Google brings AMP at the international level

July 27/2017

Google actively promotes accelerated mobile pages (AMP) at the international level. This information has been reported by the RankRanger analytical service.
AMP-results have become much more frequent in the Google news block in a number of countries outside the US since mid-July,: Israel, Poland, Norway, Austria, New Zealand and Switzerland.
One can also observe a % raise of the first pages in mobile search results that have at least one AMP result in three countries: Taiwan (+ 92%), Germany (+ 27%) and Norway (+ 286%).
It should be recalled that AMP-pages appeared in Google.ru search results in February 2017.
AMP support began to be introduced by such search engines as Baidu, Sogou and Yahoo Japan in April. Thanks to this, the project has been expanded to more than 1 billion users living in Asia.

SimilarWeb brought $47 million for international development and innovation

July 27/2017

The Israeli SimilarWeb Company, which deals with web analytics, has brought $47 million of investments for further development. This information has been reported by TechCrunch.
The next stage for funding was headed by the Israeli Viola Growth foundation. Among the investors you can see Saban Ventures, CE Ventures and others.
During previous rounds, the company raised the investments by $ 65 million. The next $47 million is planned to be spent on international growth and innovation. SimilarWeb plans to expand its business in Tel Aviv, San Francisco, New York, London and Tokyo, as well as open new offices in other countries around the world.
The company's total valuation received from the deal is kept a secret. According to TechCrunch, it amounted to about $ 800 million, a double increase after the previous round, which took place in October 2015. SimilarWeb was valued at $ 400 million at that time. The source of the publication in the company claims that it is close to becoming a unicorn.
SimilarWeb startup was founded in 2007 in Tel Aviv. The platform provides developers and publishers the tools which can be used to track their traffic and competitors.
According to the service reps, a half of the companies from the top-100 Forbes ranking along with "thousands" of other investors, analysts, marketing agencies and consultants use this service. SimilarWeb customers are such giants as Google, eBay and Airbnb.

Google tests auto-playable videos in search results

July 27/2017

Google is testing the automatic playback of video clips on the Knowledge Grid panel. The experiment is held on a limited scale.
TheSEMPost blog writer Jennifer Slagg noticed this newly introduced feature yesterday using the Internet Explorer browser.
Google rep confirmed this information in the interview to Search Engine Land and stated: "We are constantly experimenting the ways to improve the experience of using search tool, but we have nothing to make this public at the moment."
According to Jennifer Slagg, Google automatically plays videos that appear on the Web knowledge bar when searching for queries related to movies and TV shows.
It is not clear yet whether this experiment will take a higher scale or not.

Google: 503 status code should not be applied for weeks

July 19/2017

Google’s spokesman John Mueller said that the server's 503 response code should be used within a few hours, but not weeks.
503 error means that the server is temporarily unable to process requests for technical reasons (this may be a maintenance, overload, etc.). This is a good method to help Google understand that the website will be unavailable for a limited period of time.
However, it is not recommended to use it for longer than a few hours. According to Mueller, "weeks" does not mean temporary. He also added that the webmasters are misleading Google in this case.
If it's not accessible for weeks, it would be misleading to include it in search, imo. It's an error page, essentially.
- John ☆ .o (▽ ≦ ≦) o. ☆ (@JohnMu) June 8, 2017
We should remind you that John Mueller previously told how not to lose the position in the search engine, if there is a need to temporarily suspend the website (for a day or more) either due to technical maintenance or for other reasons.

AdWords launches a new keyword-level bidding interface

July 19/2017

Google AdWords users all around the world noticed that is a new keyword-level bidding interface is launching soon.
From now on when clicking on the bet in the column "max price a click"the following UI appears:
Before only the dialog box was displayed:
Google will show recommended bids for different ad positions on the page, even if the bid simulator for this keyword is not available.
Some phases were also changed a little bit. Instead of the "top of the page" is now replaced by "over all organic results"; instead of "first position" the tab "over all other ads" will be now used.
There was no official launch announcement yet.
Let us remind you that Google AdWords changed algorithm of work of the Optimizer of the price for conversion last week. Earlier this tool could raise the maximum bid for prospective clicks by no more than 30%. Now this restriction is lifted.

Cyber attack that took place on May 12 affected 200,000 users from 150 countries

July 19/2017

The victims of the mass cyberattack that occurred on May 12 were 200 thousand users from 150 countries. This information was stated by the press-secretary of the European police department (Europol) Jen Ohn Jen Hurt.
According to him, there are many affected companies, including large corporations. He also noted that the cyber attack may continue on May 15, when people come to work and turn on their computers.
The virus, called WannaCry blocks access to files and requires affected users to pay $ 300 ransom in bitcoins. Unless the price is paid in three days, hackers threaten to double this amount, and after 7 they remove all files from the computer.
The first reports of cyber attacks appeared in the media and social networks on Friday, May 12. According to Europol, the malware was launched from the National Health Service of England. Then it affected networks in other countries. The virus infected computer networks of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Megafon and other organizations in Russia. Proofpoint specialist Darien Hass and author of the MalwareTech blog managed to stop the spread of the virus using code to access a meaningless domain on May 13. However, the WannaCry creators released a new version of the virus, which no longer refers to this domain name.
It is noted in Europol that the motivation of hackers is not fully understood. Typically, this type of attack is revenue-oriented. However, in this case, the amount of the repurchase is small. According to the ministry, only a few companies and individuals agreed to pay $ 300 to attackers, following the recommendations of law enforcement agencies. According to The Guardian, the accounts of the creators of the extortion virus received $ 42,000 from approximately 100 people.
The intruders have not been revealed yet.
There is an update on this. The threat is also prevented by anti-virus programs. In particular, Comodo software gives a pop-up message:
The alert link brings us to a video on YouTube.

