When you want to catch up on the latest digital marketing headlines, the bonus news roundup segment that accompanies each episode of the EDGE is a great way to do it because we bring in fantastic industry experts to provide commentary and analysis. In this one, host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann were joined by special guest Will Critchlow, CEO of SearchPilot. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 371 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Facebook Threatens to Leave Europe Due to Proposed New Data-Sharing Regulations

From Andrew Hutchinson on Social Media Today we learn that Facebook Threatens to Leave Europe Due to Proposed New Data-Sharing Regulations. The European Union privacy regulator sent a preliminary order to Facebook which called for it to suspend data transfers about its EU users back to the US.

  • Erin Sparks: Facebook is saying without that ability, there’s really no way they could continue to provide the Facebook or Instagram platforms to EU users. 
  • Will Critchlow: Fear not, Facebook under no circumstances will be “leaving” the EU. Headlines saying that are just being sensational. Facebook may say they don’t know how they’ll be able to operate under those new conditions, but you can bet they will in fact find a way. The more interesting and complicated piece of this is how do you regulate an American tech giant like Facebook that operates ubiquitously in every country on the planet? And each country has different rules and goals. It’s a conundrum.
  • Erin Sparks: Maybe Facebook will throw it back on users in terms of opting in?
  • Will Critchlow: And of course they’ll all opt in. Sharing their data with Facebook seems a very small price to pay to be connected to friends and family around the world. On an individual level it’s no big deal. But the Facebook is aggregating all that data of billions of people, and that’s what makes them so powerful. And so everyone has at some point clicked “okay” to Facebook and Google terms of service, right? But what if you’re a startup? You don’t have that huge advantage of basically everyone having already opted in (not to mention their vast resources to deal with legal things and so on), so it’s a gigantic barrier to market entry and innovation and competition.


Google Web Stories WordPress Plugin Officially Released

According to Roger Montti on Search Engine Journal, Google Web Stories WordPress Plugin Officially Released. Google officially published the Web Stories WordPress Plugin. Easily create web stories and get more site visitors.

  • Erin Sparks: It’s a way to quickly publish vertical content (meaning orientation) as stories through a neat editor. And these things can really help with ranking. It’s rudimentary as far as the editor, but it works and it’s easy to use.
  • Will Critchlow: This kind of innovation is a good thing. It’s good for the web and it’s good to try new things. Whether or not this particular thing will have any impact remains to be seen. Time will tell. Personally, I don’t use stories on any of the platforms that have them. I’m most active on Twitter, and it doesn’t even have stories. Stories aren’t really my thing for publishing or consuming content. But if it makes sense for your brand and your audience, go for it!
  • Erin Sparks: And they’re showing up in search, Discovery, and so forth.


Did Google just hint at an authority profile?

On Search Engine Land, Mordy Oberstein reports, Did Google just hint at an authority profile? A recent blog post from Google points to defining a paradigm on the SERP with what we now know as a core update.

  • Erin Sparks: Sometimes Google sees fit to publish a blog post that explains a bit of what they’re up to behind-the-scenes. The latest posts have been about how, with certain topics where quality information is especially important (health, finance, civic information, crisis situations), Google’s going to place even greater emphasis on factors related to expertise and trustworthiness. Sites that do well on those factors are less likely to publish false or misleading information. It’s a way to reward good content. So Google is trying to zero in on what the signals are that reveal a site to be trustworthy and authoritative.
  • Will Critchlow: In a classic SWOT analysis there is both opportunity and threat on this for Google. The threat is running afoul of regulators if they don’t get it right. On the opportunity side, Google is now several years into the machine learning age for search, which it didn’t embrace for years at first. And they’re doing really well with it so far despite the bumps in the road along the way. But it looks like it’s working fairly well.

Connect with Will Critchlow and SearchPilot

Twitter: @willcritchlow (https://twitter.com/willcritchlow)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/willcritchlow

SearchPilot Twitter: @SearchPilot (https://twitter.com/SearchPilot)

SearchPilot Website: https://www.searchpilot.com

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