We all forget to periodically check in and keep up-to-date on important news in our industry. But don’t worry! That’s what updates from Carousel30, a Capitol Communicator sponsor, are here for. Keep reading to find out what you may have missed during the past few weeks.

SEO

Did you happen to get hit with any Google penalties relating to product reviews, rich snippets, or clicks? Wouldn’t be surprising as Google has sent an estimated 500 manual actions per hour during the course of 2015. One of the major penalties was geared towards mobile sites that used redirects to guide users to unwarranted websites from a search page. While Google wasn’t busy sending manual actions, they were up to other user experiments. Google has begun to display automatic translations in search results for words that are not part of your typical language setting. In addition, Google has begun to show extended featured snippets to provide searchers with related topics. They have also taken away the ability of airline websites such as TripAdvisor and Expedia to display product rich snippets in search results due to rich snippet spam. Google also recently introduced a Mobile-Friendly website test in Search Console as well as the updated Search Quality Evaluator guidelines.

While we’re on the topic of quality, Moz launched a keyword research tool called ‘Keyword’ explorer that takes users through a keyword research process while providing metrics and scoring to help identify quality keywords during the keyword selection process. Bing also updated their iPhone app to enable image-based search to help users find similar images (or existing ones) within the search query. Although this app has been said to be ‘hit or miss’, it’s a step in the right direction for Bing.

Paid Search

In addition to Google confirming a live demo of the new AdWords redesign on May 24, AdWords has come out with an updated Editor interface which provides the ability to set frequency caps, review extensions, display app install campaigns, and more. In the chance that you aren’t familiar with AdWords, learn how to succeed from Kobe Bryant, and focus on implementing keywords that take into account what users search via voice versus typing in a search engine. For those who frown upon AdBlockers, AdBlock Plus has partnered with Flattr to offer a micropayment program as a way for publishers to monetize off those who are blocking ads.

Applications

Application development is underway and is shaping the way consumers interact with brands in 2016. Google released a “travel assistant” app to Level 2+ Local Guide Reviewers. The app is called “Trips” and will be an all encompassing app enabling users to record past trips and plan upcoming travel including flights, stay, and events/activities at the location. While this mirrors the Local Guides Google currently features, the new app provides additional functionality. However, if you plan to use Uber while travelling, beware of their new tipping policy which could affect user experience both within the app and during the ride itself. Virtual Reality has caught the eyes of many in recent months, and while Netflix has decided to take a step back before emerging into VR, consumers are diving head first into the VR realm with virtual assistance. It seems like the Mobilegeddon of 2015 will soon turn to the Virtualgeddon of 2016 as algorithmic marketing begins to hold a larger influence in the industry.

In other news…

In other news that you may have missed, Google provided its AI engine with just under 3,000 romance novels so that it could improve its understanding of language. Reddit has officially launched an iOS and Android application, and Periscope now saves broadcasts beyond 24 hours. Facebook has updated their algorithm to account for viewing time, improved the diversity of posts within a user’s News Feed, and released new ways to create and discover Live Videos, making Facebook comparable to YouTube. Instagram is also gaining a competitive advantage and is getting ready to release Brand Profiles.

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