Fresh Egg's Digital Marketing News – 16 November to 30 November 2015

In this fortnight’s digital marketing news, find out about the huge redesign of Google+, Facebook’s new donation functionality, the full release of Google’s Search Quality Guidelines and an update to Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages.

You can also listen to our podcast, discussing the biggest stories:

Google+ undergoes a massive redesign to focus on Collections and Communities

From its inception in 2011, Google+ has always had an identity problem. Did it want to be the next Facebook? Or did Hangouts make it a competitor to WhatsApp and Skype? Or was it a photo editing tool? Since Sundar Pichai’s interview in Forbes in February 2015 , where he mentioned Google+ was looking to be split into three distinct areas (Hangouts, Photos and Streams), we have awaited news as to what the future holds for Google’s social network.

Following Hangouts and Photos being separated into their own apps in the past few months, YouTube’s comment system being disconnected from Google+ and new tools such as Collections being introduced, the breakup of Google+ is now complete.

Following a Material Design reskin, the two main focuses of Google+ are now Collections and Communities. Both are built around people’s common interests and have seen continued interaction since their introductions. Both also provide marketers and advertisers with an obvious method of targeting potential customers through their set interests.

"With Collections and Communities, discovering amazing things is simple: just follow or join whatever happens to pique your interests" – Luke Wroblewski, Product Director at Google

Google’s official announcement can be found here.

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Facebook tools for non-profits

For non-profit organisations and charities, Facebook has built new functionality within its website and app to help raise funds and awareness, called ‘fundraisers’. These pages aim to make it easier for donors to support charities and campaigns by allowing them to donate without leaving Facebook. They also aim to increase the chances of fundraisers being shared throughout the social network.

Currently there are only a few initial test partners, including World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam America and the Red Cross. As is the case with most of Facebook’s tests, the tools are only available to US-based charities, although the social platform hopes to roll this out to a wider group of charities in the near future.

Currently, it looks as if these tests are not reaching a large audience, as the number of people joining the example campaign below is below 500 and the amount of US dollars raised is well below the amount requested.

An example donation submission form

In addition to the new pages, Facebook has made the donate button available on all posts and as a CTA on charities’ pages.

Facebook’s VP of product management Naomi Gleit explained that: “both of these buttons will make it easy for supporters to contribute using a one-page form without leaving Facebook, and share that they donated with their friends.”

The potential of using donation and fundraising buttons goes beyond charity campaigns. For example, companies looking to raise money for new products (similar to the way Kickstarter works) or individual people raising money for their sponsored marathons (similar to websites such as JustGiving and GoFundMe).

You can read more in Facebook’s official blog post.

Search Quality Rating Guidelines

Google has decided to officially release a version of its Search Quality Rating Guidelines to the public for the first time following another leak of the document.

Google’s 160 page search quality guidelines are followed by search quality evaluators to assess the value of websites and pages within sample search results. This is to ensure Google is giving users the most relevant results to a given query. There is a heavy focus on mobile, but much of the guidance applies equally to desktop. Although Google is powered by some of the best algorithms in the world, it still needs human checks to make sure the rules in place are providing search users with the experience they want.

The guidelines do not determine individual site rankings, and following them to the letter will not increase your website’s organic visibility. However, they are used by Google to help it understand what websites and pages should rank well within organic search.

Mimi Underwood, Sr. Program Manager, Search Growth & Analysis at Google, said in the Webmaster Central blog post:

“We recently completed a major revision of our rater guidelines to adapt to this mobile world, recognizing that people use search differently when they carry internet-connected devices with them all the time.”

She added: “The evaluators base their ratings on guidelines we give them; the guidelines reflect what Google thinks search users want.”

Historically, these guidelines have been leaked regularly over the past seven years, with the handbook leaking in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Until last week, the official guidelines that the search quality evaluators receive had never been released by Google.

Moz has created an in-depth post on the 30 biggest takeaways from the guidelines and you can read the 160-page document here.

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages to go live in early 2016

Highlighting the need for speed on the mobile web, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project will be rolling out to select publishers and websites in early 2016. The project is designed to pre-cache content on website, making it load faster. Accelerated Mobile Pages have attracted publishers, such as the BBC and the New York Times, analytics providers, such as Adobe and Chartbeat, and ad partners DoubleClick, Outbrain and AdSense

The update to the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is found here and you can find our original blog post on the project here.

Hints, tips and rumours

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