Editor-in-Chief, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast
June 21st, 2021
Happy Monday, party people! I'm so excited to report that my office is no longer mostly in boxes (as I shared last week) ...
... instead, my beautiful video sales and marketing studio is now in full effect. That was my big accomplishment from last week.
As for you, while you were busy growing your business, creating moneymaking content, and absolutely slaying your digital sales and marketing goals last week, here are the big digital marketing news stories and expert tidbits you may have missed:
A new flock of antitrust bills is coming together in Congress aimed at Facebook, Google, and Amazon: These five bills are centered around a few issues that are near and dear to many of our hearts, including giving preferential treatment to their own products (e.g., keeping Google searchers on Google), data portability and accessibility, buying up small competitors to maintain market share and more.
Facebook launches new live audio rooms and podcasts: Watch out, Clubhouse (and Apple and Spotify) ... after waiting for many, many moons – OK, since April-ish – Facebook has announced it's begun its rollout of live audio rooms, as well as podcast support for "select creators."
Finally, a mega "in case you missed it" story – Google page experience update rollout has begun: We've been waiting for more than six months for this "maybe it will break everything, maybe it won't" update from Google, but now (finally!) the page experience core algorithm update has begun its rollout.
Also, after months of practicing Italian, last week was yet another week where practice did not make perfect, in terms of my ability to roll my Rs. Sigh.
Look, I know that the two parties in the U.S. Congress have spent recent decades acting like two girls who showed up to prom wearing the same dress.
That said, there is one cause that makes everyone come together with their bipartisanship flag held high – how much everyone in Congress wants to take Big Tech down a peg or two.
Yes, there are legitimate questions around whether or not all of our legislators fully understand how the internet works. But that doesn't mean their concerns about the monopoly-like grip on industries (and data) that Google, Amazon, and Facebook have are completely unfounded.
That's why a bipartisan effort in Congress against Google, Amazon, and Facebook is in full swing, with five antitrust bills having been introduced on June 11. They are designed to accomplish the following:
Minimizing the ability of those companies to give preferential treatment to their own products over their competitors. For example, "Google could not display its own shopping results above those of other e-commerce players," or Facebook couldn't keep users on its site with quick versions of an article published by someone else. They would have to allow them to go to that publisher.
Google, Amazon, and Facebook have unimaginable amounts of data passing through their digital fingertips – behavior, purchasing information, and social networking data, just to name a few – but much of that is not shared with anyone else, due to what one lawyer called "red herring" security issues. The bills having to do with data portability and interoperability would enable more sharing of that data, as a means to reduce anticompetitive behaviors.
Facebook purchased Instagram. Amazon purchased Whole Foods. And those two massive acquisitions could be under scrutiny because these new bills have measures to protect against these Titans of Tech gobbling up smaller competitors.
This would also be further strengthened by the provisions in one bill that increases the filing fees for mergers.
Another thing that's fascinating is that, historically, the burden of proof has always been on the government. Meaning, legislators have always been shouldered with the responsibility of showing that these companies are breaking the law. If these bills were to pass, that burden would be shifted to Google, Facebook and Amazon, so they would have to prove their own innocence.
I'll be honest, this is a topic that pisses me off. I've been writing digital content for almost 10 years, and I cannot count how many times I've found someone having outright stolen my content ranking better than me in search results.
How is that fair?!
In one of his recurring Office Hours hangouts, Google's John Mueller addressed this issue for someone who was being consistently outranked by someone plagiarizing their content. Here's what he had to say:
“... one of the situations where I have seen this happen consistently is if a website is of lower quality overall, where when our systems look at it they’re like, well we can’t really trust this website.
“But if a higher quality website were to take some of this content and publish it, we would say, well we know more about this website and actually maybe we should show this content in the search results.
“That’s also one of the situations that you might be running into where maybe it’s worthwhile to also invest in improving the quality of your website overall.
“So not just that one article that apparently people like. But also the rest of your website overall.”
OK, on the one hand, I understand this answer. On the other hand, I understand this answer and I still hate it. Why? Well, what if someone has gotten really good at only plagiarizing the best of the best content out there on a given topic, and publishes it on a website with great page experience metrics?
Do they get to reap the benefits of the hard work of others? I know my hypothetical is (potentially) an extreme case, but that just seems absolutely awful. Not only that, but shouldn't the original author of the work be the one getting the organic traffic juice if the other site stole it without proper credit, linking, or licensing?
Look, while I still am bullish on suggesting most digital marketers (particularly in the B2B space) check out Clubhouse, they're clearly onto something with this live audio stuff. I mean, Twitter tried to buy Clubhouse (and failed) allegedly. Then Twitter copied it with their own version of live audio called Spaces.
Now, after a couple of months of waiting, Facebook has begun its rollout of live audio rooms on its platform.
Image credit: Facebook
Because all of the social media platforms are in a race to see how quickly they can all become the exact same product (just with different names), Facebook's live audio rooms offer most of the same features you've come to expect from Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. (As a note, Facebook Groups can leverage the live audio room feature.)
On top of that, Facebook says it has rolled out podcast support for "specific creators." Now, before you sleep on this, remember that Spotify got its feet wet with podcasting that way ... and now it's one of the most popular podcasting platforms out there. Especially since Apple went out of its way recently to totally ruin its podcasting app experience.
I know, I know. I'm linking to my own story, but hear me out. I'm doing so because it's one of the biggest bits of news that dropped last week, and you really need to be aware of this if you have anything to do with the success of your business website.
Every Monday, you can expect this little weekly dose of digital marketing news. If you have any tips or stories you think we should know about, hit me up at email@example.com.
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