Five most interesting search marketing news stories of the week


Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.

And a happy 2017 to all of our Search Engine Watch readers! This week, we’ve got a health-conscious New Year’s update from Bing, a new AI-powered search engine which is transforming scientific research, and a look at why the fake information epidemic could be damaging to local search.

A new AI powered search engine is changing how neuroscientists do research

Google’s work in the realm of artificial intelligence and machine learning has succeeded in making web search more intuitive, effective and useful than it’s ever been before. But until now, the same couldn’t be said of scientific research.

That’s all changing with the development of a new, free search engine, Semantic Scholar. Adam Stetzer wrote for Search Engine Watch this week about how the AI-powered search engine is changing the way that neuroscientists do research, using data mining and natural language processing to truly understand the links between research – and what this means for similar search options like Google Scholar.

A screencap of the search bar from Semantic Scholar, with the tagline: Cut through the clutter. Home in on key publications, citations and results.

How Instagram became a powerhouse for social commerce

2016 was a busy year for Instagram, with more users, more brands, and a host of new improvements and features all joining the platform. In November, Instagram tested out a new shopping feature in a bid to woo ecommerce brands and give users a way to shop more visually.

This week, on Search Engine Watch’s sister site ClickZ, Tereza Litsa spoke to Olapic’s Paul Sabria about the steps that Instagram has taken to turn itself into a social commerce powerhouse, and what we can expect from the platform in 2017.

A black smartphone set against a wooden backdrop. The phone screen displays the Instagram page for Jasper

Bing rolls out health-conscious search updates in time for New Year’s resolutions

Bing has rolled out a health-focused update to its search platform just in time for everyone to turn over a leaf in the New Year.

In late November, we saw that Bing had launched a carousel of shopping flyers to promote deals in time for Black Friday. Now whenever you search for “workouts” or “exercises” on Bing, it will deliver a carousel of images which link to a wide variety of exercise options.

Users who search for information on yoga and pilates will also be rewarded with a carousel, and occasionally a how-to video on a specific pose at the top of search. Meanwhile, the Bing app has new updates aimed at making the food search experience “even richer”, including information on calorie counts and low-fat recipes.

Image: Bing blogs

Bing’s new updates are obviously aimed at providing more intuitive, quick answers to users’ search queries in the same way that Google already does with Quick Answers and featured snippets. While they might be on a smaller scale, the tie-in with different times of year such as Black Friday and New Year is a fun way to introduce these features and draw users’ attention to them through the things they are most likely to be searching for.

Share this article
  • Facebook0
  • Linkedin65
  • Google+20
  • Twitter
Related articles
Chrome Extensions: A vehicle for Amazon and Pinterest to compete with Google?
Five most interesting search marketing news stories of the week
Three reasons for companies to consider using .brand TLDs
How influencer marketing can benefit your SEO strategy
How the fake information epidemic will hurt local search in 2017

Headlines about the online fake news epidemic have been everywhere since the US Election, particularly if you follow news about publishing or social media. But Wesley Young, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Local Search Association, believes that this problem is set to get worse in 2017 – and that it will be damaging to local search in particular.

In a column for Search Engine Land, Young laid out how the issue of fake news and information can hurt marketers, along with eight ways that false information is currently being used which marketers should be aware of.

“As consumers search for information to help make purchase decisions, uncertainty about the veracity of the information they receive impacts the effectiveness of local search marketing. Online advertising already faces challenges gaining consumer trust, and the proliferation of fake content will only hurt it more. Worse, you may be spending money on advertising that no one ever sees, be competing in an unfair market, suffer from hits to your reputation or pay more than you should for marketing products or services.

Being aware of how false information is being used will help marketers avoid problems and identify when they may be affected, saving them from both headaches and wasted dollars.”

Google clarifies details of its mobile interstitials penalty

As part of Google’s ongoing efforts to improve the experience of browsing the mobile web, a penalty for sites which use annoying mobile interstitials – pop-ups which appear while a website is loading and cover the entire page – is due to take effect next week, beginning on 10th January.

The question of what kind of interstitials, exactly, will incur penalties has been the subject of considerable discussion amongst the SEO community. This week, Google provided some further clarification on the issue in the form of a tweet from Webmaster Trends Analyst John Wu.

He was responding to a query from Kristine Schachinger, technical SEO expert and founder of digital marketing agency The Vetters, about whether the penalty will only affect interstitials which appear when users are navigating from the search results page to a mobile site, or whether it will include interstitials which appear when navigating between pages of the same website.

@schachin @methode yes

— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) January 4, 2017

Schachinger further enquired as to whether the penalty would affect interstitials which appear between an AMP page and a regular site page, to which Mu replied,

“I haven’t seen an interstitial there, but that would be seen the same as site-page -> site-page.”

Rebecca Sentance is the Deputy Editor at ClickZ and Search Engine Watch.

Want to stay on top of the latest search trends?Get top insights and news from our search experts.
Related reading
A screencap from Pokemon Go of a player walking past a Pokestop.
Five most interesting search marketing news stories of the week

This week, we follow up on the launch of Google"s new ad label to ask how it will impact marketers, and look at attempts by Google"s tech incubator Jigsaw to clean up language on the internet.

Industry More News SEO 03 Mar 17 | Rebecca Sentance
Comparing keyword research APIs: Spyfu vs SEMRush vs Serpstat and more

Many tools provide access to their APIs, aiming to facilitate routine work for specialists. APIs can make SEOs’ lives much easier by ... read more

Industry SEO 02 Mar 17 | Ann Smarty
Make no mistake: content errors harm your brand and SEO

How to optimize for audience trust. Plus, four tips for dealing with mistakes that can kill your brand"s reputation.

Content Industry 01 Mar 17 | Danny Goodwin
Five most interesting search marketing news stories of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.

Industry More News 24 Feb 17 | Rebecca Sentance