It's been 5 months since I last posted Issue 6 on Search News Central, so i thought it was a good a time as any to try and bring it back based on how much interesting news has been released over the past few weeks.Google Android is now in real-life - Google has announced that it's purchased Boston Dynamics an advanced engineering company that has built robots Pentagon's (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Boston Dynamics most recent and freaky robot is the WildCat a 4 legged robot that can run fast on all types of terrain up to a speed of around 26km/h. Early statements have said that Google doesn't plan a move towards being a military contractor on it's own but far too many people have linked this purchase to the rise of Terminators and Skynet. According to the NYTimes Mr Rubin has indicated this "moonshot" project to take several years before commercial robots are available. This is the largest robotic company Google has purchased to date so it will be interesting if it's not the last company it buys. I wonder if all the robots will be forced to run on Android now?Twitter reverts changes to block functionality - Twitter has responded to a torrent of user anger and reverted a change to how "block" function works. The big rollback was a welcome change as despite over 225,000 users signing a petition on Change.org Google is not willing to change their user comments back to the old platform that didn't require Google+. The change by Twitter was speed up as it was linked to safety concerns that users couldn't block abusive users and prevent retaliation. It will be interesting to see how Twitter adapts it's blocking feature so in the future it's not always possible to tell when a user has blocked your account.Twitter announces multi-year licensing agreement with Pitney Bowes - In a smart licensing deal Twitter has improved it's geocoding, reverse geocoding and mapping for the Twitter platform. Going forward Twitter will be able to use Pitney Bowes Location data via API to support better and more accurate location sharing in Tweets. This is particularly relevant for the almost 60% of 500,000,000 daily tweets sent from mobile devices. It's also going to be particularly important for expanding and improving Twitter Advertising products that are based on accuracy of users location. It might also be interesting if Twitter adds location check-in functionality similar to Foursquare or Google+ now that it has a list of addresses of carefully verified and validated places.Instagram emulates Snapchat & WhatsApp - Instagram has finally launched a direct message functionality "Instagram Direct" that allows their users to send text, photo and video messages privately. The communication platform allows for one-to-one messages or to a group of up to 15 people, this group function emulates one of WhatsApp most popular features. There is also some Snapchat functionality as you can delete messages you have sent, and like Facebook it will show who has seen your message.Instagram has also taken some functionality from Twitter as only people that follow you can send you private messages, but if someone you are not following sends you a message it will be held in your requests so you can decide if you want to view it. I hope that Twitter doesn't open up the Instagram Direct feature to "sponsored" messages as that will likely upset more than a few users and I do have concerns about the ability for non-followers to send you messages you can review before viewing it.Google allows for App Indexing in Google Search - Google is expanding it's dominance of mobile apps with the ability to deep link into Android apps in-app content from within Google search results on Android devices. The App-Indexing feature has been getting more press of late but none of the beta partners of the program have released any insights on the success or failures of deep linking to their Android apps. It will be interesting to see if the next part of the beta test needs to expand deep linking into to iOS devices but that might not be in Google's long term interests but it maybe good for mobile users. The feature is also only currently available in the US but it should expand into other English markets in 2014.Google changes how Gmail handles images - Google has made an interesting move on how it handles images within Gmail. Gmail has typically elected not to show images to protect users from unknown senders until this point but now Google is serving every image in your email from it's own "secure" proxy servers. While Google is not killing off the old "ask before displaying external image" functionality it can still be found I'm wondering how quickly spammers are able to adapt their strategies to take advantage of this new feature.Apparently email marketing software platforms may actually rejoice at the change as MailChimp has already pointed out most email marketers embed a unique image in the email that will still trigger the email if it's served locally or via Google servers. Because the new Gmail solution only loads the image once email marketers won't be able to see multiple email opens it will just record the first open. Previously users had to enable images to trigger the tracking pixel so people could open and read emails and remain invisible but with the Gmail solution they might suddenly become visible straight away.The big insight that this change might have on email marketers is that Google is expanding it's (not provided) concept to user IP addresses. So previously when users clicked to enable images to show they also provided valuable data such as IP address but if this is now served by Google's proxy servers this data will be masked. So the question is Google doing this change to keep "messages safe & secure" or doing it mask user information from email marketers?EW Scripps has acquired digital video provider Newsy - One of the most successful digital news channels that has also successfully navigated a multi-platform world. The move by an established media player to acquire a fast moving and successful start-up is a smart play and it will be interesting to see if they expand the beyond the current syndication channels. Newsy is currently producing thousands of videos per month for AOL/Huffington Post, MSN, About.com & Mashable including their own primary branded channel. This deal might be the restart of traditional players expanding into new markets by acquiring smaller proven start-ups instead of over paying to get attention grabbing headlines on startups with "potential".
