This week: TikTok is riding high, Fleets is going bye-bye, and outreach link building is fine.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Partners With GoDaddy to Help E-Commerce Merchants
This past week, Google announced that it teamed up with GoDaddy to help ecommerce site owners promote their products.
The partnership makes it easier for merchants to get discovered via Google Shopping, Search, and Image Search.
Additionally, GoDaddy merchants can add products to Google from their online stores. Those products are eligible for free Shopping listings, but some marketers might prefer to launch paid Smart Shopping campaigns as well.
“Expanding our work with Google simplifies creating an ecommerce presence across Google surfaces and jumpstarts sales momentum by leveraging their best in class automated advertising solutions,” said Greg Goldfarb, Vice President Commerce Products at GoDaddy.
Keep in mind, though: if you build a merchant site on GoDaddy, you might not be able to take it with you if you move to another hosting provider.
Google: Link Exchanges Violate Our Guidelines
Google’s John Mueller says that link exchanges violate Google’s guidelines.
If you’re unfamiliar with link exchanges, they’re link-building schemes between two webmasters who promise to link to each other.
Mueller fielded a question earlier this week asking when link exchanges are not considered spam.
In response, he said: “[A] link exchange where both sides are kind of like you link to me and therefore I will link back to you, kind of thing, that is essentially against our webmaster guidelines.”
He went on to say that if the majority of the links on a site are the result of a link exchange, then the site could be subject to a manual action.
But Outreach Link Building Is Okay
On the other hand, outreach link building is okay.
That’s also according to John Mueller.
Here’s what he had to say about that subject: “That’s essentially the idea behind kind of natural linking. From our point of view it’s fine to contact people and tell them it’s like by the way, I have this great content and… maybe it’s something that you would appreciate for your website. That’s generally fine.”
However, he did say that offering money in exchange for a link is a violation of Google’s guidelines.
Google July Update Completed on July 12
The Google core algorithm update finished on July 12.
Remember: this was a two-part update. So it was a big one.
It looks like most of the volatility in terms of keywords shifting around in rank occurred in early July (around the 3rd or the 4th). Since then, things have settled down to a bare simmer.
There have been seven Google algorithm updates so far this year.
Google: You Get an HTTPS Ranking Boost Even With Page Experience
Some SEOs might welcome this news.
If you’re using HTTPS for your website but get low marks on the Core Web Vitals page experience signals, you’ll still get a ranking boost.
That’s according to John Mueller.
“I mean, I haven’t checked specifically on that,” he said. “But my understanding is that the HTTPS aspect would essentially be parallel.”
He also advised SEOs to “hold on” to their HTTPS websites.
Google: Don’t Link All Your Pages to All Your Pages
Apparently, there’s such a thing as internal link spam.
According to John Mueller, it’s “fine” and “almost expected” to link to all pages from your home page. But you shouldn’t link to all pages from all pages.
One exception: if you have a “really small” website. Then it’s fine.
Also: good luck linking to all your pages from the home page if you have thousands of pages.
TikTok First Non-Facebook App to Reach 3 Billion Installs
TikTok has now exceeded 3 billion installs worldwide.
But you have to include the Chinese version of the app (Douyin) to get to that number.
That makes TikTok the first non-Facebook app to reach the much-coveted “3 billion installs” milestone.
Here’s more from Sensor Tower: “TikTok was the most downloaded and highest-grossing non-game app globally in the first half of 2021, reaching nearly 383 million first-time installs and an estimated $919.2 million in consumer spending. Although new downloads of the app were down 38 percent year-over-year from nearly 619 million in 1H 2020 – a decline partially attributable to its removal from India’s app stores – consumer spending in TikTok was up 73 percent from $530.2 million in the year-ago period.”
Sensor Tower also says that TikTok saw its greatest quarter-over-quarter growth in the second quarter of 2021.
Clubhouse Launches Messaging Channel for In-Room Conversations
Meet Backchannel. It’s an in-room messaging platform on Clubhouse.
Backchannel uses a chat-like interface that enables people to “talk” to one another while someone else in the room has the microphone.
It offers both one-on-one and group chat. Additionally, Backchannel includes an optional second inbox for message requests.
But this new messaging platform raises a question: will people use Backchannel so much that they end up ignoring the speaker in the virtual room?
If so, then that kind of defeats the purpose of Clubhouse.
By the way, Clubhouse is still operating in “by invitation only” mode. So if you want to join, you’ll need an endorsement.
Twitter Is Decommissioning Fleets
Fleets by Twitter is done. Kaput. Gone.
This past week, Twitter announced (via Twitter) that Fleets will be no more on August 3.
“We’re sorry or you’re welcome,” the tweet said.
Fleets, by the way, isn’t even one year old.
Twitter said that it’s removing Fleets due to a lack of interest.
Fleets was a version of Instagram Stories on Twitter. As far as I know, it’s the first Stories-like clone that failed.
Instagram: Auto-Captions Are on the Way
Instagram will soon make auto-captions available for regular feed posts.
Auto-captions are already available for IGTV uploads and Stories. But they haven’t been available for feed posts.
That’s about to change.
When? I don’t know.
According to Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram: “Stay tuned.”
Using auto-captions is a great way to reach people who are hard of hearing or who can’t use audio when they’re scrolling through their Instagram feeds.
Stay cool this summer by ticking off these action items:
- When Instagram auto-captions arrive, be sure to use them in your video marketing efforts.
- Think about how you can start (or improve) your TikTok marketing since it looks like that platform will continue to grow in popularity.
- If you’re linking to all your website pages from all your other website pages, make adjustments to your internal linking strategy.
- Start paying attention to how the recent algo updates have impacted your rankings and make adjustments where necessary.
- If you’re not doing any outreach as part of your link-building strategy, start that today. Google says it doesn’t violate the guidelines.
- If you’re using link exchanges to get backlinks, stop that today. Google will eventually catch on.
- If you’re a GoDaddy user with an e-commerce site, think about how you can use the new GoDaddy/Google alliance to promote your products.