Meet BERT: Google’s New Search Algorithm

BERT, or the Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is the new search algorithm released by Google. BERT is a natural language processor (NLP) that is capable of providing Google with further understanding behind the intention of a search query, rather than relying solely on key terms within the query in order to understand user intention.

This new algorithm is going to allow Google to do a much better job of finding useful information for search queries, particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like “for” and “to” matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query.

Looking at the below examples, we can see how BERT is able to understand more complex, content driven search terms, in order to provide more relevant search results.

BERT is currently live for search terms using the English language and Google will be looking to apply this to other languages in the future.Google have labelled BERT as “representing the biggest leap forward in the past five year, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of search”. This no understatement from Google, as BERT will work alongside RankBrain and is expected to affect 10% of all search terms, along with affecting structured snippets.

As BERT is a deep learning NLP algorithm that is designed to process and learn how language is used, the only way to optimise content for this is to ensure that content is relevant, informative, useful and most importantly, written for humans.

Social Media Updates: October 2019

Instagram removes Following tab

This week, Instagram has begun to remove its Following tab from the notifications section of the app. Several Twitter users noticed the tab had disappeared before Instagram announced it would be removed permanently to cut down on a feature “most people didn’t know existed.”

The following tab was a feature that users could visit to watch over their friends’ activity, to see who or what they had liked.

The tab was originally intended to help users discover new accounts, brands and hashtags to follow. However, due to many users not knowing the tab existed, Instagram says that the Explore tab should be the place to look to find new accounts and activity.

The tab was also known to impact both friendships and relationships, possibly another reason for Instagram’s removal. Users would often speak of finding their partner liking pictures which they perhaps shouldn’t be. As well as many users being ‘caught-out’ for being active on the app when they claimed to be busy.

A spokesperson for the app said the tab was removed to create simplicity as many people weren’t aware their app activity was visible.

Instagram says the tab is currently being removed worldwide, but it will take the rest of the week to take effect across all accounts.

Pinterest has launched ‘Pinterest Academy’

Also this week, Pinterest has launched a free online education course for marketers on the new Pinterest Academy.

The courses are there to provide a range of lessons and top tips on each of the chosen topics such as creative strategy and building a Pinterest advertising campaign. As well as this, it is there to encourage users to succeed with their Pinterest marketing.

Pinterest is offering five different courses as part of the Academy’s launch, adding an additional four later this month.

The courses currently available on Pinterest Academy are:

  • Pinterest Narrative
  • Creative Strategy
  • Targeting and Buying
  • Creative Inspiration
  • Campaign Objectives

Instagram is refreshing the stories feature

Instagram is changing yet another feature on the app, the stories function is said to be changing soon in order to make creating posts much easier.

The update will see GIFs, stickers and all other story add-ons available from one screen. Instagram has said the new ‘Create’ mode will be packed with more fun, new tools.

The Create feature could help in creating more memorable and engaging stories with the new effects and tools that will be available.

Facebook tests hiding ‘likes’ from posts

Facebook likes are often synonymous with how worthwhile or popular a particular post is. However, due to reported pressures users felt to achieve high like counts, Facebook is looking into hiding likes on all type of posts.

During testing in Australia, users could still see the number of likes and engagements on their own posts, but the number was not displayed publically.

A spokesperson for the app said they are not sure if the test will continue outside of Australia. Adding: “We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about social media and what it can do for your brand, get in touch with us today.

The Power of Pinterest for your Retail Brand

First things first, if you’re not exactly sure what Pinterest is and how it differs from other social networks, here’s a little summary – Pinterest is basically a virtual pinboard, you can browse millions of images and add them to your virtual ‘board’. Pinterest doesn’t class itself as a social network like Instagram or Facebook – instead, it’s a platform that allows users to feel inspired and plan their dreams. They’re a personal media, rather than social media.

Brands can hugely benefit from Pinterest – firstly, it’s worth noting that Pinterest users visit the platform to get inspired and therefore they’re usually in a positive mindset. Pinners (a nickname for Pinterest users) are usually at the beginning of their buying or planning journey, therefore as a brand, it’s great to be visible at this stage. Pinterest states that 66% of Pinners have made a purchase based on the content they saw from brands on the platform – demonstrating the influence and potential for brands on the platform.

Here at Fusion Unlimited, we had the pleasure of attending an exclusive Pinterest workshop for some of the top independent agencies in the UK. The workshop enabled us to truly explore the ways we can maximize Pinterest’s offering for our clients. Read on to find out the key points we learnt and how you can apply them to your marketing strategy.


What makes a good pin?

Pinterest is a highly visual platform – the first thing to draw the user in is the creative you choose to publish. Therefore, it’s important to create images that are appealing to the user in order to generate as much relevant website traffic that can help you convert. The following tips apply to both paid and organic pins.

  1. High-res and high-quality photos – good quality photos always work best, they’re more aesthetically pleasing and allow the user to see the content best.
  2. Use lifestyle photography as much as possible – lifestyle photography showing your brand’s product is often more effective and attention-grabbing than studio photography.
  3. Seasonal content – Pinterest users often head to the platform to get inspiration for seasonal events like Christmas, interior design, party ideas, fashion advice and more. By creating seasonal content, you can tap into those users and appear for more keywords.
  4. Sized at 1000 x 1500 pixels – creating your Pin this size will ensure that your image is visible and not cropped.
  5. Discreet branding, or none at all – surprisingly the majority of pins (73%) are uploaded by brands. This has allowed brands to have a discreet and sustainable relationship with Pinterest users that allows them to play a key role in helping the pinner achieve their dream – instead of showering them with blatant ads.
  6. Text overlay for promoting content – adding copy to your Pin can give users a better understanding of what the image is promoting and the content behind it.
  7. Include keywords in your title and description – People are reading these, so sentences work best. But Pinterest’s robots are also indexing these, so make sure to include high volume keywords.

