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How Often Does Google Update Its Algorithm?

Posted by on May 14, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How Often Does Google Update Its Algorithm?

How Often Does Google Update Its Algorithm?

Posted by Dr-Pete

In 2018, Google reported an incredible 3,234 improvements to search. That’s more than 8 times the number of updates they reported in 2009 — less than a decade ago — and an average of almost 9 per day. How have algorithm updates evolved over the past decade, and how can we possibly keep tabs on all of them? Should we even try?

To kick this off, here’s a list of every confirmed count we have (sources at end of post):

2018 – 3,234 “improvements”2017 – 2,453 “changes”2016 – 1,653 “improvements”2013 – 890 “improvements”2012 – 665 “launches”2011 – 538 “launches”2010 – 516 “changes”2009 – 350–400 “changes”

Unfortunately, we don’t have confirmed data for 2014-2015 (if you know differently, please let me know in the comments).

A brief history of update counts

Our first peek into this data came in spring of 2010, when Google’s Matt Cutts revealed that “on average, [Google] tends to roll out 350–400 things per year.” It wasn’t an exact number, but given that SEOs at the time (and to this day) were tracking at most dozens of algorithm changes, the idea of roughly one change per day was eye-opening.

In fall of 2011, Eric Schmidt was called to testify before Congress, and revealed our first precise update count and an even more shocking scope of testing and changes:

“To give you a sense of the scale of the changes that Google considers, in 2010 we conducted 13,311 precision evaluations to see whether proposed algorithm changes improved the quality of its search results, 8,157 side-by-side experiments where it presented two sets of search results to a panel of human testers and had the evaluators rank which set of results was better, and 2,800 click evaluations to see how a small sample of real-life Google users responded to the change. Ultimately, the process resulted in 516 changes that were determined to be useful to users based on the data and, therefore, were made to Google’s algorithm.”

Later, Google would reveal similar data in an online feature called “How Search Works.” Unfortunately, some of the earlier years are only available via the Internet Archive, but here’s a screenshot from 2012:

Note that Google uses “launches” and “improvements” somewhat interchangeably. This diagram provided a fascinating peek into Google’s process, and also revealed a startling jump from 13,311 precisions evaluations (changes that were shown to human evaluators) to 118,812 in just two years.

Is the Google algorithm heating up?

Since MozCast has kept the same keyword set since almost the beginning of data collection, we’re able to make some long-term comparisons. The graph below represents five years of temperatures. Note that the system was originally tuned (in early 2012) to an average temperature of 70°F. The redder the bar, the hotter the temperature …

Click to open a high-resolution version in a new tab

You’ll notice that the temperature ranges aren’t fixed — instead, I’ve split the label into eight roughly equal buckets (i.e. they represent the same number of days). This gives us a little more sensitivity in the more common ranges.

The trend is pretty clear. The latter half of this 5-year timeframe has clearly been hotter than the first half. While warming trend is evident, though, it’s not a steady increase over time like Google’s update counts might suggest. Instead, we see a stark shift in the fall of 2016 and a very hot summer of 2017. More recently, we’ve actually seen signs of cooling. Below are the means and medians for each year (note that 2014 and 2019 are partial years):

2019 – 83.7° /82.0°2018 – 89.9° /88.0°2017 – 94.0° /93.7°2016 – 75.1° / 73.7°2015 – 62.9° / 60.3°2014 – 65.8° / 65.9°

Note that search engine rankings are naturally noisy, and our error measurements tend to be large (making day-to-day changes hard to interpret). The difference from 2015 to 2017, however, is clearly significant.

Are there really 9 updates per day?

No, there are only 8.86 – feel better? Ok, that’s probably not what you meant. Even back in 2009, Matt Cutts said something pretty interesting that seems to have been lost in the mists of time…

“We might batch [algorithm changes] up and go to a meeting once a week where we talk about 8 or 10 or 12 or 6 different things that we would want to launch, but then after those get approved … those will roll out as we can get them into production.”

In 2016, I did a study of algorithm flux that demonstrated a weekly pattern evident during clearer episodes of ranking changes. From a software engineering standpoint, this just makes sense — updates have to be approved and tend to be rolled out in batches. So, while measuring a daily average may help illustrate the rate of change, it probably has very little basis in the reality of how Google handles algorithm updates.

Do all of these algo updates matter?

Some changes are small. Many improvements are likely not even things we in the SEO industry would consider “algorithm updates” — they could be new features, for example, or UI changes.

As SERP verticals and features evolve, and new elements are added, there are also more moving parts subject to being fixed and improved. Local SEO, for example, has clearly seen an accelerated rate of change over the past 2-3 years. So, we’d naturally expect the overall rate of change to increase.

A lot of this is also in the eye of the beholder. Let’s say Google makes an update to how they handle misspelled words in Korean. For most of us in the United States, that change isn’t going to be actionable. If you’re a Korean brand trying to rank for a commonly misspelled, high-volume term, this change could be huge. Some changes also are vertical-specific, representing radical change for one industry and little or no impact outside that niche.

On the other hand, you’ll hear comments in the industry along the lines of “There are 3,000 changes per year; stop worrying about it!” To me that’s like saying “The weather changes every day; stop worrying about it!” Yes, not every weather report is interesting, but I still want to know when it’s going to snow or if there’s a tornado coming my way. Recognizing that most updates won’t affect you is fine, but it’s a fallacy to stretch that into saying that no updates matter or that SEOs shouldn’t care about algorithm changes.

Ultimately, I believe it helps to know when major changes happen, if only to understand whether rankings shifted due something we did or something Google did. It’s also clear that the rate of change has accelerated, no matter how you measure it, and there’s no evidence to suggest that Google is slowing down.

Appendix A: Update count sources

2009 – Google’s Matt Cutts, video (Search Engine Land)
2010 – Google’s Eric Schmidt, testifying before Congress (Search Engine Land)
2012 – Google’s “How Search Works” page (Internet Archive)
2013 – Google’s Amit Singhal, Google+ (Search Engine Land)
2016 – Google’s “How Search Works” page (Internet Archive)
2017 – Unnamed Google employees (CNBC)
2018 – Google’s “How Search Works” page (Google.com)

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

The New Moz Local Is on Its Way!

Posted by on May 14, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The New Moz Local Is on Its Way!

Posted by MiriamEllis

Exciting secrets can be so hard to keep. Finally, all of us at Moz have the green light to share with all of you a first glimpse of something we’ve been working on for months behind the scenes. Big inhale, big exhale…

Announcing: the new and improved Moz Local, to be rolled out beginning June 12!

Why is Moz updating the Moz Local platform?

Local search has evolved from caterpillar to butterfly in the seven years since we launched Moz Local. I think we’ve spent the time well, intensively studying both Google’s trajectory and the feedback of enterprise, marketing agency, and SMB customers.

Your generosity in telling us what you need as marketers has inspired us to action. Over the coming months, you’ll be seeing what Moz has learned reflected in a series of rollouts. Stage by stage, you’ll see that we’re planning to give our software the wings it needs to help you fully navigate the dynamic local search landscape and, in turn, grow your business.

We hope you’ll keep gathering together with us to watch Moz Local take full flight — changes will only become more robust as we move forward.

What can I expect from this upgrade?

Beginning June 12th, Moz Local customers will experience a fresh look and feel in the Moz Local interface, plus these added capabilities:

New distribution partners to ensure your data is shared on the platforms that matter most in the evolving local search ecosystemListing status and real-time updates to know the precise status of your location data Automated detection and permanent duplicate closure, taking the manual work out of the process and saving you significant timeIntegrations with Google and Facebook to gain deeper insights, reporting, and management for your location’s profilesAn even better data clean-up process to ensure valid data is formatted properly for distributionA new activity feed to alert you to any changes to your location’s listingsA suggestion engine to provide recommendations to increase accuracy, completeness, and consistency of your location data

Additional features available include:

Managing reviews of your locations to keep your finger on the pulse of what customers are sayingSocial posting to engage with consumers and alert them to news, offers, and other updatesStore locator and landing pages to share location data easily with both customers and search engines (available for Moz Local customers with 100 or more locations)

Remember, this is just the beginning. There’s more to come in 2019, and you can expect ongoing communications from us as further new feature sets emerge!

When is it happening?

We’ll be rolling out all the new changes beginning on June 12th. As with some large changes, this update will take a few days to complete, so some people will see the changes immediately while for others it may take up to a week. By June 21st, everyone should be able to explore the new Moz Local experience!

Don’t worry — we’ll have several more communications between now and then to help you prepare. Keep an eye out for our webinar and training materials to help ensure a smooth transition to the new Moz Local.

Are any metrics/scores changing?

Some of our reporting metrics will look different in the new Moz Local. We’ll be sharing more information on these metrics and how to use them soon, but for now, here’s a quick overview of changes you can expect:

Profile Completeness: Listing Score will be replaced by the improved Profile Completeness metric. This new feature will give you a better measurement of how complete your data is, what’s missing from it, and clear prompts to fill in any lacking information.Improved listing status reporting: Partner Accuracy Score will be replaced by improved reporting on listing status with all of our partners, including continuous information about the data they’ve received from us. You’ll be able to access an overview of your distribution network, so that you can see which sites your business is listed on. Plus, you’ll be able to go straight to the live listing with a single click.Visibility Index: Though they have similar names, Visibility Score is being replaced by something slightly different with the new and improved Visibility Index, which notates how the data you’ve provided us about a location matches or mismatches your information on your live listings.New ways to measure and act on listing reach: Reach Score will be leaving us in favor of even more relevant measurement via the Visibility Index and Profile Completeness metrics. The new Moz Local will include more actionable information to ensure your listings are accurate and complete.
Other FAQs

You’ll likely have questions if you’re a current Moz Local customer or are considering becoming one. Please check out our resource center for further details, and feel free to leave us a question down in the comments — we’ll be on point to respond to any wonderings or concerns you might have!

