5 For Friday – Amazon Ad Challenge, Facebook Changes, Twitter Spam, & Google’s Snafu

August 29th, 2014 by Chris Henson

1) Amazon Takes on Google Adwords – Wall Street Journal


The war for Internet supremacy rages on between Google and Amazon. The increasingly competitive relationship between the two giants has grown even more strained as of late, but their tenuous relationship has survived largely because Amazon is one of Google’s largest advertisers for text ads. But that may change.

Amazon is working on a competing in-house platform, and testing could commence as early as later this year. Using the plethora of shopping data the online retailer has amassed, the program could almost instantly become a major force against the search engine’s online ad dominance.

2) Despite More Ads, Facebook Promises, “We Will Not Show More Ads” – Digiday

Speaking of Internet giants, Facebook is in the news again. In a rather quiet update earlier this month, Facebook amended its advertising policy to allow marketers to show ads more frequently in users’ News Feeds.

The update allows advertisers to show the same ad twice a day, as opposed to the previous once a day restriction. The new update also allows advertisers to show users two News Feeds ads per day from a page that they did not explicitly “Like,” again up from just one.

Facebook emphasizes that you will not see more ads from various companies, just possibly more ads from the same company. A Facebook spokesperson said of the change, “This does not change ad load. We will not show more ads; rather, we are updating the spacing between ads, and relaxing some of the parameters around the insertion of ads.”

Hmmm… more ads is more ads, no matter who they are from.

3) More from Zuckerberg & Co: Facebook is Finally Cracking down in Upworthy-Style Click Bait – Gizmodo

We’ve all seen it – an annoying, attention-grabbing headline like “No One Would Help This Little Girl from Being Bullied. What She Did Next Will Shock and Amaze You.”

Of course, these headlines are designed only to generate clicks, but dang, am I intrigued. I mostly refuse to click them simply on principle, but even when I do succumb to the temptation, I am always disappointed.


Thankfully, Facebook is finally taking steps to eradicate this spammy click bait by looking at how long people actually read the articles they click on as well as comparing the click ratio to comments, “Likes,” and shares.

Facebook also announced that links should be posted in a “link format” instead of shared in the status update and captions of photos. Posts that have links in the captions will be given less priority in the News Feed.

4) Meet Twitter’s Spam-Fighting Tool – Marketing Land

And now, a word from that other social media juggernaut: Last week, Twitter gave an inside look at their super spam-killing system known as BotMaker. Since launching the system recently, spam metrics have dropped 40% overall.

BotMaker is designed to prevent spam content from being created, reduce the amount of time spam appears on Twitter, and reduce the reaction of new spam attacks. To accomplish this, Twitter uses a combination of systems that detect spam at various stages: Scarecrow (real time), Sniper (near real time), and Periodic (over extended periods of time). What makes it even more effective is its ability to adapt quickly with new models and rules to combat the ever-changing production and proliferation of spam.

To learn more about the creation of BotMaker and how it works, feel free to dig in deep over on the Twitter Engineering Blog.

5) Moving to HTTPS: Good or Bad? – Wall Street Journal

Google recently announced it would be giving a boost in search rankings to encrypted websites. But in an effort to push site owners to switch to HTTPS, Google overlooked the fact that many web components, including its own Trusted Stores and AdSense, are not completely compatible with those types of sites yet.

To protect sensitive info, sites were already required to have their checkout pages encrypted, but the announced rankings boost spurred many sites to try and convert all of their “non-sensitive” pages as well.

This caused a bit of a problem with user experience. Trusted Stores is not compatible with basic encryption, meaning that the required badge cannot be displayed. Without this badge, Google will not accept HTTPS sites into the Verified Stores program.

As for AdSense, Google now acknowledges that “if you convert your HTTP site to HTTPS, ads on your HTTPS pages might earn less than those on your HTTP pages.” This is because the HTTPS ads don’t compete in auctions with HTTP ads, which lowers rates. Whoops!


Image Sources:

Amazon in Browser

Do Not Push Button
“Oops my bad”