The Top Google Algorithm Updates of 2021

We are all lucky to have Google today. If you have a question, just Google for the answer. If you need to learn how to perform a certain task, Google it. No wonder Google is the largest global search engine. A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong highlights the importance of Google SEO to a digital marketing approach.

According to a social media agency Hong Kong, the Google algorithm has gone a long way more than indexing. Technology has made its artificial intelligence and machine learning smarter. Even a video marketing agency Hong Kong notes that the algorithm allows videos to rank on Google pages today.

Google algorithm is the process of retrieving search index data to give searchers the best results on their queries. Because of the recent privacy laws and updates, a lot of changes were made to the algorithm. Below are the top Google algorithm updates of 2021. They can serve as a guide among marketers when forming their strategies for this upcoming year.

February 2021 – Passage Ranking

Google’s Passage Ranking means using artificial intelligence (AI) to rank long-form content through web passages. This was rolled out by Google on 10 February 2021. Passage Ranking allows Google to differentiate passages on the same web page according to topics. As such, it also allows the sections of a page to rank on searches.

March 2021 – 100% Mobile-First Indexing

To date, there are 6.64 billion mobile users around the world. That is almost 84% of the global population. Google has long been working on ranking websites based on their mobile responsiveness. It is because a lot of searches happen using mobile devices. Last March 2021, Google has shifted to 100% mobile-first indexing. This means that the search engine will predominantly use the mobile version of a webpage in indexing and ranking.

April 2021 – Product Reviews

Last 22 April 2021, Google will no longer include product reviews from Amazon and other affiliate marketing on its search ranking. This is to ensure that valuable product ratings and reviews can encourage users to buy them.

May 2021 – MUM

MUM stands for Multitask Unified Model. On 18 May 2021, Google introduced this t5 text-to-text framework. It allows Google not only to understand the text. But it can also translate it into 75 languages. MUM has redefined Google searches by allowing the search engine to understand the context of the content for every region.

June 2021 – Link Spam

June 2021 called for websites to use quality links. Google rolled out “Link Spam” to prevent websites from using their own websites’ links. Link Spam encourages websites to use credible sources when linking to increase the chance of their content to rank on Google searches.

August 2021- Page Title

On 24 August 2021, Google will no longer adjust page titles according to queries. Instead of using HTML tags, Google will focus more on ranking pages based on the content. It is because the platform wants to provide more context based on what the user searches.

November 2021 – Core Update

Google Algorithm introduced a core update last November 2021. It is a move to fight spam among search engine results. Google’s core update was covered by the following webmaster guidelines. One of the main highlights of such an update is helping poor ranking websites on how to optimize their mobile page versions.

December 2021 – Local Search

Brands and businesses can feature their location on Google ads. This is to allow leads to call or visit your stores. In December 2021, Google enables local extensions to encourage brands and businesses to update their Google My Business profile addresses. It will allow them to rank on local searches for “Nearby Businesses.”

Reference: https://www.pagetraffic.com/blog/google-seo-algorithm-updates-2021/

Call for Government Regulation Among Social Media Networks

Are you familiar with data privacy, GDPR, and IDFA? These policies have greatly affected social media networks. As such, the challenges behind people in social media lies in balancing freedom of expression and content moderation. 

A social media agency Hong Kong has noted a recent controversy about Facebook. A former Facebook employee became a whistleblower exposing questionable files about Facebook’s algorithms and policies. It surfaced on The Wall Street Journal and was now under investigation by the U.S. Senate. 

Due to similar incidents, Facebook and other sites now call for government regulation among social media networks. They clamor for standardization of content rules as they find it difficult to self-regulate. Let us have a basic look at such a call from Facebook!

THE FACEBOOK FILES

Last 16 September 2021, The Wall Street Journal published an article about Facebook’s double standard. It became the controversial content known as “The Facebook Files.” These are a series of leaked files exposed by Frances Haugen, a former Product Manager at The Social Network. 