Head to the FAQs

Where is Moz heading with this?

As a veteran local SEO, I’m finding the developments taking place with our software particularly exciting because, like you, I see how local search and local search marketing have matured over the past decade.

I’ve closely watched the best minds in our industry moving toward a holistic vision of how authenticity, customer engagement, data, analysis, and other factors underpin local business success. And we’ve all witnessed Google’s increasingly sophisticated presentation of local business information evolve and grow. It’s been quite a ride!

At every level of local commerce, owners and marketers deserve tools that bring order out of what can seem like chaos. We believe you deserve software that yields strategy. As our CEO, Sarah Bird, recently said of Moz,

“We are big believers in the power of local SEO.”

So the secret is finally out, and you can see where Moz is heading with the local side of our product lineup. It’s our serious plan to devote everything we’ve got into putting the power of local SEO into your hands.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

I/O announcements have some applauding and others shaking their fists

Posted by on May 13, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on I/O announcements have some applauding and others shaking their fists

Now that this year’s I/O conference is in the books, digital marketers have had a chance to digest Google’s big announcements. Chief among them was Googlebot getting pushed to the latest version of Chromium, Assistant delivering results up to 10 times faster and, perhaps the most contentious, Search supporting FAQ and How-to structured data. As you can imagine, reactions weren’t limited to applause from the live audience.

Googlebot’s long-awaited update has engineers and developers nodding favorably.

Super cool. No more testing in Chrome webmaster tools to verify if your site is crawlable.

— Samar Panda (@samarpanda) May 8, 2019

Biggest unsung news 📰 of #io19…Googlebot now indexes the web using the latest Chromium rather than super old Chrome 42. Use modern features with confidence, without SEO issues. Huge! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/VJWjw71MyP

— Eric Bidelman (@ebidel) May 7, 2019

Still, some are keen to point out that this should have come sooner, especially because the update benefits businesses, consumers and Google itself.

it only took half a decade ++ !!

— jameschurchman (@jameschurchman) May 7, 2019

A number of Google Assistant-related announcements were made, but the speed demonstration is what might get users to take advantage of it more often and, by extension, businesses to prioritize integrating with it. Naturally, people drew comparisons with the competition.

Here’s an incredible demo from Google I/O. What they’re doing with the new Google Assistant is light-years ahead of Siri, which is a shame given the couple year head start Apple had. pic.twitter.com/eJiXv4SI7m

— Mike (@ekimgary) May 8, 2019

Siri: We now have better Maps integration
Bixby: We can now recognize multiple voices

Google Assistant: We’ll read your email, find the last time you booked a certain car, then book the same one in the same color for your next trip, which we also put in your calendar……..

— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) May 7, 2019

The announcement of support for How-to markup in search results received strong reactions. Some were excited to give it a test drive…

Actually pretty excited about this. Will definitely test out ASAP.

— Alexander Juul (@AlexanderJuul) May 8, 2019

…while others were anxious about what it could mean for the industry.

Hurray for more ways to get less traffic to your website and generate free content for @Google to run ads against !

— PaulsSEOstuff (@PaulsSEOstuff) May 8, 2019

Google is becoming a parasite. Not the mutually beneficial kind either, just a leech. You produce nothing, steal content, to make $$ & now even steal the click.

This can’t and won’t go on forever.

— Kristine Schachinger (@schachin) May 9, 2019

“Google started adding ‘features’ to the SERPS. Features whose content is not created by Google, but which operates off the scraped content of the sites in their index,” Schachinger, the digital strategist and SEO consultant quoted above, elaborated in a follow-up with Search Engine Land.

“These features ‘steal the click’ meant for the site because they are meant to keep people on Google’s page, so they will click on Google Ads. Despite a recent study showing users still, by majority, prefer the ten blue links the how-to feature shows these features are just becoming more (and not less) prevalent. The ten blue links now appear, on average, 1000px down the page, where previously they appeared between 300-400px.”

“In ‘stealing the click,’ Google is only benefiting its bottom line. And for those whose content they are using to do this, it fundamentally alters the previously beneficial relationship between Google and site owners,” she points out. “What happens to their business when site owners start putting their money and efforts elsewhere? And this is not just supposition, I can tell you I know of some enterprise level C Suites that are testing just this, right now, because of the perception that Google is becoming less and less beneficial.”

Adding to the assortment of reactions, some see structured data (such as How-to markup) as an opportunity to gain more visibility by leapfrogging the top organic search results. Others, like Greg Finn, digital marketer and partner at Cypress North, acknowledges that the change does convenience users.

“On one hand, users should benefit in the immediate future by having Google surface every bit of helpful content on a site and showing it directly in the search results. Better yet, webmasters that participate may see a boost as they put themselves into the position of offering better content for Google.”

“The other hand is the scarier one,” Finn admits. “One way to look at it is that they are cutting out the middleman, with the middleman being the website itself. Many of the examples shown simply won’t drive traffic. Take a look at the FAQs and the ‘How To Tie a Tie’ example specifically. There is a monumental downside to Google Search changes that bypass your site & your work, so be careful. Make sure you know who is benefiting on your markup. When websites lose visitors & income, the overall content and output inevitably become worse. That’s my fear here.”

Why we should care. Google has been introducing numerous products and features that insert itself between businesses and users under the guise of getting users the info they want faster. The problem is businesses aren’t necessarily seeing the benefits but Google still stands to gain.

Clicks are becoming more scarce, and that’s an indicator that potential customers are getting less contact with our brands. By investing resources and embracing these new features and markups, are we facilitating search engines at our own expense? If that’s the case, at some point brands are bound to get fed up and seek alternative routes to their audiences, or the search engines will have to offer us more for our efforts and ad budgets.

The post I/O announcements have some applauding and others shaking their fists appeared first on Search Engine Land.

The Future of Display Advertising

Posted by on May 13, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The Future of Display Advertising

The Future of Display Advertising

Display is a key tool in the digital marketing playbook. But the landscape is rapidly changing, as emerging adtech formats – including in-banner video, dynamic creative and mobile optimization – help marketers achieve greater efficiencies and improved display results.

Are you ready to leverage these new opportunities?

Join our display advertising experts as they discuss new display best practices that can lift both brand awareness and bottom-line conversions. You’ll hear how you can effectively adopt emerging technologies to create more personalized, relevant display ad campaigns.

Register today for “The Future of Display Advertising: New marketing strategies to boost results,” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by Bannerflow.

The post The Future of Display Advertising appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Local SEO for enterprises: Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack

Posted by on May 13, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Local SEO for enterprises: Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack

Local SEO for enterprises: Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack

Fifteen years ago, if a customer needed a hammer, they’d probably get out a phone book, look up “Hardware Store,” choose the hardware store closest to their house, drive there, go inside, and ask the clerk “Do you sell hammers?” If they happened to be out of hammers, the clerk might draw the customer a map to the next closest hardware store and the process would start all over again.

Now that most of us are walking around with tiny computers in our pockets, much preliminary research is taken care of in a matter of seconds via mobile search. If a customer needs a hammer, they simply google “Hardware Store,” and three nearby results pop up instantly.

Chances are, that customer will then be done searching. Any stores that don’t pop up will not get their business. Securing one of those top three spots in a Google search is an essential part of nailing local SEO.

This is especially significant for enterprise brands to be able to compete at the local level.

With hundreds or thousands of locations, it can be overwhelming to ensure data accuracy across the board. Partnering with a local search solution to maintain and monitor listings across all locations is a great way boost online presence and drive foot traffic.

Content produced in collaboration with Rio SEO.

If you’re just looking at website analytics, you could be missing out

Most consumers are researching businesses on mobile before they make decisions about which locations to visit in person. In fact, according to RetailDive, two-thirds of consumers conduct research online before even stepping foot in a store.

And while most businesses know that they should pay close attention to their website analytics, many are forgetting that preliminary online research also includes local listings. Research shows that while 75% of consumers use a business’s website as part of their decision-making process, an even greater number, 87%, also consider local listings.

Going beyond website analytics to understand how your ranking in local search results affects in-person visits to your businesses is key to understanding how to use local SEO for real-life traffic.

A study by Sparktoro found that in 62% of local mobile searches, the customer doesn’t click search results to visit a business’s webpage. Further, Rio SEO found in recent data from enterprise clients that just 1 in 60 Map Pack views resulted in a click-through to a website.

Rather, they get the information they need from the local listings that come up at the top of their search results. For many businesses, this means that if you’re not at the top, you might as well be invisible.

Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack

Mobile users are most likely using Google to search for local businesses, and those searches are generally limited to what’s called the “Local 3-Pack.”

In Google’s search engine results, the Local 3-Pack is a colorful, prominent map listing that presents to consumers the three businesses Google considers most relevant to the query and searcher’s location (refer again to the image above).

