May 2020 – SEO and Marketing News

May 22, 2020 by
May 2020 – SEO and Marketing News

Spring 2020 will forever be remembered as the spring we spent indoors and whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has indeed had a substantial impact on the SEO and online marketing sector, there is also a lot to be positive about.

For one thing, social distancing has proven what many of us in the sector have known for a while now – remote working is not the boogeyman.

Notably, we might be emerging on the other side of this pandemic into a pretty bold new world. However, for now at least, it’s very much business as usual for the online marketing world. Let’s begin.

The new Google Chrome update set to make browsing easier for everyone

There’s a pretty ambitious new update scheduled for Google Chrome users next week and as the world’s most popular browser, that means it’s something that’s bound to affect almost all of us in one way or another.

The new patch includes a feature that Google has been experimenting with for quite some time – tab groups. If you’re one of those people who tend to have dozens of tabs open at any one time then this is very much the update for you.

The update will allow users to group tabs together with a simple right-click and will potentially spell an end to crowded desktops. Edward Jung, the UX Engineer for Chrome, said: “We’ve been testing out tab groups for several months now, and we’re finding new ways to stay organised.”

Indeed, whether it’s grouping tabs by topic, by urgency or by project, it’s an update that is bound to lead to some serious quality of life improvements for Chrome users. And we could all use a little quality of life improvement right now.

University offers free digital marketing course during coronavirus pandemic

York St John University has partnered with the digital marketing agency Mediaworks to offer a free three-week online course, specialising in digital marketing.

With social distancing restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, a successful online presence is key to local business and economic bounce back. 

Mediaworks and York St John have created an introductory version of their MSc Digital Marketing and Data Analytics to share the basics of digital marketing.

Starting on Wednesday, May 20, the course will be available virtually and open to local businesses who want their team to learn more about moving online.

It is also available to any individuals who may have been furloughed, placed on reduced hours, or recent graduates who want an opportunity to upskill, cross skill, or look at a new career in digital marketing.

The course requires a minimum of 10 hours of online learning time over a three-week period. On completion, students receive a university certificate of completion and have the option to apply for the MSC in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics at the start of the next academic year.

Google suggest links in primary content are more valuable

Google’s John Mueller recently spoke up on the topic of placing links and where on the page they hold the most value.

This was discussed during a Google Webmaster Central hangout on May 1 where the following question was submitted: “Is there any difference in link value between static and main content? I mean links from navigation and product pages. Do they have the same value.”

His response alluded to the fact that Google’s algorithm is designed in a way that it responds to things how actual users would and recommended optimising for users first because you may drive them away if you’re focused on trying to “game the algorithm.”

Users, it transpires, focus primarily on a page’s main content, which is why the algorithm does likewise.

He elaborated, “We do focus on the primary content on the page. And that’s something that makes sense from a user point of view.” So there you have it, right from the horse’s mouth.

Facebook and Instagram pledge support for small businesses

Facebook is expanding its efforts to assist local businesses with overcoming the challenges they’re facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook and Instagram are receiving new features that will allow other users to discover and support small businesses in their area.

Both platforms are also adding tools to help businesses stay informed and connected with their customers.

Facebook will begin promoting a #SupportSmallBusinesses hashtag while encouraging users to share a small business they love.

This has the potential to increase exposure for small businesses and get them in front of people who may be discovering them for the first time.

A new Instagram feature will let users show their appreciation for small businesses in the form of a “Support Small Businesses” sticker.

Both platforms, meanwhile, are introducing features that will allow users to more quickly and conveniently find businesses nearby and Facebook is also rolling out a dedicated resource centre for businesses with the latest information related to COVID-19. It would appear the big boys are really stepping up when we need them too.

Google set to be sued for Antitrust violations in the US

The United States Justice Department and many US state attorneys general are reported to be preparing to sue Google for antitrust violations. In the US, antitrust laws exist at both federal and state level.

Antitrust laws aim to promote competition by discouraging large organisations from unfairly using their dominant market position to squeeze out competitors.

According to Reuters, the antitrust legal action could be filed this summer followed by state level lawsuits in the fall.

The federal lawsuit focuses on unfair practices in search, advertising and issues surrounding the Android operating system. Google has been accused in Europe of having used its market leading position to harm competitors.

TripAdvisor and Expedia, among many others, have recently accused Google of using its search results in Europe to promote Google’s web pages over those of competitors.

It’s worth noting, however, that the US Justice Department has yet to release an official statement, so it could all just be a lot of noise. More news next month if and when it drops. Until then, stay safe and keep those hands squeaky clean.