A Twitter hack hits the platform’s most famous users, Netflix gets a co-CEO and Revel’s mopeds are coming to San Francisco. Here’s your Daily Crunch for July 16, 2020.
The big story: High-profile Twitter accounts hacked in crypto scam
This was a crazy one: The Twitter accounts of Apple, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and many, many others were compromised yesterday, posting messages with the address of a bitcoin wallet, promising that any payments would be doubled and sent back.
Apparently a hacker used an internal Twitter administrative tool to gain access to all of these accounts. The company described this as “a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.”
Not surprisingly, Twitter’s stock took a hit, and the company will probably be dealing with the fallout for weeks or months to come. (One of the initial responses involved locking accounts that recently changed their passwords.)
The tech giants
Ted Sarandos named co-CEO at Netflix — The announcement comes as the company added more than 10 million new subscribers in its most recent quarter.
Instagram launches its redesigned Shop, now powered by Facebook Pay — Instagram Shop is a way to buy products from brands and creators, as well as curated collections from the company’s @shop account, all within the Explore section.
Uber acquires Routematch as it drives deeper into public transit in hunt for SaaS revenue — Routematch, which provides software to transit agencies, will continue operations with CEO Pepper Harward at the helm.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Revel lands permit to bring hundreds of electric mopeds to San Francisco — I’ve been seeing Revel’s mopeds all over New York City, and now they’ve got approval to launch in SF.
Activ Surgical raises $15 million to advance autonomous and collaborative robotic surgery — The startup equips surgical equipment with sensors, with the data used to guide surgeons and surgical systems.
Monzo launches new Monzo Plus with software features it hopes users will want to pay for — The new features include third-party bank account aggregation, virtual debit cards, custom transaction categories, spreadsheet export and credit score updates.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Why certain VC investors earn great ‘Founder NPS’ scores — Danny Crichton read more than 1,200 founder recommendations for VCs while preparing The TechCrunch List. In this post, he shares some of the common themes.
8 edtech investors talk re-skilling, digital universities, ISAs and other post-pandemic trends — We’ve talked to investors about how COVID-19 has reshaped edtech and education, but what happens after the pandemic?
VC Josh Stein talks power dynamics: ‘I don’t think this has been a mustache-twisting moment for investors’ — Hot startup founders may not have quite as much leverage as they did before the pandemic — but Threshold Ventures’ Stein said he isn’t trying to rub it in.
(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)
Game developer poll suggests longer hours and less productivity as the industry adapts to remote work — Among developers surveyed by GDC, 32% found themselves being less productive, in spite of working longer hours.
VPN providers rethink Hong Kong servers after China’s security law — Hong Kong may lose its status as a haven for data centers.
Europe’s top court strikes down flagship EU-US data transfer mechanism — The decision has implications for U.S. agencies interested in digital surveillance, as well as internet companies like Facebook.
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.
Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster
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.
Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete. We have also extended our advice for product review creators: https://t.co/N4rjJWoaqE
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2021
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.”
Continue Reading Below
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
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.
Continue Reading Below
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.
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.
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.
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