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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 12/5/14

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. We have a bunch of updates to drop for you, so let’s get right down to business.



Facebook Advertising Costs Increase, But So Does ROI

This time last year, millions of people were seeing the coolest toys and best gift ideas pop up all over Facebook. Fast-forward to the present, and those things are still happening, but what has changed is that Facebook Ad CPMs have increased sevenfold. (By the way, that is not a typo). While Facebook advertising has increased dramatically over the past year, so has ROI. With the huge demand for ad space during the holiday season, costs will most likely continue to rise, but it doesn’t really matter because those ads will keep being purchased, and keep on performing.



Select Facebook Advertisers Test Out Grapevine Insights

High-end advertisers on Facebook got an early Christmas present this past week when afacebook-ad-target few were selected to try out a new polling service called, “Grapevine”. The new service acts almost as a focus group where advertisers can poll users and find how they feel about a certain topic. They can then take this insight and craft the best messaging and images for their ads. This is just another step for the Facebook Advertising platform, and when Grapevine gets released to the public, you can be sure that it will only increase the effectiveness of the ads you see.


Facebook Mobile App Ads Get Some New Tools

Earlier this week in a blog post, Facebook announced that its mobile app advertising program will get some new toys to play with right before the holidays. These toys we speak of are the ability for app advertisers to buy ads that are optimized for reach and frequency, have an autoplay video option, and can target users of Fire devices and drive them to the Amazon Appstore. The new enhancements are huge for the app advertising world, and we wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing ROI increase as advertisers take advantage of these new tools.




Offer A Digital Coupon Inside Your Tweet

Twitter continues to push its eCommerce goal, and announced earlier this week a service called Twitter Offers. This new service will allow advertisers to offer digital coupons within tweets. Now a company can tweet out a discount offer and the user will enter their credit or debit card number into the space on the tweet. Once they do this, the card will automatically be synced with the discount the next time the user purchases something at the store. Twitter is currently working with a select number of advertisers to test this feature out, and will hopefully open it up to the public soon.



Twitter Tracks Your Mobile Apps

Earlier this week Twitter signaled that it would start tracking which apps users have downloaded on their phones. Their reasoning is to create a more personal and targeted Twitter experience not only for the “who to follow” suggestions, but also for their advertising platform. In the age where knowledge is king, Twitter is trying to get as much knowledge about their users as possible.



Twitter Releases “Answers” For App Tracking

Months ago, if you were trying to get analytics on ad performance for app installs on Twitter, you may have been one of the most frustrated people in the world! But now Twitter has answered your prayers and released “Answers”, which offers free analytics and insights for advertisers trying to drive app installs on Twitter’s mobile promotion platform. This may seem small to some, but for others this could be like Christmas all month long.




Pin Posts To The Top Of Pages And Profiles

It’s been a long time coming, but Google+ has finally followed in Facebook and Twitter’s footsteps by allowing users to pin posts to the top of their pages. While pinned posts are only viewable on desktop and Android, the iOS function will be coming very soon. So now if you have something important to say on Google+, never fear, because you can pin here.



Thanks for keeping up with A Smorgasbord of Social Media! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet @Wpromote if you have any questions or comments about any of these updates!

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 11/24/14

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. We have a bunch of updates to drop for you, so let’s get right down to business.



Facebook Says, “If You Want To Sound Like An Advertiser, Buy An Ad”

Businesses using Facebook seem to keep taking blow after blow. Facebooktiger announced on the 14th of this month that in the beginning of next year they will be making yet another tweak to the News Feed that will lower the organic reach of any post that is too promotional. Facebook said they are making this change because hundreds of thousands of people that were surveyed said they want to see less promotional content. That means that if marketers want to keep their organic reach, they will be forced to switch up their content to tell more of a story, and be less focused on pure promotions.


Could Facebook Enter The Corporate Space?

Can you imagine how distracted you would be if Facebook became part of your corporate space? Can you say procrastination?! According to the Financial Times, Facebook has been secretly working on a new service, Facebook at Work, which would launch into the corporate space and be a social platform of sorts. While the Facebook at Work service would be different than Facebook, it still could open up the company to enter an estimated $1 billion space.