Coming in as one of those first three spots is critical for making sure local searchers can find your business.

How can your business break the top three?

The key to breaking into that coveted Local 3-Pack is making sure your corporate and local site’s SEO are in order. And the best way to get your SEO in order is to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) page to give Google’s algorithm everything it needs to find your company in local searches.

Here are a few tips for optimizing your GMB:

Provide critical business information, such as business name and category, location, and/or service area, hours of operation (with special hours or holidays), phone number, website URL, business description, and more
Give advanced information, like store code, labels, or Google Ads location extension phone
Encourage customers to leave reviews, which you can respond to within the GMB dashboard
Upload photos, which appear in both the listing and Google Images

The right tools can boost your online presence

If you’re worried that your business isn’t coming up at the top of those critical mobile local searches, changing your SEO strategy to adopt the right tools could be your best bet for getting seen by mobile users. Join SEW, ClickZ, and Rio SEO in our webinar to learn more about how to choose the right SEO toolkits for boosting your local business into those crucial top three search results–and keeping it there.

What to know more about mastering local SEO for enterprises?

The brands killing it in local SEO now are freeing their corporate teams and local managers of complicated workarounds and messy, muddled local data.

In this webinar, you’ll explore the benefits of taking a toolkit approach to enterprise local search and discover the key tools that must be a part of your local marketing arsenal. Join us and learn how to:

leverage location-based martech effectively to optimize your brand’s online presence,
improve customer experience in decision-making moments,
track and measure location metrics that matter and stop wasting time on the wrong data,
gain and retain search engine trust in your brand and each of its locations to improve local rankings and visibility,
empower local managers to support the brand’s marketing efforts without losing control

It’s time to stop throwing disparate, disconnected solutions that only accomplish one or two things into your stack. Isn’t it time your brand’s local marketing efforts worked together to achieve the results your local stores and customers crave?

Join us for our webinar, “Scrap Your Stack: High-Performance Local SEO for Enterprise Brands, Simplified” to learn how.    

The post Local SEO for enterprises: Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

SEO copywriting checklist: 8 things to check before publishing

Posted by on May 13, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on SEO copywriting checklist: 8 things to check before publishing

Writing high-quality content that ranks in the search engines is a difficult job! And when is it a job well done? In this post, I’ll give you a handy SEO copywriting checklist with some quick checks you should definitely do before you publish your article.

Our completely overhauled SEO copywriting training teaches you how to write copy that ranks. And, you’ll get an exclusive 14% discount to boot, just for today! So don’t wait too long!

Get the SEO copywriting training now »Only $149 $129 (ex VAT)

First do the hard work!

Before you get to the moment of using this SEO copywriting checklist, a lot of work should have happened already. You should have done your keyword research, decided upon the exact topic and set up the structure of your article. All before the actual writing has even begun. Nobody said SEO copywriting was easy! To write awesome articles that will rank, you should definitely read our ultimate guide on SEO copywriting.

And then check:

Lots of the checks you should do, to make sure your text is SEO-friendly, are covered in the content analysis of our Yoast SEO plugin. That’s a checklist in itself. But besides that, you should definitely ask yourself these 8 questions from the SEO copywriting checklist below. Did you really think of everything? Then it’s time to hit the publish button!

1. Is your bullet green?

You should have an overall green bullet for both the Yoast SEO readability and SEO analysis. Check whether or not you can (and need to) improve based on the feedback you get from the orange or red bullets. But, ensure that you don’t make concessions to the quality of your article.

2. Is the main topic of your article clear?

When scanning through the text, the topic of your article should be instantly clear to your audience. Make sure your subheadings fit the topic of your post. Also, check the first sentences of every paragraph. Ideally, these core sentences should cover the topic of each paragraph.

Read more: Why text structure is important for SEO »

3. Are there any lengthy paragraphs?

Most people don’t like to read long pieces of text. Check whether you need to shorten any lengthy paragraphs. Five or six sentences per paragraph is ideal.

4. Have you added internal links?

Before publishing your article, think about linking to similar articles. Maybe you have a cornerstone content article on a similar topic. Make sure that you link to that article. Or perhaps your new article is the best you have written in a long time. In that case, also make sure to add some links to this new piece in your previous articles.

Keep reading: Internal linking for SEO: why and how »

5. Is your call to action clear?

What do you want people to do after they’ve read your article? Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to read another article? Make sure your call to action is clear and that people will be able to click from your article to other places on your website.

6. Could you optimize for related keyphrases?

You’ve probably thought about which keyphrase you would like to rank for with the article you’ve written. Especially if your article is lengthy, it also makes sense to optimize for related keyphrases. So, if your keyword is [games for children’s birthday parties] you could also optimize for [hide and seek] or [musical chairs], for example.

Read on: Yoast SEO Premium analysis: as smart as Google »

7. Do you use transition words?

A text can be made much more readable with the proper use of transition words (or signal words, same thing). Transition words are words like ‘most important’, ‘because’, ‘thus’, or ‘besides that’. They give direction to your readers. Make sure every paragraph has some of these transition words.

Keep on reading: 5 tips to improve readability »

8. Did you choose the right category and tag?

If you choose the right category and tag (or tags) for your article, you clarify your site’s structure to the search engines. This helps them understand what your site is about. In addition, it will also help visitors on your site to find this article or related articles.

Read more: Using category and tag pages for SEO »

Conclusion

Writing articles that’ll rank in the search engines is something that takes time and effort, but it will pay off! So, besides checking the Yoast SEO plugin, refer to this SEO copywriting checklish. Make a habit of asking yourself these 8 questions before you hit that publish button. If you’ve covered these, you can confidently publish a piece of quality content that’s well-optimized!

Need more help? Make sure to check out our SEO copywriting training.

The post SEO copywriting checklist: 8 things to check before publishing appeared first on Yoast.

The Best SEO Plugins for All Major Platforms [The Complete List]

Posted by on May 11, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The Best SEO Plugins for All Major Platforms [The Complete List]

The Best SEO Plugins for All Major Platforms [The Complete List]

Call it as you want: plug-in, extension or add-on, its purpose remains the same: to make whatever software you are using more feature-rich. There are a lot of great plug-ins, but the ones we’re going to focus on are the plug-ins that will enhance your SEO efforts.

 

We’re not going to get terribly technical so enjoy checking the plugins below and use the ones that fit you best.

 

 

Along the years, we’ve searched, tested and tried lots of plugins. The following SEO plugins will surely help you achieve better SEO results but you need to choose the right ones for you.

If you know any other SEO plugins that should be listed here, please let us know in the comments section below. 

 

WordPress

SEO Yoast
SEO Framework
Broken Link Checkr
All in One Schema Rich Snippets
Rank Math
XML Sitemap
All in One SEO Pack
SEOPress

Magento

SEO Suite Ultimate
Free Magento SEO by Creare
SEO Suite
Canonical URLs Magento Extension by FME Addons
Advanced SEO by Activo
Advanced Sitemap

Joomla!

SEO Generator
EF SEO
JoomSEF
Tag Meta
sh404SEF

Wix

Wix SEO wiz

Shopify

Plug in SEO
Reload SEO

Weebly

Weebly Integrated SEO plugin

Squarespace

Squarespace SEO 

Extra – Chrome

MozBar
SEO quake
Keywords Everywhere
WooRank
SimilarWeb
SEO Peek

 
WordPress
 
1. SEO Yoast

 

SEO Yoast is probably one of the most used and most popular WordPress SEO plugins being installed by over five million websites. One of the best features of SEO Yoast is the XML sitemap management which allows you to easily create your sitemaps. You don’t have to code and then fix it if something is not working so you avoid any of the headaches. 

 

For content lovers, there’s the content optimization snippet preview which allows you to add your keyword, meta description and meta title to preview them as they appear on search. Besides that, you get tips and indications whether your content needs more on-site optimization, or de-optimization in case of keyword stuffing. 

 

 

Moreover, Yoast SEO helps you identify and avoid duplicate content so you don’t get penalized by Google. 

 
2. SEO Framework

 

SEO Framework is another great plugin for small businesses rather than big companies. The interface looks like it’s integrated into WordPress, so it delivers fast SEO solutions and it’s time efficient, leaving no room for errors. Not to mention that interacting with it feels very natural. 

 

 

The fact that it has an AI built makes it very interesting and it automatically optimizes your pages. That way, it gives you lots of possibilities to create a better website. It comes preconfigured but also gives you the option to change any settings you want. You can improve the search results and the social presence with SEO Framework. 

 
3. Broken Link Checker

 

In the WordPress plugins gallery, there are a lot of options for all sorts of issues and problems that you have for your website and Broken Link Checker is another example. The plugin, as the name point out, checks your broken links.

 

 

After you have installed it, the plugin will parse your whole website and show you how many broken links you have, similar to the screenshot above. You can find the list of broken links in a new tab of the WP admin panel – Tools -> Broken Links. Whenever you find broken links, there are some actions you can take: Edit link, Unlink, Not broken, Dismiss.

 
4. All in One Schema Rich Snippets

 

All In One Schema Rich Snippets can be used to improve the appearance in search engine results with rich snippets. The plugin can be used at its best for schema implementations, such as Recipes, Events, People, Products, Articles and so on.

 

Using the plugin will give more accurate information to the search engines about your website, help your results stand out in SERP and give you a competitive advantage. 

