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Daily Crunch: TikTok’s CEO resigns

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Turmoil continues at TikTok, Salesforce lays off 1,000 people and Warby Parker is now valued at $3 billion. This is your Daily Crunch for August 27, 2020.

The big story: TikTok’s CEO resigns

Kevin Mayer, the former Disney executive who joined TikTok as CEO just over 100 days ago, announced yesterday that he’s resigning. While Mayer was likely brought on to reassure U.S. legislators about the app’s Chinese owners, it seems he wasn’t expecting this level of conflict, with President Donald Trump signing an executive order that would ban TikTok in the U.S. unless it’s sold to another company.

“We appreciate that the political dynamics of the last few months have significantly changed what the scope of Kevin’s role would be going forward, and fully respect his decision,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement. “We thank him for his time at the company and wish him well.”

As for which company might acquire TikTok, Walmart has confirmed that it’s interested in teaming up with Microsoft to acquire the popular video app.

The tech giants

Salesforce confirms it’s laying off around 1,000 people in spite of monster quarter — Salesforce says it’s “reallocating resources to position the company for continued growth.”

Google Assistant app now uses your searches to make personalized recommendations — Those recommendations could include podcasts, restaurants, recipes and more.

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Facebook isn’t happy about Apple’s upcoming ad tracking restrictions — The company says Audience Network revenue could decline by more than 50%.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Warby Parker, valued at $3 billion, raises $245 million in funding — The eyewear startup has launched a telehealth service for New York customers, allowing them to extend an existing glasses or contacts prescription.

Instacart faces lawsuit from DC attorney general over ‘deceptive’ service fees — The suit alleges that Instacart misled customers into thinking the 10% service fee was a tip for the delivery person.

Narrative raises $8.5 million as it launches a new data marketplace — The goal is to make buying data as easy as buying something on Amazon.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Alexa von Tobel: Eliminating risk is the key to building a startup during an economic downturn — Von Tobel says that one of the most important exercises in forming LearnVest was writing out a business plan.

To reach scale, Juni Learning is building a full-stack edtech experience — The startup’s path to $10 million in annual recurring revenue is inspired by Peloton, not Kumon.

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What can growth marketers learn from lean product development? — Andrea Fryrear argues that marketers should begin creating minimum viable campaigns.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

A faster, easier, cheaper way of going public — The latest episode of Equity discusses direct listings and SPACs.

Here’s how you can get a second shot at Startup Battlefield — Your second chance comes in the form of two Wild Card entries for the upcoming Battlefield at Disrupt.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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