Weekly Digital News Roundup: Aug 7-11

Weekly Digital News Roundup: Aug 7-11

Google to Reward Sites With HTTPS Security

  • According to Forbes, Google announced Wednesday that it will begin rewarding sites with HTTPS security by ranking them higher in its search results.
  • For the past few months, the company has experimented by “taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms,” and according to a post on its blog, has seen positive results.
  • For now, HTTPS is just a “lightweight signal that will affect “fewer than 1% of global queries and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content.” But that could change over time as Google strives to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

YouTube Acquires Directr                                 

  • According to the LA Times, YouTube wants more small businesses to purchase advertising on its website, and that’s why this week it acquired Directr, a Boston start-up.
  • Directr’s technology makes it simple for businesses to create videos, which can be used as YouTube advertisements, but the company charges businesses $250 and $500 per year to use its services. Those services will soon be free now that Directr has been acquired by YouTube, according to the start-up’s website. Its $0.99 iPhone app is also now available for free.
  • YouTube is expected to generate more than a billion dollars from video advertisements for the first time this year, according to eMarketer, a research firm.

Amazon Has New Standoff, With Disney

  • According to the Washington Post, Amazon.com’s business tactics and power over the retail and media economy are again under the spotlight with a new dispute spilling into public view, this time with a media powerhouse: Disney.
  • The online retailer reportedly removed pre-orders of DVDs and Blu-ray discs for the Walt Disney Co.’s blockbuster movies “Captain America: The Winter’s Soldier” and “Maleficent,” according to Home Media Magazine. By blocking pre-orders of films as a negotiating tactic, Amazon is flexing its muscle over how much it gets per sale as a distributor of Disney’s films and merchandise, analysts say.
  • Amazon, whose chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, owns The Washington Post, has demonstrated great determination in its increasing number of pricing disputes. Its similar dispute with the book publisher Hachette has only escalated over four months.
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