WhatsApp Launches World Health Organization Chatbot to Answer COVID-19 Queries

WhatsApp Launches World Health Organization Chatbot to Answer COVID-19 Queries

Following on from the launch of its new COVID-19 information hub earlier this week, WhatsApp has also announced the launch of a new chatbot, created in conjunction with the World Health Organization, which will provide access to accurate, timely information on the coronavirus pandemic to the app’s 2 billion users. As explained by WhatsApp: “The new service, which is free to use, has been designed to answer questions from the public about Coronavirus, and to give prompt, reliable and official information 24 hours a day, worldwide. This will also serve government decision-makers by providing the latest numbers and situation reports.” To use the service, WhatsApp users can save the number […]

YouTube Reduces Streaming Quality to Reduce Network Load, Adds New COVID-19 Info Panel

YouTube Reduces Streaming Quality to Reduce Network Load, Adds New COVID-19 Info Panel

With everyone around the world re-adjusting their routines amid the various COVID-19 restrictions, YouTube has announced a new slate of updates in line with rising demand and need, as it seeks to address key considerations for its services. First off, YouTube is reducing its streaming quality options in response to concerns around choking web traffic. With more people staying indoors due to COVID-19, and using the internet to connect to work, study, entertainment, etc., that’s putting increased demand on web servers and systems, leading to concerns that some networks could collapse under too much strain. In response, the European Union this week called on both Netflix and YouTube to reduce their […]

Google’s Data-Friendly Android ‘Go’ Version Reaches 100 Million Active Devices, Adds New Features

Google’s Data-Friendly Android ‘Go’ Version Reaches 100 Million Active Devices, Adds New Features

If the current crisis has shown us anything, it’s that the internet is absolutely an essential service. Web connectivity enables people to stay up to date with the latest updates, and get more information on what they can do and how they should respond to limit the spread of COVID-19. Internet connectivity has also enabled schools to continue operating despite closures, enabled businesses to have their employees work from home, and provided a key link to entertainment services, significantly minimizing the impacts of the many lockdowns and changes in place. Now consider the fact that more than 40% of people in the world cannot access the internet, and simply don’t […]

Google My Business Temporarily Removes Features Due to COVID-19 via @MattGSouthern

Google My Business Temporarily Removes Features Due to COVID-19 via @MattGSouthern

Google is temporarily removing some features from Google My Business as a result of limitations caused by the COVID-19 situation. “During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to protect the health of our team members and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, there may be some temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services.” For the time being, these features will be temporarily limited or removed. Reviews & Q&A Google My Business will not be publishing any new reviews, review replies, or new Q&A until further notice. Existing reviews, review replies, and Q&A will still be visible. Presumably, […]

Yelp Launches Efforts to Help Local Businesses Impacted By COVID-19 via @MattGSouthern

Yelp Launches Efforts to Help Local Businesses Impacted By COVID-19 via @MattGSouthern

Yelp launched a number of efforts aimed at helping local businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. According to Yelp’s data, US consumer interest for restaurants has dropped by 54% over the past week. Nightlife businesses have been hit even harder with drop in consumer interest of 69%. This is, of course, a result of the forced closure of non-essential businesses and the social distancing measures encouraged by the World Health Organization. In an announcement, Yelp says it’s committed to helping businesses during these uncertain times. $25 in Million Relief for Affected Businesses Yelp is offering $25 million in relief in the form of waived adverting fees, […]

Bing Instant Indexing API – Users Claim Ranking in 10 Minutes via @martinibuster

Bing Instant Indexing API – Users Claim Ranking in 10 Minutes via @martinibuster

Bing announced a new service, URL and Content Submission API, that allows publishers to get instant indexing on Bing. The service uses a URL Submission API. Bing is also accepting testers for a service that accepts content directly for pages that are indexed but have been updated. Did you see the announcement by @BingWMC? We’ve officially released our URL and Content submission API. Send updates (content or pages) direct to Bing so we can instantly crawl them. #seo #indexing #indexation #crawling https://t.co/9CiFvHXssM — Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson) March 20, 2020 Features Bing’s announcement promises real-time web page indexing, the ability to submit millions of pages without waiting to be crawled and […]

LinkedIn’s New Ad Unit & This Week’s Digital Marketing News [PODCAST] via @shepzirnheld

LinkedIn’s New Ad Unit & This Week’s Digital Marketing News [PODCAST] via @shepzirnheld

ADVERTISEMENT Social isolation can’t keep the Marketing O’Clock team from releasing a new episode! We’re recording from our houses to bring you this week’s show. Hosts Greg Finn, Jess Budde, and Mark Saltarelli deliver the digital marketing news the community is talking about this week: LinkedIn Introduces Conversation Ads The new format allows advertisers to engage with users in LinkedIn messages. These choose your own adventure ads feel organic to the user and the messages are only sent when users are active on LinkedIn. Google Webmaster Central Creates New Properties for Events Added to developer documentation this week, the new schema will allow webmasters to share the current status of […]

Google temporarily disables local reviews

Google temporarily disables local reviews

Google has apparently disabled local reviews functionality — both for consumers and business owners. SterlingSky’s Jason Brown first flagged this issue on Friday. Joy Hawkins, also of SterlingSky, added, “Any review responses posted right now aren’t publishing live. Same thing with leaving new reviews. None of the reviews I left 5 min ago are publishing.” Google has remove the ability to reply to reviews bc Covid-19. #localseo @rustybrick pic.twitter.com/Jv6DawOzDB — Jason Brown (@keyserholiday) March 20, 2020 Appears to follow Yelp’s move. We’ve asked Google for clarification or an official comment and will update this post if one is provided or we learn more. Earlier today, Yelp announced a change in […]