My Five: Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Ali.
1. Google updates search facility
Following on from Annie’s My Five last week regarding Google’s changes to its search facility (namely removing search options like ‘blogs’ and ‘discussion’), here’s a free present from us to you. Bookmark these URLs for future use, just remove the ‘key phrase’ wording from the search bar and Bob’s your uncle.
2. Safe Internet Day
Safe Internet Day is held in February every year to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people. I’m all for these types of awareness days but I’m also not sure whether the average parent will be able to keep up with the technologies their offspring will be using. Stats from US digital agency iStrategy Labs showed that teens are abandoning Facebook in their droves and switching to more image-led IM platforms.
A separate report from GlobalWebIndex rebuffs those claims saying that teens still use the platform at least once a month. The last time I saw a bunch of teenagers together they were barely communicating, so engrossed were they in their shiny new iPhones. Therefore I wouldn’t consider a monthly (and probably parent-friendly) FB update to be active use for this set. They may not have deleted their FB accounts as such, mainly so that Mum can ‘keep track’ but unfortunately the stuff parents really want and need to know is being posted elsewhere. Good luck Safer Internet Day 2014.
3. No to article directories
Not sure this one needs much explanation but everyone knows Google’s not been particularly fond of article directories for a while now. Matt Cutts spells it out below.
Today’s webmaster video: “Should I build links using article directories?” http://t.co/LBeODA2gve (No)
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) January 29, 2014
4. Google Business Photos
Google Business Photos have been around for a while now but I enjoyed reading Econsultancy’s post about the ten coolest business views. If you’re thinking about doing this for your own business, click here to find a local photographer.
I spoke to Carl Lamb of ambientLight, a Trusted Google Photographer who advised that Google has recommended rates (starting from around £195) that accredited companies can charge for producing your interactive 360-degree photo. He also advised that now these views have been around for a couple of years, organisations are becoming increasingly creative in their approach. He recalled a company that ran a competition based on a semi-hidden item. If that’s too much of a long term commitment, then just do something that makes people smile. Spot the fully dressed diver lurking in the back of the shop here.
Please note – Spring clean your office prior to the photographer arriving on site or simply hide things you’d prefer the world not to see: Google’s rules mean that you can see a preview before your Business Photo goes live but you can’t edit it. Business Photos will appear in Google searches, Google Maps, and Google+ Local, but you should also use it on your own website and social media. Another accredited photographer writing for Moz believes that Business Views may correlate with higher local search rankings. Whilst it might not be a silver bullet, it certainly won’t do any harm.
5. And a Friday Funny…Ski Ballet
As the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony is staged tonight, I know you’ll join the Huffington Post and me in disappointment that ski ballet is not an official Olympic discipline: