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. Continue reading “Facebook in Fake News Feed Shocker”

Many Happy Retweets: Happy 10th Birthday to Twitter

Net66 celebrates Twitter’s tenth year in cyberspace

Twitter graphics.
So Much to Say, So Few Characters: That is Twitter to a tee, proof that less can be more. Image by JeremyKramerDesign/Shutterstock.

If a picture paints a thousand words, then a pixel paints 140 characters. This, alas, isn’t Twitter’s tagline, but the world’s favourite microblogging site has captured the imagination of many users. Some famous, several not-so-famous. Twitter first made its presence known on the 21 March 2006. Continue reading “Many Happy Retweets: Happy 10th Birthday to Twitter”

Google Search Location Filter Axed

Lack of demand cited as reason behind discontinuation

A low-tech version of Google's Search Location Filter.
A low-tech version of Google’s Search Location Filter. Not its successor, though its replacement is just as serviceable as placing a pin on a map.  This pin seems to be in Islington.

A useful yet underappreciated part of Google’s search tools has been axed with little protest this week.  The Google Search Location Filter allowed its users to filter results by location.  For example, browsers living in the United States were able to narrow results down to State level.  They could search for products and services within Detroit and narrow results down to businesses in Michigan. Continue reading “Google Search Location Filter Axed”

Racist Restaurant Reviews “Accelerating Gentrification”

Derogatory Yelp reviews having impact on neighbourhoods

Good or bad reviews can make or break restaurants.A study from the City of New York University has looked at more than 7,000 Yelp restaurant reviews with some shocking results.  Sharon Zukin, the sociologist behind the study, and her team have noticed some racist leanings in a number of reviews.  In their findings, published on the Journal of Consumer Culture website:

  • Pejorative terms used in restaurant reviews;
  • Some restaurant reviews welcoming gentrification;
  • Fears over trendier outlets elbowing out traditional eateries in their neighbourhood.

Continue reading “Racist Restaurant Reviews “Accelerating Gentrification””

Net66: Chuckie Links Games Launches as a Follow Up to Donkey Cutts

Earlier this year, way back in February actually, NetVoucherCodes.com launched Donkey Cutts. This was a game aimed at making light the perils and pitfalls of SEO as well as boosting the profile of NetVoucherCodes (a cunning tactic).

It was a huge success and a lot of people played it for a very long time. Now that Google Penguin 3.0 is rolling out, the follow up Donkey Cutts this time places onus on cleaning up your bad links.

Little link symbols are scattered around your screen and you have to pick them up and move them to either the Disavow Terminal in the top right of the screen, or to the Webmaster in the bottom left of the screen who’ll disavow it for you.

You have to disavow 20 links before the Penguin update refreshes otherwise it’s game over. Have a go at the game yourself:

Courtesy of
NetVoucherCodes.co.uk

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Net66: 40 Extra Creative Logos with Easter Eggs [Infographic]

Branding is often one of the most important decision a business will make when launching. Especially when it comes to the Logo. As a business, your logo is what is going to be synonymous with your business.

It’ll be the first thing that comes to your customers’ heads when they think of your company so you need to make it special. And there are a lot of companies out there with very lovely logos. What can sometimes take your logo to the next level is having a deeper meaning to it.

An extra little slice of flair could help your business launch with an extra few rocket boosters. Take a look at 40 logos that have a little something extra than what you can first see.

logo-design-easter-eggs

Which one is your favourite?

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Bing Ads show Twitter Metrics in their Adverts

If you use Bing ads as a platform for your marketing, you might be interested to know that Bing & Twitter are currently testing a new feature. This is so that you can display how many Twitter followers you have directly on your advert. Check out the screenshot below:

bingads-twitter-followers

It may be worth noting that Google have something similar in their own ads. When an advert comes up that’s linked to a Google+ page, the ad also displays the number of followers the Google+ page has.

So is this a case of Bing copying Google? What do you think?

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Net66: Google Makes Mistake Causing 90% Drop in Traffic for Buffer

It’s quite usual in SEO to see a small or large drop in traffic in accordance with certain algorithm changes, a new website going live or something similar.

What you wouldn’t expect is for Google to apply a Manual Action against your website by mistake, dropping your traffic by 90%!

