January 2022 – SEO and Marketing News

Jan 21, 2022 by
January 2022 – SEO and Marketing News

Another year has dawned on us and very little seems to have changed. COVID is still rampant, politicians are still lying to us and everyone still hates each other. But at least the world of online marketing remains largely unchanged.

This month, we delve into Google’s new “mobile shops” section, see how Apple Maps is looking to overtake Google on the usability front for businesses and examine how Meta (we’ll never get used to that) are upping the sensitivity stakes.

Google launches ‘Shops’ section in mobile search results

Google has launched a “Shops” section in its mobile search results. The new section initially reveals three retailers but can be expanded to show up to ten and is based on organic search rankings. Over the last two years, Google has expanded its shopping-related results, beginning with the introduction of free product listings in April 2020.

The Shops section is another area in the search results where retailers might potentially appear, which can increase awareness for their brands and drive traffic. However, since the Shops section is based on organic search ranking, retailers who don’t already rank well may not be able to reap its benefits.

A spate of Twitter updates drop

Four updates have rolled out to Twitter this week, which include new ways to react to tweets, new ways to compose tweets, and more. Many of these features are in the testing stage, though if they prove to be successful they will likely be rolled out more widely.

The new features include:

  1. Tweet reaction videos.
  2. A new composer bar.
  3. A topics tag bar.
  4. An easier way to share Twitter Communities with others.

What an Apple Maps snapshot can do for your online content

Apple recently announced Maps Web Snapshots, a new static map product. Maps Web Snapshots allow you to share points of interest and location details simply by loading a URL. The maps share chosen data points and details, including business locations, geographic boundaries, routing information and parameters, which can be customised to display different overlay styles, colour schemes and map types, allowing you to choose what information your audience sees and how it appears on their screen.

All you need is an Apple Developer account, MapKitJS key information and a domain to refer the Snapshot from. Once you set up the appropriate credentials, you can utilise Snapshots Studio to build your Maps Web Snapshot.

Instagram will show more from those you don’t follow

Instagram is adding two new feeds to the app, and updating the existing home feed with more content from accounts you don’t already follow. To counterbalance the additional content you didn’t opt-in to seeing, Instagram is bringing back the chronological feed which only contains content from followed accounts.

The other feed Instagram is introducing is similar to Twitter’s lists, in that it allows you to curate the accounts you want to see content from.

Facebook to remove targeting options for sensitive topics on January 19

Facebook will remove certain targeting options relating to sensitive topics on January 19, 2022. “Health causes,” “sexual orientation,” “religious practices and groups,” and “political beliefs, social issues, causes, organisations and figures,” were among the examples of targeting options slated for deprecation.

Campaigns can continue to deliver to impacted targeting options until March 17, 2022, “in the vast majority of cases,” Meta said. Until March 17, advertisers will be able to make most edits at the campaign level without affecting targeting. However, some changes at the ad set level may update your target audience (for example, changes to placements, targeting options, etc).

Google can’t provide details about future core algorithm updates

Announcements about core algorithm updates are unlikely to get more detailed in the future, as Google says it can’t provide specific information. Google has the details internally, but it can’t release the information publicly. This was revealed in the latest episode of the Search Off The Record podcast with John Mueller, Martin Splitt, and Gary Illyes of Google’s Search Relations team.

Illyes is particularly frustrated by the fact that the team can’t give more information to the community when a core update is announced. He questions what value there is in even announcing core updates if they can’t provide any guidance beyond telling people to review Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Based on the discussion it sounds like every announcement of a core update is going to be a repeat of the one before it. Google’s Search Relations team empathises with everyone concerned about core algorithm updates and wishes they could be more helpful to those impacted. But their hands are tied.