What does Google’s “Project Owl” mean for search and fake news?

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Have you heard of Google’s “Project Owl” yet?

If not, then you’re in for some fun, because this is a hoot.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Fall of 2016: Trump gets nominated to the presidency.

Still in fall of 2016: All around the world, people are asking “WHO? WHAT? HOW?” That’s when researchers found that American voters were influenced by misinformation on the internet.

The world is completely distressed. They demand that 1) someone be responsible and 2) for them to take action and fix the ‘fake news’ problem.

Oh – hi Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg.

Who else other than Google and Facebook, right?

The public wants solutions from search engines and social media giants to tackle ‘fake news’ and any other misinformation on the internet.

May 2017: TA-DA! Welcome Project Owl.

Project Owl is introduced as Google’s answer to addressing fake news. It plans to do this with new feedback forms for search suggestions and the answer box, and authoritative content prioritization in the answer box.

And no, we don’t see this affecting marketers or SEOs. As long as you continue to practice white hat methods, your day-to-day should be the same. However, given this can affect searchers’ user experience, we see a few challenges.

Challenge #1: Search engines are supposed to be neutral

Google is walking on a tight rope. If search engines manage to accomplish tackling fake news, then first, that feels like a violation of the first amendment but second, they will come off as bias to specific news/media sources.

Remember, feedback from some users will change the search experience for all on that query. It will be difficult to differentiate what’s ‘right’ for one searcher versus what’s ‘right’ for the other.

But, you know what? When personalized search engines are the new thing, this may not even be a challenge.

Challenge #2: The proposed plan

Let’s take a step back and look at Google’s track record when they are “working to fix” something. Just like many updates in the past, Google says one thing and marketers notice something completely different.

Right now, “Project Owl”, according to Google, will rely on the searcher to provide feedback on the autocomplete or on the featured snippet.

But, we’re missing the obvious.

Let me ask you: When was the last time you went in and changed any of your Google search settings? Or rather, did you even know that it was possible to change Google search settings?

Don’t feel bad – I know SEOs who didn’t even know they could do that!

Google said and I quote, “We plan to use this feedback to help improve our algorithms.” That is what they told us years ago about link disavow and they still don’t have that right. My take is that it will be several years before Google is able to filter out “fake news”.

I personally think TMZ.com spreads lots of fake news, yet they rank for 2,133,648 keywords on Google; and I don’t think Google is going to start taking their keywords away anytime soon.

As you can see I don’t think Google is going to put much into this and even if they do it will take years before it’s perfected. I believe Google is in crisis mode right now but sooner than later people will forget and Google will move on or deprioritize this.

Challenge #3: Obscure and infrequent queries

The third part of Google’s solution is prioritizing authoritative content specifically for obscure and infrequent queries. But, when it’s already such a niche group, how can you determine who that authority should go to?

Challenge #4: The blackhats

Like every other SEO tactic, there is always the one group of SEOs that capitalize on Google making an algorithmic change or giving us the capabilities to affect how the algorithm reacts.

I know blackhat SEOs are going to jump at this chance to devalue other people’s content that don’t serve theirs or their client’s interest. They will probably work from C class IP addresses and run bots on specific timing intervals to make it seem natural.

Now what?

Overall, a first step is better than no step at all, but here are two ways I recommend as a stronger combat against fake news.

First, Google should not only rely on end users to report content that is fake or offensive. Its focus should be less on that and more on perfecting RankBrain, Google’s artificial intelligence.

Second, it’s not just up to the Googles and the Facebooks to take action. It’s also a user’s responsibility to determine whether a search listing is worthy of your click and trust.

When you see something that sounds outrageous, it probably is. Hoaxes appeal to natural human curiosity, which is why it’s hard not to click, but still, that’s a choice you get to make.

Instagram Stories Can Now Be Searched Via Location, Hashtag

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Instagram wants to make it easier for you to find the Stories you are seeking.

The Facebook-owned firm has introduced new features that allow you to search for stories using a location or hashtag.

Instagram stories location“You’ll see a new story ring at the top of Explore filled with stories happening near you. These stories come from people who have used location stickers on their stories,” Instagram said in a blog post. “You can also search for any location around the world, and you’ll see a story ring for that place at the top of the location page.”

