza and contrast against the parking lot that lies beyond. Trees and patio furniture line the store’s approach. Totally new for any Apple store is a facade composed entirely of mirrored stainless steel. The polished panels reflect the sky and greenery, creating an optical illusion that dissolves the store’s facade and makes the plaza feel more open. An Apple logo cut in the center almost appears to float in the sky.

Photo courtesy of Zach Gilmore

Over the past few years, mirrored stainless steel has enjoyed increasing popularity in major store projects. First used on logos and trim, the material later became Apple’s choice to reduce the visual weight of freestanding video walls like those found at Apple Aventura, Apple Michigan Avenue, and several other recent store upgrades.

Read more: New Apple Stores open in Louisville and The Woodlands: green walls, mirrored facade, more

Apple Fifth Avenue

The Apple Fifth Avenue glass cube was already one of New York City’s modern icons, but Apple decided to go a little further when it rebuilt the store underneath. The original cube was a joint effort with architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Foster + Partners was enlisted to help reimagine the new store.

An innovative new plaza design is as much about what you see from underground as above. “Skylenses” act not only as functional sculptures surrounding the cube but light wells for the store below. Each portal is bridged by curved fabric and outlined by an LED ring light that slowly adjusts to the changing color temperature of daylight.

Two new entrances to the store help manage customer flow, while the focal point for visitors remains a grand spiral staircase twisting up to the cube above. The Seele group engineered the geometry of a new mirrored stainless steel drum and cantilevered stair tread design meant to appear effortless and mesmerizing.

The new Apple Fifth Avenue also includes an Experience Room, this time arranged to exclusively showcase HomePod audio quality. It’s the first Apple Store in the world to include two private Boardrooms for business meetings and Today at Apple session hosts. The store also introduced several one-of-a-kind Avenue displays, including a musical AirPods installation and a special storage system of wood trays for Apple Watch bands.

Read more: Inside Apple Fifth Avenue: An all-new space with a familiar face

Read more: A comprehensive guide to the modern furnishings of Apple Store Boardrooms

Photo courtesy of Marco Aboytes Apple Antara

For its second store in Mexico, Apple branched out with a pavilion design surrounded by gardens and trees. The concept feels inspired by Apple Xinyi A13 but is wholly unique with regional plant life and an open-air store layout suited to Mexico City’s climate.

Photos courtesy of Marco Aboytes

Beyond the gardens, the signature feature of Apple Antara is a set of 23-foot sliding glass doors that dissolve the entire facade of the store. It’s the first time doors of this style have been used at an Apple Store since San Francisco’s Union Square in 2023.

Read more: Grand opening: Exploring the gardens of Mexico City’s Apple Antara

Photo courtesy of Daiki Shimizu Apple Fukuoka

From the outside, the new Apple Fukuoka resembles a wider, angled version of South Korea’s first Apple Store, Garosugil. Both stores are rooted in the same ideas, but Fukuoka’s has several features uniquely Japan.

Photo via Apple

Spanning the entire width of the store’s back wall is a diffusing layer known as a shoji screen. The traditional Japanese interior design staple was reinterpreted in a modern context for Apple Fukuoka to allow more light to enter the store. The screen’s design differs from the classic shoji dividers used at Apple Kyoto.

Photo courtesy of Daiki Shimizu

Below the screen is Apple Fukuoka’s second unique design: a mirrored stainless steel passageway with windows that overlook a bamboo garden. Benches alongside the video wall provide a place to sit and observe. The garden view carries into the store’s Boardroom.

Photo via Apple

The new Apple Fukuoka replaced a classic store within walking distance that was the last in the world to feature The Studio, a space similar to the Genius Bar that originally functioned as a creative help desk. The concept was later phased out and reborn as Today at Apple’s Studio Hour session.

Read more: All-new Apple Fukuoka opens with Japanese shoji screen and bamboo garden

Continue with more from this series on Apple Retail in 2023:

If you attend a store opening, spot something interesting, or try a great Today at Apple session, we’d love to see and share your photos. Follow our retail guide for in-depth coverage of the latest Apple Store news.

