Backlink Breaker #14 - YouTube Monetization Features and Google News Card Layout
Are smart speakers are just surveillance devices? It’s naive to think that bringing a device into your home that listens to your conversations doesn’t surface some security concerns. Like any piece of technology, there are going to be security issues and assumed levels of risk with smart speakers, reflecting the modern struggle between privacy and security vs technological convenience.
Will companies behind speakers listen to our private conversations? Yes.
Can malicious third parties exploit these devices and grab private audio from our homes? Yes.
Is all this risk worth it so we can enjoy new voice search and command capabilities?
YouTube launched some fresh monetization features that provide creators with new tools to make money on the platform.
Animated Super Stickers - Your fans can buy stickers to post during live streams or video premiers.
Channel Membership Levels - A set of new price points for paid channel memberships with different built-in features.
Merchandising Partners - New partners in the YouTube merchandising program to help sell merchandise directly through your channel.
Anything that gives creators additional room to grow and make money on YouTube is a good thing. The more incentives for independent creatives, the stronger and more vibrant the platform. That means more users, more engagement, and more value for marketers.
Googles News released new desktop designs, replacing story clusters with card formats for featured stories. This change heavily favors top content, giving more real estate to single stories vs the clusters of links. A change this big should change referral traffic from Google News, so note this down in your reports to see how it's affected any of your news pages.
It doesn’t matter if you use the trailing slash in URLs, however, it’s important to be consistent. Don’t use the trailing slash on some URLs and exclude it from others.
It’s important to feature good content above the fold, this sends a strong signal to Google about page quality and context. Don’t hide your best content at the bottom of the page (that would provide bad user experience anyway!)
Google uses the URL parameter tool a lot, so if you need to exclude content from crawling and robots.txt isn’t the best tool due to the format of your site, this tool is your best option.
If https is set up properly it will canonicalize automatically, and become the default version for Google crawls.
You don’t get a ranking benefit from mobile-first indexing, it’s just a label indicating how your content indexed. It’s a totally different thing vs being mobile-friendly
If your website has internal search features and public search results pages of site content, you need to use robots.txt to prevent crawling of these search result pages. If you don’t, Google could penalize your site. Bing Discover pages were recently obliterated from Google Search for indexing search result pages.