Facebook Ad Improvements Go Global

Earlier in the year, Facebook launched two enhancements to Facebook Ads in the United States. The first allows more targeting of interest-based ads depending on which apps and sites people use, and the second is a tool that allows people to see more relevant ads. These two improvements were successful enough in the US that Facebook has announced it will start rolling these enhancements out to other countries around the globe. So all you global advertisers…BE PREPARED TO DOMINATE!


Small And Medium Businesses Hop On The Facebook Video Bandwagon

The Facebook video bandwagon is pretty full, but that doesn’t mean SMBs couldn’t find facebook-videoroom to jump on. According to Facebook, the number of videos posted by SMBs has nearly tripled since last year. In September alone, SMBs posted over 3 million videos! If those videos averaged 30 seconds in length, that would mean that in September alone, SMBs posted 25,000 hours of video content. While the huge amount of engagements from these videos is still in question since it isn’t all “good engagement”, the fact remains that more and more businesses of all sizes are getting on the video trend that is Facebook.



Back-Alley Tweets Can Go Down On Twitter

This may not be groundbreaking news coming from Twitter, but a recent update to the platform’s direct messaging service now allows people to send copies of tweets and comment on them out of the public eye. So if you see a tweet about a new recipe that your friend may want to try, you no longer have to share it with the world. Simply send it in a direct message, and comment your thumbs off. This new update is now available on, the Android and iOS apps, and on TweetDeck.




Pinterest’s Search Power Rises

Search marketers have always known that social pages have a great opportunity to rank highly in Google. However, the tricky part has always been ranking highly and driving traffic from its searches. That’s where Pinterest comes in and blows everyone out of the water. According to a recent study, over the past 12-18 months the number of search engine Pinterest results have doubled (beauty, cosmetic, and clothing results have gone up almost 400%). Even more importantly, Pinterest as a social site has proven to be extremely good at driving traffic back to a website in order to gain better engagement rates. This data leaves marketers with an easy decision: invest in sound and researched Pinterest strategy, and watch those conversions fly in.


Black Friday

A Look At Social Shopping From Last Year

It’s almost Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so what better time to look at social trends from this time last year? We all know social media plays a larger part than ever in the holiday shopping experience, but here are some stats that may blow your mind.

  • There was a 357% year-over-year increase in sales from social traffic for the holiday season.
  • 65% of shoppers researched gifts using social media.
  • Black Friday buyers originating on Pinterest averaged almost $200 per sale.
  • Facebook referrals converted sales at a rate 38% higher than Pinterest on Cyber Monday.
  • Mobile sales accounted for 21.6% of total online sales on Black Friday.
  • $150 million in revenue came from social media referrals between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.



Thanks for keeping up with A Smorgasbord of Social Media! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet @Wpromote if you have any questions or comments about any of these updates!

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 11/14/14

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. We have a bunch of updates to drop for you, so let’s get right down to business.

Facebook Gives Users More Control Over Their News Feed

Watch out! Here comes another hurdle for marketers. Late last week, Facebook announced that the new News Feed controls will allow users to unfollow pages and people with even more ease. While users used to have to go into their settings to “unfollow” people, they will now be able to simply click to hide a post and then choose if they want to unfollow that user. If they do this, they will not see any of their stories in the News Feed anymore. Although this may improve the user experience, it still remains to be seen how much this may influence marketers who try to get their content spread as wide as possible.



Simplifying The Terms And Policies On Facebook

Have you ever been stuck reading the old Facebook Terms and Policies for 30 minutes trying to figure out exactly how to control your settings? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. But struggle no more! Facebook has simplified or “dumbed-down” its policies with the new “Privacy Basics”. This new feature allows users to easily understand commonly asked questions, and learn tips and how-tos on managing their settings on Facebook.

Hand Holding Smartphone


Introducing “Say Thanks”

Millions of people connect with friends and family on Facebook every day. They build relationships, strengthen bonds, and share stories that shape their lives. Well now it’s time to celebrate those relationships by saying thanks with Facebook’s new experience that allows you to create and send personalized video cards to friends and family. All you have to do is visit, create a video card, share it on your timeline, and your friend will be tagged. It’s almost Thanksgiving, so why not “Say Thanks”?!