90% is a huge loss of traffic. Especially for such a large company as Buffer. But even so, the fact that it was a MANUAL action and that it was also a Bug suggests that this was a serious error for Google.

Take a look at the screenshots from Buffer’s Analytics to see what a 90% drop in traffic looks like:

bufferapp2

bufferapp1

The team at Buffer reached out to John Mueller (Matt Cutts stand in) over Social Media and got the issue fixed. Upon the conclusion of this the Team at Buffer had the following to say:

Thankfully, our mystery has a happy—though slightly inconclusive—ending. Mueller’s team at Google found an issue and let us know they had fixed it. The manual action penalty was removed Aug. 28 and we began to see signs of recovery immediately after.

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Net66: Facebook Launch New Website to Help Page Owners

images-2Organic traffic to Facebook pages has been dropping dramatically over the recent months/years. Often, studies have shown that even authoritative brands with huge followings on Facebook can manage a measly 2% organic reach to their page.

A lot of people have been very cynical about this and said it’s just a huge ploy so that business owners have to shell out more for advertising to promote their pages. Which is cruel and heartless and probably down to Mr Zuckerberg’s boardroom of profit hungry wall streeters, but if you were Facebook don’t pretend the same thought wouldn’t cross your mind.

But it seems organic reach is still possible with Facebook launching their new website designed specifically to help page owners reach out to more people organically.

They seem to centre their ideas around some main principles.

Growing and Engaging your Audience

Facebook shows you how you can use one of their tools to manage mentions, find out where you’re mentioned and then interact with the user who’s mentioned you.

Share Videos

This stems from Facebook’s recent launch of their “autoplay’ feature for videos and the more you share your video the more views you get and click throughs to your page. Users will also share your video if it is good enough.

You can read more on this on their website.

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Twitter Launch New In-Tweet Buy Button

twitter-buy-buttonAt the start of the year, RE/code gave an announcement that it was teaming up with other tech companies Twitter and Stripe. They didn’t say what they were working on at the time but now it seems that they’ve launched their product.

“Buy It Now” is a phrase you would more readily associate with eBay, and the success of this has probably driven Twitter’s new addition to their Tweets. Twitter officially launched this beta test of sorts on Monday. With a statement of:

Today we are beginning to test a new way for you to discover and buy products on Twitter. For a small percentage of U.S. users (that will grow over time), some Tweets from our test partners will feature a “Buy” button, letting you buy directly from the Tweet.

Which means that whoever is probably paying Twitter a lot of money will be included in the early rollout of this as one of their “selected partners”.

This seems to be the first step in making shopping easier from Twitter’s platform, especially on mobile devices.

One of the USPs for this seems to be Twitter promising users of this new buy feature a chance to buy items that “they can’t get anywhere else”. The benefit here seems two fold, 1) Twitter will get more users signing up just to follow their favourite bands for exclusive merchandise, 2) Bans/brands/advertisers will see a surge in new follows based solely on the strength of the special offers they can promote.

You can go through the purchase process in just a few taps and rest assured that your details are in safe hands. Twitter stores all your details securely and you have the option to remove them at any point.

For more information, see Twitter’s promotional Video below:

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Net66: Instagram Launches New Hyperlapse App Lets You Create HQ Timelapses

Instagram launched a new app today. It’s the second such app they’ve released recently and along with Bolt app.

Bolt is focused on the speediness of sending images in real time. You select friends to send to, hold your finger down on the screen and when you release, it Bolts to your friends right away. You just have time to add a caption, or swipe away the picture if you’re not happy.

Hyperlapse, however, has a bit more to it. Rather than just filming something quickly and posting it like regular Instagram, Hyperlapse allows you to film a timelapse on your phone, even when you’re moving.

Timelapses usually require the camera to remain perfectly still whilst the lapse is filmed. But Instagram understand not everyone has a smartphone equipped with a tripod, so they’ve added extra stability software into their app so that you can film hyperlapses anywhere.

Instagram promise the app will be of the highest quality and “result in a cinematic look, quality and feel”.

One of the best things about it? You don’t need an account to use it. So no more pesky linking accounts or having to remember yet another password.

One of the drawbacks however is that the app is only available for The App Store and iOS devices so far. I personally cannot wait to get it for my Android, but it looks like I will have to be waiting. Hopefully not too long.