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New Facebook Features: Prepare For More Cliques

Facebook’s new features will fundamentally change the way many people use the site. Revamped Groups and a control center for third-party applications will reassure users who want to play on Facebook without accidentally oversharing with the wrong audience.

The changes offer more control over who sees your activities and how applications access your profile, in addition to letting you zip up and download all your messages, videos, photos, and wall posts.

Facebook’s 500 million users will see the new features roll out gradually, starting today.

Applications Dashboard

A new way to manage third-party Facebook apps combines two previously separate screens in one place. You can see the permission you’ve granted to an app as well as a log of when it last accessed your information.

This looks like a strong step forward in helping Facebook users understand the default settings, which vary from app to app, and decide whether something feels safe or intrusive. For example, the control panel will indicate whether an app requires viewing your friends’ information as well–such as with a birthday calendar.

Facebook touted this feature not only as offering more choice and transparency for users, but as encouraging app developers to be more judicious in how they treat users.

“It’s our core belief that people should own and be able to control their information in Facebook,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We view this as a philosophical thing.”

The change may represent a shift away from Facebook’s privacy stumbles of the past, such as the Beacon online ad system, which targeted non-Facebook users several years ago, and the service’s former policy of not letting users delete their accounts.

Because the possibility of downloading so much sensitive data could be appealing to scam artists, Zuckerberg noted that the steps of the process will include password and e-mail verification, and will flag any request coming from an unusual location. He also cited Facebook’s “social captcha” system, which verifies suspect users’ identities by asking them to identify “friends” in photos.


The new Groups feature allows a walled garden for sharing basic text documents, managing events, and chatting with up to 250 people at the same time. Groups includes a text editor (Docs) that offers extremely basic formatting options–Google and Microsoft have nothing to fear, at least for now.

You can, for instance, create a group for family members, another for coworkers, and another for people you haven’t seen since kindergarten. This should make Facebook more fun, if you’ve found lately that the more awkward “friends” you’ve accepted, the less freely you’ve been communicating there.

There are three options for groups. The default, Closed setting hides content from anyone who doesn’t belong. Making a group Open, on the other hand, means that the world–even outside of Facebook–can see what your group is up to. Labeling a group Private is a “Skull & Bones” option; nonmembers can’t view your activities and can’t even see that your group exists.

Facebook says that only 5 percent of its users make friend lists, which offer basic but plodding controls for opening or blocking parts of a profile to designated “friends.” The revamped Groups feature is likely to change that. Once you establish your social groups, you can share or hide things from each cluster in one fell swoop.

Facebook’s Shift

On the surface, Facebook’s changes offer new freedom and control for individuals. That’s not the whole picture, however, and there are some confusing points.

For example, the old Groups will continue to exist alongside the new features of the same name, but why and for how long? Also, it’s unclear how the changes will affect businesses that rely on Facebook pages.

Unfortunately, though you can share individual images among the groups, you can’t do the same with photo albums. Wouldn’t you like to hide awkward seventh-grade class photos you’re tagged in–or snapshots of last weekend’s bachelor party–from key “friends”?

Oddly enough, the new Groups feature may subject you to the whims of other users who can add you without getting your permission to do so. Imagine suddenly finding that fans of a political candidate you loathe have included you in their club. Once you ask to leave the group forever, however, its members can’t continue to add you.

The emergence of private Group spaces will mean more channels within Facebook for users to share, with social circles being broken into smaller, self-defined categories.

That’s great if you’re wary of sharing too much information, but it also changes the character of a site that has offered a sort of freewheeling, stream-of-consciousness way of learning about “friends” on walls and via news feeds. Facebook may evolve into an ecosystem or “social platform” of communities that are more self-segregated than in the past. In any case, maybe it’s time for Facebook users to judge each other by the content and character of their groups rather than by the sheer number of their friends.

Follow Elsa Wenzel and TechAudit on Twitter.

Redsn0W Update Released, New Features In Tow

On Saturday, we reported that there was a major RedSn0w update on the way. Dev Team frontman MuscleNerd told the Twitter nation that a new version of the popular jailbreak tool would be hitting the web in the very near future.