Twitter Tries To Get Back In The Good Graces Of Google Search

In 2009, Twitter signed a deal with Google that allowed Google access to each and everyimage4 tweet produced on Twitter in real-time, or what is commonly known as Twitter Firehose. This helped Google launch a popular service called Google Real Time Search. Equally as important, it allowed Twitter’s content to star as the central social platform for the service. However, a rough falling out between the two companies led to a break in Twitter Firehose, and Google Real Time Search being cut off. Fast-forward to present time, and Twitter has recently said it wants to focus more on generating SEO traffic. Only time will tell how Twitter plans on accomplishing this new plan, but one thing is for sure: if Twitter had not fallen out of love with Google, they most likely would have plenty of SEO traffic to go around.


Male Users On The Rise

It would shock no one if I said Pinterest has a far larger percentage of female users than male. In all honesty, most of you would probably look at me with a blank stare and say “Duh…”. But it may be a surprise to some if I told you that more men use Pinterest in the U.S. than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined. It’s true, I swear! Earlier this week, Pinterest released a few facts on its recent growth in terms of male active users, and while they didn’t release exact figures for the public, this change can only lead to bigger and better things for companies that are utilizing Pinterest for their business.



Google+ Mentions Will Now Be Easier To See

It’s been a few weeks since Google+ has made our blog post, but this week it was announced that desktop users can now see all the mentions they receive on their Google+ page without clicking on the notifications tab. Instead the mentions tab will be located at the top of your stream for easy access. It’s not big news, but we had to give Google+ some love.



Edit Your Captions On Instagram

Have you ever had to repost an Instagram pic because you realized you spelled something wrong in your caption? Raise your hand. Now that may be a stupid question because we can’t see your hands, but we’re assuming all of them went up. Well, stress no more! Instagram released an update this week that allows users to go back and edit captions on posts. Again, this may not seem like big news, but it will save a lot of people a lot of frustration with their selfie typos.



Thanks for keeping up with A Smorgasbord of Social Media! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet @Wpromote if you have any questions or comments about any of these updates!

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A Smattering of SEO News: 11/13/14

Hello my friends, and welcome to another Smattering! It’s a light week in SEO news, but there are some fun tidbits in here. Check it out!


Google News:

  • Possible Google Update Occurring? – According to Search Engine Roundtable, webmasters over on Webmaster World – one of the best places to gather and discuss these sorts of things – are noticing tremendous volatility in their search rankings. They’re also noticing changes to quality scores as well, just days apart! Tools such as SERPs and MOZCast also noticed some volatility earlier this month, but the other similar tools were more steady, so it’s tough to say with certainty what’s going on. We’ll keep an eye on it though.


  • YouTube Music Launched, Subscription Service Coming – YouTube recently launched its own music portal, which not only plans to allow users to listen to full albums, but also seems to create mixes based on videos you recently watched. For example, it knew I listened to Ambrosia lately – don’t judge me – and that’s one of the mixes it’s created for me. Soon YouTube will also apparently launch a subscription service to allow for background streaming along with Google Play support. Very cool!



Other News:

  • Bing: We Likely Won’t Make A Dent In Google’s Market Share – While this isn’t really news, per se, it’s interesting to note that Bing’s Director of Search, Stefan Weitz, admitted that they likely won’t take a share in the “pure search space.” What they DO plan on, however, is learning to make search more integral to people’s lives, weaving the technology into things people are already using. Sounds fascinating to me, if they can pull it off, of course.
  • Facebook Organic Search Primarily Focuses On Users, Not Businesses – In a recentfacebook-newsfeed Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about the focus on their organic search. Zuckerberg said that their organic search will always focus more on users and their content over business-related content. Zuckerberg suggested that businesses should post really good, useful content if they want to be seen more in users’ News Feeds, which is a great idea if you ask me (I know you didn’t, but here we are).
  • Twitter: Search Engine Friendliness Equaled More Traffic – In an interesting story, seo-blocksTwitter recently noted that due to a change in their hashtag pages, traffic to their site increased dramatically. According to results shared at a recent Twitter event, making hashtag pages more friendly to search engine spiders apparently resulted in a tenfold increase in traffic from logged-out users alone (7.5 million users per month versus 75 million). This just goes to show you that clean, usable pages are insanely important in heightened search engine friendliness.
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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 11/7/14

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. We have a bunch of updates to drop for you, so let’s get right down to business.


