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Hello and welcome to another edition of Digital Marketing Week in Review by Four Dots – our weekly column where we comb through some of the most relevant news and events that took place within the digital marketing landscape over the last week or so.

Let’s see what “December 2020: Week 2” edition brings us:   

  • Google December 2020 Core Update Is Rolling Out
  • Google Provides More Insights on Ranking Impact of Core Web Vitals 
  • Google Maps Introduces 4 New Features to Help You Reach New Customers
  • YouTube Updates ‘YouTube Premieres’ With 4 New Features 
  • Are There Any SEO Benefits Coming With New Top Level Domains (nTLDs)?
  • Facebook Warns About GDPR’s Impact on Messenger API Usage 

Alrighty then, let’s dive right in! 


Google December 2020 Core Update Is Rolling Out

Google recently announced a new core update rollout. The December 2020 core update is Google’s 3rd core update this year, with the previous two taking place in January and in May 2020. 

Google used its Twitter account to announce the release of this broad core algorithm update: 

The tech giant updates its core algorithm once every several months, which means this December 2020 update is coming a little bit later than expected.  

Algorithm updates typically take weeks to complete their rollout and full implementation, which means that websites that are currently experiencing an impact in the rankings should probably wait a bit before taking action and change anything in their SEO strategy and structure. 

“We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix,” Google states, “we want to ensure they don’t try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update.”

As this change will take some time to fully unravel, we recommend staying up to date with our weekly recap as we’ll continue to inform our readers about the main impacts and takeaways after the update completely rolls out. 

More details in this SEJ article


Google Provides More Insights on Ranking Impact of Core Web Vitals 

Google has recently published a handy FAQ that should help us better understand what Core Web Vitals (CWV) measure exactly, as well as how it would work as a ranking factor once it becomes a ranking signal in 2021. 

The main idea behind CWVs is to encourage website owners and SEOs to optimize their pages in such a way so they provide an optimized web experience for the user. 

According to Google, it is currently difficult to make any tangible assumptions on how the traffic or rankings would be impacted if a website doesn’t have an optimal performance in Core Web Vitals. 

“We may have more to share in the future when we formally announce the changes are coming into effect,” says Google. “Keep in mind that the content itself and its match to the kind of information a user is seeking remains a very strong signal as well.”

Read more about this ranking signal here


Google Maps Introduces 4 New Features to Help Businesses Reach Their Customers

Google updated its Maps platform with 4 new features that should help users and businesses reach potential clients through this platform. 

Here’s a quick overview of these handy features: 

Messaging From Maps & Search

If you have a business with a verified Google Maps profile you can now use this app to more easily communicate with your customers via direct messages. When you receive a message from a customer, it appears in the business messages section in the updates tab.

Messaging From Maps & Search | Four Dots

(Image Source: SEJ)

Updated Performance Insights

This data will provide better insight into how well your business is performing. The metric measures the number of customer engagements initiated from Maps and Search.

Updated Performance Insights | Four Dots

(Image Source: SEJ)

Community Feed

This feed enables users to track down the latest reviews, photos, and posts that have been added to Maps by the users you follow, local experts, other businesses, etc. 

Street View User Contributions

This feature will enable users to contribute imagery to Street View via their own smart devices. 

Street View User Contributions | Four Dots

(Image Source: SEJ)

Read more about these Google Maps updates in this SEj article


YouTube Updates ‘YouTube Premieres’ With 4 New Features 

YouTube has some great news for those who use the power of YouTube Premieres to generate more hype around their video content before it gets released live and becomes available to audiences. 

The capabilities of this tool are being upgraded as Premieres gets its major update. YouTube is calling this update ‘Premieres 2.0’ and it will feature 4 new ways to generate hype around an upcoming video. This is also the biggest and most significant update to Premieres in the last couple of years. 

These 4 new features include: 

Live Redirect – enables video content creators to create a multi-part show experience through a live stream feature within an upcoming premiere.

Premiere Trailers – you can now create a trailer for your premiere using a pre-recorded hype video that is between 15 seconds and 3 minutes long. 

Expanded Countdown Themes – provides more options for the countdowns that are displayed immediately before a video premiere.

Schedule Premieres on Mobile – enables creators to schedule Premieres via the YouTube mobile app.


Are There Any SEO Benefits Coming With New Top Level Domains (nTLDs)?

Google’s SEO liaison, John Mueller, has recently addressed the topic of new top-level domains (nTLDs) impacting SEO. 

nTLDs are generic top-level domains that typically consist of keywords. The main idea behind the question that Mueller answered was to help us better understand how Google is indexing nTLDs, as well as if SEOs can use them to improve website performance. 

The question is as follows: “I’d like to know how Google indexes sites with new extensions like dot club or dot tools. Is there any preference for indexing dot com domains over these?”

Millers’ answer: 

“So we treat all of the New Top-level Domains like any other generic top-level domain. So there is no kind of additional value to having keywords in the top-level domain. There’s no additional value in having city names or country names in the top-level domain. 

We treat them all like any other generic top-level domain, like, essentially.

So from that point of view, if you find a domain name that works well for your site that you want to keep for the long run and it’s a New top-level Domain then definitely go for it. I think that’s perfectly fine.”

He also adds that there are no SEO benefits for using exact match keywords in new top-level domains. 

So, there you go. Also, so sorry for the clickbaity title in this one. More information about nTLDs here


Facebook Warns About GDPR’s Impact on Messenger API Usage 

Europe-based Facebook marketers, beware. 

The social media behemoth sheds more light on various restrictions that GDPR bestows on the usage of Messenger API. Namely, Facebook has trouble complying with Europe’s evolving data privacy laws and is therefore making new updates to Messenger’s API use.

As per Facebook:

“As part of our efforts to comply with new privacy rules in Europe, we’re making updates that will impact some developers and businesses that use our Messenger API. Beginning December 16th, several Messenger APIs will be unavailable for developers and businesses in Europe, and for people in Europe who connect with businesses globally.”

The social media company warns that these updates will impact the following: 

  • Europe pages in all chats
  • Pages with admins in Europe in all chats
  • Any chats with people in Europe

According to Social Media Today, warning notifications are already popping up, even in non-EU countries. 

Read more here


Wrapping Up

That would be all for this installment of Digital Marketing Week in Review by Four Dots. See you next week, until then – feel free to check out our previous edition!

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