• Microsoft Offers $250,000 Bug Bounty
    Microsoft introduced a new bug bounty this week -- a reward to those who can find “speculative execution” CPU vulnerabilities similar to those disclosed recently in the Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws. The bounty, which is $250,000 for bugs that are similar to Meltdown and Spectre, will run through the end of 2018.
  • Google Adds Keyword, Ad Level Custom Columns
    Google now lets advertisers create and track custom metrics at keyword and ad levels through Custom Columns in AdWords, adding to the campaign and ad group levels. It can help marketers gain additional insights into how their campaigns perform based on non-standard metric targets.  For example, per Google, advertisers can see how engaging ads are on mobile device by creating a custom column for mobile click-through rate (CTR). They also can see how specific keywords convert by creating a custom column for mobile conversion rates.
  • Google Tests Material Design Layout For Search
    The Next Web reports that Google is testing a simplistic "Material Design" layout for search. There's no word on whether or not the layout will make it into the engine, but The Next Web has a couple of screenshots of what it would look like. The format has more defined borders and accentuates the older card-box view. There's no word on the importance of the potential change. 
  • Moz Cofounder Fishkin Launches SparkToro
    Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin on Tuesday announced his new company SparkToro, a technology platform in the influencer and audience intelligence marketing space. Fishkin left Moz in July 2017 after stepping down in as Chief Executive Officer in in 2014. He still plans to participate in Whiteboard Friday, a video series that helps the Moz community, and others, learn new things about search. 
  • Google Lens Search Comes To More Phones
    Google will launch its augmented reality system ARCore with new features, and plans to make its Lens visual search tool part of Google Photos on all phones, according to The Verge. Citing Google data, the report suggests 100 million Android phones currently support the platform. It also would seem feasible to move this Lens-style visual search beyond phones into cameras, such as Google's VR180.
  • Bing Search Tests Trending Info In Carousel Format
    A new search feature on Bing will bring up trending information on some websites in a click-through carousel format. Jennifer Slegg writes that it appears after the sitelinks or, in some cases, after the sitelinks and site search box. She explains that the carousels contain ten blog posts or stories, though not indexed by date.
  • Another Former Googler Files Lawsuit For Wrongful Dismissal
    Another former Google employee, software developer Tim Chevalier, hit the search giant with a lawsuit alleging that it unjustly fired him for speaking out about left-wing politics. He claims the dismissal in November 2017 came after he spoke out in support of diversity. The lawsuit Google filed Wednesday alleges he was wrongfully terminated and that Google violated the law by allowing a "hostile work environment," according to one report. 
  • Why Microsoft Should Rebrand Bing To Microsoft Search
    It has been a challenge since the search engine was born. Microsoft named its engine Bing, rather than Microsoft Search, similar to the way Google named its engine Google Search. Now Chris Matyszczyk wonders why the company just doesn't rebrand the engine. Frankly, we're all wondering. As he suggests, the Microsoft brand has become much stronger under Satya Nadella's leadership. Perhaps it's time. Here's why.
  • Google: Is It Time To Break Up The Gorilla?
    When Google was ordered to stop giving its own comparison-shopping service an illegal advantage and fined $2.7 billion, Adam and Shivaun Raff, who was in the midst of doing battle with the search giant, couldn't have been more relieved. The two had developed a vertical search engine they felt was as good or better than most anything else seen online. But the fledgling company couldn't survive in the shadows of Google and the company spent more than a dozen years fighting the battle. The New York Times runs through the story of a decade-long fight and how the Raffs finally ...
  • Google Adds Cash Reward For Vulnerability Related To Private Data Theft
    Google added a new category in its vulnerability bug rewards program that could result in the theft of users’ private data, information being transferred unencrypted, or bugs that result in access to information in protected app. The reward is $1,000. The company paid out nearly $3 million to researchers last year in rewards for vulnerabilities found in its products and services. 
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