There have been some interesting stories emerging this month involving search features and rankings, data privacy, Amazon’s advertising business, and some new requirements from Facebook. Some of these recent developments will have, or have already had, a substantial impact.
Discussions of U.S. Data Privacy Legislation Finally Begin
The current administration has condemned the European Union’s GDPR legislation as being prohibitive to trade. The legislation is wide-reaching and carries huge penalties for privacy breaches. However, there is no denying the very real need for some sort of oversight on this hot-button issue. California is leading the way, having recently passed legislation similar to the GDPR.
Takeaway: While California is the first, other states will most likely begin to follow their lead. Several states have begun to address data privacy, but none of them have passed comprehensive legislation. A number of federal agencies have also begun having multi-stakeholder meetings to discuss how to proceed in the future.
Google’s Recent Global Update
At the beginning of the month, Google rolled out a broad core algorithm update. The update had an immediate impact, as large numbers of websites saw a sharp drop in their search rankings. Some of these sites also reported a significant decrease in traffic. Google releases several of these updates a year, but this one seems to be somewhat unique.
Takeaway: While the update appears to have had a disproportionate effect on health and medical sites, it’s still important to be aware of how this update will affect your website.
Manual Actions from Google Aren’t Issued for One Bad Link
Recently, manual actions, or search rank penalties, from Google have come into the spotlight. The issue was raised because someone tweeted that the link Google cited as an example was already given the nofollow tag.
John Mueller of Google responded that the example could possibly be a mistake. However, since manual actions aren’t based on one bad link, he also said that the problem probably is relevant anyway.
Takeaway: While monitoring the links pointing to your website is important, don’t stress! One poor link will not ruin the work of all your legit ones. Focus on the larger picture.
New Features on Google Search Console
Last week, Google announced that Search Console has added three new features:
Manage users and permissions
Add sites and validate ownership
Mobile Usability report
Takeaway: Google brought these features over from the old version. Look forward to more changes in the future.
Amazon’s Advertising Business Rears its Head
Revenue from Amazon’s advertising business is estimated to surpass their web services by 2021. The growth of their advertising business is facilitated by their dominance in product search.
Takeaway: As Amazon’s business continues to grow, expect changes in the digital marketing landscape as a whole. Amazon’s advertising business is made up of three main products: Amazon Marketing Services, Amazon Media Group, and Amazon Advertising Platform. The company is working on consolidating these three products to create a new platform that supports more automation, is easier to use, and offers a full complement of services.
Facebook Announces New Requirements for Pages with Large U.S. Followings
Facebook has announced that later on in the month they will be instituting some new requirements for anyone that manages pages with a large following in the U.S. People who manage affected sites will see a notification at the top of their news feed that it’s time to begin the process.
The process involves securing the account two-factor authentication that aims to confirm the primary location of the entity. It is designed to make it more difficult for people to manage pages with hacked or fake accounts. Instagram will be doing the same as well.
Takeaway: For those with Facebook and Instagram pages with large followings, keep an eye out for these processes. While the process will be quick to complete, you’ll want to make sure to complete it as soon as possible so you can continue to post content.