Facebook Gets Rid Of The Like Shield

We can all breathe a little easier now, because you will no longer have to “Like” brands you don’t carefacebook-like about just to take their quiz on which Harry Potter house you would belong to. (Or is that just me?) The “Likegate” is officially terminated. As of Wednesday, Facebook flipped a switch so that pages will no longer be able to force users to like the page in order to see their content or participate in a contest. While this may lower the amount of likes generated from a contest, the whole goal is ensure that the people who actually like a page do so because they want to connect with the brand, not because their Harry Potter quiz is so enticing.


I’m A Voter App

While this week’s Election Day saw some historically low turnouts for many states, it was not for a lack of trying on Facebook’s part. Facebook tried to help by having millions of Americans see the “I’m a Voter” App at the top of their News Feed on Tuesday. While that small gesture may seem insignificant, a study performed during the 2010 elections showed that this app helped influence 340,000 more Americans to vote. So can we imagine how low the turnouts would have been if we didn’t see that App?


Fight Ebola With Facebook

It is true that most of us don’t have $25 million to give to the fight against Ebola like Mark Zuckerberg, but that doesn’t mean we can’t donate. Facebook is making sure of that. As of Thursday, it was announced that Facebook is adding a “Donate Now” button to the top of users’ News Feeds. So if you’re feeling charitable today, get on Facebook and donate away.



Babies Get In On The Selfie Craze

We all have those friends who post endless streams of photos of their kids on Facebook. baby-fbSure, they may be proud of baby’s first interaction with a puppy, but don’t you think it’s too much? Designer Laura Cornet agreed, but instead of protesting, she designed a new toy that allows babies to take selfies of themselves in their cribs. If the baby reaches for the toy, a selfie will be taken and automatically posted to Facebook. Her hope is that people will see how invasive this looks, and eventually make the connection that we don’t all need to see the life of your baby on Facebook. Will it succeed, or will the baby photos continue? We can only wait and see.



Twitter Moves “What’s Happening” Box To Your Feed

The Twitter tweaks continued this week, with Twitter moving their What’s Happening” box to the top of your timeline. The hope was that it would make it easier for people to tweet (because it was way too complex before), but by doing so, they made their feed look even more Facebook-like. We’re not saying they’re trying to copy Facebook, but you can’t deny the placement of the box looks extremely familiar.



Twitter Drives Holiday Sales (Who Would Have Guessed?)

Black Friday is less than 21 days away and Christmas is right after that. You know what that means…$$$$$. But in order to make that money, it is crucial to pump up your Twitter this holiday season. In a study conducted for Twitter by DB5 Research, it was found that Twitter users “start holiday shopping earlier, spend more, and are more prone to impulse purchases.” The study showed that 54% of users said that seeing a product on Twitter made them more likely to buy it, and 52% of users actually learned about something new on Twitter that they later bought. The study was completely self-serving, but the stats remain true…so get out there and tweet like your life depends on it.



Twitter’s Small Business Planner Goes Mobile

Earlier this week, on the heels of the redesigned desktop version of the Twitter for Business site, Twitter released a Small Business Planner mobile app. The app is set up very similar to the desktop version and features success stories, blog articles, research, and more. However, one great addition is that the app offers a separate in-app social network (away from the public Twitter stream) where businesses can get updates from the Twitter team and ask questions of other users. So for all you small businesses out there, here is another weapon in your arsenal for this holiday season.



iOS App Gets A Sleek New Look

We are all waiting for those Pinterest ads to go public, but in the meantime a small update will have to do. Earlier this week, Pinterest released a new design for the iOS app that looks much cleaner, takes up more space on the screen, and is much faster. Also if you’re trying to upload new Pins or attempting to search for all those adorable cat Pins, look no further than the top of your profile. It isn’t a huge overhaul, but it’s the little things that count. 



Thanks for keeping up with A Smorgasbord of Social Media! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet @Wpromote if you have any questions or comments about any of these updates!

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 10/31/14

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. There have been some interesting changes and updates that we want to catch you up on this Hallows Eve!

Is Facebook The New YouTube?

We all used Facebook videos to post our Ice Bucket Challenges earlier this year, but wesocialbakers-video aren’t the only ones posting numerous videos on Facebook. A recent study by Socialbakers shows that “more and more brands are bypassing YouTube to upload their video content directly to Facebook”. This study comes on the heels of news that Facebook’s desktop video views surpassed those of YouTube for the first time. While those numbers are disputed because of Facebook’s autoplay feature, even conservative numbers are showing a huge increase in video posts on Facebook.

