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Yahoo just renewed its search partnership with Microsoft — with huge modifications.

The companies re-upped the partnership. Some of the basic fundamentals of the partnership remain in tact. Yahoo is using Bing ads for its desktop searches. Microsoft is providing the algorithm for Yahoo's desktop search.

There are two major changes.
Yahoo was responsible for the sales relationships for Bing search ads under the partnerships previously. All of those sales relationships are going to come under Microsoft in the coming months.
The new deal now only requires Yahoo to pull a majority of its traffic from the Bing ads marketplace. Just 51%, rather than the 100% it was required to pull before. That means the other 49% of Yahoo's search traffic could be monetized by Yahoo's own ad units or by another search provider, like Google.

Source: Business Insider UK

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U.S. telco's call centre staff allegedly passed private customer information to stolen handset traffickers.

AT&T will pay a $25 million fine to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to settle an investigation into data breaches at three offshore call centres.

The names, account-related data – known as customer proprietary network information (CPNI) – and full or partial social security numbers of some 280,000 AT&T customers were disclosed to unauthorised third parties engaged in trafficking stolen handsets or second-hand phones. The information could be used to obtain codes for unlocking handsets.

The breaches took place at call centres in Colombia, Mexico, and the Philippines between November 2013 and April 2014.

"The Commission cannot – and will not – stand idly by when a carrier's lax data security practices expose the personal information of hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Americans to identity theft and fraud," said FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, in a statement on Wednesday.

The $25 million penalty is the largest fine ever imposed by the FCC's enforcement bureau for a data breach. AT&T is also required to notify affected customers and provide credit-monitoring services for customers whose account details were breached by the Colombian and Philippine call centres. It must also appoint a certified privacy professional as a compliance manager to improve its data security practices.

Source: Total Telecom

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There have never been more ways to find a Starbucks.

You can go to the store locator on the website: chances are, it will be the mobile version, because that’s how local search happens more often than not. Or you could use the Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing Maps, or HERE Maps apps. Or you could check Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook (Places), or the newest local discovery app, Vurb. If you’re over 50, then your car’s navigation system is also an option.

What’s more, you might just type “coffee shop” into a search engine and see what comes up — could be a Starbucks but more likely it’s a neighborhood cafe.

This challenge for brands like Starbucks (and Bank of America and Target and McDonald’s and H&R Block and Verizon — any brand with hundreds or thousands of locations) boils down to two things: search and discovery. How easy is it for consumers to find the restaurant, the store, the branch, the office? That’s search. And how likely is one to find a particular store over another through a category search? That’s discovery. All of which drives foot traffic, web traffic, and ultimately sales. Managing this at scale is no small task. Given how fragmented the local search ecosystem has become, brands face a nearly impossible challenge in getting this right.

What I’m describing here is broadly known as local SEO i.e. search engine optimization for physical locations. What are the benefits and ROI? Not only does it mitigate lost traffic and sales that would otherwise go to competitors, but if you do this right, it will generate incremental sales by owning premium real estate on the mobile devices of today’s consumer.

Source: Streetfight

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Tension between EU authorities and U.S. tech giants likely to escalate

PARIS—Facebook Inc. is confronting a wave of probes in Europe into its privacy practices, escalating tensions between European authorities and a handful of U.S-based tech giants.

Government privacy watchdogs from France, Spain and Italy have in recent weeks joined a group of regulators investigating the social-networking firm’s privacy controls, officials said, doubling the number of European countries analyzing the way Facebook handles the personal information and connections gleaned from more than 300 million users in Europe.

The three regulators join a Dutch-led effort, accompanied by authorities in Germany and Belgium, that is examining the way Facebook combines data from its services, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, to target advertising. Also under investigation is Facebook’s use of its “like” buttons that could track Internet browsing habits, regulators say.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Dex Media, Inc. and Yext extended and expanded their five-year-old agreement to help small and medium-sized businesses enhance their Internet presence. Partners since 2010, Yext and Dex Media’s strong relationship has resulted in the development of unique products benefitting entrepreneurial businesses across America.

“We are proud to expand our partnership with Yext,” Gordon Henry, chief marketing officer, said. “Together we create marketing solutions used by tens of thousands of businesses to enhance their Internet presence and get more customers. Yext custom designed key elements just for us, working concurrently with our expert knowledge of each small and mid-sized business to create improved features addressing the needs of clients.”

For example, Yext built the custom Reputation Monitoring feature for Dex in 2010, which became Review Monitoring, a core part of Yext’s Digital Presence Management software. Review Monitoring allows small businesses to easily keep track of the reviews coming to their listings from one place.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

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