Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Greg Sterling - Contributed by Member: Patrick Moore

New campaign finance rules require near real-time disclosure of data.

Google will pause state and local political ads in the state of Washington, according to an article appearing in GeekWire. That’s in response to a new campaign finance law that requires near “real-time disclosure of detailed information about election ads in response to public records requests.”

Here’s what Google said in its AdWords policy update:

Starting June 7th, 2018, ads related to ballot measures and state and local elections in the state of Washington, U.S.A., will not be accepted. Notifications will be sent to affected advertisers, and the Political content policy page will be updated on June 6th.

Google does not believe it’s currently able to comply with the new rules and so is not running the ads. LinkedIn has made a similar decision, however globally. Its policy now reads: “Political ads are prohibited, including ads advocating for or against a particular candidate or ballot proposition, or otherwise intended to influence an election outcome.”

Bing also generally does not allow ads with “political and religious content.”

The Washington state law, mandating new political ad disclosures and transparency requirements, is an effort to:

[S]implify the political reporting and enforcement process without sacrificing transparency and the public’s right to know who funds political campaigns. The legislature also intends to expedite the public disclosure commission’s enforcement procedures so that remedial campaign finance violations can be dealt with administratively.

This comes against the backdrop of “fake news” and election manipulation by outside and dark-money groups. The new Washington state rules require information about geotargeting, audience targeting and impressions, among other data. As indicated, the data must be contemporaneously available upon request.

Separately, Facebook and Google were sued this week by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson for failing to comply with state records requirements for buyers of political ads. The state is seeking penalties, legal fees and injunctions against both Google and Facebook.

Categorized in Search Engine

The test was spotted on mobile over the weekend.

Google is running a new image test in search ads.

An image from the landing page appears to the right of the description area of the text ad. Sergey Alakov tweeted a screenshot of the ad test over the weekend.

View image on Twitter
Screenshot 1

A Google spokesperson told, “We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers and users, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now.”

Alakov is based in Toronto, Canada. I have not been able to replicate it, and it’s not clear how widespread the test is or what verticals are included besides automotive.

Google has gone through several iterations of testing images in search ads over the years. Currently, it is beta testing images in Sitelink extensions in a feature called Visual Sitelinks. Last year, Google launched large format mobile ads for automotive makers featuring a carousel of images of car models.

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Ginny Marvin

Categorized in Search Engine

AMID ONGOING CONCERN over the role of disinformation in the 2016 election, Facebook said Wednesday it found that more than 5,000 ads, costing more than $150,000, had been placed on its network between June 2015 and May 2017 from "inauthentic accounts" and Pages, likely from Russia.

The ads didn't directly mention the election or the candidates, according to a blog post by Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos, but focused on "amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum—touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights." Facebook declined to discuss additional details about the ads.

Facebook says it had given the information to authorities investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. "We know we have to stay vigilant to keep ahead of people who try to misuse our platform," Stamos wrote in the post. "We believe in protecting the integrity of civic discourse, and require advertisers on our platform to follow both our policies and all applicable laws."

Speculation has swirled about the role Facebook played spreading fake news during the 2016 election. Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has gone so far as to wonder whether President Trump's tech and data team collaborated with Russian actors to target fake news at American voters in key geographic areas. “We need information from the companies, as well as we need to look into the activities of some of the Trump digital campaign activities," Warner said recently.

Brad Parscale, digital director of the Trump campaign, has agreed to an interview with the House Intelligence Committee, and maintains he is "unaware of any Russian involvement in the digital and data operations of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign."

Wednesday's revelation is a new wrinkle in the ongoing Russia investigations. In July, Facebook told WIRED it had found no indication of Russian entities buying entities during the election.

In the larger context of political ad spending, even $150,000 is a nominal amount. According to a report by Borrell Associates, digital political-ad spending totaled roughly $1.4 billion in 2016. And yet, this finding exposes what seems to be a coordinated effort to spread misinformation about key election issues in targeted states.

