Digital Digest – Facebook after Death, No Escape from the Algo & AdWords URLs


Another Monday, which means it is time for yet another #DigitalDigest, bringing you a breakdown of last week’s marketing news in bite-sized chunks!

Last week we saw a lot of commotion about Facebook’s new after death options, Pinterest dealt some pain to its Power Users and we heard from Google that there is no automatic safety from Panda of Penguin!


The world of search remained relatively steady last week, with low levels of search flux and nothing earth-shattering that we could see. However, John Mueller from Google was on hand to deliver this interesting morsel, that “[Google] don’t have any special whitelist where we can say, well this website is actually okay, therefore we will take it out of this algorithm”. In a Google+ Hangout, the Google Webmaster Trends Analyst admitted that the main webspam algorithms had no “whitelist” to speak of – clarifying that other algorithms can add exceptions for certain websites, but there’s nothing for Penguin or Panda.

[Google] don’t have any special whitelist where we can say, well this website is okay, we will take it out of the algorithm

This is a key point for search marketers and Webmasters alike, many of whom assume that there is an automatic whitelist for certain websites who appear to be able to rank well despite a litany of SEO problems. Whilst we like to look at a bigger (SEO) picture when inspecting a site’s presence on the web and the hundreds of ranking factors, this clearly is going to rattle a few cages in the community who believe Google unfairly preferences brands within search results.

Our second search story this week stays with Google again as they debut a new “Search Impact Report” in Alpha for testing by a “small number of Webmasters”. This report looks set to replace the “Search Queries” in the future with greater detail for you to track how your site is doing within search; looking at clicks, impressions, average positions and even click through rates (CTR). Whilst still very much a work in progress (from what we’ve seen in our “hands on” last week), we’ll be working as part of the community whose feedback will shape the tool in the weeks/months to come – stay tuned!



Last week was pretty surreal from a Social Media perspective.

Much has been said about how social networking sites have dealt with the deaths of its members in the past, but this week Facebook have made further steps in dealing with tricky post-death account management issues. Now you can set your “legacy contact” that can make limited changes to the account once it has been “memorialized’ following your death.

This can almost be thought of as a “digital heir” to your Facebook estate, which is hugely unsettling, not to mention plain bizarre. Although Fletcher Babb of VentureBeat helps make painfully clear (in a darkly amusing fashion) how crazy post-death account management might look.

This can be thought of as assigning a “digital heir” to your Facebook estate… which is hugely unsettling, not to mention plain bizarre.


From the slightly morbid issue of Social Media afterlife to making money on social networks, it came to light over the weekend that Pinterest is making moves to stop affiliates profiting from the platform - at least from usual methods.

For years, Pinterest’s “power users” have made a lucrative income which largely has remained uncontested. Whilst some more manipulative and openly spammy affiliate pins have been targeted and removed, this the first time Pinterest has taken a stance against it as a whole.

From now onwards any pins on the digital scrapbook site will have any kinds of affiliate links or click tracking stripped, rending them useless. Not only is this likely to have ruined a few people’s income over this, but it also seems that this coincides with Pinterest unveiling the monetisation of the platform with ecommerce-style transaction system.


Paid Search

In the world of paid search Google have continued to push forward developments with the AdWords platform. We’ve had two new features which our paid search team will be getting their teeth into.

Firstly, is upgraded URLs to help track and manage AdWords ads much, much easier. Mike Scanlon, our head of page search walks us through the benefits of Upgraded AdWords URLs as well as gives a few scenarios where this will really pay off.

Next up is a long-awaited change to the AdWords scripts feature-set which allows you to bulk upload in CSV format. For regular users of the platform this means two things:

  1. You can effectively create and manage your accounts at a campaign level, something that has been very problematic until now.
  2. You can integrate offline conversion data with your main account.

There are clearly some untapped features which will come out of this new bulk upload functionality – something we’ll be digging into here in the near future.


Think we’ve missed something here or have some news for next week’s Digest? Tweet @highpositionseo with the hashtag #DigitalDigest or let us know in the comments below!


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