1. Twitter Shares How Its Recommendation Engine Work –Twitter is experimenting with new ways to recommend content in user feeds, in order to show you more of what you might like, and ideally, keep you active in the app for longer.

Twitter has provided a new overview of how it adds recommended tweets into user feeds, while it’s also launched a new experiment to give users more control over such. Per Twitter:

If you’ve ever seen a Tweet you enjoyed from someone you didn’t follow, you’ve probably seen a recommendation. Think of them as personalized suggestions that are shown to you based on actions you take on Twitter. 

The content we recommend to you is informed by actions you take on Twitter, also known as signals. Signals can include things like interests you’ve told us about, Topics you follow, Tweets you engage with, and even Tweets people in your network like. Based on these signals and more, we’ll show you content we think you’ll be interested in

2. TikTok Launches Comment Downvotes To All Users – TikTok has announced that it’s rolling out comment downvotes for all users, as a means to flag inappropriate responses to video clips. TikTok’s ‘Thumbs Down’ comment downvote option will be displayed at the far right of each comment, providing a quick and easy way for users to tag such, in order to help TikTok identify negative behaviors in the app.

Unlike Reddit, dislike counts will not be public. Their sole purpose on TikTok is to help TikTok’s moderation team get on top of negative trends, as it gets  flagged by TikTokers.

Downvoted comments will be displayed to TikTok mods in ascending order, based on total downvote activity across the app, which will then enable them to them wade through the list and pick up on rising negative trends, providing another way to detect and address such in their process.

This can provide protections against targeted attacks on people or opinions based on alternative motivations. For example, bad actors might try to use this feature as a means to downvote conflicting political opinions into oblivion, but as the downvotes themselves don’t impact public display, and are only an indicator for TikTok’s moderation team, that’s less likely to become an issue. It’ll be interesting to see how TikTok will decide to police user generated content in the future.

3. TikTok Expands Descriptions Length To 2,200 Characters – TikTok is giving creators more opportunities to optimize their content for search and is expanding the length of descriptions from 300 characters to 2,200 characters. In addition to making content more searchable, TikTok says it uses text in the description to decide which videos to recommend to users. Writing detailed descriptions can make videos more discoverable in traditional search engines and TikTok. In July 2022, Google Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan publicly acknowledged that TikTok and Instagram are the preferred search engines for a sizeable amount of young people.

FYI: Google indexes TikTok videos and shows it in search results.

4. Google Survey Is Shutting Down – Google announced that it’s shutting down market research product Google Surveys. The service will be unavailable after November 1, and users will have another month to download historical data. Google hints at plans to repackage the service and offer it to customers through Google Ads.

5. Google Ads Self-Upgrade Tool Rolling Out For Local Campaigns – Google has announced that it has begun rolling out the self-upgrade tool for Local campaigns to Performance Max. As a reminder, back in July 222, Google Ads announced that Google will start the process of automatically “upgrading” accounts to Performance Max for Local campaigns. Automatic upgrades will gradually progress and finish in September for most advertisers. 

Google mentioned that “if your campaigns are not eligible for the self-upgrade tool and you are not notified about an automatic upgrade, then your Local campaigns will not be upgraded to Performance Max until 2023. If your campaigns have access to the self-upgrade tool and do not auto-upgrade by the end of September, you will continue to have access to the self-upgrade tool until auto-upgrade resumes in 2023. This will ensure you do not see any campaign disruption during the busy holiday season. 

We strongly recommend using the tool to upgrade your campaigns as soon as you can to get a head start on the holiday season

You can read more about the upgrade tool here.

6. Google Ads ‘Smart Bidding’ Can Not Guarantee Conversions – Google does not guarantee clicks will lead to conversions. 

Ginny Marvin of Google Ads wrote in her tweet “Smart Bidding takes many signals into account to bid based on the predicted conversion opportunity, but every click won’t convert & looking at one click is usually not informative.” 

7. Can Soft Penalty Be The Cause Of A Ranking Drop After A Google Search Core Update? – A Google penalty is a punishment against a website whose content conflicts with the marketing practices enforced by Google. This penalty can come as a result of an update to Google’s ranking algorithm, or a manual review that suggests a web page used “black hat” SEO tactics. In a recent Google Office Hangouts, a question was asked about whether ranking losses from a Core Update result in a soft penalty for a website.

 A soft penalty has been a term used in the SEO (search engine optimisation) industry for over 22 years, but it doesn’t actually exist – and there’s no half-penalty either. The only penalty from Google is a manual action – you can check if your website has had a manual action by visiting the respective section in Google Search Console. Ranking drops aren’t always related to a penalty on your website. They can be caused by:

  • Content-related issues
  • Google’s algorithms improving to give better search queries 
  • Website quality issues 
  • Competitors having content that is better than that on your website

Google recommends that you review and follow its general guidelines for content to help improve your website’s performance in search results. For example, you can look at competitors to see why your content isn’t doing as well and then improve your own content to help boost its performance. Another factor to look at is making sure that your website has the best user experience, as this now a ranking factor for Google. Looking at improving your page load times, for example, can help to improve your performance and will make sure that visitors to your site have a better experience. 

Your website should be one of the biggest generators of new business, and harnessing the power of search engines can help to increase awareness of your business and, ultimately, get more sales and leads. Get in touch and have a chat with our team to see how marketANDgrow might be able to help grow your business.

8. Semrush Partners With Wix – Wix has partnered with Semrush, allowing Wix users to access Semrush’s global database of more than 21 billion keywords directly through the dashboard to find relevant terms and phrases.

This will give Wix users insights that can help them improve search rankings and identify which keywords to target. This integration is offered at no added charge to Wix users, though a paid Semrush membership will allow you to do more with it. 

Furthermore, Wix users can access metrics like search intent and keyword difficulty from Semrush’s SEO toolkit. Semrush integration is now available to all Wix users in English.

The cheapest Semrush plan is $120/month. And the cheapest Wix plan is $16. So theoretically, you can pay Wix $16/month and use Semrush data. 

9. Do Robots Meta Tags Affect Search Rankings? – Websites use robots meta tags to customize the appearance of search snippets. “If a site does not have a robots meta tag, does this affect the ranking negatively?”  The short answer is no; robots meta tags aren’t ranking signals. The longer answer is they can influence click-through rate. Robots meta tags are worth using when you’re unhappy with how Google displays your pages in search results. Google’s John Mueller answer on robots meta  tags:

We talk about some of these SEO elements so often that it’s easy to assume that they’re required. In this case, no. A meta robots tag is not required for ranking. 

The robots meta tag can specify how a specific page should be shown in search, or if it shouldn’t be shown at all. This meta tag is only necessary if you want to change the default appearance of a page in the search results. 

For example, if you want to limit how long the snippet can be, then you can use the max snippet robot meta tag. If you don’t have any preferences regarding how a page is to be shown in search then not having a robots meta tag on a page at all is also perfectly fine. 

If you’re curious about the options, I’d check out our documentation on both the robots meta tags as well as on other tags that Google supports.”

For more information about the robots meta tags Google supports, see the official help page.