Ad Controls Are Upgraded

Anyone who has managed ads on Facebook knows how frustrating it is to have to select each ad in an ad group, and then update the targeting measures over and over again. Well, Facebook has tried to alleviate those frustrations by allowing advertisers to feature targeting, placements, and bidding at the Ad Sets level instead of each individual ad. Hopefully this small change can save you time and bypass the headache you may have experienced before.


Facebook Leads The Charge In Social Referral Traffic

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that businesses actually like it when they can get referralsshareaholic-q3-2014 from their online content. However, what may be surprising is that a study from Shareaholics showed that Facebook absolutely dominated the amount of referral traffic from the social realm. In fact, Facebook’s referral traffic accounted for 22.36%, which is three times as much as the next seven platforms combined. Pinterest was a solid second with 5.52%; but it is obvious that businesses still need to focus a large amount of time on Facebook for referral traffic.

Twitter Partners With IBM

On Wednesday, Twitter announced a new partnership with IBM. Their goal is to create business solutions by combining Twitter’s huge amount of live and historic data with IBM’s ability to integrate complex systems. IBM will be able to analyze ideas and opinions from Twitter, and use that data to show businesses what customers like about their products, why certain geographic areas are performing better, etc.


Twitter For Business Is Redesigned

The world has changed so much since April of 2013, but you know what hasn’t changed since then? Twitter for Business ( That is, until earlier this week when Twitter finally redesigned the site to serve as a true resource for businesses on Twitter. The new site is far easier to navigate by breaking it up into four sections: Basics (getting started), Solutions (how Twitter Ads can help accomplish objectives), Success Stories, and Resources (research, videos, access guides). Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the new site should serve as a new resource to refer to.


Google Ads:
Target Users That Made In-App Purchases With AdWords

Can you name a business that doesn’t love targeting their ads to their highest value customers? Probably not. So when Google added the ability in AdWords to target users that have made in-app purchases, it instantly became a great tool for you to use to market your company. 



Video Ads:
Tumblr Rolls Out Its First Autoplay Video Ads


Earlier in the week, Tumblr launched its first autoplay video ads. While this capability will be open to all advertisers in mid-November, Tumblr currently has signed 11 brands to test their ads until that time. With estimates of up to $5.96 billion being spent by advertisers on digital ads in 2014, Tumblr is obviously looking to get in on the action by rolling out these autoplay ads.


Instagram Hopping On The Video Ads Bandwagon

With Tumblr and Snapchat starting to push out video ads on their platforms, it was only a matter of time (or in this instance, days) for Instagram to announce that it will start introducing video ads as well. Disney, Activision, Lancome, Banana Republic, and CW have officially become the first five companies to pioneer these 15-second autoplay ads. After six months of testing, Instagram began rolling out the ads yesterday. While each ad currently has to be reviewed by CEO Kevin Systrom, this is great first step for the future of video advertising on Instagram.


Thanks for keeping up with A Smorgasbord of Social Media! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet @Wpromote if you have any questions or comments about any of these updates!

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 10/27/14

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. We missed last week, but there are some really interesting changes and updates that we want to catch you up on!



Security Tips For Small Business Pages

In the spirit of National Cyber Security Awareness Month,fb-infographic Facebook released an infographic earlier this week that offered small business pages some useful security tips. Some of the tips include making sure each page manager is assigned a correct role for what their job requires, enabling Login Approvals that require you to enter a specific code when you try to log in from an unrecognized device, and more.


Introducing Safety Check

Natural disasters strike unexpectedly and leave a wake of tragedy behind them. When those disasters or crises occur, Facebook will now send a notification to your phone asking if you are ok. You can then say if you are safe or not and also post for others around you to ensure your loved ones can stay aware of your status. We hope no one you know ever has to use this feature, but it is a great communication tool if disaster ever does strike.



Facebook Releases Anonymous Community App: Rooms

Because sometimes it’s fun to talk about topics when no one knows your name,purp Facebook has released their much-anticipated new app titled Rooms. The app allows you to construct a “room” about any topic, and then invite people by sending them a picture of a QR code that they will save to their phone. Then, in order to go into the “room”, the app will find the code in your photos and you can begin posting about fashion, MMA, or whatever your “room” desires. This could turn into a great communication app, or it could spiral out of control, but only time will tell.



