Daily Search Forum Recap: August 25, 2016

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

August 26th 2016 Uncategorized

Facebook’s New Button Placement Makes Live Video Incredibly Easy for Mobile Users

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Facebook users started noticing Wednesday night that the company had placed its live video button in an extremely accessible spot on its mobile app. New York City chief digital officer Sree Sreenivasan was one of the first to notice the button where "Status" once appeared. 

Multiple Adweek employees are also now seeing the button, and it appears to be slowly rolling out to users as a top-tab feature on the mobile app. 

Those who tap the button are taken to their video camera and can start livestreaming by hitting "Go Live."

Indeed, it just got very easy to broadcast your life in real time, for better or for worse. And your news feed could get interesting very soon if your friends aren't careful. Could "pocket broadcasting" be the new pocket dialing? We shall see. 

At any rate, Facebook's design move demonstrates that while livestreaming players like Periscope and Meerkat made waves last year, livestreaming has now become a bigger focal point than ever for digital platforms. Twitter has increasingly tried to better Periscope's place in its ecosystem, while AOL has been pushing its livestreaming app Kanvas to brand marketers in recent months. 

August 26th 2016 Facebook, Social Media, Technology

Snapchat Is Bringing Live Scores to High School Football Games This Fall

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Snapchat has inked a deal with ScoreStream, a platform that crowdsources live sports scores, to power real-time geofilters at high school football games in the U.S. this fall.

Snapchat started experimenting with real-time scores for NBA games this year and a handful of other sports, including the NFL, with a feature called Live Score. The location-based technology is now being deployed at thousands of high schools so the app's teenage and millennial users can spruce up their snaps with their teams' scores. The partnership with ScoreStream is the first time the real-time scores will include advertising, and Gatorade has signed on as the program's sponsor for the fall season.

Using the geofilter, Snapchat users will able to add a scoreboard decal to photos and videos taken and posted from games. The colors of the filters change based on school colors. Gatorade's messaging appears at the bottom of the graphics.

ScoreStream's technology builds on Snapchat's existing geofenced features that wrap specific locations like stadiums to access special graphics. The app expanded its 2-year-old geofilter feature earlier this year to let anyone create their own designs starting at $5 each.

"Attendance at high school sporting events is two-and-a-half times greater than all pro sports combined, yet there has never been a comprehensive source for real-time high school sports content, until now," Derrick Oien, ScoreStream's founder and CEO, said in a statement. "Offering our crowd-sourced, hyper-local sports content to Snapchat's unrivaled audience of millennials marks a sea change in how local sports will be consumed going forward."

August 26th 2016 Mobile, Technology

The National Parks Just Created a Virtual Reality Experience Starring President Obama

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When President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 signed into law the the bill that created the National Park Service, it was far more difficult for Americans to travel between the nation's many gems in its vast wilderness that the law was meant to protect.

But technology and travel have come a long way since then. And now, exactly 100 years later, the current president is using virtual reality to bring people to one of those very places: Yosemite National Park.

Today, as the National Park Service celebrates its centennial, the White House will debut a live-action virtual reality experience featuring President Barack Obama walking around the park with his family on Father's Day weekend. The 11-minute film, "Through the Ages," was created by Emmy Award-winning Felix & Paul Studios and produced in partnership with Facebook's Oculus team and National Geographic.

Along with celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service, Obama narrates the film, highlighting the history of the park, along with addressing the need to visit and to preserve the 89 million square miles of protected land in the U.S.

"All of this is really to support the message," Paul Raphael, the studio's co-founder, said during an interview after giving Adweek an early demo of the film. "We hear a lot that people say what their messages are all the time, but to actually feel and understand it on a visceral level is a rare thing."

When a viewer puts on a VR headset, they are instantly transported to a field within the park to watch the president's helicopter descend, its propellers pushing air against the tall grass under a clear blue sky. Later, they're on a canoe paddled by a park ranger, who in another scene is talking with Obama and the president listens intently as he looks up at the sky, squinting at the sun.

 

This isn't the first VR film Felix & Paul Studios has created. The team won a Daytime Emmy Award for its VR experience about Cirque du Soleil. It also received a second nomination for a VR film it created with former President Bill Clinton, which featured the the Clinton Global Initiative's work in East Africa.

Raphael said virtual reality is uniquely suited for transporting a viewer, but the question was also about capturing the "serenity, the beauty, the scale," of the park. However, it was also to give the viewer a new way of seeing the park's natural beauty while feeling a connection with the president.

"I love the fact that he talks about what this whole thing means to him on a personal level," Raphael said. "And to be next to him when he's talking about something so close and personal to him, which relates to the whole topic of the film, I think that was something we were really hoping to get from the outset."

       

        A scene from a new VR film featuring Barack Obama shows a Yosemite National Park ranger paddling through a lake. Felix & Paul Studios

         

        Using a time lapse feature, a film about Yosemite National Park captured both day and night. Felix & Paul Studios 

Watch a trailer of the VR film here, available today on Facebook and Gear VR, with an Oculus Rift rollout later this week.

August 26th 2016 Facebook, Technology

Yelp’s Stoppelman Really Not Happy About Google’s Interstitials Penalty

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Pretty much everyone who does a search in Google on their mobile device and clicks on a Yelp listing and does not have the Yelp mobile app, is a frustrated user. Why? Because you land on this annoying interstitial ad to download the app. If not, you can maybe see in really small font, in a light color, you can continue on the the mobile site. Everything else is blocked out and you cannot see the information on the Yelp listing.

