Street Fight Daily: Google’s Mobile Update, Facebook’s Influence on the News

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Boost Has Rolled Out (Search Engine Land)
Google fully rolled out the second version of the mobile-friendly update yesterday. The new Google mobile-friendly algorithm is supposed to give an additional ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results.

Street Culture: Thirstie Holds Focus On Engagement and Slow Growth (Street Fight)
The company’s CEO said he is witnessing many on-demand companies slowly but surely go out of business, and is more convinced than ever that offering that extra little bit of knowledge to customers is what will inspire them to spend more time with Thirstie, and return to the app on a regular basis.

Facebook and the News: Trends, Filter Bubbles and Algorithmic Bias (Fortune)
Mathew Ingram: The question isn’t so much whether Facebook filters out certain kinds of news. The real point is that Facebook is orders of magnitude larger and more influential than any traditional media outlet, and yet the way it chooses the news its billion users see is still fundamentally opaque.

In Ad-Blocking Wars, Publishers Propose a Détente (Poynter)
In dealing with the clutter that has created the current wave of ad blocking, the report concludes, “the basic measure is to take control and clean up.” Because user experience is their selling point, the three major platform companies are comfortable enabling ad blocking. App-oriented Apple and Facebook see relatively little downside to their own advertising base; Google, which relies more on the open web, may.

How Facebook Data is Helping the Golden State Warriors Sell Tickets (AdWeek)
Using paid Facebook ads to promote tickets for the hottest team in the league may seem unnecessary, but there’s a marketing reason for why it has sold out 175 straight games. The Warriors have pitched last-minute tickets via Facebook ads this season for various games, sometimes against quality opponents like the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Apple Invests $1 Billion in China’s Biggest Ride-Sharing App (Mashable)
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the strategic move was made to help the company better understand the Chinese market, the second largest after the U.S. “We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market,” Cook told Reuters.

Why Balancing Skippable and Non-Skippable Ads Creates Better Brand Awareness (AdWeek)
If the goal is to raise awareness among a specific audience, then a skippable format, which allows users to decide if they are interested, will be more valuable, even if the overall completion rate is lower. Another campaign, looking at reaching as many people as possible, regardless of their initial interest, might see more value in a non-skip campaign.

Wyndham Rewards Adds Experiences to its Loyalty Program (Skift)
When Wyndham Rewards debuted in May 2015, it signaled a major shift in hotel loyalty program structures by adopting a straightforward, simple approach to earning and redeeming points. That strategy appears to be working. Since May, 5 million new members have signed up for the program and there has been a 70-percent increase in property redemptions, according to Wyndham.

Discounting is Killing Online Retailers. Here’s How One Startup is Trying to Fix That (Recode)
Mark Walker had two goals for his startup, JackThreads, this year: Get its new line of clothing into as many guys’ homes as possible and get them to pay full price. He would have to get creative.

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