Lab Weekly: Instagram, Penguin Update, Amazon Echo

Jodie King

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Again, there is lots to update you on the world of digital marketing with those anticipated monthly tweaks and updates on Adwords, social media platforms and Google’s algorithms. If there is one thing that we can be certain of it is that there will always be something changing  in an industry that has so many key strands including SEO, PPC, web development and social media as part of its huge arsenal. One article that I did find that is well worth a read discusses Google’s warning to webmasters that are  using sneaky, mobile-based redirects. Expect a crack down in that area – full article here. So here is our round-up of what is happening this week – enjoy!

Penguin Update Expected 2015

The next Penguin updated is expected and now confirmation from Gary Illyes has narrowed it’s release down to the next two months. The news comes from a simple tweet stating that he expects the release to be within 2015. As mentioned in previous Lab Weekly’s this is also expected to be a real-time version. Real-time means that the algorithm will update continuously so those hit by penalties will be able to rectify that by turning bad practices around, in a matter of days or weeks rather than months. The upcoming release, Penguin 4.0 will effectively be the last one announced as tweaks and changes can be made continuously to the algorithm moving forward. This is a far more efficient system and what it means essentially is unexpected pain for those breaking Google’s guidelines and continued search boosts to those engaging in healthy link building/earning tactics.

Adwords cross-device conversions data

Google has included cross-device conversions in the conversions column in Adwords. Cross-device conversion data is now available at keyword level and can now be used to inform conversion-based bid strategies.
As of the middle of this month the conversion column will only include conversion actions that you will have selected for optimisation.

How do you set up cross-device conversions for automated bidding?

First, to have cross-device conversions as a conversion signal in your automated bidding strategies you need to enable it in Adwords. Then click settings in the conversion section under the tools tab in the AdWords UI.

Amazon Echo gets sharper

This new update of Amazon Echo allows you to provide Echo with an address and it will tell you what local businesses are near including their addresses, phone numbers, hours of operation and much more. The update has recently been pushed out and should be available to all now.
To use this app you simply give Echo your address via the app then ask things like ‘Alexa, I need a plumber in Richland, Washington.’
You can also ask Echo to show you restaurants near you, for example;
After you have asked a question, Echo will also offer you additional information about the resulting businesses in its app. sourced from and credited to Yelp.
amazon lab weeklu

Social Media

Facebook is updating their mobile notifications to allow people the option to add personal-assistant-style reminders. The new feature will allow you to receive contextual reminders based on other activities on the social network. This is displayed on cards in the notification tab, you can see friends birthdays and their life events, sport scores, tv reminders and upcoming events.
The Facebook product manager Keith Peiris told Mashable:

“There are 15 different cards available, but most people will only see from five to seven at a given time. People will be able to adjust the cards they want to see.”

If users have location history enabled in their Facebook app then location based notifications can be activated. This can allow you to see things happening around your community, weather updates, movies playing near you and nearby places to eat.
Facebook have said that the new notifications will gradually be released in the coming weeks on the Android and iPhone apps in the US.
Instagram released a new app last week for iOS and Android, Boomerang is a video app that allows you to take a one-second shot of five photos and puts them together into a video that plays forward and backwards in a loop. This new effect provides playful creativity, Instagram blog post notes:
“Capture a friend jumping off a diving board, defying physics as she flies back and forth through the air. Transform an ordinary selfie with your friends into a funny video. Get that exact moment when your friend blows out his birthday candles, then watch them come back to life again and again.”
This app doesn’t require you to have a Instagram account, you simply download it, open it and there is one button that triggers the photo burst.  The videos can be shared on social networks and will automatically save to your camera roll.
Introducing Boomerang from Instagram:

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