Seven Days in Search – SEO Digest – 13th – 20th March 2017

Seven Days in Search - 2017SEO News

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:

Do you understand the value of happy customers on #InternationalDayofHappiness?

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A recent study has found that today’s consumer sees more value in the way in which a brand treats them compared to the product or service the company actually provides.

41% of consumers surveyed by the Harris Poll commissioned by Lithium Technologies would rather buy a product that isn’t perfect from a brand that they have previously had a good experience with. Similarly, 68% said that they would be willing to spend more if the product they were buying was from a brand they already had a good relationship with. On the other side of the coin, 76% said they would be unlikely to buy from or use a brand again due to single bad experience.

Our perception of brands and the way they handle our consumer complaints has reached a critical point – we expect them to have staff to adequately respond to our concerns and complaints at all hours through social media, we’re quick to leave online reviews and complaints can quickly go viral if they resonate with others, and even the largest of brands are seemingly accessible.

This change in perception means that brands can no longer assume that a lone complaint is purely for their customer service team to handle – it can quickly escalate with social media, PR and legal teams requiring briefing. So what can we do? More brands need to understand that their digital experiences and their interaction with consumers is the best path to attracting and retaining happy customers.

If you have already provided a good experience for a customer across your digital channels they’re more likely to have the confidence to believe that the issue that they have experienced is a one off. Good customer experience isn’t easy though – there need to be adequate processes and policies to ensure that your teams don’t light the litmus paper and inadvertently turn something like a missing parcel into a viral customer service issue.

Google forced to answer questions about income generated by extremists on YouTube

Credit: Daniel Krason

Credit: Daniel Krason

It is estimated that extremists have made at least a quarter of a million pounds from adverts for household brands and government departments that have been placed alongside their YouTube videos. The Google company is estimated to have made nearly half as much from placing ads against the content though the brands whose adverts were shown had specified that they did not wish for their ads to be shown against hate speech.

Adverts placed alongside preacher Wagdi Ghoneim include campaigns by Boots and broadcasters the BBC and Channel 4. Ghoneim’s channel is thought to be one of the most popular of online extremists (as identified by The Times) and while it is impossible for third parties to find out exactly how much extremists are making from advertising placements, Google have refused to provide revenue reports to The Guardian to put a stop to further speculation.

In the immediate aftermath of the controversy a number of organisations including the Guardian, BBC and TfL are pulling advertising from Google and YouTube. Whether or not they continue to avoid the platform in the long term will remain to be seen but it’s a definite line in the sand and a call to Google for them to support their corporate motto of “don’t be evil”.

We’ll be following the story as it continues to unravel with Google executives being summoned to the Cabinet Office this week to explain to ministers what plans they have in place to prevent further ads being placed alongside extremist content across the Google and YouTube networks.

AI takes on Content Marketing

Washington Post website

Formerly a festival synonymous with music, South By Southwest festival has become a go to festival for music promoters and marketers alike as the programme has expanded to include some of the greatest minds in tech, digital and content creation.

Reporting for Marketing Week LEGO’s Digital Marketing Director, Sara Holt has commented that The Washington Post have revealed that they have built technology that optimises headlines, adds manual and data-heavy copy and gives guidance on what articles the newsroom should be creating more of automatically.

When asked about the technology and its role alongside journalists, rather than trying to remove the need for journalists, Chief Information Officer Shailesh Prakash has been quoted as saying that he is freeing up journalists so that they can focus on quality content.

AI in journalism isn’t a new concept – in fact, it was recently discussed by a panel at Prolific North Live where the resounding message was that AI will not seek to challenge the reader at present so for the moment at least, human editorial teams are required but it will be interesting to see how the relationship between technology and teams within newsrooms continues to evolve.

Do you think that you could spot an article on The Washington Post that has been created by AI?

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!

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