Digital Marketing News 1/17/2023 - 1/20/2023
This week: Twitter disables API access for some social media management apps, Google’s updates have completed rolling out, and YouTube has some new analytics.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
1. Twitter Cuts off Access to Some Third-Party Apps
Hope you’re not a fan of Twitterrific. Or Tweetbot.
Because those apps have lost their access to the Twitter API.
Other apps, that you probably haven’t heard of, got blocked as well.
Twitter hasn’t yet explained the reason for its actions.
It’s speculated that at least part of the reason for cutting off access is because third-party apps don’t provide any revenue to Twitter.
But then why not block access to the big names in social media management? Like Hootsuite and Buffer?
Maybe soon they’ll get cut off as well.
2. Automattic Launches New Ad Network
Automattic, the company behind WordPress, has launched a new ad network.
It’s called Blaze. And you can use it to run ads on millions of WordPress and Tumblr sites.
Yes, Tumblr still exists.
Blaze actually launched last April. But back then it only served ads on Tumblr.
Now ads will run on WordPress.com and self-hosted publishers who use the JetPack WordPress plugin.
One word of caution, though: with this ad network you pay for impressions, not clicks. So it’s probably better for building brand-name awareness than getting immediate conversions.
3. Google’s Helpful Content and Link Spam Updates Have Been Completed
Google has finally completed its rollout of the Helpful Content and Link Spam updates.
They both completed on January 12.
The Helpful Content update started on December 5.
The Link Spam update started on December 14.
They were only supposed to take a couple of weeks to roll out. But Google postponed the updates until after the holiday season.
4. Google Issues Yet Another Warning About AI-Generated Content
In case you missed the news, Bankrate recently started publishing AI-generated content on its website. And the company wasn’t shy about admitting that.
On the same page as one of its AI-generated articles, you can read this disclaimer: “this article was generated using automated technology and thoroughly edited and fact-checked by an editor on our editorial staff."
So it’s not entirely auto-generated.
Still, Bankrate’s use of AI to create online content raised a few eyebrows.
In response, Google’s search liaison Danny Sullivan chimed in with this warning: “As said before when asked about AI, content created primarily for search engine rankings, however, it is done, is against our guidance. If the content is helpful & created for people first, that's not an issue.”
He went on to say that Google will “take action” against content generated through automated processes.
5. Google: We Don’t Conduct Link-Buying Sting Operations
You won’t have to search for a long time online before you find people selling “SEO linking packages” that offer backlinks to your site.
Those linking packages are in violation of Google’s guidelines.
So you might be asking: does Google conduct sting operations to capture the people selling these link scheme services?
Nope. Because the company doesn’t need to.
This past week on Reddit, Google’s John Mueller said that he gets sent link-buying offers all the time to an official Google email address.
In other words, he doesn’t need to go find the SEO linking packages. They come to him.
So the black hatters are basically shooting themselves in the foot these days.
6. YouTube Rolls out New Analytics
If you’d like to further optimize your video marketing, YouTube is here to help.
The company is rolling out additional analytics for publishers:
- Subscribers per content type - see which types of content gets you new subscribers.
- Views per content type (on mobile) - learn about which types of content are getting the most views on YouTube Studio.
No timeline for the updates. So keep checking to see if you have access to the new metrics.
7. Google Probably Won’t Increase Indexing Request Quota in Search Console
By now you probably know that you can log on to Google Search Console and request indexing for a new site.
But did you know that there’s a maximum number of indexing requests you can submit on a given day?
And it looks like Google won’t be increasing that quota any time soon.
This past week on Mastodon, John Mueller said that “given how much junk we get submitted there, I don't see us increasing those limits.”
He went on to advise webmasters to make their sites “well-crawlable.”
8. Google: Publishing Frequency Doesn’t Have Anything to Do With Spam
You might think that if you crank out a lot of content on a daily basis, Google might view all of those new articles as spam.
Publishing frequency has nothing to do with whether or not Google brands your site as spammy.
This past week on Twitter, John Mueller said that “Google's algorithms don't look at the content volume as a spam signal alone.”
He went on to say that posting every day is fine if you have new and relevant things to share.
9. Google Will Ignore robots.txt If It Returns a 4xx Status Code
If for whatever reason, your robots.txt returns an HTTP status code in the 400’s when Googlebot examines it, then you can expect that Googlebot won’t follow any of the rules specified in that file.
Gary Illyes confirmed that much this past week on LinkedIn.
