My Five #388

Political face palms, LinkedIn polls, negative SEO, fake news and canine conference calls all feature in a summary of what caught my eye in this week’s online travels.

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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 Joe.

1. Daily Briefing Facepalm

I really, really wanted to avoid any mention of Covid 19 this week, but it is pretty much impossible to read / see / hear anything these days that doesn’t somehow refer to the pandemic. I am sorry not to have been able to achieve my goal.

There is a lot that is (extremely) painful about the whole situation but, without wishing to start a political tirade, I have found the daily briefings to be the most excruciating. Whilst Boris’s pitiful effort last Sunday has actually taken the prize for the most pointless waste of my existence in recent weeks, I have been staggered at the ineptitude of both politicians and journalists at the daily briefing sessions.

I therefore very much enjoyed Michael Spicer’s brilliant tweet earlier this week:

2. LinkedIn Polls

If you have been on LinkedIn at all in the past couple of days, you will surely have subjected to a barrage of polls.  LinkedIn polls have been in the pipeline for a while but the functionality is now being rolled out en masse and it seems that a lot of people are testing them out.

Polls can actually be a really good way to undertake some quick and dirty research, although you should not expect much more than a snapshot of opinion and, as always, you need to think very carefully about the question that you pose. The LinkedIn polls are fairly lightweight but therefore easy to set up and, as the creator, you have access to real time data as people engage.

You can read more about the new feature at

3. Negative SEO

Negative SEO is a fairly terrifying spectre. It has, however, been out of the limelight in recent years. Ever since Google launched the disavow tool, it has felt as though the threat of  negative SEO has diminished. I don’t personally think that it disappeared but it definitely hasn’t been talked about as much as it once was.

I was therefore interested to read Google’s John Mueller discuss it again this week. No doubt a response to the volatility following the recent Google core update, I suspect that some website owners have been sent into a flat spin following a decrease in their visibility on the Google SERPs.

It is interesting to read Mueller’s suggestion that bad quality links are almost always the result of shady SEO techniques and that they never find any evidence of an orchestrated campaign by a competitor. As usual, the official party line from the search behemoth is that negative SEO doesn’t exist.

4. Fake News

There must have been some red faces at Tory HQ this week after Health minister Nadine Dorries and two other Tory MPs had to remove tweets that were spreading fake news.

I am afraid that it is yet another example of our political ‘elite’ not covering themselves with glory and I cannot help but agree with Wes Streeting (the shadow treasury minister) who replied: “What’s revealing is that: 1. You’ve spread fake news and indulged a smear being promoted by the far right. 2. You had time to do this despite being a minister in the Department of Health during a public health crisis. It’s either malevolence or stupidity. Probably both.”.

Ouch. But fair?

A good example to show that not all you read online is true. You may like to think that people in authority may spend more time ensuring that they are spreading truths rather than lies, but I am afraid that it is not as easy as that.  Maybe Mr. Trump is right after all….

5. All Zoomed Out

I suspect that you will probably be sharing a sense of ‘not another video call’itis? There is no doubt that we have all proven the ability to work with extreme social distancing measures, but most people I speak to are tiring of endless calls.

This made me chuckle:

Have a great weekend!


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