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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 “November 2020: Week 2” edition brings us:   

  • Google Reveals 16 Interesting 2020 Stats About Holiday Shoppers
  • Snapchat Starts Showing Users’ Follower Counts
  • WordPress 5.6 May Cause Websites to Break (Again)
  • New TikTok & Sony Agreement to Enable Usage of Popular Music in Videos
  • New Insight Into How Google Ranks Images and Videos in Search Results

Alrighty then, let’s dive right in! 


Google Reveals 16 Interesting 2020 Stats About Holiday Shoppers

Google has recently shared interesting holiday shopping statistics on how consumer behavior is changing in 2020. The holiday season is always bringing peaks in demand, and with it, many a new opportunity for businesses to boost their sales and better connect with their consumers. 

The new Google report provides a myriad of useful and actionable stats that should help marketers and business owners leverage the holiday season frenzy among shoppers, especially in the current pandemic-induced shopping environment. 

Some of the most interesting stats include: 

  • Searches for “fashion online shopping” increased by 600%
  • Searches for “support local businesses” increased by more than 20,000% 
  • Searches for “available near me” went up over 100% globally 
  • 69% of US shoppers state they will shop online for the holidays more than in previous years 
  • Over 50% of US shoppers started using a new shopping service for the first time 
  • 70% of shoppers state they are willing to buy from new retailers
  • 62% of shoppers plan on starting their holiday shopping earlier this year 
  • 77% of holiday plan on browsing for gift ideas online, not in-store

It appears that 2020 will bring a shift in how much online shopping is utilized during the holiday season, along with an increasing intent for buying locally. Definitely good news for small-scale online retailers. Read more in this SEJ article


Snapchat Starts Showing Users’ Follower Counts

Snapchat has finally decided to follow suit set by other similar social media platforms and provide its users with the option to publicly show the number of followers they have. Until now, this information has been available only to the users themselves. 


(Image Source: Mike Metzler)

The network has been open about being against the public display of vanity metrics including the number of one’s subscribers, but it seems that their stance on this issue has changed.

Here’s what Snapchat’s spokesperson has to say on the matter: 

“We’ve listened to feedback from our creator community and many of them expressed interest in having the option to show that their community on Snapchat is growing. So, starting today, we are giving creators the option to make subscriber counts visible on their public profiles.

We understand not every creator wants to have public metrics visible to their fans. Therefore, creators can choose to toggle this metric on and off as needed in their settings.”

The good news for Snapchat users who do not wish their follower count to be shown publicly is that they can still choose to hide this metric from the curious eyes of other Snapchaters. More information available here


WordPress 5.6 May Cause Websites to Break (Again)

Much like WordPress 5.5 that rolled out in August this year resulted in millions of websites breaking, the upcoming 5.6 version (rolling out in December 2020) may do the same thing. Namely, the update will essentially render jQuery Migrate Helper Plugin useless and therefore causing more website crashes.  

A WordPress developer (that made the jQuery Migrate Plugin possible) has recently stated (in a WordPress support thread) that the new version would make the plugin “useless,” which may cause major problems for the websites that still depend on it. 

When a user asked: When the WordPress 5.6 update arrives, will Enable jQuery Migrate Helper still work?, the WordPress plugin developer answered:

“So the short of it is that no, it will not help once WordPress 5.6 comes around, as the jQuery library in WordPress is planned to be upgraded, and that would leave this helper useless…”

Certain plugin and theme devs solved the issue by updating their software to the latest version of jQuery. However, the plugins and themes that aren’t being maintained anymore, or updated code-wise, are likely to cause website crashes. Visit this SEJ article for more details, or read the official statement by the WordPress team.  


New TikTok & Sony Agreement to Enable Usage of Popular Music in Videos

It took several months for TikTok and Sony Music Entertainment to work out the details, but the social media platform has recently announced a new licensing deal that will allow TikTok creators to use a wide range of popular music pieces in their video-based content. 

“With this deal,” say over at TikTok, “the TikTok creator community will have access to sound clips from Sony Music’s massive catalog of current hits, cutting edge new releases, emerging favorites, iconic classics and deep cuts from every genre of music for use in their TikTok content.” 

“TikTok and Sony Music will work together to support greater levels of TikTok user personalization and creativity on the platform, and drive new and forward-looking opportunities for fan engagement with SME’s artists and music.”

Though TikTok content creators have been – prior to this deal – able to embed a wide variety of music to their videos, the upcoming agreement makes sure there are no legal issues in terms of misuse of the songs. Surprisingly enough, Sony will get its cut too. 


New Insight Into How Google Ranks Images and Videos in Search Results

Our favorite Google person, John Mueller, has provided the SEO community with yet another useful piece of information about how Google ranks our content. The new video reveals the mechanism behind how this search engine chooses to rank images and videos in the SERPs.

Mueller provided a rather detailed explanation on this topic after a user asked the following question:

“I’ve seen a lot of times I got some image results when I search for a search term. How does Google identify that images is good for showing in the results?”

Mueller’s answer shed more light on how Google’s engine processes a query:

“…so, essentially what happens when someone types in a query on Google is we send that query to a lot of different indexes a lot of different search systems within Google. And we try to send it out to as many of these systems as possible on the one hand so that we get answers from them.

On the other hand, that we also get quick results… the web results come back really quickly and images take a longer time… Then at least we have the web results that we can show. But essentially, we send it out to all of these different systems and the systems tell us how relevant the results are that they have.

So the image search system might come back and say, oh… Image results are, hmm… kind of important for this query and here’s a set of images that I have for that. And if we get the web results back and the web results say, oh, web results are super relevant for this query, then we might show the web results and not the image results.”

The video containing Mueller’s answer in its entirety is available in the video below:

Notice that he uses the word relevant to refer to fetched results. This informs us that Google is assigning (or at least they are boasting about doing so) more significance to the content that is relevant to the search intent, rather than the keywords used in a content piece. 


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!

author avatar
Radomir Basta
CEO and lead SEO strategist at Four Dots and lecturer at Digital Marketing Institute Also an angry driver and huge tattoo fan. In love with growth hacking.

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