"PSA from my inbox: if you serve your robots.txt with a 403 HTTP status code, all rules in the file will be ignored by Googlebot,” he wrote. “Client errors (4xx, except 429) mean unavailable robots.txt, as in, a 404 and a 403 are equivalent in this case."
The first month of the new year is more than half over. Better take care of these action items:
- Make sure your robots.txt files return HTTP status codes of 200.
- Check out those new YouTube analytics to get more insight about the people who like your YouTube channel.
- If you’re thinking about using AI-generated content to save time or money, don’t. Google will pick up on that trick and you’ll lose rank.
- Check your keyword rankings to see if the recent updates had any impact on where you stand in the search engine results pages.
Digital Marketing News 1/9/2023 - 1/13/2023
This week: Google says that repetition is the key to success when it comes to putting a date on your content, Microsoft is having fun with ChatGPT, and YouTube will soon monetize Shorts.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
1. Google: Use Multiple Date Signals on Web Pages
Do you think the meta date alone is enough? Think again.
Google recommends that you use multiple date signals on your blog posts and online articles.
This is to ensure the correct date is displayed in the SERPs, and help you maintain the integrity and reliability of your site.
According to Big G’s docs: “Google doesn’t depend on a single date factor because all factors can be prone to issues. That’s why our systems look at several factors to determine our best estimate of when a page was published or significantly updated.”
- Use the <time> element
- Use the lastmod tag
- Use the pubdate tag
- Use the article:published_time tag
It’s in your interest as well as in Google’s to ensure that the proper date gets reflected in search results.
2. Microsoft Bing With ChatGPT Rolls out in March
Last week I pointed out that it’s a bad idea to use ChatGPT in content marketing. Search engines don’t like auto-generated content.
Microsoft plans to update the Bing search engine so that it can answer search queries in complete sentences using OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool.
The update is expected to roll out this March.
It’s not surprising that Microsoft would use ChatGPT. The company invested a billion bucks in OpenAI about three years ago.
And now Microsoft is looking for some payback.
But will it give users what they want? Time will tell.
3. Google: Feel Free to Use ChatGPT for Title Tag Ideas
Speaking of ChatGPT, Google’s John Mueller says it’s okay to use it to generate titles.
The subject came up this past week on Mastodon.
Here’s what Mueller said: "I don't know if AI is the right approach to making titles & descriptions, but if you're running out of ideas, and especially if you see pages showing up in search for the wrong terms, it seems like a good way to get inspiration or to try new things out. I would strongly discourage blindly following it though: you know your audience much better than any tool."
So there’s clearly a caveat involved.
Mueller also said that he and his fellow Googlers spend a lot of time working on titles themselves. Probably a good idea to follow their example.
4. Google: Updates Might Take a Couple More Weeks
It looks like the Helpful Content and Link Spam updates might take two more weeks to roll out.
The subject came up this past week on Twitter with Dr. Marie Haynes asking Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan about the timeline for the updates.
“Likely within two weeks, maybe only one,” Sullivan replied. “But that’s not a guarantee. Timings might change.”
As I noted last week, those updates went on pause during the holiday season.
5. Google Drops 110-Character Limit From Article Headline Structured Data
According to a recent update to Google’s structured data help docs on headline properties, you should “consider using a concise title, as long titles may be truncated on some devices.”
In the past, that same advice read: “The value [of the title] should not exceed 110 characters.”
But even without that restriction, take heed to Google’s warning that very long titles might get truncated on mobile platforms.
According to Google’s John Mueller, you should put it below the HTML <head> tag.
“The html headers (<head>) should be pretty much on top,” Mueller said on a Reddit thread. “I’d move any JS to below the HTML headers, and check with the rendering tool in search console that the JS doesn’t mess up the <head> section.”
Putting the code at the bottom of the page enables the HTML to get rendered first. That means the page loads more quickly and your visitors get a better experience.
7. Google: Remove Redundant Keywords Across Match Types
The drama surrounding the removal of redundant keywords in Google Ads continues.
Once upon a time, you were advised to remove redundant keywords within the same ad groups, landing page, bidding strategy, and match type.
But now Google says you should remove redundant keywords across match types.
For example, let’s say you’re using “women’s hats” as a phrase match keyword and “ladies hats” as a broad match keyword. Google advises you to get rid of the phrase match keyword because it’s covered by broad match.
Google said it’s making the change to help you manage your accounts more easily.
But advertisers aren’t buying that.
Many strategists think Google is nudging people towards broad match keywords with the change.
