Weekly Digital News Roundup: Oct 17 – 21
Trends: Digital Advertising
- A vast array of technologies and trends are transforming online marketing, including the death of the click through. Advertisers and publishers have been predicting—and hoping for—the death of the click-through rate for years, complaining it’s a highly inefficient way to measure an ad’s success, especially for brand advertising.
- The merging of mobile and desktop. The dividing line between mobile devices (especially tablets) and desktop/laptop computers seems to be blurring. Apple, for example, has been incorporating features from its smartphones into its desktop operating system, and Jefferies & Co. predicted recently that Apple’s two systems—OSX and iOS—will merge completely.
- The persistence of supercookies. Researchers have found that major websites—specifically Hulu and MSN.com—have been following visitors with a file called a “supercookie,” which continues its tracking even after users delete it in their Web browsers. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t go over well with consumers. When called out, Microsoft and Hulu apologized and claimed to stop the practice. Don’t look for them to disappear completely, though—supercookies are legal.
- The rise of HTML5. Once a dominant format on the Web, Adobe’s Flash has struggled to stay relevant, especially after Apple declined to support the format on the iPhone and iPad. Publishers and advertisers have shifted their attention to the newer, more mobile-compatible technology, HTML5.
Google nixes Buzz, Jaiku, iGoogle social features, Google Labs
- Google on Friday announced that it is scrapping another handful of products as the tech giant continues to trim down its product line and focus more on successes such as Android and Google+.
- The most notable of the products getting nixed this time around might be Google Buzz, the company’s failed attempt to release a social networking product in the vein of Twitter. Buzz is notorious for being a major privacy stumble for Google that ended in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, which brought tough online data protection terms after a big backlash from users and privacy groups.
- This also means pulling the plug on Google Labs later this year — a website that allows the public to test experimental new projects and was the birthplace of hit Google products such as Google News, Google Maps and Google Trends.
Google AdWords Redesign Looks Beyond Keywords
- Google is about to take what it calls “a whole new approach” to search advertising, the foundation of its massive revenues.
- The AdWords program has always been designed around “keywords, keywords, keywords,” said product management director Baris Gultekin. And that isn’t changing, exactly, but Google is announcing an alternative, which it calls Dynamic Search Ads.
- With the new product, advertisers just point AdWords toward the pages that they want to promote. Then Google matches the ad with the best searches and generates an appropriate headline. “We are basically redesigning AdWords from the ground up,” Gultekin said. Under the hood, he said that Google is “flipping the search engine on its head.” Instead of taking a keyword and finding relevant pages, the company is taking a page and matching it to the best keyword.