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Business Critical: Target Hacked, Rap Genius Disappears, Christmas Sales

Flying Hippo

By Flying Hippo

Business Critical is our weekly collection of what’s new, exciting, and insightful for business leaders from the world of the web, marketing, social media, and more.

Target targeted in credit card hack

As if you haven’t already heard: The bulls-eye-clad retailer was the victim of the second-largest retail security breach in history (TJ Maxx still holds the number one spot) when more than 40 million credit and debit cards were nabbed from the store. The initial breach is reported to have occurred between late November and early December and Target announced the revelations just before Christmas day.

We can learn a lot from this nightmare scenario. Mostly, that the digital age presents a whole slew of new obligations and liabilities for brands doing business. With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, it’s more important than ever for brands to be abreast to new systems, potential threats, and protection measures.

Get CNN Money’s take on the Target hack.

Google makes Rap Genius go bye bye

There’s something to be said for ruffling Google’s feather. Mostly: Don’t do it.

Rap Genius — an annotated lyric site focused on rap music — was officially reprimanded by the massive search engine for engaging a “link scheme” this week. The faux pas was apparently an affiliate program that really served to generate links pointing toward the site in exchange for publicity for aspiring rap artists. As Google has shown before, they take a no-holds-barred approach to sites that engage in egregious manual link-building practices or buy/sell links to their site.

In one fell swoop, Google has all but banished the entire site from search rankings. The wipe will undoubtedly deal a massive blow to RG’s traffic and may even prove a death knell for the site.

Read Search Engine Land’s coverage of RG’s punishment.

Online stores merry about Christmas-day shopping

Apparently, we don’t stop buying things after Christmas rolls around.

New data from IBM indicates that online shopping boomed on the holiday. Overall sales on Christmas day were up 16.5% over 2012, with nearly 30% of all sales coming from a mobile phone or tablet.

This good news comes after earlier data that showed online shopping leading up to the holidays was also booming, up about 24% from last year.

Top image by Flickr user kevin dooley.


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