Welcome to Episode 42 of This Week Online Today, where I will be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
And at the end of the show, I will also be giving you a bonus tip of the week to help you further.
In this episode of This Week Online Today, we discuss the following:
- ICO’s website been hacked via crypto-mining
- Google has launched AMP Stories on mobile search
- Google is also rolling out AMP on Gmail
- The new-look ‘People Also Search For’ on Google search result
- YouTube CEO lambasting Facebook
- Amazon launched a text-to-speech WordPress plugin
- ICO and other government websites have been hacked
- Google is launching AMP Stories on Mobile Search
- Google is bringing AMP to Gmail to make emails more interactive
- The new-look ‘People Also Search For’ has been launched on Google Search Result
- YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, said that Facebook should ‘get back to baby pictures’
- Amazon launched ‘Polly’; a WordPress plugin which turns blog posts into audio
Welcome to This Week Online Today podcast with your host Ahmed Khalifa, where I will be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week, today, to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
At the end of the show, I will also be giving you a bonus tip of the week to help you further. Let’s get straight onto the show.
ICO and other government websites have been hacked
And the big news this week, maybe I should call it the irony of the week is about the ICO, which is the Information Commissioner’s Office. And for those who don’t know it, this is the authority in the UK, and they work on, it’s all around data protection. They help you to give you your rights, they give you information about what are you able to have access to and, in terms of organisation, how you can comply with the law and how you can make sure that you don’t do anything naughty as well with data protection.
Well, the ICO really had their website taken down because hackers have taken control of their computers for visitors and they want to mine cryptocurrency. So apparently, during that period, more than 4000 websites were affected and that includes government website as well, and that includes ICO’s website.
And it’s a big thing now you know, the whole crypto mining is becoming a big thing. So crypto mining is where you have the digital coins, they are created by really solving complex mathematical problems and this means that you need a lot of computer power, computer processing power, it means electricity bill, but it also means you need to have control of your computer and anything that’s around it.
And that just seemed to be a lucrative thing for hackers, they have to do it right now. And because obviously the cryptocurrency situation is getting bigger and bigger, it’s becoming more in the news, hackers are obviously trying to find a way to make a quick buck.
I say this is the irony of the week because it’s the ICO. They are the ones trying to push people into complying with the data protection law, there’s a new law coming in the EU about GDPR, which is a new General Data Protection Regulation.
You know, it’s kind of weird that they also suffer the problem, which shows again, I’ve talked about it before, anybody can suffer from the problem, anybody is at risk from all type of hacking activity. Right now, it’s all about the cryptocurrency, crypto mining situation. You just gotta protect yourself people, just make sure you’re up to date with all your computers.
Make sure you’re up to date with your plug-in and your apps and your software and your tools. Update it all. Protect it with two-factor authentication, use a password manager. You’ve just gotta do all these things, and these should be your basic things right now, they should be like the norm right now.
But unfortunately it’s still not the norm, people still use the same passwords in different places, people don’t really update their software, they don’t update their tools, and that’s a very, very easy way for hackers to get in your system.
So stay up to date people, just do it.
Google is launching AMP Stories on Mobile Search
Last week we saw the AMP Conference; AMP, which is the Accelerated Mobile Pages. And that is the tool that you have in your website. Well, it’s kind of a script actually, it’s kind of a code, which allows you to load your page quicker.
So when you are on your mobile and you’re on Facebook or on Google and you see that little lightning icon, you tap on it and the content kind of loads almost immediately. So AMP is for the Google side of it really, they’re kind of pushing that out and you can see it on mobile.
So, AMP Conference, it happened last week in Amsterdam and Google has launched what they call the AMP story, which is like a swipeable interface, which tells you a story, obviously. And they described it as a mobile focus format for delivering news and information as visually rich and tap through stories.
So, the first thing that I thought of, if you’re trying to look at the video in the show notes, please do have a look at it. But the irony is that it’s not obviously a Google thing, they are yet another company, which has ripped off Snapchat Discover swipeable story kind of thing as well. Poor Snapchat, they are just getting copied all over the place.
So AMP Story, it looks like Snapchat, that’s what it is. It looks like Snapchat on Google, and you swipe the story, you just swipe the news kinda thing. And it’s going to be rolling out more and more because they’re trying to push that.
So Snapchat Discover is what I’m trying to compare it to and, I say I feel sorry for them, but they was a quote by the VP of Content at Snap Inc. and who has heard the story and, obviously, people are saying, that looks like Snapchat. And, the VP of Content said, and I quote:
“Our ambition at Snapchat is to empower great story telling and we think we have pioneered the best format for doing that on mobile. We are delighted to see that the industry is starting to form around that and hope that it will encourage more newsrooms to invest in teams that focus on made for mobile content.”
That’s just lovely, but, you can’t just be happy with everyone copying your format and kind of pushing you aside more and more. When Facebook and Instagram got involved, copying stories, then people moved to Facebook more I think, it made them move to Instagram more and more people are using Instagram Stories.