A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong summarize the key discoveries on the report as follow:

  • Facebook has a different review process between high-profile and regular users. 
  • Facebook has been used by anti-vaccine activists to spread doubt and fear about the cOVID-19 vaccines.
  • Facebook has not done anything to reduce the potential harm that it has caused in developing countries.
  • Facebook studies revealed that Instagram can be harmful to mental health.
  • Facebook’s algorithm update for family and friends in 2018 was divisive.

These revelations are not new. Entities who have made thorough researches about Facebook have already noted these. Facebook itself has been addressing these elements and evolving its tools to counteract such negative issues. 

What made “The Facebook Files” more interesting is because a Facebook team member itself has made the exposure. Because Facebook greatly influence the American people, the U.S. Senate decided to make an investigation as a public concern. 

CAN EFFECTIVE REGULATION REDUCE THE IMPACT OF DIVISIVE CONTENT?

Every social media platform has its own algorithm and regulations. As a private company, they are entitled to their own discretions and preferences. For Facebook, the main focus is what makes sense. LinkedIn sorts feed based on what gives more value. Twitter amplifies content that receives better engagement. While TikTok highly attuned ranking based on the interests of its users.

As per Frances Haugen, a reform on the Section 230 Law should be made to regulate Facebook and other social media networks when it comes to content moderation. The Section 230 law is otherwise called the “Communication Decency Act.” It currently protects social media platforms against any legal liability from users of their apps. Holding social media platforms accountable for the impacts of their content moderation can balance freedom of expression and content moderation. The reform will apply equality among all social media users, too.

Effective regulation can reduce the impact of divisive content. The idea will reduce brands and people from posting engagement baits. It is because they will also be held responsible for any harmful actions and misinformation. As everyone will have a voice, everyone will have a platform to share their opinions and thoughts. 

THE CALL FOR GOVERNMENT REGULATION AMONG SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS

To set clear and fair rules, the king of social media is now calling for government regulation among social media networks. Facebook recently launched two short videos of their employees calling for federal regulations of social networks. 

The first video clip is an open conversation on privacy. It features Rochelle Nadhiri, the Strategy Lead of the Facebook Privacy team. Rochelle notes that their job is to help people understand their privacy. As it means different things to different people, Facebook’s privacy team made it clear that people should understand who has their data and how they will use it. Rochelle further asserts that federal legislation should give Facebook and other social media platforms guidelines for a consistent privacy approach. These guidelines should support internet regulations, including privacy. 

The second video clip is an open conversation on content regulation. Jack Clements from the Facebook Content team has been with Facebook for almost three years now. Jack notes that the job of a content moderator is tough. They make a lot of decisions, working in the spectrum of freedom of expression versus content moderation. Their toughest challenge is to constantly figure out where on that spectrum they should land. So, Jack mentioned that he does not know if it is right for a private corporation like Facebook to dictate those boundaries. Jack suggested that if the right adjustment will be made to Section 230 and improve regulation of the broader Internet industry, they can receive better guidance and help them with their toughest challenge.

Rochelle and Jack are just two of the 40,000 people working for the safety and security of Facebook communities. As they continue to take critical steps to secure the platform, they should be guided by government regulations to align with a consistent standard. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Through the years, social media has expanded and improved. With such a huge boom, there is really a need for government regulation among these social networks. 

Reference: https://about.facebook.com/regulations/

How to Generate Leads and Inquiries Online

More than half of global marketers allocate a budget for lead generation. There are 3 major strategies that they use to generate leads. These are through email, events, and content marketing. Around 82% believed that content marketing is the most important tactic. But the major question is – how do you generate leads and inquiries online? Here’s how!

According to a social media agency Hong Kong, it only takes 6 hours daily to reap the benefits of lead generation in social media. Having a content calendar for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter can even shorten up the time. The process also includes tracking inbound leads from Google and YouTube. Below are some techniques every brand or business should use to generate leads and inquiries online.

