DOJ weighs in against Facebook ad targeting
In a civil case that could have serious implications for how online publishers allow ads to be targeted, the Department of Justice has encouraged a federal judge to permit a suit against Facebook to go forward. The suit alleges that by allowing online marketers who place housing ads to target - and avoid - specific demographic groups, Facebook may have been in violation of anti-discrimination housing laws.
Google advises on urls for search engine optimization (SEO)
Google's John Mueller advised an online forum that site managers are better off using rel=canonical tags rather than noindex to make sure that signals such as inbound links get properly attributed to the page. He also advised against confusing the signal a site sends to Google's search engine by using both types of tags.
Search Engine Journal
Instagram reaches 1 billion users
Instagram has gained 200 million new users since last September to reach the 1 billion-user threshold. Though Facebook's user base is still bigger, Instagram's is growing at a faster rate and represents a younger demographic. Significantly, Instagram is clearly beating the adoption rate of rival Snapchat. Instagram now has more people publishing stories than Snapchat's total user base, and reportedly Snapchat's recent redesign has not been well-received.
Search Engine Journal
Google to require parallel ad tracking for online marketing
In an effort to make user experiences safer and faster, Google announced that come this October, it will require all advertisers using click measurement features on AdWords to employ parallel tracking. The announcement comes as another change in Google ad procedures looms: when it's new update comes out in July, Chrome will start labeling all HTTP (as opposed to HTTPS) sites as "not secure."
Media Post News
Online marketers turning to anti-blocker code
A recent academic study found that code designed to detect and thwart ad blocking software is used at 52 more times the rate previously thought. It seems some online marketers are preparing measures that will force their ads through without user consent. The only reason anti-ad blocker code has flown under the radar so far is that some marketers appear to be employing it to just detect the ad blockers and prepare countermeasures, without forcing their ads through - yet.
Direct Marketing News
Amazon experiments with rewarding customers for viewing ads
A patent description filed by Amazon suggests that the online retailing giant is hoping to try out a form of advertising that will create incentives for customers to view ads. As a user views a product ad, the price of the advertised product will automatically drop once the user has had a chance to see some or all of the content. If effective, this approach could both improve ad view statistics and prompt product sales.
Facebook simplifies ad metrics
Facebook announced that in the months ahead it will be greatly simplifying the data it presents to advertisers for measurement of their marketing programs. Its stated aim is to reduce emphasis on metrics that are redundant, outdated, or not useful to advertiser decision-making. Facebook will also label which of the metrics it presents are based on estimates or techniques still in development, and will provide a guide to using its ad metrics.