Last week there were plenty of changes that affect just about everyone in the digital marketing sphere. As we gear up for the holidays, a bunch of announcements and new developments promise to make 2022 a year to remember. In case you missed it, here are some of the top stories from the third week of November.
- Google added some helpful new features to Maps and Search.
- A new vulnerability means WordPress owners need to update ASAP.
- The largest companies in the world are diving into the metaverse.
- Social commerce skyrockets thanks to mass social media consumption.
- Crypto is taking over the world of sports and changing eCommerce.
Google Rolls Out Another Core Update That You Should Know About
The “November 2021 Core Update” isn’t getting any style points for its name but it does have some cool new features that enhance local search just in time for the busiest time of the year for shoppers. They also announced a few changes that affect SEO.
Google Updates Top Stories Carousel: Chrome’s Top Stories feature got an update. Apparently “news near me” is a popular search term. As of now, any news-related search terms give you relevant tweets and stories based on your location.
Google Maps Indicates How Busy Areas Are: if you aren’t into traffic or you are concerned about social distancing, the new Google Maps Android and OS updates may help. Maps now gives you information on traffic, on how busy areas are, and restaurant amenities.
Google My Business Rebranded to Google Business Profile: if you’re in marketing you know that acronyms are always changing. If you want to keep things brief, don’t forget to switch out GMB with GBP since it has an extra syllable.
Enhanced Street Maps: knowing where you’re going is easy with detailed visuals. Live mode now offers a 360-degree view of sidewalks, crosswalks, and other pedestrian areas at scale.
Baked in Grocery Store Features: Order groceries for pickup straight from Maps. It works with stores in Kroger’s portfolio like Ralphs and Albertsons and others.
Google Drops Siteground: if you are using siteground you might want to get a new host. Google will no longer display websites hosted on siteground in the results pages.
Bolded Keywords Words Are Still Important: ex-Googler Matt Cutts hosted a Q&A in 2013 where he confirmed bolded words were a ranking factor. Search Advocate John Mueller claimed that this is still a factor in last week’s episode of SEO office-hours.
3rd Party Cookies Will be Gone by 2022: 3rd party cookies allow outsiders to track and identify users from site to site to make targeting easier. Advertisers that rely on the cookie crutch will have to switch things up. Google decided to ditch 3rd party cookies in response to growing privacy concerns among users.
New WordPress Starter Template Left 1 Million Sites Open for Attack
A recent WordPress plugin and template update that left the platform vulnerable got a patch last week. Wordfence reported 1 million sites were affected. Starter templates are built into WordPress. So if you use templates like Elementor, Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, or any plugins whatsoever and you haven’t updated already, make sure you have the latest version ASAP.
Social Media Networks Jockey for Position as Social Commerce Skyrockets
Hubspot’s latest state of marketing report indicates that the majority of marketing companies are taking a social media first approach. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are all rolling out new eCommerce tools for brands. The general consensus is that the pandemic is the main driver behind the boost in social media use.
So far TikTok is dominating the market. According to a report by eMarketer, social commerce has surpassed the $30 billion mark yet “Despite strong growth, the US’s social commerce market will be about one-tenth the size of China’s—$351.65 billion in 2021.” If you manage a brand, you should probably be on TikTok. Metrics from TikTok posted in September showed that “68% of users say they remember the brand better” after they’ve seen it on TikTok.
Crypto.com Makes a Slam Dunk
The crypto sports market has huge potential. The fourth quarter has seen massive growth in this relatively new space in blockchain and NFT. Crypto companies are making their mark everywhere: on ads, on jerseys, on basketball courts, etc. Last week one of the biggest deals in sports history went down as the rights to the LA’s Staples center sold for over $700 million. The arena will be called Crypto.com starting December 25th. Some are already dubbing it “the crypt.”
Crypto Affiliate Programs
Blockchain is the next big thing in eCommerce as more crypto affiliate programs are popping up. Blockchain promises to prevent fraud, speed up transactions, and keep users anonymous among other things. Platforms like OpenBazaar, Bezop, and GAMB are already up and running. Microsoft and AT&T are also working with IBM to create a suite of blockchain solutions.
Last week, lottery.com announced its crypto affiliate program. Vice president of investments Matt Sharp explained, “Our program is specifically designed to give affiliates the white glove treatment and provide them with the tools to assist them to increase their sales.” There are a ton of crypto affiliate programs from companies such as Binance, Coinbase, ConvertBox, and Coinmama.
Facebook is No Longer Facebook
The company formerly known as Facebook changed its name to “Meta” last week as it dives into the metaverse. If you don’t know—the metaverse is an immersive experience that’s part gaming, part virtual reality, and part augmented reality.
The hype behind the metaverse reached new heights last Thursday when Facebook Meta announced its rebranding of all the companies under the Facebook umbrella. Microsoft and Nvidia are also working on their own metaverses.
Digitec’s Digination Web3 Metaverse is Growing Rapidly
Facebook is making a lot of noise but Digitec has already been a key player in the gamefi (gaming finance) world and investors are lining up to get in on the action. Digination is an immersive multiverse complete with playable characters.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Digination is making strides with its new integrated NFT market called the Digimarket. Players can go to the Digimarket to buy and trade digital characters known as avatars. It launched its first gamified NFT sale on the 19th, where players could bid on 950 unique NFTs. Unlike proprietary metaverses from Facebook and Microsoft, Digination is based on the decentralized blockchain model.