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Decline in Authorship, Facebook Introduces Auto-playing Video Ads, Cutts on Web Duplication and Google's Year in Review – Digital Marketing News

As the year rolls to a close we see a decline in Google Authorship, the introduction of auto-playing video adverts on Facebook, Matt Cutts talking about duplicate content and Google giving us all a review of the year through search. Welcome to this week’s digital marketing news!

The decline of Authorship

In late October we reported on Matt Cutts’ appearance at Pubcon in Las Vegas where he hinted on a clampdown on Google Authorship in Google’s SERPs. Cutts has since confirmed this change in a response to Barry Schwartz from saying that “I can confirm that this change has now happened”. This is further confirmed by Moz’s Mozcast, which shows a somewhat steep decline in the appearance of Authorship, now down to showing for just 20% of their tracked queries.

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This clampdown from Google is intended to clean up the Google SERPs which have, since the rollout, become very Authorship-heavy. For some queries, every result on the first page would have Authorship. In other cases, Authorship was being used in an attempt to increase clickthrough rate on somewhat spammy sites, which pulled away from the original point of Authorship, to “help users find high quality content on the web”.

Since the clampdown Mark Traphagen has noticed three variations of how Authorship will now display in the Google SERPs:

  • First Class: Full Authorship snippet

  • Second Class: Byline but no photo

  • Third Class: No rich snippet at all

It is good to see that Google are not removing Authorship altogether and it will be interesting to see the future changes they make to this feature in coming months.

Facebook introduces auto-playing video adverts

Amid rumours, on Tuesday 17 December Facebook announced the rollout of auto-playing video adverts. This is great news for advertisers who want to push strong video content to a large and targeted audience outside of YouTube. However, there is currently no mention of the costing for such an advert, with Facebook writing that it “does not disclose pricing”.

This announcement has raised a number of concerns to users of Facebook who have worried about data plans on mobile and the annoyance of an auto-playing video. However, Facebook has already considered these issues and has announced that videos will not be automatically downloaded over mobile connections, but rather in the background while connected to Wi-Fi. The videos will also be muted on auto-play to minimise any annoyance.

The first advert to be shown is for the forthcoming film Divergent and will be shown to select users in the United States.

The web is 25-30% duplicated, according to Matt Cutts

In his regular Webmaster video series, Google’s head of webspam Matt Cutts claims that about 25-30% of the web is duplicated, although, most of this duplication is not considered spam if it is not created to manipulate search engines. He does, however, make it clear that Google groups duplicated content together and displays the best of the bunch in their search results, reiterating the point that good quality original content is still king.

Google’s year in review

2013 has been a wild year and Google is the best party for monitoring the key moments through its trending searches of the year. It has released its top 10 global trending searches for the year for us all to get a feel for what was running through people’s minds in 2013:

  1. Nelson Mandela
  2. Paul Walker
  3. iPhone 5s
  4. Cory Monteith
  5. Harlem Shake
  6. Boston Marathon
  7. Royal Baby
  8. Samsung Galaxy s4
  9. PlayStation 4
  10. North Korea

They also made a chilling and beautiful video to remember the year by which is well worth a watch:

See you guys next year :)

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