What We Learned in April - The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of April's biggest stories come directly from Google, with the search engine giant trialling a number of new products, along with changes to its Search Quality Rater Guidelines. Other stories come from many of the other tech giants, including a look at their respective financial results (with some seeing better results than others).

April's biggest stories

Google testing feature that allows media companies to publish directly to search results

Google has been experimenting with a new feature that will allow media companies and even marketers to publish content directly to Google, and this content will appear in the search results. The feature is currently only available to a few select companies, but all articles will be hosted by Google. While its carousel view somewhat resembles the Accelerated Mobile Pages project, Google has stated the two are distinct features.

Read the full story (Wall Street Journal)

Google future-proofing search quality rater guidelines

The once very secretive Search Quality Rating Guidelines are now published by Google each time they’re updated, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still learn from them. The most recent version has de-emphasised the importance of supplementary content, while increasing the importance of local, which it now calls ‘visit in person’.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Is the tech landscape shifting?

While it had to happen eventually, the slowing growth rate at Apple could be the start of a shift in the landscape of tech giants. Twitter has also suffered, with shares falling 14% in the wake of missed targets. Even Alphabet, Google’s parent company, missed Wall-street targets, though only by a small margin. Meanwhile, Amazon has smashed its earning targets.

Read the full story (Yahoo Finance)

Google to test new travel app

In an effort to compete with services like TripIt, Google is testing a travel app called Google Trips. Built using Google Maps data, the ‘travel assistant’ allows you to explore things nearby your location, along with helping you find and manage reservations, find places to eat, and plan your journey from place to place.

Read the full story (Tech Crunch)

Snapchat is taking over

Snapchat feels like it has been around forever. The image and video sharing service hit smartphones in 2011 and has been growing ever since. Astonishingly the rate of growth is increasing. In May 2015, daily video and photo views were at 2 billion. Now, videos alone are watched 10 billion times daily.

Read the full story (Marketing Land)

Facebook chatbots are here

Facebook now allows businesses to use chatbots within its Messenger app. The social network will allow these bots to reply with not only text, but structured messages, photos, videos and more. However, the reaction to these new-found customer service tools has been mixed, with The Guardian being particularly critical of the new feature.

Read the full story (Marketing Land)

Distilled news

It’s been a busy month for Distilled. First of all, our SearchLove Boston conference has just drawn to a close. You can find plenty of advice and tips from the event by checking out the #SearchLove hashtag.  At BrightonSEO, Consultant Dom Woodman delivered his talk on everything AMP. You can find the slides here. Over on the blog, Ben Estes shared his technical audit checklist made for humans, while Craig Bradford showed us how to perform the all-important traffic drop analysis.

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