Google have had a little bit of a clear out this month and have dropped an old SEO favourite from its features and penalised bloggers for ignoring their warnings. Snapchat is also taking the lead with our teens in the world of social media over Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. So how does all of this affect you?

Bloggers hit by Google manual penalty

Many bloggers saw a hit to their rankings this month in the form of a manual Google penalty over the 9th/10th April. This penalty followed a warning a few weeks ago from Google which told bloggers to disclose free blogger reviews for what they are and to unfollow links in their blog posts about these products.

Google warned bloggers that if they wrote reviews on their site, they needed to unfollow links to the company’s site, as well as social accounts and any online merchants who sell the product. They also needed to disclose that the product was given to them for free. Google said, “Users want to know when they’re viewing sponsored content,” and also said that any content created around reviews must be compelling, unique and add value beyond what is already on the web.

In true Google fashion, a few weeks after this warning was issued, bloggers who ignored these guidelines were issued with an outbound linking penalty. However, Google’s John Mueller said, “Once these links are cleaned up appropriately, feel free to submit a reconsideration request, so that the webspam team can double-check and remove the manual action.”

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Google PageRank goes dark

Google has officially shut down toolbar PageRank to the general public. This means that Google will still be using the data internally, but it will not be available for the rest of us mere mortals to view.

Google has also cut off all access to any third party apps and tools which may have previously used and accessed the data.

Ok, but what even is PageRank?

PageRank is used to determine the overall authority of a website on a scale of 1-10. The higher the PageRank, the higher authority the page has. PageRank is also used to weight the value of inbound links.

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Individual webmasters will no longer have access to their PageRank score, but Google will still be using it to determine how and where to rank content in the search results.

Forget Instagram, our teens are all about Snapchat

Snapchat hasn’t been shy about rolling out the updates and extra features over the past 12 months, and in doing so, has bumped the popularity of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to take the top spot of popularity with teens.

The Taking Stock with Teens study polled 6,500 teens on which social network they thought was the most important. Snapchat took the prize with 28% of the vote, and Instagram with 27%. Snapchat has been making the most changes out of all the social networks over the last year, and has added new video and photo features, the ability to faceswap and frequently offers live-streaming of events such as the Oscars.

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The platform is consistently fresh for users, whilst others prefer the old faithful of what has always worked. It looks like the younger generations are all about change!

Thinking about using Snapchat as a brand but not sure where to start? Take a look at how other companies are using it to their advantage here.

Meet our co-owner, Stewart!

Get to know HookedOnMedia’s co-owner, Stewart Roode over on our blog, where he’ll tell you his favourite office snacks, what he thinks is the best thing about the job and predictions for the future!

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