What We’re Reading: Digital Trends Forecast + Social Media Habits + Google’s June Fix

Summer’s back, and so are we! We’re touching on the hottest topics in media and technology to keep our clients and partners up to date.

What You Need to Know From Mary Meeker’s Annual Internet Trends Report
Every summer, venture capitalist and analyst Mary Meeker releases her Internet Trends Report on the key industry shifts and developments that marketers and investors should take note. She’s been sharing her insights since 1995, and her depth and knowledge have established her authority as “Queen of the Internet.” You can download all 333 slides in this year’s deck, or read the highlights and watch her 30-minute presentation unveiled at Recode’s Code Conference. Meeker covers good ground on media usage, social platforms, and data overload. As she says, “If it feels like we’re all drinking from a data firehose, it’s because we are.”Companies that understand how to access, manage, apply, and secure data will lead the way in improved product strategy and customer experience.

Edison Research Confirms Your Mom is Now on Facebook
Edison Research just released their Social Media Usage report showing Facebook has lost approximately 15 million users in the past year, nearly all of them between the ages of 12-34. Simultaneously, the only demographic group using Facebook more than in prior years are Americans 55+. While privacy issues are as a big reason for this drop in usage, most people cited not liking the “rants or too personal comments” and “too much negativity” as the main objections. This may explain why users have shifted to Instagram, even though it’s a Facebook property. Images are more cheery, making it the only social network that has grown over the past year. Social media usage overall appears to have peaked. Take a look at Edison’s fullSocial Habit Report for more insights and interesting charts, or for a quick read of the highlights check out Jay Baer’s article here.

Google Really Means It. Stop Writing Bad Content.
If you’ve noticed a jarring decrease (or increase) in your website traffic, look to Google’s most recent core quality update earlier this month. Although Google continuously makes algorithm changes, most are minor. June’s broad core quality update is the second one this year, affecting the search rankings of thousands of sites. What’s at its core (pardon the pun)? Google appears to be cracking down on less trustworthy sites, which are gauged by E-A-T guidelines. This handy acronym stands for:

  • Expertise — How knowledgeable the site owner or content author is on the subject matter they discuss.
  • Authoritativeness — Credibility of the website publishing the content, including credentials, outside reviews, and testimonials.
  • Trustworthiness — How trustworthy the site is based on overall site quality and site security.

These guidelines are especially true for “YMYL” pages, which stands for “Your Money or Your Life.” Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines define these types of pages as ones that could potentially affect the happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users. Medical, health, and financial services get extra attention from Google. If you’re publishing this type of content, it’s not just ethical to make sure it’s accurate and not misleading. Still unsure? Google provides more guidance for content creation. Here are a few sample questions they recommend  considering to improve search rankings.

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?

If you’re still struggling with site visibility, give us a call.

Now Go Out and Have Some Fun
The Washington Post launched a new travel guide, tapping local journalists and authors in 50 cities around the world to guide you through their favorite neighborhoods. I think Austin’s own Omar Gallaga nailed it with his Local Guide to Austin.

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