Welcome to SEO Traffic Lab’s weekly roundup of the events, updates and advances made in the world of SEO. The whole team here are sponges for relevant geeky stories that makes your task of staying up to date so much easier. This is a jargon and drama free zone so you only get the facts and figures in bite size format. Enjoy!

Take a read of the following and let us know what you think to how October ended.

 

Google

Matt Cutts surprised many in the industry by extending his leave into 2015. It took him long enough to take some leave and trust the management of Google’s Web Spam team to others in the first place, it is reasonable to presume that his boots have been filled adequately and so he can spend longer with his family. It has also given Cutts chance to step out of the limelight, having been the face of Google since he started with them in 2000. That has made him a popular figure to many SEOs and a target for others.

Cutts has admitted that the extension of his leaves comes because by liaising with the algorithmic and manual web spam teams, he is confident that are going a top-notch job. It is far too soon to speculate whether Cutts will ever return to Google as many news sites are doing. The Google veteran clearly has a choice these days and is no longer strapped to his position – maybe he is just enjoying some hard earned freedom!

Coincidently, as Cutts announced his extended leave, his ‘public face’ counterpart at Bing, Duane Forrester lost his job in the recent wave of Microsoft layoffs. Microsoft have laid off close to 18,000 people with another round set to take place early 2015.

 

AdWords

Google has finally enabled multiple AdWords account logins. You will not be able to toggle between accounts without having to sign in separately every time. What a huge relief to  those harassed by this fiddly setup. The user will be able to log in to multiple google accounts at the same time so will no longer have to have several browsers open to manage accounts simultaneously.

This is a very simple and seemingly small change that will make a huge difference. Users will click on either the Customer ID or login email in AdWords to open the account selector. Managers will simply be able to add more accounts using the ‘Add Account’ button. From there on you will be able to switch accounts and still stay logged in to all of them.

 

Facebook

Facebook have taken social media platforms into uncharted territory by announcing that it will mine data from users 18 and older using sentiment analysis to see if they could influence them to vote. The firm plans to mine data of millions of American voters in a huge experiment following on from previous dabbles in this area.

A 2010 study has been revealed called ‘A 61 Million Person Experiment in Social Influence and Mobilization’. The study found that 20% of the users who saw that their friends had voted also clicked on an ‘I voted’ button Facebook is set to make available. There was recently information leaked that Facebook enabled researchers to change users feeds to see if their mood could be altered. They refined their research guidelines then but are clearly still keen to test the limitations of the resource they have.

It is not a big leap to say that this kind of power and influence could, if used improperly, sway the result of an election. The more data Facebook mines the more information they have stored securely on each one of its users. A wise man once said that ‘knowledge is power’ and another cleverly added ‘with great knowledge comes great responsibility’. Are we comfortable with one company having this much potential to influence our thoughts and actions? Well we have never stopped Google from it so I am guessing the answer is: ‘not really but what can you do?’

If Facebook can get more people voting then does the outcome justify the means? I cannot answer that but it is an interesting point of debate.

 

Instagram

They have finally done it. No longer is Instagram the social media platform of minimalistic functionality, clean ad free interaction and trend setting purity. A little excessive perhaps but Instagram have just debuted video advertisements. They did extensive testing and hands-on-work with brands which all feels somewhat superfluous. Ultimately, those brand want to sell more and Instagram wants to be paid for the privilege of hosting the ads – so we were never going to be impressed regardless of how much rigorous testing went into them!

The brands have the same 15 seconds to capture out attention so at least they are short and they are bound to be good with such a short window to utilise. Facebook-owned Instagram has gone down a well-trodden path because social networks are often marred by advertisements and the one exception has now joined that same path.

In many ways they just take the personality out of what you cannot fail to realise is a platform making a global corporation lots of money. The most down to Earth social media platform will be the one that is truly for connecting people but that is perhaps a utopian dream. I think many people will mourn the addition of ads to Instagram because for a long time it seemed to offer a slice of utopia and brought the intimacy, real-time quality, and simplicity of interaction back to social media.

Instagram are still pushing forward with development – their new standalone app Hyperlapse speeds up and stabilizes your mobile video, well worth a look.

That’s if from us this week – bye for now!