Weekly Digital News Roundup: September 27 – October 1
Google Alters Search to Handle More Complex Queries
- According to the New York Times, Google on Thursday announced one of the biggest changes to its search engine, a rewriting of its algorithm to handle more complex queries that affects 90 percent of all searches.
- The change, which represents a new approach to search for Google, required the biggest changes to the company’s search algorithm since 2000. Now, Google, the world’s most popular search engine, will focus more on trying to understand the meanings of and relationships among things, as opposed to its original strategy of matching keywords. The company made the changes, executives said, because Google users are asking increasingly long and complex questions and are searching Google more often on mobile phones with voice search.
- Google announced the new algorithm, called Hummingbird, at an event to celebrate the search engine’s 15th birthday. The outcome is not a change in how Google searches the Web, but in the results that it shows. Google also announced a few smaller changes to searching. It is changing the visual layout of mobile search to better suit phones and tablets. People can now compare two things, like butter and olive oil, or corgis and pugs, in search results.
Twitter Pitches Itself to TV Networks
- According to the Wall Street Journal, as television networks crank up their marketing machines to promote new fall shows, Twitter wants to squeeze more dollars out of its ability to generate real-time online buzz. Twitter’s trend- tracking hashtags have already become common marketing tools on TV, but networks haven’t always paid for their benefits, often capitalizing on Twitter’s power as a free marketing tool.
- In recent months, Twitter has been courting television networks and advertisers as it rolls out more-sophisticated marketing products. New partnerships are likely this week, as Twitter executives gather with the media industry for the Advertising Week conference in New York. One of Twitter’s key ad products is called Amplify, which allows Twitter to sell ads together with television and other media companies. With Amplify, networks post short video replays on Twitter in near-real time. The video is sponsored by a brand. The network and Twitter each get a cut of the ad proceeds.
- Getting companies to pay for Twitter publicity is a crucial distinction for the seven-year-old company as it tries to convert its online influence into a business model—especially when rival Facebook Inc. also wants to become a hub for real-time conversations.
YouTube Comments Soon To Get The Google+ Treatment
- According to Marketing Land, Youtube announced [this week] a new commenting platform “powered” by Google+, with video comments soon to be sorted by relevancy versus how recently a comment was posted. According to the announcement, comments from the video’s creator, popular personalities, and Google+ connections will appear at the top of a comment list, along with discussions about the video.
- YouTube says users will begin seeing Google+ comments in their channel discussion tabs as early as this week, with updates to the comment platform rolling out later this year.
- Other updates to YouTube comments include the ability to begin a conversation publicly or privately with specific Google+ connections or circles. YouTube video creators will also be able to moderate comments, with tools to block certain words within a comment or auto-approve comments from specific fans.