Lab Weekly: Android Google Maps, Google Panda & Social

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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There is lots to update you on this week in the world of digital marketing and social, including Android’s Google map app creating a new “driver mode” feature. And of course, Google Panda now being added as part of Google’s core ranking signals, which was a surprise to us all! We are all excited to be attending the Lincolnshire Business Expo on Thursday where we will be having our own stand and one of our team members, Jodie King will be presenting a seminar on Content Marketing Trends for 2016. We look forward to being able to interact with other businesses and offer them our advice, experience and support. Time is running out, limited places available, you can register here to enjoy the event. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/content-marketing-trends-for-2016-tickets-19927772504
 
Google Maps for Android Announces “Driver Mode” Feature
Android’s Google map has announced a “driving mode” feature that will be able to advise users on where to go next. A Google Spokesman has said:
“With a simple shortcut on your home screen, you’ll head straight into the new driving mode so you’re sure to get where you’re going on the quickest route possible – without entering a destination.”
Google have said usegoogle_maps_android_driving_mode-376x600rs will be able to access traffic updates, nearby gas prices and the quickest routes all from your home screen. To do this you simply create a shortcut by pressing on your home screen and select the “Google’s map driving” shortcut icon from Android Widgets. Users can also access the feature by going to the sidebar menu and selecting the “start driving” option.

This feature is only available to Android users. The language is limited to English in the following countries:
Great Britain
US
United Arab Emirates
Ireland
Malaysia
New Zealand
Singapore
 
 
 
Google Panda Now Part of Google’s Core Ranking Signals
Google Panda is one of Google’s significant spam-fighting algorithms which was launched in February 2011. Google Panda is now officially part of Google’s core ranking algorithm. However, it hasn’t been said when exactly this happened. Below is a statement from a Panda guide by Jennifer Slegg.
“Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.”
The last Panda update that was confirmed was Panda 4.2 which was said to run over several months but now this algorithm is baked into their main algorithm. We will hopefully have more news on this unexpected event soon.
Social
Facebook
Facebook mentions were launched by Facebook in the Summer of 2014 for iOS users. Until recently Android users were not able to use this feature, but recently a Facebook Mentions Android App has been released so verified Facebook users can finally take Facebook mentions on the go.
At the minute mentions are only available for verified users, however this may change in the future. There is a form that you can apply for to become a verified user. It was announced last month that pages can also apply to become a verified user which will help verified brands and companies.
Twitter
iOS users will now be able to view Periscope broadcasts without leaving Twitter. This update is a big deal for Periscope as it now allows companies to be able to display their broadcasts to a greater audience than what they could do on Periscope.
This function is currently only available for iOS users but will soon be made available for Android users.

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