 
5. Rank Math

 

Rank Math is a free WordPress plugin that has lots of cool features for every business. It is developed by MyThemeShop, one of the most famous WordPress theme providers. This WordPress SEO plugin helps you optimize your content and outrank your competitors. One of the coolest things is that it supports schema-based themes and also AMP pages.

 

 

With Rank Math you can check lots of errors and get a lot of information for your website:

easy setup using the step-by-step installation and configuration wizard;
rank tracking option to follow your keywords positions and LSI keyword integration;
advanced website analysis section to spot any errors that need to be fixed;
a modular framework so you can have complete control of your website;
smart redirection manager;
40 monitor that identifies and fixes any 404 pages;
internal linking management and suggestion;
Google Search Console Integration;
Easy configuration for rich snippets and so many more.

 
6. XML Sitemap

 

As the name says it, XML Sitemap was specially designed to create XML sitemaps that will help search engines to better index your site. It works best with most search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com. The great thing about it is the fact that it notifies all the search engines every time you post new content or update any existing content. 

 

 
7. All in One SEO Pack

 

All in One SEO Pack is an easy WordPress plugin for beginners and for small businesses that want to improve their website and increase their rankings, but it also has advanced features and an API for developers. 

 

 

This WordPress plugin will help you with the following:

XML Sitemap support;
Google AMP support;
Google Analytics Integration;
Webmaster verification options for Google, Bing, and Pinterest;
Automatically generated meta tags;
Built-in API and compatibility with a lot of other plugins;
advanced canonical URLs and many more. 

 
8. SEOPress

 

It is one of simple fast and very powerful SEO plugin for the WordPress user. You can find the loads of features that you can easily enable or disable as per required. You can find the premium version adds from this plugin.

 
Jenelia DC

Editor & Content team @copyproblogger

 

SEOPress has lots of features and Jenelia shares some of the most important ones:

Discover your suggestion for your content through Google’s suggestion.
Fine tune with a content analysis tool.
You can track Google event and traffic from the dashboard.
It is very easy to create and manage 301, 302 and 307 redirects.
You will be able to check the performance of your site with Google page speed.
It allows you to implement Google structured data, such as product, article, event, local business, review, video, course, recipe and so on.

 
Magento
 
9. SEO Suite Ultimate

 

SEO Suite Ultimate extension is a comprehensive solution for Magento websites that want to improve their rankings and traffic. Plus it offers support for features that are not a part of the default Magento setup. It is installed by the team of experts from the plugin.

 

 

Enriched with lots of features to offer a valuable user experience, the SEO extension is developed taking into consideration lots of advantages:

automated SEO templates for product and category pages to make it easier for the user to add information.
solve duplicate content issues.
easily implement hreflang tags for any language and regional URLs.
add rich snippets in SERP to let search engines understand your pages better.
correct 301 implementation.
customize XML sitemaps and more.

 
10. Free Magento SEO by Creare

 

CreareSEO extension was created for Magento to help users solve their SEO problems by using a set of smart tools designed for them.

 

 

The Magento SEO plugin helps with:

store management: the extension will add an SEO checklist page to your store admin so you can see if they are configured correctly.
duplicate content: information to prevent it.
structured data: the platform will show you breadcrumbs, store information and social media channels.
metadata templates for product, category page titles and description.

 

Google integrations: you’ll get a list of Google services that are not integrated into your Magento 2 platform.

 
11. SEO Suite

 

SEO Suite is a free extension designed by Emipro Technologies. The plugin spots any aspects that need to be fixed, such as duplicate content issues allowing you to manage dynamic templates, improve indexation and even help you out with internal linking.

 

 

It solves the most important features and has lots of benefits such as:

Add rel=next/prev tag.
Add canonical tag for domain, image alt tag, advanced metadata.
Manage Twitter cards and Facebook Opengraph tags.
Create friendly URLs.
Add advanced breadcrumbs.
Use Adwords and Analytics integration.
Create XML sitemap.
Check missing meta tags.
Multiple store support and more.

 
12. Canonical URLs Magento Extension by FME Addons

 

Magento Canonical URLs is a free extension that adds ‘rel’ canonical URL to the head of your web pages and also manually sets custom canonical links for products. The extension helps the search engines select the most relevant pages for specific searches.

 

Plus, it helps you detect and fix duplicate content issues and it provides correct URL from databases for your CMS pages.

 

 
13. Advanced SEO by Activo

 

Advanced SEO by Activo is an SEO plugin for Magento 2 that adds the Organization schema.org rich snippet to the homepage of your store. We all know how critical it is to have an SEO advantage in your store so the plugin brings a lot of features to improve your store ranking and visibility.

 

 

There’s nothing too complicated, the extension guides you and it’s a great fit for your online store.

 
14. Advanced Sitemap

 

The Advanced Sitemap is an SEO plugin designed for Magento 1. There’s also an option for Magento 2, named Ultimate SEO Optimizer. Advanced Sitemap, as the name says it, is an extension that generates the sitemap automatically. It is very simple, you’ll have to install it and then generate how many Sitemaps you’d like. 

 

 

It has lots of customizations included, which allows you to set the priority and the frequency for each field, even for homepage, to set the title for sitemap, to add more links to the sitemap plus many others. 

 
Joomla!
 
15. SEO Generator

 

SEO-Generator is an SEO plugin for Joomla that generates keywords and descriptions for your webpages by pulling text from the title and/or the content. The plugin has an effective system to include the keyword and description in the articles. It requires you to review them and add only those that you want.

 

In the admin mode, on the right side of the article, you’ll see a section placed under “Metadata Information”, named “Plugin Parameter” where you get keyword ideas. In the screenshot below there’s an example.

 

 

SEO Generator for has lots of advantages for websites created on Joomla. It has support on lots of languages, making it very accessible for lots of international businesses. The process of curating keywords has three steps:

It analyzes all the content from an article and generates a list of keywords ordered by their time of appearance.
Then, it removes all the keywords from the list that might have a negative influence and puts them on the blacklist.
In the end, it selects the keywords and adds them into the keyword section.

 

Another cool advantage of the plugin is the fact that it works in a reversible mood, too. For example, you can generate keywords for older articles.

 
16. EF SEO

 

Another great SEO plugin for Joomla is Easy Frontend SEO. Lots of people recommend it due to its ease of use. The plugin helps you add and edit any meta information you’d like on every page. Be it a title, description, keywords, generator or robots, you can change them in frontend. So you don’t require advanced HTML knowledge. The plugin is available on every page on any Joomla website so it’s very easy to change any piece of information you want.

 

 

The plugin does not change, alter or even delete given Joomla! data. One big advantage of the plugin is the direct influence on the generated metadata, which gives a lot of freedom to the user.

 
17. JoomSEF

 

JoomSEF can be used to make the URLs search engine friendly. Plus, you get a lot of interesting and helpful features, such as customized error pages, internal linking management, duplicate URL customization, and search engine friendly URL management as you can see in the JoomSEF panel.

 

 

The Joomla SEO extension offers support for URL translations at multilingual sites and tries to provide more comfort to the user. We all know how important search engine friendly URLs are and how needed they are for achieving better ranking with search engines.

 

Here are some of the main features of JoomSEF:

Generate friendly URLs.
Fully URL management.
404 pages customization.
URL caching.
301 Redirection management.
Multilingual support and more.

 
18. Tag Meta

 

Tag Meta is another great SEO plugin for Joomla that allows you to efficiently manage your website’s meta information. It offers great advantages for improving website rankings through SEO.

 

 

Tag Meta makes is very easy to set the title tag, meta tags or link “canonical” on any page by simply mentioning the URL or just a part of it. You can apply multiple rules together and they will work just as fine. For example, if you set more than one rule to a URL they will apply in cascade using the ordering set. Only if the rule is declared as “the last one” the process will stop.

 

Another great advantage is the fact that you can generate meta information dynamically for each page. For example, you can keep the title tag on each rule from the global settings.

 
19. sh404SEF

 

sh404SEF is the longest developed and most popular SEO extension in Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED). It supports all the Joomla versions and it comes with lots of SEO features.

 

 

Here’s what you can do with sh404SEF:

Create search engine friendly URLs.
Use automating tinyURL generation.
Remove duplicate URLs.
Have support for canonical URLs.
Integrate Google Analytics and get support for Google Tags.
Integrated support for Twitter Cards and Open Graph so you can easily add social media buttons to your entire website.
Create customized error pages.
Customize the page title and page description with the bulk option.
Remove duplicates.
Protect the site against malicious page requests and control site access from suspicious domains.
Have multilingual support and so much more.

 
Wix
 
20. Wix SEO wiz

 

Wix is a closed system and has an SEO plugin that can be used only by Wix websites, named Wix SEO Wiz. It is a simple plugin to use for optimizing your website to rank on SERP. While there are other platforms you could use for creating websites, Wix is a great fit for small businesses, blogs, and personal websites.

 

The SEO plugin has three main features:

get keywords ideas and see how competitive they are.
index site on Google more quickly.
get access to how-to videos about SEO.

 

 

To optimize a page you need to select the Page SEO, then add title, description and preview your page in SERP. Then you need to click on save and publish when the page is finished.

 

 

The plugin was created two years ago in order to help Wix websites get reached online by users. It starts by creating a personalized SEO plan, adding a website, keywords, type of business and following instructions to rank higher in search engines.

