It’s not exactly news that retailers have been pushing Black Friday earlier and earlier until well, it’s Thursday. One retailer, Staples, after having opened on Gray Thursday for the last few years, has decided to close up and let its workers spend the holiday at home. Bravo for them!
In a press release,the chain announced that the deals will only be online, and that stores will stay closed…On Thanksgiving Day, customers can shop from home on Staples.com and then continue their shopping in stores starting at 6 a.m. on Black Friday,” the company’s president of North American stores and online shopping, Demos Parneros, said in a statement.
Companies that choose to stay closed on the holiday should be applauded. I hope that those who choose to be good communitity citizens harvest online goodwill and good publicity, to offset any loss in sales.
Some reports show Black Friday weekend sales are actually falling, so maybe other retailers will take the high road as well.
Amazon officially launched its new Amazon Flex package delivery option yesterday, using everyday drivers to deliver packages in their own cars Uber-style.
The company advertises drivers can make $18 to $25 per hour provided you are at least 21-years-old, have a car, driver’s license, a clean background check and an Android phone. Amazon’s driver recruiting website opines that these jobs offer advantages that traditional employees don’t enjoy i.e. schedule flexibility.
Amazon Flex launched in Seattle on Tuesday and is now recruiting drivers to handle Prime Now’s 1 & 2 hour deliveries. Flex will be offered in eight other cities, including NYC.
Amazon tells the Wall Street Journal it will continue to use its previously contracted courier companies for same-day deliveries, but it will now also have the ability to route some orders through Flex.
“There is a tremendous population of people who want to work in an on-demand fashion,” Clark told the WSJ. “This is another opportunity for people to work with the company.”
Google has added an additional requirement for websites that want to rise higher in the SERPS. Tuesday, Google announced that as of Nov. 1, sites that use those obnoxious app install overlays will no longer be considered mobile-friendly.
This comes in addition to the April announcement when Google’s algorithm started favoring sites that opened quickly and easily on mobile devices .
“…sometimes a user may tap on a search result on a mobile device and see an app install interstitial that hides a significant amount of content and prompts the user to install an app,” a post on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog reads. “Our analysis shows that it is not a good search experience and can be frustrating for users because they are expecting to see the content of the web page.”
This doesn’t affect other kinds of interstitials, the post explains. Instead of app install interstitials, there are other ways to promote apps that don’t get in the way of what people are searching for, Google notes: Both Safari and Chrome support app install banners, which simply pop up at the top of a page and still allow users to view the page without having to take any additional actions.
This announcement comes on the heels of Google’s July encouragement for sites to be more mobile friendly by alerting mobile searchers when sites use Flash.
An Adobe/Page Fair report, says that 16% of the US online population blocked ads in Q2, 2015 and that ad block usage grew 48% during the past year. Chrome, with its ease installing extensions, and with Chrome’s growth as the browser of choice have made it the major blocker of ads.
In the mobile space, Firefox and Chrome are responsible for 93% of mobile ad blocking.
400 non-blocking ad users were asked what would make them change their mind (I’m shocked that, “I didn’t know I could!” wasn’t the top answer):
- Misuse of personal information was the primary reason to enable ad blocking
- An increase in the number of ads was more important among millennials
- 1 in 4 respondents aged 35-49 do not have any desire to ever use ad blocking so”ware.
I use Chrome with Adblocker Plus as well as a noscript extension to limit ads. For those sites that responsibly show ads and act as a resource for me, I try and be a good user and white list them. The problem with adblocking isn’t that it exists, it’s that so many websites are reckless and irresponsible with display advertising. Until that changes, the percentages of ads being blocked can’t help but to increase.
How do you handle display ads? Is your professional attitude different than your private behaviors? Would love to hear from you.
Google cofounder Sergey Brin said Google will have autonomous cars available for the general public within five years.
“You can count on one hand the number of years it will take before ordinary people can experience this,” he said while at the signing of SB 1298. This bill establishes safety and performance standards for cars operated by computers on California roads.
Nevada and Florida have had similar laws in place which allows a driver to test the vehicle. Detractors fear the bill doesn’t provide enough oversight to guarantee the safety of truly driverless cars.
Google has already put in 300,000 miles of testing with its self-driving cars. Brin said the company will focus on improving sensors and hardware failure support for the technology. He said any obstacles for the technology will be the same as any system that can fail, such is the case with something like airplane flight.
“It’s a long list of things that humans have coped with in the past,” he said.
If you’ve ever wanted Google Analytics to automatically alert you to changes in your organic traffic, Ben Goodsell at SE Land shows you how.