Lab Weekly: Google Search Console, Ad-Blocking & Social

Phoebe Skinner

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Another manic week in #TheLab, we have all been busy celebrating birthdays and promoting our upcoming #LabLive event. If you have missed our efforts the event is a fantastic one day workshop that can help you learn how to make Digital Marketing work for you and your business, head over to our website for more information. It is the end of the month which means our client delivery team have been busy updating and collating some more fantastic results for our clients. On Thursday night five members of the team went to #LDA16 as we were finalists for “Digital Business of the Year”, unfortunately we did not win, but we faced tough competition and we were proud to be have been included. It was a fantastic evening and event ran by Lincs Business Magazine and we are looking forward to next years already. In Lab Weekly this week we speak about Google offering a TV Guide and testing a slimmed-down version of the local box, and of course Social and YouTube.
Google Search Will Soon Have a TV Guide
An announcement recently made at the National Association of Broadcasters conference has released information on a new Google search results which will provide information for when a TV show or film will be next aired. Google will be adding air times for TV shows. Which means when you search for a TV show you will be able to see when the show is next on TV. You can even specify your TV provider and Google will provide you with a more accurate result. Google has been able to provide with information on which streaming service a TV show or movie is on; however, Google is now able to provide that information from your satellite or cable provider. Google will certainly become competition to the TV Guide-like websites which populate the front page when performing a search on the time schedule of a TV show or movie. Searches for TV shows and movies have increased by more than 55 percent over the past year. Google is taking this as a fantastic opportunity to become peoples one stop location on the web for everything they need.
Google is Testing a Slimmed-Down Version of The Local Box
Google is in the process of testing a new slimmed-down version of the local box results that are shown on mobile. This version may only be shown when the user’s connection is poor or maybe in a Google user interface A/B test. Below is an example of the normal interface and the slimmed-down version. As you can see from the example, the photos, map, blue interface and expandable button are all missing.  It may be that Google has done this to make the results load faster.

Normal Interface                                   Slimmed-Down Version
Ad-Blocking Detection Could be Illegal
Ad-blocking detection software which accesses personal data violates the EU’s privacy policy. Publishers which use script based ad-blocking detection software may need consumer consent within the EU, as it runs the risk of violating European privacy law.
Ad-blocker is an extension available on the majority of browsers which allows the user the opportunity to block advertisements which show up on websites. This software is commonly used amongst computer users as it allows them to browse the web easier without having to encounter misleading advertisements. Publishers are often affected by ad-blocker as they profit from advertisements whether this be simply by users viewing them, or actually having to click through to the website. With ad-blocker these advertisements are taken away so the publishers do not make any money.
Due to advertisements making publishers money, many do not want users to view their website without the ads as they will not profit from this. This is where ad-blocking detection comes into play, if publishers can detect a user is using ad-blocking software, they will deny them the right to view some of the content on the website. This may now be against European law as publishers have to access user’s private personal data.
Google Search Console Lets you Unsubscribe From Email Notifications
Google have recently announced a new feature search-console-messages-768x285for search console. Webmasters can now unsubscribe from certain email notifications that they receive from the Google Search Console. The screenshot shows a checkbox for “enable email notifications” and an option to “mute” and “unmute” specific notifications. Once you have disabled a notification you can re-enable it when and if you want too.
From a user survey distributed among verified Facebook users, it seems that Facebook may be toying with the idea of some users being able to profit from posting to the social network. This may come about it different ways including a ‘tip jar’, branded or sponsored content, and by the users taking a cut of the revenue Facebook makes from the ads on their particular page. The latter is the same way in which content creators on YouTube make a profit, due to the surge of this over the past couple of years, people are aware that it is now a way to make a hefty profit.  Since the survey only involved verified users, it may suggest that the features are only available to these users.
Due to the ever growing amount of social media platforms, by giving users the opportunity to make money from sharing content, Facebook becomes more attractive. This has come about not long after Facebook introduced its new policy for sponsored content and dropping its restrictions for the publishers. All of this in turn are efforts for Facebook to be able to offer everything to its users with large audiences. Whereas all of these may make Facebook more popular with high status users, could it be making it harder for people to simply interact with their friends?
YouTube have recently announced some new features and updates to their social media platform. The platform is rolling out a newly designed mobile home page for both Android and iPhone users. One of YouTube’s biggest improvements is the update to their recommended videos system. The videos are now based on Google’s “neural network technology” which finds patterns and improves itself as it analyses new data.
YouTube has also added a short-form video ad option, called Bumper ads. These six-second videos are available through AdWords and sold on a CPM basis. Bumper ads are an add-on to TrueView campaigns. These short snippets will help extend the reach of the campaign.

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