Prepare To See Tweets From People You Don’t Follow

Twitter officially announced last week that all users’ timelines will now display tweets from people they may not follow. Twitter said that the goal of this change is to keep you from missing out on a topic they think you may enjoy. Twitter will start assessing the content you follow, and then show recommended tweets and accounts that are similar to your interests. Initial experiments have been mainly positive, and while purists may not like the change, it could lead to your content getting seen by a wider audience in the future.


Digits Is Loved By Developers

We’ve all sat by our phones typing in password after password and failing time after time to log in to an app. Well, that problem may go away very soon with Twitter’s launch of Digits earlier this week. “Digits” offers users the ability to sign into apps and websites using their phone number instead of having to create countless passwords. All users have to do is enter their phone number, receive the confirmation code, and verify their number. It’s that simple, and voila, you’re all set.



Returns On Social Media:

We See The Value, But Still Can’t Measure It

In a recent survey conducted by Hootsuite, it was found that almost nine out of tensocial-media-words businesses “believe social media is important to maintain a competitive edge”. However, two out of three of those businesses “find it difficult to assess the effectiveness of social media activities”. This survey only further verifies the dilemma faced by social media in business. However, we can all work together on this to keep advancing analytics and help businesses see the positive impact social media can have on their bottom line.


Snapchat’s First Ad Was A Success

Last weekend, Universal Pictures aired the first ever ad on Snapchat. The ad was a twenty-second trailer for the horror movie “Ouija”, and from all reports, it was a success. The way of tracking and recording how much of a success it was still remains to be seen, but VP of Digital Marketing at Universal, Doug Neil, said the trailer was viewed by millions of people that physically selected to view the ad. It may be only one ad, but the future could be bright for advertisers on Snapchat.


Thanks for keeping up with A Smorgasbord of Social Media! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet @Wpromote if you have any questions or comments about any of these updates!

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A Smattering of SEO News: 10/24/14

Howdy folks, and welcome to another Smattering! October is rolling along like a juggernaut for SEO news, and this week is no exception! We experienced not only one, but TWO algorithm updates within the last week. Read on to check it out.

Google News:


  • Penguin 3.0 Released – Google has released the first update to the Penguin algorithm in over a year. Last Friday, Google confirmed that their update — which should affect around 1% of queries, they say — has gone live. Many webmasters are noticing significant changes in their rankings, both good and bad. Google is calling this update a “refresh,” meaning that it’s meant to help hurt sites that took steps to correct their issues recover from the last update. We’ll bring you more information as we have it.
  • Google: For The Best Crawling Possible, Use Both An XML Sitemap And An RSS Feed – Google recently released a set of best practices for XML sitemaps and RSS/Atom feeds to help webmasters and site owners get their site crawled as efficiently as possible. While an XML sitemap has always been important for Google to fully understand your website, we’ve now learned that an RSS/Atom feed is useful in helping Google determine which pages were most recently updated. There are also tips that refer to only using canonical URLs and URLs that Googlebot can fetch. It’s interesting stuff, and it makes me happy to see RSS feeds used for something so important (I kinda love RSS feeds).
  • Google Announces Update To Pirate Algorithm – Back in 2012, Google released a little algorithm that was meant to devalue and penalize sites that were determined to violate copyright laws. In the wake of increasing criticism that Google is doing very little to fight piracy, they’ve announced an update to this algorithm for the first time in two years. As this algorithm hopes to filter out sites with pirated content, it will be interesting to see how many new sites will be affected by this update.


  • Google And Stephen Colbert Take Potshots At Each Other – Recently, comedian Stephen Colbert took Google to task for incorrectly listing his height as five feet ten inches. Colbert obviously took this as a personal affront on his five foot, eleven-inched self. Google responded by updating the height they have for Colbert in their results to five feet, ten and a half inches, or “1.79m -ish,” which I personally found hilarious. The Colbert Report seems to be off this week, so I’ve not yet seen a rejoinder from Colbert, but I’m definitely hoping he makes one.


