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:
Bloglovin’s use of the canonical tag has riled bloggers
UPDATE: Canonical URL issue has been fixed! We apologize again for the oversight! Please feel free to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Bloglovin’ (@bloglovin) March 27, 2017
This weekend it was discovered that Bloglovin’ had used the canonical tag to inform Google that it was the original source of a wide range of content previewed on the platform by bloggers.
Bloggers have been increasingly frustrated with the content discovery website which has introduced a commenting function and other tactics to increase engagement within the platform rather than redirecting audiences to the bloggers original websites so for many this is the final nail in the coffin.
Bloglovin’ tweeted on Monday morning (20th March) to say that the ‘mistake’ had been fixed but the sour taste remains for a number of bloggers who are concerned that the new tactics are not only hindering their page views, advertising income and direct relationship with audiences but that the platform is also using the bloggers’ own content to compete with them.
Bloggers are now altering their settings to restrict Bloglovin’ showing the full version of their blog posts, they’re requesting the Bloglovin’ iframe to be disabled, and many are leaving the platform full stop and are asking for their content to be removed from the website.
A full statement has not yet been released by Bloglovin’ so it will be interesting to see how they continue to handle the situation and attempt to regain bloggers’ trust.
Research reveals the formula for successful ecommerce videos
MediaCityUK company EndemolShine North has revealed that the most successful ecommerce videos are shorter than you’d expect at just 15 seconds. Understandably the content must be engaging without a hard sell (branded content works best), videos work just as well on mute as voiced, it’s beneficial to market multiple products at the same time, and it’s best to wait for videos to end before offering the ability to click to buy.
Participants were surveyed before they watched videos for the study and 29% said that they had previously made a purchase through an online video with 49% informing researchers that they usually have the sound on when shopping online.
It’s understandable that branded content is a driver of purchases but many will be surprised that user-generated content ranked badly as it’s been a key component of content marketing strategies for the past few years. In turn, audiences have heavy expectations of professional content owing to the wealth of user generated content available which offers a great creative challenge to agencies and in-house teams – it’s a tricky balance but it can be done.
Creating great video is one step but the placement of it is another and ecommerce retailers need to ensure that they are investing in social and mobile platforms to amplify their content to their target audiences and develop new shopping environments to increase conversions, particularly when fighting for the attention of millennials.
Google Posts reappear with GIFs and videos autoplaying within the knowledge graph sidebar
Google first discreetly revealed its ‘Posts’ initiative last year accompanied by a landing page labelling it “and experimental new podium”. Similar to Google+ but more one-sided where you can publish content that is indexed instantly and doesn’t have the demands of interaction from an audience, the ‘Posts’ platform has disappeared and reappeared a few times with various tweaks each time.
The platform appears to be back with some consistency across Major League Baseball and National Hockey League results with GIFs autoplaying in the knowledge graph sidebar (as recognised by the team at Search Engine Watch). The question of who will monitor and provide the content in partnership with Google is a pertinent one, particularly with there being a great deal of focus on the viral nature of fake news.
In its original conception there was a focus on businesses posting direct so you would assume that some level of manual interaction would be led by the business concerned but this isn’t clear at present. While the administration of the platform is a key concern, many will be wondering what Google will achieve from rolling out it out across the network.
Google+ never really took off and a way in which businesses can publish direct to the search engine is clearly beneficial as the SERP can update instantaneously. However, the reality will be whether the content published will be relevant and useful or if it could end up being more promotion and propaganda.
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!