All posts by Matt Southern

Google Tests New Ads For Music Searches by @mattsouthern

The Wall Street Journal spotted Google testing new “listen now” ad units for music searches, in conjunction with Spotify, Rhapsody and Beats Music. When you search for the name of a musical artist Google will display ads grouped together under the “Listen Now” label. The ads are aimed at promoting music services, including Google Play. The ads appear in searches on mobile devices and desktop computers, and are reportedly performing well for some advertisers already. A Google spokesperson told WSJ: “We’re happy to help users quickly find legitimate sources for their favorite movies, music and more via Google search.” Google […]

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Contextual Search Engine Vurb Receives $8 Million In Funding by @mattsouthern

Redpoint Ventures has announced they’ve led an $8 million Series A round in Vurb, which has a unique, multi-functional search app in private beta. Vurb organizes information across multiple web apps to help you find what you need without having to sort through a bunch of app windows or browser tabs. Redpoint describes the potential they see in Vurb: Vurb’s enormous potential rests on a breakthrough technology that will make searching the Internet smarter, more consistent, and even seamless across desktop and mobile devices. Imagine being able to plan an evening out without having to jump in and out of apps or […]

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Pinterest Messaging Arrives, Send Private Messages With Other Pinterest Users by @mattsouthern

Over two million pins are sent out every day, Pinterest said in an announcement. In an effort to get more conversations started around those pins, Pinterest is introducing Pinterest Messaging. Now when someone sends you a pin you will be able to reply with a message, or send that person a pin back. Here’s a video demonstrating how it works: In addition, Pinterest has also added the ability to send pins and messages to groups of people. If you’re organizing a camping trip with friends, for example, you can send pins and messages to the whole group with suggestions of […]

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WordPress 3.9.2 Security Release Out, Immediate Update Recommended by @mattsouthern

WordPress 3.9.2 has just been rolled out as a security release for all previous versions. WordPress strongly recommends that you update your sites immediately. This release fixes a possible denial of service issue in PHP’s XML processing, reported by Nir Goldshlager of the Salesforce.com Product Security Team. It was fixed by Michael Adams and Andrew Nacin of the WordPress security team and David Rothstein of the Drupal security team. This is the first time our two projects have coordinated joint security releases. Other security changes in WordPress 3.9.2 include: Fixes a possible but unlikely code execution when processing widgets (WordPress […]

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Encrypted Websites Will Now Get A Boost In Google Search Rankings by @mattsouthern

Google wants to make the Internet a safer place and has worked hard to improve their own security over the years. Today Google announced they’re taking their dedication to security a step further by making HTTPS a ranking signal. Google has been running tests over the past few months using encrypted connections as a ranking signal. After seeing positive results, Google will be using HTTPS as a ranking signal going forward. Google says that, for now anyway, this is a “very lightweight” signal that will affect fewer than 1% of global queries. While Google gives time for webmasters to move […]

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Now You Can Delete Properties In Google Analytics With New Update by @mattsouthern

Google announced a new update to Google Analytics that will allow users to delete properties within their own accounts. To bring everyone up to speed on what this means, the data collected by Google Analytics is stored in properties. An account can have multiple properties and a property can have multiple views (which allow for transformation of the data through filters). Google has long given users to ability to delete accounts and views, but users did not have the ability to directly delete individual properties. What happens now when you delete a property is that all the views underneath that property […]

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Google Makes It Easier Than Ever To Unsubscribe From Unwanted Emails by @mattsouthern

Today, Google announced a new feature for Gmail that will make it easier than ever to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. Now, instead of scrolling to the bottom to find an unsubscribe button, Gmail will surface the unsubscribe button right next to the sender’s email address. Email is a handy way to get updates from your favorite brands, social networks, discussion boards and more. But sometimes you end up subscribed to lists that are no longer relevant to you, and combing through an entire message looking for a way to unsubscribe is no fun.  This feature won’t work for all email […]

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Gmail Now Supports Email Addresses With Non-Latin Characters by @mattsouthern

Ever since you’ve been able to get an email address you have been required to sign up using non-accented latin characters. That won’t always have to be the case though. A new email standard that supports addresses with non-Latin and accented Latin characters was created back in 2012. But before this standard becomes a reality, every email provider must adopt it. Today, Google is leading the charge with an announcement that Gmail will now recognize addresses that contain accented or non-Latin characters. Less than half of the world’s population has a mother tongue that uses the Latin alphabet. And even fewer […]

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Optimize Your Content For Google News With Google News Publisher Center by @mattsouthern

Today, Google announced something new for content publishers that will allow them to have more control over how content shows up in Google News. The newly launched Google News Publisher Center will let you make changes to Google’s record of your news site. With the Publisher Center, your potential readers can be more informed about the articles they’re clicking on and you benefit from better discovery and classification of your news content. To use the new Publisher Center, first you have to verify ownership of your site using Google Webmaster Tools. Then you can use the Publisher Center to directly make […]

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Twitter To Ramp Up Their Image Search Capabilities With Acquisition Of Madbits by @mattsouthern

Twitter looks to be ramping up its image search capabilities, if the acquisition of one of a rising startup in the field of image search are any indication. Image search startup Madbits recently announced that they have been acquired by Twitter. A statement posted to their website reads: “Over this past year, we’ve built visual intelligence technology that automatically understands, organizes and extracts relevant information from raw media. Understanding the content of an image, whether or not there are tags associated with that image, is a complex challenge. We developed our technology based on deep learning, an approach to statistical machine […]

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