Lab Weekly: Algorithms, Milestones and Shopping Feeds

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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It’s been another interesting week in the world of digital marketing, and once again the team in the lab have trawled the web to find some of the more interesting announcements to bring you our regular weekly round up.
Structured Markup and Data
In another possible u-turn for Google, spokesman John Mueller said in a recent hangout that although they didn’t currently use Structured Data as part of its ranking algorithm that ““over time, I think it [structured markup] is something that might go into the rankings as well.”
Structured data has always been about helping the search engines to understand more about what your pages are about and then potentially make your serp results richer, hence ‘rich snippets’ with the hope that this may lead to better click through rates from your listing.
But in the past Google has always said time and time again that it would not assist your sites rankings. So with this comment it now appears that this may change in the future.
You can listen to John’s comments on this and more in the full hangout here:-

Facebook achieves another milestone
Facebook hit one billion active users in one day – which isn’t just a milestone, it’s record breaking, this may have happened on Monday the 24th of August but it’s still incredibly interesting to know that this means 1 in 7 people across the entire planet logged into Facebook, all in one day. I know we were definitely one of the contributing percentile within that billion, were you?
In other news, Facebook is planning to stick its finger in yet another pie, they are planning to release their own artificial intelligence assistant (effectively a virtual personal assistant), not dissimilar to Siri, Cortana and Google Now but this time she’s called Moneypenny – M for short. Moneypennies name being a not so subtle reminder of James Bond, known as M’s famous secretary she was one of the most famous and organised personal assistants in the world, hopefully Moneypenny will live up to our expectations.
With Zuckerberg adding yet another aspect of competition, things are really hotting up. What will he release next?
Sources for 1,000,000:
Source for Moneypenny:
App Update for Android version of Google My Business
Google has already rolled out the latest version of its android app for Google My Business and it has said that the iOS version will follow shortly. The app has had a complete overhaul adding more functionality and features to make it even easier to manage your My Business page.
Some of the many new features in the app include:

  • A redesigned editor to reflect the Google Search and Maps look
  • Improved interface to make editing quicker and easier
  • quickly view your business on Search, Maps and Google+ with one tap
  • More and improved feedback on your Business info and much more..

More changes to Shopping Feeds
September 15th will see even more changes to the Google Sopping Feeds with webmasters receiving notification within their Merchant Centres over the past week or so. The announcement from Google states that it will now require GTIN (Global Trade Item Numbers) in several markets which include both the UK and the US among others.
The changes that will take effect on the above date are for any new products within 50+ designated brands, the full listing of which can be seen here but includes such brands as Adidas, Motorola and Canon.
Google say that their reasoning for this change is that it helps to match product feed offers to the Google shopping product catalogue and states that these types of offers show 40% more clicks than those without these changes.
The notification stipulates that any of the changes on these products need to be made by the stated date.

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