This week we’re talking about Google’s Indexing Bug, Facebook’s GlobalCoin and more. I’m starting off with a story about Google Assistant and Food, because well, we’re Hungryforever. In the US, Google is rolling out what it’s calling ‘seamless food ordering” – where a user can use the Google Assistant on search and Maps to order food from restaurants that support delivery through delivery partners like Delivery.com, Slice and DoorDash, among others. Now I actually tried ordering food using Alexa in India, and you need the Zomato Skill, it takes forever, but works alright. You need to have a Zomato account, and you can only order from Zomato supported restaurants. The Google assistant seeks to remove those bottlenecks – with you not needing to have an account with any of these delivery services, nor needing to download their (sometimes terrible) apps. It’s extremely likely that the service will roll out in India soon, although we have no official word from Google yet.
You can order food with Google Assistant, Search, and Maps without needing delivery apps
In other Google news, yesterday the Search Giant had a bug where new content was not getting indexed. The problem was especially apparent in large publisher websites, which can publish several thousand articles a day. Google patched the problem in a matter of hours – but it’s still worth noting that at times, even Google can make a mistake.
Oh, and here’s a story that’s sure to interest SEO workers out there. Google is redesigning mobile search results. There are some minor changes to the Ad label for mobile search ads; but the major change comes in the form of Favicons and Website name for the Organic Search Results. It looks like Google is trying to make the mobile search a more visually pleasing experience. It’s about time. I’m linking to a Favicon generator below; once you’ve generated it, upload it to the root directory of your website, and Google will take care of the rest.
On the whole mobile bandwagon; Huawei was put on the US Entity List last week; and immediately thereafter Google took away their Android license, along with Play Store access and other Google Products and Services. Now, Huawei has a lead time of 90 days – so the company is working to roll out its own alternative to Android. Where this story is relevant for marketers is in the Play Store section. Huawei is in talks to work with Aptoide, an open source alternative to the Play Store. Typically, if you submit an app to the Play store, you get an email saying that its also been submitted to Aptoide, along with creds to login and manage the listing so a good million apps already have Aptoide listings. I’m linking to the Submit App page for Aptoide below – it’s free and can’t hurt your Android app’s SEO.
Moving on to the Facebook side of things – there are two major stories doing the rounds. The First is regarding Facebook’s Community Standards Enforcement Report for the period of October 2018 to March 2019. The report states, among other things, that Facebook removed 3 billion Fake accounts during that period, 7 million hate-speech posts, and took down 1 million posts for offending Facebook Guidelines, pending appeal. In a call, Mark Zuckerberg took the opportunity to tell reporters that it’s only because Facebook is so big and successful that they are able to dedicate the resources to do all of this – so don’t break them up. The first stat is worrying, especially considering the impact Facebook has on democracy. To give you a sense of the scale – 900 million people participated in India’s recently concluded elections; Facebook deleted accounts equivalent to 3 times that number in the last six months alone.
Final story on Facebook is a real doozy. The Company is apparently rolling out its own cryptocurrency next year, tentatively called Global Coin. Users would pay real money, to buy this global coin, at a pre-determined conversion rate (the value of the currency would be pegged against a basket of currency, including the US dollar) and then they could send money to family and friends, securely and anonymously. “Securely” because Facebook has such a stellar record of privacy. “Anonymously” because the cryptocurrency is based on blockchain. Blockchain is a distributed ledger that makes crypto possible. Think of it as thousands of bank accounts, only instead of them being maintained by computers and humans working at banks, they are maintained across a network of computers. The social network is also working with merchants to get them to accept Global Coin. While crypto in India is already quite hazy, with the IEPF calling it a Ponzi scheme; it remains to be seen how this new government will handle this going forward.