ICYMI in October: Atlas, Penguin, & DHL’s blunder

October was the month for algorithm updates, with new iterations of both Panda and Penguin rolling out. We take a look back at the big stories in the last month.

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The big news this week came from Google HQ, with two notable updates to the search algorithm. That said, Google didn’t have the limelight completely to itself.

Google unleashes Penguin 3.0 and Panda 4.1

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Google’s newest edition of the Penguin algorithm was hugely anticipated. It was, according to Google, a year in the making and would make the job of being a webmaster that little bit easier.

What we actually got was very, very little. In fact, apart from a few obvious and widely expected hits on the pirate movie market, we saw very little evidence that Penguin 3.0 was even here at all. It leaves us wondering what future updates to Penguin could have in store. We’ve assessed the damage and looked at where Penguin could go from here.

We also saw some changes to Panda, with “Panda 4.1” being rolled out to combat “thin” content.

Facebook Atlas threatens to shake up the ad market

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Facebook rebuilt and re-launched its Atlas ad platform and now, the social network will be using its data to sell ads on third party publishers.

Atlas allows Facebook to use its own data about individuals, such as age, location, likes and dislikes, to sell ads on sites that it doesn’t own. This ad model does away with cookies, which are notoriously unreliable for tracking across devices, and instead adopts a model dubbed “people-based marketing”.

The platform promises to pose huge challenges to Google’s DoubleClick ad network, with the huge adoption rate of Facebook giving it a distinct advantage over Google.

DHL makes a Facebook faux-pas

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Real-time marketing is something that has to be done with extreme caution and this month, it was DHL that earned a place on thousands of “how not to do social media” presentations.

The logistics giant was criticised for seemingly trying to use photos of the Formula One driver Jules Bianchi to attract ‘likes’, after the French driver suffered a serious crash in Japan.

DHL posted a message to its F1 Facebook page reading “Ghastly accident in Japan. Jules Bianchi is fighting for his life. By clicking ‘like’ on this occasion, you’ll be sending Jules your best wished for a speedy recovery. #ForzaJules”.

It wasn’t the sentiment of the message that drew ire, but the apparent attempt to coerce ‘likes’ from readers that caused offence. DHL later removed the post and apologised.

Make sure to check out our latest social media video to get our top five tips for launching an international social media strategy.

Amazon.com hits the streets of New York

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Online and offline retail is getting closer and closer, which is perhaps why Amazon announced its intention to open stores in New York and California before the end of the year.

Many considered this to be a bold move, given Amazon’s success in remote retailing, but we felt that this was a move that could change the traditional High Street as we know it today.

With digital integration moving in-store, with customers still demanding click-and-collect services and with online retailers heavily reliant on ‘showroomers’, this is a move that makes perfect sense for Amazon.

Facebook overtakes YouTube for video views

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There was an interesting stat that came to light regarding Facebook this month, with the news that it was overtaking YouTube and becoming the dominant platform for desktop videos.

Don’t be fooled however, as the numbers are skewed in more than one way. We took a look at why this news shouldn’t massively change your video strategy.

Download our E-book on the changing face of search

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Our Director of Search, Jonny Artis, took a look at how Google was transforming the very business models of brands through its algorithm updates.

In his e-book, as featured on Moz, he discusses the ways in which brands are having to seriously think about their propositions from a digital perspective like never before, and how Google is rewarding those brands that adapt.

Make sure you download your free copy of the e-book to see just how search is changing.

Digital Minute surpasses 1,000 subscribers

Our brand new video series, Digital Minute, hit some major landmarks this month – less than six weeks after being officially launched.

Digital Minute now has more than 1,600 subscribers – a figure which continues to grow.

We’re also listed as ‘new and noteworthy’ section of iTunes, earning us pride of place on the iTunes front page.

Make sure that you join our growing list of subscribers.

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