Tag Archives: twitter
Social media is a perfect channel for diversifying SEO strategies because it can directly impact on revenue lines - it has a low cost base (time), and can help with lead generation and customer support. Google has been pushing more of its internal resources into Google+ and integrating it with all its other products, providing clear insight into how important social is to Google. As a small business owner you can easily set up a social profile on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook or Google+ and start to build an audience with very little investment.The advantage is that individual and small business owners have a lead over big corporate players as there is no need for legal or marketing to sign off for every posts or tweet that is sent out, you can adapt your strategy as you go. Small business can also benefit around using social as it allows the adjustment of messaging to suit the audience if initially it doesn’t work, if you test something and fail doesn’t mean thousands of lost dollars it just means a small setback.Sharing GuidelinesThe key to a successful social media strategy is to don’t make them all identical channel sharing the same content all about you, your brand and your products, to succeed you want to share social love across other people, products and brands.If you are doing social mostly for SEO and Branding you can certainly share links to your website content including products pages but also include links to great customer reviews and good news items about you, company, staff and your products. My advice is if you want to improve the chances of success you don’t want to make your social channel just about you. Filling the channel with up to 80% of its content about other people, products or businesses can show your audience (and the search engines) that you’re an expert about this topic.Reputation ManagementA big reason to be using social for SEO is to control the "brand" results that users see when they are searching for you. An example is when you search for "Pepsi" they have three of their company controlled social profiles showing on the first page of Google. The advantage is that this reduces the chances competitors or businesses with similar names can steal away branded traffic. An SEO insight is that a large amount of your search traffic will always be branded, so you want to ensure you capture as much of this traffic as possible and social channels; Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest are great ways to do this easily.Social Trust FactorsOne key insight is there is little use in buying blocks of "fake" fans or spamming other social channels to get noticed in Social Media as there is a social trust factor. Anyone can easily do directory submissions, comment spam or obtain paid links but the Google Penguin algorithm has been penalising online businesses who previously engage in these aggressive tactics as their only SEO methods. Social works well because a good social media presence can be broken down to quality and community engagement and generating trusted brand links back to your sites but can be broken down further based on importance:Twitter
- Quality of your Twitter followers
- What is the ratio of Tweets to ReTweets
- Relevance of your Twitter Followers
- Number of Twitter followers
- Number of Shares of your posts (content is quality/relevant)
- Number of Comments on your posts (content is engaging)
- Number of Likes (number of fans)
- How many people have you in their circles
- How many +1s your posts receive
- How many shares your posts receive
- How many comments your posts receive
- How many +1's your page/website has
- Is your account a "verified name"
- Number of Followers
- Ratio of Followers to Following
- Number of Followers of individual boards
- Number of Likes of your pin
- Number of comments on your pin
- Number of Repins of your pin
Twitter launched it's new profile centric "ME" pages this morning on US morning tv show, but the problem is that like any update you have to wait. It seems verified accounts have been given early preference to the new twitter header feature, but I discovered you can force the update by visiting https://twitter.com/settings/design. I have also outlined the steps below to show you how easy it is to enable to new twitter header image.
It seems that Rupert Murdoch has finally got around to claiming the existing "Fake Rupert Murdoch" twitter account that was created back in March 2009. In a low profile launch Jack Dorsey has tweeted that it is in fact the real Rupert Murdoch who is now in charge of the account.
With his own voice, in his own way, @RupertMurdoch is now on Twitter.— Jack Dorsey (@jack) January 1, 2012That statement is backed by the small blue verified twitter account tick that is now showing on this account. But in what is a social media fopaux, Mr Murdoch has not replaced the standard Egg avatar with his real image which fuels suspicion among Twitter users that it's still a fake account or a publicity stunt.The tweets have been fairly awkward so far leading to some fairly open and aggressive responses from users on Twitter. There seems to be a learning curve and it looks to be a lot steeper than the poor old guy expected. The general feeling is that unlike traditional press that Rupert was able to censor, the public may find out how thick his skin really is on an open forum.You can track the number of tweets mentioning Rupert here, and a warning a lot of them are NSFW, including wishes he was dead, personal attacks, requests for him not to follow them back, and generally attacks around any and all News Corporation properties. After all the outspoken anger around News Corp and News of the World scandals, social media now has an actual account/person to focus their anger towards which may end in tears. The biggest outspoken critic of any significance speaking out on Rupert Murdoch joining twitter so far has been John Prescott.
Hey @rupertmurdoch. I'm surprised you're only following two people. The police said it was at least 800! bit.ly/rt9TtX— John Prescott (@johnprescott) January 1, 2012
.@rupertmurdoch Good luck in 2012. The Sky's the limit...as you discovered in 2011 😉 #letitBSkyB— John Prescott (@johnprescott) January 1, 2012
Welcome to Twitter...@rupertmurdoch. I've left you a Happy New Year message on my voicemail!— John Prescott (@johnprescott) January 1, 2012So there is some interest in the media/journalist area as I can see a number of them are already following Rupert's account back, the real question will be how long until someone crosses the line and provokes Rupert enough that he takes a swipe at them publically. This will be a real test of his patience as well as his anger management as so far the social media sphere doesn't appear to be all that warm to the idea Rupert is now playing on their playground.Rupert's Choice of followers?What is going to be a very interesting insight into how Rupert thinks is who he starts to follow as this is now public information and may be a great insight. He started with Jack Dorsey, then Mark Pincus and now Plaid Larry Page....?Fastest growing account ever?The account seems to be attracting interest with around around 50 new followers being added every minute so far which could put him at around 1.7 million followers within the next 24 hours. That looks to be well on track to smash Charlie Sheens 1 million followers in 25 hours and 17 minutes, but the question is how many people will stick around unless Rupert actually adds some value to his tweets...
