The Webrepublican Nr. 40, June 2017

04 Jun 2017 / by Natalie Schönbächler and Simon Wüthrich / Webrepublic / Comments

Machine learning power for AdWords, virtual assistants for sales, augmented reality for searching for restaurants, an attribution tool and artificial intelligence, 1,344 readers, an open rate of 42.9% and 4:45 minutes of reading time. That’s Webrepublican no. 40.



Teaser Image Webrepublican 40


New Webrepublicans June

  • We currently have eight vacancies, including vacancies in the areas of SEO and client solutions.
  • Speaking of applications: when a student posted a GIF of his BRIO train robot in an image forum, it received 11 million clicks in a single night. Tobias Zehnder knows: “That’s the best job application you can have.”
  • Recently Webrepublicans reported on our daily work routine on Instagram (@webrepublic) – in hashtags: #wrlife.


At this year’s Marketing Next, Google announced that it was introducing in-market audiences for its search network. This concept is driven by machine-learning power: when advertisers use in-market audiences for their targeting, they reach target groups with search behavior that suggests that they are looking to buy.

Until now Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) were primarily relevant for publishers, SEOs and content marketers, but they will now play a key role in paid advertising. To further improve the mobile user experience, Google recently allowed AMPs to be defined as landing pages for AdWords ads. In the future, display ads also will be delivered with AMP technology, ensuring that they too benefit from faster loading times.


Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google want to more tightly integrate voice-controlled assistants into users’ daily routines. And they’re succeeding: 20% of searches in the US are already performed using Voice Search. At the same time, these tech giants continue to equip themselves with new features in the battle to win over users. Amazon’s new Echo Look provides styling tips, and Echo Show displays information on a screen. Meanwhile, Google Home now detects different voices, is also a telephone and works as a Bluetooth boombox. As these tech heavyweights make voice assistants more popular, Voice Search will become even more crucial for marketers. Content must be comprehensively optimized for voice search to allow the assistants to correctly interpret it and deliver it to users. Featured snippets play an important role in this shift.


E-commerce has also taken notice of the growing significance of virtual assistants: Amazon wants to use Alexa to increase sales, and Google is also trying to earn money with Home. Mountain View is planning on using an affiliate program to let online store operators promote products that can be directly purchased with Home using the integrated payment API.


Voice Search isn't the only thing gathering traction: image searches with artificial intelligence are also becoming more important. At the I/O Keynote, Google introduced Lens, which demonstrates how smartphone cameras are good for a lot more than selfies. Lens is bringing augmented reality to the smartphone; for example, if you point your smartphone at a restaurant, you will be shown ratings of the restaurant on your screen in real time. This means that taking a serious approach to ratings will become even more important for advertisers.


After the debate on brand safety received a lot of press coverage, the biggest platforms announced various measures to deal with the issue. This presents a difficult balancing act for Facebook: on the one hand, the company must prevent brands from advertising alongside content that glorifies violence, but on the other, users do not want their freedom of expression restricted. Facebook has since expanded its Community Operations Team by two thirds to more than 7,000 employees. These moderators are exclusively responsible for deleting or reporting offensive material. The difficulty of this task is demonstrated by a leak of several hundred internal training manuals and regulations.


All marketers grapple with the question of the impact marketing measures have on the success of a company. Google wants to use AI to gain more insight into this issue and has accordingly introduced the tool Google Attribution. Google Attribution uses data supplied by Google Analytics, AdWords and DoubleClick. The tool identifies different conversion patterns using machine learning, which helps marketers better understand digital marketing measures across different devices and channels. Google also wants to perform analytics on the offline customer journey. This is why it’s working on solutions that allow companies to measure the impact of online measures on offline purchasing behavior using credit card data and customer cards. But the extent to which this activity can be carried out in individual countries has yet to be determined.

Google Attribution


If you keep up with the headlines, you already know that Google has been spearheading advancements in AI. This is sure to have a big effect on digital marketing – for example, in the fields of analytics, targeting and biddings – on user experience and on the debate surrounding brand safety. Walt Mossberg grappled with the topic of AI in his most recent columns for The Verge and Recode. Mossberg sees AI, augmented and virtual reality, robotics and smart homes as the building blocks of the future. His prediction? Technology will become transparent.


AI will not only be the driving force behind invisible technology (“ambient technology”), but will also have an impact on art. “Today, the majority of photos are taken by machines for machines, so we need to learn how to see things from the computer’s perspective,” says artist Trevor Paglen. In his project Sight Machine, AI technology is used to analyze the famous San Francisco-based quartet Kronos during a concert, allowing listeners to learn what AI recognizes in the faces of the musicians and the audience in real time.