Introducing the Mobile-Friendly Test API

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With so many users on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly web is important to us all. The Mobile-Friendly Test is a great way to check individual pages manually. We’re happy to announce that this test is now available via API as well.

The Mobile-Friendly Test API lets you test URLs using automated tools. For example, you could use it to monitor important pages in your website in order to prevent accidental regressions in templates that you use. The API method runs all tests, and returns the same information – including a list of the blocked URLs – as the manual test. The documentation includes simple samples to help get you started quickly.

We hope this API makes it easier to check your pages for mobile-friendliness and to get any such issues resolved faster. We’d love to hear how you use the API — leave us a comment here, and feel free to link to any code or implementation that you’ve set up! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to drop by our webmaster help forum.

January 31st 2017 Mobile

The New Face of LinkedIn: What You Need to Know About the Redesign

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 Even the most starched-shirt professional can use a new look every now and then. Skinny and wide neckties go in and out of fashion. Hemlines trend up and down. You can be fashionable and professional at the same time.

All of which to say, LinkedIn has started to roll out a substantial redesign. Not everyone has it yet, but it’s coming soon for everyone, and it’s definitely a bid to keep up with the cutting edge of web design.

The redesign cleans up the interface substantially, fully committing to the card-based look the site has been flirting with for the past two years. Icons are simplified and are a closer match to the mobile experience. And some features that were hard to find before are now front-and-center.

Let’s take a quick look around to see what’s new.

#1: New Menu Bar

If you’re still on the old design, your menu bar looks like this:

By contrast, the new design is more compact and more visual. It highlights the sections of the site you’re most likely to visit:

Under that, you’ll see a quick snapshot of your profile – your picture, background, headline, profile and content views.

This sidebar makes it simple to see at-a-glance how much attention your content is getting.

#2: A Notable Notifications Tab

Rejoice! Notifications have finally escaped from their skinny little box. In the new design, notifications is a full-size feed, just like the feed on your home page:


Unread notifications are at the top, tinted a subtle gray until you look at them. You don’t have to click through to respond to a notification anymore—you can interact with them right in the feed.

#3: It’s All About Me

Notice “My Profile” is now just “Me.” The new profile features a round photo up top – you’ll need to make sure your square picture has enough of a border to work in the new format.

Background images have changed slightly, too. The recommended size is 1536×768, a little shorter than the old one.

The new design offers easier access to the tools you need to update your profile and interact with your connections. Here’s what LinkedIn Marketing Solutions’ Alex Rynne had to say about the new layout:

“The redesign features a new ‘Me’ tab where you can control and see everything about you – your privacy and setting, who’s viewed your profile, and who’s commenting on your posts.

The new tab, located on the far right at the top navigation, includes a ‘suggested skills’ tab based on what’s most in demand by recruiters. People with at least five skills listed on their LinkedIn profile receive up to 17x more profile views, so it makes a difference.”

My favorite feature in the Me tab is the Activity feed, where you can see your previous posts, likes and comments. Before, if you wanted to repost an article, or share something so you could look at it later… you basically couldn’t. The new feed makes it simple to browse your history, sorted by articles, posts and activity:

#4: Sharing Is Caring

To my marketer’s eye, the most interesting change in the whole redesign is a subtle one. Here’s what the top of my feed used to look like:

And here’s the new one:

See the difference? There’s no extra click for deciding what type of update you want to publish–it’s designed to encourage you to just start typing. Most intriguingly, “write an article” now has pride of place. It’s clear LinkedIn wants you to publish long-form content on the platform.

#5: Search is Simplified

The last big difference you will see is in the Search dialog. If you’re not a premium user but were enjoying the advanced search options, you won’t love this change.

Filtering by first and last name, title, location and keyword have all been streamlined away. There are a few filters left: location, industry, company, language, schools, and level of connection. But the meaty advanced search features—and the ability to save searches—are reserved for Premium and Sales Navigator accounts.

A Professional Facelift

LinkedIn’s new design is definitely easier on the eyes than the previous incarnation. But it’s more than just a pretty new face. Each new tab and feature seems designed to express how LinkedIn hopes you will use the platform. There’s an emphasis on number of profile views and interactions with your content. It’s easier to pick up old comment threads and keep track of your activity. And posts published on LinkedIn are front and center.

While a few of your favorite features may be altered beyond recognition, on the whole the new LinkedIn should make it easier to make connections, track your content performance, and optimize your profile.

Do you have the new design yet? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client. 

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January 31st 2017 Social Media

Missed it by that much

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I got to the gate just as they closed the door and the plane began to back away.

