Mobilegeddon 2: Attack of the Mobile Ads

January 2017 return of mobilegeddon sees blitz on intrusive mobile adverts

Mobilegeddon 2 Blog Post Image

Stand By For Action: the much-vaunted Mobilegeddon 2 will deliver an improved user experience by early-2017. Image by Vasabii (via Shutterstock).

Monday, 10 January 2017 is set to be an important date for web developers all over the world. From that day forward, Google is about to unleash its second most significant algorithm update since April 2015. April 2015’s update – dubbed as Mobilegeddon – was the first Google update to up the ante on websites that use responsive web design. Read more »

Facebook in Fake News Feed Shocker

Sacking of human editors sees a surge of fake news stories on social networking site

Facebook Fake News image

All the fake news that is fit to print: Facebook has landed themselves in hot water with the sacking of human news editors. Image file includes newspaper outline by RTimages, Moonscape by Helen Field, and AVRO Lancaster Bomber silhouette by Mark Fearon (all via Shutterstock).

(Westminster chimes)

Lead Newscaster: Transfer Deadline Day sees David Luiz move to West Didsbury and Chorlton.

Second Newscaster: Donald Trump plans to build a wall around the M25 motorway.

Lead Newscaster: Also tonight… Hillary Clinton appeals to Brexiteers at a Manchester conference.

Second Newscaster: Facebook under fire for fake news feeds.

Lead Newscaster: Also in sport, crown green bowls is set to become an Olympic sport.

Spot the genuine news story of the quintet of headlines: it is the fourth news item in our sketch. This week, Net Sixty Six have learned about Facebook’s fake news feeds. The social networking giant has fired eighteen editorial contractors. This has seen a move towards the greater use of algorithms for the site’s trending topics.

Fact x Importance = Fake News?

The transition from human-powered to algorithm-based trending trends could be seen as a farrago, to say the least. Under the subject of Watch Dogs 2, a video game on hacking and cybersecurity, users clicking the subject were treated to a viral video. That of a video clip of a dog who hasn’t seen his owner for two years.

This was nothing compared with a story about Megyn Kelly’s alleged links with Hillary Clinton. The Fox News anchorwoman, according to a right-wing libertarian blog, had favoured the Democrats’ presidential candidate. Fox News picked up on the story, in spite of the post’s salacious nature.

Putting it mildly, Megan was none-too-pleased with the episode. Facebook’s algorithms had kept the blog’s story on its trending topics for a few hours before the story got noticed.

Algorithm Agony

The reason behind this week’s blunders? Facebook’s long-term plan to automate its trending topics with light touch changes being made by a smaller workforce. When 100% human powered, each of the news sources was carefully curated. This would mean peer-reviewed sources or stories from highly renowned newspapers or sources like the Associated Press and Reuters.

With increased automation, the chances of seeing a Breitbart blog post are equal to that of finding The Daily Telegraph’s article on a similar subject. When carefully curated, editorial balance mattered. In spite of this, critics hit out at the conservative bias of its sources. With higher automation, the balance has been upset.

Facebook, You’ve Lost The News…!

Facebook, besides being a dependable source for promoting our websites, casual games, and baby pictures, is a news source. A May 2016 Pew Report article stated that almost half of US citizens get their current affairs fix from The Book of Face. It is also a valuable source for local stories; also a place for boosting the profile of dead tree newspapers.

With the latest algorithm changes from their trending topics, this reputation could be undermined. Instead of breaking news, click bait could reign supreme. At worst, Facebook’s fake news stories could turn its trending topics list into something of little difference to syndicated stories via sites like Taboola.

From our observations, Facebook seems to have ironed out the problems. Even so, there is no substitute for human powered content.

Stop Press

The lack of human editors has also seen links to lewd articles being seen on Facebook’s trending topics. Such as today’s link to Orlando Bloom’s… (Snip! – Ed).

Stop Press Fake News image

Words fail us. Honestly.

Net Sixty Six, 01 September 2016.

Verizon Buys Yahoo for $5 Billion

Verizon buys core assets of venerable search engine sold, but Yahoo retains stake in Yahoo! Japan and AliBaba

Yahoo Classified Ad (Sold to Verizon)

After years of speculation over its future, Yahoo! the long-established search engine and web directory will be sold to Verizon Wireless for $4.8 billion (£3.7 billion). The sale of its core business will see the Sunnydale company retain a stake in Yahoo Japan and AliBaba. The figure, referred to as “chump change” by some commentators sees the sale of its real estate, though not its intellectual property. Read more »

A New Look for Facebook Pages

Ad-free layout introduced for Facebook pages

Facebook Pages tablet by Anikei.

