Industry News

Industry IQ: Small Changes Could Go a Long Way for Instagram and Amazon

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SEO Ranking Factors: What Matters and What Doesn’t in 2017

Panelists at the recent 2017 SMX East conference in New York City presented what they’ve determined is the definitive list of SEO ranking factors that have proven to be most and least important during the past year.

Pulling data from large-scale studies, presenting case studies and offering up practical advice based on their findings, the panel concluded that user signal and direct website traffic were the highest predictors of top rankings, while keywords were among the least important factors.

For the full findings from the conference, as well as some useful tips on how to put this information into practice, check out this article from Search Engine Land.

Instagram Building on Success of Stories Feature by Making it More Prominent

You may have noticed a new horizontal row of images recently while scrolling through your Instagram feed. No, it’s not because the photo app wants you to develop a sudden interest in really tiny photos — well, not entirely, at least.

Rather, it’s because the Instagram Stories feature, launched just over a year ago, has become remarkably successful and they want to ensure as few people as possible are passing it by. As confirmed to TechCrunch, Instagram has doubled the size of its mid-feed re-engagement box, giving you thumbnail previews of what lies behind the door of each of your friends’ stories.

The important takeaway here, though, isn’t the size of the previews — it’s how Instagram is planning to build off of them. What started out as a bar along the top of your feed, which would eventually disappear when immediately scrolled past, has now evolved into the larger previews , plus he new thumbnail bar. These may seem like small changes, but it’s a clear sign that Instagram considers Stories as a major part of its own story that isn’t disappearing anytime soon.

Amazon Offers Up Lower Fees to Food Businesses

Continuing with the unintentional theme of “subtle changes,” Amazon has made a small move it hopes will lead to a big increase in its competitiveness among grocery retailers. The company recently announced to businesses that sell non-perishable food items on Amazon.com that it will slash its usual seller fees from 15% to 8% on any packaged items sold for less than $15.

Amazon’s reasoning behind the move, as per the email they sent out, is to help “list more products and keep prices competitive.” However, industry insiders see it as a way to compete with similar discounted fees offered by other grocery and department chains who are getting a market share that Amazon is interested in capturing as well.

Some question whether or not the move will have any significant impact on how customers — whether current Amazon users or not — view the company as a legitimate grocery option, but for now, only time will tell. Amazon entered the market with its $13.7 billion purchase of upscale organic grocer Whole Foods earlier this year.

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