Hashtag stories, which will also appear on Explore, will help you discover stories that are relevant to you. Upon searching for a hashtag, a story ring may appear at the top of the page with stories using that hashtag.

You can also add a location sticker or hashtag to your story, which may mean you’ll be included in the larger story.

“If your story is added, you’ll see a line at the top of your stories viewer list showing how many people saw it in the larger story,” Instagram said. “If you want to use a location or hashtag sticker but don’t want your story to appear on Explore, tap the X on your stories viewer list.”

Location stories on Explore are available to iOS and Android users now while hashtag stories will roll out over the coming weeks.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Instagram Stories Can Now Be Searched Via Location, Hashtag appeared first on SiteProNews.

Instagram Stories Can Now Be Searched Via Location, Hashtag

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Instagram wants to make it easier for you to find the Stories you are seeking.

The Facebook-owned firm has introduced new features that allow you to search for stories using a location or hashtag.

Instagram stories location“You’ll see a new story ring at the top of Explore filled with stories happening near you. These stories come from people who have used location stickers on their stories,” Instagram said in a blog post. “You can also search for any location around the world, and you’ll see a story ring for that place at the top of the location page.”

Hashtag stories, which will also appear on Explore, will help you discover stories that are relevant to you. Upon searching for a hashtag, a story ring may appear at the top of the page with stories using that hashtag.

You can also add a location sticker or hashtag to your story, which may mean you’ll be included in the larger story.

“If your story is added, you’ll see a line at the top of your stories viewer list showing how many people saw it in the larger story,” Instagram said. “If you want to use a location or hashtag sticker but don’t want your story to appear on Explore, tap the X on your stories viewer list.”

Location stories on Explore are available to iOS and Android users now while hashtag stories will roll out over the coming weeks.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Instagram Stories Can Now Be Searched Via Location, Hashtag appeared first on SiteProNews.

Instagram Stories Can Now Be Searched Via Location, Hashtag

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Instagram wants to make it easier for you to find the Stories you are seeking.

The Facebook-owned firm has introduced new features that allow you to search for stories using a location or hashtag.

Instagram stories location“You’ll see a new story ring at the top of Explore filled with stories happening near you. These stories come from people who have used location stickers on their stories,” Instagram said in a blog post. “You can also search for any location around the world, and you’ll see a story ring for that place at the top of the location page.”

Hashtag stories, which will also appear on Explore, will help you discover stories that are relevant to you. Upon searching for a hashtag, a story ring may appear at the top of the page with stories using that hashtag.

You can also add a location sticker or hashtag to your story, which may mean you’ll be included in the larger story.

“If your story is added, you’ll see a line at the top of your stories viewer list showing how many people saw it in the larger story,” Instagram said. “If you want to use a location or hashtag sticker but don’t want your story to appear on Explore, tap the X on your stories viewer list.”

Location stories on Explore are available to iOS and Android users now while hashtag stories will roll out over the coming weeks.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Instagram Stories Can Now Be Searched Via Location, Hashtag appeared first on SiteProNews.

Instagram Stories Can Now Be Searched Via Location, Hashtag

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Instagram wants to make it easier for you to find the Stories you are seeking.

The Facebook-owned firm has introduced new features that allow you to search for stories using a location or hashtag.

Instagram stories location“You’ll see a new story ring at the top of Explore filled with stories happening near you. These stories come from people who have used location stickers on their stories,” Instagram said in a blog post. “You can also search for any location around the world, and you’ll see a story ring for that place at the top of the location page.”

Hashtag stories, which will also appear on Explore, will help you discover stories that are relevant to you. Upon searching for a hashtag, a story ring may appear at the top of the page with stories using that hashtag.

You can also add a location sticker or hashtag to your story, which may mean you’ll be included in the larger story.

“If your story is added, you’ll see a line at the top of your stories viewer list showing how many people saw it in the larger story,” Instagram said. “If you want to use a location or hashtag sticker but don’t want your story to appear on Explore, tap the X on your stories viewer list.”