Email Nurture Campaign

If you want to sustainably generate leads and inquiries online, an email nurture campaign can get you closer to making people say “maybe” and then “yes” to your products and services. They can also keep your brand on top of their minds. 

There are 8 types of emails that you should include in your campaign. 

  • Welcome email to start a partnership.
  • Dedicated email for one-time offers.
  • Email newsletters for your brand’s updates.
  • Promotional emails to recommend blog posts, discounted offerings, eBooks, webinars, etc.
  • Re-engagement email to establish connection and goodwill among inactive followers or subscribers.
  • Review requests from happy customers to build up user-generated content (UGC).
  • Sponsorship email to display paid ads.
  • Transactional emails to complete a customer’s action. These may include a welcome email after someone registered on your site, a thank you email after making a purchase, etc.

Some pro-tips for an email nurture campaign are to ask what you want your customers to feel, direct your customers to a clear call to action (CTA), and use templates to speed up delivery.

Explainer Videos

As the attention span of modern consumers dwindles, people no longer have the patience to read long blog posts. People are more likely to engage with a brand’s product or service if there is an explainer video on how it works and the benefits they give. Reports showed that 66% of people prefer short videos in learning more about products and services. Around 84% of them were convinced to make a purchase after watching. 

To make explainer videos more effective, a video marketing agency Hong Kong recommends trying to keep them as short as 60 seconds. Putting a clear call to action in the middle of the roll results in the highest conversions. Brands and businesses should also repurpose and reuse videos creatively in different forms.

How-To Guides

How-To Guides are outlines of a step-by-step process that someone has to follow to complete a task. They help earn repeat business and a sense of trust with your customers. Before creating how-to guides, search the web to see if they already exist. Duplicating content may be confusing to searchers. They can also affect the SEO of your website. Ensure that you use eye-catching designs that are easy to download and understand.

Landing Pages

A landing page is a dedicated page on a website where customers touch down after clicking an email or paid ads. They are also designed to be SEO-friendly and to capture organic traffic. Thus, landing pages are all about conversions and destinations. To generate leads and inquiries through landing pages, here are the basic elements that it should include:

  • An attention-grabbing headline
  • At least 2 compelling CTAs positioned in a prominent space
  • Compelling design through a combination of colors, fonts, and imagery
  • Hyperlinks in the body copy for backlinking
  • Subheadings for ease of reading
  • Targeted contact forms
  • White spaces to promote clear messaging

Long-Tail Search Queries

Long-tail search queries are great SEO tactics. They work both for text and voice searches. A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong defines them as keywords or key phrases of very specific searches among online users. They do not generate much traffic, but they usually have higher conversion rates. This is because the more targeted your content marketing is, the greater is the chance to find your desired customers. Long-tail keywords and key phrases tend to be problem-based. They offer solutions that customers are more likely to buy in the future. Some pro-tips to creating long-tail search queries are building trust through helpful and well-researched content, creating a blog post that responds to long-tail keyword searches, and showcasing the solutions offered by your products and services.

Social Media Competitions

There is no better way to increase brand loyalty, engagement, and followers on social media than running competitions or contests. They can also boost generating leads and inquiries online. Such promotions are aimed at the follower and target audience of a brand or business in social media. As they offer prestige and prizes, it is a great opportunity to capture helpful information from the participants. To drive leads, make sure you capture the data of entrants for future targeting. Keep the mechanics accurate and simple. Offer relevant prizes to further promote the branding of your niche.

Webinar

The word webinar is a blend of two words – “web” and “seminar.” It means a virtual event discussing topics among a small group of online audiences. Hosting purchase-driven webinars can greatly help generate leads and inquiries online. As you educate your target audiences, they add value to your products and services. The key is to capture their data by including important contact details all throughout. Ensure that your slides are branded and make it easy for participants to ask questions.

