Happy June! Here is an overview of the top internet marketing news stories of May 2014.
- Matt Cutts confirmed new updates to Payday Loan algorithm as well as Panda 4.0. We asked Frank Vitovitch to write on the potential impacts these updates could have. Google also hit eBay with a manual penalty timed closely with the Panda 4.0 announcement.
- Google launched a new feature that allows sports fans to see video highlights from the last game when searching for an NHL or NBA team. These videos appear above the paid ads and are YouTube videos from the NHL or NBA, not the teams or users. Below is an image on how the video displays.
- Google updated iOS search app to include “smarter” voice cues where users can ask questions like “what’s the weather like” followed by “how about this weekend” and Google will follow the conversation.
- Google Now also alerts users when an article on their favorite topic, author, or blog has been posted.
- Google Now for Android added a few new functions. The first is a new parking location card aimed to help users find their cars. Google Now marks when you start moving and places a pin for you to get directions too when opening the app. Android users can now also use Google Now without an internet connection. The app will keep cards loaded even when you lose service. Lastly, Indoor maps and mall directors are now available within the app using the Google Maps data first introduced in 2011.
- Users can now search for a song using Bing and will be prompted to “listen to music” via Xbox Music or buy the song via iTunes or Amazon. Xbox Music allows users to stream for a few hours a month before requiring you to pay $10/month.
- Bing expanded Snapshot to include food and drug related entities. Snapshot is Bing’s version of Google’s Knowledge graph, which already features food and drug information.
- Bing Ads Editor is piloting new targeting enhancements including Bulk Location Targeting, Radius Targeting, and Duplicate Keyword Finder. The full update should be live in June.
- Microsoft demoed a real-time translation over Skype where this beta program translated English to German and vice versa live. Below is a video of the demo
- Yahoo purchased Blink, a self-destructing messaging app and Snapchat competitor. While Yahoo’s intentions are undisclosed, some rumor that Yahoo will shut down the service.
- Yahoo News Digest, powered by the Summly acquisition, expanded to Android as well as internationally providing world news in English.
- Facebook is rolling out a new feature to its iOS app encouraging users to share more about what they are doing. These context cards, placed above the newsfeed, will provide relevant posts from friends when you check in or post an update. For instance if you check into a restaurant, the card might display a list of friends that have also checked in there. Facebook provided the below screenshot
- Twitter introduced the ability to mute users, a private way to remove a user’s activity on your feed without blocking them. Muted users can still favorite, reply to, and retweet Tweets and can be unmuted at any time.
- Vine released Vine.co, a way for users and non-users to explore Vines via a desktop. Vine also added a “powerful, new search bar that will help you find what you are looking for. Try searching by person, tag, or even location to find your favorite content.”
- Amazon and Twitter announced a new feature that allows users to add items to their Amazon Shopping cart by replying to a tweet containing an Amazon product link with #AmazonCart. While, in my opinion, the user experience isn’t as seamless as it should be, this is a great opportunity for Twitter to enter social e-Commerce. Below is a video explaining the new functionality.
- Foursquare split up its app into Foursquare and Swarm. The new foursquare app focuses solely on local discover and moving check-ins to Swarm, its now local messaging app. Mayorships, badges, and the leaderboards are gone and will be soon replaced with influencers based on tips and check ins. Users can download Swarm already, which will update the Foursquare app, a hint at the new app rolling out later this summer.
- Yelp users can include 2-12 second long clips when leaving a review via the Yelp mobile app. While being rolled out to power users first, all users should be able to watch the clips right away.
Have any questions about any of the above stories or think we missed something? Let us know in the comment section below. Also, be sure to check back in early July for our June monthly 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.