It was thirty years ago, but I still remember how it felt. I think we’re hard-wired to fear these painful moments of missing out.

Deadlines don’t cause death if missed, but sometimes we persuade ourselves that it’s almost as bad. As a result, marketers and others that want us to take action invent cliffs, slamming doors and loud buzzers.

We put a rope at door, a timer on the clock and focus on scarcity and the fear of missing out. And as a result, consumers and students and co-workers wait for the signals, prioritizing their lives around the next urgency.

When everything is focused on the deadline, there’s little time to work on the things that are actually important.

When we build our lives around ‘what’s due’ we sacrifice our agency to the priorities and urgencies of everyone else.

More important is the bigger issue: Time is running out.

For all the things you might want to experience, not merely the ones that are about to leave the gate.

Time is running out for you to level up or connect or to be generous to someone who really needs you.

Time is running out for you to become the person you’ve decided to be, to make the difference you seek to make, to produce the work you know you’re capable of.

Set your own buzzer.

January 31st 2017 Uncategorized

Kia releases Super Bowl ad with a chatbot

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Kia has already dropped two teasers regarding their Super Bowl ad for LI, the Iceberg and the desert, both featuring Melissa McCarthy. The super bowl ad, created by Los Angels agency David and Goliath, will follow “a heroic and harrowing journey stretching from the polar ice caps to an arid desert.” While I am pleased that I don’t see any hamsters in this ad, Melissa McCarthy is not an upgrade. In fact, it seems about as wise as having Amy Schumer & Seth Rogen push the old “Party” idea, which we know did not end well.

Since Super Bowl ads aren’t just seen on the day of the big game but also everywhere for weeks running up to it with all sorts of teasers and hype, David and Goliath have found another creative way to pre-release their bowl-ad. With a bot. Yes, a bot.

The Nirobot is Kia’s Facebook’s Messenger bot that they implemented last year. It allows fans and followers to ask questions and get answers in realtime, and if need be a human can enter the conversation. This is a feature of facebook messenger since April of last year where you can use node.js to create a bot in around 10 minutes that will answer questions for you. It’s pretty simple, and clever creatives like Eli and Éric&Julien have made bots to show their portfolios off. Since last year Kia’s Nirobot, which was developed by Interpublic Group’s Ansible, has helped thousands of consumers with “guided vehicle discovery, expansive technical knowledge, step-by-step tutorials and test-drive scheduling.” Good bot, well done.

“With its advanced technology and tremendous efficiency, the Niro sets a new standard in the market, and being the first bot for Messenger to debut a Super Bowl ad reinforces the idea that our newest crossover is like nothing consumers have ever seen before,” says Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and VP for Kia Motors America.

We all know it’s just the shiny new angle on the tired old breathless Super Bowl ad press release. Because when your ad isn’t going to make a splash in the bowl on it’s own, it needs all the PR support it can get.

Kia Niro – Iceberg

Kia “Desert” teaser

January 31st 2017 Uncategorized

Article: eMarketer Unveils New Estimates for Mobile App Activities

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Mobile internet users spend nearly three-quarters of their app time on five key activities.

January 31st 2017 Uncategorized

Article: Music Streaming Surging in Germany

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Streaming audio revenues helped Germany’s music market grow 2.4% in 2016 despite falling sales of CDs and digital downloads.

January 31st 2017 Uncategorized

Article: Facebook Messenger Gives Thailand an Early Look at Ads

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Facebook's Messenger app has started testing ads for users in Thailand, where nearly half of the population currently uses Messenger and consumers already show signs that social ads influence them.

January 31st 2017 Uncategorized

Article: Marketing in Indonesia: Teen Fads Ebb and Flow Based on Online Trends

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Ghani Kunto, founder and director of Indonesia-based market research firm Empathic Marketing, has observed the digital lifestyles of teens in Indonesia—a country that is itself “going through puberty, still trying to find its identity,” he said. eMarketer’s Dustin Sodano spoke with Kunto about how internet access and social media affect the behaviors of teens in Indonesia.

January 31st 2017 Uncategorized

Article: Amazon, Hulu Gain Ground on Netflix in Customer Satisfaction

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Rivals Amazon Prime Video and Hulu are closing the gap with market leader Netflix in terms of overall subscriber satisfaction. But in other areas such as satisfaction with original programming, Netflix still has an edge.

January 31st 2017 Uncategorized

Article: Ecommerce's Share of UK Retail Sales Inches Higher

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The vast majority of retail sales in Great Britain were made in-store in 2016. But ecommerce's share of overall retail once again inched upward, helped by digital sales accounting for a greater share of business across store types.

January 31st 2017 Uncategorized