In what looks to be a trend that appears to be ramping by business up as traffic patterns typically decline as the year ends. A product relaunch can be at times risky if users love your existing design/functionality or if you take away or hide popular features within a new interface.Twitter Relaunch #letsfly Twitter relaunched its platform with a new version of twitter "Fly" which is designed for a more common experience across Twitter.com and mobile devices. Their relaunch was focused on bringing everything under 4 new tabs but not everyone has responded positively to the radical change to the interface. Their new interface seems to bring them closer to a Facebook style interface but even with an improved search function the new interface has been found confusing by a number of their users. YouTube interface Refresh In what was an expected move YouTube finally flicked the switch and rolled out its interface across all its users bringing the interface closer to the other Google properties. The rollout was unusual for Google as it was not progressively rolled out but was done in a single update which was fairly risky for the company considering the size of the audience that could be impacted. The new interface brings the platform up to scratch with a new look and feel but also seems to make it easier for Channels and Google to maximise both their advertising revenue but also the branding and visitor experience as YouTube chases higher quality content.Path upgrades to 2.0 One of the big upsets to the idea that a refresh could hurt your growth or revenues was Path, who after upgrading their platform saw a reported 30 fold increase in user sign ups. Their personal journal style platform offered new and improved lenses; greater privacy and less noise for their users which was a successful and welcomed refresh ending 2011.WordPress goes Sonny While it only appeared to be a minor update going from WordPress 3.2 to WordPress 3.3, the actual admin interface refresh too a large step forward. The new more responsive admin design offers better functionality for adoption to smaller screens such as tablets. The new liquid layouts and scaling media seemed focused on the growing audience of Mobile users that WordPress needs to cater for if it's platform is to continue to grow. The media support gets a welcome boost as does the co-editing functionality and is certainly worth the update even with the increased number of sometimes annoying notification tips.Google Toolbar relaunched Google just recently rolled out a consistent black Google toolbar across a number of its platforms which made navigation more consistent for users across Google properties. Google Toolbar relaunched (again) Just as most users had started to see and accept the new Google black bar at the top of Google pages they introduced another Google bar within a few months. The new interface has now moved the navigation to under the Google icon and centralised the search panel across Google properties. The new Google menu is a bit more confusing way to navigate Google products and the quick links are surely going to be missed by most users and will change how you navigate within Google properties.Gmail refreshes Gmail has been one of the slowest adopters of new Google features over the past few years but there has been a number of recent improvements including the overhaul started in July. While the navigation had a big upgrade the search functionality is still below expectations. The biggest issue for users is to get used to the new streamlined conversation view which strips out much of what was previously shown meaning searching an email thread can be more time-consuming. The biggest benefit for the mobile users is the elastic density which allows easy changing of display to suit any device automatically. Blogger refreshed While it happened a few months ago Google's blog platform got an update as part of the overall Google product refresh. The biggest elements to get updated was around streamlining the blogging experience but also improving the audience analytics and insights information for admins. Recently there has been the addition of the ability to publish your Blogger posts straight to your Google+ circles. There is certainly a fair bit more work needed across the Blogger network to match WordPress or Tumblr but it's a good start to finish off 2011.Color 2.0 tries again Following on from what was a slightly disastrous launch, Color decided it was time to start again following on from the success of Instagram. The new app updates focus around a "visit" which also now allows for sharing of 30 second movie clips but also offers a visual timeline similar to the new Twitter/Facebook streams. The question is it all too little and too late with the new website being far too forceful to remind users to login to interact, and their mobile app does not work on a majority of Android devices.Facebook Timeline rollout Based on the growing amount of media its users are sharing online Facebook has finally rolled out its timeline feature for all accounts. This is not yet enabled on all accounts but is available if you want to upgrade your profile globally. Finally Facebook is learning its a global platform and not limiting features to it's US users. Learning from its privacy failures in the past it now offers a 7-day review period before anything that appears in your timeline is made public. It will be interesting to see how many users fill in the blank spots in their timeline as more accounts enable Timeline. There has already been so many complaints about Facebook interface refreshes it will be interesting how warmly this overshare functionality might be accepted.
Twitter Media has rolled out a nice platform update in the last few days that offers a best practice guide for Newsrooms wanting to use twitter to report and publish better. There is a growing need for media organisations to start to follow some consistency and not mix and match terms between Twitter and Facebook and it's obviously upset the right branding people inside the Twitter Media term who put a fair bit of effort into the contents of their expanded Twitter media platform.The Twitter Newsroom tips and guides cover 4 primary areas
- Report (Search Strategy,Finding Sources,via Mobile)
- Engage (Effective Tweeting,Personal Branding)
- Publish (Tools,Display/Brand Guidelines)
- Extra (Support,Blogs,Partners)