Weekly Digital News Roundup: March 19 – 23
- Internet browser Firefox is set to use a secure method of Google search by default in order to prevent eavesdropping. This change will reduce the ability for publishers to know how people find their sites in Google – except for Google advertisers, of course. They’ll continue to be privy to this info thanks to a loophole.
- Director of Firefox engineering Johnathan Nightingale says, “We are currently testing the change to use SSL for built-in Google searches in our Firefox nightly channel. If no issues are uncovered, it will move through our Aurora and Beta release channels before eventually shipping to all our Firefox users. This will include migrating the changes to our non-English version of Firefox, as well.”
- Google uses Google SSL Search as the default for signed-in users at Google.com, which renewed discussions about making search similarly secure for Firefox users. Google employee Mike Graboski has noted that Google has no issues with Firefox making the switch.
Promoted Tweets Officially Go Mobile
- Next time you’re scrolling through Twitter, you might see a tweet from a company you don’t remember following. That’s because the company recently announced that it will begin publishing promoted tweets from ad companies across its abs and main website.
- Twitter also said in a blog post that it will offer advertisers the option of targeting promoted tweets by platform. So, ad companies now have the option of filtering tweets by iPhone and iPad, Android, or other mobile devices.
- “Since we began testing three weeks ago, reactions have been positive,” Twitter said of the change. “Starting today, we are expanding this test, enabling brands to target Promoted Tweets to mobile users that share similar interests with their existing followers.”
Google Announces “Over-Optimization” Penalty
- Google’s Matt Cutts announced that the company is working on a search ranking penalty for sites that are “over-optimized” or “overly SEO’ed.”
- As Barry Schwartz reports from SearchEngineLand.com, Cutts said “the new over optimization penalty will be introduced into the search results in the upcoming month or next few weeks.” The purpose is to “level the playing field,” Cutts said, and to give sites that have great content a better shot at ranking above sites that sacrifice content for better SEO.
- As Cutts says, “We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”