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Good morning, Marketers, Google’s Panda algorithm update rolled out globally, in English, a decade ago.
Businesses and search professionals here in the U.S. got a taste of it about two months prior to the worldwide release as it went live domestically in February 2011. For those of you who, like myself, weren’t in the industry back then, the Panda update was a milestone in search history because it was one of Google’s most significant spam-targeting updates.
The Panda update, named after Google engineer Navneet Panda, made it harder for pages with thin content to rank well. This was bad news for sites that targeted long-tail queries by generating large volumes of similar content which were often only distinguishable from their other content due to subtle, and sometimes arbitrary, differences.
I like to think of Panda as a precursor to our modern core algorithm updates, and like those updates, it made a huge impact for many businesses: “I think we went from like a billion-dollar market cap to a six hundred million-dollar market cap overnight,” said Eric Wu, VP of product growth at Honey Science, who was working at Demand Media at the time.
I do enjoy a trip down memory lane because what’s past is prologue. Share your most memorable search industry-related moments with me, whether it was a particular campaign, client, update, or perhaps you met your spouse at SMX (a few have!!) — my email is email@example.com; use the subject line: In search of your most memorable moments.
Google Search Console performance report image impression change
On April 6, 2021, Google made an “improvement” to its algorithm for reporting on image search impressions within the Google Search Console performance report. This update is just a reporting change and is not a result of any ranking algorithm update or ranking issues with your website.
This update is also specific to “image impressions when type=image is specified in the Search Performance report,” Google said. If you see a drop in your image search impressions starting April 6th, you can likely attribute that drop to a reporting change and not any ranking change. Of course, you will want to track those impressions going forward to ensure your actual traffic from Google has not changed.
On the hunt for something new in 2021? Here are the latest career opportunities in search
Editor @ Martech Today (remote)
- Create a range of journalistic content that includes well-reported features, guides, profiles, and more
- Cover this tech-enabled approach to marketing that we call MarTech
Digital Media Buyer @ ROI Revolution (Raleigh, NC)
- Implement conversion tracking tags to align measurement and optimization with client KPIs
- Create regular performance for internal and external stakeholders
Sr. SEO Manager @ LendingTree (remote)
- Conduct extensive research on industry trends
- Drive the strategy and execution of the growth of Investments and Deposits verticals
Director of Marketing, Demand Generation @ Resiliency LLC
- Owns all aspects of marketing strategy and leadership
- Drive funnel process in partnership with sales leadership and define the buyer journey and target market segmentation
Programmatic SEO, Facebook’s POV, and Snapchat e-commerce
Leverage your programmatic SEO (and scale your approach). Programmatic SEO involves automatically generating pages at a very large scale and is best leveraged for industries like travel, e-commerce, educational content, real estate, etc.
Facebook’s POV on their 500+ million-user data leak. On April 3, Business Insider published a story saying that information from more than 530 million Facebook users had been made publicly available in an unsecured database. “It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this data not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform prior to September 2019,” said Facebook’s Product Management Director, Mike Clark.
Snapchat advances e-commerce efforts. Snapchat has taken another step in its shift towards integrated e-commerce with the acquisition of Screenshop, an app that scans your photos to identify your desired style choices, then provides clothing recommendations based on those findings.
Social media use still plateaued in 2021
Most Americans use Facebook and YouTube, but TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram are most popular with those under 30, according to new social media usage data from Pew. Even though the last few years has caused a change in sentiment around social media, 70% of adults still participate (which hasn’t changed much in the last 5 years).
Here are the most interesting points from the data:
- YouTube and Reddit were the only two platforms measured that saw statistically significant growth since 2019
- Adults living in urban (17%) or suburban (14%) areas are more likely to say they use Nextdoor. Just 2% of rural Americans report using the site.
- 71% of Snapchat users ages 18 to 29 say they use the app daily, including six in ten who say they do this multiple times a day.
Why we care. This information can give advertisers an idea of the audiences behind the channels they’re using and ways to leverage those channels to better meet their consumers’ needs. It may also confirm a lot that we already know about social (like youths’ love of TikTok) and open new advertising opportunities for platforms you may not have considered (such as Reddit or Nextdoor).
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