Digital Trends Wrap-Up: December 2017


A Far-Reaching Google Algorithm Update Occurred on December 12th. The update, dubbed the Maccabees Update, hit websites that target massive arrays of keyword permutations, as well as low value and ad heavy/affiliate heavy sites. Read more about the algorithm update here.

Google Officially Extends the Length of Meta Descriptions in SERPs. The snippet length has grown from 160 characters to almost 230 characters on average, learn more here.

The Google Maccabees Algorithm Update Is Impacting Some Official Celebrity Websites. Many celebrities’ official websites used to rank number one in the search results as of early December, but those sites are now either at the bottom of page one or even off page one. Read more here.

Google Is Testing Images in Search Text Ads. In the test format, an image from the landing page is shown to the right of the description area of the text ad. See an example of the test here.

Google Search Console Will Include Over a Year of Data After New Update Rolls Out. Users will be granted access to over a year’s worth of Search Console data, which is a big step up from the 90 days of data that’s offered with the current version. Learn more here.

Google Updates Review Guidelines to Prohibit Negative Reviews from Current or Former Employees. Google states that “posting negative content about a current or former employment experience” is no longer allowed because it’s considered a conflict of interest. Read more here.

Google Adds Price Tracking Features to Flight Search and Hotel Search. Many of the features are focused on how users can save money or track prices for a travel destination. Read more here.

Google Is Incorporating Third Party Reviews in Some Local Search Results. Third party reviews from sites like TripAdvisor have been showing up in Knowledge Graph cards for hotels and resorts. Read more here.

Google Introduces More Content to Featured Snippets & Knowledge Panel. Google announced three new search updates around featured snippets, knowledge panel information and suggestions for related topics. Learn about them here.



Facebook will be replacing “disputed flags” with “related articles” to help prevent the spread of fake news. Learn more here.

Facebook’s algorithm will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait. Read more here.

Facebook is giving users more control of their News Feed with Snooze. Click here to learn how. 

Facebook’s News Feed is now ranking video content. See how here.

Twitter will be rolling out updates in an effort to improve brands’ engagements with customers. Learn more here.

Instagram users can now follow hashtags. Click here to learn about this exciting new update.

Snapchat now lets anyone create Lenses for the Snapchat community via Lens Studio. Read  more here.  

Snapchat has partnered with companies like TripAdvisor, Uber and BookTable to supply reviews, reservations and more via Context Cards. Click here for more information.

Twitter’s introduces threaded tweets. Click here to learn more.

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