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This Week in Search: New Features and Saying Goodbye to the Old

Pure SEO’s This Week In Search series takes a look at the top SEO and SEM news stories from the week.

This week Facebook and Instagram tested out new features on Facebook, Bing said links will decrease in importance, and Google and Facebook made important announcements.

Facebook Will Stop Displaying Instant Articles in Messenger

It’s been 14 months, but now Facebook has decided to stop displaying the Instant Article version of a link when opened in the Messenger app, due to problems with the propriety format.

“As we continue to refine and improve Instant Articles — and in order to have the greatest impact on people and publishers — we’re focusing our investment in Instant Articles in the Facebook core app and are no longer offering Instant Articles in Messenger. We believe that Messenger is an exciting channel for new and interesting news consumption experiences, including the opportunity to build unique messaging experiences in Messenger that many publishers have executed successfully via the Messenger Platform,” said the Facebook spokesperson in an emailed statement.

To read more about Facebook’s decision, visit the full article here.

Facebook Tests Data-Friendly Instant Videos on Mobile Devices

Instant Videos is a new feature that will allow users to watch more videos on their mobile device, without using up as much data. Facebook is currently testing this out.

Videos will be downloaded and cached in the background while using Facebook on a WiFi network. Then, when the user leaves a WiFi zone, the pre-loaded videos can be viewed without using mobile data.

Instant Videos on a newsfeed will be marked with a lightning bolt icon. It is currently only available to a limited number of users.

Bing Says Links Won’t Be As Important

In a recent interview, James Murray of Bing said links may decrease in importance and personalisation and context may take over. Murray revealed that data collected by search engines about their users gives search engines a greater opportunity to personalise search results.

However, Murray isn’t denouncing link building. ”We’re still not at the stage where links are going to go away, and so they will continue to be a factor that we look at.”

Instagram Tests Sharing Stories to Facebook

Facebook has its own version of Stories, and this is where Instagram’s Stories are expected to be uploaded. Despite having more daily active users, Facebook’s Stories is not as popular as Instagram’s.

Instagram hasn’t confirmed if or when this sharing feature will be available for everyone.

Google Adds More Tabs to Search Cards on Mobile Devices

Google is updating its Knowledge Graph cards in mobile search with more tabs available for certain searches. Knowledge Graph cards for movies will be updated first, and then books and movies.

The purpose of this update is to allow searchers the chance to dive deeper into certain topics. The original tabs in Knowledge Graph cards were: Overview, Showtimes, Cast, and Reviews. The updated version will see the addition of Search, Top Stories, Trailers & Clips, and Similar Movies.

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15 September 2017


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