Digital marketing news update: Google update its algorithm for search engine rankings and Bing boosts mobile search

Welcome to Tech Treats, our weekly feature where we provide our clients with the latest news on all things digital marketing. From current trends and innovations, to fresh tips on getting the most out of your marketing spend, we’ll ensure you’re always kept in the loop!

Google releases Penguin 4.0 and a new local algorithm update

In a big week for SEO, Google has updated their Penguin search engine algorithm to run in real-time.

Penguin, a filter that captures ‘spammy’ websites that use unethical SEO techniques, would previously penalise websites’ search engine rankings up until the point the next filter ran.

As Search Engine Land explains, this could take a number of months and websites could be penalised for a longer period than needed. With the release of Penguin 4.0, however, webpages will be accessed on a continuous real-time basis.

As well as introducing a final version of Penguin, Google has also updated their local search algorithm. Referred to as ‘Possum’ by the local search community, Google My Business listings have been filtered so that businesses that are located outside of physical city limits have a better local ranking than they did previously.

For more information on the ‘Possum’ update, check out this article from Search Engine Land.

The TJM take: As we’ve outlined above, a big advantage of the Penguin update is that websites are no longer being penalised for longer than needed. This means that a decrease in rankings from simple mistakes won’t have such a large impact on driving traffic.

Although it’s still very new, we’re keen to see how Possum evolves and contributes to Google’s overall fight against spam.

Google rolls out Accelerated Mobile Pages globally in mobile search results

Last week, Google announced that they would be rolling out AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) globally across mobile search results.

Put simply, this means that if there are two versions of one webpage available, Google will now choose to link to the AMP version in the search results.

In a further update, Google has also revealed that AMPs will rank above apps in mobile search results. This will happen even if the user has already downloaded your app to their mobile device.

The TJM take: As AMPs open within a specific viewer and typically load in less than a second, they are much quicker to access than conventional mobile webpages. The update is clearly just Google's latest attempt to make the web more mobile-friendly.

However, with Google controlling a far larger amount of web advertising over in-app advertising, it’s easy to conclude why they are so keen to endorse web-based results (such as AMP…).

Bing partners with CBS Interactive to boost their mobile share

Following a recent syndication deal between Bing and CBS Interactive, Bing will become the exclusive search partner for a number of the content network’s websites.

CBS Interactive, whose portfolio includes Searchnow.com, CNet.com and Search.com, gains over 300 monthly visitors across its websites, with 70% of this search volume coming from mobile devices.

As Search Engine Land reports, the deal includes traffic from all devices in Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The TJM take: This is a clever deal for Bing, who currently has less than 3% mobile market share in the US. By becoming CBS Interactive’s exclusive search partner, Bing will reach their large number of mobile users and increase their mobile share as a result.

Google AdWords reintroduces device targeting

Just in case you missed it, Google has reintroduced device-level bidding in AdWords.

Following an earlier update that meant desktop and tablet were grouped together in a base bid, a May announcement revealed that device targeting would again be available for each device type including desktop, mobile and tablet.

Base bids can now also apply to mobile with bid modifiers being set for desktop and tablet.

The TJM take: Finally! Grouping desktops and tablets was never a good idea for a number of reasons; mainly, if one platform is underperforming, it can be very difficult to determine which one. With device targeting being reintroduced, however, they can now be easily separated.

Snapchat drops the ‘chat’ and introduces video-recording sunnies

Snapchat, the not-so new ‘kids on the block’, are taking the industry by storm and have revealed two major updates in the past week.

Firstly, Snapchat will be no more. Be ready for the new and improved… ‘Snap Inc.’

The second of the Snapchat updates is something that we’re really excited about; Spectacles(!), a pair of sunnies that record 30 seconds of video which can then be posted directly to your Snapchat account.

Snapchat Spectacles

Image of the new Snap Inc./Snapchat Spectacles. Source: The Verge

With a choice of black, teal or coral coloured specs, we’re thinking it would be rude not to give them a go…

The TJM take: Here at TJM, we’re not quite sure whether ‘Snap Inc.’ will actually take off given that the term ‘Snapchat’ has become a household name as such. But time will tell as to whether they will encourage the change through a winning campaign to reset the user.

With a channel as fun as Snapchat (sorry, soon to be Snap Inc.), we’d like to think that they will have a lot of fun in getting the message out there.

If you do get a pair yourself, send us your snaps! We’d love to see.

…and one last thing: say hello to slightly longer Tweets!

Following a May announcement, Twitter has finally relaxed its 140-character limit to no longer include the likes of photos, polls and quoted tweets.

Up until now, quoted tweets, photos, videos and related media would use several characters from the 140-character limit. However, although these will no longer be counted, links to external media (such as YouTube videos) still will.

The TJM take: Not only does the extended character limit give you more room to better interact with your audience directly, but it will also help to improve the copy of your promoted tweets. It’s a thumbs up from us!

Are there any topics you’d like covered in future Tech Treats updates? Send us a message on social media or drop us an email.