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Net Briefs - June 2015

Posted on 6.01.2015

Microsoft and Yahoo Shake On It

Originally agreed upon in 2009 by their predecessors, Microsoft and Yahoo’s current CEOs, Satya Nadella and Marissa Mayer, respectively, renewed a search partnership aimed to improve each company’s search experience, create value for advertisers and establish ongoing stability for partners. Changes will be made, however, to two core areas. For starters, Yahoo will have more flexibility to enhance the search experience on any platform. Additionally, the two companies hope to better service advertisers, as Microsoft will become the exclusive salesforce for ads delivered by its Bing Ads platform and Yahoo will be the exclusive salesforce for its Gemini ads platform.

The Best Subject Line Is

A new Return Path study is shedding light on what drives email performance, revealing that benefit-based subject lines featuring superlatives like “fastest” are high performers when it comes to getting consumers’ attention, resulting in a 5.3 percent greater read rate than comparable messages with different subject lines. Perhaps the most surprising finding, however, is that two classes of value-based subject lines resulted in unexpectedly low performance: those promoting prices and discounts. Also, the data shows that subject line length does not have a big impact on read rates.

The Tech Industry Gets Its Own Domain

While (dot)com remains the most popular domain, there have been a variety of new domains that have recently entered the marketplace, including (dot)club and (dot) xyz, among others. However, the latest addition to the market is (dot)tech. The new gTLD is aimed explicitly at tech companies and will enable those in the industry to acquire a domain name that is hyper-relevant to their name or product instead of having to search for a “next best” name like many have to with the (dot)com domain.

PayPal Gets Touchy

Popular online payment platform Pay- Pal has extended its One Touch payment service to the Web. Launched last fall for native iOS and Android apps, One Touch enables consumers to pay without using their user IDs and passwords on the Web after their first login, similar to how users leverage the service on mobile devices. Once users enter their information the first time they will be able to pay using One Touch on sites that support PayPal. Conveniently for merchants, those that already leverage PayPal on their websites will not have to do anything to integrate the new payment method.

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Facebook’s News Feed Updates

Facebook recently introduced new updates to its News Feed algorithm that marketers may or may not like. The first update aims to improve the experience of people who do not have a lot of content in their News Feed by allowing multiple posts in a row from the same source to appear in a user’s feed (good news for brands those users have liked). The second update gives priority to friends’ posts in the News Feeds (not so good news for marketers). The last update, decreases the visibility of friends’ actions in the News Feeds, including stories friends have liked or commented on (which has long been counted on by companies as a way to increase organic reach).

Google Shares More Accurate Data in GWT

Google has recently replaced the Search Queries report in its Webmasters Tools with a new “Search Analytics” report. The new report enables users to compare desktop and mobile traffic, segment data in a variety of different ways as well as compare metrics in different countries. Google has said that there are some differences between the two reports, but the data from the new Search Analytics report is more accurate.

More News of Note:

Google+ gets a content discovery update: wsm.co/gpluscontent

Mobile email is driving conversions: wsm.co/takethatdesktops

Google pulls the plug on PageSpeed: wsm.co/byebyebyeps

Amazon caters to business buyers: wsm.co/zonb2b

#WebTechWatch

See what has the ‘Net community all abuzz with Website Magazine’s #WebTechWatch series, a weekly roundup available online, which profiles both emerging and established technologies and some of the most useful solutions for today’s Web workers. If you have a digital product or service you think deserves a mention, tweet @WebsiteMagazine with the hashtag #WebTechWatch.

+ Gibbon.co:

Knowledge sharing for colleagues

+ Tictail.com:

E-commerce stores operated from a mobile phone (iOS)

+ OptinMonster.com:

A/B testing for lead-capture forms

+ Silk.co:

Publish data online and create interactive Visualizations

+ Bablic.com:

Automated website localization (machine and human translation)

+ Insite.io:

Dynamic content personalization for WordPress

+ Cloudinary.com:

Cloud-based video management for designers and developers

+ RingCaptcha.com:

Onboard and verify mobile users with SMS

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