Instagram improving for content creators and users, why negative reviews can have a positive impact on SEO, and Google makes managing cookies easier.

April 22, 2022 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Instagram improving for content creators and users, why negative reviews can have a positive impact on SEO, and Google makes managing cookies easier.”

It’s that time of the week again, following sunny spells across the UK there’s also a lot of positive news for marketers and businesses in the digital sector, let’s take a look!

Instagram to make hashtags more valuable for accounts

In an effort to improve its platform for its users, Instagram is currently testing ways to improve the hashtag by making them more valuable.

By adjusting how top posts are ranked on a hashtag page, the top posts will now consist of timely and recent content, in the past, there were three sections of a hashtag page “top”, “recent”, and “reels” which meant that the content on “top” might be from months ago.

Instagram will now be removing the “recent” tab so that users can find newer, relevant content on the “top” tab, while the “reels” tab will not have changes.

The social media company hopes that these changes will increase the value of including a hashtag in a post for users, this is presumably to make a difference in hashtag engagement levels.

Studies have shown that at the moment, hashtags don’t increase post engagement considerably, will this change improve the impact that a hashtag will bring?

How and why the hashtag page is changing

Instagram’s communication team announced the change and why they’re doing it, which reads:

“We’re trying out some new things to make hashtags as valuable as possible for people. A few weeks ago, we rolled out Destinations which helps connect people to more information around social causes, and now, we’re going to try something new.

For a small group, we’re testing more recent and timely content in ‘Top’ and ‘Reels’ tabs in hashtags, and removing the ‘Recent’ tab. We want to see if this helps people connect with more interesting and relevant content on hashtags, while also keeping them across what’s current.“

Instagram even shared an example of what the new hashtag page will look like:

A screenshot of a side by side comparison of what the old and new hashtag screen will look like.
Source: Twitter.com/InstagramComms, April 2022.

As you can see, the design is functionally the same, but the “recent” tab is just removed.

The streamlined design is to help users find timely and quality content, rather than seeing content which is potentially outdated.

Only time will tell if this has the positive change for users that Instagram is looking for.

Instagram to favour original content with new ranking change

As well as the hashtag changes, the way that Instagram’s home feed ranks content is receiving an update that has been designed to boost original content visibility.

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram announced that this ranking change is one key component of a larger effort to not only improve the platform for its users but also to reward originality and give credit where it is due.

Mosseri stated:

“People expressing themselves is the heartbeat of Instagram. It’s what makes Instagram work. I’ve talked a lot this year about how creators are incredibly important to Instagram’s future. And one of the things I’ve learned from speaking with creators is how important getting credit for their work is to them. So today, a few hidden gems, a few way’s we’re going to make sure that credit is going to those who deserve it.”

Mosseri discussed three updates which are intended to help credit the creators he’s referring to:

  • A home feed ranking change
  • Product tags
  • Enhanced people tags

Home feed ranking update

Mosseri has said that the ranking algorithm which is currently used for Instagram will be updated to assign more value to original content. This means that if someone creates and posts original content, it’s likely to be more visible and gain more traction compared to content that has been republished.

Mosseri spoke a bit more about the change:

“I know a lot of you are skeptical of ranking, but it really does help us make sure that Instagram is more valuable to each and every person who uses the platform. This [update] is specifically focused on this idea of originality.

If you create something from scratch you should get more credit than if you are sharing something that you found from someone else. We’re going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content.”

Product tags

Instagram will also be introducing the ability to tag a product in a post, which was once only available to select users.

Mosseri stated:

“Product tags have been available for a while now, but they’re now going to be available to everyone. So no matter who you are out there, you can tag a product and drive some traffic or attention to a business or a creator that you love.”

You can follow these instructions to do this:

  • Start to create a post.
  • Tap ‘Tag people’.
  • Search and tag the brand first.
  • Two options should show up at the bottom labeled ‘People’ & ‘Products’.
  • Tap ‘Products’.
  • Tap the photo to start tagging products.
  • Hit ‘Share’ to publish the post.

The idea behind this feature is to shout out your favourite brands and small businesses.

People tag enhancements

Tagging people in a photo post will also get a small enhancement. If an individual user tags you in a post, they can add a category in their profile that will show up when you’re tagged.

To give an example, if someone publishes a video of you speaking at a conference and you’re tagged, people will be able to see who you are and what it is that you do.

Mosseri spoke about the feature:

“So you’ve always been able to tag accounts on Instagram and photos or videos for a long time now, but now you can actually select a category for yourself.

