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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 “July 2020: Week 1” edition brings us:   

  • Twitter to Launch Voice Tweets
  • Google Reveals the Mechanism Behind YouTube Search Algorithm 
  • Google to Roll Out “Keen” – An App for Boosting Website Traffic 
  • New Chrome Extension Features ‘Scroll to Text Fragment’ 
  • Google Says Rankings for New Sites May Be Unstable For Up to a Year
  • Apple Safari Won’t Be Blocking Google Analytics Tracking After All
  • New Valuable Insight Into How Stock Photography Impacts SEO
  • New Instagram Advertisers No Longer Need a Facebook Page

Alrighty then, let’s dive right in! 


Twitter to Launch Voice Tweets

Twitter about to introduce Voice Tweets, a brand new way for its users to create tweets using their voice. 

The feature is currently being tested, and once it is officially rolled out, it should significantly improve the Twitter experience and make it easier for everyone to post their opinions about, well – pretty much everything (as if the twitter-verse in the dire need of more opinions and overall noise).

“Over the years, photos, videos, gifs, and extra characters have allowed you to add your own flair and personality to your conversations,” it was stated by Twitter. “But sometimes 280 characters aren’t enough and some conversational nuances are lost in translation. So starting today, we’re testing a new feature that will add a more human touch to the way we use Twitter – your very own voice.”

Read more about the upcoming tweeting option in this SEJ article


Google Reveals the Mechanism Behind YouTube Search Algorithm 

In a recently published resource and as an attempt to shed more light on how YouTube actually works, Google has addressed the details behind the way this video sharing platform search algorithm operates. 

For this purpose, the digital giant created “How YouTube Works”, a brand new website that allows users to have a deeper and more technical look at all the crucial components that make the YouTube search engine operate the way it does. 

In a nutshell, the YouTube search ranking mechanism goes through 500+ hours of video content that is being uploaded every 60 seconds in order to sort out the most relevant results for a particular query.

Here are the 3 main elements that factor into how YouTube’s search engine prioritizes content when creating search results:

  • Relevance – the platform determines relevance according to various factors such as title, tags, description, and video content itself.
  • Engagement – YouTube aggregates engagement signals that come from its users, one of which is a video’s watch time for particular keywords that have been searched. 
  • Quality – the platform’s search system is also designed so it can identify signals that can give it insight into a channel’s expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a given topic.

More details available in this SEJ article


Google to Roll Out “Keen” – An App for Boosting Website Traffic 

Keen is a brand new and quite promising traffic generating app by Google that is designed to proactively recommend the right content to the right users.

Google’s upcoming content discovery service will be able to actively promote relevant web pages and content to the right users. It has the potential to turn into one of the most potent sources of referral traffic, making it rather interesting a tool for many SEOs out there. 

The tool is currently being tested and it came to its existence the way all the best apps are created – organically through an actual need for this type of tool.  

The husband and wife that had developed this information-sharing system have been working together on their projects and realized they needed a way to describe and accumulate user activities and explain why each activity was important to them. They accumulated links and resources related to their hobbies and goals, which led them to create an actual tool that should help users reach relevant content more easily. 

Learn more about Keen through this informative article


New Chrome Extension Features ‘Scroll to Text Fragment’ 

Google has recently rolled out a new Chrome browser extension that supports the handy Scroll to Text Fragment feature, making the task of linking to specific pieces of text within a page easier for its users.

This February, Google launched Chrome 80, a new version that made the Scroll to Text Fragment feature available, enabling the creation of deep links to web documents without the use of link anchors. This was received with a layer of controversy given the potential privacy issues. 

Deep links allow any user to create links that take them to a specific content fragment on a page, without relying on author annotations. 

At the moment, Chrome is the only web browser supporting the Scroll to Text Fragment feature, meaning that these deep links appear as regular links to a user using any other browser.  Whether or not other web browsers will start supporting the feature remains to be seen.


Google Says Rankings for New Sites May Be Unstable For Up to a Year

Google’s John Mueller recently addressed the issue of fluctuating rankings that new websites tend to experience within Google SERP.

He reveals that it is normal to see heavy instability in the rankings for new sites and it is possible that these fluctuations last for up to a year. 

The bottleneck occurs during the process in which the search engine is figuring out where to rank new websites, causing substantial inconsistencies in search rankings. 

This means that, if you have a new website that is ranking poorly even though you are doing everything by the book in terms of SEO and content quality, it is probably not your fault and patience is due. 


Apple Safari Won’t Be Blocking Google Analytics Tracking After All

Last week, there was kind of a false alarm saying that the new version of Apple Safari was going to disable Google Analytics tracking. Luckily for many, this turned out to be untrue as the new upcoming version of said web browser reportedly won’t be blocking this crucial feature. 

As Search Engine Journal reports, Safari 14 will normally load and run GA tracking, which is quite a paramount component for gathering valuable user data. However, the upcoming version of Apple’s web browser will feature a new type of privacy report, and that piece of information is what started the kerfuffle in the first place. 

Namely, the privacy report contains data on third-party trackers blocked on the web page that a user is visiting, which is not nearly as big of a hurdle for marketers as previously thought when the company first previewed this feature.

“Safari does not block resource loads,” says Simo Ahava, Analytics developer. “That’s not how Intelligent Tracking Prevention(ITP) works. It’s more elegant than that.”

You can find out more details about the entire event here


New Valuable Insight Into How Stock Photography Impacts SEO

Google’s John Mueller has recently addressed another interesting SEO-related issue, particularly the way stock images may affect your SEO efforts and the ranking of your pages.  

Mueller was asked by a Twitter user whether or not using non-original content like stock images for your pages can affect the rankings in any way. 

Mueller’s answered was brief, but somewhat ambivalent:

“It doesn’t matter for web-search directly.”

As we have already grown accustomed to Mueller’s directly indirect and often deliberately vague answers, our guess is that – if you have strong content and solid SEO strategy, using stock images should not affect your website’s ranking at all. 

As folks over at SEJ point out, many of the top-ranked websites are often packed with stock images. Just don’t use them for team and staff photos, though. 


New Instagram Advertisers No Longer Need a Facebook Page

New US- and Turkey-based business Instagram accounts will be able to run Instagram promotions (even though they’ve never run ads before). Promotions for IG post can be run directly within the app, without having to own a Facebook page previously.

As Instagram ads help page states:

“You can now create Instagram ads without having a presence on Facebook. If you are promoting a post from your Instagram business account for the first time, you won’t have to connect to a Facebook ad account or Facebook Page.”

Instagram users who want to run sponsored posts can do so by going to their Instagram profile, tapping on the post they want to promote, and simply tap the “Promote” button located below the post’s image.

There are also advertising campaign options you can set up, including audience targeting, budget, campaign length, and ad destination. There is a regular ad reviewing process as well. 

It is also important to mention that this feature is available only to those business accounts that are promoting a post for the first time.  


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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