Weekly Digital News Roundup: March 15-19

Weekly Digital News Roundup: March 15-19

Matt Cutts on What’s Needed for SEO Success in 2013 and Beyond – Live Blogging

  • According to Search Engine Journal, this past Wednesday, the panel “What’s Needed for SEO Success in 2013 and Beyond” sat down for a session during the final day of SMX West. Made up of industry experts Greg Boser, Annie Cushing, Janet Driscoll Miller, Duane Forrester, Rae Hoffman, and Matt Cutts, the group covered the importance of authorship, SEO strategy, and the evolution of mobile.
  • “Mobile is going to surprise a lot of people,” said Google’s Matt Cutts, “Be sure you look at how your site looks and performs on mobile. It’s important to make sure your site is lean and loads fast, as that’s important on mobile. Look at your server logs and break out mobile vs. desktop – what you will see is an exponential curve and you always want to pay attention to exponential curves.”
  • When asked whether authorship is the new page rank, Cutts recommended the implementation of authorship, stating that, “reputation will matter more and more as we move forward.  Over time, we (Google) will be caring more about identity and social.” And when asked about SEO strategy, Cutts responded clearly and succinctly: “What Google wants is what users want.”

FTC Says Tweet Ads Need Some Fine Print

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, short-form ads on Twitter and Facebook have the same basic requirement as any old-fashioned ad: They can’t mislead consumers, federal regulators said Tuesday. Whether it is including the average effectiveness of a weight-loss shake or noting that a celebrity was paid to push a product in a Twitter post, marketing companies need to apply the same standards to online ads as they long have to older media, according to guidelines released Tuesday by the Federal Trade Commission.
  • That means making room for full disclosure even in a 140-character tweet on Twitter. The agency suggested that marketers could flag Twitter ads by including “Ad:” at the beginning of the post or the word “sponsored.” If a company can’t find a way to make its disclosure fit the constraints of a social or mobile ad, it needs to change the ad copy so that it doesn’t require a disclosure, the agency said, making that point explicit for the first time.
  • The commission doesn’t handle criminal investigations but can issue civil penalties if it finds misleading advertising. Civil penalties range from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, depending on the nature of the violation. Sometimes advertisers have been ordered to give full or partial refunds to all consumers who bought the product. The update comes as marketing firms continue to search for new ways to penetrate through the noise of modern life.

Facebook Working on Incorporating the Hashtag

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is working on incorporating the hashtag, one of Twitter’s most iconic markers, into its service by using the symbol as a way to group conversations, said people familiar with the matter. It is unclear how far along Facebook’s work on the hashtag is and the feature isn’t likely to be introduced imminently, these people said.
  • Facebook is testing whether to follow Twitter’s lead and allow users to click on a hashtag to pull up all posts about similar topics or events so it can quickly index conversations around trending topics and build those conversations up, giving users more reason to stay logged in and see more ads. Facebook’s work on a hashtag is a sign of the heightening battle between Facebook and Twitter, as both compete for mobile users and fight for advertising dollars.
  • “Historically, Facebook has come first for advertisers and Twitter has been a nice add-on,” said Debbie Williamson, an analyst for eMarketer. “Twitter has been more aggressive.” Twitter is expected to make about half a billion dollars in advertising revenue this year, according to eMarketer. Facebook generated $4.3 billion last year from advertising.


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