Friday briefing 17/02

The marketing team gives us a roundup of this week's hot topics


Gordon Carslaw. Joannie McLellan. Megan Reid.

This week, Gordon's free time has been mainly spent having fun with Google's fun facts, Joannie has been following Google's unconfirmed algorithm news intently, and Megan's giving us the inside info around Facebook's video updates. Enjoy!

Fun Facts with Google

Did you know that Hippo’s are excellent swimmers and can hold their breath for about 5 minutes? Well if you had caught wind of Google’s latest update then you might have. Google has launched a new search feature this week which serves up fun facts at the top of the search results for animals, plants, fruits and vegetables searches that include the words ‘fun facts’.

Google said on their blog: ‘Starting today on Google Search, you can find fun facts about living creatures from around the world, making you the most interesting person at the dinner party or the reigning champ at trivia… Ask for a fun fact about something (think plants, animals, fruits and veggies), and ta-da! A trivia tidbit is delivered right at the top of your search results’.

Google announced that some queries will show multiple facts once the page is refreshed. Although, this is all fun, it again goes to show how valuable Rank 0 is to the user but how it can affect us in marketing. Things such as knowledge graphs and these fun facts are reducing the chance of people coming through to the site. In this case it is on fun facts, but we have seen in the past the increase in no click searches, in fact 40% of all searches on Google now result in no click. People are getting the answers they need much quicker and, as surveys have shown in the past, users are wanting less results and more answers which will only be aided further with the rise of voice search and AI in 2017.

So I will finish how I started…with a fun fact. Did you know that when running, Cheetahs use their tails to steer, like a rudder for a boat?

Whilst I continue to search fun facts about animals and Fruit & Veg, why not let us know your thoughts on Rank 0 and if you want to find out more about your own search marketing, please get in touch. You can read more on this update here on the Google Blog

Gordon Carslaw, Senior Digital Marketing Exec.


Possible Algorithm Update Still Unconfirmed

You may have noticed a change in your rankings in Google since February 7th. This change has had SEO practitioners speculating about a possible unannounced algorithm update and, although they are still currently trying to figure out where the changes to rankings are coming from, it seems to be most likely related to Panda; which is based on improving site quality and content.

Google has not confirmed any such update. However, automated tracking tools are all showing evidence to strongly support the evidence of an update on February 7th.

Stay tuned for updates as Dog learns more about this algorithm update and how to ensure that your SEO rankings aren’t affected!

Joannie McLellan, Search Marketing Executive


The End of Silent Movies

Social media big hitter, Facebook, is seriously changing the way it deals with its users' video experiences, and not necessarily for the better.

  1. Facebook is bringing back sound autoplay. All videos will now autoplay with sound in the newsfeed, and fade in and out as you scroll past. This is perhaps the main ‘negative’ or head scratcher of the updates as Facebook has spent the past 3 years or more getting brands and marketers to design and create video for playing without – see my previous blog post on SMWLDN 2016. It's certainly a bizarre move to bring sound back as Facebook themselves reported:“When feed-based mobile video ads play loudly when people aren’t expecting it, 80% react negatively, both toward the platform and the advertiser.” It is an obvious response to Snap Inc.’s sound-on ads, and it will be interesting to see how users respond in terms of engagement and CTR. However, this could be a good move for influencer-based content, if not brands and traditional video advertisement.
  1. Vertical video has long been touted by most of the big social media platforms as the way forward – which is why it is key that Facebook is making small, but significant improvements to the way in which its platform presents it. The update will allow vertical video to be expanded to take up the whole screen, thus creating a more immersive content experience.
  1. Facebook is taking a leaf out of YouTube's book and allowing users to keep videos open while they scroll and read other content. Except they are taking this one step further, enabling users to have the video open while browsing other apps on their phones. This is a huge step in the right direction for Facebook, as users increasingly split their attention across many different forms of content at once. It’s likely this will increase video views and play time, but will also force influencers and brands to create engaging content that can be listened to and not just watched.

 Megan Reid, Social Media Executive


So that's it, another Friday briefing from Dog, uncovering the latest news from across the digital and marketing world and providing a bit of insight from our marketing specialists. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to tweet us or hit us up on Facebook!