 
Shopify
 
21. Plug in SEO

 

Plug in SEO will help you check your shop for SEO problems. This diagnosis tool checks all the essential areas of search engine optimization, such as titles, headings, meta descriptions, blog post structure, speed and much more.

 

 

You have to install the plugin and afterwards your store will be checked. Once the analysis is done, the app will display the details to let you know what improvements are necessary.

 

Plug in SEO constantly checks your shop for any issues and sends you notifications on email when it finds something. The app has full support and code snippets directions and guidance. Plus you get efficient title and description editing by following a template.

 

 

Plug in SEO is very good to improve your SEO for your store and get exceptional control of your customized SEO actions for Shopify.

 
22. ReloadSEO

 

ReloadSEO is an SEO extension that works great for e-commerce, so it can also be used for Magento, Joomla!, WordPress, Drupal and more. It promises to give you all the SEO tools you need to grow your search traffic and revenue.

 

 

ReloadSEO is made simple so that each user can improve the results for their website no matter how much SEO they know. It covers backlinks, content, keyword research, store monitoring and more.

 

Built as a native solution for major platforms, ReloadSEO carries a lot of benefits for e-commerce websites and focuses on lots of needs:

Perform analytics reports & search insights: measure SEO metrics and track changes to find pages from your website that need to be optimized for the search engines.
Position tracking: monitor your positions over time to improve low-ranking pages.
Discover new keywords: find new relevant keywords opportunities for your business.
Optimize content: Get insights and tips to write better content for people, not for search engines.
Manage your site’s health by spotting any issues on site.
Find link opportunities: get ideas by accessing the ReloadSEO database through link prospecting.

 
Weebly
 
23. Weebly SEO Plugin

 

Weebly SEO Plugin is a great fit for websites designed on Weebly. Similar to WordPress, Weebly is a web hosting service but mostly oriented for online shopping. The Weebly websites are SEO friendly and can rank on SERP if you follow the SEO principles. There’s nothing different than other websites in terms of SEO.

 

 

Every website created with Weebly has SEO Settings you can edit to rank higher on Google and other search engines. There are on-page and off-site SEO settings available so you can edit the plugin.

 

Compared to other plugins, Weebly has some other advantages:

easy and intuitive design: use drag and drop to edit content, modify your website’s design and interface.
customization: beside the previous options to edit your website’s design, you can modify your site’s HTML and CSS codes.
integrated SEO features: edit the SEO Settings for each individual page.
e-commerce integration: the plugin has lots of features for online shops such as product pages, payment process, delivery information, and so on.
integration with other apps: for e-commerce, social media, marketing, website features, and communication.

 

The CMS Weebly was named Top Rated Content Management Systems for 2019 by TrustRadius.

 
Squarespace
 
24. Squarespace SEO

 

Squarespace offers a simple solution for those who are interested in less customization with low maintenance and want something simple to use. Squarespace SEO is a simple solution for those who want to publish content quickly and efficiently.

 

 

Some users blame Squarespace because it doesn’t have better SEO integration into the platform. I would say that it is a better fit for beginners, rather than SEO pros. When people want to use Squarespace for creating their website, SEO is by far the topic that is most frequently asked about.

 

When you sign up for the Squarespace platform, your site is generally optimized for SEO; even the founder of Squarespace mentions that.

 

Squarespace is engineered to work properly without a sea of plugins, and you should not take the lack of plugin for this to mean that we didn’t actually just build it right from the start.

 
Anthony Casalena

Anthony Casalena, founder of Squarespace

 

Plus you have other benefits included, such as automatic XML sitemap, free SSL certificate, user-friendly themes, clean HTML and URLs.

 

Source: www.stylefactoryproductions.com

 
Extra – Chrome
 
25. MozBar

 

MozBar is a free Chrome extension that delivers metrics on the go. If you install the MozBar from Google Play, you’ll see the ‘M’ icon from the toolbar at the top right-hand side of your browser. Whenever you’ll search for something on the web, you’ll get some information on every webpage that appears in the search results. 

 

With just a simple click, you can see the page authority (PA), domain authority (DA), the number of links and referring domains. Plus you can see the spam score and get lots of insights on the go.

 

 

Whenever you enter a new website, you can see on-site elements, link metrics, markup data or highlight internal and external links, followed and nofollowed links and so on. 

 

 
26. SEOquake

 

SEOquake is a Chrome plugin developed by SEMrush. It has lots of information displayed directly in your search results page. That way, you can see the number of links, referring domains, rankings data, display ads information. Plus you get more insights through the integration with Alexa, Whois, Bing and Wayback Machine. 

 

You can edit settings and see results based on the location you set it from the Chrome extension, or order the results by a specific parameter from the left-side menu. 

 

Moreover, for each individual page, you get a set of new data regarding links, content, specific metrics, internal and external links, ads, traffic and many more. 

 

 
27. Keywords Everywhere

 

Keywords Everywhere is is one of the best SEO plugins for Chrome. For every search you make, you get free search volume, CPC & competition data and additional lists for related keywords, and other suggestions. The SEO extension is easy to use and saves a lot of time since all the information is at sight.

 

 

The Chrome extension supports lots of other websites where you can see the metrics under the search toolbox, websites such as Youtube, GSC, Google Trends, Google Analytics, Soolve, Esty, Bing, eBay and more. 

 
28. WooRank

 

WooRank is a Chrome extension that works based on score. It is designed by the same company that has an SEO tool – WooRank. Once enabled, Woorank calculates a score based on the website analysis it makes it by checking content, links, technical information, mobile, local and usability. It provides various SEO tips for your website to rank number 1 in SERP.

 

 

For a more comprehensive analysis, you can click on any information the extension gives you and check the pop out with the whole analysis. 

 
29. SimilarWeb

 

SimilarWeb gives you website traffic and key metrics for any website, such as traffic, search data, social, display ads, on-site content, audience and competitors. By collecting all this information you can gain insights into any website’s statistics and strategy as you’re browsing. 

 

 

Similar to the other Chrome extensions, with a simple click you can get a more comprehensive analysis on the site you want. Find all the information you need in one place.

 
30. SEO Peek

 

SEO Peek is a great Chrome extension for content marketers. It quickly checks the on-page SEO factors of any website. It simply checks the DOM of a page, so there’s no need to bother with the HTML source. Enable it from the top-right side of the page and see the page title, meta description, meta keywords, headings, HTTP Status, meta tags, canonicalization annotations, mobile annotation and more.

 

 

The post The Best SEO Plugins for All Major Platforms [The Complete List] appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Who’s Minding the Digital Store? How to align teams when technology is in charge

Posted by on May 9, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Who’s Minding the Digital Store? How to align teams when technology is in charge

Who’s Minding the Digital Store? How to align teams when technology is in charge

As technology takes center stage in digital commerce, retailers and brands are trying to rebalance their internal organizations so that the technology, marketing and merchandising teams have an equal share in driving business results.

Join our e-commerce experts–Alex Shiferman, VP of Technology at Nuts.com, and Jeffrey Liss, Director in the Connected Commerce practice at KPMG US– and learn how to choose the right technology to make everyone more nimble, and upgrade your technology without breaking the business. Alex will share how Nuts.com went from “Mom and Pop” to multimillion-dollar online retailer by modernizing not just its technology, but the entire organization.

Register today for “Who’s Minding the Digital Store? How to align teams when technology is in charge,” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by Commercetools.

The post Who’s Minding the Digital Store? How to align teams when technology is in charge appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Best Social Media WordPress Plugins

Posted by on May 9, 2019 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on Best Social Media WordPress Plugins

WordPress has so many plugins to choose from, but which are the right ones to boost your social media presence?

MONARCH

Developed by Elegant Themes back in 2014, it has become very popular because it can:
. Display a floating sidebar
. Customize the position of your social sharing buttons
. Create attractive, user-friendly interfaces
. Appeal to mobile as well as desktop users
. Determine when your pop-ups will appear to your visitors
. Track statistics

There is one caveat: it is $89 per year to use.

EASY SOCIAL SHARE BUTTONS

This plugin’s major advantage is that it provides an easy-to-use interface, but doesn’t slow down your site. Here’s just a handful of features:
. over 40 social networks supported
. 30 built-in templates
. built-in email subscription services
. shareable quotes in your blog posts
. 50 social network buttons, 50 templates, 28 display locations, and 25 animations
. compatibility with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads

You can also analyze and optimize your social activity using this plugin.

MASHSHARE

This is a plugin inspired by the social buttons on Mashable.com, has a freemium plan (most of its features are freemium in the first place), but the paid version does offer Google Analytics Integration, Mashshare Page Views, a Sticky ShareBar, VideoPost Popup, or Short URLs Integration.

SOCIAL WARFARE

This relatively new plugin makes your posts more attractive and easily shareable by providing:
. shareable quotes within your blog posts.
. uploading of your images directly to Pinterest.
. more than 5,000 style combinations, helping you customize your interfaces.
. shareable Twitter cards to encourage users to read the quote and share it on their social channels.
. shortcodes that let you insert the social sharing buttons wherever you need.

It is $29 yearly but there is a 45-day money-back guarantee.

REVIVE OLD POST AND REVIVE NETWORK

These two plugins were built by Revive Social. “Revive Old Post” automatically shares your older content on your social network, whereas “Revive Network” tracks quality and relevant resources from online resources and republishes them on your social networks.

