Social Media Updates: January 2020

YouTube is rolling out COPPA changes

YouTube has been fined around $200 million for breaking COPPA laws for protecting children online. The Childhood Privacy Protection Act imposes strict guidelines on websites and apps that are directed or targeted towards anyone under 13 years old and found YouTube breaching their child protection laws online.

According to Ofcom, reports show that 16 to 24-year-olds watch around 73 minutes of YouTube content every day, in comparison to 53 minutes watched by 25 to 34-year-olds. This is worrying for some YouTuber’s as content which makes up the most popular videos were mostly viewed by children up to the age of 11.

YouTube said the advertisement changes will significantly affect creators who target videos at children because they can no longer make money from targeted adverts. Changes to YouTube Studio are rolling out globally, including that videos must be assigned as ‘for children’ or ‘not for children.’


Instagram adds to its story creation features

Brands can now reach out to Instagram users more personally, with the creation of user-generated Instagram filters. Circulating recent Instagram story posts has been popular ‘face-filters’ added by brands such as Adidas, Gucci and Kylie Cosmetics where users can see or ‘try on’ new products.

Anyone within the app can create an Instagram filter, to use and share it; the creator of the filter will always have a direct link to their page within other user’s stories. For brands, this means that by creating a viral, on-trend filter could drive a significant amount of traffic back to their Instagram page as well as featuring across thousands of personalised stories each day.

For example, the NBA released a filter where users could snap and use AR to add a dunking basketball player to their image using the camera. This was popular with users outside of the NBA’s current following and was a great way of driving new audiences to an account through using filters.
One particular filter which went viral was by ‘2020 Predictions’ creator Filippo Soccini. Before his homemade filter went viral within the app he had around 7,000 followers and after the success of those using his filter, he is now on over 100k.


Tip users via Tweets on Twitter

As a result of the popularity of cryptocurrency, Twitter is said to be looking into the possibility of ‘tipping via tweet’.

According to an interview with Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, the app is exploring the idea of exchanging money through tweets.

It was announced: “Twitter is considering a feature that will allow users to tip – sending each other money from their tweets – according to two people familiar with the company’s decisions. Twitter and Square already partner to let users make donations to politicians through tweets, according to company filings.”

Although the feature is not currently in development, it could be something new to the app later in the year.


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


Google Release January 2020 Broad Core Update

Yesterday, Google announced that they have released a broad core algorithm update.

Unlike the small changes Google make to their algorithm on a daily basis, designed to incrementally improve how the Google algorithm interprets and ranks pages (e.g. Page speed, EAT and meta data) and are usually barely noticeable. Broad core algorithm updates, as the name suggests, are much more significant and look at providing an overall improvement to the algorithm.

Although Google does not provide any specific information on what to look out for if a site is affected by the update, they do recommend that any sites or pages that are hit by this should be assessed against the following criteria where relevant:

Content and quality questions

  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
  • Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
  • Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  • Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

Expertise questions

  • Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
  • If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
  • Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
  • Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
  • Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?

Presentation and production questions

  • Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
  • Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?

Comparative questions

  • Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?

We would also recommend ensuring that page speed is also factored into these checks, as this remains an important rankings factor for Google and all other search engines.

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

SEO Market Updates: December 2019

Join Fusion’s SEO team as they round up last month’s major industry updates.

Google Co-Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin Step Down

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, announced that they have stepped down as CEO and President of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. The role of CEO was given to Sundar Pichai, Google’s current CEO. Sundar sent the following email to Google employees on 3rd December

Hi everyone,

When I was visiting Googlers in Tokyo a few weeks ago I talked about how Google has changed over the years. In fact, in my 15+ years with Google, the only constant I’ve seen is change. This process of continuous evolution — which the founders often refer to as “uncomfortably exciting” — is part of who we are. That statement will feel particularly true today as you read the news Larry and Sergey have just posted to our blog.

