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Are you affected? Latest Google updates and social media subscriptions

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

So much has been happening in the realm of marketing over the last few months. Our industry is constantly evolving and adjusting - it is often hard to keep up. Even here in the UK, we've certainly had some changes - a new king, two new prime ministers, and a crashing economy - it is amazing how much can change in such a short time, and how that can impact our marketing strategy.

Let us explore some of the major highlights from Google's latest algorithm updates and how social media giants are increasing their revenue.

People first content creation updates from Google

Google logo

Google’s annual Search On event held at the end of September 2022 gave Google the opportunity to demonstrate its prototype technologies, particularly AI and machine learning advances.

Concepts include:

  • going beyond the search box with multisearch - a new way to search using text and images at the same time. Click on the lens icon and take a snap of wallpaper in your local coffee shop, and discover what comes up

  • improvements to voice search and translation functions

  • and some new features for the Google shopping experience.

Google's two latest updates focus on people-first content creation (Helpful Content Update (August 2022)) and the Core Update (September 2022). It’s all about high quality content designed to help and inform human readers as opposed to content created to boost search engine rankings. It feels odd writing the distinction 'human', but hey, that's the way of the future with AI.

Google is striving to be as helpful and relevant as possible to the end user, aligned with its long-standing mission statement:

Our mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. That's why Search makes it easy to discover a broad range of information from a wide variety of sources.

SOURCE: Google

As content creators, we know that high quality content is likely to drive traffic, create a loyal audience and increase engagement. These updates are nothing new, but it is important to keep up-to-date with Google updates as they can have a huge impact. Google penalizes sites that don't confirm through its algorithm. The sites likely to be penalized by recent updates are those that pull together information from different parts of the web, without adding anything unique or valuable to the reader.

The Helpful Content Update is an additional marker to the existing ranking algorithms that create useful search results. As always with changes to search engine algorithms, there may be some sites that are significantly affected, but this can change over time with improvements.

Google offers a whole host of information aimed at marketers, SEO professionals and developers. Search Central provides hints and tips through in-depth tutorials to help you to stay on the right side of Google.

Social Media Subscriptions

Social media words

Social media is hugely integrated into our everyday lives and relies on our engagement. Platforms are continuing to develop their monetization.

We've highlighted a few recent developments that might be of interest to your marketing strategy:

  • YouTube introduced an ad-free subscription model with exclusive content

  • Meta (owners of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp) is developing a subscription service which they feel will offer features and add-ons a more exciting experience, but they are not looking to turn off ads. Meta is also joining TikTok in leaning towards allowing content creators and influencers to charge for exclusive content

  • Instagram and TikTok are scaling back their shopping features with more emphasis on e-commerce to support advertising. Live shopping is more popular in some countries than others

  • switching between timelines on Twitter has just got easier, helping users to customize their experience (For you vs Latest timelines)

  • Twitter Blue and Snapchat+ subscriptions (under $5 per month) allow end users access to premium features, such as going ad-free or improving their own user experience with add-ons and personalized themes and seem to be well adopted.

Some additional social media updates of note include:

  • Facebook Neighborhoods popular during the pandemic have been cancelled, with the emphasis on using Facebook groups instead

  • Twitter posts can be edited within 30 minutes of posting and edited up to five times

  • Twitter has added a WhatsApp share button for users in India to take advantage of its popularity

  • When uploading a Real on Instagram, content creators can categorize topics to help them improve engagement and reach

  • Reddit is optimizing its feeds to increase simplicity with Home, Popular and News feed becoming a dropdown

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