Google Spam Update October 2022

In the last couple of weeks, Google released their latest spam update, dropping significant numbers of websites and URLs down, or out, of the listings. As usual, Google has not released intricate details of the update, however content quality, site quality, link quality all appear as potential core targets.

If you’ve been hit by the update, you’ll know about it, providing you check your key metrics. For most site owners and webmasters who have been hit, they will know what has caused it – they will have gone too hard in one particular area of the algorithm.

There will also be some collateral damage, which may be unwound with tweaks to the update. There are always sites who are caught up in the edges of any update. Sometimes they are genuinely innocent, sometimes they are unwitting, but often, deep down, they know they’ve focused too hard on something.

I’ve seen lots of comments that smaller sites have been dropped, while the “Big Corp” sites remain. This is usually a by-product of these types of updates where Google’s focus can often be on increased authority from softer signals such as web mentions.

We’ll see how it pans out, but as with all updates, focus on being in the normal zone: normal content, normal links, normal tech. The key to ranking well for a long time on Google is to be relatively normal to your competitor set, while being slightly better than them. Doing that enables you to ride the update waves, knowing that you haven’t focused too much on some secret “hack”, which will come back to bite you.

Facebook profit decimation

If some corners of the tech world are to be believed, Meta’s Q3 2022 earnings report is a sure sign they are about the fall into an abyss of decline and bankruptcy because revenue and profits were not quite as strong last quarter. They still made $27 billion in revenue and around $5 billion in income / profits. That’s not bad for a failing business.

Meta is not about to disappear beneath the waves. Revenue will continue from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, with the big $$ engine really being Facebook. They are investing heavily in the VR / AR world, as are all the major techs. Whether it comes to fruition as quickly as they or the market would like is still to be seen. They are also entering the mature business phase of focusing on cost reduction.

For the minute though, Meta & Facebook are not going anywhere, nor is their traffic. Continue to advertise through them as one of the most effective reach platforms available currently.

Twitter purchased by Elon Musk

So, Elon Musk has finally (and perhaps not completely willingly) got ahold of Twitter for a mere $44 billion. According to reports, he has already fired a number of C-level execs.

One of the largest and most vibrant social platforms is now in the control of a billionaire who sometimes seems to be in it for the lulz, but must surely have a vague plan somewhere.

The future is a bit uncertain and unpredictable for Twitter. There are mutterings of a complete free speech approach, and infamous account suspensions being lifted. One thing is for certain, lots of eyeballs and column inches will be being written about the platform and on the basis on all news being good news, this should be a good moment for Twitter.

Longer term, who knows, but in the short term, there will be lots of people checking it out for the first time in a long time and that surely must mean more eyeballs on ads, more clicks to tweets, and more mopping up needed.

Kanye purchases parler.

Another day, another billionaire buys a social network, ostensibly to give them freedom to espouse their divisive views after being “silenced” (oh, cry me a river), as Kanye West has purchased the right-wing network Parler.

This isn’t super significant from a digital marketing point of view, aside from the fact that it appears to be a growing trend that the super-rich want to extend their influence and control it themselves unfettered – think the next-gen Murdochs. Interesting times ahead, especially if one of them actually gains proper traction.

In the meantime, perhaps Kanye will find great solace shouting into the void.

YouTube going $$. Netflix $$.

When I was studying economics, if you had in elastic demand, you could have elastic pricing and enter a profit maximisation phase. That’s where YouTube and Netflix are at. Yes, there are competitors in market, yes they may have different offerings, but really, they don’t compare. In this case both YouTube & Netflix have first-mover’s advantage and really own a lot of the space.

For consumers, this translates to higher prices as Netflix and YouTube both raise their premium subscription costs and service rationalisation as they seek to trim the less profitable areas of their business, or restrict the parts of their models, which (especially in Netflix’s case) allowed them to expand exponentially in their markets at first.

Expect other majors to follow suit: Apple is already pricey, Amazon is not as cheap as it once was, Facebook is looking at overhead-reduction. Until we get to the next paradigmatic shift, expect this rationalisation to continue.

All we can do is choose wisely and start to seek the best deal as these products become more commoditised.