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Extortion Artists Prey on AdSense Users
February 19, 2020
A new extortion scheme targets users of Google's AdSense program. The scam threatens to flood a website with bogus traffic until Google suspends the site's AdSense account, unless the owner pays $5,000 in bitcoin to stop the attack, security blogger Brian Krebs reported. The grifters appear to be exploiting a click-fraud crackdown Google launched last summer.
Latest E-Commerce Trend: The Rise of Shoppable Posts
February 11, 2020
There were 4,521,480,071 Internet users as of Dec. 1, 2019. A month later it was closer to 5 billion users. A decade ago there were fewer than a billion social network users. That's worldwide. That user growth has been a leading indicator of the rise of alternative social networking platforms. Marketers -- and consumers -- are always on the lookout for the newest thing with which to engage.
3 Amazon Trends to Watch in 2020
February 8, 2020
Over the last quarter-century, Amazon has transformed itself from an online bookseller into an e-commerce behemoth that's reshaping retail economics. In 2018, Amazon reported more than $232 billion in revenue -- a number that's sure to jump once 2019's final figures are released. Those eye-popping returns mean the online seller accounts for nearly 50 percent of all e-commerce revenue.
Could Ads Become Potent Weapons Against Streaming Piracy?
January 24, 2020
Though it no longer grabs many headlines, video piracy remains a major issue for pay-TV services, according to consumer research firm Parks Associates. If just 10 percent of pay-TV subscribers should discontinue paying for services by 2023, the loss in revenue to operators could approach $6 billion, according to the firm's report, "Video Piracy: Ecosystem, Risks, and Impact."
Building E-Commerce Wave: Social Media Shopping
January 13, 2020
Consumers are on social media constantly, scrolling through posts. Many have begun clicking on brand posts and making purchases. "Social commerce is becoming increasingly popular for brands," noted Darin Archer, chief strategy officer at Elastic Path. "Even when the transaction itself may be happening outside the app, there's a much smaller gap between discovery and purchase."
4 Keys to a Winning Amazon Marketing Strategy
December 30, 2019
Research indicates that 66 percent of online shoppers start their product searches on Amazon, and Amazon shoppers behave differently than buyers on other online platforms and at brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon has set up its listings so that it is simple to "window shop" and compare competitive products. A brand must make sure to position its products in a way that shows how it is different from competitors in the marketplace.
3 Steps to a Winning Google Shopping Strategy
December 14, 2019
The world of paid digital advertising is changing fast. Over the last year alone, marketers have had to adapt to big changes on Facebook's platform. They now have to reckon with the continued growth of Amazon, which is taking an ever-larger bite out of online advertising budgets. Even Google, long the alpha dog in digital marketing, is altering its approach with the changing times.
Apple Feature Forces Change in Online Ad Industry
December 11, 2019
Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature has made it difficult for online advertisers to use cookies to target Safari users. Third-party cookies "serve as the foundation for almost all advertising use cases," noted Jordan Mitchell, head of consumer privacy, identity and data at the IAB Tech Lab. The blocking "negatively affects the ability for brands to target audiences."
EU Digital Czar to Probe Facebook's and Google's Data Wrangling
December 3, 2019
The European Union has launched a probe into how Google and Facebook gather, process, use and monetize data for advertising purposes. The European Commission has begun distributing questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google's and Facebook's data practices. Facebook and Google join Amazon as targets of the EU's "digital czar," Margrethe Vestager.
Facebook Employees Blast Company's Political Ads Policy
October 30, 2019
At least 250 Facebook employees signed a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticizing the company's hands-off policy against fact-checking political ads. "We strongly object to this policy as it stands," says the letter. "It doesn't protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy."
Creating Brand Loyalty in the Era of Now
October 21, 2019
Not so long ago, marketing usually meant gathering some demographic data, placing ads in selected print and broadcast media, stuffing mailboxes with direct mail, plastering the countryside with billboards, and more recently, bombarding the universe with spam. Marketers no longer can focus on delivering static messages, regardless of how "targeted" or "multichannel" they may be.
