You know, it occurs to me, that whenever we talk about Facebook – it’s always about something they did/are doing wrong, but when we talk about Google – it’s about all the new features they are rolling out. Well, this week…we will not be changing that. Facebook’s Pelosi video fiasco, Google’s popular dishes feature and more. Let’s get started
Here’s a quick list of Google updates to get you started. Google maps has rolled out a new feature showing you thye popular items at prompt you to review them on Zoatorestaurant, along with photos and user reviews. While it’s cool for us as users to look at this and say, “Oh, that’s useful” – exactly ‘how’ Google knows this information is what should be impressing you as a marketer. Typically when you go to a restaurant in India, they prompt you to review the on Zomato, and that’s where Googl ebegan. They used machine learning to match photos, restaurant reviews and dish names in order to give you…popular dishes.
Moving on to more technical news, Google is shutting down two bidding strategies in Google adwords – Target Search Page Location, which allowed you to select which part of the page you wanted the ad to appear at, and Target Outrank Share, where you enter a competing domain name, and Google…outranks that with your ads. Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to tell you that both these ads will get outdated as more and more advertisers pile onto Google adwords, and game the system – so Google is now pushing people towards Target Impression share; which is actually very similar to target Search Page Location – where you can set either the absolute top, the relative top, or anywhere on the search resulta page – and google will target those impressions for you; the difference being you have to share (you can’t take 100 percent of all impressions. Don’t be greedy)
Before we go on to the next bit of news, I need to ask you – have you ever received a notification from Google Search Console telling you that your website is NOW ready to be oved to mobile-first indexing? If the answer is yes, welcome to 2019. All websites should be mobile optimized by default, if you’re not designing for mobile-first, then you’re not designing your website well today. Starting July 1st, Google is rolling out Mobile First indexing to all new websites by default. This means, if you’re a new website and you’re not mobile optimized, then you ight as well shut down your domain. If you’re an old website, and you’ve finally optimized your website for mobile – don’t call Google, Google will call you.
Let us now turn our minds to happier thoughts – of the Facebook scandal involving Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi is 79 years old – I looked it up before doing this piece, and she is also the Speaker of the House Representatives in the US. Last week, a video was uploaded to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – which had been altered to slow down her speaking (which is already, understandably quite slow) to make it sound like she was slurring, drunk. Two of those three platforms took down the video immediately, as “unacceptable”. The third, put a popup next to the video pointing the reader to fact checking websites. I’m sure you can tell me which platform did what. The video, which has 3 million views in the shady corner of Facebook, has tons of coments that show that people actually think this is how Pelosi talks. The Speaker has condemned the video; but Facebook…has no comment. Its common, in India for political parties to create memes and videos targeting their opposition; and its disturbing that Facebook (which also owns WhatsApp) doesn’t want to take responsibility and delete the video.
With all these people mad at Facebook for what its doing, you’d imagine that Facebook’s shareholders would be baying for Mark Zuckerberg’s blood, right? You’d be dead wrong. Although, strictly speaking, this isn’t entirely on them. At the recently concluded annual general meeting, Facebook’s Board (of which Mark Zuckerberg holds the majority vote) told shareholders to vote against the resolutions that sought to curb the Zuck’s power. And so, that’s where we are. To be fair, Facebook as a company is doing so well, it’s not funny. Every new scandal, every new privacy breach, every new multi billion dollar fine seems to drive up the stock price and push more businesses to advertise on Facebook. Even at our own agency, whil we do call out Facebook, even to our clients, when they…do stupid things, we still recommend businesses maintain a Facebook page, because that still remains the central point of all advertising on the platform spanning Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Lets wrap up with soe WordPress. WordPress SEO has rolled out version 11.3 – where, keeping in line with the focus on structured data, we now have the ability to add an image of the person (author) to Search Appearances – Knowledge graph, and which will then be part of the structured data that Google can crawl from your website.
That’s about it for this week’s episode. I’m interested to know what you guys think of the whole Pelosi video thing. Should Facebook have taken it down? Let us know.