As digital marketers, we strive to be constantly up-to-date on the latest happening in the online world. We have Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Web Design, and more covered. Staying on top of digital news is our job and not only pushes us with our ideas and strategies but ensures our clients come out on top as well. Whether it’s a new app exploding on the scene, a Google algorithm update, or the latest behavior tracking tool we’ll review, preview, and make note of it here. So if you’ve missed checking your RSS reader or your favorite sites this week no worries. New to 2016 is our what we’re listening to section full of a podcast, song, or piece that has been in our heads all week. Check it out to find out what you should be listening to regardless of topic. Come back every Friday for a new collection of our favorites and the most noteworthy pieces from the digital news sphere.

What We’re Reading for February 12th

Keeping Your Site Malware Free

This interesting article walks through a few cases where several clients sites were hacked for one SEO marketer. He uses his experiences to create a checklist for business owners to protect their site. Hackers seem to be working harder this year as overall there has been an uptick in hacked sites. By being vigilant about your security efforts you can keep your site problems to a minimum. And never forget about those plugin updates! (Contributed by Online PR Specialist Anna Horn)

Google Takes Final Steps to Remove Flash Ads

We’ve heard about it, and now it’s finally happening. In an effort to improve browsing experience, Google’s final push to get rid of Flash will be happening this year. Flash formatted display ads (with the exception of video ads) will no longer be accepted starting June 30, 2016, and they will no longer be eligible to run beginning January 2, 2017. In the mean time, advertisers should start converting Flash ads to HTML5. (Contributed by Online PR Specialist Ellen Borza)

Twitter Switches up its Timeline

Twitter rolled out changes to it’s timeline this week after much pushback from users when they announced possible coming changes. The original reports were of a completely new timeline similar to Facebook’s however, it seems that the new changes are just an extension of the “While Your Were Away” feature. Users will be able to turn the feature on and off, which will put recommended tweets (in chronological order) at the top of their feed that the network thinks they will appreciate the most. After this section, the rest of the tweets will be in normal order as was typically done before. (Contributed by Online PR Specialist Anna Horn)

Google Gives Brands the Ability to Change Knowledge Graph Data

This new update will give users and brands the power to update the information appearing as a knowledge graph in the SERPs. The hope is that this change makes it easier for brands to provide the most relevant and up-to-date information for consumers. For the service to work users need to have have the website tied to their google account in Search Console as well as a few other places. I’m incredibly excited about this change as it finally means that brands will not have to jump through thousands of hoops to create correct information. (Contributed by Online PR Specialist Anna Horn)

Are You Digging Deeply Enough Into Geographic Optimizations?

Geographic targeting is one way to optimize campaign performance. Understanding how to interpret the different types of geographical reports that are available is important. For instance, AdWords’ Geographic Report will provide different insights compared to the User Locations report. Adjusting the advanced location settings is another way improve performance. Of course, these reports and settings are largely dependent on the nature of the business. The key take-way is that targeting based upon geographic location is something every paid search campaign should pay attention to and incorporate whenever possible. (Contributed by Paid Search Specialist Kevin Koehn)

Four Lesser-known Subreddits Every Marketer Should Read

Reddit calls itself the front page of the Internet. Anything that strikes a nerve there will inevitably appear on BuzzFeed, Tumblr and countless other sites. It gives people on the brand and agency side a way to be part of culture right when it’s happening vs. following it later. (Contributed by Digital Campaign Lead Jasper Burwell)

Cognitive Bias and Marketing

In this first article, an infographic from Business Insider, the creators break down the 20 cognitive biases that screw up our decisions. Understanding the mind is extremely important in marketing and learning these decision factors can lead to better strategy. In the second article, Neil Patel dives deeper into 4 of these biases that can be readily used in marketing campaigns. Including the right way to frame your offers to trigger not only loss aversion bias but framing bias as well. (Contributed by CEO and Co-Founder Mike Canarelli)

What We’re Listening To

The Mystery Show, “Case #5 Source Code

This fascinating podcast hosted by Starlee Kine explores a different mystery each time. One that can’t be solved with a simple Google search but needs deep investigation. In this episode Starlee searches for the owner of a belt buckle found by one of her friends over a decade ago. The mystery leads her across the U.S. where she eventually learns the secrets of the breakfast belt buckle. (Contributed by Online PR Specialist Anna Horn)

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