Happy September! Here is an overview of the top internet marketing news stories of August 2014.
- Google authorship is officially dead with the removal of images and names from their search results. In addition, Google removed author stats within Google Webmaster Tools. It is still unclear how this will affect Author Rank or Google+.
- Come late September, Google will make close variant keyword matching the default for all exact and phrase match keywords. Launched first in 2012, it incorporates things like spelling errors and abbreviations to allow advertisers to better connect with their consumers.
- Google announced it will begin including HTTPS as a ranking factor in its search algorithm. For now it is considered a light factor but could grow as HTTPS becomes more prevalent.
- Google rolled out Website Call Conversion where advertisers can set a dynamic phone number on a desktop or mobile version of a site and track which calls should be attributed to Paid Search.
- Bing has made improvements in providing results for technical queries such as troubleshoot software, API content, and code search. Below is a screenshot of the results page for “c# hashtag example”:
- Bing Ads launched a newly redesigned Opportunities Page that shows the estimated impact on the campaign if the advertiser manipulates bids or budgets. The page also features keyword suggestions based on the campaign.
- Bing Search is becoming more conversational with a new feature that enables the site to keep the context of the search from the previous query to the next. Bing provides the example of a user searching “who is the president of the United States” followed by “Who is he married to.” Bing is able to remember the first search to provide context in the second.
- Yahoo acquired Zofari, the self-proclaimed “Pandora for Places.” Zofari allows users to type in a restaurant and the app will provide a list of similar restaurants nearby.
- The highly anticipated streaming music service powered by YouTube, dubbed “YouTube Music Key,” took one step closer to becoming a reality when leaked screenshots appeared on Android Police.
- Facebook added the ability to advertise events in news feeds. Previously, event ads were limited to the right rail.
- Facebook rolled out cross-device reporting which allows advertisers to see where consumers see their ad, the device they used, and the device that converted.
- Facebook updated its algorithm to weed out Clickbait stories. They will begin looking at time spent on site to better understand how helpful users find a given post.
- Instagram launched a new standalone app, Hyperlapse, which allows users to speed up shaky videos and turn them into time-lapses. However, Hyperlapse does not allow users to edit the video like competitor Vine.
- Twitter analytics is now open to all users. The dashboard includes impressions, number of favorites, clicks, retweets, replies, and number of times a user engaged with a tweet. Access your analytics by visiting analytics.twitter.com
- Twitter now allows users to embed tweets within tweets on Twitter.com, an extension of the mobile release back in June.
- With the release of Vine camera, the Vine app has new editing features and now allows you to import existing videos.
- Pinterest added a new messaging feature that allows one-on-one and group messaging around a specific Pin.
- Foursquare’s new app is finally here focusing on tips and taste. Search Engine Land has a great, detailed article on the new app.
- Yelp is making translating foreign reviews easier with their automatic translator powered by Bing. Only available on iOS right now, it will automatically translate reviews in 15 different languages.
Have any questions about any of the above stories or think we missed something? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, be sure to check back in early October for our September recap! In the meantime, check out our Thoughts Page featuring our latest publications, blog posts, and featured articles, and sign up for the Catalyst Must-Have Digital Insights e-Newsletter for the latest thought leadership, industry updates, and Catalyst news.