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Net Briefs: Bad News, Bots & Blockchain

Posted on 2.01.2018
marketing-news
Bad News for Email Marketers
Users of Google’s Inbox app may soon begin to see a notification that prompts them to unsubscribe from promotional emails they have not opened in one month. The new capability is displayed through an “Inbox Tip” card that appears atop a user’s inbox in both the Android app and desktop site. While it appears to only be a test at this time, the feature will likely motivate senders to concentrate on optimizing subject lines and the broader email delivery experience.

Good News for Search Marketers
After months of beta testing, Google has formally rolled out a new version of its Search Console and there are some useful new features and capabilities included that are worth a closer look. Most notably, 16 months’ worth of performance data will now be available in Search Console, which should make it easier to identify long-term trends and enable year-over-year performance comparisons.

The Bright Future of the Gig Economy
It is not just startups taking advantage of the “Gig Economy,” but apparently those from the ranks of the Fortune 1000 too. According to a recent research report from Business Talent Group (BTG), 51 percent of companies say they plan to increase their use of freelancers over the next 3-5 years. Also worthy of note is that 94 percent of new jobs created between 2005 and 2015, according to BTG’s study, were in “alternative work categories,” and 40 percent of today’s total global workforce is comprised of non-employee talent.
movers-and-shakers
+ Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Avere Systems, a computer data storage and data management infrastructure, for undisclosed terms. The acquisition is expected to enable large, complex workloads to run in Microsoft Azure.

+ Following the exit of President and Co-Founder Carsten Thoma, SAP Hybris appointed 13-year SAP veteran Alex Atzberger as president of SAP Hybris and, to fill Atzberger’s current role, Barry Padgett as president of SAP Ariba.

+ A new early stage venture capital fund, MathCapital, has launched to fund advertising and marketing technology. MathCapital will partner closely with MediaMath, as Joe Zawadzki, CEO and founder of MediaMath will serve as a Partner for the fund, along with other notables including Eric Franchi, co-founder and formerly of Undertone.

+ In 2017, Amazon was responsible for an estimated 44 percent of all U.S. e-commerce sales and four percent of the country’s total retail sales, a figure in the area of $200 billion according to data from One Click Retail.
tech-updates
One-Fourth of Enterprises Experimenting with Blockchain
Many missed out on cryptocurrency darling Bitcoin’s meteoric rise, but they may not want to miss out on the technology that is ultimately powering it. 451 Research found that 28 percent of enterprises are now evaluating or using blockchain, although fewer than three percent have any production applications.   

Who’s Using Chatbots?
Chat bots may still be exclusively for early enterprise adopters but they are slowly gaining momentum and the results appear encouraging. Of the 30 million individuals that interacted with one of the 6,000 bots developed using the SnatchBot platform in 2017, just 11.8 percent abandoned their session (14 percent opted to escalate to a human-based chat) and the average bot session length was one minute and 32 seconds. Perhaps most interesting in the analysis was that in 80 percent of bot sessions the user wrote, “Thank You” indicating at least some level of satisfaction. 

Why Google’s Meta Description Expansion Matters
Google has expanded the length supported in the meta description tag from 160 allowable characters to 320, providing SEOs an opportunity to use additional text to promote their websites on the search results page (Google is also reportedly increasing the size of the search snippet as well). In the past, the meta description tag gave search engines and visitors more information about the contents of a page, but Google has repeatedly stated they do not use the description for ranking purposes. Instead, they opt to use a snippet from the page that is most relevant to the user’s query. That raises an important question: If Google just uses a snippet from the page anyway why would they care about expanding the description?
popular-with
Content: The Back-Link Force Multiplier?
Optimizing internal linking and site structure is yielding positive results for SEO professionals. Read more at wsm.co/forcelink.

The Aftermath of Online Fraud
The companies that excel at identity verification will ultimately develop greater customer loyalty. Read more at wsm.co/2018comm

How to Get More Reviews on Amazon

The days of advertising free products in exchange for five stars are over, but sales shouldn’t suffer. Read more at wsm.co/reviewson
webtechwatch
Chatbots on Hasura
Quickly build and deploy custom chatbots.

Shout
A web app for making GIF slides for social media.

Nixstats
Track server performance and website uptime.

Alva
Design tool built for cross-functional teams.

Unlayer
Embeddable email editor and page builder for SaaS and CRMs.

SunSed
A programmable website builder.

Ether
A modular base for typography, spacing and color.

proofSource
Use social proof to boost mobile conversions.

Formata
Secure form endpoints for static sites.

Uniteable
A tool to help run meetings more efficiently.

Beacon
Web analytics for social on multiple networks.

Apagraph
Create and share quotes with attractive themes.

Zulip
Open-source group chat application.

Chargeback
Automated management of ecommerce disputes (chargebacks).
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