My Five #360

Google’s BERT is your second of two buses, LinkedIn and Instagram make changes, and we find out what the most popular Hallowe’en costumes will be this year.

You are reading: My Five #360

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 Olivia.

1. Google Frightgeist: A DIY content strategy

Google’s Frightgeist returns once again to our screens to showcase the power of Google Trends. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Frightgeist, it’s an interactive platform that uses search terms to predict what the most popular Halloween costumes will be this year. Although it does have some other spooktacular features, it is very much limited to the States. So, I thought I’d try using the actual Google Trends to find out what costumes you’ll be seeing in the UK this October.

Expect to see Vampires, Rabbits, and Beetlejuice. There were quite a few informational search queries, the majority were transactional – including “Asda Halloween costume”. This month the media has made a big push on how much plastic waste will be generated from single-use Halloween costumes this year – the equivalent of 83 million plastic water bottles. Instead, people are being encouraged to reuse costumes and even make their own. So instead of using Google Frightgeist to know what to stock on your website, why not use it to create some scaretastic “How to…” content!?

We thought this was the most terrifying DIY costume:

via Totally Trendy on youtube.com

2. Instagram faces up to body positivity

Just hours apart, Instagram has featured in the national media twice this week in cases related to body positivity. First, the ASA has cracked down on sponsored posts from Katie Price, Lauren Goodger & Georgia Harrison that intended to promote weight loss products. They decided that all the ads made irresponsible health claims. Most importantly, in the case of Georgia Harrison, they ruled that she did not need to lose any weight to obtain a healthy weight. The ban aims to prevent the downward spiral of mental and physical disorders associated with body weight. It surprises me that brands are still heading down this path when so many have made real success stories from promoting body positivity!


A few hours later, Instagram announced that it would be banning all cosmetic face filters that made the user look like they had had plastic surgery due to mental health concerns. This comes on the back of a study on “Snapchat Dysmorphia” – people physically wanting surgery to permanently become their filtered counterparts. To you and me, it sounds terrifying, but is this the reality that Instagram’s young audience now face? For me, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Your move, Snapchat!

3. You wait for ages for one Google Bus, then two come along at the same time!

If you practice digital marketing in London, or just a frequenter of public transport, then you’ll know exactly what I mean with the bus analogy…

1# Last week Google dropped an update that allowed website owners more control over what content could be pulled from their website and appear in featured snippets in search results. The update, taking effect this week, uses code to manage whether the content is even featured at all in the snippet, the maximum character length, the duration of a video preview, and the maximum size of featured images.

2# But is Google done? Nope. Say hello to BERT. The latest Google algorithm update that will ensure SERPs will be full of striped bass rather than livestock when you search
“How to catch a cow fishing”.

A shame for all of us who are generally fishing for the four-legged kind of cow. The change affects 10% of all search queries, in particular, those that require context to be understood to serve the correct content. So BERT is a “deep learning algorithm related to natural language process”, or in the queen’s English, it helps Google understand what words mean, in context. Definitely a space to watch if you use long-tailed keywords as part of your SEO strategy!

4. Caroline Flack: Red Alert!

McAfee has confirmed the search term “Caroline Flack” to be the most dangerous celebrity term. Flack sits atop of a list of celebrities whose names have been linked to nasty websites containing all kinds of potentially harmful content.

People want to keep up to date with the latest pop culture and celebrity news at any time from any device.

Often consumers put that speed and convenience over security by clicking on suspicious links that promise content featuring our favourite celebrities. – McAfee chief scientist Raj Samani

It seems like the power of keyword research has got into the wrong hands, even Cyber Criminals are optimising their content for search engines! Just goes to show the significance of SEO and most importantly making sure your website is safe and secure to protect your users.

5. LinkedIn takes its head out of the cloud

LinkedIn takes its first steps off of the cloud and onto planet earth with its launch of LinkedIn Events. The social network, predominantly used by professionals, is now helping people to make connections in real life, and not just in the digital realm. It has all the bells and whistles of most event platforms, e.g. being able to choose whether the event is public or private, the ability to link to an external ticketing site, as well as setting the location right down to the meeting room.

Being only in its infancy, it’s pretty simple and easy to use. Critically, though, events can only be currently shared organically, so events can’t be promoted through paid targeting. It’s definitely got a long way to go yet before it can rival the likes of Facebook events, but it’s still a significant step forward, even if it is long overdue one!

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