The key message Larry and Sergey shared is this:

While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe it’s time to assume the role of proud parents—offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!

With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and the Other Bets operating effectively as independent companies, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure. We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets. We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we’re passionate about!

I first met Larry and Sergey back in 2004 and have been benefiting from their guidance and insights ever since. The good news is I’ll continue to work with them — although in different roles for them and me. They’ll still be around to advise as board members and co-founders.

I want to be clear that this transition won’t affect the Alphabet structure or the work we do day to day. I will continue to be very focused on Google and the deep work we’re doing to push the boundaries of computing and build a more helpful Google for everyone. At the same time, I’m excited about Alphabet and its long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology.

The founders have given all of us an incredible chance to have an impact on the world. Thanks to them, we have a timeless mission, enduring values, and a culture of collaboration and exploration that makes it exciting to come to work every day. It’s a strong foundation on which we will continue to build. Can’t wait to see where we go next and look forward to continuing the journey with all of you.

– Sundar

Both Larry Page and Sergey Brin will remain active as co-founders, shareholders and board members of Alphabet.

Google Roll Out BERT for 70+ Languages Worldwide

After its initial release in October 2019, which was covered in our blog, Google have announced that their new natural language processing (NLP) algorithm, BERT, is being rolled out for 70+ languages.

This is the full list of languages that will BERT will now understand:

  • Afrikaans
  • Albanian
  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Azeri
  • Basque
  • Belarusian
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • Chinese (Simplified & Taiwan)
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Farsi
  • Finnish
  • French
  • Galician
  • Georgian
  • German
  • Greek
  • Gujarati
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Javanese
  • Kannada
  • Kazakh
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Kurdish
  • Kyrgyz
  • Lao
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Macedonian Malay (Brunei Darussalam & Malaysia)
  • Malayalam
  • Maltese
  • Marathi
  • Mongolian
  • Nepali
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Sinhalese
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog
  • Tajik
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Uzbek
  • Vietnamese

Google Update Their Search Quality Guidelines

Google were discovered to have updated their search quality guidelines at the start of December. These guidelines are used by human quality raters to evaluate websites and search page results and are used to help improve Google’s search algorithm.

These updates are important and provide the ability to see how Google think in regards to how sites and content should be viewed. This allows us to better understand how to present content and ensure guidelines are adhered to, such as E-A-T.

Within the updates provided in December, Google have been changing the word “user” to “person” and have also informed that raters should “Keep in mind that users are people from all over the world: people of all ages, genders, races, religions, political affiliations, etc”. These updates may be a result of Republicans’ allegations of anti-conservative bias within the company’s search results in the U.S., in which Google have denied such biases.

Google Chrome 79 Has Been Released

Google released the Chrome 79 on 10th December. In our previous blog post, we informed that Google will be cracking down on mixed content, starting from version 79 of Google Chrome, to version 81. This means that this is the first version of Google Chrome that will take steps towards warning users about mixed content of sites.

Google’s steps towards cracking down on mixed content will be as follows:

  • 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.

For more information on these updates, please visit our dedicated blog post.

Windows Implements Bing Visual Search In The Window Search Bar

Bing’s visual search works in a similar way to Google Lens, both will allow users to use search with an image, or a selected part of an image and also include text recognition within images, which can also be users to search.

Windows users will now have access to usilise Bing visual search from the start menu. This feature is currently only available for U.S. users and will be shortly rolled out to international markets. With windows still controlling around 78% of worldwide desktop operating systems, this new feature may have a positive impact on Bing’s market share for search engines, depending on the success of the implementation.

Google Warn That Some Data In Google Search Console Is Not Accurate

Google have warned that, due to internal issues, data in the performance report for Discover will be inaccurate between 8th December and 13th December. This issue has since been fixed.

Check out our latest Social Media market updates for the latest news, and if you’re interested in finding out more about what we can do for your brand, get in touch with us today.