Probably the only disadvantage of these plugins is pricing: “Revive Old Posts” is between $85 and $338, while “Revive Network” costs between $55 and $450.

FLOW-FLOW SOCIAL STREAM

This plugin combines and streams social feeds from multiple platforms. It’s free for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and then costs $36 to stream from YouTube, Tumblr, SoundCloud, Dribbble, and many more.

SOCIAL PUG

This plugin lets you add round, rectangular, or circular share buttons. They also can be placed above or below your site’s content, or as a floating sidebar.

The free version supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, whereas the pro version at $29 offers 11 more networks to choose from.

The Fractured Web

Posted by on May 8, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The Fractured Web

The Fractured Web

Anyone can argue about the intent of a particular action & the outcome that is derived by it. But when the outcome is known, at some point the intent is inferred if the outcome is derived from a source of power & the outcome doesn’t change.

Or, put another way, if a powerful entity (government, corporation, other organization) disliked an outcome which appeared to benefit them in the short term at great lasting cost to others, they could spend resources to adjust the system.

If they don’t spend those resources (or, rather, spend them on lobbying rather than improving the ecosystem) then there is no desired change. The outcome is as desired. Change is unwanted.

Engagement is a toxic metric.Products which optimize for it become worse. People who optimize for it become less happy.It also seems to generate runaway feedback loops where most engagable people have a) worst individual experiences and then b) end up driving the product bus.— Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) April 9, 2019

News is a stock vs flow market where the flow of recent events drives most of the traffic to articles. News that is more than a couple days old is no longer news. A news site which stops publishing news stops becoming a habit & quickly loses relevancy. Algorithmically an abandoned archive of old news articles doesn’t look much different than eHow, in spite of having a much higher cost structure.

According to SEMrush’s traffic rank, ampproject.org gets more monthly visits than Yahoo.com.

That actually understates the prevalence of AMP because AMP is generally designed for mobile AND not all AMP-formatted content is displayed on ampproject.org.

Part of how AMP was able to get widespread adoption was because in the news vertical the organic search result set was displaced by an AMP block. If you were a news site either you were so differentiated that readers would scroll past the AMP block in the search results to look for you specifically, or you adopted AMP, or you were doomed.

Some news organizations like The Guardian have a team of about a dozen people reformatting their content to the duplicative & proprietary AMP format. That’s wasteful, but necessary “In theory, adoption of AMP is voluntary. In reality, publishers that don’t want to see their search traffic evaporate have little choice. New data from publisher analytics firm Chartbeat shows just how much leverage Google has over publishers thanks to its dominant search engine.”

It seems more than a bit backward that low margin publishers are doing duplicative work to distance themselves from their own readers while improving the profit margins of monopolies. But it is what it is. And that no doubt drew the ire of many publishers across the EU.

And now there are AMP Stories to eat up even more visual real estate.

If you spent a bunch of money to create a highly differentiated piece of content, why would you prefer that high spend flagship content appear on a third party website rather than your own?

Google & Facebook have done such a fantastic job of eating the entire pie that some are celebrating Amazon as a prospective savior to the publishing industry. That view – IMHO – is rather suspect.

Where any of the tech monopolies dominate they cram down on partners. The New York Times acquired The Wirecutter in Q4 of 2016. In Q1 of 2017 Amazon adjusted their affiliate fee schedule.

Amazon generally treats consumers well, but they have been much harder on business partners with tough pricing negotiations, counterfeit protections, forced ad buying to have a high enough product rank to be able to rank organically, ad displacement of their organic search results below the fold (even for branded search queries), learning suppliers & cutting out the partners, private label products patterned after top sellers, in some cases running pop over ads for the private label products on product level pages where brands already spent money to drive traffic to the page, etc.

They’ve made things tougher for their partners in a way that mirrors the impact Facebook & Google have had on online publishers:

“Boyce’s experience on Amazon largely echoed what happens in the offline world: competitors entered the market, pushing down prices and making it harder to make a profit. So Boyce adapted. He stopped selling basketball hoops and developed his own line of foosball tables, air hockey tables, bocce ball sets and exercise equipment. The best way to make a decent profit on Amazon was to sell something no one else had and create your own brand. … Amazon also started selling bocce ball sets that cost $15 less than Boyce’s. He says his products are higher quality, but Amazon gives prominent page space to its generic version and wins the cost-conscious shopper.”

Google claims they have no idea how content publishers are with the trade off between themselves & the search engine, but every quarter Alphabet publish the share of ad spend occurring on owned & operated sites versus the share spent across the broader publisher network. And in almost every quarter for over a decade straight that ratio has grown worse for publishers.

When Google tells industry about how much $ it funnels to rest of ecosystem, just show them this chart. It’s good to be the “revenue regulator” (note: G went public in 2004). pic.twitter.com/HCbCNgbzKc— Jason Kint (@jason_kint) February 5, 2019

The aggregate numbers for news publishers are worse than shown above as Google is ramping up ads in video games quite hard. They’ve partnered with Unity & promptly took away the ability to block ads from appearing in video games using googleadsenseformobileapps.com exclusion (hello flat thumb misclicks, my name is budget & I am gone!)

They will also track video game player behavior & alter game play to maximize revenues based on machine learning tied to surveillance of the user’s account: “We’re bringing a new approach to monetization that combines ads and in-app purchases in one automated solution. Available today, new smart segmentation features in Google AdMob use machine learning to segment your players based on their likelihood to spend on in-app purchases. Ad units with smart segmentation will show ads only to users who are predicted not to spend on in-app purchases. Players who are predicted to spend will see no ads, and can simply continue playing.”

And how does the growth of ampproject.org square against the following wisdom?

If you do use a CDN, I’d recommend using a domain name of your own (eg, https://t.co/fWMc6CFPZ0), so you can move to other CDNs if you feel the need to over time, without having to do any redirects.— John (@JohnMu) April 15, 2019

Literally only yesterday did Google begin supporting instant loading of self-hosted AMP pages.

China has a different set of tech leaders than the United States. Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent (BAT) instead of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google (FANG). China tech companies may have won their domestic markets in part based on superior technology or better knowledge of the local culture, though those same companies have largely went nowhere fast in most foreign markets. A big part of winning was governmental assistance in putting a foot on the scales.

Part of the US-China trade war is about who controls the virtual “seas” upon which value flows:

it can easily be argued that the last 60 years were above all the era of the container-ship (with container-ships getting ever bigger). But will the coming decades still be the age of the container-ship? Possibly not, for the simple reason that things that have value increasingly no longer travel by ship, but instead by fiberoptic cables! … you could almost argue that ZTE and Huawei have been the “East India Company” of the current imperial cycle. Unsurprisingly, it is these very companies, charged with laying out the “new roads” along which “tomorrow’s value” will flow, that find themselves at the center of the US backlash. … if the symbol of British domination was the steamship, and the symbol of American strength was the Boeing 747, it seems increasingly clear that the question of the future will be whether tomorrow’s telecom switches and routers are produced by Huawei or Cisco. … US attempts to take down Huawei and ZTE can be seen as the existing empire’s attempt to prevent the ascent of a new imperial power. With this in mind, I could go a step further and suggest that perhaps the Huawei crisis is this century’s version of Suez crisis. No wonder markets have been falling ever since the arrest of the Huawei CFO. In time, the Suez Crisis was brought to a halt by US threats to destroy the value of sterling. Could we now witness the same for the US dollar?

China maintains Huawei is an employee-owned company. But that proposition is suspect. Broadly stealing technology is vital to the growth of the Chinese economy & they have no incentive to stop unless their leading companies pay a direct cost. Meanwhile, China is investigating Ericsson over licensing technology.

Amazon will soon discontinue selling physical retail products in China: “Amazon shoppers in China will no longer be able to buy goods from third-party merchants in the country, but they still will be able to order from the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan via the firm’s global store. Amazon expects to close fulfillment centers and wind down support for domestic-selling merchants in China in the next 90 days.”

India has taken notice of the success of Chinese tech companies & thus began to promote “national champion” company policies. That, in turn, has also meant some of the Chinese-styled laws requiring localized data, antitrust inquiries, foreign ownership restrictions, requirements for platforms to not sell their own goods, promoting limits on data encryption, etc.

The secretary of India’s Telecommunications Department, Aruna Sundararajan, last week told a gathering of Indian startups in a closed-door meeting in the tech hub of Bangalore that the government will introduce a “national champion” policy “very soon” to encourage the rise of Indian companies, according to a person familiar with the matter. She said Indian policy makers had noted the success of China’s internet giants, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. … Tensions began rising last year, when New Delhi decided to create a clearer set of rules for e-commerce and convened a group of local players to solicit suggestions. Amazon and Flipkart, even though they make up more than half the market, weren’t invited, according to people familiar with the matter.

Amazon vowed to invest $5 billion in India & they have done some remarkable work on logistics there. Walmart acquired Flipkart for $16 billion.

Other emerging markets also have many local ecommerce leaders like Jumia, MercadoLibre, OLX, Gumtree, Takealot, Konga, Kilimall, BidOrBuy, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Shoppee, Lazada. If you live in the US you may have never heard of *any* of those companies. And if you live in an emerging market you may have never interacted with Amazon or eBay.

It makes sense that ecommerce leadership would be more localized since it requires moving things in the physical economy, dealing with local currencies, managing inventory, shipping goods, etc. whereas information flows are just bits floating on a fiber optic cable.

