Facebook starts showing its own TV shows and series

May 24/2017

Facebook is planning to launch about two dozen different shows and TV series in mid June, created specifically for the social network. This information was reported by Business Insider with reference to its sources. The company also gave the go-ahead for another TV programs production.
According to the publication, Facebook is interested in the content in two main formats: long-term large-budget projects and 5-10 minutes episode programs, which will be released daily.
It is assumed that the series of the first category will take the level of "Card House" and "Scandal". Short videos will be focused primarily on young audience.
Social network considers high-quality video content as a significant aspect of user retention. Besides this, Facebook shows will allow to offer advertisers an alternative to traditional TV and will give the company another source of revenue.
Facebook began negotiations with television studios in December 2016. At that time it was reported that the social network does not plan to invest in expensive movies and series. However, according to the Business Insider, the plans for the company have changed.

Google will be updating Maps using Street View

May 24/2017

Google reported that the Street View service is now able to extract textual information from photos to update Maps. This was achieved with the help of machine learning algorithms.
From now on Street View can not only collect images of the real world, but also extract names and street numbers from them. This innovation will automatically add new addresses to Maps and update the data in real time.
Google used photos taken in different countries to test the new technology. It was possible to automate the process of "reading" the contents of images with an accuracy reaching 84% with the help of neural networks in France. The developers noticed that this indicator significantly exceeds those opportunities that were previously available for them.
Algorithms can even recognize abbreviations and convert them into words. For example, "Av" converts into "Avenue".
Automated system simplifies the process of adding new streets and buildings to Maps. It is also able to "read" the names of companies, which allows you to quickly update the data.
The source code for the model is available to everyone on GitHub

Google: with adding videos to the page the positions do not get higher in the search results

May 24/2017

Google spokesman, Gary Illyes, said on Twitter the other day that adding a video to the page does not help get the ranking higher.
"Having a video on the page does not help to get higher position in search results. Nevertheless, you have the right to your own opinion,"wrote Illyes.
Adding a video to the page does not harm the website. However, it can slow down the page loading from a technical point of view.
Google employee John Mueller admitted that embedded YouTube videos can slow the pages down. At the same time, he noted that the search engine does not distinguish between built-in elements from its own services and competitors' websites. He also added that YouTube players should not reduce the download speed too much as they are well optimized

Google returns € 306 million unpaid taxes to Italy

May 09/2017

Google agreed to pay € 306 million to settle the tax dispute down in Italy. This information was reported by Reuters.
Last year Italian tax police office said that Google earned 1 billion euros in the country between 2009-2013, but the taxes were not paid in full.
Google and the regulator states that the agreement covers the period from 2002 to 2015.
"Besides the taxes already paid in Italy over these years, Google will pay additional 306 million euros," - reports the Press service of one of the Internet companies.
Google has repeatedly been accused of tax evasion in Europe. The claims are related to a scheme that allowed the company not to pay taxes at high rates in individual countries by the registration of the revenue received in Ireland.
It should be recalled that Google settled a tax dispute in the UK in January 2016. The company agreed to pay $ 185 million for dept redemption in the period from 2006 to 2011.
In 2015, Google saved $ 3.6 billion to pay taxes through a financial scheme known as the "double Irish and Dutch sandwich."

The Search Console team is working on new AMP features

May 09/2017

Google is adding new functions related to AMP Search Console, and invites webmasters to take part in the beta testing.
On May 4, John Mueller, the QA manager, sent out a message to the service testers. The letter was entitled as "New beta opportunity for AMP-site-masters".
Search Console users who have implemented AMP on their websites can also be involved in the testing. For this, you need to fill out the form in Google Doc.
Mueller confirmed that the newsletter was indeed sent and the link source is safe and protected (comments on Twitter):
Those who wish to participate in the testing, but have not received the newsletter, you can try to contact John Müeller on Twitter for details.

Google does not lower the ranking for the websites with redirects to 404 error pages

May 09/2017

Google does not lower sites for having pages with 404 error links. This information was reported by TheSemPost referring to the search representative Gary Illyes.
Some webmasters believe the pages with 404 error on the websites are lowered in the search results ranking. However, Gary Illyes denies this opinion.
The 404 errors can be caused by various reasons: website redesign and incorrect redirection, permanent or temporary unavailability of the resource. At the same time, many webmasters do not track outgoing links on an ongoing basis in order to quickly identify and fix these errors. However, it would be unfair to punish webmasters for the problems of another resource, says TheSemPost founder, Jennifer Slagg.
As for UX, 404 pages can worsen the user's experience, so it makes sense to periodically scan the website and fix the links that are no longer running.

Slowing the website for 1 second reduces mobile conversion by 20.5%

May 09/2017

Low download speed of the website can significantly affect the performance of the online store. This is evidenced by the results of a study conducted by Akamai.
According to the data presented, the delay in loading the page in 100 milliseconds reduces the level of dextop conversion by 2.4%, while the mobile version by 7.1%.
1 second delay reduces the conversion from desktops by 21.8%, for smartphones by 20.5%, and from tablets by 17.8%. With two seconds delay, the figures fall even lower: by 36.5%, 26.2% and 25.1%, respectively.
The maximum conversion level was observed if the loading time was:
1.8 seconds (conversion rate 12.8%) for desktop devices;
2.7 seconds (3.3%) for smartphones devices;
1.9 seconds (7.2%) for tablets and gadgets.
Basically, the pages that are converted are loaded 26% faster.
As for the average conversion rate, on desktops it was ranked at 4.1%, on 1.4% on smartphones and 2.7% on tablets.
According to Akamai, almost half of all buyers (47%) are viewing products on smartphones, but only 1 out of 5 transactions ends on a mobile device.
Despite the fact that only 22% of mobile websites ends up in a conversion, this figure should be growing with the upcoming months and years.
The study also showed that the highest failure rate is among the mobile users. At the same, the minimum failure rate was observed on the tablets.
The optimum load time at which the failure rate is kept at the lowest level is from 700 msec to 1.2 sec for all devices. The delay in loading in 2 seconds raises this indicator up to 103%, and also reduces the duration of the session by 51%.

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