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Food for Thought Friday: Panda, Facebook Advertising & Inbox Spam

Kathleen Garvin
Food for Thought Friday: Panda, Facebook Advertising & Inbox Spam

This week we’re highlighting articles on Google Panda (technical difficulties?), Facebook advertising and icon changes, and advanced spam-targeting technology for email.

Miss these stories? Read more after the jump.

Google: Panda Still Coming Soon But Maybe Delayed For Technical Reasons by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable, July 10, 2015

So it didn't happen last week over July 4th, it didn't happen within the 2-4 week time frame we expected from Gary Illyes message out of SMX Advanced. It is not happening this weekend either.

Gary Illyes posted on Twitter yesterday "heyya, it's [the Panda refresh] still in the "soon" phase, but can't give an ETA for technical reasons."

I am not sure what he means for technical reasons but it does seem to imply that Panda will not be refreshing today or this weekend. Will it be next week? I am not sure, I am starting to believe this is going to take longer than any of us expected.

The last official Panda update was Panda 4.1 which was on September 25, 2014, or over 9.5 months ago. I believe the last unofficial Panda refresh was October 24th or over 8.5 months ago.

Wow! Facebook Completely Changed the Way Advertisers Are Charged by Margot da Cunha, WordStream, July 9, 2015

Are you advertising on Facebook? You probably should be, since we all know that organic reach is dead, and everyone including your mother and her close friends are spending a significant amount of time on the social platform each day.

... Facebook, similar to AdWords, operates on a cost-per-click (CPC) model, which previously charged for every action including clicks to links and apps, likes, shares, comments and even “continue reading.” Yesterday, they announced that in order to help advertisers better understand how effective their ads are in driving goals, they’ll only be charging for clicks to websites and apps. Hoorah!

So, what counts as a click again? Facebook clarified, “we’re updating CPC to only account for what we call ‘link clicks’ – i.e., the clicks related to certain ad objectives.” These include clicks to visit a website, call-to-action clicks, clicks to install an app, clicks to Facebook canvas apps, and clicks to view a video on another site. Basically any clicks that take your off the page onto another site (or into apps).

Bonus Facebook news item!

Why Facebook changed its friend icon so the woman comes first by The BBC, July 8, 2015

The female figure in Facebook's friends icon used to be at the back, but now she's been moved front and center and we've found out why.

Facebook designer Caitlyn Winner says she noticed the male icons were symmetrical (except for the hair) but the woman "had a little chip in her shoulder."

... Caitlyn set about making a new woman icon - including getting rid of the "Darth Vader-like helmet" hair.

Google's AI is warming up for world domination by killing inbox spam by James Vincent, The Verge, July 10, 2015

News about artificial intelligence currently tends to fall into two main camps. In the first, we have technologists and computer experts getting genuinely worried about the future threat of out-of-control AI. And in the second, we have the novel but ultimately modest uses the technology is actually being put to in the present day. Google's announcement this week that it's using machine learning technology to keep your Gmail inbox free of spam definitely belongs in the latter category.

In a blog post published yesterday, Google product manager Sri Harsha Somanchi explains that Gmail's spam filter now uses "an artificial neural network to detect and block the especially sneaky spam — the kind that could actually pass for wanted mail." The company is also deploying its machine learning tech to adapt to individuals' inbox choices, essentially creating custom spam filters on-the-fly. "So while your neighbor may love weekly email newsletters, you may loathe them," writes Somanchi. "With advances in machine learning, the spam filter can now reflect these individual preferences."

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Kathleen Garvin is an online editor and analytics wrangler for The Penny Hoarder, the largest personal finance blog. She's also a contributing writer for I Want Her Job and started a beginner-friendly digital marketing blog, The Maroon House. Kathleen is the former blog editor at SEMrush.
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Nice recap, Kathleen, and some great content this week to be sure.

Have a fantastic weekend.
Kathleen Garvin
Rob Wilson
Thanks, Robby! You too!