Internet Marketing News Update #270, February 15, 2018

Google to use speed as a ranking factor for mobile search
Google has announced that beginning in July, 2018, page speed will affect how sites rank in mobile search. Page speed had previously only been a factor in desktop search. Google provides data on page speed through its PageSpeed Insights tool, and more broadly advises developers to think about user experience when considering what factors might affect search rankings.
Search Engine Journal

Facebook makes deal for more music content
Facebook recently announced a broad-based deal encompassing several music industry companies, designed to deliver more music-related content to the site. Taken together with Facebook's recently announced move to de-emphasize news content in user feeds, this signals a different direction in the placement and nature of advertising on Facebook.
Search Engine Journal

Net neutrality may have found a surprising savior
Though the federal government has taken away net neutrality protections, the governor of Montana has found a possible way to preserve net neutrality on a state level. Governor Steve Bullock has declared that no internet service provider doing business with his state can block content or deliver some websites more quickly than others based on how much they pay. Other states, including New York, are pursuing similar remedies.
The New York Times

Users to rank credibility of news sources on Facebook
Facebook has announced a plan to allow user rankings to determine the prominence of news sources on the social media site according to how credible they find the source to be. While this is seen as step toward combating misinformation, concerns have been raised about whether the rankings might be open to manipulation.
The New York Times

Influencers both love and misuse Instagram
A Zine survey of social media influencers (people who are paid to use their followings to promote certain brands) found that Instragram was far and away the most popular among them as an outlet for their activities. Seventy-eight percent reported using Instragram to promote brands, while blogging finished a distant second at 16% and other social media outlets such as YouTube and Facebook were in the low single digits. The same survey found that just half of social media influencers follow FTC guidelines for identifying paid content.

Brand safety concerns marketers
A late 2017 survey of brand safety found that the objectionable content marketers most often found their content associated with were news items about disasters, divisive political content, or fake news. Other concerns include hate speech and pornography. Two thirds of marketers reported that their content had been associated with objectionable content, with more than half saying it had happened more than once.

Unilever to use blockchain to foster ad placement transparency
Blockchain, the technology behind digital currencies such as bitcoin, may now have a role to play in helping digital advertisers see more clearly where their ad money goes. Citing concerns about its brands being associated with objectionable content on social media platforms, Unilever has announced it will use blockchain technology to better monitor digital media purchases and placements. Given that Unilever spends about a quarter of its $9.8 billion ad budget on digital, it's approach could become influential.
MediaPost News

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