Facebook is remaining tight lipped about the methods it used to identify the fraudulent accounts and Pages that it has since suspended. One search for ads purchased from US internet addresses set to the Russian language turned up $50,000 worth of spending on 2,200 ads. Facebook said about one-quarter of the suspect ads were geographically targeted, with more of those running in 2015 than 2016. According to The Washington Post, some accounts may be linked to a content farm called Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg.

Facebook said it is implementing changes to prevent similar abuse. Among other things, it's looking for ways to combat so-called cloaking in which ads that appear benign redirect users to malicious or misleading websites once people click through. That allows bad actors to circumvent Facebook's ad review process.

But while Facebook may be able to limit what people can and can't buy on its platform, it doesn't change the fact that social media has created a stage for anyone looking to spread false information online, with or without ads. As the $150,000 figure indicates, this finding is but a small fraction of a much larger problem.

Source: This article was published wired.com By ISSIE LAPOWSKY

Categorized in Social

Back when Alphabet Inc. was just a massive search engine called Google, skeptics wondered whether the company was a one-trick pony. Search was a cash cow, but then what? There was no clear diversification plan. Flash forward to today, with Google’s DoubleClick and YouTube the reigning forces in display and online video, and the skeptics seem to have gotten their answer. Alphabet is a company that’s diversified to own the digital present, and its future.

Or maybe not. Facebook, not Google, owns the social space. And while video views on Facebook may have been overstated in the past, the social network is clearly poised to compete with Google’s video business long-term. Plus, there’s another looming question in Google’s future: digital convergence.

Ten years ago, linear and digital advertising were completely different worlds. A year from now, 6% of the TV ad market in the United States will be managed programmatically. At some point along advertising’s long path to convergence, close to 100% of the TV business will become a linear TV/digital hybrid. Given that digital and TV ad spending are currently neck-and-neck, the convergence of linear TV and digital advertising will bring every digital player into a much larger, more diverse world. In that new world, “who wins” will depend largely on who adapts best to working with the other end of the digital/traditional divide.

For digital players—Google among them—this means being ready for the future means being ready to sync with new partners from the traditional media ecosystem. But based on its track record, Alphabet faces real hurdles in getting the offline traction it needs. The company’s Fiber cable businesses—a potential access point into television—has achieved extremely low market penetration over its seven years since launch. In 2014, Google went deep into marketing analytics with the acquisition of analytics player Adometry; a Forrester report published last October finds Google strong in online measurement, but relatively weak when it comes to offline measurement. Finally, Google’s previous foray into TV ad buying—its Google TV Ads program—was shuttered in 2012, largely, I argued at the time, because of Google’s miscalculations around how TV ad buyers execute their work. Based on what we’ve seen to date, it’s not clear much has changed in the nearly five years since then.

On Monday, Google announced that its new foray into the TV ad buying business would center on allowing marketers to manage programmatic TV buys through its DoubleClick Bid Manager. While any major announcement from Google stirs interest, this one was met with some deep skepticism surrounding the unknowns. One open question is what kind of TV ad inventory DoubleClick can actually provide. Another is whether DoubleClick can bring its TV buying offering into the full process of TV ad operations—or whether, instead, it will deal with TV ad buyers in a vacuum, cut off from the broader strategy and systems that guide their work. If it’s the latter, that could be a real sticking point for TV media agencies considering using the platform. Compounding these and related issues is the complicated relationship that Google—the constant “frenemy”—has with those same media agencies, for which Google plays the sometimes-contradictory roles of technology provider, media seller, and, in the long run, potential displacement threat.

When we talk about winners and losers in a converged advertising ecosystem, we tend to focus on whether the traditional media players can function in a digital future. But the digital businesses will be disrupted by the coming convergence, too. For every time we ask whether the traditional businesses can go digital, we also need to ask whether the digital players can go linear. The answers to both questions will determine the future of the ads industry.