So if you go into profile, edit profile, and that category will show up when you are tagged in a photo or a video. Again, trying to make sure that you can have your presence, your identity, be what you want it to be and have that credit flow appropriately.”

Mosseri also reiterated that Instagram is fully committed to ensuring that users and creators are credited appropriately:

“Again, creators are incredibly important to the future of Instagram, and we want to make sure they’re successful on the platform and they’re getting all the credit they deserve. And hopefully these three changes are small steps in that direction.”

You can watch the full tweet announcement here:

Why negative reviews can be positive for SEO

A frustrated customer shouting down a phone.

Consumers rely heavily on reviews when purchasing a new product, therefore a negative customer review of one of your products can seem like a bad thing, but for SEO it’s actually the opposite.

A lot of people wonder ‘Should I remove negative reviews?’ under no circumstances delete your negative reviews.

A negative review can have a positive impact on your brand, sales, and ranking for SEO. It may be hard to believe, but according to a study by ReviewInc, customers will trust a 4.7 rating compared to a 5-star rating.

This is due to the fact that some businesses provide payment for a positive review or even post fake reviews of their own products, and a lot of customers are now aware of this fact.

A customer is more likely to be aware when a product feels too good to be true, and if they feel like this, they’re more likely to purchase another product from elsewhere.

A good rating that includes positive as well as negative reviews is a good indicator of a product’s authenticity.

How negative reviews can help SEO & online reputation

If you keep your bad reviews and manage those reviews with an online management tool, then your product’s star ratings can:

  • Improve your SEO and visiblity in SERPS (search engine results pages).
  • Increase the trust and loyalty of your customers.
  • Provide insights about to help your businesses’ growth for the future.

Negative reviews and SEO

Having reviews and a rating section on your product pages as well as sites such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp factor into Google’s rankings for search engine optimisation.

Google has described how reviews play into SEO rankings by saying “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.”

If you encourage reviews both positive and negative and respond to them, it’s a good practice that will help enhance local SEO and your online presence and reputation.

Negative reviews provide a balance that’s necessary as if you have too many positive reviews or reviews that are biased, then it can result in the reviews being suspended which will impact the SEO.

Negative reviews build trust

On Yelp, the average review score is 3.65, whilst on Facebook, it’s 4.42, 4.3 on Google and 4.25 on TripAdvisor.

Although those numbers seem low, the truth is that these reviews build trust that helps a potential customer know what they’re getting into before they purchase your product.

A bad review is a necessary part of authenticity, and this can lead to more purchases. If you have a bad review, you need to use a sympathetic response that lets customers know the following:

  • The context of the bad review.
  • Show any future customers that you’re taking existing customer’s needs on board and will work to accomodate them.
  • Show customers you’re a genuine business who are there for them.

A negative review can improve business operations

There’s another benefit from negative reviews, they can tell a business how it can improve.

In today’s competitive e-commerce environment, this is especially important.

Criticism can make people and businesses better, sometimes a negative review can draw your attention to an issue you may have overlooked or not noticed such as:

  • If the product is faulty or not fit for purpose
  • If a team member needs guidance

Not every bad review will end a business, it can be an opportunity to improve for the future.

EU users are provided a simpler way to reject cookies

Google are wanting to make it easier to reject all cookies on their search engine and YouTube for their European user base. The changes will be rolled out in France first, then the UK, Switzerland, and the rest of the European Economic Area.

If you visit search or YouTube signed out or in incognito/private mode, you’ll be presented with a choice to either reject or accept all cookies, you can also click on “more options” to customise your choice of cookies.

Google provided a screenshot of what the change would look like:

A screenshot showing the new cookies screen on YouTube, providing an example of rejecting or accepting all cookies.

This change is because CNIL, who is a french privacy watchdog fined Google 150 million euros on the 6th of January. Google was given three months to provide a simpler way for users to reject cookies, if Google didn’t do this then they’d have had to provide CNIL with 100,000 euros per day.

This is a positive change for Google, which in the past has made it difficult to reject their cookies, but unfortunately, this change was only brought about due to not wanting to pay a fine. Google had this to say on the update:

“This update meant we needed to re-engineer the way cookies work on Google sites, and to make deep, coordinated changes to critical Google infrastructure. Moreover, we knew that these changes would impact not only Search and YouTube, but also the sites and content creators who use them to help grow their businesses and make a living.” Google thinks it can balance privacy while helping digital businesses grow and thrive. Now it’s time to find out how it will work.