If the Internet is primarily seen as a communications platform it is easy for people in some emerging markets to think Facebook is the Internet. Free communication with friends and family members is a compelling offer & as the cost of data drops web usage increases.

At the same time, the web is incredibly deflationary. Every free form of entertainment which consumes time is time that is not spent consuming something else.

Add the technological disruption to the wealth polarization that happened in the wake of the great recession, then combine that with algorithms that promote extremist views & it is clearly causing increasing conflict.

If you are a parent and you think you child has no shot at a brighter future than your own life it is easy to be full of rage.

Empathy can radicalize otherwise normal people by giving them a more polarized view of the world:

Starting around 2000, the line starts to slide. More students say it’s not their problem to help people in trouble, not their job to see the world from someone else’s perspective. By 2009, on all the standard measures, Konrath found, young people on average measure 40 percent less empathetic than my own generation … The new rule for empathy seems to be: reserve it, not for your “enemies,” but for the people you believe are hurt, or you have decided need it the most. Empathy, but just for your own team. And empathizing with the other team? That’s practically a taboo.

A complete lack of empathy could allow a psychopath to commit extreme crimes while feeling no guilt, shame or remorse. Extreme empathy can have the same sort of outcome:

“Sometimes we commit atrocities not out of a failure of empathy but rather as a direct consequence of successful, even overly successful, empathy. … They emphasized that students would learn both sides, and the atrocities committed by one side or the other were always put into context. Students learned this curriculum, but follow-up studies showed that this new generation was more polarized than the one before. … [Empathy] can be good when it leads to good action, but it can have downsides. For example, if you want the victims to say ‘thank you.’ You may even want to keep the people you help in that position of inferior victim because it can sustain your feeling of being a hero.” – Fritz Breithaupt

News feeds will be read. Villages will be razed. Lynch mobs will become commonplace.

Many people will end up murdered by algorithmically generated empathy.

As technology increases absentee ownership & financial leverage, a society led by morally agnostic algorithms is not going to become more egalitarian.

The more I think about and discuss it, the more I think WhatsApp is simultaneously the future of Facebook, and the most potentially dangerous digital tool yet created. We haven’t even begun to see the real impact yet of ubiquitous, unfettered and un-moderatable human telepathy.— Antonio García Martínez (@antoniogm) April 15, 2019

When politicians throw fuel on the fire it only gets worse:

It’s particularly odd that the government is demanding “accountability and responsibility” from a phone app when some ruling party politicians are busy spreading divisive fake news. How can the government ask WhatsApp to control mobs when those convicted of lynching Muslims have been greeted, garlanded and fed sweets by some of the most progressive and cosmopolitan members of Modi’s council of ministers?

Mark Zuckerburg won’t get caught downstream from platform blowback as he spends $20 million a year on his security.

The web is a mirror. Engagement-based algorithms reinforcing our perceptions & identities.

And every important story has at least 2 sides!

The Rohingya asylum seekers are victims of their own violent Jihadist leadership that formed a militia to kill Buddhists and Hindus. Hindus are being massacred, where’s the outrage for them!? https://t.co/P3m6w4B1Po— Imam Tawhidi (@Imamofpeace) May 23, 2018

Some may “learn” vaccines don’t work. Others may learn the vaccines their own children took did not work, as it failed to protect them from the antivax content spread by Facebook & Google, absorbed by people spreading measles & Medieval diseases.

Passion drives engagement, which drives algorithmic distribution: “There’s an asymmetry of passion at work. Which is to say, there’s very little counter-content to surface because it simply doesn’t occur to regular people (or, in this case, actual medical experts) that there’s a need to produce counter-content.”

As the costs of “free” become harder to hide, social media companies which currently sell emerging markets as their next big growth area will end up having embedded regulatory compliance costs which will end up exceeding any sort of prospective revenue they could hope to generate.

The Pinterest S1 shows almost all their growth is in emerging markets, yet almost all their revenue is inside the United States.

As governments around the world see the real-world cost of the foreign tech companies & view some of them as piggy banks, eventually the likes of Facebook or Google will pull out of a variety of markets they no longer feel worth serving. It will be like Google did in mainland China with search after discovering pervasive hacking of activist Gmail accounts.

Just tried signing into Gmail from a new device. Unless I provide a phone number, there is no way to sign in and no one to call about it. Oh, and why do they say they need my phone? If you guessed “for my protection,” you would be correct. Talk about Big Brother…— Simon Mikhailovich (@S_Mikhailovich) April 16, 2019

Lower friction & lower cost information markets will face more junk fees, hurdles & even some legitimate regulations. Information markets will start to behave more like physical goods markets.

The tech companies presume they will be able to use satellites, drones & balloons to beam in Internet while avoiding messy local issues tied to real world infrastructure, but when a local wealthy player is betting against them they’ll probably end up losing those markets: “One of the biggest cheerleaders for the new rules was Reliance Jio, a fast-growing mobile phone company controlled by Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest industrialist. Mr. Ambani, an ally of Mr. Modi, has made no secret of his plans to turn Reliance Jio into an all-purpose information service that offers streaming video and music, messaging, money transfer, online shopping, and home broadband services.”

Publishers do not have “their mojo back” because the tech companies have been so good to them, but rather because the tech companies have been so aggressive that they’ve earned so much blowback which will in turn lead publishers to opting out of future deals, which will eventually lead more people back to the trusted brands of yesterday.

Publishers feeling guilty about taking advertorial money from the tech companies to spread their propaganda will offset its publication with opinion pieces pointing in the other direction: “This is a lobbying campaign in which buying the good opinion of news brands is clearly important. If it was about reaching a target audience, there are plenty of metrics to suggest his words would reach further – at no cost – on Facebook. Similarly, Google is upping its presence in a less obvious manner via assorted media initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic. Its more direct approach to funding journalism seems to have the desired effect of making all media organisations (and indeed many academic institutions) touched by its money slightly less questioning and critical of its motives.”

When Facebook goes down direct visits to leading news brand sites go up.

When Google penalizes a no-name me-too site almost nobody realizes it is missing. But if a big publisher opts out of the ecosystem people will notice.

The reliance on the tech platforms is largely a mirage. If enough key players were to opt out at the same time people would quickly reorient their information consumption habits.

If the platforms can change their focus overnight then why can’t publishers band together & choose to dump them?

CEO Jack Dorsey said Twitter is looking to change the focus from following specific individuals to topics of interest, acknowledging that what’s incentivized today on the platform is at odds with the goal of healthy dialoguehttps://t.co/31FYslbePA— Axios (@axios) April 16, 2019

In Europe there is GDPR, which aimed to protect user privacy, but ultimately acted as a tax on innovation by local startups while being a subsidy to the big online ad networks. They also have Article 11 & Article 13, which passed in spite of Google’s best efforts on the scaremongering anti-SERP tests, lobbying & propaganda fronts: “Google has sparked criticism by encouraging news publishers participating in its Digital News Initiative to lobby against proposed changes to EU copyright law at a time when the beleaguered sector is increasingly turning to the search giant for help.”

Remember the Eric Schmidt comment about how brands are how you sort out (the non-YouTube portion of) the cesspool? As it turns out, he was allegedly wrong as Google claims they have been fighting for the little guy the whole time:

Article 11 could change that principle and require online services to strike commercial deals with publishers to show hyperlinks and short snippets of news. This means that search engines, news aggregators, apps, and platforms would have to put commercial licences in place, and make decisions about which content to include on the basis of those licensing agreements and which to leave out. Effectively, companies like Google will be put in the position of picking winners and losers. … Why are large influential companies constraining how new and small publishers operate? … The proposed rules will undoubtedly hurt diversity of voices, with large publishers setting business models for the whole industry. This will not benefit all equally. … We believe the information we show should be based on quality, not on payment.

Facebook claims there is a local news problem: “Facebook Inc. has been looking to boost its local-news offerings since a 2017 survey showed most of its users were clamoring for more. It has run into a problem: There simply isn’t enough local news in vast swaths of the country. … more than one in five newspapers have closed in the past decade and a half, leaving half the counties in the nation with just one newspaper, and 200 counties with no newspaper at all.”

Google is so for the little guy that for their local news experiments they’ve partnered with a private equity backed newspaper roll up firm & another newspaper chain which did overpriced acquisitions & is trying to act like a PE firm (trying to not get eaten by the PE firm).

Does the above stock chart look in any way healthy?

Does it give off the scent of a firm that understood the impact of digital & rode it to new heights?

If you want good market-based outcomes, why not partner with journalists directly versus operating through PE chop shops?

If Patch is profitable & Google were a neutral ranking system based on quality, couldn’t Google partner with journalists directly?

Throwing a few dollars at a PE firm in some nebulous partnership sure beats the sort of regulations coming out of the EU. And the EU’s regulations (and prior link tax attempts) are in addition to the three multi billion Euro fines the European Union has levied against Alphabet for shopping search, Android & AdSense.

Google was also fined in Russia over Android bundling. The fine was tiny, but after consumers gained a search engine choice screen (much like Google pushed for in Europe on Microsoft years ago) Yandex’s share of mobile search grew quickly.

The UK recently published a white paper on online harms. In some ways it is a regulation just like the tech companies might offer to participants in their ecosystems:

Companies will have to fulfil their new legal duties or face the consequences and “will still need to be compliant with the overarching duty of care even where a specific code does not exist, for example assessing and responding to the risk associated with emerging harms or technology”.

