Weekly Industry News Round-Up
Want to keep up with all the latest SEO and internet news? Then check out Tuesday News Day!
Google’s “cheap PR points”
2018 has brought many types of media to the forefront of the news, some for good reasons, but mostly for controversy. One form of media that seems to be far above the rest in terms of reputation and user engagement is Fortnite. The battle royal/ survival game launched itself into mainstream pop-culture with multiple launches on multiple devices, video content being made on a daily basis, Twitch’s largest streamer Ninja streaming Fortnite content daily, the engagement from celebrities such as Drake and the competitive scene created around the game with many Fortnite competitions being created around America.
For the launch of the highly anticipated game on mobile devices, the publisher (Epic Games) decided to bypass the Google app store by allowing players to download the game directly from Epic Games, this approach to distributing the game means that Epic Games did not have to share any financial gain with Google.
Now for why Google has been claimed to make “cheap PR points”. Last Friday Google announced the inherent flaw with the mobile version of Fortnite, where because of the installer needed due to Epic Games bypass of the Google app store, users are able to hijack the game’s installation software and then load malware instead. This malware could then access all sorts of personal information about the player base.
Tim Sweeney revealed that they asked Google to withhold the information until an update was more widely installed, but obviously Google refused to wait, allocating them the minimum 9 days to act on the issue. Due to this Tim Sweeney claims that the announcement from Google has created “an unnecessary risk for Android users in order to score cheap PR points”.
This isn’t the first time that Google has been criticised by developers of apps, as they have given the same treatment towards Apple and Microsoft in the past.
In the end though, by putting the issue in the eyes of the public, it ensures that Epic Games will find a fix to the issue that they have created faster, and will deter them from making a similar issue again on a Google platform.
KSI Vs Logan Paul
Now after the internet ‘hype’ we couldn’t help but report on this. After months of anticipation, diss tracks, insults and build-up for the boxing match between four of YouTube’s largest creators. The creators originally started the ‘beef’ back in February, when KSI beat Joe Weller in his amateur boxing debut, the YouTube phenomenon decided to call out his next opponent, either Jake Paul or Logan Paul. After many weeks of backward and forward development, the fight was officially announced.
The venue for the largely anticipated event was the Manchester Arena which housed 15,000 attendants to the KSI Vs Logan Paul fight. The last fight between KSI vs Joe Weller was streamed online for free for those people who could not attend the fight live in person. This time, however, in order to watch the fight legally, viewers would have to pay to access the stream. This stirred controversy earlier in the year, where KSI and his younger brother Deji (who fought Logan Paul’s younger brother, Jake Paul) stated that the reasoning behind the paid access to the fight was because of the venue the fight was being placed at.
Many in the online community have stated that the pay-per-view strategy for access to the live stream would have a major effect on the number of viewers watching the official stream. With a peak of viewers hitting the 800,000 mark (essentially half of the KSI Vs Joe Weller fight) these people who predicted the drop in views were not wrong.
So, did everyone just ignore the fight? Absolutely not – Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media were bombarded with constant updates with all the undercard fights, Deji vs Jake Paul and KSI vs Logan Paul. Not only were the updates pouring in over social media, but the official stream was re-streamed through multiple channels over on YouTube’s biggest competitor, Twitch. Twitch is facing major criticism after many pirated streams of the live event. Some of the streams of the live event managed to achieve a viewer count of over 400,000 live viewers.
This isn’t the first time that online streams have managed to majorly impact viewers to live events, as the same thing happened during the World Cup and even to the McGregor Vs Mayweather fight.
Warehouse Real Estate
Every day people discover the vast online marketplace, where shopping for anything could not be any easier. Companies are discovering this as well, by reducing the importance of brick and mortar stores in favour of investing the time and money into the customer journey online. The demand from the internet these days is surpassing physical stores.
Now most of us have bought something online before, so we know the process of shopping for what you want, adding it to your basket, forgetting your login details, purchasing the item and then waiting a day or two for it to be delivered. It’s a fairly simple process, but none of us really think about where our product comes from.
Well, since 2007 to March 2018 there has been about 235 million square feet of warehouse space purchased. Want to know how large that is? In 235 million square feet you can fit:
Roughly 7 Londons
To no one’s surprise, it is estimated that roughly 60% of the space is taken up by the large retailers.
In the East Midlands, many are taking the opportunity of motorways and rail connections throughout the UK. Through the result of their careful planning, they have created the “Golden Triangle”. The Golden Triangle is able to distribute products and items across 90% of England and Wales within four hours.
myPersonality = My Mis-used Data
The controversy never seems to end for Facebook, as they have announced that they have had to ban the quiz app myPersonality. The personality quiz app allowed Facebook users to take a personality questionnaire to get a result of their personality (shocking I know). The app reached the height of its popularity back in 2012 but hasn’t seen as many users since.