Getting Ahead of the Digital Marketing Evolution Curve
October 7, 2019
Digital marketing was the firstborn child spawned from the invention of the Internet. It quickly became the major focus of businesses interactions -- and transactions -- both online and in person. Digital marketing now is fundamental to the success of your business. Why is digital marketing so important? Simply put, it is the last remaining channel for content that consumers can trust.
eGobbler Malvertising Attack Infects More Than a Billion Ads
October 2, 2019
Two eGobbler malvertising exploits impacted 1.16 billion programmatic ads between Aug. 1 and Sept. 23, according to Confiant, which has been tracking the threat. The first targeted versions of Chrome prior to Chrome 75 on iOS. The flaw was fixed in the Chrome 75 rollout June 4. he second exploit impacted WebKit-based browsers. Confiant reported it to the Chrome and Apple security teams Aug. 7.
Amazon Rewrites the Conquest Advertising Textbook
September 17, 2019
You've just come home from the gym and discovered that your teenager cleaned out your stash of energy bars. Drat. You decide to order a new supply of bars online. You usually buy Clif Bars, so you type the brand name into Amazon search -- but just as you're about to click the "Buy Now" button, you notice an ad for Quest Nutrition bars at the top of the search page. The bars look appetizing.
50 AGs Gun for Google in Antitrust Offensive
September 11, 2019
The attorneys general of 48 states, plus those from United States territory Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have joined in an investigation into whether Google stifled online advertising and search competition. The only holdouts are the attorneys general of Alabama, where Google is building a $600 million data center, and California, where Google has its headquarters.
Storm Erupts Over Google's Advice Against Blocking Cookies
August 28, 2019
Google's recent announcement of Privacy Sandbox -- an initiative to develop a set of open standards geared toward fundamental enhancements of privacy on the Web -- has stirred up a controversy. Blocking cookies is not a good idea for a number of reasons, and standardization of such efforts is needed, argued Justin Schuh, director, Chrome Engineering. Google invited the Web community to comment.
Facebook Gives Privacy-Minded Users Some Control Over Activity Tracking
August 21, 2019
Facebook has announced the release of Off-Facebook Activity, a tool that will let members see which apps and websites supply information about their online activity, and clear that information from their Facebook accounts if they wish. Once members have cleared their off-Facebook activity, Facebook will remove their identifying information from the data it collects.
Spotify for Podcasters Hits the Open Road
August 14, 2019
Spotify has launched Spotify for Podcasters following a year-long beta involving more than 100,000 podcasts from 167 countries. Spotify for Podcasters is a discovery and analytics dashboard designed to let podcasters track performance through data such as episode retention charts, aggregate demographics about listeners, and details on follower growth. Podcast data is updated daily.
5 Steps to Optimizing Your Quiz for Marketing Success
August 7, 2019
The modern world is becoming more difficult every year for e-commerce marketers. Audiences are harder than ever to reach as mistrust of traditional marketing tactics continues to increase. Banner ads are dying with the rise of ad blockers -- and proven lead generation methods like pop-ups and interstitials are becoming less and less effective. A new tactic is needed -- and that tactic is quizzes.
Leveling Up From Product Seller to Brand Builder
August 5, 2019
Video traffic is expected to make up 82 percent of all Internet traffic by 2022. This spike coincides with the increased production and distribution of videos throughout every industry. However, the value of video marketing for brands is as old as video itself. The difference now is that there are more opportunities to publish them and reach consumers via social media.
LinkedIn Tweaks Its Algorithms to Skew Feeds to User Interests
June 26, 2019
LinkedIn has disclosed algorithm changes designed to favor conversations catering to niche professional interests. The criteria for posts showing up in members' feeds can be summed up as "people you know, talking about things you care about," said LinkedIn Senior Director of Product Management Pete Davies. LinkedIn tested 100 variations of its feed models through online A/B testing last year.