Other News:

  • Yahoo’s Q3 Results Had An Interesting Surprise – While Yahoo’s third quarter results were fairly modest ($1.094 billion in revenue, up 1% from a year ago), the most interesting tidbit was the shocking mobile revenue numbers. Yahoo said that in this quarter alone their mobile revenue exceeded $200MM, and is “now material” to their success. It will be fascinating to see if growth continues in their mobile sector.


  • Study: More Businesses Opting To Upload Videos To Facebook Rather Than YouTube – According to a study released by Socialbakers, by the end of the year more businesses will be posting their videos directly to Facebook than YouTube, bypassing Google’s video platform entirely. This is from a study of 180,000 video posts from 20,000 pages, which showed that there was a significant rise in marketing videos being uploaded directly to Facebook. The study also showed that during the same time period, YouTube posts were relatively flat by comparison. If the trend continues, Facebook will be getting more videos from businesses than YouTube. When you couple this with recent news that more people watch videos on Facebook than YouTube, you have to wonder how this is going to play out.


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A Smattering of SEO News: 10/16/14

Hey folks, welcome to another week of SEO news! It’s a slightly quiet week this time around, but it’s an interesting one nonetheless, so let’s get to it!

Google News:

  • Google: Amazon Is Our Biggest Search Rival – A speech given in Berlin given by Google’s Eric Schmidt admitted that it’s neither Bing nor Yahoo that pose the biggest threat to their search dominance, but rather Amazon. Schmidt went on to say that while most folks don’t think of Amazon as search, many people default to it now when search for products to buy, or want to find reviews that focus on specific products. Even though they’re more commerce focused than Google, the fact that many people default to Amazon when searching for products – myself included – has to be a serious thorn in Google’s side.
  • Voice Search Used Mostly To Call Someone Or Ask For Directions – Google hasgoogle-voice-search released an interesting Infographic that gives details on what and when adults and teens use voice search the most. For teens, voice search is used most for calling someone or asking for directions, while for adults, it’s mostly used for getting directions or dictating texts (likely while driving, which makes sense). Interestingly enough, both groups use voice search most while watching TV, while a surprising number of both use voice search while in the bathroom.
  • Google (Also Yahoo And Microsoft) Criticized By FTC For “Deceptive” Search Ads – Apparently in 2002, the FTC began issuing guidelines that recommended how search engines could clearly differentiate search ads from the rest of the organic search results. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that within the last year, the FTC has begun warning search engines that they’ve seen a decline in compliance with these guidelines, including using the word “Sponsored” rather than “Ad,” which the FTC recommends. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this, if anything.
  • Conversational Search Gets An Upgrade – One of Google Voice Search’s most awesome features is its conversational search, which allows you to have something close to a conversation with Google in order to find what you need. Google recently updated this to help with more things like restaurant reservations and directions. For example, you can now ask Google to find a specific type of restaurant in a specific area, then ask to make a reservation at the one of your choosing – and it will if that restaurant uses OpenTable – then help you find a bar nearby to hang out beforehand while also providing directions to it. I’ve not tried this yet, but I plan to soon, as it sounds awesome.


Other News:

  • Facebook Now Serves More Video Views Per Month Than YouTube – According tofacebook-youtube ComScore, Facebook has been getting more eyes on their videos than YouTube. There was a jump from four billion views in July to twelve billion in August, while YouTube had “only” around eleven billion views during the same timeframe. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.
  • Informal Survey: Many SEO Professionals Concerned About Negative SEO Extortion – An informal survey done on Search Engine Roundtable asked SEO professionals whether they found negative SEO extortion emails – which threatened websites with poor quality backlinks – to be worrisome. 51% of respondents replied positively (31% flat out said “yes”, 22% said “a little”), while a significant amount (38%) said they weren’t worried.


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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 10/10/14

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. We missed the past few weeks, but there are some really interesting changes and updates that we want to catch you up on!



The Audience Network

Millions of people use Facebook every day, but what about the thousands of other apps that people use every day? Facebook has announced an answer to this question with the Audience Network. The new feature allows marketers to advertise to users across a network of other mobile apps. First testers of the Audience Network have already seen great returns from their ads; therefore, Facebook is beginning to expand the network to more and more advertisers.



