It’s official: Microsoft is sunsetting the Internet Explorer browser and getting ready to launch a new cross-platform browser codenamed Project Spartan.
Google is doing a major push to help local businesses show up in Google called Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. The new service helps businesses check the accuracy of their data in Google My Business, and even offers those without a website a free year of website hosting to get them online.
A new feature in Google My Business gives businesses more control over images that show alongside their search and map results. For example, you can choose to show a company logo or business photo instead of a map thumbnail next to your SERP results.
Google paid $25 million to purchase the .app top-level domain. It’s the highest price any company has paid so far in ICANN’s auctions for various TLDs.
Google announced that doorway pages are now in the Google Search Quality team’s crosshairs.
Google is testing search ads for apps within Google Play. The initial text allows only existing Google search ad publishers to advertise to a limited group of users.
Google launched an Android app for AdWords, which is the first native app that lets advertisers monitor and manage their AdWords campaigns. A version for Apple iOS devices is in development.
Some Google AdWords data can now be viewed sooner, within three to six hours, including data on search terms, geographic performance and automatic placements.
A team of Google research scientists published a paper introducing a system that would rank pages based largely on the accuracy of their content (i.e., based on "facts, not links"), using a new quality metric called Knowledge-Based Trust.
The first Google shop opens in London this month. Shoppers can try out the full range of Android and Chrome products and experience Google products in unique, experiential ways, such as "flying" through any part of Google Earth.
Google launched its Android for Work program, which allows people with Android smartphones to create work profiles that isolate and protect work data separately from their personal data. Google is hoping this program will increase its mobile enterprise market share; the latest Mobility Index Report from Good Technology reveals that Android device activations dropped to 25 percent in Q4 2014, while Apple’s iOS market share grew to 73 percent.
In a mobile SEO session at SMX West, Google spokesman Gary Illyes revealed that the search algorithm’s upcoming mobile-friendly ranking factor will be applied per page, not per site, and run in real-time.
Google has been spotted trying out several new search engine results page (SERP) design elements. 1. A red "slow" label has shown up on some mobile search results (a chilling thought for non-mobile-friendly websites). 2. The review ratings in rich snippets below a SERP listing have shown up as green stars instead of orange, and Google has confirmed doing color testing. 3. Colored line separators (using the various Google logo colors inserted between results) must have passed the test, because Google’s rolling them out in mobile SERPs.
YouTube launched cards, a new way to add clickable overlays on a video. Cards is an evolution and eventual replacement of annotations, a feature many publishers currently use.
Meerkat, a Twitter-centric live video streaming app, was the talk of South by Southwest (SXSW), the music and culture festival that took place this month in Austin, Texas. Meerkat offers versions for iOS and, more recently, Android devices.
Twitter is ramping up its video capabilities and offerings. First, the company launched an embedded video widget that lets websites embed a Twitter-hosted video on their site. Twitter also confirmed that it acquired Periscope, a live-broadcast streaming app with user interaction, that is currently still in beta.
Twitter has been experimenting with a new homepage for logged out users that displays selected topic streams of tweets rather than just a static image. The goal is to entice the 500 million people who visit the site each month to sign up and join the 288 million active monthly users.
Facebook is making "topic data" available to select partners. The new service sifts activity from posts and conversations (except for Messenger) to provide anonymized, aggregate data related to a brand, product or other topic and give marketers a more comprehensive, clearer view of audience thinking, demographics, etc.
Facebook ads can now target expatriots. Advertisers can specify both the country of origin and the country of residence. The feature is currently available for expats from Brazil, Indonesia, China, South Africa and India.
Facebook’s F8 developers conference runs for two days instead of one this year, happening March 25 and 26. The company’s recent tremendous growth, stock rise, acquisitions (namely, What’sApp, Oculus and Instagram), apps and advertising opportunities have given the Facebook community a lot to talk about.
The Apple Watch was officially unveiled at the Apple Event on March 9, along with other upcoming products. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously predicted that the Apple Watch could be used in place of car keys, work as a credit card for making purchases, prompt the wearer to go for a walk if not getting enough exercise, and provide a platform for many new apps.
Snapchat’s Our Stories are generating millions of views for each individual snap. Our Stories are collections of event-based snaps submitted by users that remain viewable for 24 hours before disappearing.
Etsy, the popular online crafter’s marketplace, has filed for an IPO, hoping to raise from $100 million up to $300 million by going public.
Leading link-shortening service Bitly has announced Deep Links, a new feature that allows Bitly enterprise customers to create links that send mobile users to an appropriate in-app location rather than a web page.
If you use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, be sure to get the latest update, which fixes a security hole that could expose millions of non-updated sites to a Blind SQL injection.
A report released by Internet.org examined the state of Internet connectivity around the world. The report found that 37.9 percent of the world’s population access the Internet at least once a year (the figure is 79.2 percent in developed countries and 29.8 percent in developing countries). This represents a 6.6 percent growth rate, which is slower than the adoption rate in previous years.