Digital News

Marketing and technology go hand in hand these days. Tech companies are influencing the marketing world, with rapid changes and developments. To stay in the game, marketers should always be two steps ahead, getting ready for the new trends and tech improvements. What are the big developments we should take into account this month? I gathered the top 3 digital news items that I think would be the most influential

1. Google’s New Pixel Phone

One of my favorite TV shows these days is Silicon Valley. Coming from a startup background myself, I find it very humorous and insightful and make sure to watch every episode. That’s why Google’s content collaboration with the show really excited me, and it got me all excited to learn about Google’s new smartphone – Pixel.

Google Pixel is the first phone made by Google – inside and out. If the Nexus series was the result of Google partnering with hardware providers, Pixel is Google’s take on the best user experience, by bringing hardware and software design together under one roof.

More than just a smartphone

Some would say that Pixel is simply Google’s take on the iPhone. Yet, Pixel is more than just a smartphone. Pixel is a series of products, including two new phones, a virtual reality headset and the Chromecast Ultra. The phones – Pixel and Pixel XL - boast 4GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, a fingerprint sensor and a 12MP rear-facing camera. Pixel has a 5 inch screen and sold for $649 in the US and Pixel XL is a slightly bigger  - 5.5 inch phone, sold for $749 (same prices as the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus). The devices come with a built-in AI assistant, Google Assistant. It is designed to have natural language conversations, and you can ask it for a brief update on your day, look up traffic on the way home from work or find out when the nearest pharmacy closes. During the launch, Brian Rakowski, Google’s VP of Product Management, asked the assistant to make a reservation for him at a restaurant.With its new line up of hardware products, Google is taking shots at Amazon, Apple and Samsung. It would be interesting to watch how these giants react.

With #Pixel Google is taking shots at Amazon, Apple and Samsung. How will these giants react?
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How will this affect the digital marketing world?

As consumers are moving the new ways of using technology, marketers need to come up with ways to blend into the experience. In the future, people will not search for pharmacies or restaurants online, but rather ask their AI assistant to directly make reservations or send prescriptions. That means less visibility for your search marketing ads. Will Google enable voice search ads? They probably will. Google will need to find new ways to monetize their services, and with that new opportunities will arise. Like with any new territory, the marketers who will be the first to get into the game will enjoy a competitive advantage in the long term.

2. Penguin 4.0 – Real-Time Ranking Penalties

It was not so many years ago when link building used to be a key tactic for SEO. Companies used to hire teams to engage and purchase links from different sites into their own websites to get higher rankings on native search results. But in April 2012, Google introduced the Penguin update, which penalized websites that were acquiring links unnaturally. This update affected 3.1 percent of search queries and truly changed the rules of the SEO game.

How Can Marketers Cope with Penguin 4.0

The true pain with Penguin has lied with the fact that recovering from a penalty took a very long time. Yet, with Penguin 4.0 changes are happening in real-time - any page’s rankings may change each time Google updates the information about this page and about pages linking to it. So, both the positive and negative impacts of your actions will become noticeable faster. This means that if your site is penalized and your webmaster does a good job improving it and removing harmful links, you’ll see positive results sooner, right after Google re-crawls your website’s pages. Real-time changes also mean that from now on Google will not announce any updates to Penguin, since changes will be unveiled as and when they’re needed, there’s nothing to actually confirm or update. This means marketers should now constantly monitor their site’s ranking and search traffic and take action if they see any changes, rather than waiting for a specific update from Google.Penguin is also becoming more granular. This means that the algorithm is now focused on specific pages rather than on the whole website. Such micro-penalties are more difficult to track, which is why it is now essential to audit all important subdomains and specific pages of your website on a regular basis. SEMrush published a list of recommendations to help you benefit from Penguin 4.0:

  • Constantly monitor your positions in SERPs.Set up regular email alerts to stay informed of any position changes. Make sure you’re tracking not only keywords your homepage is ranking for, but also keywords for all significant subdivisions.
  • Keep your backlink profile healthy and clean.Make a habit of regularly checking new and lost backlinks, their value and quality, and handling the suspicious ones.
  • Conduct a deep backlink audit of your entire website.Because the new Penguin takes a granular approach, it is essential to audit backlinks for each important subdomain and subdivision of your website (for example, conduct separate audit for each of different language version of your website).
  • Set up properties in Google Search Console for each important subdomain or subpath and update your disavow file as needed.

Bottom line: Focus on building your brand, not on building links. As long as all links to your site were acquired naturally, there is no reason for you to worry.

How to cope with #penguin? Focus on building your brand, not on building links
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3. Facebook is Launching Facebook at Work

Are you using Facebook while you are at work? You probably are.With Facebook at work, your company should not ban you from using it – it might even encourage you to do so. But not for scrolling through News Feeds full of viral videos and baby photos, but actually to streamline your workplace communication. Facebook has been testing Facebook at Work for a while now. It has started testing its enterprise version of Facebook that lets businesses build their own secure social networks in early 2015. Facebook has racked up over 60,000 companies on a waiting list while still in closed beta, and has recently announced that Telenor, a carrier based out of Norway with operations in some 13 countries covering 203 million people, is turning on Facebook for 36,000 employees globally.With Facebook at Work launching this month, Facebook will be directly competing with team collaboration apps such as Slack. The advantage is that you can use the enterprise version right from within your personal Facebook profile, and easily switch between the two. The launch will come just as Microsoft scraps the Yammer Enterprise tier many companies rely on, who might be looking for a new way to keep the whole team on the same page.

With #Facebookatwork your boss will actually encourage you to use #socialmedia while at work
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digital news october 2016

Facebook at work iOS app. Source

New Marketing Opportunities?

Facebook at Work has no ads. And it's strictly for work. Users get a separate account for work, with none of their personal Facebook friends or messages mixed in with their professional identity. Yet, Facebook, which is known for its drive for data collection on its customers, will have a huge advantage when it comes to serving ads on its general social media platform. It will now be able to use business attributes, such the industry a person is working at, their title and company size, to serve ads that not only apply to people as consumers, but also as professionals.If up until now the main go-to tool for B2B advertising is LinkedIn, with Facebook at work launching soon B2B advertisers will surely be taking a second look into the advertising options Facebook is offering to this industry.Professional information will also help B2C advertisers improve their targetting, since they can drive information from it concerning the person’s income and other relevant attributes.

Final Thoughts

As 2016 is coming to its last quarter, marketers should think about making an impact in the last few months left – as well as how to best get ready for next year. Taking into account the developments and changes in the market and keeping up with digital news is the first step. It is now up to you to adjust your strategy and come up with creative ideas to leverage these changes to affect the bottom line of your company.What other digital news have you spotted? Please add them in the comments below. And if you’d like to get more digital news and best practices, sign up for our updates.

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