On the agenda – survival, spying, clicks, culture and Scrabble. Happy reading!
Google’s total domination
This article is an essential read! (It’s in French but you can paste the content into a translation tool.) It gives a fascinating insight into the press’ dependence on Google since 2014 – and what’s at stake. It also covers the internet titan’s lobbying strategy to achieve its current and future goals.
We can see how Google is totally dominating companies in the press industry – the monopoly of Google News which has crippled the German press, and how the media’s adoption of the AMP format ties in with the generalisation of the mobile-first index. It also looks at other ways the search engine is dominating: Google’s new fact-checking engine (a way to buy itself a more virtuous image?), and how Facebook’s lack of media credibility is strengthening Google. Then there’s the issue of Google’s ruthless financial control over the media – as a paid model that forces media groups to use Google-branded services to recruit new subscribers – and the European directive on neighbouring rights which might only further the media’s monetary reliance on Google. The press’ Google-dependency is an alarming case of collateral damage – the result of the giant’s intimidation and repeated attacks against any form of competition (or avoiding Google-dependency). It also raises questions about the very nature of democracy – with a single private group that has the power of life and death over the press. Informative and enlightening, it’s a must read!
An unprecedented ‘Homeland’ style cyber-attack took place a few weeks ago. Hackers, reportedly based in Iran, targeted the domain names (DNS) of government agencies, intelligence and police services, as well as airlines and oil companies, and ICCAN apparently called on IT managers to deploy a protection protocol.However, according to the French national tech media, the attack wasn’t as serious as reported .. French cyber security specialist Stéphane Bortzmeyer explains that the attack in question has been known for several years – and that the news was more sensational than anything else – and highlights the importance of digital safety best practices.
We are clicking less on search results: The clickthrough rate of organic results (excluding sponsored links) is decreasing according to a SparkToro/Jumpshot study. According to Rand Fishkin, the SEO guru, the root of the issue is Google which siphons a large percentage of traffic for its own purposes in SERP products and responses. However, this is becoming a major issue as the proportion of clicks recorded on ads does not compensate for the loss of organic traffic: internet users are no longer clicking – they’re simply looking at the relevant answers instead. Indeed, 30% of requests are no-click searches! In light of this, it is getting harder to drive organic traffic to a website – the role of the SEO experts has become more challenging!
Here is a look at how the BBC is using its data analytics to boost its web audience. Rebecca Salsbury, Head of Product, discusses the group’s strategy to attract its younger audience to the site’s content – with a range of approaches including simplifying registration and creating accounts dedicated to children. The BBC has more than 35 million user accounts, with a vast amount of customer data collected on a daily basis. However, it also faces major organisational challenges in adopting a data culture. The article puts the spotlight on how a company of this size fully integrates web analytics (and therefore its analytics partner) into its overall business strategy.
Think you are good at spelling US celebrity names? Take our Gyllenhaal test with data viz as a bonus…
See you next time on the Internets!
Photo by Reza Rostampisheh on Unsplash