Weekly Industry News Round-Up – Edition 21

Alibaba setting an outrageous new record, Google’s drinking on the job and outside the job policy changes and more here in Bright Design’s Tuesday News Day.

Alibaba set new online sale records

Before reading this story, I have to admit I’d never heard of Singles Day. However, I might have to join the rest of the world in celebrating this annual holiday thanks to the number of discounts and deals that can be found online.

So why am I bringing up Singles’ Day? Well, it’s because this week online retailer giant Alibaba managed to set an outrageous record for online sales – hitting $1bn in a staggering 85 seconds. In total, Alibaba’s customers spent $30.8bn on the online store in 24 hours.

Since Alibaba created the annual holiday back in 2009, other e-commerce sites and regular brick-and-mortar stores have started to follow in their footsteps – offering their customers a variety of discounts on everything from liquor to high-end sports cars.

Following Alibaba’s success, we may see other online retailers such as Amazon jumping on the Singles’ Day bandwagon, or attempting to follow suit in creating their own retail holiday. Either way, soon we’ll hopefully see more and more online discounts throughout the year.



Google harassment

If you read last week’s Tuesday News Day you’ll have seen our story on how Google employees protested in various Google offices around the world due to their response regarding the sexual misconduct against female employees at Google. Since the mass walk-out, Google has responded with an email to all staff stating that the company will end the practice of “forced arbitration” in sexual misconduct cases, instead making it optional.

Unfortunately, to the concern and disapproval of many of the 20,000 protesters, Google did not comment or acknowledge the demands of major concerns of the protestors. An example of the demands that Google has not (as of writing this article) responded to is on the calls for Google’s board to have an employee representative or for the company’s chief diversity officer to report directly to the company’s chief executive.


Google retreats from ‘fake’ comparison site scheme

Five weeks ago we reported on Google’s fake comparison shopping scheme and now it appears that they’ve decided to abandon it. After incentivising marketers and advertising agencies to create their own comparison shopping sites by allowing these sites to become an “advertising system” and also as “a means of getting a rebate”, it appears that Google has now gone back on this. This new controversy has led many marketers and ad agencies to believe that Google has “screwed everyone over”.

To incentivise marketers and ad agencies to buy into Google’s comparison shopping scheme they would allow ads, giving them the potential to make hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Since this news broke, Google has cut a number of major incentives for marketers, essentially leaving marketers and ad agencies with a number of comparison shopping websites that no longer benefit them.

To me, this looks like Google have used their position to influence marketers to create the ‘competition’ that Google needed to avoid another the £2.1bn fine from the European Commission.


Improved Google Ad metrics

Great news for advertisers, as for a long time Google Ads metrics have been a bit misleading. Following this much-needed improvement, Google has finally updated the metrics that advertisers has access to. Google admitted “the metrics currently available to advertisers are not as clear as they could be”.

The newly updated metrics now tell advertisers where their ads would place on the search engine results page. Previously, the metrics may have said your ad appeared first on the results page. However, this didn’t take into account things such as Google My Business listings, Google Snippets and other results appearing above your ad that may have altered where your ad actually appeared. 

If you’re looking for someone to manage your Google Ads for you, feel free to get in touch about our PPC services.



More than 3 billion URLs removed from Google

A recent privacy report from Google has shown that over the course of 2018, Google removed over three billion URLs from their database due to copyright law infringement.

For anyone who works with online content, you know how vital it is to produce unique and original content on your website. Copying content from one site and then uploading it to your own site can lead to numerous issues regarding the source of the content and with Google rankings. Well, it seems like that message wasn’t passed onto the people behind the three billion URLs that Google have punished this year.

In the privacy report, it states that Google has invested over $100 million in their Content ID rights management system. So it’s safe to say that Google is taking copyright content extremely seriously.


Google’s drink on the job policy?

One interesting story that’s emerged this week is that fact the Google actually has a “party culture”. Turns out that employees tend to live in accommodation that is owned by Google. Many have just come out of university bringing the party lifestyle with them as they transition from education to their new lives.

Well as part of Google’s new policies that tackle sexual misconduct, CEO Sundar Pichai also disclosed the company’s new rules for drinking at work.

Now I know what your thinking, of course employees shouldn’t be drinking whilst on the job – but the new policies also include drinking outside of the workplace. Google says that managers will now be responsible for discouraging excessive drinking inside and outside the office.

Now we understand that drinking on the job is never something that should be encouraged but is it too far for Google to try to limit a completely legal activity outside of working hours?



Subscription crackdown

You may not think about it but one aspect of a web browser that you and I both rely on is it’s ability to protect you from threats on the internet. Google, Bing, Safari, and other web browsers all implement their own security to ensure that users aren’t attacked whilst online.

There are reports this week that Google plan to tune their web browser to crack down on web pages that try to trick you into signing up to subscriptions. This new feature will arrive with the brand new Google Chrome 71 update which is set to be released in December.

This new feature is designed to protect millions of users from scammers who trick them into providing a phone number, and use the number to charge their service provider, who then add the charge to their mobile phone bill.

The consumer-focused Chrome browser will also implement a range of tools that will help Google Chrome to crack down on scammers, abusive advertisements, and irritating popups that are virtually impossible to click off of. Overall Google Chrome 71 is looking to be mainly focused on protecting it’s users from internet threats.


Dubai’s hoverbike police training

Ok now, this is something really exciting to report on – police hoverbikes!

Dubai has begun to train their police force to use hoverbikes. The hoverbikes will be used by Dubai’s first responder unit to tackle situations based in areas and locations that would otherwise be difficult to access by conventional means. This means that whether the situation is based in the sand dunes or on a motorway, the hoverbikes will be the fastest responding unit within Dubai’s police force.

Now don’t expect Britain to start building our own hoverbike unit anytime soon, as the total cost is £114,000 per hoverbike. Plus, we face much stronger winds, worse flying conditions and I’m pretty sure you can’t buy insurance for a hoverbike in the UK.




And that’s it for this week’s Tuesday News Day, anything you think is missing? Have any questions? Give us a shout over on Twitter or using our web enquiry form.

Bright Design Tuesday News day