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

While this month's industry news has a number of Google-related developments to tell you about, it's Facebook and Apple that dominate the news with two major stories to tell you about. Apple is dealing with a bombshell tax ruling, while Facebook's trending team has been fired and the machine algorithm acting solo has gone slightly haywire.

The month's biggest stories

Facebook fires trending team and algorithm struggles

Until now, Facebook’s trending news module had at least some input from real human beings, with a team of editors curating and tweaking trending stories. Now, however, Facebook has removed the human step and let the algorithm run unaided. Results have been decidedly mixed.

Read the full story (The Guardian)

Apple’s EU tax ruling explained

Ireland has been ordered by the EU to claim back billions of dollars in tax from Apple. The decision will have far-reaching repercussions with Ireland, the US, the EU and Apple having wildly differing opinions over the legality and necessity of such a ruling. The FT digs into the heart of the case.

Read the full story (The Financial Times)

Google throttling low-spending AdWords accounts

Google has confirmed that AdWords users with a ‘low monthly spend’ may see their ability to use the keyword planner severely limited. The main difference is that lower spending users will see keyword data represented in a range (e.g. 100K-1M monthly searches) and other users will see exact data.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Google introduces In Apps search

Google is rolling out a new feature on android phones, which will allow users to discover content within their apps using just a single search box. It is designed to be a way to connect a user's entire app library, and is currently limited to a handful of apps - but expect that number to grow quickly.

Read the full story (Venture Beat)

Facebook making the most of WhatsApp’s data

When Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $22billion in February 2014, one of the big selling points was the large amount of user data. However, it’s only now that Facebook is making use of it, with users of the messenger app being given 30 days to opt out of having their data shared.

Read the full story (Marketing Land)

Twitter to offer video creators ad revenue

With Twitter deploying all manner of new video capabilities, it has decided it also wants ad revenue in the way YouTube and Facebook have approached original content. To achieve this, Twitter is hoping to lure creators to the site by offering them a 70% split of the revenue their video generates.

Read the full story (ReCode)

Google will punish sites that have annoying pop-up ads

Google is to start punishing ‘annoying’ pop up banner ads and interstitials in the SERPs. It has decided that these types of ads hamper the search experience for the user, so sites employing them may see their rankings drop.

Read the full story (The Verge)

Distilled news

On the Distilled blog, Distilled CEO Will has been discussing SEO split testing, which he also talked about in his recent BrightonSEO keynote. New York Analyst Clay Wyant has written a thorough guide to setting up scroll depth tracking, while Consultant Sergey Stefoglo has been exploring a better way to approach technical audits. On the Moz Blog, Distilled’s VP London, Craig Bradford, laid down his method of approaching strategic thinking. We’re also less than six weeks from SearchLove London, and early bird tickets are still available for a short time.

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