Why did Facebook change its newsfeed algorithm? What is Google Search Console Insights? Is Google really making Shopping Ads free to display? Would users actually be able to send businesses messages via Google Maps and Search?
“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall
In this article, we’ll cover the following digital marketing news:
- An update to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm
- A new feature in Google Search Console
- Google Shopping Ads free to display
- Business messaging via Google Maps and Search
Let’s dive in.
Social Media News
Facebook’s Updated Newsfeed Algorithm
At the end of June, Facebook has changed the ranking algorithm of news stories in its main feed.
The new updated algorithm will prioritise the ranking of original news reporting as well as demote news articles lacking “transparent authorship”. In other words, in order to recognise original news articles, the social media platform will look at different groups of articles on similar topics to determine which one was most frequently linked as the original source of information. If more stories on the same subject have been shared by multiple different publishers, the platform will boost in users’ feeds the one that’s most original.
Additionally, articles that do not have transparent information about the publishers’ editorial staff will be demoted on the basis that the lack of transparency is a sign of poor credibility. News articles published will be reviewed for bylines or a staff page on the publisher’s website that contains info about the person reporting the news. So far, there doesn’t appear to be any additional criteria for what’s considered “transparent authorship” other than listing the reporter’s first and last name. However, the more info the publisher provides, the better.
Why would this matter? With this change on the scene, original news and reporting might see a rise in distribution. However, as a publisher, it’s important for you to remember that your articles are still subject to Facebook’s existing variety of ranking signals.
Ah, we almost forgot to mention Facebook’s update to its interface with a new type of notification which is highly likely to hurt the traffic to older pages. Simply put, this new update is similar to what Twitter did with their new prompt on retweets. Basically, Facebook will notify users when they are about to share an article which is over 90-days old.
Search Engine and SEO News
A Possible Integration Between Google Search Console (GSC) And Google Analytics
Google is working on a way to combine users’ data from Google Search Console and Google Analytics together in one reporting system accessible from either service.
This upcoming beta test from Google looks interesting and much needed. The holy grail is competitor position information but I’ll settle for an easier way to see which keywords drive to which page. pic.twitter.com/2qGPQNCqor
— Andrew Girdwood (@AndrewGirdwood) June 22, 2020
This new feature is called Google Search Console Insights and it’ll give users deeper reporting regarding the performance of their website and all its pages. That includes –
a) overall page views;
b) pages views for individual pages;
c) overall average time spent on the website;
d) average time spent on individual pages;
e) traffic to your website from organic search vs social vs direct traffic;
f) top referring links from other websites;
g) newest referring links;
h) social media traffic broken-down by platform; and more.
As much as users have been able to see their Search Console data since 2011, they have not yet been able to see any of the Google Analytics data within GSC. This new feature will change all that bringing Google Analytics data directly into the GSC reports. However, keep in mind, the feature has not been officially announced and is still in the testing stage.
Why does it matter? GSC reports tell you all about what visitors see on your website from Google Search. However, to see what happens once a visitor hits your site you have to navigate to Google Analytics. Thus, this whole new integration between the Search Console and Google Analytics is super helpful, as well as time-saving, for all users and it’ll also provide all your analytics in one place and see your data in new ways.
PPC and Ads News
Google Shopping Ads Free To Display In Search Results
In April, Google announced that product results on the Shopping tab in the US will consist primarily of free listings. This particular change has already witnessed a significant increase in user engagement.
Now, two months later, the company announced it will allow retailers to run free shopping ads in search results. Altogether, these two updates combined provide a lot of free promotion just at the fingertips of retailers, don’t they?
Why does it matter? Being able to publish free ads in the Shopping tab have resulted in significant growth in engagement between customers and merchants. With these free listings in Google Search, the company is democratising access to digital ecommerce which will benefit both shoppers and merchants offering more choices across the board.
Digital Marketing News
Since people develop loyalty towards businesses that make the purchase process as well as contacting customer support easier to do, Google has decided to further help brands achieve this goal by adding the option to send, as well as reply to, business messages through Google Maps and Google Search via Google My Business (GMB).
This business messaging feature was initially introduced in GMB back in 2017 and then extended to Maps in 2018. However, just this past year, the feature seemed to gain momentum. According to Google, “twice as many businesses” are using this messaging option now compared to 2019.
This is what the company says on the matter –
“As brands connect with their customers via Business Messages, we’re experimenting with more ways for them to highlight this communications tool on Search. Business Messages will also be available on mobile websites so that a business can add the ability for customers to quickly “Message” right from their site and offer the same smart automated replies, paired with live agent connection.”
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