As promised, the team once again made Sunday ‘Funday’ by releasing the software late last night. While the update doesn’t add support for new firmware, it does come with a host of new features. Hit the jump to see the change log…

• uses DFU mode to try to automatically determine which device and FW you have

• fetches pieces of public IPSWs from Apple (once). Non-public IPSWs must be provided manually (once).  It then caches those pieces for future use.

• “Just boot” is a tethered boot.  Uses whatever “Preferences” you’ve set for boot logo and kernel boot-args

• “Pwned DFU” puts your device in a pwned DFU state for some of the iTunes stuff detailed below

• “Recovery fix” gets past 1015 types of errors (when baseband portion of restore fails).  Should work on iOS5 beta too

• “Select IPSW” is for picking non-public IPSWs, or overriding auto-detection

•“SHSH blobs” has a bunch of options…

• “Fetch” – fetch current PARTIAL blobs on device.  Should complete in under 10 or 15 seconds.  Puts the set of PARTIAL of blobs on your computer as a plist.  Checks if Cydia already has a full set for this device and build.  If not, it submits this PARTIAL set and returns Cydia’s acknowledgement or rejection

• ”Verify”  – cryptographically verifies existing blob files from either redsn0w, TinyUmbrella, or Cydia server.  You can select a whole bunch of blobs to verify at once if you want (like the TinyUmbrella directory)

• “Submit”  – both verifies and submits one or more blob files to Cydia.  This lets you copy your entire TinyUmbrella cache of blobs up to the Cydia server

• ”Query” – queries the Cydia server for all available FULL or PARTIAL blobs for a given set of ECIDs

• “Stitch” – stitches either FULL or PARTIAL blobs to a STOCK or CUSTOM IPSW

1. FULL blobs stitched to a STOCK IPSW gives you a completely self-contained signed IPSW that iTunes will accept without any tricks (no need to go into pwned DFU mode, no need to start TinyUmbrella TSS server, no need to redirect to Cydia server for blobs).

2. PARTIAL blobs stitched to any IPSW requires you to go into pwned DFU mode before running iTunes.  No need to start TU or use Cydia though.

3. stitching either FULL or PARTIAL blobs to a CUSTOM IPSW also requires a pwned DFU start before iTunes restores.  No need to start TU or use Cydia though.

4. stitching is NOT yet supported on iPhones (well, at least not tested).  Need to work out the baseband part of the restore process.

5. will eventually support fetching the blobs directly from Cydia instead of a file on your computer.

Confused? Head on over to our RedSn0w page for a step-by-step guide on how to jailbreak your iDevice using this software (hint: it’s easy).

Have you tried out the new RedSn0w? How did it work for you?

Choosing The Right Seo Agency For Enterprise Seo

Choosing the right SEO agency can be a daunting task in itself.

Considering the complexity of what is needed from an enterprise SEO agency adds an entirely new level that can be overwhelming.

With so many SEO agencies popping up all over, how do you know which ones truly know how to optimize a website with the latest in Google’s algorithms without trickery or spam?

My experience over the last 20 years has found me on both sides of the fence.

I started my career building an SEO agency from a few people and a handful of clients to more than 500 clients and 100+ employees in less than a year.

Cut to several years later (2006) and I’m on the other side for chúng tôi (at the time a very large company) and interviewing for agencies to provide extra support.

With each enterprise organization I manage SEO for, I bring in a consultant and an agency (if there isn’t already one on contract).

The jump from working with a small to medium business into a large organization with corporate bureaucracy is not easy for anyone, especially an agency.

Partnering with an Enterprise SEO Agency: What You Need to Know

A big factor in how your enterprise SEO agency will perform for you is having a clear understanding of what you will need them for once they are onboarded.

Setting up expectations during the RFP process will not only help you weed out the capable from the not-so-capable, but will set you and them up for success in the long run.

Drafting up a business case with your agency and tools for SEO will help you get organized on your needs and what your plan is for your agency going forward.

The business case will also help communicate expectations with key stakeholders and gain buy-in.

Where to Find Enterprise SEO Agencies to Choose From

I personally have a list of agencies that follow me with new in-house roles and I recommend agencies as a consultant for clients depending on their needs.

Agencies will always say they can do anything but, from my experience, I know who can do what better and will always recommend accordingly.

