Lab Weekly RTBF Facebook Tweaks & Places Directory

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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With Halloween and Bonfire night safely out  of the way it can only mean one thing for many businesses, Black Friday and the fast approaching Christmas holidays John Lewis have already launched their latest blockbuster Christmas Ad and this year Sainsbury have launched their own in conjunction with the Royal British Legion to coincide with the Christmas  Truce story on the centenary anniversary of WWI. Meanwhile another battle continues to rage on French shores as the legal courts try to impose the RTBF (right to be forgotten) decision on Google Worldwide.
The company are currently facing fines of 1000 euros a day unless it removes links tied to an article globally, the firm have already removed the links from the French index but are refusing to remove it outside of the EU.
Also earlier this week Twitter announced at its Twitter Analyst Day that somehwat ironically three years after giving up its almost unprecedented Google visibility it would now be ramping up its SEO in order to gain increased signups and generate more revenue. This follows on from the firms move earlier this year to allow Google and other search engines to crawl the top 50,000 hashtagged search pages.

Social Media

Facebook have announced further tweaks to its news feed coming in January 2015 that will once again affect organic reach, the Social Media giant announced that the tweaks are aimed at businesses that use Facebook as a marketing platform saying that users will once again see fewer posts from Facebook Pages that appear promotional. The change is apparently coming about following surveyed users stating
“they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”
To be clear here Facebook have also added that this change is not aimed at Facebook Ads but regular posts that Facebook have determined appear to look too much like an ad. It would appear to most that this is clearly saying if you want to post items that sound like an ad then buy their Facebook Ads.
Facebook added in the announcement that “All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”
Facebook have also announced recently that it will be giving users more control over what will appear in the news feed with controls that will make it easier for people to unfollow people and pages. In the future if you choose to hide a post you will be allowed to select whether you would like to see less from the related page or person or ultimately unfollow them.

Local Search

Facebook have recently entered further into the local search market with the launch of a new Places Directory, the new service utilises Graph Search, the Page Locations API and other elements to deliver a pretty good replacement for your usual places and travel type sites and directories and while not a full replacement yet it will certainly only improve as graph search develops further.
After offering choices on your current locality and the ability to select and search on any place name the new site gives a selection of popular standard categories: Restaurants, Hotels, Bars, Cafes, Attractions, Arts & Entertainment and others.
local search on Facebook Places
Each of these individual categories then delivers a list of results relevant to the location to being searched which would appear to be ranked by the ratings and network affinity to the user, all in all this is a brilliant new feature and while not perfect is definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.
In other local news, this week sees the return of the popular LabLive event at the headquarters of SEO Traffic Lab. This popular event is different from any SEO seminar or training course that you may have previously attended as the event focuses on real-life case studies of businesses currently transforming their online presence.
This time for the first time ever the event boasts two members of the Google UK team who will be on hand to answer local businesses questions on Adwords and PPC, to learn more about this event or others in our calendar visit our site here
Don’t forget to call back for more in our regular news round-up every week in the Lab and watch out for more on our upcoming events and other SEO Traffic Lab news in our blog.

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