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News from Episode 300

By Site Strategics
February 9, 2019

Interview with Dave Gerhardt

Digital marketing thought leaders providing commentary and analysis on trending digital marketing news is how EDGE hosts Erin Sparks (Site Strategics CEO) and Tom Brodbeck (Site Strategics Digital Media Director) open each episode of the EDGE of the Web podcast. In Episode 300 special guest Dave Gerhardt, VP of Marketing at Drift joined EDGE hots Erin and Tom for the trending news roundup. Here’s the latest digital marketing news from the EDGE:

Google Adds Voice Input and Spoken Results to Mobile Web Search

The word from Search Engine Land according to Greg Sterling is that the search giant appears to be conditioning searchers to use voice across all platforms. Google has added a microphone icon to the Google.com search field on Android phones to enable mobile web voice search. You won’t see that icon in the search field on an iPhone, but users could use the microphone input on the keyboard to do that (as they can on Android phones as well). The bigger deal is that users will hear a spoken response now with Android mobile web searches rather than just a set of “silent” results. This could encourage people to do more searches while their eyes are occupied, such as while cooking or driving.

  • Erin Sparks: I think doing search while driving would be a really bad idea. Connectivity is making its way into every aspect of life – onto the dashboards of our cars, onto our bodies with wearable technologies…
  • Tom Brodbeck: We’re all going to be computers in the future.
  • Dave Gerhardt: I’m approaching this from a marketer’s perspective. If Google starts actually answering your questions within their search without sending you to a website with an answer, that’s a digital marketer’s nightmare. We’ve come to rely on search ads that depend on search continuing to function the way it does now. If you get everything you need from Google without ever having to leave Google, then how will people ever get to your website? If Google starts choosing what answer you’ll get, that’s a bit much.
  • Tom Brodbeck: If I ask Google a question, and they answer it but I never hear from you; I don’t ever go to your website; I don’t ever go to your blog. I think that’s a huge change that marketers will have to figure out how to adapt to over the next 5-10 years.
  • Dave Gerhardt: But, Google’s success depends on them serving up what consumers want, so if they can do that, then it’s all good, right? They don’t exist to serve marketers, they’re serving consumers. Maybe all the marketers will have a tougher time gaming the SEO system for rankings, but the point is that it will then come back to the most creative brands, the best content producers will win, not necessarily whoever has the best secret SEO person to optimize an article.

Google Takes its First Steps Toward Killing the URL

From Lily Hay Newman at WIRED, Google wants to rework how browsers convey what website you’re looking at. The idea is trying to prevent hackers from being able to mask URLs and have people click on things they wouldn’t want to click on if they knew where it was really taking them. Right now the focus is on detecting URLs that deviate in some way from standard practices using an open-source tool called TrickURL.

  • Tom Brodbeck: The headline of the article is a bit sensational. They’re really just talking about trying to find a way to let users know what site they’re really visiting and not be deceived by a misleading URL.
  • Erin Sparks: So the rumors of the URL’s death are greatly exaggerated. Google is definitely trying to clamp down on various security issues, which is why Google+ is going away in April.
  • Dave Gerhardt: I tried to make Google+ work, I really did. But everyone was just taking the content from their other channels and copy-pasting it there, and that never works to build a new audience. My Google Plus profile is still floating around. If you find it, please ignore it.

Facebook wants to integrate all its messaging services. How will that work?

From Kurt Wagner over at Recode, Facebook’s desire to integrate all its messaging would be quite a feat considering it includes four billion user accounts across Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. Lily Hay Newman at WIRED also reported on this story, wondering about the pitfalls of Facebook merging all its messaging, especially since it wants to maintain end-to-end encryption all the way through.

  • Dave Gerhardt: As far as I can see, this is not really anything newsworthy, including little if any impact for end-users. Maybe it’s more about the business side of things. It just fulfills the expectation that there should be a constant stream of big news from Facebook, even when there isn’t any.
  • Erin Sparks: Maybe it’s a business play for additional advertising support and make sure it can be distributed into all three unique platforms with a consistent message.

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