Reference: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/marketing-for-winners-7-powerful-ways-to-generate-leads-inquiries-online/603204/

Writing to Sell on Instagram

Do you know that Instagram has surpassed the 1 billion global mark last 2020? This is a milestone that Facebook has once achieved. It also shows Instagram staying power. No wonder it is one of the top 5 most downloaded apps today in both the App Store and Google Play. A video marketing agency Hong Kong even notes that Instagram is among the top 3 best platforms for video marketing. Now, do you want more sales on your Instagram ads? In this article, learn about writing to sell on Instagram.

Be Consistent in Your Brand Voice

According to a social media agency Hong Kong, consistency is important for your audience to recognize your brand. It is the key to grow audience engagement and reach, not only on social media platforms but also on digital marketing as a whole. That is why it is important to maintain a consistent brand voice. It should be the same in all your content including blogs, emails, social media pages, social media posts, and websites. On Instagram, writing content with different brand voices loses a brand’s authenticity among its audiences. So, spend time writing with a consistent brand voice to sell on Instagram. As a pro tip, use simple terms, and make your content casual as Instagram is a relaxed space.

Create Catchy Headlines

The first 2 lines of your Instagram ad copies make or break the reach of your content. Most Instagram users scan the headline or first 2 lines of an Instagram post. If they are not that interesting, they ignore clicking the link and proceed to swiping on other content. That’s the importance of creating catchy headlines. Writing to sell on Instagram means knowing your target audience well. Try to discover any vacuum space they want to fill, and put those words in your headlines. A headline that leaves the reader too long for more has done a good job of catching their attention. 

Customize Your Instagram Stories

The best ad copies according to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong are those that speak to a person’s mind. They make the audience feel like you were listening to them or reading their minds. This is one challenge of writing to sell on Instagram. Added to the challenge are Facebook’s stricter rules in using words that imply personal attributes. For example, a Facebook or Instagram ad that says, “Do you have trouble sleeping?” will most likely be rejected because it implies that you are assuming about a specific person. The best way to customize your Instagram Stories is by using the “If this… then that” format. For example, you can write, “If you’re having trouble sleeping, then look no further…” The key to writing customized stories to sell on Instagram is to bring the audience on a journey. Make sure that such a journey guides the reader to the next steps on how a brand can make his or her life better. Use numbers on your headline as people love them. Use other content to find inspiration.

Give People a Reason to Take Action Now

Most Instagrammers visit the platform to connect with the world and find inspiration. It is a rare intention for them to look for products and shop. They may commonly spot products and services that they are interested in. But they may not end up purchasing because there is no urgency to do so. Writing to sell on Instagram means creating scarcity or urgency on your ad copy. The best way to do this is to retarget warm leads through limited-edition showcases and time-limited promotional offerings. These Instagrammers who have shown interest in your products and services may not be necessarily looking for the best deals. But offering a discount for a limited time may influence their buying decisions. Exclusive products with a limited number can also push them to make a purchase. This works effectively among millennial audiences with the FOMO behavior.

Help People Self-Qualify

Writing to sell on Instagram means giving your audience a straightforward solution to their problems. The best way to do this is to help people self-qualify. Spell out the problem first. People who see the ad can relate if they are experiencing the same pain points. Then, take them into a journey of the possible solutions, and highlight the brand as the best choice. It is also important to rephrase what you write into yes or no questions. It is a good way to help the reader self-qualify. Once they self-qualify, it makes them more ready to buy. This can most likely boost conversions in your Instagram ads.

Tell Customers How to Complete a Purchase

Even if you have successfully convinced your audience to buy your products and services, there is a need to guide them to complete the process. Writing to sell on Instagram means telling your customers the next steps until they have successfully completed a purchase. Facebook and Instagram Shops now enable shopping stickers that lead users to the checkout cart when tapped. For some people who are not savvy enough, guide them by putting “Swipe Up to Shop” or “Tap to Shop Now” on your Instagram copy ads.

Reference: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/persuasive-ads-on-instagram-writing-to-sell/