Senior Content Manager
Facebook has introduced knowledge panel-style information boxes to answer certain queries in its search results. The summary of information is pulled from Wikipedia and includes bios (for people searches) and descriptions (for non-human entries), along with links to any official pages and accounts.
This feature may keep more users on Facebook, reducing the need for them to leave the platform to research. It could also go some way to quash misinformation or ‘fake news’ (which has become a real problem for Facebook), connecting users with more reputable links rather than simply the ‘most-shared’ articles.
Brands could benefit too. Even without their own Facebook page, their information could now be pulled into results, creating awareness and directing the searcher towards their official Instagram profile, for example.
Twitter has announced it will be testing a feature that will encourage users to read an article before they share it. It posted: “Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you tweet it.
“To help promote informed discussion, we're testing a new prompt on Android –– when you Retweet an article that you haven't opened on Twitter, we may ask if you'd like to open it first.”
The feature is currently being tested on Android, with users receiving the prompt when posting a link to news outlet domains that they haven’t yet opened on Twitter.
Twitter is looking to “promote informed discussion” on the platform – the latest in its aim to curb misinformation, and this prompt may increase click-through to publishers’ sites.
Google is updating its housing, employment and credit advertising policies, prohibiting affected advertisers within these industries from targeting (or excluding) ads based on gender, age, parental and marital status or ZIP Code.
This is in addition to other longstanding policies that prevent targeting according to race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.
Google plans to roll out these updates in the US and Canada asap, and will update advertisers on how the changes might impact them in the next few weeks.
Google Ads Policies exist to prohibit advertising discrimination. Scott Spencer, Google’s vice president of product management, ads privacy and safety, stated that:
“Google is committed to working with the broader advertising ecosystem to help set high standards for online advertising, and we will continue to strive to set policies that improve inclusion and access for users.”
Over the last couple of years, Google has tested directing those who click on a featured snippet straight to the relevant content on a page. This is now live.
According to Google, “clicking a featured snippet takes the user directly to the featured snippet text on the source web page. This happens automatically.”
According to a study of 2 million featured snippets by Ahrefs, 8.6% of all SERP clicks go to the featured snippet.
Yet while this new update could improve experience for the user – with the aim of taking them straight to the information that answers their query – it could lead to less time spent on page and missed CTAs.
Google said in a help document:
“There’s no markup needed by webmasters to enable a featured snippet. If a browser doesn’t support the underlying technology needed, or if our systems can’t confidently determine exactly where within a page to direct a click, clicking a featured snippet will take a user to the top of the source web page.”
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