Fresh Egg’s Digital Marketing News – 6 October to 19 October 2015

In this fortnight's news read about Google's change of stance when it comes to the AJAX crawling scheme, Amazon targeting fake reviews with a lawsuit, Pinterest adding business details to its place pins and Square (the mobile payments system from Twitter’s CEO) seeking a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, Facebook’s video hub test could offer a ‘holy grail’ for marketers and Google is testing a new rapid content search display in partnership with publishers.

On the go? Why not listen to our podcast? I discuss the two top stories below with Fresh Egg's technical SEO director, Mark Chalcraft and senior inbounud marketing manager, Ryan Ogilvie.


Google deprecates AJAX crawling scheme 

Google has officially stated that it has deprecated its AJAX crawling scheme based on hash fragments and HTML snapshots to make AJAX pages crawlable.

The search engine said in a blog post:

“Back then, our systems were not able to render and understand pages that use JavaScript to present content to users. Times have changed. Today, as long as you're not blocking Googlebot from crawling your JavaScript or CSS files, we are generally able to render and understand your web pages like modern browsers.“

Since the assumptions for our 2009 proposal are no longer valid, we recommend following the principles of progressive enhancement.”

Fresh Egg’s resident expert and technical SEO director Mark Chalcraft says this doesn’t mean companies need to stop using it immediately.

“Businesses that use hash fragments have time to put some thought into this,” he says. “If an AJAX-based experience is the right thing to provide for users, which has to be the first consideration, then progressive enhancement is the best way forward – this ensures search engines can crawl effectively, and provides a fall-back option for legacy browsers which do not support the latest technologies.”

Amazon files lawsuit against fake reviews

Amazon has filed a lawsuit against more than 1,000 people it accuses of posting fake reviews on its site, according to the BBC.

Amazon on phone

The huge online retailer says its brand reputation is being damaged by “false, misleading and inauthentic” reviews which sellers pay for in order to make their products more appealing to buyers. Amazon is looking to sue 1,114 defendants named “John Does” as the company doesn’t yet know their real names.

Amazon said in its complaint filed in Seattle, Washington, that:

"While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon's brand."

Pinterest adds maps and call functionality to 7bn place pins

Pinterest is now automatically adding contact details and information to its seven billion place pins, enabling pinners to call or find directions to a shop, restaurant or venue directly from a pin.

Pinterest place pins

Pinterest revealed that each place pin will now display a map. Once the map is tapped, it will reveal the venue’s phone number, address and other information, such as opening hours, other pins from that location and comments from other people who have been there. The user can even decide to call the venue or get directions from Google Maps or Apple Maps from within the pin.

The move not only extends Pinterest’s reach but also connects physical stores and places more closely to the digital world, giving pinners the option to physically buy a product rather than simply directing a shopper to the retailer’s ecommerce site.

Place pins were introduced in 2013, so users could link the pictures they pin with the location.

Facebook tests video platform which could be the ‘Holy Grail for marketers’

Facebook has created a dedicated video hub for users who exclusively want to watch video, in its latest move to eventually compete with YouTube. One expert has described the move as potentially offering marketers the ‘holy grail’ in data terms.

Facebook revealed in a blog post that the hub is currently in the testing phase. It allows users to watch videos they’ve saved for later, or those from friends, Pages they follow and other relevant video publishers on Facebook.

Testing New Video Experiences on Facebook


Posted by Facebook Media on Tuesday, 13 October 2015

 Expert Ian Maude from Enders Analysis told the BBC:

"Facebook already accounts for about 20% of the time people spend online, and it has an unbelievable level of data about its users, which is very interesting for ad-funded content providers.

"If it can marry high-quality content and more personalised targeting through the information it has on all of us, then that's the Holy Grail for marketers."

It’s currently only available to a small number of people. If you’re one of the lucky few, it can be found on the Facebook app for iPhone, or in the ‘Favorites’ section on the left-hand side of the News Feed on the desktop site.

Google tests fast content within search results

Google is testing a faster way to view content via smartphones within search through its Accelerated Mobile Pages project.

The search engine revealed it has partnered with a number of large publishers to test out its new rapid way of discovering content. It allows the user to search for articles and swipe between them easily, without needing to wait for them to load.

Google AMP

The post by software engineer Daniel Rocha said:

“Accelerated Mobile Pages are specially formatted web pages that enable Search to display this content extremely fast, while ensuring that publishers control the way their content looks and feels.”

Fresh Egg technical SEO director Mark Chalcraft believes this development is further proof brands cannot be complacent when it comes to webpage load speed times.

“If Google rolls this out, it could have a big impact on user perception of speed on mobile – they will expect a faster mobile experience from your site as a consequence,” he adds.

You can try out the demo yourself. Just type into your brower and search for a subject you want to read about. 

Twitter founder’s mobile payments startup Square seeks IPO

Square has filed for an IPO valued at up to $275m, according to a form filed on SEC, the Guardian has reported, although the figure could change.

Square was founded in 2009 by Twitter co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey. The business enables millions of merchants to accept credit cards through its simple device. Square’s white cube card readers plug into the headphone jack of smartphones and tablet computers, turning the device into an electronic sales terminal.

It now want to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

Square revealed sales jumped 51% to $560.6m during the first six months of 2015 against the same period in 2014. But it lost $77.6m in the same period as it invested in the business.

Hints, Tips and Rumours

Looking for expert advice about all things digital following this fortnight's roundup? We‘re happy to help. Contact us today.