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Google Announces New Search Updates

Google has announced a range of new updates for search, which provide varying levels of functionality for brands, and are worth noting within your SEO approach.

The main focus is on helping people find the information they need, so they’re not specifically aligned with brand queries. But some of them will be search considerations – here’s a look at some of the new elements and what it could mean for marketers.

Spelling

“We’ve continued to improve our ability to understand misspelled words, and for good reason—one in 10 queries every day are misspelled. Today, we’re introducing a new spelling algorithm that uses a deep neural net to significantly improve our ability to decipher misspellings. In fact, this single change makes a greater improvement to spelling than all of our improvements over the last five years.”

This won’t be a significant consideration of SEO, given that it will only help users find the right query for their search. But, of course, you should ensure that your web pages are spell-checked.

Passages

“Very specific searches can be the hardest to get right, since sometimes the single sentence that answers your question might be buried deep in a web page. We’ve recently made a breakthrough in ranking and are now able to not just index web pages, but individual passages from the pages. By better understanding the relevancy of specific passages, not just the overall page, we can find that needle-in-a-haystack information you’re looking for. This technology will improve 7 percent of search queries across all languages as we roll it out globally.”

Again, this is probably not a major SEO consideration, as it will be relative to each query – you should answer common questions as best you can in the hopes of matching audience demand. But it could change where your pages are ranked for each query, which could subsequently impact your performance stats. 

Subtopics

“We’ve applied neural nets to understand subtopics around an interest, which helps deliver a greater diversity of content when you search for something broad. As an example, if you search for “home exercise equipment,” we can now understand relevant subtopics, such as budget equipment, premium picks, or small space ideas, and show a wider range of content for you on the search results page. We’ll start rolling this out by the end of this year.”

It looks like Google is going to show users more subtopics as clickable options within search results, which could be an important SEO consideration, as you’ll need to match your listings to each relevant category.

For a more detailed look at each new element and how they can improve your business’s search optimization, follow this link.

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Instagram Publishes Guides on How to Maximize Instagram Shops

As we head into the peak holiday shopping season, Instagram has this week published a new set of guides on how businesses can utilize Instagram shops, in order to reach potential customers via the platform.

Facebook first announced Instagram Shops back in May, and they’re gradually being made available to all businesses. And for those who can access the option, it could be a great way to maximize your holiday sales, tapping into the engagement of Instagram to grab customers as they browse through their feeds.

Instagram’s new ‘The Season for Shops‘ mini-site includes a range of guides, covering each aspect of the Instagram Shop set-up process.

Several step-by-step guides have been released by Instagram, accompanied by graphics and visual descriptions. Specific overviews for Instagram shops, shopping tags and creating collections have been released.

With over a billion active users, and 80% of those users following brands specifically for product updates, there’s clearly an active base of potential shoppers on the platform. 

Making it easy for them to go from your latest image to owning that item could lead to significant results, and with shopping tags available in all elements, there’s a lot of opportunity. 

You can check out the various new Instagram shopping guides here.

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Facebook launches new business app

Facebook has launched a new app designed to make it easier for businesses to manage in a single place their pages and profiles across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.

The app, Facebook Business Suite, combines access to the business’s key updates and priorities, and offers a way to draft and schedule feed posts for both Facebook and Instagram, view insights and create ads.

To use the new app, business will first need to link their Facebook and Instagram business accounts, if they hadn’t already.

Once logged into Facebook, the Business Suite can be accessed on the desktop at business.facebook.com. On mobile, users of the existing Pages Manager App will see an option to join Business Suite instead. The app will also become available as a standalone download for both iOS and Android.

Inside Business Suite, business owners will be able to see critical alerts, messages, comments and other activity taking place across Facebook and Instagram right in the new app’s home screen. They can also set up personalized saved replies here, in order to respond to common customer inquiries.

The app offers tools for creating feed posts for Facebook and Instagram, scheduling posts and provides insights on what’s working. Here, businesses can view their posts’ reach, engagement and performance across both Facebook and Instagram. They can also choose to create an ad to help boost that engagement and grow their audience, if needed.

Facebook says it’s initially building Facebook Business Suite with the needs of small businesses first, as so many have been forced by the pandemic to find new ways to reach customers and sell online.

However, the long-term plan is to build out a set of tools that can be used by all businesses, including larger ones. The company aims to address that market sometime next year. Business Suite will also expand to include WhatsApp in the future.

Facebook says the Business Suite will gradually roll out during the month of September.

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LinkedIn announces new Sales Navigator features

LinkedIn has launched new updates to its Sales Navigator solution, with the intent to provide insight and simplify activities that allow businesses to build and maintain new and existing relationships with accounts and prospects virtually.

In what continues to be a unique and challenging moment in history, buyers and sellers, alike, are adjusting to a new normal.

In their blog, LinkedIn announced new features to help businesses tackle these new challenges and put their buyers first through intelligent action, simplified day-to-day activities, and consistent insight into keeping relationships warm.

These new features include:

  • Buyer Interest Alerts that provide insights into buyer intent based on their interactions with a business’ website, alerting marketers to potential engagement opportunities;
  • Relevancy for Alerts, which positions marketers and sales reps to organize Buyer Interest Alerts for a more customized and timely buying experience;
  • Insights via list enhancements that allow sellers to organize and access their data into lists that enable marketing and sales teams to better maintain relationships with leads, contacts and accounts through precise interaction; and
  • CRM Sync Enhancements, which marketing and sales can use to simplify their daily processes, including auto-saving lead, account and contact data to increase their teams’ effectiveness when fostering customer relationships.

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WordPress launches new P2 collaboration tool

WordPress.com is launching a new product called P2. And this time, it’s all about improving internal communications for private groups and remote working.

WordPress’ parent company Automattic is making its own internal collaboration tool available as a standalone project in an effort to make remote work easier for distributed teams and organizations.

With more people working from home than ever before, Automattic has seen a great deal of interest in its own distributed work best practices which is why the company decided to build a refined version of its own team collaboration tool.

P2 allows you to @-mention your co-workers to send them a notification and follow posts to receive updates. You can also create checklists, embed PDF documents, stick important posts at the top of the homepage and stay on top of what happened while you were gone. There are dedicated menus to view new posts, new comments and mentions you’ve received.

While you can access the classic WordPress back-end, you can write new posts, edit existing posts and write comments without ever leaving P2. The company uses the new block editor that lets you add headings, lists, video embeds and media in a visual way.

Small and large teams will be able to use it to organize plans, projects and big picture ideas while communicating across their entire companies.

For content that always remains relevant, you can create documents, which are pages without a specific publishing date and without comments. Many companies rely on Google Docs and shared folders in Google Drive for this kind of document. P2 could potentially replace those shared folders and become the main information repository.

Whether you’re onboarding new hires, working from a world away, or staying in touch with far-flung friends, P2 gives you endless ways to connect and collaborate. P2 is easy to start and free to use and a paid version of P2 is in development.

Photo Credit: Web Factory