FWM Digital Bytes

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week’s FWM Digital Bytes, we look at Google’s latest algorithm tweaks, Dove’s war on negative Facebook ads and Apple’s profits…

Google targets webspam in new update

Google’s attempts to rid the SERPs of spam have continued with the launch of a new algorithm update that will reward high-quality sites with improved rankings and demote those it views as low-quality sites. The currently un-titled update will “decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines,” according to a blog written by the company’s Head of Webspam Matt Cutts. He continues: “We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.” Though Cutts doesn’t divulge the exact nature of the changes, he does write that activities such as keyword stuffing will be punished and that the aim is to enable “people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all) to be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling web sites.” To give an idea of how the update may change rankings, Cutts cites the statistics for the initial Panda update in 2010, revealing that “12% of queries were affected to a significant degree”.

Dove scrub negative Facebook adverts clean

Women’s beauty brand Dove have launched a new Facebook app that allows users to remove  negative adverts from the site and replace them with positive ones. The app features eight upbeat slogans about body image that both male and female users can send to their friends. Once the app has been accepted by the friend they’ll receieve messages such as ‘Hello beautiful” and “When it comes to your body, love the one you’re with” instead of ads for breast enlargement, plastic surgery and weight loss services. According to Mashable, neither Dove nor their UK agency have commented on how the app actually works, though a layover looks the most likely option as it’s doubtful Facebook would allow paid adverts to be removed. Currently only available in Australia, the app is part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, which has been running since 2004.

Facebook is popular. Very popular…

But you knew that already didn’t you? What you may not know is exactly how popular it is. Well, now the social networking behemoth has revealed just how many people are using the site and the figure is pretty gigantic. According to the company’s amended S-1 filing, which covers statistics up to March, Facebook has 901 million users, which is a significant increase on the 845 million cited when they filed their IPO paperwork in February. The report also reveals that there were 526 million active users during the same period and that 488 million people used the site through their mobile phone. Other stats show that 300 million new photos and 3.2 billion new comments are uploaded to the site every day. It has previously been estimated that Facebook’s user total will surpass 1 billion by the end of the summer, but if these figures are accurate, they may well do it before then.

The big Apple

There’s been good and bad news for Apple this week as the company revealed its profit and revenue figures for the last quarter. Overall, the outlook is very good, with revenue hitting $39.2m and profits reaching $11.6m in the quarter ending March 31st. That’s a significant increase on the same quarter last year, when figures of $24.7m (revenue) and $6m (profit) were posted. However, the iPad performed less well than expected and sold only 11.8 million units, which is slighty down on the 12.3-13.5 million analysts had predicted. Instead, the iPhone proved the driver behind the profits, selling 35.1 million units – a growth of 88% year-on-year. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, was not discouraged by the iPad’s disappointing sales though, arguing that the product’s progress is going as planned. “We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter,” he said. “The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.”

Happy birthday, YouTube

Finally, YouTube celebrated its seventh birthday this week, so jelly and ice cream for all! Well, not quite, but here are some interesting stats about how the site has progressed since employee Yakov Lapitsky uploaded the 19-second video ‘Me At The Zoo’ in 2005.

  • 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute, or one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second.
  • Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day
  • YouTube is monetising over 3 billion video views per week globally
  • 98 of AdAge’s Top 100 advertisers have run campaigns on YouTube and the Google Display Network
  • 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute

More facts and stats can be found on the YouTube Press Room.