Clearly, Yelp wants you to download the app.

But the upcoming mobile interstitial Google penalty seems like it will smack these pages down. Of course, that will upset Yelp who wants to make it hard to consume content on their mobile site and wants users to download their app.

Local SEO expert, Mike Blumenthal got into it with the CEO of Yelp, Jeremy Stoppelman, on this topic last night. Matt McGee summed it up in this feed, you need to read how angry Mr. Stoppelman looks here:

Love how Mike summed it up in one Tweet:

Seems like Stoppelman will be headed to congress again.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

August 25th 2016 Uncategorized

Google Titles In Snippets Gone Awry

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve been hearing rumblings across the community about the Google search results not working as expected. Specifically how the titles are showing wrong, invalid or weird information. In fact, I think John Mueller was asked at the 24:35 mark into the hangout from Tuesday on Google+.

So just this morning, I spotted a webmaster who shared a specific example. A search for [LJL] returns a snippet in the first position that shows 0 as the title, where the title tag actually says “League of Legends Japan League.”

Here is a picture:

Here is the question that came up in the hangout:

Google has been tampering a lot with our homepage titles for exact match queries (sitename + country) . It is a multisite wordpress installation with localised versions en, uk and BR – what should we be looking at?

John responded that he needed to see specific examples but it can be an issue of Google folding two pages together. But truth is, I’ve heard more rumblings about this in forums and on Twitter.

Here is the video embed:

Have the title tags been normal for you in Google?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

August 25th 2016 Uncategorized

Poll: Should Google Build A Pass/Fail Mobile Interstitials Testing Tool?

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Google announced they will be penalizing sites that have intrusive interstitials on mobile. But Google said there are types of interstitials that do not trigger the penalty and types that do.

Google gave examples of both but some are not happy and they want Google to go above and beyond and create a tool to test to make sure your interstitials do not cross the line.

Of course, it would be wonderful to know for certain that the interstitials you have on your mobile site will not trigger a penalty. But I cannot see Google giving us a pass/fail testing tool for interstitials. I mean, it leaves them open to folks who want to push the line.

I do think the tool would be a good idea for most webmasters, but for the few folks who want to abuse it, it can be a bad idea.

Should Google do it or not? Take my poll below:

Rae is one such person who believes a tool is necessary:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

August 25th 2016 Uncategorized

US National Parks Google Logo Celebrates 100 Years

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Today on the Google home page is a video Google Doodle, aka logo, for the 100th anniversary of the US National Parks.

Here is the full video Doodle from Google:

Google wrote:

TodayĆ¢s Doodle celebrates the parks and monuments of the U.S. national parks on the occasion of the National Park Service centennial. Designated in 1916, the National Park Service has set aside over 84 million acres of protected land for everyone to explore and enjoy.

Here are the Doodle credits:

  • Story, direction, art, & animation: Sophie Diao
  • Patches & character design: Lydia Nichols
  • Additional animation support: Kevin Burke, Nate Swinehart, & David Davis
  • Music & sound design: Glen Matisoff
  • Special thanks to National Park Rangers Neal Herbert & Shelton Johnson for their guidance and inspiration!

Bing has a background of the Great Sand Dunes National Park:

Forum discussion at Google+.

August 25th 2016 Uncategorized

Google Fun: John Mueller Hacks Gary Illyes Keyboard

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John Mueller Hacks Gary Illyes Keyboard

August 25th 2016 Uncategorized

Imgur Thinks Its Nerdy Millennial Male Users Will Actually Love Its New Native Ad Unit

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Imgur, a social platform for images and GIFs with 150 million monthly users, is announcing an ad product that doesn't have the most original name but seems to have intriguing potential. The ads, which are called promoted posts and are focused on mobile viewers, are inserted into Imgur users' content streams and can include video that plays in posts.

Interestingly, there's no data targeting for the ads, and that's just the way Imgur wants it. Launch partners eBay, Square Enix and New Form's promoted posts will essentially be seen by all "Imgurians," who evidently represent the world's largest digital army of male geeks. 

"They love the idea of a unifying stream, a single content stream that everyone sees, providing a shared experience that gives them all something in common," explained Steve Patrizi, vp of revenue and marketing at Imgur. "We believe promoted posts should behave in the same way, and each promoted post is inserted into that single Imgur stream."

The promoted posts add to Imgur's programmatic display ads that more than 30 brands—e.g., Budweiser, Old Spice and SoFi—have purchased, giving marketers another option to pitch products and services to an audience the San Francisco company characterizes as unusually nerdy. Imgur calls them the "lost boys" of the internet, since brands apparently have a hard time finding them. It says 87 percent of its users self-identify as "geek" and millennial.

What's more, Imgur claims, two-thirds of its users who have voted on a promoted post during the ad unit's test phase have given it an upvote, the equivalent of a "like" in the platform's parlance. (A downvote expresses negative sentiment.)

"The community response to promoted posts has been overwhelmingly positive, with engagement rates reaching as high as 20 percent," Patrizi said.

Whether they continue to love the ads as they increase in number will be worth watching. 

Patrizi's team shared that mobile is Imgur's fastest growing and most engaged platform, as users are on its flagship app three times a day for an average of four and a half hours per week. 

August 25th 2016 Technology