Happy August! Here is an overview of the top internet marketing news stories of July 2014.
- Google launched a free AdWords express app on Android and iOS designed for small businesses to manage ads and targeting on the go. Check out the introductory video below:
- Google has formally announced ad units on Google Maps for desktop and mobile. The paid listings appear above organic ones and can include location extensions and click to call mark up, similar to standard search ads.
- Google updates its local search algorithm incorporating more web search signals into local listing results. Dubbed Pigeon by Search Engine Land, the update seems to result in more directories being listed like Yelp, Urban Spoon, and Trip Advisor while decreasing the local 7-pack listing format traditionally displayed.
- Bing launches new Ads interface which emphasizes trend graphs, simplifies navigations, and resembles Google AdWords. Bing made numerous other updates which should attract advertisers use their platform. These include an estimated bid suggestion and low quality score, low search volume alerts in line with keywords.
- A month after Google began taking requests in response to the “right to be forgotten” ruling, Bing followed suit by also receiving requests to be removed from search results on their search engine.
- Microsoft explained the future of Bing powered Cortana: deeply integrated academic data/search. In the fall both Cortana and Bing will “have academic data tightly integrated and prominently featured on its search page.” Cortana is also expanding into other markets like China, UK, Canada, India, and Australia. In China, Cortana is called Xiao Na.
- Yahoo continues to retire products to focus on new innovations. These retired products include People Search, Xobni, Yahoo Toolbar on Chrome, Yahoo Shine, Yahoo Voices, and Yahoo Contributor Network. Both Yahoo Voices and Contributor Network were hit by Google Panda and have seen a significant drop in traffic.
- Yahoo agreed to buy Flurry, a mobile app analytics service in an effort to provide more effective mobile advertising solutions.
- Yahoo acquired RayV, a video streaming startup, to improve its video quality and content.
- Instagram launches Bolt, a photo messaging app similar to Snapchat and Facebook’s Slingshot. They decided to roll it out to limited markets, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa, as a test and hope to roll it out more widely soon.
- Facebook is forcing users to use their messaging app, Messenger, by removing messages from the Facebook iPhone and Android app. Mark Zuckerberg said that they would monetize Messenger in the future.
- Facebook has agreed to acquire LiveRail, a video advertising platform to improve its video ads and make them more relevant to users.
- Facebook is testing a new “related videos” feature that appears after watching a video on your mobile newsfeed, similar to YouTube. Yahoo said it is focusing on four key areas – search, communications, digital magazine, and videos.
- Twitter purchases Madbits to improve its image search capabilities. Madbits has built a technology that automatically understands, organizes, and extracts information from images for tagging and categorization.
- Twitter rolled out an updated analytics dashboard for verified users and advertisers advancing reporting past retweets and favorites. Users can now visualize impressions and engagement rates for paid and organic tweets as well as dive into specific metrics on an individual tweet level.
- Foursquare has moved all check in activity into its new Swarm app, as promised, and redesigned its main Foursquare logo to a hybrid of a map pin and super hero. Below is a sneak peak of the new app rolling out soon, courtesy of Foursquare.
- Foursquare reintroduces Gamification into its app via “experts.” Visually similar to the old mayor concept, users can become experts on categories, places, neighborhoods, or cities based on the tips they create.
- LinkedIn launches “Sales Navigator,” a tool which is designed for salespeople to expose lead opportunities in a target company. Users who purchase a license can identify connections between your company and a target company and provide insights and notifications if a target switches jobs or is mentioned in the news.
- As Yelp turns 10, it launches a new trends tool to tracks the popularity of search topics in local areas. The data is based off of the 57 million reviews.
Have any questions about any of the above stories or think we missed something? Let us know in the comment section below. Also, be sure to check back in early September for our August recap! In the meantime, check out our Thoughts Page featuring our latest publications, blog posts, and featured articles, and sign up for the Catalyst Must-Have Digital Insights e-Newsletter for the latest thought leadership, industry updates, and Catalyst news.