// Net Briefs //
Chat on the SERPs
Both Bing and Google are now providing consumers with an opportunity to chat with companies directly on their search engine results pages (SERPs). In an exclusive pilot program at Google, a message button will be added to a local listing, which will initiate a chat once clicked (going through a company's SMS number or via Google Allo). Unlike Google, which uses its own technology, Bing's messaging capabilities on the SERPs seem to take advantage of whatever chat solution the business uses (which in the case of companies like Nordstrom and Dell is Facebook Messenger).
Advertisers Turn to Programmatic
Despite fears that programmatic advertising drives low-quality impressions, the tactic is being adopted at break-neck speed. In fact, according to Zenith's "Programmatic Marketing Forecasts" report, programmatic advertising will grow 31 percent in 2017 - faster than all other digital media channels. That could be very good news for a brand's bottom line, as a recent Rubicon/TQF Strategy research report found that marketers and advertisers who double their investment in programmatic could achieve as much as a six percent increase in sales and a 22 percent increase in marketing return on investment.
Top Email Marketing Challenges in Focus
The email channel is poised to have another exceptional year, but senders still face some significant challenges. According to data from Clutch, "Targeting & Segmenting" and "Growing Subscriber Lists" were the top email challenges, followed by "Tracking Results."
//WHO GOT PAID//
Acquired: Oracle announced it has acquire9d infrastructure and performance management solution Dyn (which was the subject of a distributed denial of service attack in Oct. 2016). The company will likely add Dyn's DNS solution to its own cloud computing platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Funded: Digital payments startup Stripe raised $150 million. The new funding round nearly doubles its valuation, to $9.2 billion.
Acquired: Visa announced an agreement to acquire payment authentication service CardinalCommerce. Terms were not disclosed.
Funded: OfferUp, a marketplace for selling locally, has announced a recent $130 million funding round. PayPal Co-Founder Max Levchin was part of an additional $11 million in funding.
Adobe's VoCo Podcast Experiment
One of the reasons there aren't as many podcasts floating around is that it is actually pretty difficult to get perfect - a single slip up and marketers could spend hours reworking and editing the recording. Fortunately, Adobe has come up with a better way. The company introduced a VoCo tool at its Adobe Max conference recently that makes it possible to insert dialogue into existing voice recordings.
+ Discover other key developments and announcements from the recent Adobe Max conference.
Manage Multiple WordPress Sites at GoDaddy
GoDaddy is launching a new feature within its Pro offering that will enable developers and administrators to manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard (e.g., perform security updates, execute bulk updates for plugins and more), regardless of host. The development stems from GoDaddy's Manage WP acquisition.
Mobile is the Top Source for Fraud
RSA, the Security Division of EMC and a Dell Technologies company, has issued its Global Fraud & Cybercrime Forecast, and its findings don't bode well for businesses and consumers. Mobile, for instance, is the new cybercrime channel of choice with 60 percent of overall fraud originating from a mobile device. What is perhaps worse, is that 70 percent of retailers take days - or longer - to investigate the source of fraud activity on their website.
The Keyword Density Myth
Many SEO professionals believe they no longer need to worry about keyword density. While this is partially true, it has created some confusion about how to plan and optimize content to rank for multiple terms.
Build Trust with Your "About Us" Page
+ Build Trust With Your "About Us" Page
Regardless of where they are in the conversion funnel, website visitors are always looking for ways to feel good about their decisions, and one of the ways to help them do this is with more company information.
How to Build Content Google & Users Love
Algorithm updates aside, if SEOs step back to look at the big picture, they will see a clear shift in the type of content Google favors for certain queries. Understanding this will help Web professionals in planning and ranking their content.
PayPal is bringing its functionality to mobile-minded businesses with a new Android app, PayPal Business. The app provides an opportunity for users to stay on top of their accounts at any time, sending invoices, messaging customer reminders, and tracking payments and related information whenever and wherever it's needed. PayPal Business also makes it possible to transfer money and issue refunds.
//WEB TECH WATCH//
Check out what has the digital community all abuzz with Website Magazine's #WebTechWatch series, a monthly roundup profiling emerging and established technologies and some of the most useful solutions for today's Web workers. Submit your own recommendations by tweeting us at @WebsiteMagazine.
Automizy: Email marketing automation for SaaS and apps
Conversational Form: Transforms Web forms into conversations
Inspect: Designed to aid development workflows
Plasso: Sell and accept payments online for memberships
rebelmail API: Send interactive emails from within apps
Lumber: Generate a Node.js admin microservice for an app
Vocalizer.io: Audio accessibility tool for pronouncing names
Perf: App monitoring providing meaningful alerts
SendX: Includes email drip sequencing and reply automation
Refly.it: AI-powered content optimization editor