If you don’t have your list, a tweet to SEO pros, or a post to a Facebook Group asking for recommendations can help.

If you have time, attend a few conferences (e.g., SMX Advanced, Pubcon, Mozcon) to gather your list.

Peruse the booths, talk to speakers from agencies on the topics that your needs focus on, and talk to other attendees.

Get to know other SEO professionals at an enterprise level and ask them who they use, who they like, and why they like them.

If you are planning on reviewing a large number of agencies for a specific need, then a Request For Proposal (RFP) is needed, but not always necessary.

As long as you are clear on what your needs and expectations are, you shouldn’t have any problem during the review process.

Allow each agency to chat with you one on one about your expectations, and present to a larger team as a second step.

I usually like to get a list of what the other teams would expect (in Groupon’s case, we had five SEO teams plus several business verticals across the global organization I needed to coordinate with).

This requires several meetings upfront but saves time and follow-up from unexpected questions when it comes down to the agencies presenting.

What Makes an Enterprise SEO Agency Different?

Agencies with enterprise-level experience will usually skip past the obvious fixes since they have an understanding that there could be business reasons for them.

I’ve always said that any SEO that didn’t bring that up doesn’t know SEO.

However, they should:

Continue with the understanding that there could be a business reason.

Follow up with the impact vs. effort it would take to fix it.

Be open to feedback with any pushback (or explanation) the SEO team might give during a review.

An agency that hasn’t worked with a complex, enterprise-level site might not understand that:

It isn’t as easy as it appears.

The business might not support it.

There could be legal reasons.

The fix might not be scalable.

Enterprise agencies will also understand that the level of engagement for a larger company might be higher than most of their smaller clients.

Enterprise SEO agencies need to be proactive since the SEO team at the company is more often distracted by all of the work that needs to get done.

Regular check-ins and open communication are critical to the success of the relationship. I have always worked best with agencies that have local offices and/or make frequent in-person visits.

The best agency I have ever worked with has an SEO manager that:

Sits in the office under contractor status with their own desk, company email, logins to tools, and reporting.

Attends regular meetings between engineering and verticals across the organization.

In the end, the relationship is that of an extension of the team that regularly communicates, proactively suggests growth strategies and foundational fixes, and follows through to ensure the work is getting done.

Managing Your SEO Agency

The key to managing your enterprise SEO agency is to keep the levels of communication flowing.

Give them the tools and access they need to become successful and help them champion any work they need through.

Too many times I have inherited strong and capable agencies that fell quiet with no actual work done in a matter of weeks, or even months.

Frustrations were on both sides, to no one’s fault.

Contracts are always signed with positive optimism and a solid plan. But with communication dropping, and little to no support, the agency can’t be successful – and your SEO will fall short.

Set up expectations and a plan (roadmap) of deliverables that the agency should follow.

Be supportive where you can when they need you to be, and follow-through with other teams the agency needs to complete work as promised.

Have at least weekly check-ins with a clear list of what they are working on, what your team is working on, and expected delivery dates.

Talk through where you all are at with tasks for each, and always end with any recommendations they might have to keep the work flowing.

Monthly check-ins with key stakeholders always help to hold everyone accountable.

Other teams can make use of the agency, but also need help understanding their role in work that needs to be done.

I like to end each quarter with a report on tasks completed and ROI on the projects or tasks completed more than 3 months prior.

In some cases, I have seen weekly, monthly and even daily reporting, but then the agency becomes a reporting agency rather than an SEO agency, and when the contract is up it isn’t renewed.

Find your sweet spot for communication and expectations, adjust as needed, and review the contract as often as you all feel it is necessary.

When you all are working together then you will see the success for SEO that both sides are there for.

Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita

Windows 10 Build 21354 Outs With New Features In The Dev Channel

Windows 10 build 21354 releases in the Dev Channel with new features and changes.

It brings new Camera settings to manage network cameras and webcams.

Introduces the ability to disable content adaptive brightness control (CABC).

Microsoft also ships tweaks for the Settings app, Start menu, WSL, News and Interests, built-in apps, and more.

Build 21354 for Windows 10 is now rolling out for devices enrolled in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program. This is preview number 69, and it is a small release with several changes and new features.

