SEO is a fast-moving discipline at times, but even when there aren’t rumblings from Google and SERP-watchers about algorithm changes and penalties, there are always snippets of insight that highlight how the world of search is evolving on a weekly basis – hence this regular feature.
Last week’s Seven Days in Search roundup is here.
Here’s the Blueclaw roundup of the three top stories of the previous Seven Days in Search:
Will Amazon and Pinterest’s Chrome extensions reduce reliance on Google search?
It is well reported that Pinterest and Amazon are looking to break Google’s dominance in the market and this has previously seen them launch their own search products. They’ve even gone as far as using Google’s Chrome platform to aid their efforts with Amazon Assist alerting users of better deals on Amazon when they’re browsing other sites.
However, some websites are understood to have blocked such extensions in the hope of fighting back against Amazon’s market dominance but even then, Amazon’s Chrome Extension terms mean that the information Amazon is able to gather provides insight so that they are able to match search queries. This in turn informs their strategy so their ads show above Google search results.
Pinterest’s approach is slightly different – their Chrome Extension allows users to conduct a visual search of any website they visit which in turn gives access to Pinterest’s huge image library without visiting pinterest.com. Users only move onto the Pinterest platform when they choose to save a ‘pin’. Rather than try to tackle Google head on, Pinterest are trying to engage users with a different experience before they know what words they need to convey their search.
The use of Chrome Extensions in these ways may be poles apart in how they engage the end user but it’s clear to see that these platforms want to shake the status quo in terms of how web users make discoveries beyond search engine use. This phenomenon becomes all the more interesting where the tactics they develop involve use of Google’s insight and the functionality of Google products like Chrome to their advantage.
Is visual search closer than we think?
As mentioned above, platforms like Pinterest are already focused on visual search but it has been revealed that Google have developed a “Video Intelligence API” to identify objects in videos, understand what content is in the videos and identify and show scenes from videos based on a keyword search.
The API is currently in private beta mode but it is expected to become available to the public shortly. It is expected that it will widen the breadth of visual searches through the search engine and bring visual searches back in line with competitors Bing and Pinterest.
It will be interesting to see if the API can pick up on the nuances of human interaction in video and if there ends up being a considerable amount of amends to the algorithm as our search terms tend to be less emotive than what is conveyed within visual media and moving image.
Twitter is home to a whopping 48 million bot accounts
A new research report from the U.S. has found that up to 15% of Twitter accounts are bots rather than real life users. Predominantly set up to target specific groups and inflate metrics, bots have been in use for a number of years frustrating everyday users.
Twitter have released figures to show that their current active audience sits at 319 million monthly active users which means that it’s estimated that 48 million of those are bots. While bots aren’t new, the prevalence of them has been felt by many users at key political periods such as during Brexit and the U.S. Presidential Election – UK researchers found what they claim to be a significant network of bots where the largest incorporate over 500,000 fake accounts.
At a time where the ferocity of ‘fake’ information is being considered across news, it begs the question as to how much sway and influence fake bot accounts are having on people’s political and ideological views. It also begs the question as to how many authentic accounts are targeted and reached through Twitter advertising when such a significant volume of ‘users’ are understood to be fake.
That’s all for this week but keep an eye on the Blueclaw blog for more SEO (and PPC, content marketing, PR and social..) insight!