Bill Wise is CEO of Mediaocean. Google is not a client of Mediaocean

This article was  published in fortune.com by Bill Wise

Categorized in Search Engine
android falseguide news malware
Another week, another Android malware.

Android malware often takes the form of infected apps on the Google Play Store, and a new variant called FalseGuide has been discovered by security company Check Point.

While Google has been pushing monthly security updates, manufacturers like Samsung unfortunately often delay on pushing these updates to customers. The result? According to Google, half of Android devices did not receive security updates in 2016. That’s particularly problematic when malware like FalseGuide shows up, as it gives that malware an opportunity to take advantage of more unprotected phones.

“FalseGuide creates a silent botnet out of the infected devices for adware purposes. A botnet is a group of devices controlled by hackers without the knowledge of their owners,” says Check Point in a blog post. “The bots are used for various reasons based on the distributed computing capabilities of all the devices.”

Issues arise when the apps are downloaded, after which they’ll request administrator permissions, which can then be used against the owner of the phone. For now, it appears as though those permissions allow the app to deliver “illegitimate pop-up ads out of context,” but they could also be used to instigate DDoS attacks.

The malware was first discovered a few days ago, and appeared in a hefty 44 game guide apps. Those apps were since removed, but another five apps with the malicious code were then discovered. Scarily enough, some of these apps were uploaded as early as November 2016 — so they stayed on the Google Play Store for around 5 months before being taken down. As far as users impacted by the malware, Check Point estimates between 500,000 to 1.8 million users. Thankfully, of the 49 infected apps, 28 of them were downloaded less than 10 times and seven of them were apparently never downloaded.

It’s unlikely the Google Play Store will ever be totally safe — but it is the safest place to download Android apps. For now, it’s important to download only official apps, and stick with the ones that you trust.

This article was  published on Digital Trends by Christian de Looper

Categorized in Internet Privacy
Social networks now rival search engines as an effective online marketing and advertising channel, gaining a significant market share and raking in huge revenues in Việt Nam and elsewhere.— Photo vietnamnet.vn

HÀ NỘI — Social networks now rival search engines as an effective online marketing and advertising channel, gaining a significant market share and raking in huge revenues in Việt Nam and elsewhere.

A report on domestic eBusiness Index prepared by the Vietnam Ecommerce Association (VECOM), says that in 2016, 34 per cent of domestic businesses advertised on social media, six per cent higher than in 2015.

In fact, social media has surpassed search engines to become the most favoured online means of advertisement, employed by 47 per cent of total domestic businesses, with search engines coming in second at 41 per cent, the report says.

Because it is economical and effective, social network marketing has been growing at a rapid pace with both large corporations, small and medium enterprises and individual sellers using it to good effect.

Trần Trọng Tuyến, VECOM General Secretary, said that around 70 per cent of individual retailers in Việt Nam run their own advertisements on their Facebook page instead of relying on tools such as Google Adwords. It is estimated that this segment saw revenue growth of around 10 per cent in 2016.

Social media advertisement is now seen as a reliable and effective tool, with about 46 per cent of businesses reporting to have successfully reached their desired demographic, compared to the 44 per cent on search engines in Việt Nam.

“The online marketing field has immense potential for growth, without relying on one particular channel,” said Tuyến.

Presently, 38 per cent of domestic firms use their own website as their main sales platform while 34 per cent rely on social networks.

Experts estimate that in 2017, Vietnamese businesses will spend around US$1.5 billion on advertising, 16 per cent of which will go to online marketing channels.

“With more than 47 million Internet users and more than 29 million smartphone users, Việt Nam is among the countries with the largest online connections in the region. So online marketing through social networks is an inevitable trend, led by global technological developments,” said Đặng Tiền Phương, Ford Vietnam’s Head of Marketing.

Yet, in this fast growing market of online advertising, only a handful of Vietnamese marketing firms have managed to gain a foothold.

At present, household names like Facebook and Google dominate the online marketing scene in Việt Nam, with the majority of advertising fees paid by domestic firms flowing to these companies despite several recent controversies.

