Weekly Digital News Roundup: Jan 1 – Jan 5
Bing Ads, Too, Says Goodbye to Phone Numbers In PPC Ad Copy
- According to Search Engine Land, Bing Ads advertisers will soon no longer be able to put a phone number in the headline, body copy, URL or extensions like Sitelinks. As with AdWords, they’ll need to use location or call extensions for phone numbers. To start, the change only affects advertisers in the US, UK, Hong Kong and Taiwan, though we should expect this change to roll out to other markets in “the near future”, Bing Ads warns in the announcement.
- This change goes into effect on new campaigns starting in February 2015. Any legacy ads with phone numbers will be allowed to run until June 2015. A caveat: if you make any edits at all — fix a typo, change a URL — to those legacy ads starting in February, they will most likely be disapproved.
- If you want to keep those old phone number ads running until June, don’t touch them. Your best bet? Be prepared to start using call extensions and location extensions ahead of the February change.
FTC Closes Its Yelp Investigation Without Taking Action
- According to TechCrunch, Yelp has constantly been hit with claims that it manipulates reviews so its advertisers get higher rankings. This led to aninvestigation by the Federal Trade Commission in early 2014 after 2,045 complaints were filed against the company. Now Yelp says the FTC has closed its investigation into Yelp’s business practices and decided not to take action.
- It also claimed that many of the complaints filed with the FTC “appeared to be from businesses that simply weren’t happy with their ratings or reviews on Yelp.” This is the second time that the FTC has investigated Yelp’s business practices, with the first one also being closed without any further action. Furthermore, a federal appeals court ruled in September that even if Yelp does indeed award higher rankings to businesses that purchase ads on its platform, it would not be against the law.
- While Yelp has scored a round of legal victories, it is still under pressure from investors who were disappointed in the sales forecast it issued in its third-quarter earnings report last October. The company said it is currently focused on scoring paid accounts, as well as expanding into international markets through a series of acquisitions.
How the biggest tech companies stack up on corporate diversity
- According to Mashable, at the end of his keynote address at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, an event normally dominated by gadget talk, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich struck a serious note by laying out a plan to improve diversity at his company and in the industry at large.
- “I’m here to say tonight it’s time to step up and do more,” Krzanich said in his remarks, before pledging $300 million to boost diversity. “It’s not good enough to say we value diversity and then have our workplaces and our industry not reflect the full availability and talent pool of women and underrepresented minorities.”
- Intel revealed that more than three quarters of its workforce (76%) are men. Microsoft, which released more comprehensive demographic data this month, had the same gender breakdown and an even more exaggerated split among managers with 88% being male. Intel may be the first to publicly set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to the diversity effort, but other tech executives have publicly pledged to invest in improving the breakdown.