8. YouTube’s Shorts Monetization Starts in February
You can make money off of your YouTube Shorts videos starting next month.
“Starting February 1st, 2023, monetizing partners will be able to earn money from ads that are viewed between videos in the Shorts Feed,” YouTube said in a statement. “This new revenue sharing model will replace the YouTube Shorts Fund.”
So you’ll share the revenue with other Shorts creators.
9. Google: Core Web Vitals Not a Discover Requirement
You don’t need great Core Web Vitals scores to get your content included in Google Discover.
According to John Mueller, “we don’t have that connection documented anywhere.”
He went on to say that he’d be surprised if Core Web Vitals is a requirement for Discover.
Before you start that 3-day weekend, take care of these action items:
- If you’re into YouTube Shorts for the money, think about how you can maximize your revenue stream when the monetization starts next month.
- Some advertisers are refusing to accept Google’s recommendation to remove redundant keywords across match types. Do your own research and make the decision that’s best for your business.
- Add multiple date signals to your web pages so Google knows for sure when those pages got published.
Digital Marketing News 1/3/2023 - 1/6/2023
This week: Google tells you which SEO skills you’ll need for the coming year, ChatGPT will start publishing digital watermarks along with content, and Linked announces some new goodies.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
1. Google: SEO Skills Needed for ‘23 Are Curiosity and Persistence
Welcome to 2023! Wanna know what SEO skills you’ll need to succeed this year?
According to Google’s John Mueller, you’ll need curiosity and persistence.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked Mueller the following question: “please what are the skills an SEO needs to acquire this 2023 to be able to get an SEO job.”
His answer was what I’ve already shared with you: “Curiosity and persistence.”
By “curiosity,” Mueller means that you should always ask yourself why. Why are some of your web pages more successful than others? Why did that article hit the top 10 for a specific keyword in Google search results? Etc.
And by persistence, he means that you shouldn’t expect any magic bullets. SEO takes time. Give your site at least six months of consistent optimization before things start turning your way.
2. Google Helpful Content and Link Spam Rollout Delayed Due to Holidays
Hey, the folks that work at Google take vacations, too.
"Sometimes things take longer, for good or for bad,” Mueller wrote on Mastodon. “We try to reduce the amount of change in our systems over the holidays for safety reasons, and that sometimes means things that started before take a bit longer to complete."
The Link Spam update was in its second week when it paused. The Helpful Content update was in its third week.
3. Google Search Adds Grammar Check
You probably know all about the Google Search spell-check feature. If you’re like me, you’ve misspelled more than your fair share of words when doing an online search only to have Google correct you.
But now there’s a grammar check feature.
Here’s what Google wrote in its help doc: “To analyze the language, grammar check uses AI systems and might not be 100% accurate, especially with partial sentences. You can use Google’s grammar check feature to check if a phrase or sentence is written in a grammatically correct way or how to correct it, if not.”
Key takeaway for us SEO types here is that we need to make sure our long tail keywords use proper grammar. Otherwise, we’re not likely to get a good rank.
4. Google: Don’t Use Nofollow When Linking to Your Social Media Profile
For some reason, website owners think they need to use the “nofollow” attribute when linking to their social media profiles. But that’s not the case.
John Mueller was definitive about this on Reddit: “Links to your own profile? Absolutely not.”
Instead, Mueller said that you should include “rel=me” in the link. That way, folks know that the profile is yours.
5. Google: YouTube Links Won’t Help With Indexing
Backlinks from reputable sites like YouTube will help your site get indexed faster, right? Wrong.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked if YouTube links will help with SEO. Somebody else chimed in and said that YouTube backlinks won’t help with SEO, but they’ll get your site indexed faster.
John Mueller replied to that thread with one word: “Nope.”
But that other guy was right when he said that YouTube links won’t help with SEO.
6. ChatGPT Watermarking Could Put a Damper on Your Auto-Generated Content Plans
If you’re the typical overworked content marketer, then you’re probably looking for ways to write articles and blog posts more efficiently. Perhaps you’ve even looked at ChatGPT.
ChatGPT enables busy strategists such as yourself to generate content automagically. It’s a long-form question-answering tool brought to you by OpenAI.
So when you first heard about ChatGPT (even if you just heard about it in the last paragraph), you may have thought to yourself: “Aha! I’ll just use that to produce content while I focus on more important things.”
But there’s a problem with that idea. It looks like ChatGPT will soon include a digital watermark in its output. That watermark will inform search engines that the content was auto-generated.