Take a look at their launch video for the app below:

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Net66: Google to Give Slight Ranking Boost to HTTPS Websites

Google today announced that they will, form now on, use SSL certificates as a ranking factor.

Now before you go out and buy the best most expensive SSL ever, Google have also said that the weight given to this ranking factor isn’t very much. Also, after running tests for several months, they have said they expect this new ranking signal to affect less than 1% of Google searches globally.

They’ve not done this without cause though. They’ve released this as a ranking signal in a bid to encourage more people to run their websites on HTTPS by default. They’re trying to build a safer and more secure web.

Check out what John Mueller has to say on the subject:

Adding an SSL to your website can be a bit tricky, so you need to make sure that you manage the transition properly and carefully. The last thing you want to do is thinking you’ll be receiving a ranking boost, botching it, and actually losing your rankings.

To help with this, Google have posted the following tips to help Webmasters with the upgrade of their website:

> Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
> Use 2048-bit key certificates
> Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
> Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
> Check out our site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
> Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
> Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.

Net66: Snapchat Functionality Favourite Isn’t a Snap or a Chat.

Almost everyone has heard of Snapchat. It first came to prominence as people used it to send pictures to their friends that would show for a few seconds and disappear.

It gained a lot of bad press after a while as people who were sending particularly private pictures thought they were meant to be temporary and deleted, but were actually stored. This led to a lot of embarrassing pictures getting leaked online and Snapchat’s name was mud.

Since then it has redeemed itself with a much more secure system and actually making the snaps temporary.

With more and more people using this app, its most popular feature has stopped being snaps and moved into longer lasting and feature filled “Stories” part of the app.

A story is different to the rest of the app as it is a group of pictures that you can upload and share for up to 24 hours with all of your friends on Snapchat. As well as people who follow you.

And now Snapchat have released a video promoting the feature. Take a look at it below:

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Twitter launches Small Business Guide

At Net66, we take small business marketing very seriously. Small businesses make up the vast majority of businesses in the world, and the online arena provides them significant opportunities to compete in their own particular niche. Such marketing activities can include search engine optimisation, and social media marketing. Sometimes, one can contribute to the other.

We have now learnt that Twitter has created a special guide for small business marketing. The guide is actually built as a quite informative interactive infographic. This means you can interact with the graphical options on display, and it will respond accordingly. The guide is built so that you can learn at your own pace, depending on your level of experience with micro-blogging or social media marketing.

Sections include “I don’t get Twitter”, “I get Twitter but need to create a strategy”, and “I know Twitter basics but want to take my marketing to the next level”.

Each section is designed to boost your level of knowledge about Twitter marketing at your own pace and expertise. For example, the first level includes such information as what a hashtag is, what a retweet is, and so on. The second level tells you such things as how to build a content calendar, and using tweeting templates to create better tweets. Finally, the most advanced level tells you how to buy and use Twitter ads, and how to measure your performance.

 

Why SEO Is Incomplete Without Pinterest

When the major social media platform Pinterest added a new search feature helping users find their favourite pins faster, it became quite evident search engine optimisation is likely to get a tremendous boost as well.

A massive 30 billion pins were posted across an equally impressive 750 million Pinterest boards by April 2014 easily demonstrating tremendous potential for businesses to use the feature to their advantage. It turns out to be an exercise in using search terms in sync with the latest search feature offered by the platform.

pinterest

Social media is turning out to be a very important medium for brands to make their presence felt online. Changes introduced by different platforms become important components of marketing strategy. It is widely known Pinterest uses media content to broadcast information with the help of infographics and other visual aids.

People have low attention spans and tend to lose interest if searches take too long. By making it easier for people to find their favourite infographics faster, Pinterest actually helps businesses adopt similar techniques to reach people in need of their products.

Categorising Products For Better SEO Results

People look for specific topics but often use a limited number of search terms during organic searches. Pinterest now adopts relevant filters to help users get precise search results much faster. For example, a broad search term like “recipe” is likely to yield a great number of infographics. People may be interested in specific categories like “vegan,” “vegetarian,” “paleo,” or “gluten free.”

Filters are now introduced using these categories to help people get targeted information.
Users hardly have the time to read through a lengthy article. They find it easier to browse through an infographic to get valuable information about specific products.

