In #TheLab this week our very chatty and enthusiastic Business Development Manager, Arnie, made a lot of calls following our recent attendance at many Expo’s already this year and it is only March, leading to some exciting prospects. Both Jodie, our Head of Operations, and Andy, our Head of Search & Data Insights, have completed another week of their “Squared Online” course that has been developed with Google. It is a highly interactive learning experience, allowing them to meet the demands and needs for the awareness of the constantly evolving digital world. In this week’s Lab Weekly we have stories based on Google, Bing and Facebook. This includes the breaking news on Google removing ToolBar PageRank and Facebook’s Instant Articles opening up to brands through Steller.

Google Analytics Removes Referral Spam From Reports

For Google Analytics users the Analytics Referral Spam has been a problem for a while now. However, it has been said that as of February it appears no referral spam has shown. Which indicates Google has finally solved the Google Analytics spam problem. Referral spam seems to still be showing in the real time view. But it appears that Google Analytics are applying a filter to remove the referral spam URLs before it hits the acquisition reporting.

Referral spam gains traffic by hoping that site owners will click through on the referral sites in hope to see what brought visitors to the site. For the month of February site owners will be able to analyse their logs without the referral spam messing up the data.

This change is very beneficial for webmasters who were constantly having to filter out the spam.

Google Removes Toolbar PageRank
Google have recently confirmed they are removing ToolBar PageRank. If you are currently using a tool or browser that shows you PageRank data from Google then do not be surprised in a few weeks when it will begin to not show any data. The company do still use PageRank data internally within a ranking algorithm. However, the external PageRank values that are shown in the Toolbar will be going away all together.

Bing Search for “Periodic Table” Returns

Bing introduces an interactive periodic table right there in the search results when you search for ‘periodic table’. The table is fully colour coded and provides a number of different useful features for any chemistry buff or struggling student.

You can search by element or symbol and the table then highlights that particular result. When hovering over elements you can discover their properties and if you click on them you get taken to the search results page for that element with a direct answer box. Across the top you can view by ‘chemical group’, ‘physical sate’, ‘discovered’, ‘found on Earth’, and ‘density’. There are also many other helpful features within that can be explored and discovered.

This comes just about a week after Bing brought out its interactive solar system, which can be found by similarly searching for ‘solar system’. There you can display a number of things to do with our solar system such as sliding the timeline slider to watch how quickly each planet orbits the sun and the route they take. Like with the periodic table you can hover over the planets to find out more, or click on them to get taken to a search results page for that specific planet.

With these two features coming about within a short time of each other, who’s to know what other interactive elements Bing will bring out in the near future.

App Marketers Can Now Upload Customer ID’s to AdWords 

Similar to Customer Match, Google have recently added a new feature which allows you to upload ID’s to AdWords. Using the bulk IDFA/advertising ID upload capability lets developers upload their own list of ID’s for existing app users. This means that apps can track and ad target without having to depend on an identifier on a specific device. The new bulk upload capacity gives app marketers the opportunity to export segments of app users IDs from analytic tools and then upload them to AdWords.

Social

Facebook

Brands can use Steller’s publishing tool to create instant articles on Facebook that include interactive features. Brands are not able to use the instant article tool which media companies have had access to since last May, this shiny new toy adds more to the table for brands. It not only gives them access to instant articles they also have interactive features like “Book Now” buttons. This new feature for brands expands their distribution options, brands will most likely have to pay Facebook to help get this content in front of people as a new ad, which most will as the positives to instant articles is too great for them to miss out on.

The ability to add features to these articles is fantastic and is definitely a key component for why brands will be willing to pay for this new feature and to get their content out there, these features include widgets such as sign up forms. Would you not be more willing to quickly fill in a form without leaving Facebook rather than having to come off go on the internet track them down and then fill it in? Being able to quickly fill the form and send it off is a great new feature and adds a lot of fresh opportunities for businesses.