Search engines don’t like auto-generated content.
Some folks think you can get around the digital watermarking by using another tool that paraphrases the ChatGPT content. But that seems like more trouble than it’s worth.
Bottom line: there’s no good news here if you’re looking for shortcuts with content marketing. You’ll either have to pay somebody to do it or do it yourself.
The AI won’t save you.
7. LinkedIn Announces Updates for 2023
Wondering what’s new for LinkedIn this year? Here’s what’s new:
- Improved Video Content - Enjoy auto-generated captions in English. You can edit the captions before you publish the video.
- Standardized Accessibility Job Titles - Choose from standardized titles such as “Accessibility Designer” or “Accessibility Engineer” if you work in the accessibility space.
- Alt Text in Ads - Add alt text to images in ads.
- Personalized Job Collections - Look at job opportunities without actually performing a search.
- B2B Product Search Enhancements - Look for new category filters and improved product pages.
- Post Scheduling - Plan your posts in advance so they get in front of the right audience at the right time.
- Content Analytics - Gain insights about how well your content resonates with your core audience.
Look for these rollouts to update individually overtime during the next 12 months.
8. Google: We Ignore Hidden Text on a Page
Hopefully, you’re not trying to manipulate search engines with hidden text on a web page. But in case you are, you should know that Google ignores hidden text on a page.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked John Mueller the following question: “Just discovered a site with hidden text. Its main keywords have white text on white background many times throughout the pages. And ranking extremely well. John, how could this be happening in 2022?”
Mueller replied as follows: “Our systems are pretty good at recognizing hidden text, good at ignoring it, and good at focusing on what's otherwise on the site. Some sites do stupid things together with good things and are still useful for users. If you flag it to them, they might fix it.”
9. Twitter Adds Public View Counts to Tweets
You may have missed this news over the Christmas break, but Twitter recently added impression metrics to tweets.
But you won’t just see impressions for your own tweets. You’ll see impressions from other people’s tweets as well.
The impression metric appears with a mini bar graph on the left-hand side just below the tweet.
According to Elon Musk, more than 90% of Twitter users read but don’t engage with Twitter posts. You’ll probably see that stat reflected in your timeline when you take a look at the impression metrics.
Make it your New Year’s resolution to take care of these action items:
- If you’re trying to get a better rank by stuffing keywords in hidden text, stop that immediately. It doesn’t work.
- Think about how you can use the forthcoming LinkedIn updates to get ahead of your competitors.
- Find a way to generate great content without relying on an AI or spinner. Those options won’t work for SEO.
- Stop trying to optimize your site with YouTube links. Instead, generate great content that earns you backlinks.
- Think about how you can use both curiosity and persistence to enhance your SEO skills.
Digital Marketing News 12/19/2022 - 12/23/2022
This week: there’s a new letter in what was once E-A-T, GA4 is rolling out a landing page report, and Twitter launches Blue for Business.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
1. Google: WordPress Not Better for SEO
This past week on Reddit, Google’s John Mueller said there’s no advantage to using WordPress as your content management system.
When asked specifically about the benefits of WordPress, Mueller said: “Not for SEO, but you can focus more on the content if you don’t spend all your time creating a new CMS for yourself. (some people prefer making a CMS, so YMMV).”
So WordPress makes it easier for you to crank out great content. But you won’t earn a better rank just because you’re using it.
2. Google Analytics Rolling out Landing Page Report
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is gradually rolling out a new landing page report.
When it’s available, you can use it to collect analytics about visits to your landing pages. Look for the report in the Engagement section on the left-hand navbar.
In the past, you had to manually create your own landing page reports.
3. Google Sunsets Web Light
Google is officially shuttering Web Light.
If you’re unfamiliar with Web Light, it’s Google’s tool to serve a leaner, meaner version of web pages more quickly than their original counterparts.
“We introduced Web Light to enable us to serve faster, lighter pages to people searching on entry-level devices,” Google said in a statement. “While this feature has worked as intended and enabled broader access to the richness of the web, increased affordability of more powerful smartphones has diminished the need for such functionality. We remain committed to evolving and refining the Search experience to meet the changing needs of our users.”
Google also retired the user agent named “googleweblight.” So you should no longer see that agent crawling your website.
4. Google: Don’t Expect a New Core Update by Year-End
According to Google, there’s no algo update that the company will squeeze in before the big ball drops in Times Square.
“FWIW, just to be clear, there’s no core update lined up for the rest of the year,” John Mueller tweeted recently.
