Hello readers old and new – and what a week it’s been, both in and outside digital marketing. But let’s cut to the chase, your 90 seconds starts now:

1. Google delivers a zero results search results page (shock horror)

This news has had the SEO world in a frenzy. Traditionally, Google delivers 10 organic results for a search query (commonly called “10 blue links”). However, this has been dying for a while now, with News articles, Map results etc. all making the results page more complex. Now for the first time, for a very small number of queries that have a single definitive answer, e.g. what time is it, Google is experimenting with delivering only that single definitive answer, and not 10 links to other pages about the answer.

Moz have written about this in pretty great detail – the consensus is, this has been coming for a while, and if your business depends on receiving traffic from what time is it queries, or maths calculations or metric/imperial conversions… it’s time to change your strategy.

2. YouTube launches more targeting options

YouTube is still one of the most underused channels I see. Its power in storytelling, creating emotion, informing and educating is unparalleled in digital marketing. Plus, it’s currently pretty cheap (especially considering Facebook’s costs continue to rise). This week Google announced an exciting new targeting method: Custom Intent Audiences. This basically means you can reach users in YouTube who have performed specific searches in Google search recently. So let’s say you want to reach users interested in finding out more about social housing, animal conservation, or how to go vegan. Now you can target those users with video ads in YouTube. This is an exciting development for bridging that gap between top of the funnel, wide reach, less targeted campaigns and bottom of the funnel, high intent targeting.

More info at Search Marketing Land.

3. Google confirms core algorithm update

This feels like minor news after the “zero results” debacle, but some sites have seen fluctuations in their organic traffic recently and now Google has confirmed it: there was a “broad, core algorithm update” rolled out week of 5 March. It wasn’t aimed to fix a specific problem like some updates that focus on rewarding good content, or mobile performance, for example. Sites that have seen drops have been given no advice on “fixing” these losses. But at least you know own you’re not the only one. Limited details but a longer version of this story is available at SEO Roundtable.


Unless you were under a rock this week, you’ll know it has been International Women’s Day. To celebrate/highlight ongoing issues in the tech sector, our good friends over at TechForGoodLive have done an excellent podcast on female experiences in tech . And for anyone worried about when’s International Men’s Day, Richard Herring has your answer.  PS It’s November 19th.

Aside from that entertainment, here’s the stories you need-to-know-but-might-have-missed.

Evidence that Facebook’s Algorithm Update has increased advertising costs

It’s what everyone expected, and now it’s confirmed. With the reduction of page content in users’ newsfeeds, fewer ad impressions are available to buy, and so the cost has gone up. See this chart below mapping the change, courtesy of Recode:


Facebook impression costs

There are a lot of other factors at play, as the number of advertisers has continued to grow anyway, even without this algorithm change. But it certainly looks like what was foretold has come to pass.


Google My Business creates “Woman Led” attribute in Maps

The day before International Women’s Day, Google announced a new attribute that local businesses could add – “Women led”. One of Seedling’s clients is Siren Asylum, a female only gym and fitness studio, so for them it’s perfect to stand out when potential new customers are browsing Maps results. How many other businesses this will be relevant or advantageous for, I’m not sure. More info on how to set up here.


Twitter investigating ways to verify all accounts

You’ve seen that little blue tick against celebrities’ Twitter accounts to confirm they’re the real deal? Twitter have confirmed they’re looking for a scalable way to roll this out to all users, likely due to issues with hate speech and bots that has often made the platform a frustrating place to communicate. What this means for popular “character” accounts like @SICKOFWOLVES or @Queen_UK remains to be seen. It doesn’t sound like this is likely to roll out any time soon, as no details have been confirmed. More info.




Welcome! It may not feel like it, but it’s now meteorological springtime. If you’ve had a busy week hiding from the snow and not managed to catch the biggest digital marketing news of the week – never fear! Here’s a quick round up of the most important updates that you may have missed.

1. Google launches two new tools to help organic search performance

With site speed so critical in reducing bounce rate and improving conversion rate, Google has launched two new tools: the Mobile Speed Scorecard and Impact Calculator.

Mobile Speed Scorecard is a super quick and easy tool that allows you to compare your site speed against competitors, to see how you stack up. The Impact Calculator estimates how much revenue you could be losing based on a slow site speed. You need to input your average monthly visitors, estimated average order value and current conversion rate. Great for building a business case and getting site speed to the top of your dev queue. You can access both tools here.

2. Facebook ends its double newsfeed test

You may have heard a few months ago how Facebook was splitting its newsfeed in two, a normal newsfeed focused on friends and family, and a separate newsfeed called “Explore” to house publisher content, where users would have to actively click to access. Armageddon would surely ensue, and no user would ever see any publisher content again ever. The test ran in six different countries, but user feedback wasn’t positive – they didn’t find that it helped them “connect more with friends and family” as was Facebook’s stated goal. Facebook have ended the test and admitted, “People don’t want two separate feeds”. The most recent algorithm update has ended up superseding what they were aiming for with that test anyway. Mashable has more info.

3. Snapchat rallies after an awkward week

First with Kylie Jenner’s tweet “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore” wiping £1.3 billion off its market value, then with an extremely unpopular interface update, it seemed like a bad week for Snapchat. However, the volume of complaints and discussion over its layout update appears to have stimulated an increase in downloads… possibly to see what all the fuss is about. According to Techcrunch, the app saw an additional 322,000 vs. the previous week. So maybe for Snapchat, any publicity is good publicity? Snapchat certainly isn’t dead yet. More info over at Techcrunch

Did you know, for eligible applicants, Google will donate up to $10,000 in paid search spend per month (around £7,500)? That could mean hundreds of additional visitors to your site, discovering your services, volunteering more time, or making more donations. Read More

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg announced that posts from business pages (including charities) would begin to see less visibility in the Facebook newsfeed, favouring content from friends and family instead, particularly content that is more likely to stimulate conversation. So what does this mean for small businesses and charities, many of whom are only just getting to grips with the potential of social media, and don’t have much budget? Read More

If you’re a small business, chances are, you’ve already set up a Google My Business profile. If not, stop reading this and immediately set one up. Read More

It feels like supermarkets have reached a turning point this Christmas. With seasonal ranges only on shelf for a matter of weeks, it’s the perfect time to trial new products and inform your NPD for the rest of the year. And this is exactly what we’ve seen, with an explosion of vegan and free from products on shelf. My personal favourite so far has to be the Lazy Day Vegan Tiffin Box (tastes as good as it looks). But as we sit down to feast, it’s a good time to reflect on how NOT to market to cruelty-free, ethical and vegan shoppers. Read More