Fresh Egg's Digital Marketing News – 27 July to 10 August 2015
In this fortnight’s digital marketing news, find out about Google Panda 4.2’s slow rollout, Google+ disconnecting from YouTube, Facebook video arguments and schema mark-up for Reviews from movie critics.
On the move? Listen to our podcast for these stories with added analysis from our digital experts:
Google: Panda 4.2
The next rollout of the Google Panda algorithm started around 23 July. However, Google has confirmed it will be a very slow rollout over the next few months due to technical reasons.
The SEM Post transcribed part of John Mueller’s conversations on Panda 4.2 during his most recent Google Webmaster office hours hangout, with him stating:
“This [Panda rollout] is actually pretty much a similar update to before. For technical reasons we are rolling it out a bit slower. It is not that we are trying to confuse people with this. It is really just for technical reasons.
“So, it is not that we are crawling slowly. We are crawling and indexing normal, and we are using that content as well to recognize higher quality and lower quality sites. But we are rolling out this information in a little bit more slower way, mostly for technical reasons.”
Of course, for us in SEO, this makes it harder to judge the effect of the Panda update on our websites. However, as John Mueller said, it’s similar to the previous Panda algorithm update so we should not see any significant changes. But if there are any further updates, we will be sure to let you know.
You can find more information here.
Google starts uncoupling Google+
You will no longer need a Google+ account to use all of Google’s various services and, starting 27th July, YouTube becomes ’disconnected‘ from the struggling social network.
The first change will be that any comments you make on YouTube alone will no longer appear on Google+. This also works in the reverse, with Google+ comments no longer repeated on YouTube. YouTube has also promised it has updated its comment ranking algorithm and spam comments will now be less visible on videos.
In an update coming in the next few weeks, you will also no longer need a Google+ profile if you want to create a YouTube channel or upload a video. You will be able to delete your Google+ profile; however, do not do this until the update, otherwise you will remove your YouTube channel. Follow YouTube’s blog for more updates.
What does this announcement, and the separation of photos, mean for the future of Google+? Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of streams, photos, and sharing, wrote:
“What does this mean for Google+ the product? Relieved of the notion of integrating with every other product at Google, Google+ can now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well: helping millions of users around the world connect around the interest they love. Aspects of the product that don’t serve this agenda have been, or will be, retired. But you’ll also see a slew of improvements that make this use case shine (like the recent launch of Collections - https://plus.google.com/collections/featured).”
So, how does this affect your business pages? At Fresh Egg, we can see Google+ moving into a Pinterest or Facebook Group model, with users following and sharing niche interests. Our social media strategist, Susie Cox says:
“I think that Horowitz has made it clear where Google+ is going when he says that Google+ wants to connect people via interests they love. Exploring the numerous Google+ Communities will continue to be relevant and a worthwhile task for most brands. These offer an opportunity to share content in an engaged forum.
“Collections are more like personal boards of posts curated around a certain topic. Collections have moved the focus away from adding people to Circles and organising connections in this way. Google+ is still a social network, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be trying to compete with Facebook anymore.
“We will always recommend that businesses continue to have a presence on Google+ for as long as it exists because while Google dominates the search landscape, it’s a no brainer.”
Rich Snippets for movie reviews in Google
Google has announced yet another schema mark-up that will lead to rich snippets being displayed in its search engine results – critic reviews for movies:.
“When a user asks “did ex machina get good reviews?”, Google is now aware of the semantics - recognizing that the user wants critic reviews for the 2015 film Ex Machina and, equally importantly, where to find them.” - Jonathan Wald, Product Manager, Google
This feature will be released across mobile, tablet and desktop and will show snippets of the reviews at the top of the page, as you can see in the screenshot below.
Image source: http://googledevelopers.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/using-schemaorg-markup-to-promote-your.html
Although this is initially only for movie reviews, Google expects to roll this out to TV shows and books later this year.
We also saw this week that Google is starting to show betting odds within its SERPS (shoutout to Dan Barker for spotting this).
Image source: https://twitter.com/danbarker/status/628271416580927488
You will be able to hear more analysis from the team at Fresh Egg on our Podcasts. Subscribe to our iTunes Podcasts or SoundCloud channel to hear this every other Monday.
Facebook video arguments
With Facebook snapping at the heels of YouTube thanks to its 4 billion daily views, it is becoming a major player in the online video industry. Snapchat isn’t too far behind either, as it is also closing in on 3 billion views per day.
However, many have taken what Facebook defines as a ’view‘ to be incorrect and misleading. This led to John Green, a prominent YouTuber, to write a scathing article on Medium about Facebook’s practices. In it, he says:
“This might seem a little like this is a victimless crime, but it fundamentally devalues the #1 metric of online video. The view is the thing that everyone talks about and it’s the thing creators sell to advertisers in order to make a living. Applying that word to something far less valuable is going to be extremely disruptive to creators. Ad agencies and brands are confused enough without Facebook muddying the waters by calling something a view when it is in no way a measure of viewership.”
However, Matt Pakes, product manager at Facebook, defined what Facebook considers a ‘view’ in a response on Medium:
“If you have stayed on a video for at least three seconds, it signals to us that you are not simply scrolling through feed and you’ve shown intent to watch that video. However, we also provide detailed metrics and tools to help Pages better understand how people respond to their videos on Facebook.”
In regards to native videos often being watched more times than through a [YouTube] link, he replied:
“Native video posts with auto-play tend to see better engagement; more watch time and higher view counts. It’s a nuanced but important point: native videos often do better than video links, but this is because people tend to prefer watching native videos over clicking on a link and waiting for something to load.”
This argument doesn’t seem to be over, but we can expect to see the growth of Facebook video to continue. You can read more on this in TechCrunch’s article here.
On Thursday 6 August, Facebook announced that public figures using Facebook Mention’s app will be able to live stream video from their phones. This arrives as Meerkat, and Twitter-owned Periscope, gain traction in the live-streaming market. You can see an example of a Facebook live-stream below.
Skiing in New ZealandPosted by Lindsey Vonn on Wednesday, 5 August 2015
Hints, tips and rumours
- The Imminent Invasion of Social Commerce
- Facebook Empowers Pages To Provide Customer Support Over Private Messages
- Twitter Rolls Out A News Tab Experiment For App Users
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