He went on to say that just because there’s no core update, that doesn’t mean you won’t see changes. The link spam and helpful content updates are still rolling out.
5. Study: Upvoting Reviews Keeps Them on Google Local Longer
According to Joy Hawkins, upvoting reviews tend to keep them in local listings for a longer period of time than reviews that don’t get upvotes.
The study says that there’s a direct correlation between the number of upvotes a review receives and how long it lasts on a Google local listing.
Hawkins’ team spent six months tracking reviews for companies in several industries, including lawn care, jewelry, marketing, and handyman.
Reviews with five or more upvotes lasted 282 days while reviews with no upvotes lasted just 94 days.
6. Instagram Rolls out Recap Templates
Want to give your followers a summary of your year on Instagram? If so, you can do that with a recap template.
And you can even throw in a celebrity narration to explain what’s going on!
So if you want popular influencers like DJ Khaled, Bad Bunny, or Badshah telling your 2022 story, have at it.
Here’s what Instagram says about its recap feature: “After choosing your template and narration, you’ll manually select your own content - videos, photos and memories - from the past year to feature in your Reel and share with your followers.”
The recap templates will be available for several weeks into 2023.
7. E-A-T Just Became E-E-A-T
If you’re into content marketing, you probably already know about E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness).
But now there’s a new “E” in town: Experience.
Google updated its quality raters guidelines to include that new “E.” So if you’re producing YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) content, then you’d better have experience in addition to expertise.
In explaining the change, Google says that there are "some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has first-hand, life experience on the topic at hand."
In other words: real-life experience in addition to knowledge. It’s one thing to have a medical degree, it’s another to have 30 years of experience practicing medicine.
Google still says that trust is the most important member of the E-E-A-T family.
8. Google Unveils In-Video Search Tech
Google’s got a new toy to help people find relevant content online: in-video search technology.
The company is currently piloting the search within videos on your smartphone’s search app.
Google says it’s adding the feature because some users have trouble finding exactly what they need in long-form video. I think we can all relate.
However, right now video search is only available in India. But look for it to go worldwide if the pilot program proves successful.
9. Twitter Launches Blue for Business
Twitter is rolling out Blue for Business. It’s a new version of Blue Verified that distinguishes business accounts from personal accounts.
Blue for Business users get a square profile photo and a gold checkmark.
Yes. In spite of the fact that it’s called “Blue,” the checkmark itself is gold.
Blue for Business users can also link to affiliated Twitter users. Use that feature to create your own LinkedIn-style networks.
“Businesses can affiliate their leadership, brands, support handles, employees or teams,” Twitter said in a statement. “Journalists, sports team players or movie characters can all be affiliated. You name it, we got it. Each affiliate will be verified and officially linked to their parent handle based on a list provided by the parent business.”
Of course, all those benefits will cost you money. So be prepared to fork over some cash if you want Blue for Business.
Get this homework done before you go home for the holidays:
- Think about whether Blue for Business will benefit your brand. Then, decide if the cost is worth it.
- If you’re producing YMYL content, make sure you highlight your experience in the field as well as your expertise.
- Think about how you can use Instagram recap templates to connect with your audience and promote your business.
- Get some of your most loyal customers to upvote your best reviews on Google local. That way, those great reviews will hang around longer and you’ll more likely attract business.
- Take a look at that GA4 landing page report and optimize your campaigns accordingly.
Digital Marketing News 12/12/2022 - 12/16/2022
This week: TikTok still tops the charts, but it’s in danger here in the U.S. Also: Meta’s got some new money-making opportunities and LinkedIn offers new ad targeting options.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
1. Meta Offers New Ways to Make Money
Meta is giving you new opportunities to rake in some cash.
For starters, Facebook is testing Stars on user-generated content.
If you’re unfamiliar with Stars, they’re Facebook’s answer to Twitch’s Bits or YouTube’s SuperChats. Think of Stars as digital currency that you can convert to real currency.
And keep in mind: December is gifting season. You can receive bonus Stars from 12/7 thru 12/21 if you achieve certain goals.
Meta is also testing ads on Facebook Reels and a subscription service.
Additionally, Facebook is lowering its payment threshold from $100 to $25. That means you only need to earn $25 before you get paid.
2. Search Console Might Soon Show You Content Suggestions
Google Search Console is testing a new feature called “Content Ideas.”
You likely won’t see it yet in your Search Console. But other folks have noticed it.
And it looks a lot like the Question Hub that Google rolled out a couple of years ago.
