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It’s no secret Apple is no fan of the cookie. In June they shook the advertising world announcing they were updating their Safari cookie policy. Named Intelligent Tracking Prevention, the new policy officially launched in September alongside iOS11 kickstarting the era of post-cookie advertising. The update aims to limit as much as possible third-party trackers from placing cookies to capture cross-site browsing data on devices running the Apple browser.  

Since the beginning, Apple has drawn a rigid distinction between first-party and third-party, making it harder (but not impossible) for third parties to place cookies.  For years advertisers across all platforms have been exploiting loopholes to circumvent the Safari cookie policy. With the September update though, Apple has finally closed the gap. Now, all cookies expire within 24 hours unless they are a real-deal, first-party cookie. Prior to the update advertisers could access cookie data for 30 days.

The message from Apple to advertisers is clear: find another way to find your audience.

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In recent years there’s been a huge push by Google and other key players for the internet-wide adoption of HTTPS. While the majority of web users are advocates for creating an overall safer, more secure web, many site owners have been daunted by the task of migrating their site to the secure protocol. Thankfully the barrier to entry for converting your site to HTTPS has all but disappeared with free, easy to use options for switching to HTTPS. With popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox continuing to push sites to switch with non-secure warnings on HTTP sites and SEO ranking boosts, it’s becoming clear all sites can and should make the switch. Here are the basics on HTTPS and why you should consider switching if you haven’t already.

 

What is HTTPS?

For starters, it’s good to have a basic understanding of the function of HTTPS and how it actually becomes “secure”. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure where the information being sent from a user’s browser to a given website is encrypted and secured using TLS (Transport Layer Security), more commonly referred to as SSL (Socket Security Layer), an older version of the technology . The TLS ensures the information is being sent through secure channels and then encrypted making sensitive information all but impossible to hack. All of this provides both your site and your users with three key security benefits:

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For digital publishers, the SEO game is constantly changing. In a world where an unconfirmed Google update can rock traffic stats for some publishers by up to 90%, having a few key components of SEO in place is essential. A sitemap is one such component.

To put it simply, sitemap’s enable search engine crawlers to more efficiently index your site’s content by telling them how your site is structured. Sitemaps are relatively easy to setup (especially for WordPress sites) and are an essential component of any SEO strategy. keep reading

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Utilizing web proxy tools is a powerful way to capture the information needed to accurately assess and debug site issues. Charles Web Debugging Proxy allows you to view and record all of the traffic between your computer and the internet –  including ad requests. A Charles session can help Freestar Support expedite tracking down any unusual behavior or harmful ads on your site and blocking them. Here is how to capture a web session using Charles:

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Every part of your website affects your ability to make money, which is why at Freestar we analyze, monitor and optimize every piece of data and technology imaginable to see where there are opportunities. Your website design is in your hands, however, and its importance can’t be understated. It can dramatically affect your traffic, engagement, loyalty – and ultimately your revenue potential. There are many questions to ask yourself to determine whether your web design is helping or hurting your bottom line. Here are just a few. 
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Last year Facebook announced it would stop running Atlas, purchased by the company just 3 years prior, as an ad server. This decision signaled a move away from trying to build a product to directly compete with Google DoubleClick. Instead, they’d hone in on the strongest piece of their Atlas offering: their audience data. Fast forward to 2017, when, Facebook entered the header bidding game, opening up their Audience Network data to select partners. Notably, Amazon, who is looking to make digital advertising a “meaningful part of the business”in 2017, is included on Facebook’s list of approved partners. Both companies are setting their sights on the reigning king of advertising: Google. So who will win? Here’s a look at what’s going on with the three heavy-weights.
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In an average day, 80% of us will use a smartphone to perform a search, send a text, or check social media. According to a recent study by Google, in that same group of people, a whopping “40% of people search only on a smartphone in an average day as they look to meet immediate needs”. These numbers make it very clear that publishers need to focus more than ever on improving their overall mobile experience and specifically mobile advertising. Here are 5 things to keep in mind: 

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