Promoting your product on Pinterest

Now that we know what makes a good pin, let’s put it into practice. As you can see, the image below is overly branded and doesn’t inspire the user in any way. This sort of image could be used for other social networks or ads but doesn’t work best for Pinterest and its audience. Pinterest users come to the platform to feel inspired, rather than to be advertised to.

The next two images are created with Pinterest in mind. Let’s assume that the image on the left is advertising the dress and the image on the right is adverting the trainers – the products are clearly on display in a non-branded and lifestyle environment. They resonate with the user and have the potential to inspire them, increasing the likelihood of them interacting with the pin.


When you click on an available product, the following appears for the user. Therefore the user can go directly to the brand’s website to buy the product or find out more.


Promoting content on Pinterest

Promoting website content is a little different than promoting a product. Using a text overlay can be a great way to let users know exactly what the content is about and direct users to your website’s content.

Let’s see an example of some creative with and without a text overlay. The image on the left doesn’t tell the user what the content is about, therefore you may get traffic to your website, but not necessarily relevant traffic from users that are willing to interact with your content.

The image on the right tells the user exactly what the content is about and therefore has a stronger CTA. Increasing the likelihood of directing relevant traffic to your website.

The shelf life of a pin is approximately 103 days, so it’s good to consider this when creating the content that will advertise your product.

If you want to start creating a Pinterest strategy or schedule, Pinterest has a range of resources for brands to utilize on their business website. Alternatively, if you’re interested in finding out about the power of Pinterest and what it can do for your retail brand, get in touch with our team today.


VoiceWorks Conference 2019 – the Growth of Voice Technology

ComScore predicts that by 2020 50% of all searches will be performed by voice. This prediction is the foundation of VoiceWorks as a company. It’s very apparent that voice technology is ever-growing and ever-prominent aspect of today’s society – as of this year, 40% of all homes owned a voice-controlled device.  Facts like these dramatically affect the way that marketing works presently, it means that instead of seeing an array of results ranked, with companies paying for their place in the ranking, we will now hear just one solid answer.

‘As technology continues to advance, the brands who are prepared for this shift will be the ones who win’ (AdWeek).

VoiceWorks offers 3 different products:

1 – Audio Content: recent years has seen a monumental rise in the number of podcast being created and listened to on a frequent basis. VoiceWorks can develop and produces podcasts, flash briefings and streamed audio for brands. A highly successful recent example of this is Pretty Little Things’ Podcast which received over 70,000 listens with just 3 podcasts.

2 – Audio Creativity & Branding: Possessing sonic branding allows businesses to exist within the world of audio. VoiceWorks helps brands find and develop their audio brand and sonic branding. Statistics say that 86% of brands rely on visual branding, whilst only 17% have audio brand guidelines. This means that brands savvy enough to focus more on audio have the potential to possess a wider portion of the market. Those with memorable jingles are those who stand out, the embedded memory of Hastings Direct’s telephone number is a testament to this.

3 – Voice Search & Voice Skills: VoiceWorks will develop Voice Skills for brands to interact and transact with customers and assist clients to navigate the use of smart devices. This allows your business to become the answer to Alexa’s questions.

The main message of the presentation stands; the audio revolution is nigh and only the savviest of businesses will find themselves on the right side of it

Google Cracks Down on Mixed Content

Google has announced that they will be cracking down on page resources in order to ensure that https pages can only load https sub-resources. This change is going to be gradually enforced in different steps throughout the next few updates of their browser, from Chrome 79 to Chrome 81 (We are currently on Chrome 77).

These steps will be implemented as below:

  • In Chrome 79, releasing to a stable channel in December 2019, Google will introduce a new setting to unblock mixed content on specific sites. This setting will apply to mixed scripts, iframes, and other types of content that Chrome currently blocks by default. Users can toggle this setting by clicking the lock icon on any https:// page and clicking Site Settings. This will replace the shield icon that shows up at the right side of the omnibox for unblocking mixed content in previous versions of desktop Chrome.
  • In Chrome 80, mixed audio and video resources will be auto-upgraded to https://, and Chrome will block them by default if they fail to load over https://. Chrome 80 will be released to early release channels in January 2020. Users can unblock affected audio and video resources with the setting described above.
  • Also in Chrome 80, mixed images will still be allowed to load, but they will cause Chrome to show a “Not Secure” chip in the omnibox. We anticipate that this is a clearer security UI for users and that it will motivate websites to migrate their images to HTTPS. Developers can use the upgrade-insecure-requests or block-all-mixed-content Content Security Policy directives to avoid this warning.
  • In Chrome 81, mixed images will be auto-upgraded to https://, and Chrome will block them by default if they fail to load over https://. Chrome 81 will be released to early release channels in February 2020.

Ensuring that all resources are migrated to https can be done within a CDN, web host or content management system. We would recommend focusing on migrating these in the order that they will be blocked within Google Chrome:

  1. Scripts, iFrames will be targeted in December 2019
  2. Audio, video and images will be targeted in January 2020

This is important because any non-secure resource could be blocked by Chrome – including images, videos, audio, JavaSript/CSS files, and even tracking pixels and scripts, both internally and externally hosted.

Chrome is still the leading browser across all devices and is currently standing at 63.72%, with the closest competitor being Safari, at 16.34% market share. It’s plausible that other browsers could follow suit and also block mixed content.

Google Chrome Market Share - October 2019

We would recommend that all resources are migrated to https as soon as possible, as this will remove the risk of users not being able to correctly view your site and will also ensure that your content is not blocked by Google in January 2020 when they remove the option to unblock resources.