Friday recap: 6 interesting updates about travel, e-commerce and getting your business found in Facebook
Never a dull moment in the content marketing world! There is always a lot happening in our industry, and this week has been no different.
Google Adwords is making changes that affect Ecommerce stores, bringing businesses closer to their audience. Google Flights has also been updated to introduce major benefits for travellers.
Facebook hasn’t been keeping quiet either, with the introduction of extra ways to get information through the platform and another cheeky Snapchat (sorry – Snap Inc.!)-like feature in Messenger.
Google fact checker
Existing tags applied to these Google News results include ‘in-depth’, ‘opinion’, ‘local source’ and ‘highly cited’ (look here for more information). Now, articles that have been fact checked can have the corresponding tag appearing beside it.
“Google News determines whether an article might contain fact checks in part by looking for the schema.org ClaimReview markup. We also look for sites that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks. Publishers who create fact-checks and would like to see it appear with the ‘Fact check’ tag should use that markup in fact-check articles.” Google said in its company blog post. It’s important to remember that Google will not apply the fact check tag automatically – users will need to add the tags themselves!
Also, not anyone can markup their site with the tag – the content needs to meet set criteria as outlined on Google’s support centre. For example, the article needs to include the citations and references that it drew the facts from, and the organisation must be non-partisan and transparent about funding and affiliations. Anyone that ignores these criteria and applies the fact checking tag anyway could risk having the tag ignored or removed altogether from Google News.
At this point, the tag is only available in the UK and the US.
Easier integration with Google AdWords
Google has announced a new partnership with Bigcommerce, Magento and Prestashop via the AdWords blog. This partnership means that eCommerce sites with an existing account with any of these three platforms have a much simpler integration into Google Shopping.
Product information from these accounts is populated in the Merchant Center account, saving users from having to set up completely new AdWords campaigns. Search queries will then return results featuring the product with an image, price and link to the site.
For more information on how to set up the ads you can visit Google’s Help Centre.
AdWords click to message function
To bring businesses closer to their audience, Google is introducing a ‘click to message’ function that allows users to text businesses direct with queries or requests.
In its company blog post, Google said that “65% of consumers say they’d consider using messaging to connect with a business to get information about a product or service, or to schedule an in-person appointment.” Through the new message extension update, your audience can now get in touch directly through your AdWords campaigns.
When the ads appear in search results users just click through to ask questions or make bookings, with the option of using pre-written messages that you create.
“Tapping on the texting option launches a user’s SMS app with a pre-written message tailored to the product or service they’re interested in. For example, if you’re a travel advertiser and someone messages you after searching for New York City hotels, they can send or edit your pre-written message text, ‘I’m interested in a reservation. Please text me back with more information.’”
Facebook Messenger introduced a similar function in April this year through the use of messaging bots – the tool was recently updated to allow for payment direct within the app.
For more information about the ‘click to message’ tool you can visit the message extensions page in Google’s Help Center.
Google Flights now monitoring fare prices
Google appears to be nudging into the travel and hospitality industry with this latest update – first, there was Google Trips, now there’s fare checking for flights!
Google Flights has been around for some time now, allowing people to search for available flights, discover destinations and check airport arrival and departure times. This week Google updated the tool so that it can also track the cheapest fares for users. The search giant draws upon historical data to accurately determine the pattern for when certain flights change ticket prices.
Google will notify you when fares are predicted to increase with an approximate time frame for how long the cheaper fare will be available for, and users can keep tabs on certain routes which allows them to receive notifications when the best fare becomes available. Google will also suggest alternatives that will reduce the fare price, such as alternative local airports to fly from.
The tool will also allow for similar price tracking of hotel accommodation. Google will notify users if a lower price is available for loyalty members, which is great news for hotel companies looking to increase the number of members for their loyalty programs.
Facebook creates new ways to get information
It’s a common trend for people to turn to Facebook to ask their friends for suggestions and recommendations. The social network has recognised this pattern and is enabling some tools to make it easier for users to get advice, as well as giving a bit more exposure to local businesses.
The first tool to be released is Facebook’s ‘Recommendations’ bookmark. When creating posts that seek the advice of Facebook friends you can turn on this feature so that when friends comment on the post, the suggestions will be mapped out and saved in one place for you to refer to – the Recommendations bookmark.
As well as the introduction of the ‘Events’ app, Facebook is also revamping the events tab on its platform. Updates will include having events suggested to users based on past preferences, and the option to view the most popular events among Facebook friends.
Local Business Interaction may be the most beneficial update for businesses though – the feature allows for direct purchasing and booking through Facebook Pages. Users can now order from restaurants, book appointments, get quotes or buy movie and event tickets, all from individual business Pages.
These updates have been rolled out in the US and will be monitored over the coming months, so watch this space for news on Australia and New Zealand’s inclusion!
Messenger Day pops up in Australia
A number of Facebook Messenger users in Australia have noticed the appearance of “Messenger Day’ in their app.
According to Mashable, the popular digital media and entertainment site, Facebook began its testing in Poland last October and then confirmed they had also begun testing in Australia this week.
Messenger Day appears to offer a SnapInc Stories-like function, with disappearing photos and videos. Users can doodle on the images, choose from an array of stickers and post it to Messenger Day, where it will all be deleted 24 hours later.
This isn’t the first time that the vanishing images idea has popped up on platforms other than SnapInc. In fact, it appears that many have now adopted this feature, the most notable of which being Instagram, which caused quite a stir in the social media world.