A massive 75% traffic rate is established by Pinterest through mobile phone marketing alone making it quite obvious people on the move prefer media content as well. The new search feature is likely to be improved upon adding custom categories and other guided features in time.

Improved SEO With Optimized Boards

Boards within Pinterest can be easily optimised for improved SEO results. How the process is to be fine-tuned may be a matter of discussion, but it must be noted the social media platform sets up a specific number of boards for users. Selected preferences are likely to determine how Pinterest categorises individual pins. Users can now use keyword-specific content with focus on spreading them across proper categories to further simplify search functions.

Pinterest not long ago also introduced promoted pins, a bit like PPC. Depending on your budget you can advertise sponsored pins, which as you may guess gets tons of traffic but will come at a hefty price.

Take the example of users in Manchester looking for information on trending topics. Search terms can be used to introduce products in the first 5 boards appearing above the fold. A fantastic first impression is created with users finding exactly what they were looking for. A product related to the search term is now synchronised to yield more traffic.

Probability of users having great visual experiences translating into potential buyers is much higher. Better interaction with superior search functionality make positive SEO results in Manchester achievable in lesser time and by just keeping in touch with a feature that works seamlessly with a website’s on-page optimization.

Take a look at these cool SEO tricks for Pinterest:

Posted by Jordan Whitehead

Net66 Seach: A Different Type of Search [Social Media]

We all know and Love Google. But here are some other search engines you can use to aggregate a lot of different data from search engines.

Junoba

This is a website that not only shows you search results for your entered term, but also shows you results from social media that shows up.

Smashfuse

This website aggregates a lot of the “Buzz” from social media websites that you can then search. For example searching SEO will bring up results from Twitter tagged with #SEO. You can then switch between different social media platforms and see whats getting posted on which site.

Topsy

Topsy is another website that uses social media in it’s searches. But the quirk with Topsy is that it searches only Twitter. And it searches in depth. You can see how many tweets in the last hour have been tagged with your search term and eve which tweets Twitter deems “influential”.

If you have any other favourite search engines that aren’t Google, let us know in the comments.

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Net66 Social Media Update: Pinterest & Twitter Release Awesome New Features

I’ve always been a big fan of Twitter and Pinterest. They’re easy to use, fun and, importantly to me, visual!

Facebook do have a news feed full of images admittedly, but there are now so many promoted posts on Facebook that sometimes I don’t look at things properly as my mind will assume it’d promoted and I switch off.

Pinterest, however, is based solely on images. So even if an image is promoted, it’s not likely to display very different at all. In fact, Pinterest are taking such a gradual approach to their adverts that they (initially) won’t be shown in your pin feed at all.

They’re restricting adverts to certain users and only displaying them in categories and search pages. Admittedly you do search a lot and you quite often find yourself browsing categories, but your pin feed will remain your own for now and there will be no sponsored pins in there.

The advertisers have been limited too. But don’t expect to get an invite any time soon, here’s a list of the brands that have been approved to use these paid ads:

ABC Family, Banana Republic, Expedia.com, GAP, General Mills, Kraft, lululemon athletica, Nestle (including Purina, Dreyer’s/Edy’s Ice Cream, Nespresso), Old Navy, Target, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Ziploc.

Twitter have also been in the News this week as they’ve released a new “Mute” button. This is a feature designed to primarily improve the user experience for Twitter users.

If you follow someone but find yourself getting bored by their Tweets, then you can make the choice to unfollow them, which might upset your friend who posts a photo of literally every meal they eat and tag it with #epic, or you can just mute them. Their feelings and hashtags remain undamaged and you no longer receive updates from your friends diet.

You can mute users directly from one of their tweets or you can visit their profile and mute them that way. See below:

Mute Tweets

Blog Post by: Greg McVey

Twitter Updates Profile Pages, Looks just like Facebook

It seems that Twitter have updated the look of Twitter Profiles to mimic the Facebook profile quite well. Take a look at the image below. A lot of people are saying that they have done this to make the transition from Facebook to Twitter easier. And the time would be ripe now with people constantly complaining about Facebook’s updates and the increase in advertisements on the social network.

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 17.26.52

What do you think of the new Twitter design?

Blog Post by Greg McVey