Upwork Suspends Operations In Russia
Upwork announced it is suspending all business operations in Russia and Belarus and is taking action to provide relief to Ukrainian partners.
The company is also providing direct donations to organizations offering relief to Ukrainians.
Upwork Decision Will Impact Russian and Belarusian Freelancers
Upwork is implementing its suspension in stages in order to avoid disrupting currently contracted work, so as not to adversely impact clients or freelancers with contracts and work agreed to from before this announcement.
Upwork’s Russia and Belarus Suspension Date for Full Effect
Upwork made the decision to suspend all business operations in Russia and Belarus, singling those countries because of the war they started against Ukraine.
According to Upwork, the full effect of the suspension will take force by May 1, 2022. This date was chosen to allow clients and freelancers to issue final billing and close out currently existing contracts by that date.
The first phase of the suspension begins with the halt in the creation of new business in Russia and Belarus.
Next, within a few days, Upwork will block the creation of new accounts and contracts by clients and freelancers based in Russia and Belarus, as well as remove them from appearing in the Upwork search system.
Upwork promised to work with affected clients and freelancers should they move to another country.
They also promised to consider returning to the regions once the geopolitical problems are resolved.
Upwork Joins World Community in Action
Upwork is the latest organization to suspend operations in Russia and take action to support Ukraine.
It joins other organizations in the freelancing community like Shutterstock who have also announced initiatives to directly support relief work in Ukraine and take a stand against the aggression by Russia against Ukraine.
Source: Upwork Suspends Operations In Russia
Drive ranking by mastering E.A.T. with content and links
We all agree that E.A.T. is not a ranking factor or a single signal to get your site to rank.
Join Grant Simmons, formerly VP of performance marketing at Homes.com (grew organic traffic to over 10M monthly organic sessions), and Kevin Rowe, founder and CEO of PureLinq, who will share their experience in ranking in highly competitive markets and how they leveraged E.A.T. for their site entities to drive organic growth.
Source: Drive ranking by mastering E.A.T. with content and links
Google Acquires Cybersecurity Firm Mandiant
Google Cloud announced it is acquiring cybersecurity firm Mandiant, a leader in proactive SaaS based security. The acquisition underscores the importance of security for all businesses, regardless of scale, as cybercrime increasingly affects all businesses.
The acquisition is all cash, valuing Mandiant at $23 per share in a deal worth 5.4 billion dollars.
Mandiant will become a part of Google Cloud once the deal receives requisite stockholder and regulatory approvals.
Cybersecurity is a Top Concern
While many businesses can operate for years with a little to no security and intrusion protection, it’s only a matter of time before those businesses are hacked and suffer from having their data stolen and held for ransom to having their online presence become part of a botnet numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
Mandiant provides a SaaS security platform called Mandiant Advantage. Because it is SaaS it can be deployed rapidly as well as complement existing security protocols and processes.
Mandiant Advantage has five modules:
- Automated Defense
Automated security analysis that responds fast before attackers have a chance to cause a breach
- Security Validation
Tests and validates that existing security measures are working as intended
- Threat Intelligence
Cybersecurity intelligence from a team of 300 across 22 countries
- Attack Surface Management
This module monitors online assets across all distributed and cloud environments for exposure and risk management
- Managed Defense
Hands on monitoring, response and security training
Source: Google Acquires Cybersecurity Firm Mandiant
Platforms that have suspended ads in Russia
Russia’s actions in Ukraine have prompted ad suspensions from nearly every platform that search marketers rely on to reach Russian audiences. At first, companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook started by restricting ads from Russian state media, but as the conflict continued, many have expanded those suspensions to include all ads that would be served to users in Russia.
Below is a list of platforms and their current policies with regard to the conflict in Ukraine. We will update this resource as platforms update their policies.
Search engines. Google and Microsoft Bing, the two leading search engines globally, have both suspended all ad sales in Russia.
- Google: On February 27, Google suspended ads from Russian state-owned media outlets. On March 3, the company expanded the suspension to include all ads serving to users in Russia.
- Microsoft: On February 28, Microsoft banned ads from Russian state-owned media outlets. On March 4, the ban was expanded to include all new sales of Microsoft products and services (not just ads) in Russia.
Microsoft Advertising powers ads on Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo! and AOL, so brands currently cannot advertise to users in Russia on those platforms either. While Apple doesn’t operate a search engine, it has suspended Search Ads on the App Store in Russia.
Yandex, which is headquartered in Moscow and the second-most-popular search engine in Russia, is still operating normally.
Social media platforms. Most social media platforms have also rolled out ad suspensions similar to the ones mentioned above.
- Meta: Facebook’s parent company paused ads targeting users in Russia on March 4. Several days prior, the Russian government announced that it would block its citizens from accessing Facebook, so ads may not have reached users anyhow. The company has not announced whether these changes will also apply to Instagram, but Meta has banned Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on any of its platforms.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft and is therefore included in the company’s ban on sales of its products and services in Russia.
- Twitter: On February 25, Twitter paused ads serving to users in Ukraine and Russia, citing the need to “ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it.”
- Reddit: On March 2, Reddit announced that it is not accepting advertisements “that target Russia or originate from any Russia-based entity, government or private.” The platform has also blocked links from all domains ending in “.ru,” Russia’s country code top-level domain.
- Snap Inc.: Snapchat’s parent company has stopped all advertising running in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, the company announced on March 1.
- TikTok: TikTok has restricted access to Russian state-controlled media accounts, but it appears it has not stopped serving ads to users in Russia.
Source: Platforms that have suspended ads in Russia
Twitter Pushes Further Into E-Commerce With New Shopping Tool
Twitter is pushing forward with its e-commerce ambitions.
The social media platform said Wednesday it’s started testing a new feature called Twitter Shops that allows businesses to display up to 50 products in an online catalog. The company said hundreds of businesses in the US are participating in this experiment. Some of the merchants include Verizon, Nigerian food delivery service All I Do Is Cook and Gay Pride Apparel.
People who use Twitter on their iPhone in the US will be able to browse through products on Twitter Shops by clicking on a “View shop” button. To purchase an item, users will be directed to checkout on a merchant’s website. Twitter said the feature is free for merchants and the company doesn’t process payments or take a cut of sales.
Twitter Shops is another example of how social media companies are doubling down on online shopping, an activity that has only increased in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. Twitter has also unveiled other shopping tools such as a dedicated space on a user’s profile to showcase products and live shopping.
Source: Twitter Pushes Further Into E-Commerce With New Shopping Tool