Today In SEO & Search News: April 13, 2017

Today In SEO & Search News: April 13, 2017

Welcome to our latest post of top SEO and search stories. We enjoy keeping up-to-date onw aht’s going on as much as you do so without futher ado let’s jump right in. Here are the top stories:

Local Search Ranking Factors
Local search ranking factorsThe fine folks at Moz have just released their update local search rankings survey results. The data in the report is based on a survey of top local search experts from David Mihm to Greg Gifford and many more. I could never do it justice and it’s a must-read for anyone interested in local search.  They include a comparison with their 2015 results in key metrics which is interesting to see (how opinions/factor weights change over time).

Fast Drawing For Everyone !
Google announced a neat new feature called Fast Drawing. Because drawing on a phone can be hard (like somehow I’d be decent with a pad and pencil) Google has gotten some artists to pair crude drawing with those of artists using machine learning to aid in faster … well … doodling.  There are some practical applications to it but I suspect 99% of it’s use will just be people playing around. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Here’s how it works:

Consumers Buying Through Voice Assistants
Media Post reported on a study by BI Intelligence with 9% of users speaking their purchase commands.  Only 2% have paid a bill with it and 1% transferred money but it’s believed those limitations have more to do with limitations on the systems around those actions. This is a very interesting bit of information and definitely shows the trend forward.

An OK Google Fit For A King
OK Google - Burger King ad
Also on MediaPost is the story that Burger King has come out as the first company to create an ad specifically with the internt on triggering a response using voice commands.  the commercial ends with the words, “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger.” This triggered the Google Home voice assistant to list the ingredients of the burger.  Google has shut this down but it’s definitely an innovative approach. I imaging it’ll be pretty short lived as Google’s already working on voice recognition for the devices but until then … there will be some interesting marketing I’m sure.

New Facebook Video Metrics
Danny Goodwin over at Search Engine Journal covered the 5 changes Facebook just made to it’s video metrics.  I recommend reading the article for a complete understanding but the point-form of them is that Facebook has:

  1. added aggregate minutes views
  2. added benchmarking
  3. changed the aggregated video views to remove 10-second and Insights will only show 3-second
  4. added date range analysis
  5. added sorting over a time period

Script To Stop Ads From Showing Up On Offensive Videos
Frederick Vallaeys shared a script on Search Engine Land that can aid in isolating and removing videos that are offensive from locations your ad may appear.  I’m going to recommend you read the article if you’re involved in video marketing as I couldn’t do it justice here but it’s worth noting – the same script could be used simply to gather some great data about where your ads are showing and how those videos are being received.

Google Helping You Jump Start Your Style
Earlier today Google announced on their blog a new feature in the Google App for Android.  The feature is called “style ideas” allowing users viewing a specific product to see how that or very similar products look in the real world. It’s a very interesting feature and obviously targeted at improving shopping conversions and allowing users to imagine themselves ina  product as they could in a store. Essentially they’re helping bridge the ownership gap – that is, in a retail store you can try something on and feel loss when it’s taken away which doesn’t exist to the same degree online as it’s not personal. Now they’re working on remedying that and just wait until the VR side kicks in.

Chrome VR Works With Cardboard
Google Cardboard

And speaking of VR, The Verge covered the announcement that WebVR, a standard that let’s people launch a virtual reality experience without downloading an app, is now compatible with cardboard. This is a great enhancement and I’ll be testing it out shortly.  So … grab your cardboard and get playing, viewing and just having fun. You can find the experiments at

Get Flight Deal From Google Home
“Ok Google, we want a flight deal.” Ask this of your Google Home device as I just have and it’ll take you through a series of questions beginning with the assumption that you’ll be travelling from your device’s location and asking where you want to go.  It’ll then take you through some additional questions as necessary. It’s still a bit limited.  For example, when I start the conversation it tells me the cheapest price in the the next two weeks but not the dates. Further, once I select a date for one trip if I continue to ask it questions about trips (even to different destinations) the assistant assume I must want to travel on those same dates.  I can vocally change the dates obviously but one can’t just find deals yet – the system will simply get you the pricing information for destinations you give it on dates you select.  I’m sure that won’t last long.

And that’s it for the day.  If you know of any news you think we’ve missed in search and SEO feel free to add it in the comments below