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Why you won’t be able to access Wikipedia on Wednesday

Wikipedia will be offline for 24 hours on Wednesday 18th January as part of the protest against anti-piracy laws which will be debated in the US Congress. It is the most well known site of a number of websites taking part in the action by blacking out their website for 24 hours. The site is opposed to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) currently being debated in the USA.

It is the first time ever that Wikipedia has taken such action. The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, said on the BBC: "Proponents of SOPA have characterised the opposition as being people who want to enable piracy or defend piracy. But that's not really the point. The point is the bill is so over broad and so badly written that it's going to impact all kinds of things that don't have anything to do with stopping piracy." Wikipedia has said that the bills will be “devastating to the free and open web”.

On Saturday the White House issued a statement saying "While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet."

Twitter has refused to join the protest however, with its CEO Dick Costolo tweeting “Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish”. Rupert Murdoch supports the bills and has criticised President Obama for his stance.
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Microsoft and Yahoo! Search alliance starts ad testing

Microsoft and Yahoo! have sent out emails marking the start of the New Year to explain to their customers how they expect 2012 to unfold in terms of the Microsoft and Yahoo! Search Alliance. To read the previous DBS Internet Marketing blogpost on the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance, click here.

Their key aim is to have Microsoft Advertising adCenter provide the paid search results for Yahoo! sites in the UK, Ireland and France during the first half of 2012. It has already been implemented in the US, Canada and India.

As part of that transition, they intend as early as 17th January to start testing the delivery of paid search results from adCenter on Yahoo! traffic. They say that there is nothing you need to do in preparation for the test and that the ad test will be limited to a small percentage of Yahoo! traffic, but do warn that you may see some fluctuations in your usual adCenter campaign traffic. Microsoft Advertising say that “as a routine best practice, we recommend that you closely monitor your campaigns and prepare to increase your budget if it is more than 80 per cent depleted.” Yahoo have said that tests will continue until the transition is complete, and urge people not to draw any conclusions from what they observe during the tests as the results may not be indicative of future performance will full Yahoo! and Microsoft volumes.

Microsoft added that they will also soon be “improving your adCenter campaign management experience” with simplified location targeting. They say that this will help you reach more relevant users with new Language and Location targeting options, which will replace the option to target by Language and market. The changes will enable you to reach users in multiple locations that speak the same language, and allow you to select locations you wish to target at the campaign or ad group level, from bundled countries to the individual city level. Microsoft strongly recommends that you check your ads are serving the locations you want after the change has been rolled out.

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