Well, who isn’t glad that 2020 is out of the way? Here’s hoping for success, health and an all-round far better year that 2021 can bring to all of us.
Happy New Year!
Web Scraping and Democracy
I’m going to lead this month with some news that might seem pertinent given the current climate.
When was the last time you googled ‘web scraping examples’? I’m guessing not recently as you already know you’ll see results mentioning real estate, hotels, social media, product/pricing data, etc. All the usual suspects.
Perhaps one lesser-known use case is journalism.
The Markup published an interesting article on web scraping for journalism, detailing why web scraping is vital to democracy. This came about on the back of appearing as an Amicus Curiae (impartial adviser) in a case up before the US Supreme Court.
The actual case isn’t directly related to web scraping (it’s regarding an alleged bribe paid to a police officer for looking up confidential info held on a database). However, The Markup became involved due to the question of “authorised access”. The long and short of it is that the outcome of the case could result in journalists breaking US law when scraping data. It goes without saying that to prohibit these activities could have a disastrous effect on investigative journalism.
Following on from The Markup, MIT’s Technologyreview.com site also covered the case, The Markup’s involvement and the question of authorised access. This is also worth checking out and the case is one to keep an eye on, even if the judgement lands in favour of web scraping.
Google’s December 2020 Core Algorithm Update
Easily the biggest news to hit SEO recently: Google’s December 2020 Core Algorithm Update (no short and snappy name for this one).
This resulted in one of the largest impacts of any core update so far. On a par with May 2020’s core update and the Medic update of 2018. It’s definitely one to sit up and take notice of. And it arrived just in time for the holidays too. Thanks, Google!
As usual, there’s a great deal of noise about what this is intended to achieve, if Google has actually done that, and exactly who the winners and losers are this time.
Search Engine Journal has collated some interesting and different insights from various Search Marketers, in addition to their own writer’s perspective.
Both Moz and SEMRush are straight in with hard details and stats to offer a forensic examination, although Moz is somewhat skewed towards winners rather than losers. Search Engine Roundtable has also thrown in their take, though the stats they provide are related to their own site.
The award for the most detailed article regarding the update goes to GSQi, drilling down into how the update has specifically affected the likes of affiliates, e-Commerce and medical sites. If you’re looking for a truly in-depth overview (and you have a little time on your hands), this is the place to go.
What Next For Digital Marketing?
It’s the start of the New Year, so all the usual suspects come out to play. Weight loss adverts, furniture sales, and holidays abroad (remember those?).
And a blizzard of content speaking of ‘trends for 2021’ from dubious authors. Let’s be honest, if last year is anything to go by, you might be better off asking old Zoltar here. His forecasts could be just as accurate as everyone else.
Anyway, I digress. Here are a couple of Digital Marketing tips and trends articles that come from those in the know:
PR Daily grabbed 21 industry insiders and asked them “what one piece of marketing advice would you offer to brands as we head into the new year?” #1 is Rand Fishkin, his insight alone is usually worth checking an article out for.
Hubspot has also caught 20 marketing experts, offering quite a variety. Touching on subjects such as virtual events, brand values and digital transformation.
In other news, Forbes have an interesting post pointing out that many in digital marketing have got it all wrong, are now engaged in a spectator sport, and why a shake up is in order. If you like your articles to come with a side of sports comparison, check it out.
And that’s all from me this month. Thanks for reading all the way down to here!
All the best,
Head of Sales Operations and Partner Development