Facebook stated in one of their blog posts that myPersonality shared their user data with researchers and other companies with “limited protection” put in place. Following this Facebook will notify the 4 million users that decided to share their personal data with the app.
Although we said that this was a controversy following Facebook, it is good to see that after the massive data breach and continued controversy Facebook has finally started to push personal data protection, and we hope that people will learn from the myPersonality data breach.
The Fake-News Core
2018 may be known as the war on internet fake news. Both Facebook and Twitter have been criticised for their platforms being used as a catalyst to spread fake news surrounding many topics, things from Donald Trump and the US election, false photos about missing children after the Ariana Grande terrorist attack to false information about the Vegas shooting.
In a recent effort to combat the fake news generated and shared on their platforms, Facebook and Twitter have deleted and banned over 900 accounts. Now we understand that 900 accounts don’t seem to be much. Especially when you consider the platforms both have 2.5 billion users put together.
However, the 900 accounts that have been banned are believed to be the source of the fake news. Twitter and Facebook both believe that by eliminating the source of the issue, it will stop the growth and spread of fake news on their platforms.
The nail in The Coffin for Adobe Flash
Irritated with Adobe Flash updates stopping you from accessing certain pieces of content on the internet? Yeah, me too. Luckily though Adobe Flash has had another nail in its long-awaited coffin thanks to Google’s brand new Chrome 69.
For a long time, Google has attempted to suffocate Adobe Flash on the internet. The Chrome update will not save settings on sites. This means that if users enable Flash on a website, the Chrome browser won’t remember that setting. This means that when users return to the website, users will have to re-enable Flash on the site.
Now we understand that this just looks like a petty way to irritate customers out of using Adobe Flash, but we should all remember that Adobe plans to stop developing Flash within the next 2 years. This decision was made due to many websites like YouTube deciding to opt for HTML5 over plugins like Adobe Flash.
The YouTube Watch-Timer
If you are anything like me then you probably waste too much time on YouTube. Whether you have it on as background noise, listen to music, watching cats fit into places they shouldn’t (search “cats are liquid”, you won’t be disappointed) or keeping up with your favourite YouTube stars – the website can become pretty addictive. Which is why YouTube has now added in a digital timer to show people how much time they spend on the site.
YouTube was the first Google product to receive Google’s Digital Wellbeing tools; within these tools is a notification management and reminders feature. The feature was designed to notify users to take breaks from the video sharing and streaming platform.
As good as it is for business to promote your site for hours upon hours of content, it is great to see that Google and therefore YouTube is taking action to care for their users. Whether their users will use the feature or not is a completely different matter, but at least they cannot be criticised for implementing the tools into their service.
Google Prefers Stale?
The long-standing SEO trick has always been to keep the content on any website fresh and up-to-date. By updating the content on your site regularly, it gives the Google crawl bots reason to come back and crawl the content on the pages of your website. This SEO trick has been common knowledge for years and in no way has been kept a secret.
However, last week Google’s John Mueller has destroyed the fresh content strategy used by SEOs everywhere. When asked whether Google prefers fresh content, John outright said “no”. He then stated that Google crawls more important pages instead of those with the freshest content.
So, website owners are being encouraged by Google to migrate their website from HTTP to HTTPS with the new Chrome 69 update. And to help these sites to migrate over, Google has implemented a new feature within their search console that identifies and notifies errors for website owners. These notifications target the pages that are no longer showing up within the SERPs because they can no longer be found.
We know that site migrations can be difficult and rarely go smoothly for those who don’t specialise in web development or SEO. At least Google is making features to help those who struggle with the migration from HTTP to HTTPS.
Google My Business Posts
Google has added a brand new feature to their Google My Business tool where businesses can now post images and other content. The new feature appears as a tab in the GMB listing. By tapping or clicking on the tab will allow users to scroll through the posts with a selection of images will be displayed at the top of the screen.
We can see this as a great way in which businesses can show recent developments to their products or services. They can use this feature as a new social media platform, showing off any new deals, recent developments and more. The opportunity to use this feature for marketing can propel a business in front of its competitors.
Search Console and Analytics Integration
For many SEOs a common pet peeve is having to sign in twice from Google Search Console and Google Analytics, many over the years have complained that since both tools are owned by Google, surely it would make sense for both tools to connect both accounts.
Those who only have an account with Google Search Console and not with Analytics (or vice versa) will automatically be set up an account on the other service.
Included with this change, Google will now be emailing you with notifications of any issue that has been found on your site. Whether that be hacks, manual actions, plugin issues and any upgrade alerts. All these changes are aimed to keep your website healthy.