Now, people are copying them, Google are copying them as well and, “how can you say that, oh we’re delighted they can copy us, yes just go for it, because that’s what we want.” Surely not, I don’t know, I’m just thinking that’s a bit of a PR reply.
But, anyway, it’s not about Snapchat, well, it is kind of a little bit about Snapchat. But, Google have launched the AMP, AMP Stories video story in mobile search so, check it out if you see it, let me know.
Google is bringing AMP to Gmail to make emails more interactive
To continue the story of AMP, Google is also going to be bringing AMP technology to Gmail and their intention is to make emails more interactive, more engaging and just more fun to use. So, I get it, I guess it’s some other place you can use it and I remember, actually, now that I think about it, I remember Google attempting to change the way email works, by releasing, I think it’s what’s called, Google Wave.
And it didn’t work at all and there’s something about email that people don’t want it to change. They want it to stay the way it is and the format hasn’t changed at all, has it? It’s just the same thing all the time. Maybe the interface of a platform is changed, but the whole concept of email stays the same.
And, now they’re trying to put AMP in there and, yeah, just to make it more engaging and, again, I’ll put in the images and the GIF images of what it will look like on Gmail. And, it’s really… Google is really pushing it and I guess, there are pros and cons.
For me personally, I’m not so sure about AMP because you’re kind of giving more control, more content to Google and allow them to load it on their interface. It’s not really under your control.
On the other hand, the whole concept of it is to make the experience very… much more quicker, much more engaging for the users and, I’ve said it before, that is the intention for Google, they’re focusing on that, making it easy, and quicker, and just more pleasant for the users to use.
Pretty much don’t care what we think, the people who maybe kind of implement it or design it or whatever. It’s about the users, which, kind of makes sense. I get that.
So, anyway, that’s Gmail, that’s another one that’s going to have AMP.
The new-look ‘People Also Search For’ on Google search result
And the last Google news, I promise it’s the last Google news today, it’s just there’s been so much happening in Google. And they have made a bit of a refinement in your search results and you may not have noticed it. But, they have got a new look kind of, people also search for, that quote I’m saying “people also search for”. So, basically, it’s a new look and new feel for that kind of box, that area and they’ve been testing various design to see how it works.
So now, what the new format is, is that if you go to Google you search for whatever you’re looking for and then you go back, you click back to Google, then you’ll see something different. You’ll see a new box comes up which is “people also search for”.
And that’s also for something that, if you have maybe searched it in a different format, you haven’t written it the way that you thought you should do, or Google has given you other suggestions on how you can search for it, or anything related to it.
The box comes up, really, when you go to Google, you search, you click on a result and then you go back to Google. When I say back, it’s not a new tab, it’s actually back as in your browser back button. So, that’s just been launching out recently as well.
And, it just shows as well that one that you should aim for is, anybody that has gone to Google and arrived on your site, you want them to stay there, unless you have answer their question, fine. And then, they have got their answer to their search query, that’s the job done.
But, if they go to Google search and they went to your site and it didn’t match what they were looking for, they end up going back to another site, it’s not going to look good on you in Google’s eyes. So, you want to make sure that whatever you have, matches the search query, matches the search intent.
So, make sure you’re doing that because this is another way for Google to maybe, point out to you that, oh maybe you haven’t really helped our user with their search query.
And that’s why Google is giving them more assistance to help them answer their search query. But obviously, it’s another way for them to stay on Google a bit more. So you can look at it in both ways. So, I find that quite interesting, it’s a bit of interesting news, but something to be aware of. Just make sure your page content matches the searchers intent.
YouTube CEO said Facebook should ‘get back to baby pictures’
Moving on to You Tube who have been in the news a lot recently and not for the good thing. Obviously the whole thing with Logan Paul and about advertisers being shown in videos that are not exactly the most ethical videos, and they have been under a lot of pressure. Well, this is bit of a funny one, and it’s another irony, I think, if you like.
So was a conference last week, or this week actually, in Los Angeles, called Code Media. And You Tube’s Chief Executive, called Susan Wojcicki, she was there alongside a number of tech executives, media executives and she was there to kind of have a go at Facebook.
I found that quite funny.
So, basically, the quote that she said to Code Media is, “they should get back to baby pictures and sharing”. It’s a bit of a… I don’t know, I’m trying to think of a way… I get where she’s coming from and, to be fair, Facebook has mentioned, and I’ve mentioned it in a previous episode of This Week Online Today, that they want to get back to focusing on your relationship with your family and friends, you’re sharing with them. They want less viral stuff in there, less stuff that’s gaming the system on the news feed.
They want to focus on the community side of it. And that is kind of what Wojcicki was saying, just get back to baby pictures and sharing. Thing is though, I think they have a lot of problems themselves, You Tube, and I just find it weird that she’s having a go at Facebook when You Tube have a lot to work on and to fix as well.
It just seemed like she’s joining in the lineup, in terms of everyone attacking Facebook and maybe she just wanted to join in the fun. I don’t know, maybe deflect the attention away from You Tube for one. I don’t know.
