Google’s Darkening: Monday Signal

“Dark Google” (photo by Shutterstock)

In today’s Signal: From Dark Social to Dark Google; “stock” and “flow” — optimizing content to maximize sharing; inside the entertainment ecosystems of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon; the future of location-based marketing; how agencies might benefit from the tough life of startups; and more.

To the links …

Dark Google: One Year Since Search Terms Went “Not Provided” (Marketing Land) Playing off the term Dark Social, a concept we shared with you last week that refers to social visits which can’t be attributed to any particular social network, Marketing Land’s Danny Sullivan explains Dark Google, which refers to visits from Google’s search engine that can no longer be tied to a particular search term. This withholding of search data began last year and has since continually expanded. This is a concerning trend, to be sure.

Should Brands Build ‘Creative Newsrooms’? (Contently) Reb Carlson, an associate social marketing strategist at 360i and a co-founder and creative consultant at NY Creative Interns, discusses the idea of “stock” and “flow” content. The ”stock” content — the big features that bring audiences and fans back — can strengthen the overarching brand strategy; the “Flow” content — content created out of a ‘creative newsroom’ — consists of shorter, more timely pieces. This of course goes back to the work of our pals at Percolate.

Mapping The Entertainment Ecosystems of Apple, Microsoft, Google & Amazon (MacStories) When thinking about what phone or tablet to buy, the physical device and the operating system it runs are primary factors in decision-making. But considering what happened when Apple recently replaced Google Maps with their own Maps app, there’s a third fundamental consideration that is growing in importance: what services and entertainment ecosystems you’ll be able to access. Graham Spencer explores this in depth.

The Future Of Location-Based Marketing Isn’t Foursquare (MarketingLand) Aaron Strout  isn’t giving up on Foursquare yet, but he does suggest that if you are doing something location-based, it is time to start paying more attention to Google. To that end, he has a few suggestions that can help optimize your campaigns.

Why Agencies Could Win the Talent Fight with Startups (Digiday) Startup life is getting tougher. As venture capital gets harder to come by, and as startups are placed under increasing pressure to generate revenues and find sustainable business models, it looks as though agencies will again be able to compete with startups for digital talent. But it might not happen soon.

Article: Tablet Ads Deliver Results, but Barriers Remain (eMarketer) By 2015, over half of Internet users will log onto the web via their tablets. The rapid growth of the tablet media audience has delivered a wealth of opportunity for advertisers, but some marketers remain hesitant to go all in as they wait for the number of tablet users to go up and the cost of tablet ad development and buys to go down.

The Trouble With ‘Viewability’ as a Metric for Digital Ads (AdAge) New metrics and standards have cropped up to help answer one of the great challenges of digital advertising: how to get assurance that users actually see the ads for which the advertisers are paying.

Facebook Taps Firms to Measure New Ads for Mobile Apps (AdExchanger) After recently launching Mobile App Install Ads, a new ad format geared to app developers, Facebook has partnered with three companies — Apsalar, AD-X and HasOffers — to show the format’s effectiveness. FB is advising app marketers to integrate with its newest SDKs for iOS and Android, allowing them to track performance and optimize for installs.

Jeff Bezos: The Smart People Change Their Minds (Techcrunch) When Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos stopped by the 37signals office last week to talk to its founder Jason Fried, he shared some observations, as well as his thoughts about strategy. One observation Bezos noted is that smart people constantly revise their understandings of a matter; people who are often wrong tend to get lost in the details that just support one point of view.

Super Sad True Love Story: A Review (Battelle Media) John Battelle reviews Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart, an acclaimed writer born in Russia, now living in the US. Based in a future that feels to be about thirty years from now (the same timeframe as Battelle’s own pending book), Shteyngart’s story stars one Lenny Abramov, a schlumpy 39-year-old son of Jewish Russian immigrants who lives in New York City. Abramov works at a powerful corporation that sells promises of immortality to “High Net Worth” individuals. But he’s not your typical corporate climber.

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