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Monthly Must Reads—August 2015

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Three things this week to be aware of as you and your brand interact with the web.

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Here are three things to be aware of as you and your brand interact with the web:

  1. Google is now owned by Alphabet. In related news, Alphabet is now a company…run by the guys who until a few days ago practically were Google. The change in structure, itself, is simple: Google will remain its own company, but with a new CEO who has recently escalated within the ranks of the search giant. He will report to parent company Alphabet which is led by Google co-founders and college pals Larry Page (CEO) and Sergey Brin (President). Page cites a desire to make Google “cleaner and more accountable,” which on the surface might sound like a customer-focused move (concerns about privacy and personal data, anyone?). But he was more likely referring to the growing fragmentation the company has seen with a disparate array of offshoots like thermostats, self-driving cars, note-taking apps, and the search for a fountain of youth. The change makes sense from a strictly organizational standpoint, and investors will probably receive the changes warmly. The rest of us will have to wait and see what this means for the average user over the next few years.
  2. If you haven’t been the victim of a data breach, you probably know someone who has. One way hackers enjoy compromising other peoples’ security and overall joy in life is by sending phishing emails. This infographic, put out by Return Path last month, walks us through some of the basics of phishing, including: how it works, what’s at risk for victims, and some tips for avoiding it. Even if this is old news for you, consider passing it along to someone who isn’t familiar with the threat…like perhaps (ahem) your parents.
  3. Heatmaps aren’t new in the world of digital marketing, but there are still many brands that haven’t discovered the analytical power (and sheer fun) of this tool. Unlike mainstream analytics platforms such as Google Analytics and Omniture, both of which express much of their data in conventional charts, heatmaps (seen below) represent data via actual webpage screenshots combined with graphic overlays. It’s intuitive at first glance, so you don’t need experience in SEO to understand immediately how users are engaging with your site. That’s one of the reasons this makes a great ancillary reporting tool we use with our clients.

Heatmap