Facebook Takes Notes From Twitter And Launches Verified Pages

It appears as if Facebook has taken a leaf out of Twitter’s notebook of success with the addition of a brand new ‘verified pages’ feature, which is designed to give those high-profile accounts an added level of authenticity. Facebook’s inspiration has gone all the way down to the small, blue checkmark that appears next to the profile name. This mark will appear on the pages themselves, as well as in search results and throughout the website as a whole.

Facebook Verified Page

To help its users navigate the new feature, Facebook has added a new section to their help centre that provides information on what a verified profile or page actually is – but it is severely lacking in information on how Facebook verifies that any of its users are actually legitimate. In February 2012, they did launch another verification program that allowed users to verify their accounts using a valid ID; it allowed people to use nicknames.

At the moment, ‘verified pages’ is only being presented to a small group of public figures who have been deemed prominent with large audiences – such as celebrities, journalists, government officials and popular brands. The team at Facebook also say that there is currently no way for users to request to be verified – the social network will approach you if they feel that it is appropriate for you to confirm your identity.

It seems that Facebook are trying to market themselves as a broadcasting channel for media, journalists and celebrities. This new ‘verified pages’ feature, coupled with the subscription one it launched last year, is just proof that they are trying to encourage users to use the social network in the search for news and information on top of using it to connect with people that they know. Only time will tell on whether they are successful in this aim or not.

‘Verified pages’ has already been made live, so why not try searching for some of your favourite Australian celebrities on Facebook to see if you can spot the small, blue checkmark?

Drum Roll Please- Google Just Unleashed Its Penguin 2.0 Update

The wait is over; Google Penguin 2.0 update is live now. Google roll out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm on May 22, 2013. This marks the fourth release of the much anticipated Google’s Penguin Update. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team officially announced this update on “This Week in Google” and said that about 2.3% of English-US queries will be impacted by this new generation Penguin Update.

Penguin 2013

Matt Cutts has now posted several details about this recent update in his personal blog. He explained that the launch is now complete, including for non-English languages, and that “the scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.” He wrote-

“We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.

This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh), we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally.”

Ever since the first Penguin Update on April 24, 2012 which impacted 3.1% of search queries, the fourth Penguin update is expected to impact about 2.3% of search queries. This fourth release is a major change, so big that Google has referred to it as Penguin 2.0 internally. Now since, the Penguin 2.0 update is live; it will be interesting to find out exactly how sites will be affected.

The advantage of Informational Content

  • Websites with informative content trends more because near about 50-80% of search queries are informational in nature. Such websites can easily capture the Search market share.
  • The average website has a ratio of 80/20 navigational content to informational content. But Blogs have a higher ratio of 60/40 navigational content to informational content.
  • Informational content largely falls under two categories

1) Time-Limited

2) Evergreen

  • Time limited informational content includes informative blog which covers Facts, News and Current Affairs which gets outdated in a few months. On the other hand, Evergreen content remains relevant for many years.
  • The most popular of the Evergreen content is the “How to” content which should be included in the websites and other posts. For example- How to design a website? How to promote your business through social media? etc.

Content Marketing Campaign

  • The discussion feature in Google allows you to determine that what people related to your industry usually search in Google. To do this, search for a keyword, like [Social Media Optimization]. Then, click on the “More” drop-down menu and select “Discussions.”
  • The time-limited content tends to be more effective at gaining links and attention whereas evergreen content is generally more effective at gaining rankings for specific keywords. Hence the key is to make sure that the type of content is truly helpful to searchers and not just written for SEO.
  • The best way to build audience out of your informative content is by integrating the content well. The content should be easily accessible and therefore it shouldn’t be posted just everywhere. You can consult with your designers and user experience team to determine where it fits best.

Google removed Google “Places” search link from its “More” drop-down option

In a recent update to make local results more seamless and integrated, Google has removed the “Google Places” search link permanently from Google’s “More” drop-down menu option. This “Places” link which was previously located in Google’s “More” drop-down option is no longer available in that section. Hence, from now onwards the local businesses can only be found via search (paid or organic), Google+ Local, or Google Maps. The “Place” Search link was first launched in 2010 and was popularly used by businesses around the world.

Google Places

The elimination of Places Search was first reported by Mike Blumenthal and the change comes not long after the launch of the new Google Places for Business dashboard. It looks like that Google now wants to focus more on G+ for local businesses so that the demand of Google+ apps in Android gets increase. The user witnessed many issues and bugs with the Google Places Dashboard. It is one of the most consistent complaints from business owners who interact with Google. Hence, this could possibly be the reason for Google’s “Place” search link. However, this is just one part of what sounds like several updates that will make local results more seamless and integrated.