• Google Staff Protests Trump On Immigration
    Around the world, thousands of Google employees staged a walkout on Monday in protest of the Trump administration’s immigration ban. “Using the hashtag #GooglersUnite, employees tweeted photos and videos of walkout actions around the world, including at headquarters in Mountain View, California,” The Verge reports. “The protest came after employees donated more than $2 million to a crisis fund that will be distributed among nonprofit groups working to support refugees.”
  • Google AMP In News Section More Than Doubles Ranking Results
    A Rank Ranger report published Monday suggests using Accelerated Mobile Projects (AMP) to serve up content in the Google News section for mobile users can more than double. It's about optimizing content. "On our very first day of tracking AMP within mobile news results, we showed data for three countries (the US, UK, and Spain), with the highest percentage of AMP in news results among them being 17.75% (UK)," per the report. Mordy Oberstein explains.
  • Google Creates 'Crisis' Campaign
    Google has created a $2 million crisis fund that can be matched with up to $2 million in donations from employees, totaling $4 million, for four organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR, USA Today reports. The media outlet calls the movement "Google's largest crisis campaign ever." USA Today confirmed the campaign Sunday after it was disclosed in a memo sent by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Company executives are also giving money individually to the cause. 
  • Google Assistant Adds Belkin, Honeywell, Wemo As Partners
    Google on Tuesday announced that Belkin Honeywell and Wemo now integrate with Google Assistant on the Home device. Last year the company added Nest, Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings. While there is more to come, in this round of releases Honeywell's integration allows users manage things such as the temperature in a home. Whereas Honeywell controls the temps, Belkin and Wemo can help users remember to turn out the lights. 
  • Google Appoints New Channel Chief For Cloud Services
    Google has appointed Bertrand Yansouni to VP of global partner sales and strategic alliance for Google cloud services. He joined Google in November and previously worked under Google Cloud EVP Diane Greene at VMware. 
  • Cortana Coming To Locked Phone Screens
    Microsoft is making it easier for users of Android devices to access Cortana from a locked screen. Mehedi Hassan tells us that users testing the feature are seeing a pop-up in the Windows app that asks them if they want to enable the virtual assistant on the lock screen. The biggest issue, per Hassan, is the access to data because the virtual assistant is available on the locked screen and not behind the locked screen. It's not clear from Microsoft if that posses a threat. 
  • Google Search Prioritizing Google Products
    Ads for products sold by Google and its sister companies showed up in the most prominent spot in 91% of 25,000 recent searches related to related items, according to an analysis conducted by The Wall Street Journal. “In 43% of the searches, the top two ads both were for Google-related products,” it reports. The analysis, run by search-ad-data firm SEMrush, examined 1,000 searches each on 25 terms.
  • Bing Ads Gets Ad Extension Scheduling
    Bing Ads released Ad Extension Scheduling this week, allowing marketers to control when extension serve up in search results. The features allows marketers to improve ads with time-sensitive offers. Marketers can one of the many ad extensions to highlight deals, promotions and offers.
  • Mattel Names Google's Americas President To CEO
    U.S. toymaker Mattel Tuesday named Google's Americas president Margaret Georgiadis to CEO, replacing Christopher Sinclair.  Georgiadis also sits on the boards of Amyris and McDonald's. Before joining Google, Georgiadis worked at Groupon and Google as a VP of global sales. 
  • Google Explains The Meaning Of 'Crawl Budget'
    Google wants to clarify' what "crawl budgets" mean for Googlebot and Web sites. Mostly larger Web sites, according to Gary Illyes. He writes that if new pages are crawled the same day they're published, crawl budget is not something webmasters need to focus on. Likewise, if a site has fewer than a few thousand URLs, most of the time it will be crawled efficiently. He runs through things like crawl rate limits, crawl health, and factors affecting crawl budgets. Prioritizing what and when to crawl sites, and the amount of resources the server hosting the site can allocate to crawl the …
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