Friday briefing 20/1

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


After a brief hiatus, our Friday briefing is back. This week, Joannie's exploring Google's latest release to improve mobile search experience; Megan's looking at Facebook's next move to become a Virtual Living Room; and Gordon's highlighted the disruptive nature of AI on PPC, and looks back at the most complained adverts of 2016. What a week to restart the Friday briefing?!

About Google’s Mobile Interstitials Penalty

It was announced on Search Engine Journal on January 9 that, as of January 10th, Google began to devalue web pages in mobile search with intrusive interstitials, which take up more than a “reasonable” amount of screen space.

Google defined the penalty as; “To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

Google is always looking for new ways to improve the search experience. The reason behind devaluing pages with intrusive interstitials is to help users find the content they need without being bombarded by pop-ups.

Some tips to help your website from avoiding the Interstitials Penalty;

  • Don’t hide main content with ads – there should be no barriers to content for users.
  • Take the hit – losing out on mobile organic traffic could cost you more in the long run.
  • Develop a Content Marketing Strategy to generate revenue
  • Check your Wordpress Plugins to ensure that ads are turned off

If you find your website being penalised by Google, get in touch with me to chat through!

Joannie McLellan, Search Marketing Executive


Facebook Messenger is changing…again

It seems Messenger is set to become Facebook’s biggest investment as it becomes the Virtual Living Room. This is the idea that Facebook’s messenger will be your first port of call to talk to friends, see your friends' photos, comment on live events and play games – the list goes on.

This suggests a much more pronounced focus for Facebook on group chats, and making the channel more about small groups interacting via Messenger. We’ve spoken about Houseparty before so it makes sense, that Facebook may well factor in group video chat functionality into Messenger this coming year.

Users should also expect to see even more focus on the new Messenger camera – which is remarkably similar to Snapchat in almost every way. This means Messenger is slowly becoming the go-to platform for fun conversations, quick calls, and instant answers.

So what does this mean for brands? It will mean it's increasingly important to be on hand 24/7 for your customers or look to the future and create their own chatbot (Facebook has tips on their website). It also means perhaps a changing face or change of focus for the world’s biggest social media platform, and a move away from broadcasting to more meaningful conversations. Check out the full story on Social Media Today.

Megan Reid, Social Media Executive


How Artificial Intelligence Drives PPC by Frederick Valleys

Now if you have read any of my blogs in the past you will know I have covered the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI). I've looked at how it’s a huge part of digital going forward and how it may be a disruptive influence in other industries in the future too. Frederick Valleys highlights why we must be vigilant about understanding the capabilities of the systems we’re relying on. Check it out here on Search Engine Land.


Most Complained Adverts of 2016 – had a good year….

I love adverts. I have never personally felt strong enough to phone up or write in to complain about one though. However, there are a lot of people who do. Coming in at Number 1 was “Epic Wolf”. They also came in number 2 and 4 too. Check out the top 10 most complained about adverts here on Campaign.

Gordon Carslaw, Senior Digital Marketing Executive


As ever, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to tweet us or hit us up on Facebook!