In this digital marketing news roundup, we cover the suspension of GMB listings after adding a short name, a Google employee violated data-security policies by leaking voice assistant recordings and a new way to share files up to 100GB without having to worry about the different email client’s size restrictions on attachments.
“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” – Tom Fishburne
In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news:
- Google My Business suspends listings after businesses add a short name
- ‘OK Google’ voice recordings of thousands of users leaked
- A new Dropbox feature allowing users to share files up to 100GB
Let’s dig in.
Adding a Short Name to Your GMB Listing Might Result In Suspension
Short names were first introduced back in April. The purpose was to allow businesses to create custom URLs for their Google My Business listing.
However, it seems like legitimate business listings are getting suspended and removed from the SERPs after adding a short name.
Hey @searchliaison people are getting suspended seemingly at random on GMB when they set a short name, is this another bug?
— Joe Youngblood (@YoungbloodJoe) July 3, 2019
Not all businesses are getting suspended after adding short names, but it seems to be a common theme among a series of seemingly random suspensions.
It appears that the rumors may be true – adding a @GoogleMyBiz shortname can cause your listing to be suspended???
I am working on a 100% legitimate business profile with 0 quality/spam issues – we just added a shortname and we are now suddenly suspended. Google, what gives? https://t.co/blKJMGpwee
— Lily Ray (@lilyraynyc) July 9, 2019
Google gave the following statement regarding the issue: “The recent concerns around the visibility of certain business listings are being corrected. The business listings were not suspended, but instead were not being shown as visible due to a technical issue. Business owners who experienced issues should be able to see their listings in Search soon. Some users may have experienced an improvement to the situation with the removal of their short name; however, the issue was not directly tied to the short name feature.”
Is Google Using the Voice Assitant as a Listening Device?
Are you using ‘OK Google’? Maybe you should reconsider. Or, at least, check your settings and disable the saving of voice activity.
Why? In a recent blog post, Google acknowledged that one of their language reviewers has violated its data-security policies by leaking confidential Dutch audio data.
In another article, VRT NWS – a news organisation run by a public broadcaster in the Flemish region of Belgium – stated it was “able to listen to more than a thousand [Google Assitant] recordings” which they received through a Google subcontractor.
Google states that the storing of voice and audio activity is set to OFF by default when people create Google accounts. However, if that’s the case, how did thousands of voice recording leak? I certainly changed the settings when I decided to use the voice assistant more often. And why would I? After all, a users’ first thought won’t be – ‘Oh my, let’s check the settings because Google employees might be eavesdropping.’
You can read more about the leak on Ars Technica’s website.
Send Copies of Files With Dropbox’s New Feature
We’ve all been in a situation where we have to share a huge file with a co-worker, client or our boss. But all email clients have a size limit to attachments, so now what?
Well, it seems Dropbox found the solution for sharing files up to 100GB. The company introduced Dropbox Transfer which is a new way for users to send files between each other rather than simply sharing access for collaboration.
How does it work? Files can be dragged and, you guessed it, dropped directly from your computer or from within Dropbox storage. When the user is ready to send, Dropbox creates a link that can be shared with anyone so that they have their own copy. The original file will remain in your possession.
And the best part, if you are a business using the new feature in a professional capacity, you can customise the download page to show your own uploaded image (e.g. company logo) or simply set a different background colour (e.g. company colour palette).
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