Internet Marketing News Update #259, March 15, 2017

Automated ad placement links major brands to controversial content
Traditionally, major brands like Mercedes Benz, Sandals Resort, and Honda would never have allowed their ads anywhere near controversial content. However, a study by the Times of London found ads from a number of major brands on controversial pages due to automated placement. It is expected that brands will demand that ad platforms give them tighter control over where their promotions end up.
DM News

New figures show growing acceptance of voice search
A study by digital marketing firm Stonetemple found that people are making frequent use of voice search, though they remain more comfortable doing so in the privacy of their own homes than when they are in public. Over 60% of survey respondents reported using voice search when home alone, compared with usage rates of around 20% when in a restaurant, on public transportation, or at a party.
Search Engine Watch

Google Assistant coming to more smartphone users
Up till now, access to Google Assistant has been limited to relatively few devices, but that will change as Google rolls out access to smartphones running Android 6.0 or higher. The roll out will begin with English speakers in the United States, followed by those in Canada, the UK and Australia. This is part of Google's plan to eventually make access nearly ubiquitous through everything from desktop computers to cars.
Search Engine Journal

GenX should not be overlooked by digital marketers
While Generation X (people born between 1965 and 1980 according to this article's definition) may sometimes be overlooked because of its position between the massive Baby Boom generation and the trendy Millennials, an eMarketer study underscored why they should be a prime market for digital marketers. 91.5% of GenX in the US is expected to use the internet regularly this year, and crucially, their tastes are more stable than those of younger users so their habits are easier for marketers to track.

Programed ad placement starting to bypass agencies
According to Wall Street's Pivotal Research Group, 15 of the top 200 US advertisers have brought their ad placement programs in-house rather than continuing to work through advertising agencies. A driving factor seems to be that the automation of placement selection and logistics makes some of the functions traditionally performed by agencies redundant.
MediaPost News

Google changes "ad" label to make paid results blend in more
Google is dropping the solid green label it used to denote paid search results, in favor of a more subtle label consisting of a green outline with a white background. On the one hand, Google explained that using less color would allow the paid results to blend in more, but they also stated that the changes should not affect consumer experience.
Search Engine Watch

Stronger reactions will carry more weight on Facebook News Feeds
Facebook has tweaked its ranking algorithm so that posts which receive stronger reactions than "likes" - i.e., the relatively new Facebook options of love, haha, wow, sad, or angry - will receive more prominent positions on News Feeds. Facebook launched the new reaction options about a year ago, and feels their usage indicates a higher level of user engagement with a post than the "like" reaction.
Search Engine Journal

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