Coywolf News

Coywolf News covers new technologies, product updates, productivity tips, and changes that affect digital marketers. Core topics include SEO, Social, Paid, Email, Content, Webmaster, and Startups.

Digital ad industry braces for impact as coronavirus disease causes economic downturns

Industry experts forecast digital ad revenues to drop in the wake of the coronavirus, but no one can say the degree to which ad spend will be affected.

COVID-19

Email tracking privacy concerns may force email service providers to change what they report

All major email service providers (ESPs) track message open rates and link clicks. There are now renewed concerns by some privacy advocates that this practice equates to spying on users.

Email Tracking

The CCPA is reducing Facebook Ads retargeting reach but there may be a workaround

The California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) went into effect on January 1, 2020, and appears to be affecting Facebook Ads retargeting campaigns. However, there may be a simple workaround to restore campaign performance.

Facebook

Amazon Lightsail offers cheap WordPress hosting in the cloud

Webmasters can host WordPress sites for as cheap as $3.50/mo using the Amazon Lightsail cloud platform. While Lightsail is marketed as easy-to-use, it’s still significantly more complicated to set up and maintain than using a managed hosting provider.

Amazon Lightsail

Google Ads is forcing agencies to use its recommendations or risk losing their Google Partners badge

Google Ads is changing the requirements for its Google Partners badge program by the end of June 2020. One change, in particular, requires partners to adopt a high percentage of recommendations that are made by Google’s machine learning or risk losing their badge. Agencies are claiming Google’s optimizations are ignoring their expertise and don’t make sense for their clients’ campaigns.

Google Partners badge program

Google adds notification permission data to Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX)

Google is now storing the decisions visitors make when they get prompted by a site to receive notifications. The dataset is available in the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) and is being made accessible to sites via Google's BigQuery tool. The goal is to educate publishers and suppress notifications for sites that have a high Block rate.

Site Notification

WordPress local development tool ‘Local’ now works with WP Engine

Eight months after WP Engine acquired Flywheel, they are launching a new version of Flywheel's local WordPress development tool, Local, with full support for WP Engine. The latest version of Local seamlessly integrates DevKit, making it possible to develop sites locally and to push changes live to WP Engine with the click of a button.

Local

Open-source URL shortener ‘YOURLS’ gets updated with Bitly-like random keyword plugin

The popular open-source URL shortener, YOURLS, was updated to version 1.7.6. The update adds a Bitly-like URL randomizer to the core set of plugins and fixes various bugs. Users that rely on the software are also encouraged to sponsor its development via Open Collective.

YOURLS URL Shortener

Campaign Monitor urges users to update API keys now for security

Campaign Monitor recently strengthened the security of its API and is sending email messages to customers urging them to update their API keys now. They plan to start deprecating the old API keys soon.

Campaign Monitor

ICANN allows Verisign to start increasing .com prices indefinitely

ICANN announced that Verisign can start increasing .com wholesale domain pricing 7% every year for four years, with a two-year break, indefinitely. Verisign will increase its revenue by at least 70% over ten years (an additional $800m) in exchange for giving ICANN $20m.

Rising cost of domains

Modern Tribe launches major upgrade of its WordPress event calendar plugin

The best calendar plugin for WordPress, The Events Calendar, released a new version that was rebuilt from the ground up. The new plugin, version 5, includes a completely redesigned calendar view and experience.

The Event Calendar

Developer offers a glimpse of what a ‘Solid’ decentralized social network presence might look like

The standards-based initiative to decentralize social media data known as Solid has been difficult for most people to visualize. Angelo Veltens, a developer and IT consultant, recently shared an example of what a person’s identity could look like using Solid.

Solid

WP Engine will no longer support .htaccess with release of PHP 7.4

The popular WordPress hosting platform, WP Engine, is removing the ability to use .htaccess files when sites upgrade to PHP 7.4. They claim the deprecation results in a performance increase of up to 10%, and they are providing .htaccess alternatives.

WP Engine PHP

Google is completely removing FTP access from Chrome

Users of the Chrome browser will no longer be able to view FTP directories or download files from FTP servers.

Chrome

Pixelmator Pro adds image upscaling that maintains clarity for enlarged pixelated images

The popular image editing app for macOS, Pixelmator Pro, added a featured called ML Super Resolution. The feature uses machine learning and a convolutional neural network to increase the size and resolution of raster images.

Pixelmator Pro ML Super Resolution

Ookla adds free VPN to Speedtest app for iOS

A new version of the Speedtest app for iPhone and iPad includes a preview version of its free VPN service.

Speedtest VPN

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announces Bluesky, an initiative to create a decentralized social media standard

Jack Dorsey made a surprise announcement that Twitter is funding a small team of software architects, engineers, and designers to create an open-source standard for social media.

Twitter

Domain prices are unregulated and rising at an alarming rate

The days of enjoying reasonably priced domain names may be coming to an end. Generic top-level domain (gTLD) owners have been significantly raising their annual fees as their extensions gain in popularity.

Rising cost of domains

Alphabet is quietly fighting attacks on free speech through its Jigsaw incubator

Jigsaw has six projects it's currently working on to help activists and journalists protect their freedom of speech. They include technology to prevent hacking and to detect disinformation campaigns.

Jigsaw

Feedly launches Pro+ account with new AI-powered features

Feedly debuted a major upgrade to its content discovery and reading app. The new Pro+ account uses its Leo AI technology to surface content based on interest and usage, and includes deduplication and mute filters.

Leo