The Italian authorities fines WhatsApp for $ 3 million euros

July 19/2017

The Italian Antimonopoly Authority fined WhatsApp service developers for 3 million euros. This information was reported reported by Reuters.
According to the agency, WhatsApp imposed conditions on the users that obliged them to agree to data transfer to Facebook parent company. In particular, they were persuaded that without agreeing on this they would not be able to continue using the service.
The WhatsApp press service commented on this situation the following way: "We are considering this decision and preparing a response to the authorities."
The supervisory authorities of all EU countries demanded that WhatsApp last year to suspend the transfer of Facebook data because of users’ doubts' in agreeing on the conditions.
The fact that WhatsApp will open Facebook access to the user base became known in August 2016.

Google tests a new search results format with ready-made answers

July 19/2017

English-speaking users noticed that Google is testing a new format for the search results that would include ready answers.
From now on the website, the content of which was used to generate a response will no longer be displayed in the search results. The reference to it is contained only in the block with the answer.
"Google removed the result from the search on the page that was already shown in the block with the answer for this query. Now the block with the answer is the only result for the page on a specific request, "says The SEM Post blog
See how it looks:
Basically this result is located on the first page of search results:
It is noted that the new feature is currently available for many users, but not all of them. This can mean a large-scale testing or a gradual launch.

Twitter added new protection filters against trolls

July 14/2017

Twitter added additional filters, which allow you to turn notifications off from certain account categories. This feature is designed to help users secure from trolls.
From now on you can turn off notifications from the following account types in Twitter (provided that the user is not subscribed to their updates):

New accounts;
User accounts that do not follow your account;
Accounts with a default profile photo;
Accounts without a confirmed e-mail address;
Accounts without a confirmed phone number.
Now you have even more control over your notifications. Mute accounts that do not follow you, new accounts, and more. https://t.co/UapP6DtTtY pic.twitter.com/RcBQGx219k
- Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) July 10, 2017
The instructions for setting up new filters can be found in the Help Center.
Earlier it became known that Twitter is also testing a new feature that will allow users to tag tweets with false or malicious information.

WhatsApp is among the worst apps by user data protection from authorities

July 14/2017

The American Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) human rights organization has published another annual report on how Internet companies protect their user data from the authorities.
In 2016, nine companies received the highest ratings (5 stars), including Adobe, Dropbox, Lyft, Pinterest, Uber and WordPress. At the same time, such popular services as Snapchat and Twitter have scored three stars, whereas WhatsApp got only two.
EFF was basing on five criteria when evaluating companies:
Clear interaction with the authorities;
Notifying users about authority requests to disclose their data;
Guarantee of non-transfer personal data to third parties;
Legality verification of NSL-requests (secret requests from the US government, which are not subject to disclosure);
Advocating the reform of article 702 of the Act on FISA amendments (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act).
Companies received a star for every criterion compliance.
According to the report, the WhatsApp messenger does not notify users about requests from authorities, does not guarantee the non-transfer of their data to third parties and does not check NLS-requests of special services.
The EFF report is based on data published by companies in the public domain.

American mass unites to fight against Google and Facebook

July 14/2017

The US media intend to appeal to Congress to get the right to collective bargaining with Google and Facebook this week. The permission is necessary because the USA has an antimonopoly prohibition on similar associations between representatives of one branch. This information was reported by The New York Times.
The publishers are represented by News Media Alliance. It includes such major news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
According to the media, Google and Facebook are a threat to the country's economy. The goal of publishers is to fight against the duopoly of these companies in the digital market, which adversely affects the news and information business.
"We are getting more concerned and even angry about the asymmetric and unprofitable relationship between publishers and large digital platforms," Mark Thompson, CEO of The New York Times Company, describes the current situation in the industry.
Publishers are confident that by uniting together, they will be able to get more concessions from Google and Facebook struggling for digital space. It's about preserving quality journalism, which requires a lot of expenses, and preventing the spread of fake news.
"If you want a free model, you will get news. But it will be garbage news. For instance, “the Pope blessed Trump"says David Chavern, head of the News Media
Alliance.
Despite initiatives taken by IT companies aimed to help publishers adapt to the new digital reality, News Media Alliance participants consider this to be inadequate.
According to eMarketer, Google and Facebook will occupy about 60% of the Internet advertising market in the US in 2017, and the total volume of this market will reach $83 billion.

Google adds the "Menu" tab for cafes and restaurants to the search results panel

July 14/2017

Users noticed that Google added a new "Menu" tab to the local search results panel for catering centers.
The new option has got the following appearance:
When you click on a new tab the menu gets loaded.
At the moment the new feature is seen by users in the US and Canada. The date of worldwide launch is still unknown.
It should be reminded that Google updated the interface of the local knowledge bar, which appears when searching for local companies, shops and institutions and contains detailed information on the desired business. Now it includes two sections: "Review" and "Feedback".

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