Can Brands Protect Privacy While Personalizing?
June 14, 2019
I sometimes think personalization is the best thing that happened to humankind in terms of marketing. As a consumer, I love getting suggestions on what to buy, especially when it's exactly what I need. Sometimes I feel as though I'm under constant surveillance, however, so I turn on my ad blockers, I surf in private mode, and I report ads that are not relevant to me.
Internet's Crowds Stunting Its Growth: Trends Report
June 13, 2019
More than half the world's population -- 3.8 billion people -- have access to the Internet and that may not be a good thing for business, according to digital savant Mary Meeker's Internet Trends 2019 report. Global Internet user growth has slowed to 6 percent year over year, down from 7 percent, noted the Bond Capital general partner. The Asia-Pacific region leads in both users and potential.
Fraud Siphons Billions of Ad Cash Into Digital Hole
June 11, 2019
Fraudsters have been stealing online advertisers blind -- to the tune of $23 billion, based on a report from Cheq. Indirect economic and social costs might increase the total to $30 billion. Marketers have been wasting billions of dollars on digital ads that never reach buyers' eyes. Up to 30 percent of ads are impacted by fraud that affects 21 trillion online ads each year.
For Brands the Future Is Facebook
June 7, 2019
Mark Zuckerberg recently said that the future of Facebook is private. Interestingly, connecting the dots between all the announcements made at Facebook's 2019 developers conference draws a bright picture of what the future looks like for brands, small e-commerce stores, and new businesses using the Facebook family of apps. It includes a whole new world of opportunities.
The Cannabis Rush: Where There's Smoke, There's E-Commerce
May 31, 2019
The budding online cannabis industry has a long way to go before it delivers bumper crops. The market for both recreational and medicinal cannabis has been plowed and pre-seeded by the previous underground market and the impetus of state laws legalizing its use. Still, the cannabis industry is almost invisible online, cloaked as it is in a broad ad and search engine blackout.
Facebook's Ad Library API Draws Fire
May 1, 2019
Facebook has come under fire for its Ad Library API, which lets users perform customized keyword searches of all active and inactive ads related to politics or issues of national importance stored there. Released in beta last summer, the archive became available to everyone in March, following pressure from Mozilla ahead of the EU's upcoming parliamentary elections.
Google Images Now Display Shoppable Ads
March 7, 2019
Google wants to become your digital shopping catalog through shoppable ads. The company on Tuesday said it is testing a new format on a small percentage of traffic with select retailers. Merchants can highlight multiple products available for sale within a sponsored ad among Google Images results. Google is testing this approach on broad queries surfacing on searches like "home office ideas," "shower tile designs" and "abstract art."
Facebook's 2FA 'Security' Practices Violate User Privacy
March 5, 2019
Facebook has undermined privacy on its network by exposing mobile phone numbers provided to secure user accounts through two-factor authentication. That's because anyone can use the numbers to look up a user's account. One doesn't even have to be a Facebook member to do so. Moreover, there's no way to opt out of the setting, although it can be limited to "friends" only.
Walmart E-Commerce Has Blowout Q4
February 20, 2019
Walmart's e-commerce sales were up 43 percent for Q4 FY 2019. Sam's Club e-commerce sales grew 21 percent. Customers "continue to respond to our increasingly omnichannel offerings. We're executing against our strategy and it's working," said Walmart spokesperson Robyn Babbitt. Walmart's e-commerce focus "remains on earning repeat visits and strengthening our assortment of merchandise."
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Amazon Advertising: Strategies to Drive Success
How do you feel about your use of the Internet?
I spend a lot of time online and it's mostly high value.
I spend a lot of time online and much of it is wasted.
I'd like to experience more immersive online activities, like VR.
I'd like to spend more time in the real world.
I'd like to be always connected, perhaps with eyewear.
It's important to disconnect from the Web at regular intervals.
I go online as little as possible and I intend to keep it that way.
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