The report also mentions several downsides to the emerging trend.

The State Bank of Viet Nam is working with the Ministry of Finance and General Department of Taxation on stopping tax fraud and illegal transactions via social media, to help the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) manage this lucrative sales medium, said Lê Quang Tự Do, Deputy Head of the MIC.

In the domestic advertising market, social networks and search engines are followed by email at 36 per cent, online newspapers at 34 per cent, and printed newspapers at 20 per cent. Television lags far behind at around 10 to 13 per cent. — VNS

Source : vietnamnews.vn

YouTube fans may soon see an end to irritating unstoppable adverts interrupting their videos.

Google, which owns the world’s most popular video site, has said it will soon stop including 30-second adverts or promo videos that currently show up whenever a user starts viewing.

The company says that the move will help make using YouTube more entertaining and engaging for customers - but unfortunately there’s one crucial caveat to Google’s announcement.

That’s because the move won’t be introduced until 2018, leaving YouTube users with at least ten more months of having to endure unskippable videos.

Google told Campaign that from 2018, it will instead look to focus on other commercial formats that will provide a better ads experience for users online. 

“As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

youtube home page video adverts stoppedGETTY

YouTube says it will look to change it advertising policies in 2018

However there’s no on whether the decision will affect other intrusive and annoying YouTube advertising tactics that users currently still have to suffer through.

As well as the 30-second advert format, YouTube also currently displays ads in 15 and 20 second versions.

It also shows longer-length “bumper” adverts that take up just five or six second, which will likely become a more common presence on the site after the change.n

The news comes shortly after Facebook announced that .

The "mid-roll" ads will begin once a user has been viewing the content for more than 20 seconds.

Facebook hasn't yet confirmed when this change will come in to force, and how long the adverts will be, but it’s likely  to be a similar length to YouTube’s current format.

Facebook has enjoyed a huge rise in advertising revenues in recent years after it greatly expanded its video hosting capabilities.

Last year the social network was racking up a staggering 100 million hours of video playback per day, with a large proportion of posts now featuring a video.


Source : http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/769057/youtube-unskippable-preview-adverts-stopped-google-ad-spam

Categorized in Social

Following Google’s crackdown on San Francisco area locksmiths and plumbers for abusing home service ads, the company has since introduced a verification process that comes with the distinction of being “Google guaranteed”.

Here’s what it looks like in search results:


Tapping on one of the results brings you to the home service ad for that particular business, which goes into further detail about what the Google guarantee means.


Tapping on Learn More will bring you to an information page with full details about the Google guarantee, how it works, and what it covers.

”When you book an eligible home service pro on Google, you are protected by the Google guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the work quality, Google may refund up to the amount paid for the job.”

For Businesses
If you’d like to activate the Google guarantee for your business, simply complete this form. You’ll be asked for some general contact info and a few details about the job.

For Customers
If an issues arises with a Google guaranteed service provider and you need to submit a claim, Google invites you to contact customer support at (844) 885–0761. The team will then investigate and decide on a resolution.


  • If you’re unhappy with the work performed, you can submit a claim and Google will cover the invoice amount up to a lifetime cap of $2,000.
  • The job must be booked through Google Home Services. Any future work completed by the same provider, unless booked through Home Services, is not covered.
  • Jobs completed before September 14, 2016, are not covered.
  • Currently only locksmith and plumbing jobs are covered.

For more information on why Google is offering this service specifically to locksmiths and plumbers, please see this post: Google Fights Fraud by Cracking Down on Plumbers and Locksmiths.

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com

Author : SEJ STAFF

Categorized in Search Engine

For years, researchers have discussed how the “anonymizing” various companies claim to perform on the data they gather is poor and can be easily reversed. Over the last few years, we’ve seen multiple companies respond to these problems by refusing to continue anonymizing data at all. Verizon kicked things offbut Vizio has gone down this route as well, and now we know Google has — or, at the very least, has reserved the right to do so.