Location stories on Explore are available to iOS and Android users now while hashtag stories will roll out over the coming weeks.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Instagram Stories Can Now Be Searched Via Location, Hashtag appeared first on SiteProNews.

Snapchat Debuts Custom Stories

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Snap wants to make sharing special events and outings easier than ever.

Snap custom stories 2

Snap custom stories.

The popular photo and video sharing app has launched custom Stories, a revamped version of its original Stories tool, that is geared toward sharing events or special outings.

“Today we’re announcing a new way to create custom Stories – about anything, with any of your friends, even for a specific location! It’s perfect for a trip, a birthday party, or a new baby story just for the family,” Snap said in a blog post.

The new feature offers you the option of Geofencing your Story to a specific location. These geofilters use location indicators to determine where you are.

To create a new custom Story, simply tap the ‘Create Story’ icon at the top right corner of the Stories page. Once you name your story, you can invite friends to view or participate.

You can create only three custom Stories at a time and they will disappear if no one has contributed to them within 24 hours.

Check out the new feature in action below.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Snapchat Debuts Custom Stories appeared first on SiteProNews.

Snapchat Debuts Custom Stories

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Snap wants to make sharing special events and outings easier than ever.

Snap custom stories 2

Snap custom stories.

The popular photo and video sharing app has launched custom Stories, a revamped version of its original Stories tool, that is geared toward sharing events or special outings.

“Today we’re announcing a new way to create custom Stories – about anything, with any of your friends, even for a specific location! It’s perfect for a trip, a birthday party, or a new baby story just for the family,” Snap said in a blog post.

The new feature offers you the option of Geofencing your Story to a specific location. These geofilters use location indicators to determine where you are.

To create a new custom Story, simply tap the ‘Create Story’ icon at the top right corner of the Stories page. Once you name your story, you can invite friends to view or participate.

You can create only three custom Stories at a time and they will disappear if no one has contributed to them within 24 hours.

Check out the new feature in action below.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Snapchat Debuts Custom Stories appeared first on SiteProNews.

Snapchat Debuts Custom Stories

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Snap wants to make sharing special events and outings easier than ever.

Snap custom stories 2

Snap custom stories.

The popular photo and video sharing app has launched custom Stories, a revamped version of its original Stories tool, that is geared toward sharing events or special outings.

“Today we’re announcing a new way to create custom Stories – about anything, with any of your friends, even for a specific location! It’s perfect for a trip, a birthday party, or a new baby story just for the family,” Snap said in a blog post.

The new feature offers you the option of Geofencing your Story to a specific location. These geofilters use location indicators to determine where you are.

To create a new custom Story, simply tap the ‘Create Story’ icon at the top right corner of the Stories page. Once you name your story, you can invite friends to view or participate.

You can create only three custom Stories at a time and they will disappear if no one has contributed to them within 24 hours.

Check out the new feature in action below.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Snapchat Debuts Custom Stories appeared first on SiteProNews.

Snapchat Debuts Custom Stories

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Snap wants to make sharing special events and outings easier than ever.

Snap custom stories 2

Snap custom stories.

The popular photo and video sharing app has launched custom Stories, a revamped version of its original Stories tool, that is geared toward sharing events or special outings.

“Today we’re announcing a new way to create custom Stories – about anything, with any of your friends, even for a specific location! It’s perfect for a trip, a birthday party, or a new baby story just for the family,” Snap said in a blog post.

The new feature offers you the option of Geofencing your Story to a specific location. These geofilters use location indicators to determine where you are.

To create a new custom Story, simply tap the ‘Create Story’ icon at the top right corner of the Stories page. Once you name your story, you can invite friends to view or participate.

You can create only three custom Stories at a time and they will disappear if no one has contributed to them within 24 hours.

Check out the new feature in action below.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Snapchat Debuts Custom Stories appeared first on SiteProNews.

Which PPC Strategy Offers the Best Results?

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“Never let your ads write checks that your website can’t cash.”

Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist at Google 

PPC advertising saw some major shake ups in 2016.

Early in the year, Google decided to kill off right-side text ads. Several months later, the big G announced that Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) would soon be a reality; on Aug. 1, 2016, this promise came to fruition.

