Welcome to another edition of Main Street ROI’s Digital marketing news roundup. Each month, we review the most important advancements in the digital marketing world.

August brought us a Google algorithm update, Facebook tools devoted to improving the mental health of users, and a sneak peek of possible new rich snippets.

Let’s start with the most important – the algorithm update.

Google Releases Algorithm Update

Google confirmed the first week of August it released a “broad core algorithm update.” This was only after the digital marketing community started chatting about shifts in rankings and traffic.

To settle the chatter, Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) tweeted:

This is the only information marketers can go on when trying to figure out what happened to their rankings and traffic. According to Google, there’s no fix for the update, as there has been with others. Google simply allocated different strength in some of the ranking factors they have identified. For instance, they may have given more weight to quality content than they did beforehand, or backlinks may have more influence.

The main message from Google concerning this update is that everyone needs to continue providing quality content that is valuable to users. This is what Google wants to give its users, and that’s what website owners need to give its users.

Source: Search Engine Land


Facebook Releases New Tools to Manage Time on Social Networks

Facebook and Instagram have received a lot of heat from mental health organizations about the addictive nature of social media. To help appease those concerns, Facebook has added tools that help people become mindful of their time and activities on their two social networks.

The tools are found under settings on Facebook and Instagram. It will tell you how many minutes you’ve spent on the social network each day and give you a week’s worth of data. It will also allow you to set reminders when you have reached the max amount of time you want to use the networks.

Since notifications can be what tempts people to keep checking their Facebook or Instagram account, there’s a new notification settings section. This section allows users to turn off all or specific notification for a certain amount of time.

While these tools may help people keep their social media use under control, it’s only useful if they use it. Of course, as digital marketers, the tools won’t have a positive impact on marketing efforts. The less time people spend on social media, the less they will see, which means the chances of them seeing business-related posts will go down.

The time-limited use of social media also means that business owners will have to work harder to get people to interact with their pages purposefully. Encouraging people to visit their page to get information about their products and services may be a better way to take advantage of the social networks versus hoping they see the posts.

Time will tell if these tools will be used the way they are intended to be used. In the meantime, continue to make social media posts valuable and highly engaging to get people more interested in purposefully visiting your page.

Source: Facebook Newsroom


New FAQs, Q&A, and How-Tos on Search Engine Snippets

Google revealed a possible new rich snippet form in Singapore in early August. This will be part of the schema markup if it ends up being released.

The snippet will show FAQs, Q&As, or How-Tos directly in Google search results. This means that most users won’t have to go to a website to find information. They can simply read the answers to their questions on the search results page. If they want more information, they can then click to go to the website.

The Google Spokesperson says:

“We’re always looking for new ways to provide the most relevant, useful results for our users. We’ve recently introduced new ways to help users understand whether responses on a given Q&A or forum site could have the best answer for their question. By bringing a preview of these answers onto Search, we’re helping our users more quickly identify which source is most likely to have the information they’re looking for. We’re currently working with partners to experience with ways to surface similar previews for FAW and How-to content.”

What will this mean for marketers? This could be both bad and good. Since web searchers will be able to get the information they need directly on the search results pages, they will have less of a reason to go to the website.

On the other hand, getting your website featured as the FAQ on the search engine results page means that you may get those people who want more information. It will be the most visible section of the SERPs, so that’s going to be mighty nice IF people want to look more into the answers provided.

Source: Search Engine Land

Updates to Structured Data

Google has added more properties to structured data.

  • datePublished
  • dateModified
  • Recipes

It’s obvious Google wants users to know how recently a page was created and modified. Even though these properties are optional, Google has included them in their structured data for a reason, so it’s best that you use it.

Recipes are a great addition to the structured data lineup. Those who are publishing recipes may be able to get their recipes features on the search results pages if they use the schema markup.

Source: Search Engine Journal


Automatic Google Search Console Verification for Analytics Owners

Google set up an automated verification system for Analytics owners this month. It’s easier than ever to get a Google Search Console account verified now.

All you have to do is log into Google Seach Console and select your Google Analytics account to verify your website property. The linking of the two is now enough for the verification.

Source: Google Marketing Platform


Facebook Releases New Tool for Creating Mobile Video Ads

Advertisers can now use Facebook’s mobile video ads creator. The creation tool uses images and turns them into mobile-friendly videos. They are optimized specifically for Facebook’s feed and stories on Facebook and Instagram.

There are four templates to choose from:

  1. Promoting a product
  2. Selling multiple products
  3. Showing product benefits
  4. Driving product discovery

Don’t worry if you provide a service. You can easily use the video tool to market your services simply by creating images relevant to your services.

Source: Search Engine Journal

That’s it for the August 2018 Digital Marketing News round up. We’re excited to see what this fall will have in store for us. Make sure to check back in for September’s News Roundup!