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August 2016

In a moment of simultaneous release and frustration, we discovered a few days ago that one of our favorite bastions of online insanity — the National Public Radio (NPR) website comment section — had been wiped from the face of the earth forever. Admittedly, the emotion we felt more of was relief. After all, this writer in particular had developed a nasty habit of clicking on a story more so to see the freak show fracas in the comments than read the story itself. Many thought pieces have since raised the question, “Should we mourn the loss of comments as a loss of expression?”

Google made two announcements this week regarding their mobile SERPs rankings and UI. First, they let everyone know that the “mobile friendly” tag on mobile SERPs is being phased out. Google’s attempts to scare the pants off of everyone evidently worked, and they now report that 85 percent of pages use mobile optimization techniques. The more complex story is that Google will now start punishing rankings for sites with obtrusive on-page “pop-ups” that are hard to navigate away from and hog the content. Read on to learn more about exactly what types of practices Google is trying to discourage and how your site can

Those wacky gamer kids have a trending slang phrase these days. It serves as a word of advice to anyone having trouble on a difficult game: git gud. Git gud — or in normal person speech, “get good” — may seem like a trite, snarky way to state the obvious and be unhelpful. However, the phrase actually serves more of a purpose than most people give it credit for. Here is why: most novices who play difficult, skill-intensive games like Dark Souls, Spelunky or Overwatch are looking for a magic bullet that will make the game easier. Perhaps they missed a shortcut, or

There’s a saying in the business world that if you’re gonna do anything online, you gotta pay the troll toll. But do you? Trolls — people who say offensive things to get a reaction — may be everywhere online, but responding to them is a decision, not an inevitability. Remember that you owe it to your brand, your customers and your employees to not do anything too embarrassing online. After all: the internet is forever. You can guarantee that plenty of people will screenshot a picture of your mean tweet response before it disappears. So, deciding when and how to engage with trolls should be

After more than two years of hype and teasing, Suicide Squad finally released in theaters. The verdict? “Yeesh.” David Ayer’s film about Batman’s backstock of C-level villains earned a slew of negative reviews, and although its box office did well on opening week, it’s second-week figures predictably plummeted. So what does this have to do with marketing? Everything. More so than most films, Suicide Squad is a product of marketing rather than an artistic vision or a story that needed to be told. From the very beginning, Warner Bros.’ marketing teams refused to keep their hands out of the pie, letting their staff and

Google has been taking their micro-moments SEO concept more seriously these days. To quickly recap: “micro-moments” refer to instances where a person has an immediate need for information or services. These instances push mobile device users towards specific, context-based searches probing for nearby businesses that can satisfy their needs. Google insists that searchers increasingly find themselves in immediate-needs situations that are satisfied by such micro-moment searches, citing trends like how 74 percent of mobile users book hotels for same-day check-in. As part of their effort to recognize and embrace the behaviors of reflexive, intent-driven searches, Google recently made several changes to their search interface

Last week, Facebook announced a change to their algorithm that thrilled its users: obvious clickbait would be all but eradicated from their timelines. By identifying tell-tale signs, such as certain keywords and other tactics, the new algorithm filters out clickbait headlines, similar to how an email filter works, and pushes them down to the bottom of users’ timelines. Though some companies were no doubt infuriated (the reason why will BLOW YOUR MIND!), users now find they are better able to keep up with the people and companies they care about with less clutter. This week, however, Facebook made another announcement that may infuriate users

Remember the days when our Facebook feeds were overrun with headlines like “HAS SCIENCE GONE TOO FAR?!?!” and “He put duct tape in his car. The result? GENIUS!” Yes, those were the glory days. It seemed like just yesterday that Facebook was filled with clickbait headlines and articles that often provided the most mundane information --- if they presented any information at all. After years and years of this shady practice left users frustrated (at best) or, in too many instances, with their computers suddenly infected with a virus, Facebook has taken a stand against clickbait. The social media giant has changed its

Are you as excited as we are to enjoy the 2016 [UNNAMED INTERNATIONAL SPORTING COMPETITION] Games in Rio? As an event watched worldwide, all brands have the opportunity to rally behind a common cause using hashtags like [HASHTAGS REMOVED FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS] or by sending a tweet about your favorite [DESCRIPTIVE TERM FOR COMPETITOR IN UNNAMED INTERNATIONAL SPORTING COMPETITION]. If you didn’t get the shtick yet, we are deliberately poking fun at how stringent the copyright protection rules are for this year’s Summer-games-that-must-not-be-named. Let’s just call it the “the 2016 Rio Hootenanny” for now. A recent letter to ESPN highlights the aggressive lengths that