User-Friendly: the new look Facebook Pages layout has more clarity than the previous layout. Image by Anikel (via Shutterstock).

Something of a silent revolution is taking place in Facebookland. Aesthetic changes are being made to Facebook Pages. The social networking site’s business pages are being given a cleaner layout. Furthermore, there will be no advertising seen on the right hand of the page. Aesthetic changes to standard Facebook feeds as far as we know will remain unchanged and display adverts based on one’s browsing and posting habits. Read more »

Why Blogging for Business Matters

Net66 on the joy of business blogging

Cocker Spaniel blogging image by the Everett Collection.

You never know who could be listening: or in the case of your blogging activities, who could be reading your latest posts. Image by the Everett Collection (via Shutterstock).

Website? Check. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube et al? Check. Blog? Erm, pass. The success of any business’ online presence entails a triumvirate of a well-optimised website (designed for all devices); wide presence on social media sites; and a beautifully-crafted blog. Blogging is by far the most important form of social networking processes. You can either setup a blog within your website’s server space, or through a free account with WordPress or Google (via Blogger). Read more »

Would You Buy a Self-Driving Car Off These Men?

Google or Tesla? The race to be the self-driving car kings of the road

Google Self-Driving Car by Martial Red

The shape of things to come: Google’s self-driving car. Image by Martial Red (via Shutterstock).

Imagine it’s 2008: you are sat in the canteen of Net66’s HQ trying to find a seat. You talk to one of the sales people within The Social Media People and say “we could be driving Google cars”. The person puts on a sly laugh with words similar to “yeah, right”. Fast forward eight years, and say the very same words to your fellow colleague: this time the response is more complementary. Self-driving cars actually exist. Back in 2008, a self-driving car meant yours truly doing the driving. Read more »

Google’s Calendar Commotion

Search engine’s calendar tool crashes

Calendar Cock Up (based on image by Dikobraziy)

Calendar Cock Up, based on original image by Dikobraziy (via Shutterstock).

Whether you get access to Google Calendar via an Android device or Google Drive on your PC, you would have noticed something peculiar yesterday. Read more »

Google Song Lyrics Search Hits Right Note

New feature allows for safe searching of song lyrics without annoying popups and adverts

Jukebox Lyrics Search image

Music to our ears! Google’s new lyrics search feature will offer a real alternative to the present selection of song lyrics websites. Free from clutter and pop-ups, Google’s tie-up with LyricFind will mean a more authoritative source for lyrics and royalties per click for songwriters. Image by DutchScenery (via Shutterstock).

In the pre-internet age, the only way you could copy the lyrics of your favourite songs was via listening to the tune several times. Later, some album sleeves and cassette inlays started adding the song lyrics. In 1978, Smash Hits magazine was launched with a unique selling point: details of the song lyrics of chart-topping acts. This put paid to one of Bonnie Tyler’s songs being known as It’s A Hard Egg (the joys of AM radio). Read more »

SEO After Brexit: Techniques and Trends

How Britain post-Brexit could have an effect on search engine optimisation, its trends, techniques, and the industry itself

Brexit map by Nikola93

Living on an Island: how Brexit is set to pose a challenge for search engine optimisation techniques and the state of the industry. Image by Nikola93 (via Shutterstock).

What interesting times we are living in right now. Firstly, Thursday’s EU Referendum returned a narrow victory for leaving the EU (Leave 52%, Remain 48%). Secondly, at this time of writing, we have seen two high profile resignations. One being the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and England manager Roy Hodgson (for his unexpected result in the bagging area). Though Brexit seems inevitable, Cameron has left the job of confirming this to his successor. So for now, Britain is an EU Member State. Furthermore, a referendum isn’t as legally binding as a General Election, so the results could be void. Read more »

Dr. Google’s Casebook: Google Symptom Search

Could Google’s symptom search be the right prescription for authoritative medical sources?

Waiting Room (Google symptom search image).

Handy: Google’s symptom search aims to make possible diagnoses easier. Image of waiting room by Toey Toey (via Shutterstock).

The internet, besides being a fine place for buying and selling, dating, travel planning, and cat pictures, is a popular source for looking at medical conditions. Anyone searching for details on a given condition or symptom would find themselves bombarded with several sources. In the UK we have the NHS’ own sources. We also have WebMD, an American site with a British version (promoted by Boots The Chemist). Hypochondriacs needn’t consult the Pears Medical Encyclopaedia, nor go to the reference library. Read more »