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 April 15th

Bots for Facebook Messenger Are Here

This week during their F8 conference Facebook announced the arrival of bots for their Messenger service. The bots can provide anything from weather to news updates to shipping notifications. The possibilities are endless as the social media platform seeks to increase engagement in private messages as dark social becomes evermore popular. Several publications and companies have partnered with Facebook to create bots already. Add the CNN bot and ask for top stories and it will give you a customized carousel in messenger of the top stories from the day. (Contributed by Online PR Specialist Anna Horn)

Google Adds Gas Prices to Local Mobile Searches

Consumers are increasingly using their phones for all areas of research within their daily lives. Gas prices happens to be one of the necessary evils in our lives. Well Google has now added real time gas prices to mobile searches. This could prove painful to gas price apps like Gas Buddy, but this does put Google’s search in another piece of your weekly agenda. (Contributed by Director of Search Marketing Justin Emig)

Google Issues Manual Penalties for Product Reviews

Last week, Google began issuing manual penalties, targeting bloggers who don’t have proper disclosures for the product and service reviews on their websites. External links to other websites should also be marked nofollow in reviews. (Contributed by Technical Search Strategist Claudia Pennington)

One Year After ‘Mobilegeddon’

A year after the Mobilegeddon fallout Google is releasing a new tool to help small businesses become more mobile friendly. The tool launches in May and will look pretty similar to other free tests that Google offers. But Google has said that the new tool was built specifically for small-business site owners who might not be very tech savvy. (Contributed by Digital Campaign Lead Jasper Burwell)

What We’re Listening To

Cabot Phillips, “Brothers Convince Little Sister of Zombie Apocalypse”

This video is one of our favorites this week. Two brothers pulled off an incredibly well planned prank on their sister. After picking her up from her wisdom teeth extraction the two brothers convinced her that there had been an outbreak of a zombie virus. The prank included a fake emergency broadcast, a phone call from their mom, and the family cat. Several memorable quotes are, “What is this supposed to do for me, Give me a knife!” “Leave him (the family dog), get the cat” and in reference to what Costco might be like, “It’s going to be a bloodbath in there.” (Contributed by Online PR Specialist Anna Horn)

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