Lab Weekly – Scotland Says No, Penguin 3.0 and New Facebook Features

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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Unless you have been living under a stone somewhere you would have been hard pushed this week to not catch some news about the Scottish Referendum on whether they should become and independent country or not. Of course the decision ended up being No but it showed once again the power of social media with unprecedented record breaking engagements on the two major platforms, Facebook and Twitter.
From the early hours of Thursday morning Twitter saw 2,603,497 tweets on the subject of Scottish Independence with the final result seeing its highest volume of Tweets with 5,212 being released in the first 60 seconds.
Facebook also saw significant increases in its normal use with the social network seeing 5 million+ mentions on the day of the poll with just over 3 million of these being accounted for by the UK and 1.9 million of those being from Scotland. All in all I am sure the debate will continue even after the result but it once again shows how the way we deal with world news is changing and how social media is giving the ordinary man a powerful voice.
Technical SEO
Google Penguin 3.0
Once again the news has seen murmurings of the next generation of everyone’s favourite furry creature with Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller saying Penguin 3.0 will likely launch in 2014.

He did not however indicate a specific timeline, just saying that things were subject to changes only adding that it is being worked on with the team looking at ways of making the solution refresh faster.
He did also add in a later blog post that site owners could improve rankings without a Penguin update if they concentrated on cleaning up sites and making sure they are the best they could be instead of chasing the algorithm a statement we have often discussed ourselves in our posts, see here for a good resource
Google Algorithm
There are always items in the news around the Google Algorithm as our previous section shows, but there have been a couple of interesting items this week that are worthy of a mention.
In the ongoing European debate over privacy and the whole monopoly and competition questions German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has made a call for Google to be more transparent about it’s algorithm and even to disclose it.
Of course this is highly unlikely to happen no matter how loud the voice as it would be like asking KFC or McDonalds to disclose their secret recipes.
Elsewhere Google announced that they have been granted a patent to use TV as a signal in it’s search algorithm. The patent is described as a “system and method for enhancing user search results by determining a television program currently being displayed in proximity to an electronic device.”
You have to really ask yourself where will they go next.
There doesn’t seem to have been much breaking news in the world of PPC and Adwords this week, but if you have been following anything at all in this market arena you will have noticed the arrival of Christmas and the number of articles that are urging you to get your Christmas campaigns in order now, and our own lead PPC expert is discussing some great tactics to ensure a good campaign in a video blog later this week so watch for that coming or better still subscribe to our updates at the end of this post.
Recent research by Adthena has shown that consumers start searching with Christmas related keywords by late October so now is the time to make sure you are prepared.
Busy Bee Bing
Bing has been pretty busy with its Ad network over the last couple of weeks with announcements of both a new Campaign Planner and Tablet Device Targeting.
Campaign Planner is a similar tool to the Adwords Tool from Google in that it provides insights from the data collected by the Bing and Yahoo search network to assist advertisers in making better decisions in their campaigns. And, in much the same way it will provide the advertiser with keyword suggestions, trending search traffic information and insight into competitors.
But one of the nicest features in this latest release is the ability to add products that can then be tracked and watched providing information each time the user logs in.
This week also saw Bing roll out phase 1 of its new ad initiative that deals with Tablet Device Targeting following feedback that device separation added extra complexity. Bing has started the migration process to what it calls ‘unified device targeting’ designed around specific points from the feedback such as simplicity, efficiency and control.
The most noticeable change to users will be the combining of the desktops, laptops and tablets into a single device group in the device targeting settings. Bing have also stated that separate reporting for tablet devices will no longer be available.
Social Media
With the release of the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 both major players in the Social Media arena have launched new apps to take advantage of new features available from Apple’s latest operating system.
One of the big points from the new iOS 8 app is the ability to allow users an improved experience when sharing content from other apps to Facebook. The new system has been much simplified allowing sharing with the tap of the share icon and then selecting Facebook.
New Facebook App
Learn more in Facebook’s latest update here
Page Manager Feature
Facebook have also started rolling out a neat little feature that will allow page managers to easily switch between their personal and business profiles (I know this can be done already but this is a much slicker implementation).
When rolled out fully the implementation will see a small dropdown box appearing in the top right corner when adding a new post, this will allow you to post as either the page (default) your personal profile or even as another page you manage.
If you are looking to comment or like a post already made a similar option appears that will allow you to easily switch identities rather than logging out as one and back in as another to be able to make the comment as you.
The benefits to agencies that manage multiple accounts are obvious and we can’t wait to see more from this feature.
As previously mentioned Twitter have also rolled out a new app to take advantage of the new iOS 8 from Apple, promising to make it easier to explore and learn about others on the social media platform.
Claiming it to be the biggest update yet Twitter say it features a much improved design with a major overhaul of the profile pages. Designed to emphasise your Bio Tweets and Photos, the Bio is now immediately available when you land on a profile page.
Well that’s it for this week, so hope you have found something of use to you and remember to subscribe to get further updates from our blog as it happens so you never miss a thing.

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