According to the company announcement, Windows 10 build 21354 introduces a new “Cameras” settings page with new features for network cameras and webcams. You will also find several changes for built-in apps (Snipping Tool and Paint), tweaks to the Start menu, improvements for the “News and interests” feature, and more.

Windows 10 build 21354 new features

Here are the new features, changes, and improvements with the latest preview of Windows 10.

Cameras settings

Starting with build 21354, Windows 10 introduces a new “Cameras” page in the “Devices” section of the Settings app.

The new page includes settings to add, remove, disable, and configure network cameras, built-in cameras (front and rear), and external USB webcams.

In the configuration settings, you can also remove the backlight that causes shadows on your face. And you can even adjust brightness and contrast, enable Video HDR or Eye Contact, or correct the camera rotation.

Displays settings

In the Display settings, you will now have the ability to disable content adaptive brightness control (CABC), which is a feature that improves battery life by adjusting the contrast and brightness of the display based on the content shown in the display. However, the feature can cause distracting brightness changes that also decrease the image quality that might be something important when you need to show content with color accuracy, as such now, there is an option to disable it.

The feature is called: “Automatically adjust contrast based on the displayed content to help improve battery,” and it will be available depending on the camera support.

Start menu improvements

As part of the Start menu improvements, build 21354 no longer includes a Windows Tools folder. Instead, it is now an option with a new icon that opens the new Windows Tools folder in Control Panel.

In addition, the Windows Tools folder now combines all the options previously available in the Windows Accessories, Windows Administrative Tools, Windows PowerShell, and Windows System folders. As a result of this change, you will no longer find these folders in the Start menu or across the operating system.

Furthermore, all the tools are searchable using Windows Search, and you can now pin them to the taskbar or Start menu.

Finally, File Explorer now appears in its own place in the Start menu.

Device usage settings

Starting with build 21354, Windows 10 officially introduces the “Device usage” settings page in the “Personalization” section, which allows you to specify how you plan to use the device to allow the system to show suggestions for tips, tools, and services that will help you make the most out of the operating system.

Windows Update changes

Windows 10 build 21354 also brings changes to the “Change active hours” feature. For example, now you see the “Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity” toggle switch enable if you never configured the feature.

Using this new default setting, Windows Update will be able to schedule automatic updates when you are not actively using the computer.

ARM improvements

For ARM64 devices, it’s now possible to enable compatibility settings for x64 applications.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

In WSL, the default path has been changed to \wsl.localhost\ from \wsl\ to improve reliability and performance. However, you will still be able to use the \wsl\ path to access the files.

Applications changes

There is a new version of the Microsoft Paint app that does not introduce any new features in this flight, but now it’s an app that updates through the Microsoft Store and includes a new modern icon.

The Snipping Tool also becomes an app that receives updates through the Microsoft Store. The company also says that this app has been combined with the Snip & Sketch app, which means that they both will receive updates simultaneously. Furthermore, the Snipping Tool is no longer part of the Windows Accessories folder, and it will appear in its own place in the Start menu.

News and Interest improvements 

This flight also brings some improvements for the News and Interests widget in the taskbar.  Starting with this release, you will find more ways to personalize the feed with the new “Manage interest” button that appears when hovering over the weather in the taskbar.

The button opens the feature personalization experience in your Microsoft account online page. The page includes more ways to select topics of interest. You can use the search box to find more topics. You can manage the topics you follow by selecting “Followed interests” in the left navigation.

Also, the “Tune your feed” is available from the left pane on the “My interests” page. “This experience makes it easy to explore and follow publishers from [the Microsoft] partner ecosystem and select example articles that pique your interest.” In addition, the “Followed Publishers” option in the left pane lets you manage the publishers you follow.

These changes are available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Australia.

Microsoft Edge

Although Microsoft Edge receives updates independently from Windows Update, pinned sites should now show all the open tabs across windows as of the latest release of the browser.

Microsoft is listing the complete set of improvements, fixes, and known issues for Windows 10 Insider Preview build 21354 at the Windows Blog.

Download Windows 10 build 21354

You can learn more about all the changes available in the current development process of Windows 10 in this guide.

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