Google Halts Raunchy Ads & Twitter Halts User Cull
Welcome to the last roundup of November! We’re celebrating by talking NSFW Shopping ads, Twitter’s inactive account issues, tweet scheduling progress, Pegasus hacks, and the return of the Razr.
Google doesn’t like the raunchy stuff.
Google removes ads for exact match Query ‘Christmas’ due to Raunchy Ads
Festive users got more than they bargained for when it came to the SERPs this week after the term ‘Christmas’ caused some NSFW Shopping ads to appear one evening.
However, Google took action quickly – demonetising the page and removing all ads from showing for the exact match query. Now users see a knowledge card instead, showing the date Christmas occurs this year, along with some additional information. No Shopping ads show anywhere on the page.
This is a good example of how quickly the search giant can take action when it comes to where and when ads appear. It also ties into previous behaviour we’ve seen from Google around demonetising queries for non-commercial searches – as well as trademarked events like the World Cup.
For now, though, you can go back to safely doing your Christmas shopping at your desk in peace. Just don’t get caught. Read more at Search Engine Land.
Twitter Halts Inactive User Cull After Users Point Out This Will Include Accounts of the Deceased
Twitter recently announced its plans to remove inactive accounts from the platform, in order to free up usernames. The cull would mean that anyone who hadn’t signed into their account in the six months before the 11th December would receive an email prompting them to sign in or risk losing their account.
“As part of our commitment to serve the public conversation, we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter,” explained a Twitter spokesperson. Although news of the move has been met with criticism – due to concerns that it could remove memorial accounts dedicated to people who have passed away.
Twitter has said its team are “thinking about ways” to memorialise accounts of the deceased, in a similar process to Facebook, but so far there is no method in place. In order to keep your account, you don’t actually have to post anything, you just have to log in – so don’t panic just yet. Plus, the removal process is likely to take months, so it could be a while before we see any movement. Read more on the move at Pop Buzz.
Indian Officials push for Local WhatsApp Storage After Pegasus Breach
Multiple government departments and agencies in India are using the recent WhatsApp snooping controversy to back their plan to force companies to store Indian users data locally, according to reports.
The WhatsApp issue, called the Pegasus breach, involved hackers being able to install surveillance software on phones thanks to a “major vulnerability” in the app. WhatsApp quickly fixed the vulnerability, and have filed a lawsuit against NSO Group – an Israel firm it alleges was behind the attacks.
Experts have said that India’s proposal is “bizarre”, explaining that “the location of the data had nothing to do with the Pegasus breach”, and that it’s more important to find out who was behind it, and why. There is also the argument that this localisation approach negates the concept of the internet and its global network. Find out more on the controversy at BBC News.
Scheduled Posts Coming to Native Tweet Composer
Social media managers, rejoice! Your Christmas wishes have come early – thanks to Twitter now announcing that it’s testing a new scheduling option within the Twitter platform itself.
The new option, which will be tested on select users, will mean you can compose and schedule your tweets without ever leaving the composer window. The ‘Schedule Tweet’ function would sit within the lower functions list, similar to how you add a GIF or poll.
While this is definitely a nice-to-have, it isn’t exactly a new functionality. You can already schedule tweets via tons of third-party apps and tools, so it’s likely that social media pros already have a method in place for scheduling their social media posts. However, it could be handy for scheduling quick responses. Read more on the test at Social Media Today.
Once ‘must have’ Razr phone gets a High-Spec 2020 Upgrade
Hands up if you owned a Motorola Razr? Yep, me too. Well, it looks like we could all be reliving 2004 soon, because the new-and-improved Razr is coming back for 2020.
The original phone, which sold 130 million units in its first year, has had quite the facelift to turn it into the new model – including a stainless steel body and Corning’s 3D Gorilla Glass, with no buttons and a touch screen. When flipped shut, the front display shows messages and lets you access Google Assistant.
The new Razr is going to be light and compact, which could mean it won’t be scuppered by some of the issues other folding phones are facing at the moment. Although its mid-range chip and lack of 5G connectivity could also mean there’s no future-proofing on the new Razr.
Google Fixes (almost) all of Those Pesky Ads Conversion Reporting Bugs
Google has been working to fix conversion reporting issues this week, following a bug which meant that conversions were over-reported in the AdWords API, Google Ads API beta and Google Ads scripts.
The bug, which affected campaigns that were not using last-click attribution between November 11, 12:01 AM PST and November 20, 11:59 AM PST, affected the way marketers and brands were reporting on their ad activity. It only affected campaigns that weren’t using last-click attribution.
Google Ads engineers have since reported that conversion reporting is fixed aside from within “Search Query Performance, Geo Performance, Keywordless Query, and Keywordless Category reports”, so keep an eye out if you run activity that falls within those sectors. If you think you were affected, you should try pulling the data again to check its accuracy – or keep an eye out for more news from Google. Check out more at Search Engine Land.
And that’s your final dose of digital news done with for November. However you’re spending the first weekend of the festive season, we hope you have a good one. See you in December, people. Christmas music is imminent.
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