Lab Weekly: Google Updates, Amazon Dash & Social

Phoebe Skinner

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This week in #TheLab our very own CEO Richard Hill appeared in his own cover story for the Lincolnshire Business Magazine where he spoke about how SEO Traffic Lab began, how it has grown over the years and his plans for the future. You can read the full story here – It has been quite a busy (4-day) week with nearly everyone back in #TheLab – except Andy who has been busy re-opening the Gainsborough Heritage Centre, we all enjoyed listening to him on the Radio Lincolnshire today. We weren’t able to attend Brighton SEO this time but we have had the live stream on in the background whilst we have been working listening to the fantastic seminars around everything digital. In this week’s Lab Weekly we look at the new device, Amazon Dash and it’s fantastic features, another Instagram update and much more.
Google Updates Local Reviews Schema Guidelines
It has been recently been announced that Google have updated their local business reviews guidelines around when you can use the schema markup on reviews and when you cannot. Below is a list of the new guidelines:

  • Snippets can no longer be written or provided by the business or content provider unless they are unpaid and independent reviews.
  • Reviews must now allow customers to express both positive and negative opinions.
  • Reviews can no longer be template sentences built from data or automated metrics.
  • Reviews for multiple-location businesses can’t be applied to all business locations when in the same company.
  • Content providers must have no commercial agreements paid or otherwise with businesses to provide reviews.
  • Don’t include reviews that are duplicate or similar to other reviews.
  • Don’t include reviews  that are from third-party sites.

These changes could impact a large number of websites that have implemented local reviews markup. It is important that you know and understand these changes as you could affect business otherwise.
Amazon Dash
Amazon have just released a new and innovative way to order everyday supplies as soon as they run out. Amazon Dash is a new device (to the UK) that you keep in your home and press the button once you run out of a certain item, say toilet paper, then within 24 hours, it will be delivered right to your door. Currently at launch, there are around 40 different brands available for this new feature, these brands include toilet paper, coffee, and dishwasher tablets, items that will be of most benefit when they arrive only a day after you’ve run out. Amazon Dash is connected via WiFi and works alongside your Amazon Prime account, you will first need to set up which exact product will be delivered and your delivery preferences but from there on out once you press the button, that specific product will be delivered within 24 hours. You don’t have to worry about multiple people noticing you are running low of coffee and pressing the button either, once it has been pressed once, you will receive a notification and any other presses within 24 hours will be ignored.
The device had a slow start when it was released in the US last year but due to those who had one, wanting the feature for more products, there are more than 150 products available through Amazon Dash in the US.jbk
Bing Search App Gets New Features
Bing recently released a new update for its search app for Android and iOS which adds new music, video and map features. The update 6.7.2 will now bring the desktop feature which allows videos to be played without audio in search results, with the added feature of lyrics being displayed. There is also a new music page which displays the most popular and trending songs and artists. A report by Android Community Website has this to say “In case you’re looking for a specific song, you can use the Bing Search app by typing the name of the song or if something is playing, it will tell you what it is.” The new map options allow users to choose their preferred map app and select as the default one used. Bing have also touched on their “reading mode” and added the ability to sign in with a Microsoft account and see all search history from other logged-in devices.
Facebook warned advertisers that they need to cut mobile page speed or they’ll cut the reach of their ads. Facebook are doing their best to ensure it is not a frustrating site to visit and advertisers page speed is making it so, this warning from Facebook should ensure advertisers take their page speed more seriously and ensure the best user experience they can. Some previous updates released were an effort to make Facebook a less frustrating place to visit such as, Instant Articles and Canvas formats, both were implemented to provide the user with a greater experience. Not only did they release this warning to advertisers but they also announced that they would begin pre-loading some pages which it predicts the user will click on in order to prevent loading delays. Statistics show that users are impatient as the use of adblocker has risen as users want to see their content and move on as quick as possible, they don’t want to be delayed by any ads.
Instagram is one of the number one photo sharing apps available, however, they have had an issue with users struggling to see the detail in these photos or videos. Instagram released a small update which included the new ability of being able to pinch-to-zoom. Just like when you browse the internet or look in your gallery simply pinch your screen and take a closer look at some of the finer detail in some of the great images and videos shared on the app.You do however need to keep your fingers on the screen inorder to stay zoomed in, this can make it a little difficult to see exactly what is going on at times but it is a big step in the right direction for Instagram users.  
Android users may have to wait some time as the company announced it will be available in “coming weeks” however iOS users could access it as of Wednesday.

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