Lab Weekly: Google Updates, Instagram Features & Social News

Jessica Milner

SEO Account Manager
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We had another stream of exciting client meetings as well as some big creative planning meetings with the team to make sure our focus is no fully on Christmas & Black Friday campaigns, even the biggest scrooges in the office cannot hide when we work with eCommerce clients at this time of year. If you aren’t ready for Black Friday have a read of some of our top tips to prepare your business for the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy. This week’s LabWeekly is coming from me, as Phoebe has become an older sister for the second time today as her mum welcomed Beatrice to the world last night, she’s a cutie. Back to the world of digital, this week we are looking at some Google Updates, new Instagram features and Twitter’s approach on anti-bullying.

Google Stop AdSense on Fake News Sites

Google added a new policy to AdSense, stating that users will no longer be able to place ads on pages that may display fake news stories or misleading content. The new ‘Misrepresentative Content’ policy states:

Users don’t want to be misled by the content they engage with online. For this reason, Google ads may not be placed on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about you, your content or the primary purpose of your web property.

This is as Google are trying to combat lower quality websites that may contain spam or are not helpful to users. Not allowing their websites on certain websites shows that Google does not want to affiliate themselves with websites that aren’t being genuine.

Google Mobile Indexing

In their new mobile first index, Google will be looking at mobile versions of sites when it comes to ranking factors and will use the desktop when there is no mobile version available. Even though most of the searches made on Google are on mobile, their indexing happens on the desktop which is why they are now experimenting with mobile first index. AMP versions of websites are specifically made to be fast and responsive for mobile, but as some users have been finding, this does not mean it is preferred by Google. For their mobile index, Google will choose to index the desktop version of your site rather than the AMP version. If you have chosen to skip creating a mobile responsive site and gone straight to AMP, in the terms of Google’s indexing, this is not beneficial. Google need to see your site navigation when indexing and this s nearly non-existent on AMP pages, therefore Google falls back on the desktop version. Google are essentially trying to ensure that everyone has a mobile responsive version of your site, so make sure you don’t lose out by not catering to this.

Instagram New Features

Instagram has recently added three new features to their Stories; two of which are accessible by the public, one exclusive for verified users. For verified users, they will be able to add a link to their story, this link will be clickable by viewers which will take them to a web page. This feature is thought to be very beneficial to companies being able to link to their website or straight to an article or product. This will allow businesses to show off, for example, a product on their story, create a video around it, and have users be able to visit the product straight away. Aside from this, the features that are open to the public include tagging and Boomerang. In Stories, much like in regular Instagram images, users will be able to tag people in the photo and this will take users to their specific Instagram page. After a story is made, users will simply add text and by starting it with @, be able to tag up to 10 people. The last feature is Boomerang, a looping video that is already being used on Instagram but requires people to have to use the Boomerang app separately. Now, in Stories, users can choose between ‘Normal’ and ‘Boomerang’ underneath the record button.

Twitter Allow Users to Avoid Abusive Tweets

In an attempt to try and avoid abusive tweets, Twitter now allows users to block keywords, phrases, and even emojis. When mentioned in a Tweet users receive a push notification, now if these tweets include phrases, hashtags etc. that the user has blocked, they will not see the notification. In the specific notifications tabs,Tweets won’t be shown if they include any of the blocked data. To be able to choose which text to block, simply go through the options on the settings option in the notifications tab. Users can also choose to mute a whole conversation where they will no longer get notifications for it. However, this still means that users may be exposed to these offensive Tweets elsewhere on Twitter and this is why they have made improvements to their reporting options. When reporting a Tweet, users now have more options as to why a Tweet is abusive or harmful.

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