Welcome to ‘What Happened in Search’.
Packed full of the week’s search marketing news each Friday, this week features Facebook Instant Articles, Verizon’s AOL takeover and what counts as a video view.
FAST FOOD FOR THOUGHT
This week Facebook unveiled “Instant Articles”, a program that natively hosts publishers’ content in its app’s News Feed so users don’t have to click out and wait for websites to load. Instant Articles debuted with rich-media stories from The New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, and six other outlets that will be globally visible from Facebook’s iPhone app.
Assuaging publishers’ fears that Facebook would keep all the data, the social network will share analytics, and Instant Articles is compatible with audience measurement and attribution tools including comScore, Omniture, and Google Analytics. Ads can appear inside Instant Articles, with publishers keeping 100% of revenue if they sell them, and Facebook will maintain 30% if it sells the ads.
3 SECONDS’ VALUE
As Facebook continues to rise as a video powerhouse, a key concern has also risen with it: What exactly is a video view? As it turns out, the standard of a YouTube “view” is 10 times higher than that of Facebook or Facebook-owned Instagram.
For Facebook and Instagram, viewing only 3 seconds of a video of any length is considered a view. For YouTube, it’s “around” 30 seconds.
VERIZON’S AOL BID
This week Verizon announced it is buying AOL for roughly $4.4 billion. The deal makes a lot of sense for the US carrier and cable provider, because it will give Verizon digital video properties and distribution as well as online and mobile advertising assets.
The deal can be boiled down to “over the top” distribution of video, mobile and programmatic (video) advertising and the ISP business.
Facebook is testing its own in-app search engine, which TechCrunch reports is now live for a select test group of users. This search engine is capable of crawling the web and retrieving content for Facebook users without the need for them to visit Google.
This new feature will be an extension of Facebook’s status updates and it is believed that Facebook’s search engine has the potential to detract traffic from Google.
At SMX Sydney this week, Google’s Gary Illyes explained that while user experience (UX) is a ranking signal on mobile, when it comes to desktop, there is no UX algorithm.
We know that the bulk of Google’s mobile friendly algorithm is made up of how the web page renders on a mobile device: The mobile friendly update is purely about the user experience of a website on a mobile device.