Question Hub enables “creators to create richer content by leveraging unanswered questions.” Use it to gain rank by answering questions that people in your target market are asking.
Keep an eye out for Content Ideas in the near future.
3. Google Rolling out a Helpful Content Update This Month
‘Tis the season for a Google update.
This past week, Google confirmed the launch of yet another helpful content update. The software started rolling out on Dec. 5.
The update affects all languages. It will take about two weeks to complete.
And once again: Google is targeting website owners who create content designed to manipulate the search engines instead of helping people.
So look for a ranking drop if that’s what you’ve been doing.
4. Google: Only Update Article Date When Significantly Changing Content
Some webmasters like to occasionally update the date on their content. That way, visitors will think it’s fresh.
But it’s not fresh. It’s the same old content.
And Google’s John Mueller says you shouldn’t update the date unless you change the content “significantly.”
Here’s what somebody asked him on Twitter recently: “Hi,@JohnMu 4/5 weeks to go to enter in 2023. So, if we start updating years on content titles and all in December how will Google act to sudden change in year which is not came yet?”
"Is there significantly new content?” Mueller replied. “Then update the dates. Is there no significantly new content? Then don't update the dates. We see a lot of spam & low-quality content that just arbitrarily updates dates ("Best fax machine for 2023"), it's pretty obvious & embarrassing."
5. Google: You Should Never Need HTML Sitemaps
You probably have an XML sitemap for your website. At least I hope you do.
But do you have an HTML sitemap? If not, don’t worry about it.
Here’s what he said on Mastodon recently: “I changed my mind on HTML sitemaps over the years, they should never be needed. Sites small & large should always have a clear navigational structure. If you feel the need for a HTML sitemap, spend the time improving your site's architecture instead. HTML sitemaps fit into the same bin with HTML loading spinners.”
Way back in 2009, Google said that HTML sitemaps come first. But apparently both Google’s algorithm and Mueller’s mind have changed since that time.
6. LinkedIn Announces New Ad Targeting Options
This past week, LinkedIn announced new targeting options. And they respect people’s privacy.
For starters, the company is expanding Group Identity targeting to all ad formats.
“With Group Identity, we’re leveraging our first- and zero-party data, such as title, seniority, industry, interests, etc., to help you reach buying committees, measure your campaign performance, and optimize towards the objectives that matter to your business,” LinkedIn said in a statement.
Additionally, LinkedIn is testing new ways to integrate your conversion data with its ad platform.
Finally, the company is launching On-Device Experimentation for split-testing and Brand Lift. It’s a feature that enables randomization and attribution processing via a virtual device.
On-Device Experimentation is a great way to boost ad performance while maintaining a commitment to privacy.
7. TikTok Tops Download Charts in November, but Growth Slows
It was the most downloaded app in November. That’s according to the latest data from AppFigures.
Although TikTok earned first place overall, it was third on Google Play. There, Instagram and Facebook topped the chart.
It’s not all good news for TikTok, though. Sensor Tower says that U.S. installs of TikTok actually declined year-over-year by about a third.
And keep in mind that the app is banned in India. So folks in that country who want a short-form video fix will need to get it from Instagram or YouTube Shorts.
8. U.S. Lawmakers Call for TikTok Ban
Some folks in Congress want to follow India’s lead.
This past week, Sen. Marco Rubio introduced legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S. The bill enjoys bipartisan support.
“This isn’t about creative videos - this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day,” Rubio said. “We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good.”
But it’s not just lawmakers that have a problem with the app. Recently, FBI Director Chris Wray and FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr have expressed concerns about TikTok.
9. Google: There’s No Helpful Content Score
By now you know that there are Core Web Vitals scores. But is there anything like a Helpful Content Score?
"There is no ‘HCS score’ or threshold at which HCS would switch from unhelpful to helpful for SEO,” John Mueller wrote on Mastodon.
Instead of looking for a score, he advised website owners to ask themselves the following question when posting content: “Does this make the site more helpful?”
If so, then post it.
You may be home for the holidays but you should still take time to handle these action items:
- If you’re relying heavily on TikTok to promote your business, think about alternatives in the event that it goes away.
- If you’re in the B2B space, take a look at those new LinkedIn ad targeting options.
- Don’t bother updating the dates on your articles in a few weeks just to make people think your content is fresh. Instead, actually freshen up the content. Then update the date.
- Keep an eye on your keyword placements in the SERPs as Google rolls out its update this month.
- If you use social media to earn income, take a look at those new money-making opportunities from Meta.