Lab Weekly: DuckDuckGo, Jelly, Google & Social

Jessica Milner

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Another fun week in #TheLab this week, with lots of meeting and celebrating two big events. One being it was National Apprentice Week, which is monumental for SEO Traffic Lab, as we have three fantastic apprentices in the office. If you haven’t met them already they are Phoebe, Hannah and Ben, they all contributed to a blog post earlier in the week expressing their experience so far as an Apprentice at #TheLab, you can view this blog on our website. On Thursday we all had to wear something Green in honour of St Patrick’s Day and donated all money to MacMillian Cancer Support, it was a fun filled day and we even tucked into some gorgeous green cake. In Lab Weekly this week we discuss DuckDuckGo launching a new directions! feature, another update to Google Ads allowing you to now try out a game for 10 minutes before downloading and much more.
DuckDuckGo launches Directions! Feature
he privacy search engine, DuckDuckGo has launched a new Directions! Feature. This new feature offers location results and the option to choose the directions via Apple, Bing, Here, OpenStreetMap or Google Maps. The map provider you select will become the default for DuckDuckGo’s “Get Directions” button. If the selected map app is downloaded on your mobile device then you will be able to use the Directions! Feature.
Jelly bring back their new kind of search
Twitter cofounder Biz Stone created Jelly which was announced as a “new way to search” in 2014 although it met its end not much later. Now there are plans to bring Jelly back amongst the many other types of more human powered search engines.
Sites like WikiAnswers, Yahoo Answers, and Quora have already done this in by people asking questions can be directly answered by anyone else. Jelly’s statement for the relaunch sounds very similar to their initial launch, at SXSW Stone stated some features of the upcoming app. The app is currently in closed beta but will be launched to the public in the next coming weeks. Unlike other sites of a similar nature, Jelly will allow users to post questions anonymously, this has been suggested as a reason as to why Jelly was not successful in its first run. The search engine will direct questions to experts or who they believe in have strong knowledge in that area, “rather than route your query to web pages you route them to the people who know the answer.”
App streaming comes to Google ads
It has recently been announced that Search Trial Run Ads will begin to appear in upcoming weeks. The ads will include a “try now” option which allows users to try a preview version for up to ten minutes before deciding whether to download the full version through the Google Play Store.
Along with this new feature Google have also said that Android developers will soon be able to run portrait-oriented video ads to promote their apps. Another big feature that will be released in the near future is being able to target users who have spent more than 30 minutes playing games and to also be able to target those who have played a game that is integrated with Google Play Games.
Make sure you look out for these awesome new features!
Google to boost the mobile friendly ranking factor in May 2016
Google announced this week that they will be increasing “the effect of the ranking signal” for the mobile friendly ranking update. This boost will happen at the start of May and roll out over time. Klemen Kloboves, a Google Software engineer wrote:
“Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal – so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content.”
If your site is already mobile friendly then you don’t have to do anything. However the mobile friendly testing tool is still available to make sure your pages are mobile friendly for Google.
A change may be happening for Instagram users, its feed is no longer going to feature familiar reverse chronological ordered photos and videos that many of us now love. As their parent company Facebook did, Instagram are testing an algorithm-based feed which will be personalised based on past behaviours. Which is similar to Facebooks feed in which if you like a specific person’s photos more often than other people’s their content will show up higher on your feed.
This is not a change that will be made lightly and that they will take their time to make sure they get it right, this new change will not be released for a few months to make sure they listen to users suggestions and take them into account to make sure the change causes as little disturbance to users as possible.
Kevin Systrom, co-founder and chief executive of Instagram recently said in an interview that Instagram users are missing 70% of the posts made to their feeds, “What this is about is making sure that the 30% you see is the best 30 percent possible”.
Twitter have recently added the ability to display Google’s AMP pages when loading up content in the Moments Tab. If the links featured in Moments have AMP versions then the content will load by default. This update will create a more simple process for publishers when they distribute links in Moments. This update is available on both iOS and Android.

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