It was another big week for the internet. The biggest news of the week was the wide-spread blackout in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act on Jan. 18. This is just one of the several topics the TM Crew discusses in this week’s podcast. As usual, I am joined by Michael L. Hoffman, TM’s Copywriter and Social Media Manager, along with PR and Communications expert Dario Chiarini, who has returned from his trip to the west coast.
We discussed the blackout in detail in a previous blog post, but its importance and effectiveness cannot be understated. The protest of SOPA and PIPA was spearheaded by social news site Reddit and online encyclopedia Wikipedia. The goal was to illustrate what the internet would look like if SOPA and PIPA made it through Congress. The effects of the protest were palpable in Washington as several supporters and co-sponsors of the bills dropped their support, and eventually, both bills were tabled indefinitely.
But perhaps the most interesting week’s most interesting news regarding online piracy was the federal take down of MegaUpload. MegaUpload was a file-sharing website that the US government shut down on Jan. 19, the day after the blackout. In response to MegaUpload’s take down, hacker organization Anonymous, attacked the Department of Justice, Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America websites, as well as UniversalMusic.com. This isn’t the only issue we discuss in the podcast though, we also discuss more changes from Google.
The search giant announced this week that it will be penalizing websites that have too many ads “above the fold,” which is the part of the website you can see before scrolling down. As Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan points out, Google “heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away.” This, however, isn’t the only big change Google has made recently.
We revisit the topic of Google’s new search format–Search, plus Your World–and how it makes ranking reports nearly obsolete. The reason being is because search results are now different for everyone. If I search “credit cards” here in Michigan, and Michael searches it in Florida and Dario searches it in California, we will all get different results based on location and personalized results. This means that one website could rank much higher in one area than another, thus making SEO much harder in the future. It further emphasizes how important it is for companies and brands to be engaged socially.
We want to know what you think of these issues, let us know in the comments or contact us! For more on these topics, listen to the podcast above.