Welcome one and all to the Ricemedia digital marketing monthly round-up, looking at all the latest developments across SEO, PPC, Paid Social and more. The spooky month of October has left us, and while you’re taking down your Halloween stuff and considering when to put up your Christmas tree, grab a cuppa and take in the latest digital marketing news with Ricemedia.
1. Google Disables Request Indexing Feature
In a surprising move, Google disabled the request indexing feature within Search Console. The move is a temporary measure so the company can make important infrastructure changes during the next few weeks. The feature is commonly used by marketers and website owners who want to publish a new page or quickly index changes made to existing pages. The tool never promises instant indexing, as Google may choose not to index the content at all.
While we may not get as many quick wins during the next few weeks, Google will still index pages in its usual way. We hope the changes they make will bring some significant improvements.
2. We Showed You How to Find and Remove Spam Links
Spam links are everywhere. With many companies buying links or trying other malicious link tactics to build up their backlink profile, there are some websites that still have these links which could affect their rankings. When Google introduced the Penguin Algorithm in 2012, any site that was still using spammy links was penalised. You could be being penalised for this, even if you didn’t deliberately look to build spammy links, which is why we explored How to Find and Remove Spam Links.
3. Google My Business Now Logs Customer Calls
Google My Business is an important feature for local businesses, as seen in the new #DearLocal UK TV ad campaign, and the company is always looking to add additional features to the listings. The latest of these will now allow businesses to look at the most recent customer calls from search results. However, if you want to opt into this feature, Google has to create a forwarding number to log calls from searches. It’s up to you if you think it’s important that you’re contacted through your actual phone number rather than a redirect.
4. We Showed You How To Check Keyword Difficulty
When conducting keyword research and developing an SEO strategy, we place a lot of the focus on search volume. While knowing how many people search for particular terms each month is good, it’s important to understand the competitiveness of keywords to find the right balance when selecting keywords to target for content and PPC campaigns. There could be keywords your competitors aren’t targeting that your target audience is searching. Get ahead of your competition by finding out How to Check Keyword Difficulty with Ricemedia.
5. Microsoft Releases Free Website Analytics Tool
October was a busy month for Microsoft. Not only did they rebrand Bing to Microsoft Bing, they also released Clarity. This free web analytics tool is GDPR compliant and helps website owners understand how visitors are using their site and highlight areas of improvement.
Clarity is similar to HotJar where it records user sessions, so you can see how users navigate pages on your site. If you’re finding people aren’t scrolling down your page, they’re likely not engaged with what is on your site. It also integrates with Google Analytics, where it posts the latest links to user session playbacks for instant viewing.
One of the interesting features is a report on “rage clicking”, when a user clicks rapidly on a small area of the page which could be a place to put a link or CTA button.
6. YouTube & WhatsApp To Become Shopping Destinations?
Have you ever seen an advert for a product on YouTube or a product demonstration by an influencer and wanted to buy that item there and then? Google understands this and wants to allow you to buy items without leaving YouTube. Bloomberg reports the company is making moves for this to become a reality because 55% of people use videos to make purchasing decisions. It will be interesting to see how this will work, allowing us to help our clients get their products out to more people through another channel.
Meanwhile, Facebook is looking to add Shopping and Sales features to WhatsApp so users can browse products and businesses can close sales through the app. The extra features aim to bring that in-store experience to WhatsApp as sales staff and customers can interact with each other to find the right product for their needs. From browsing to purchasing, everything will be done in the app. This could be a great feature for small and medium-sized businesses, in these tough times, who thrive on their personal, in-store service.
7. We Explored Soft 404s And How to Fix Them
Soft 404s can happen on every website as we create new pages. Pages giving off this error code have been given this by Google as they consider the page a waste of user’s time and will penalise you for it. Having Soft 404s on your website is damaging your site, as you are losing organic visibility and traffic from your target audience. Find out more in Soft 404 Errors: Why They’re Bad For SEO & How To Fix Them.
8. DuckDuckGo Adds Route Planning Capabilities
For those users who are concerned by Google’s tracking of their journeys, search engine DuckDuckGo has now added route planning capabilities. The game changing map feature enables the search engine to only use IP information for current location, but doesn’t store that information afterwards. For businesses this is great, as the growing user base of DuckDuckGo can now find them more easily while users maintain their online privacy.
If you need support with your digital marketing strategy in relation to these latest developments get in touch with the expert team at Ricemedia today.