Many industry experts hold the text ad expansion as one of the biggest changes to Google AdWords in more than 16 years.

Outside of Google’s platform, marketers also gained access to a variety of new tools and features that spanned Bing, Facebook, Instagram and other advertising platforms.

As marketers continue to gain unprecedented access to various PPC advertising methods and channels, the discipline will continue to become more targeted and powerful in its ability to reach consumers at the perfect moment in their journey.

What this means, however, is that there are more PPC options today than ever before. For small business owners, this can be a bit of a quandary considering that they must figure out which avenues will provide the most meaningful results for their businesses.

To help SMBs quickly wade through the data, let’s take a look at which PPC formats are most effective for achieving business goals.

The Research

Recently, Hanapin, a PPC management firm, published its State of PPC 2016 – 2017 report. The research covers stats on PPC growth and spending, effective channels and tons of other useful data to help educate advertisers and drive successful strategies.

In this year’s report, 86 percent of respondents claimed that text ads were an effective modality for their brand while 65 percent stated the same in regards to remarketing ads. Additionally, 56 percent of surveyed individuals declare mobile PPC ads to be a powerful channel for their business.

Considering the performance and potency of these ad sets, with text ads as a clear frontrunner, we are going to focus on the best practices for text ads so that you can spend your 2017 generating awareness, leads and sales through the most effective channel in the PPC landscape.

Best Practices for Expanded Text Ads

The first thing we will address here is an all-too-common marketing mistake.

In order to be successful with Google’s new ETAs, you can’t just slap some extra text onto your existing ads and expect increased performance; you need to generate new and unique messages.

If you fail to do so, you will be developing flawed ads that say the same exact thing using more words than before; this tactic doesn’t make adverts more compelling or coercive.

The second most important thing to remember is that a significant portion of your audience will be viewing these ads on mobile devices, meaning that you need to optimize your text ads because ETAs don’t differentiate between devices and there is no option to create separate mobile ads like you could with the older format.

Always be sure to review your ad with the mobile preview feature in the ad editor before publishing.

Outside of these two important reminders, here are some general best practices for creating text ads the yield adequate results:

Leveraging Keywords

Your ETAs’ primary headline is going to be the first thing that users see. Naturally, you will want to reserve this space for your most vital information and main keyword that is targeted with the ad campaign. If you are targeting long-tailed keywords, put the entire phrase in this section.

Your supporting (or second) headline should be leveraged for supplemental information. Here you will want to include your product’s benefits or key features. You could also use the field to emphasize the urgency of acting on your offer.

It is important to note that the second headline might get cut off. This is because Google regulates ad displays based on pixel-count. This means that letters like ‘W’ will take up more pixels than ‘I.’ Be sure to pay close attention to this so you are certain your second headline is fully displayed.

Proper Descriptions

If users make it this far, you have successfully caught their attention. Now your description needs to convince them to click-through by differentiating your product of service.

Here you will want to clearly define your offering’s benefits, features, and a clear call-to-action like ‘Buy Now,’ ‘Learn More,’ ‘Download Today,’ or something similar. This is crucial because there are a plethora of stats showing that CTAs increase conversions.

Increase Your Quality Score

In order to succeed using AdWords, a good quality score is essential.

Great quality scores are achieved by developing highly relevant ads as they relate to given queries. Additionally, click-through rates also impact your quality score because this metric provides Google with direct information on how useful people find your adverts.

To attain and maintain a favorable score, conduct in-depth keyword research and include your targeted phrases in your headline and display URL path fields.

Additionally, use a variety of ad extensions to support your promotion. Things like sitelink extension and call extensions not only allow you to take up more space on-screen, but they also help to promote a higher CTR, ultimately improving your quality score.

Ad extensions can be leveraged to expand upon features, landing pages, reviews, locations, and other offers. Extensions can serve to fill the void left by ETAs limited (albeit improved) character count.

With this information, small business owners can develop highly alluring and impactful adverts that will help their company boost visibility, their number of prospective leads and sales. Now go out there and capture some customers.

What is your favorite ad extension? Are you surprised to find most marketers favor text ads over social advertising?


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Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

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