According to an investigation at Pro Publica, Google has quietly changed its privacy policy at some point over the last few months. When Google bought the advertising firm DoubleClick a few years back, it promised to keep all data gathered by DoubleClick sandboxed and isolated from the data it gathered elsewhere and used for other Google services. The company has since changed the wording of its privacy policy, as shown below:

Google has stated it doesn’t use the information gleaned from Gmail scanning to target ads to specific people, but it’s not clear what this means for its other services. Google tracks a great deal of information and its email keyword scanning is just one business area. Previously, Google’s privacy policy contained a hard line of what it would and would not do. Google has replaced that flat guarantee with a weasel-word “depending on your settings” statement that hides behind the word “may.”

Speaking of those settings, Google does have a “Privacy Checkup” tool that you can use to hide certain data from being tracked or gathered. It’s generally well-designed, but for one major example, shown below. Play a game with yourself if you like — see if you can spot the problem before you read further:

img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-238094" src="https://www.extremetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Google-Privacy-640x477.png" alt="Google-Privacy" width="640" height="477" srcset="https://www.extremetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Google-Privacy-640x477.png 640w, /

This is a perfect example of what’s known as a dark pattern. A dark pattern is a pattern designed to trick you into choosing the “right” option, where “right” is defined as “What the company wants you to pick,” as opposed to what you actually want. In this case, boxes are checked by default and you uncheck them to hide information. But if you uncheck the box labeled “Don’t feature my publicly shared Google+ photos as background images on Google products & services,” you’re actually giving Google permission to use your name and profile to advertise products. Google flipped the meaning of the checkbox to make it more likely that someone not reading carefully would click the wrong option.

But what’s really interesting to me is that the word “Don’t” is bolded. You bold something you want to draw attention to — and that’s pretty much the opposite of how a dark pattern works. Huge organizations are much less monolithic than they appear from the outside, and I suspect that what we see here is a tale of two opinions, played out in a single checkbox. By reversing what checking the option does, Google made it more likely that you would give it permission to use your personal likeness and data for advertising. By bolding the word “Don’t,” Google made it more likely that you’d realize what the box did and set the setting appropriately.

In any case, Google’s decision to stop anonymizing data should be serious, but there’s not much chance people will treat it that way. To-date, people have largely been uninterested in the ramifications of giving corporations and governments 24/7 permission to monitor every aspect of their lives, even when it intrudes into private homes or risks chilling freedom of speech.

Source : extremetech

Categorized in Internet Privacy

The new workflow offers more access to features and functionality during the initial setup.

Bing Ads has updated the campaign creation workflow; it’s now designed to make it easier for advertisers to get campaigns set up and activated. Throughout the process, more options are available so you won’t have to go back and remember to update settings and options after a campaign is created. Performance estimates are also built in along the way to help inform your settings from the outset.

The new setup starts with the option of selecting a campaign goal or importing campaigns from Google, importing from a file or researching keywords.



If you select a campaign goal, the options available will be tailored accordingly in the remaining setup steps. From the revised Campaign Settings screen, Bing Ads has added the option to copy settings from an existing campaign and has consolidated location targeting options to include radius targeting management, along with other location targeting.

In the updated stage of setting up ad groups and selecting keywords, Bing Ads will automatically group keywords together into proposed ad groups based on a website URL and/or keyword suggestion. The tool shows monthly search volume, average CPC and scale of competition for each keyword in this view. You can add, edit and remove keyword suggestions for multiple ad groups. (Keyword suggestions and estimates are not available yet in all countries or languages.)



The ads and extensions step follows. At this stage, Bing Ads now makes your library of extensions accessible and highlights ad extensions that seem to align with the marketing goal selected for the campaign. There are options to set up all available extensions in this view. You can also set up multiple ads at this stage instead of having to go back and add more after the campaign is set up.

The final step is to set a campaign budget at ad group bids. Bing Ads shows performance estimates for the ad groups based on the bids and campaign settings


Source : searchengineland

Categorized in Search Engine
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