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Google Maps Adds 4 New Features For Local Shopping
Google Maps launches four new features to improve the local shopping experience for customers, which in turn can lead to more sales for businesses.
In addition, Google has published statistics related to local shopping during the holiday season. This includes the most popular times to visit certain categories of businesses, and more.
These are the new features that are now available in Google Maps worldwide.
1. Area Busyness
The new feature, called Area Busyness, combines live busyness trends from individual businesses that are in close proximity to each other.
To access Area Busyness data, open Google Maps and tap on an area to see how busy it is at different times of day.
Google Maps will show you how busy the area is currently, and how busy it’s estimated to be throughout the day.
2. Directory Tab
Google Maps is expanding expanding the Directory tab globally on Android and iOS for all airports, malls, and transit stations.
The Directory tab shows you which stores are in a building, and helps with locating airport lounges, car rentals, parking lots, and more.
3. Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping in Google Maps is now expanding to over 2,000 store locations in 30+ states throughout the US.
Customers can utilize the feature to order groceries from Kroger, Fry’s, Ralphs, and Marianos.
After placing the order, Google Maps will track the order status and allow customers to share their ETA so the store knows when they’ll arrive.
Google estimates that people who use this feature typically wait less than five minutes for their order to be ready for pickup.
4. More Information About Restaurants
When customers leave reviews they can now share details about the restaurant’s price ranges, and whether they offer amenities such as outdoor seating, delivery, curbside pickup, and more.
The information provided in customer reviews will be shown in the restaurant’s main listing.
Source: Google Maps Adds 4 New Features For Local Shopping
The Microsoft Audience Network expands to 18 new markets
Microsoft Audience Ads are now available to all customers in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Venezuela, the company announced Tuesday. Prior to this update, this native ad product was only available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and the UK.
Why we care
Microsoft Audience Ads appear on the Microsoft Audience Network, which includes sites like MSN, Outlook.com, Microsoft Edge and other Microsoft Advertising partners. Now that the Microsoft Audience Network can reach more audiences around the world, it’s more useful to more advertisers.
Google Launching November 2021 Broad Core Algorithm Update
Google is giving everyone advance notice that a broad core algorithm update will be released later today.
Google’s guidance regarding broad core algorithm update are as follows:
- Expect widely noticeable effects, such as spikes or drops in search rankings.
- Core updates are “broad” in the sense that they don’t target anything specific. Rather, they’re designed to improve Google’s systems overall.
- Pages that drop in rankings aren’t being penalized; they’re being reassessed against other web content that has been published since the last update.
- Focusing on providing the best possible content is the top recommended way to deal with the impact of a core algorithm update.
- Broad core updates happen every few months. Sites might not recover from one update until the next one rolls out.
- Improvements do not guarantee recovery. However, choosing not to implement any improvements will virtually guarantee no recovery.
Edward Snowden calls out Google over search engine’s privacy
Edward Snowden, the individual responsible for one of the most significant information leaks in US history, decided on Tuesday that it was time to call out Google’s search engine.
He posted, “Is it just me, or have search results become absolute garbage for basically every site? It’s nearly impossible to discover useful information these days (outside the ArchWiki)” on Twitter yesterday.
When I asked Snowden for clarification if he was talking about Google and he said, “I definitely mean search engines (among others), and Google is the worst by far, even w/o poor results.”
Privacy concerns: Snowden’s biggest gripe, it seemed, was with Google’s search engine being “inaccessible to anyone who cares about privacy.” He called it “hostile” since some scripts required captchas and because of page redirects for mandatory, scripts-required cookies for ad tracking and user tracking.
What happened. Here is the timeline of tweets where this all occurred:
(1) Here is where I drag Google’s Public Search Liaison Danny Sullivan into this, keep in mind, I worked with Danny Sullivan here for years, so there was some humor here in this tweet:
(2) Edward Snowden responds to Danny Sullivan saying he didn’t think he was talking about Google:
Danny Sullivan of Google said he’d pass along the feedback but asked for examples, which Snowden said he is not in a position to give.
Privacy the future? We have seen search engines like DuckDuckGo and Brave slowly gain momentum with promises of privacy first. Plus Google keeps pushing off its Privacy Sandbox solution because it is not satisfying privacy advocates.
Google needs the data for its ad network and Google Ads. That is where the company makes most, by far, of its revenue.
WordPress sites hacked in fake ransomware attacks
Security researchers have found that close to 300 WordPress websites have been defaced to display fake attack notices, in order to trick the site owners into paying 0.1 bitcoin (BTC) for restoration.
Accompanying the ransom demands were countdown timers that were added to create more panic and further arm twist the owners into paying the ransom.
The deception behind these attacks was discovered by cybersecurity firm Sucuri who was hired by one of the victims to perform incident response on the supposed attack.
As soon as they began their investigation, the researchers discovered that the websites’ pages had not been encrypted, and that the notice was fake.
Source: WordPress sites hacked in fake ransomware attacks