If web publishers should monitor inbound links to look for anything suspicious then the big platforms sure as hell have the resources & profit margins to monitor behavior on their own websites.

Australia passed the Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material bill which requires platforms to expeditiously remove violent videos & notify the Australian police about them.

There are other layers of fracturing going on in the web as well.

Programmatic advertising shifted revenue from publishers to adtech companies & the largest ad sellers. Ad blockers further lower the ad revenues of many publishers. If you routinely use an ad blocker, try surfing the web for a while without one & you will notice layover welcome AdSense ads on sites as you browse the web – the very type of ad they were allegedly against when promoting AMP.

There has been much more press in the past week about ad blocking as Google’s influence is being questioned as it rolls out ad blocking as a feature built into Google’s dominant Chrome web browser. https://t.co/LQmvJu9MYB— Jason Kint (@jason_kint) February 19, 2018

Tracking protection in browsers & ad blocking features built directly into browsers leave publishers more uncertain. And who even knows who visited an AMP page hosted on a third party server, particularly when things like GDPR are mixed in? Those who lack first party data may end up having to make large acquisitions to stay relevant.

Voice search & personal assistants are now ad channels.

Google Assistant Now Showing Sponsored Link Ads for Some Travel Related Queries “Similar results are delivered through both Google Home and Google Home Hub without the sponsored links.” https://t.co/jSVKKI2AYT via @bretkinsella pic.twitter.com/0sjAswy14M— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) April 15, 2019

App stores are removing VPNs in China, removing Tiktok in India, and keeping female tracking apps in Saudi Arabia. App stores are centralized chokepoints for governments. Every centralized service is at risk of censorship. Web browsers from key state-connected players can also censor messages spread by developers on platforms like GitHub.

Microsoft’s newest Edge web browser is based on Chromium, the source of Google Chrome. While Mozilla Firefox gets most of their revenue from a search deal with Google, Google has still went out of its way to use its services to both promote Chrome with pop overs AND break in competing web browsers:

“All of this is stuff you’re allowed to do to compete, of course. But we were still a search partner, so we’d say ‘hey what gives?’ And every time, they’d say, ‘oops. That was accidental. We’ll fix it in the next push in 2 weeks.’ Over and over. Oops. Another accident. We’ll fix it soon. We want the same things. We’re on the same team. There were dozens of oopses. Hundreds maybe?” – former Firefox VP Jonathan Nightingale

This is how it spreads. Google normalizes “web apps” that are really just Chrome apps. Then others follow. We’ve been here before, y’all. Remember IE? Browser hegemony is not a happy place. https://t.co/b29EvIty1H— DHH (@dhh) April 1, 2019

In fact, it’s alarming how much of Microsoft’s cut-off-the-air-supply playbook on browser dominance that Google is emulating. From browser-specific apps to embrace-n-extend AMP “standards”. It’s sad, but sadder still is when others follow suit.— DHH (@dhh) April 1, 2019

YouTube page load is 5x slower in Firefox and Edge than in Chrome because YouTube’s Polymer redesign relies on the deprecated Shadow DOM v0 API only implemented in Chrome. You can restore YouTube’s faster pre-Polymer design with this Firefox extension: https://t.co/F5uEn3iMLR— Chris Peterson (@cpeterso) July 24, 2018

As phone sales fall & app downloads stall a hardware company like Apple is pushing hard into services while quietly raking in utterly fantastic ad revenues from search & ads in their app store.

Part of the reason people are downloading fewer apps is so many apps require registration as soon as they are opened, or only let a user engage with them for seconds before pushing aggressive upsells. And then many apps which were formerly one-off purchases are becoming subscription plays. As traffic acquisition costs have jumped, many apps must engage in sleight of hand behaviors (free but not really, we are collecting data totally unrelated to the purpose of our app & oops we sold your data, etc.) in order to get the numbers to back out. This in turn causes app stores to slow down app reviews.

Apple acquired the news subscription service Texture & turned it into Apple News Plus. Not only is Apple keeping half the subscription revenues, but soon the service will only work for people using Apple devices, leaving nearly 100,000 other subscribers out in the cold: “if you’re part of the 30% who used Texture to get your favorite magazines digitally on Android or Windows devices, you will soon be out of luck. Only Apple iOS devices will be able to access the 300 magazines available from publishers. At the time of the sale in March 2018 to Apple, Texture had about 240,000 subscribers.”

Apple is also going to spend over a half-billion Dollars exclusively licensing independently developed games:

Several people involved in the project’s development say Apple is spending several million dollars each on most of the more than 100 games that have been selected to launch on Arcade, with its total budget likely to exceed $500m. The games service is expected to launch later this year. … Apple is offering developers an extra incentive if they agree for their game to only be available on Arcade, withholding their release on Google’s Play app store for Android smartphones or other subscription gaming bundles such as Microsoft’s Xbox game pass.

Verizon wants to launch a video game streaming service. It will probably be almost as successful as their Go90 OTT service was. Microsoft is pushing to make Xbox games work on Android devices. Amazon is developing a game streaming service to compliment Twitch.

The hosts on Twitch, some of whom sign up exclusively with the platform in order to gain access to its moneymaking tools, are rewarded for their ability to make a connection with viewers as much as they are for their gaming prowess. Viewers who pay $4.99 a month for a basic subscription — the money is split evenly between the streamers and Twitch — are looking for immediacy and intimacy. While some hosts at YouTube Gaming offer a similar experience, they have struggled to build audiences as large, and as dedicated, as those on Twitch. … While YouTube has made millionaires out of the creators of popular videos through its advertising program, Twitch’s hosts make money primarily from subscribers and one-off donations or tips. YouTube Gaming has made it possible for viewers to support hosts this way, but paying audiences haven’t materialized at the scale they have on Twitch.

Google, having a bit of Twitch envy, is also launching a video game streaming service which will be deeply integrated into YouTube: “With Stadia, YouTube watchers can press “Play now” at the end of a video, and be brought into the game within 5 seconds. The service provides “instant access” via button or link, just like any other piece of content on the web.”

Google will also launch their own game studio making exclusive games for their platform.

When consoles don’t use discs or cartridges so they can sell a subscription access to their software library it is hard to be a game retailer! GameStop’s stock has been performing like an ICO. And these sorts of announcements from the tech companies have been hitting stock prices for companies like Nintendo & Sony: “There is no doubt this service makes life even more difficult for established platforms,” Amir Anvarzadeh, a market strategist at Asymmetric Advisors Pte, said in a note to clients. “Google will help further fragment the gaming market which is already coming under pressure by big games which have adopted the mobile gaming business model of giving the titles away for free in hope of generating in-game content sales.”

The big tech companies which promoted everything in adjacent markets being free are now erecting paywalls for themselves, balkanizing the web by paying for exclusives to drive their bundled subscriptions.

How many paid movie streaming services will the web have by the end of next year? 20? 50? Does anybody know?

Disney alone with operate Disney+, ESPN+ as well as Hulu.

And then the tech companies are not only licensing exclusives to drive their subscription-based services, but we’re going to see more exclusionary policies like YouTube not working on Amazon Echo, Netflix dumping support for Apple’s Airplay, or Amazon refusing to sell devices like Chromecast or Apple TV.

The good news in a fractured web is a broader publishing industry that contains many micro markets will have many opportunities embedded in it. A Facebook pivot away from games toward news, or a pivot away from news toward video won’t kill third party publishers who have a more diverse traffic profile and more direct revenues. And a regional law blocking porn or gambling websites might lead to an increase in demand for VPNs or free to play points-based games with paid upgrades. Even the rise of metered paywalls will lead to people using more web browsers & more VPNs. Each fracture (good or bad) will create more market edges & ultimately more opportunities. Chinese enforcement of their gambling laws created a real estate boom in Manila.

So long as there are 4 or 5 game stores, 4 or 5 movie streaming sites, etc. … they have to compete on merit or use money to try to buy exclusives. Either way is better than the old monopoly strategy of take it or leave it ultimatums.

The publisher wins because there is a competitive bid. There won’t be an arbitrary 30% tax on everything. So long as there is competition from the open web there will be means to bypass the junk fees & the most successful companies that do so might create their own stores with a lower rate: “Mr. Schachter estimates that Apple and Google could see a hit of about 14% to pretax earnings if they reduced their own app commissions to match Epic’s take.”

As the big media companies & big tech companies race to create subscription products they’ll spend many billions on exclusives. And they will be training consumers that there’s nothing wrong with paying for content. This will eventually lead to hundreds of thousands or even millions of successful niche publications which have incentives better aligned than all the issues the ad supported web has faced.

Added: Facebook pushing privacy & groups is both an attempt to thwart regulation risk while also making their services more relevant to a web that fractures away from a monolithic thing into more niche communities.

One way of looking at Facebook in this moment is as an unstoppable behemoth that bends reality to its will, no matter the consequences. (This is how many journalists tend to see it.) Another way of looking at the company is from the perspective of its fundamental weakness — as a slave to ever-shifting consumer behavior. (This is how employees are more likely to look at it.) … Zuckerberg’s vision for a new Facebook is perhaps best represented by a coming redesign of the flagship app and desktop site that will emphasize events and groups, at the expense of the News Feed. Collectively, the design changes will push people toward smaller group conversations and real-world meetups — and away from public posts.

Categories: publishing & media