As December kicks off, we’re reflecting back on six top happenings in Search from November…
1. Influencer Code of Conduct Introduced
The app Takumi has taken it upon itself to share new guidelines with its influencers. Takumi connects Instagram influencers with partner brands, so it makes complete sense that the platform is now offering a code of conduct to ensure all parties perform in a fair and totally transparent manner.
The code of conduct includes always identifying paid-for posts with the hashtags #ad or #spon, maintaining a fair level of non-promo and branded content, and not artificially inflating followers through unfair methods.
2. The Fake News Fight
While it’s impossible to guarantee that false content will cease to appear in search news, Google and Facebook are making serious efforts to cut off revenues from fake news sites. Following the US election there were plenty of accusations thrown around, where search giants were blamed for spreading the propaganda that influenced the final result.
Now, Google is implementing a policy change that bans sites that display fake news from using ad space in the Display network, thus cutting off revenue. Similarly, Facebook has updated its T&Cs that prohibit the inclusion of fake news in ads.
3. Content Keywords Removed From Search Console
Google has removed another feature from its Search Console. As one of the earliest items on the tool, the content keywords report was first intended to view what Googlebot found when crawling a website. Now, with Search Analytics and Fetch, Google considered this feature redundant and confusing to users.
4. Machine Learning Now Writes Snippets In Search Results
Google has continued to up its game in machine learning. The search giant can now identify and create featured snippets in the SERPs, offering users the most relevant and concise responses to their queries.
Google’s sentence compression skills are owed to algorithms that pull the most relevant information from complex sentences and paragraphs. These little nuggets of information can then take the lead in search results, making for an even more successful search experience.
5. Video Introduced To The Knowledge Panel
Google is now presenting video results in its knowledge panel. The results are triggered by information based on your query, pulling through relevant videos from YouTube (of course). The videos are presented in a carousel format, allowing us to scroll up to nine items.
Once again, it’s impossible to deny the ever-growing power of video, and brands really need to consider the introduction of a YouTube channel to support their search strategy further.
6. Google My Business Tests Customer Chat
The newest program to be piloted in Google My Business allows sites to live chat with customers directly from search results. The scheme involves a message button, which will be added to your local listing. This then initiates a chat between business and potential customer.
Businesses have been invited to the pilot via email. Unfortunately, if you didn’t get the memo, you won’t have access to this feature… yet.