Tala Byrne. Joannie McLellan. Gordon Carslaw.
As we gear up for a bank holiday weekend, Tala's pinpointed the launch of Facebook's Camera Effects Platform as one to watch, while Joannie's demonstrating the importance of Google Reviews for local SEO, and Gordon's giving us the lowdown on the significance of HTTPS urls to Google rankings. Enjoy!
Facebook announces its Camera Effects Platform
Among other announcements at Facebook’s latest F8 Developer conference, they announced the launch of their Camera Effects Platform. This new platform allow artists and developers to play around with Facebook camera by adding augmented reality or creative effects, like the below!
Camera Effects Platform is made up of two different studio tools – AR Studio and Frame Studio. Frame Studio is available now to all users and lets you create static frames for profile pictures/Facebook Stories. They’re quick and easy to make – making it a great potential tool for brands who want to boost user interaction with fun frames that their fans can use to support events, competitions and campaigns.
AR Studio (still in beta test) is significantly more exciting – developers can use the tool to build masks, animations and lenses similar to those you’d find on Snapchat. The opportunities for AR Studio are endless – we expect to see it used a lot in TV and film social media promotion with ‘become your favourite character’ lenses, but it could also be used in beauty, fashion and other spheres.
We‘ve seen multiple attempts by Facebook over the last 6 months to compete with Snapchat, from Facebook Stories to Messenger Day which have fallen somewhat flat so far. However, with Snapchat being a difficult platform for medium-sized brands to get involved with, could Camera Effects Platform provide the perfect opportunity for brands to have fun with their fans on a platform where they’ve already got a good following?
Tala Byrne, Senior Channel Manager, Social Media
Google Reviews for Local Businesses
User ratings and reviews are becoming more important for local businesses online, and appear to have become a ranking factor for Local Search. Now, when a user enters words like ‘great’ or ‘best’ in a search query, local businesses are ranked by their review status. Users can also choose to filter local results by review rating. Check out my search below, and yep, those listed are pretty good burgers in Glasgow.
Further to this, when a user adds the location to certain search queries, the highest ranking business shows up within the Knowledge Graph meaning that this gives local businesses the opportunity to dominate the SERP with photos, opening times and popular times. And yes, this is probably the best burger in Glasgow...
For those businesses that aren’t taking notice of their customer reviews, now is the time to really focus on generating positive reviews by advocates a key component of their marketing strategy. Of course providing excellent service should be the mainstay for every business, but now there's even more impetus to get it right! For more information, visit the Search Engine Land blog or fire over any questions to us.
Joannie McLellan, Search Marketing Executive
70% of Page One Search Results to be HTTPS by end of 2017
This week, Peter Meyers at Moz released stats from their keyword tracking tools which showed that 50% of page one search results in Google are HTTPS (secure) Urls. This is up 20% in the last 9 months. Of course, Moz is only one data set, so Peter asked Park Ranger to test out their system too and they found the exact same result. This suggests that it’s more than just a case of more people switching over to HTTPS but instead, it could potentially be an update in the Google Algorithm.
What’s interesting about these results is that Peter had previously stated that the more people adopting HTTPS, Google could give a boost to these pages on search results. When he questioned Gary Illyes if this was going to be the case, Gary replied ‘No. We revisited the idea a few months back but we decided against it’. This is a change in mind-set from Google as in 2014 they had pushed for this change with their HTTPS ranking boost reward.
Although Google says they aren’t rewarding these sites, take Gary Illyes word as you will, there are still plenty of reasons why you should be moving to a secure website. One change in particular that makes this important is Google Chrome’s update on warning visitors about non-secure sites on pages that collect sensitive data. In addition, if the trend line continues to increase at a stable rate then the figure of HTTPS sites on page one of search results could rise to as much as 70% by the end of 2017.
If you've launched a digital platform recently, we would strongly advise implementing HTTPS right away. Security certificates are cheap, some are free, and the risks are low. For existing sites it can be more challenging especially for pages with sensitive data therefore it is important to test and keep an eye out for any changes that happen during the switch.
You can read more about this on Peter Meyers Moz Blog here. If you have any questions on this please get in touch. At Dog we have a wealth of experience of moving sites from HTTP to HTTPS and if you would like to find out more about moving your site to HTTPS contact us today.
Finally, here's a couple of other news stories that caught my eye this week.
Until next week folks, have a great weekend.
Gordon Carslaw, Senior Digital Marketing Executive
The final Friday Briefing of April, and the beginning of a bank holiday - amazing! Check out the latest news from across the digital and marketing world that have caught the eyes of our marketing specialists. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to tweet us or hit us up on Facebook!