Facebook Launches Atlas

Although it’s been in the works for some time now, Facebook has formally announced the new Atlas. In the introduction, Facebook positioned Atlas as the premier “people-based marketing” platform. The software allows advertisers to market across devices and measure the connection between online campaigns and offline sales. Atlas could become a new valuable tool to not only help market your online campaigns, but track the returns from them as well.


Local Awareness Ads

Do you still go to your local pharmacy? The answer is probably no, but Facebook has tried to help change that by giving local businesses a tool to continue to compete with huge corporations. They’ve done this by creating local awareness ads that allow local stores to target a specific market around their businesses. Initial studies have shown these ads to be extremely successful, which will hopefully continue to allow local businesses to capture the hearts and wallets of their communities.


Facebook Social Login Share Increases

For the second quarter in a row, Facebook increased its percentage of social logins across the industry according to a report from Janrain. The report showed a two percent increase in Facebook’s share along with a three percent decrease in Google’s share. While many platforms are utilized every day, Facebook continues to flex its muscles as the industry leader of social logins.




Movie Fans

Similar to its already existing TV conversation targeting, Twitter has announced plans to start targeting ads to fans that tweet about movies. Since Twitter continues to be used to discuss and review movies across the platform, it was only a matter of time until this ad targeting was put into practice (but this still doesn’t give you an excuse to tweet during a movie).


Teens Flee Facebook And Run To Instagram And Twitter

Another study was released from investment bank Piper Jaffray that showed the percentage of teens using Facebook dropped to 45% this fall. This puts them in third behind Instagram (76%) and Twitter (59%). These results differ from previous surveys that showed at least 75% of teens use Facebook.



Twitter Backs The Laboratory For Social Machines With $10 Million

Seeing as Twitter is in the business of social organization and communication, it seems fitting that they would fund a 5 year, $10 million study by the MIT Media Lab. This study will have the goal of researching how “humans and machines collaborate on problems that can’t be solved manually or through automation alone,” says Deb Roy, Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist.


Twitter Fabric

Three years ago, Twitter largely cut off third-party access to the Twitter API, which infuriated some developers. Fast forward three years: Twitter has announced plans to launch a new app development platform called Twitter Fabric. Reports say that the platform should be released on Oct. 22. The hopes are that Twitter Fabric will allow Twitter to get involved in more mobile apps and capture more data about mobile users (which is pretty much the new gold for Twitter and its competitors).



Halloween Pin Picks

Halloween continues to drive huge amounts of content and traffic for Pinterest. In order to capitalize on this momentum, Pinterest has partnered with ten media companies to create a Handmade Halloween campaign to draw attention to its Pin Picks. This emphasis on Pin Picks further proves Pinterest’s desire to prove to publishers that they can depend on the platform to drive referral traffic.



Ads To Include Audience Targeting

Could Promoted Pins get here any faster?! Unless you can speed up time, the answer is no. But, as if you haven’t been teased enough, Ad Age recently reported that Pinterest could offer advertisers the chance to target specific customers from email lists or certain databases. Furthermore, it seems as though the company plans on designing a way of tracking the conversions from marketers’ Promoted Pins. This could help eCommerce or merchant sites in the very near future.



Google+ May Be Thriving, But There Remains No Figures

If you simply asked Google, they would tell you that Google+ is doing great and continues to be a long-term plan for the company. However, signs like Google+ founder, Vic Gundotra, leaving the company, the lack of reported numbers for over a year, and the lack of significant mention at the Google I/O developers conference have led to people spreading rumors and questioning if Google+ is on its last leg. Only time will tell what becomes of Google’s prized social platform.


Age And Country Restrictions

Google+ has released a small update to its settings that allows page owners to restrict the ability of certain users from viewing content that is inappropriate to young people (18+ or 21+), or even to countries where the content may be illegal. While this is only a minor change, it could impact page owners posting about alcohol or other mature content.



Ads Are Coming

Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, reiterated on October 8th that users would see the first ads on Snapchat very soon. Before you freak out and think Snapchat is ruined, understand that the ads will NOT interrupt normal messages. Instead, the ads will be inserted into parts of what the company calls “Our Story”. For example, beer ads may come up during the Story for Oktoberfest, and users can then choose to watch them or skip them. This is just the beginning, but it could lead to so much more for marketers on this new frontier that is Snapchat.



Thanks for keeping up with A Smorgasbord of Social Media! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet @Wpromote if you have any questions or comments about any of these updates!