The first quarter of 2018 is almost over. Have you felt the changes in the algorithm announced recently for Facebook and Google? More changes are coming, and hopefully, some will be for the better when it comes to search and social media marketing.
Digital Marketing Industry Changes and News from Search, Social, and Video
1. Murdoch Renews Call for Google and Facebook to Pay Publishers
Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of News Corp once claimed that he would prevent Google from indexing his publication’s websites. While that hasn’t happened yet, Murdoch is once again calling on Facebook and Google to pay news publishers a carriage fee.
His statement claims that the tech giants are at fault for the proliferation of popular yet unreliable news websites. Murdoch also recognized Zuckerberg’s efforts in fighting fake news, but he claims these aren’t enough in creating transparency for users, especially those concerned with the bias of websites flooding their News Feed.
Murdoch also called Facebook to pay recognized or “trusted” publishers a carriage fee, similar to what cable companies pay TV networks. For him, trusted publishers give more value to Facebook because of their content, but the reward (of exposure) isn’t enough.
2. Google Now Testing “Stories” Feature Similar to Instagram and Snapchat
Google is testing “AMP Stories,” it’s version of the stories feature made popular by Snapchat and Instagram. The new format lets publishers publish stories-format posts that can be viewed anywhere on the web, unlike those on Instagram and Snapchat which are only viewable on the platform they’re uploaded.
AMP Stories differ from those posted on Instagram and Snapchat in several ways:
- They can last forever, unlike Instagram Stories that disappear after 24 hours.
- They can be viewed or linked to from anywhere on the web, as the content is not specific to one platform or website.
- Because AMP stories are built on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) / fast-loading HTML, it can appear on mobile search results and render instantly, unlike other video content that takes ages to play.
3. Unilever Threatens to Stop Advertising on Google and Facebook
Unilever CMO Keith Weed urged Facebook, Google, and other big advertising platforms to provide a safer and transparent environment for its advertisers. He adds, “Unilever as a trusted advertiser, do not want to advertise on platforms which do not make a positive contribution to society.” Weed also mentioned the possibility of discontinuing Unilever’s advertising campaigns on the two platforms, if they don’t do anything to improve.
Weed’s criticism of Facebook and Google comes partly from the rise of fake news, trolls and other disturbing content in the two platforms.
4. Websites without HTTPS will be Labeled as “Not Secure” on Chrome Starting July 2018
Google has been asking web developers to switch to HTTPS for some years now, even going as far as offering a small boost in SEO rankings to incentivize early adapters. Moving forward though, using HTTPs for your website will no longer be a matter of preference or incentive.
All non-HTTPS websites will appear on Google Chrome as “not secure” starting July 2018. Here’s what the website’s URL will look like in Chrome’s address bar:
As of the announcement, 78% of traffic on Chrome OS and MAC is protected but only 66% are for Android and Windows. The shift may boost these numbers. If not, Google can always issue another algorithm update to convince non-complying website owners to follow suit.
5. Facebook will Open ‘Watch’ to More Video Creators
Facebook is taking on video giant YouTube with its “Watch” feature, a tab for premium video that was launched last year in hopes of getting more individual (i.e. not publishers or big name brands) video creators on the platform.
Facebook already pays for rights, ranging $10,000 to $500,000 per episode so certain shows can be viewed from its ‘Watch’ tab. “Struggle Meals” is one example of such a show.
According to CNBC’s report, Facebook wants to create a system similar to how YouTube pays its influencers or popular channels. So instead of buying the rights to the video outright, the revenue from the ads will be divided between Facebook and the video creator. More views mean more revenue for both parties, while less popular videos will mean a loss or break-even for video producers and savings for Facebook since they didn’t pay rights for the show up front.
6. Marketing Tool of the Month: Bottletter a Way to Send Newsletters on Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger isn’t just for chats anymore, it’s a growing marketing platform because of the app’s popularity and the growing use of chat bots in digital marketing.
While Facebook pages and groups don’t give you guaranteed access or reach to your subscribers, with Bottleletter, you have more chances of reaching them because your message is delivered directly to them, not left to the mercy of the platform’s algorithm.
Bottletter is similar to typical email marketing software; the only difference is your message is sent via chat instead of email. Of course, your subscribers have to agree to be added to your subscription list.
Another New Year
Gong Xi Fa Cai, a Happy Chinese New Year to You. It may not be New Year for you anymore, but if the last month or so hasn’t been good, now is just as good a time to start anew in your digital marketing efforts.