Net Briefs: AMP, Bots & Consumer Financing

Black Hat AMP Tactics
Some search engine optimization professionals are taking advantage of Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, deliberately including less content in their AMP versions with a link to the original page. The practice did not go unnoticed by Google, of course, with the search engine announcing that by Feb. 2018, accelerated mobile pages and their source counterparts must have identical material. This update should end the practicefor now.

Friends to the Left, Brands to the Right
Snapchat revealed a radical change to its application, moving Chats and Stories from a user's friends to the left side of the app (with the camera central) and Stories from publishers, creators and the community to the right. Similar to other networks, there was a single feed before. This separate news feed for "social" and "media" is also reportedly being tested by Facebook. While Facebook's split news feeds is only a test, some experts believe other networks may follow suit with companies only appearing in the primary feed if they pay for the premium placement.

Pay Over Time Gets Retail Approval
Consumer financing is all the rage among ecommerce retailers and it will likely be quite common in the years ahead thanks to an increasing number of integrations being made available. Ecommerce platform BigCommerce, for example, recently announced an expanded relationship with payments leader PayPal that will enable its 300,000 Internet retailers to offer their shoppers consumer financing options through PayPal Credit. Fixed payments company Affirm also recently announced that it joined the Shopify Plus Technology Partner Program.
+ Sprout Social has acquired Simply Measured, a Seattle startup that helps brands get deeper insights into their social media marketing campaigns.

+ Poshmark, a social marketplace and community for fashionistas, recently announced $87.5 million in Series D funding-total funding is now nearing $160 million.

+ Transportation company Lyft is seeking to raise up to $500 million in additional funding as reported by Axios. This news comes one month after Lyft announced a planned $1 billion infusion led by CapitalG, an investment arm of Google parent Alphabet.

+ Chase has reportedly closed its acquisition of online payments provider WePay. WeWork has acquired Meetup, which may give the company's interest-based communities brick-and-mortar locations to meet up.

Private Apps on Google Play
Businesses that use a managed version of Google Play will now be able to distribute enterprise apps privately. The managed version of Google Play will enable administrators to "white-list" specific applications for team use, including any of an enterprise's own private/proprietary apps. As employees regularly develop apps to address specific needs related to their job functions, those apps need to be managed with the managed version of Google Play filling this need. 

The Biggest Bot Network
Adtech company Adform has announced the discovery of an advanced ad fraud scheme it has named "Hyphbot," which involved the creation of more than 1 million unique URLs and 34,000 domain names to trick advertisers into believing they were purchasing quality inventory from publishers. Affecting some of the largest and most prestigious outlets including CNN, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal, the scheme is "likely the biggest bot network" to ever affect the digital ad industry according to Adform. 

71 Percent of Your Shoppers Will Leave Your Website for This Reason
Yottaa recently interviewed leaders at a range of ecommerce sites in order to measure the impact that performance has on the bottom line and nearly all respondents agreed that fast page loads result in higher conversions. Ninety-seven percent, in fact, believed website performance directly impacts their online revenue. Just how bad is the problem? Seventy-one percent said shoppers do not convert due to slow page load times and, on average, these retailers would see a $58 million annual revenue lift by optimizing Web performance.

Packaged SEO vs. Custom Solutions
The debate is almost as heated as black hat versus white hat SEO. Read more at

The Ins & Outs of Selling a Website
See what sites are viable prospects and how to get the sale. Read more at

Your Computer-Generated Coworkers

Most workers would happily give mundane tasks to AI assistants. Read more at
+ Amazon Sumerian: AWS offering to create and run VR, AR and 3-D applications.

+ BrandMentions 2.0: Provides notifications when people mention a brand or competitors.

+ Podia: Sell memberships, online courses and digital downloads.

+ Drift: A developer platform for building marketing/sales bots.

+ DataCircle: A data exchange network.

+ ConceptDrop: AI that matches businesses with creative professionals.

+ VidPulse: Analytics and recommendations for videos on a website.

+ AI voice platform for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

+ Talent analytics platform.

+ Quiriobot: A dynamic feedback collection solution for websites.

+ Mailcastr: Create email signatures that can track performance.

+ Rumii: Collaboration and meeting software for virtual reality.

+ Landbot: Build conversational websites.

+ SessionStack: Visualize Web app defects from the user perspective.