Tech Treats: 27.06.16

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!

New Partner Integrations makes it easier to implement Google Domains

Last week, Google announced that they would be making it easier for website owners to implement a customised Google Domain.

If you create your website using Big Cartel, Duda, Selz, Square or WebFlow, implementing your domain can now be done in just a few clicks. As Google takes care of the DNS configuration, domain forwarding and related technical issues, all you need to do is choose from 200 domain name endings.

Available domains range from the likes of .business and .company, to .florist and .coffee.

The TJM take: Less on page optimisation is possible with these website builders– Google pushing them is a sign that the offsite factors (links) and content are playing a bigger role. This chimes with recent algorithm tests, but we feel that ignoring on-page factors at this point is a big mistake.

Also, these customised domains are likely to be a small trend at most. In the UK, everyone wants either .com or .co.uk, and we still struggle with the likes of using .net and .org.

Facebook to test placing ads in live videos

At this month’s VidCon, Facebook hinted that ads may soon appear in the middle of live video streams.

Following the release of Facebook Live, some publishers are already making money from the platform.

However, as Search Engine Land points out in their article, many publishers already make money from the likes of YouTube.

However, if Facebook also wants these brands to utilise Facebook Live, then they’ll have to allow them to generate revenue from the platform.

When asked about ways for more publishers to make money from their live streams, Facebook’s video project boss, Fidji Simo winked at the possibility and said, “live videos tend to run longer. It’s actually not unusual for people to broadcast live for longer than an hour. So you can easily imagine that an ad break in the middle of a live video could work well in that context.”

The TJM take: Appetite for live video has proven to be weak in the past, but that is starting to change with celebrity culture and reality TV.

We see celebrities as being the main initial users of live video (if you watch reality TV, you main concern is NOT quality!). For others (and in particular businesses where quality is important), it becomes very expensive to produce live video.

YouTube continues to be the most popular online platform for short videos

According to a recent study by comScore, preferences for online videos are higher than ever in 2016.

Not only do 30% of adults prefer watching online videos to television (with the figure increasing massively for for millennials), but when asked to pick just one online video platform, 48% of users chose YouTube.

Additionally, YouTube proved to be especially popular for accessing short-form content, with the study also determining that viewers are more likely to take action after watching ads on short-form content. These include sharing the content on social media and searching for more information.

The TJM take: When you think of online video, you think of You Tube. Even though Facebook’s video time is starting to skyrocket, YouTube is still the place to upload it.

Additionally, with more and more viewers taking action from YouTube ads, we’d recommend branching into video wherever possible.

Google now uses RankBrain for every search query

Search Engine Land has reported that Google now uses RankBrain to process every query entered into the search engine. This has grown considerably since last year when the system was used for less than 15% of queries.

RankBrain can be best described as a machine-learning artificial intelligence system. Google uses it as a query refinement tool, which means it is able to understand which search queries are similar to each other to provide the most appropriate search results.

It’s considered to be the most useful search engine ranking system behind content and links.

The TJM take: AI is very interesting (obviously!), and in this case in particular. This is because the engineers that build it can no longer fully describe with certainty which factors it is looking at and how it weights these.

Nonetheless, what we can describe is the end result, which is happy engaged users. With that in mind, a key factor will be to still do what people find useful and interesting… sounds simple right?

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.