But Facebook are working on it. We’ve heard that several times actually, over the past couple of months in terms of what Mark Zuckerberg wanted to do. But, also, instead of having a go at other people you should try to sort out your stuff as well, not just Facebook.
So, sort out You Tube, Susan, yeah? If you don’t mind, that would be appreciated.
Amazon launched ‘Polly”; a text-to-speech WordPress plugin
The final news today is about Amazon who have launched at WordPress plugin. And, it’s called Polly, so the intention of Polly is to give your blog a voice, really, by creating an audio version of the posts. And that can be played on the blog itself or can be accessed in a podcast form and they’ve got a feature called Amazon Pollycast, how very innovative.
And they also wanted to take advantage of this whole text to speech service. So, it’s a weird one. I didn’t really think Amazon would do that but anyway, why not, they’re getting involved with a lot of things nowadays. It’s something that maybe they want to invest in more because I tried it out, I test it and it seemed to be quite robotic. Don’t seem to be very fluid, kind of thing, very smooth.
But, maybe it’s just a work in the pipeline, maybe they’re going to make it better. Maybe they’re going to kind of link up with Alexa, maybe it’s going to play a part together and obviously get more information about how people use their voice search and how voice are working for everyone, who knows? Who knows?
And, obviously, it’s not the first text to speech service out there, you know, even for example, Google Doc, you can do that, you can record on the microphone and the content will be right there, it will just be typed up by itself. And obviously, that technology has been around for a long, long time, not perfect, but it’s not going to go away it seems, because now Amazon is getting involved.
And, I guess, maybe it’s another way for people to get into podcasting, if you don’t want to do podcasting on top of what you’re doing already. So, maybe, for example, you have a blog post, it’s created and you want to turn that into a podcast format, which I find a bit weird, but anyway, you can do that.
Apparently, you can just kind of, upload it to iTunes, that blog post and it’s automated, you can just… you don’t have to record it yourself, Polly does it for you.
So, fair enough, yeah, it speeds up the process, but there’s something about… just like what I’m doing right now, I’m just… sometime I ad lib here and there, I don’t really have a script, it just flows, it just flows naturally. And, it’s very normal, colloquial way you speak isn’t it? You just kind of talk.
But, Polly can read the content from your blog post and I’m just trying to work out how that is going to sound because, not only the voice is robotic, but you know how it is when you read a blog post, sometimes, it’s not exactly written in the most fluid way, the most clear English, or whatever language you speak, way. It just kind of stops, starts, its not very streak like, it’s not very smooth, who knows.
So I find that a bit weird, that you can actually do that and put it on iTunes as a podcast format. I wouldn’t do that, but maybe it’ll get better, you don’t know. It’s just going to be interesting to see how that works out.
Bonus Tip of the Week
And now, it’s time for the bonus tip of the week. This week, I want to talk about the simple part of SEO and just in general, the simple part of when you’re writing content for your website, just make it about one thing. What do I mean by that? Well, you see, sometimes, when you have a blog post and it covers multiple topics, you’re kind of making it confusing for the users and for Google and it just doesn’t work that way.
So, for example, let’s just say, you have a page, you’re a food blogger, and you are going to write a chocolate cake recipe for example. And, for some reason, in there you also talk about vanilla cake recipe as well, as well as other recipes, red velvet cake and all these other lovely cake recipes that I wouldn’t mind eating right now. Anyway, the point is, make that page about one thing. You need to do your keyword research and find out what people are searching for and make your content around that.
Most of the time, it will focus on that, maybe one or two, maybe a few, keywords that you’re targeting but there will be that one, primary keyword that you’re going to focus on. So, for example, in this case, would be maybe chocolate cake recipe, for example. So make it about it about that, just focus on that, don’t mix it up with all other different type of cakes. I’m talking about cakes a lot aren’t I? Maybe I’m hungry, I don’t know.
Anyway, so make it about that one thing and even for your website as a whole, even for anything, maybe about your You Tube channel, or maybe about your podcasts or whatever, make it focus on that topic. So, if your website, if you are a food blogger, obviously, that’s very generic, maybe you’re going to niche it down, that’s another story.
But, if you have a website and you’re a food blogger and you are writing about vegetarian food, then focus on that topic. Focus on only that, maybe not worth talking about vegan food because it’s not relevant. You’re focusing on vegetarian and just focus on that.
So, it just makes it easier for yourself, makes it easier for your audience, they know what to expect when they are on your page, on your site, on your You Tube channel, whatever it is. And also it makes it easier for Google, they will understand what your specialty, what is your expertise about, what are you focusing on.
Because if you have multiple different keywords that you’re targeting on your website then that’s just confusing for everyone all round. So, just focus about that one thing and stick to it. Stick to it as long as possible, be consistent, be awesome at it and then you’ll see how things go after that.
Thank you for listening to this episode of This Week Online Today, I really do appreciate it and I hope you found it useful. If you have enjoyed the show, please do leave a review on iTunes as it would mean the world to me. I really would appreciate that.
Thank you again, you rock. And one more thing, I just want to remind you to do your thing, because it matters and I’ll see you next week.
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