Twitter has confirmed it is dropping support for AMP pages, adding more evidence to the growing belief that AMP (or Accelerated Mobile Pages) are on their way out of use.

In an update to its developer document for AMP pages, Twitter says it is discontinuing support for the format by the end of the year:

“We’re in the process of discontinuing support for this feature and it will be fully retired in Q4 of 2021.”

This comes after some users had noticed a lack of support for AMP going back as far as October.

What This Means For You

If you have been sharing AMP links on Twitter, you can technically still do so without any significant issues. 

However, instead of being directed to the AMP versions of your content, Twitter will automatically direct users to the original content. 

It goes without saying that this negates the point of adding AMP links instead of sharing the original page. 

Why Is AMP Losing Support?

Many people dislike AMP pages for a number of reasons, citing everything from buggy performance to criticism over the boost they received in search results for a time. 

In recent times, Google has seemed to recognize this. 

First, they did this by making AMP pages less obvious in search results by removing the icon which had accompanied pages using the format. Additionally, Google dropped requirements for pages to use AMP to be eligible to be included in the Top Stories carousel. 

The most recent evidence that Google is losing confidence in AMP is the September announcement that Google News would start showing fewer AMP pages in the results.

This has all led many to believe that AMP is on its way out at Google, as well as Twitter.

Ahead of the holiday shopping season, Google Maps is launching four new features aimed at improving the in-person shopping experience for consumers and driving more sales for local businesses.

The updates not only make it easier to plan your shopping trips ahead of time but also bring many shoppers new ways to order from local businesses online.

Let’s explore these four new features:

New Local Shopping Features for Google Maps

1. Area Busyness

Everyone dreads the idea of getting stuck in a massive holiday shopping crowd when you are just trying to pick up a few things. Now, you can see an estimate of how busy a specific area is before you leave.

For this new feature, called Area Busyness, Google analyzes recent traffic data from local businesses nearby to gauge how many people are shopping in the area.

To see the Area Busyness information, simply open Google Maps and tap on a general area to see how busy it is.

Notably, Google says shopping malls tend to be least busy on Tuesday evenings, while Saturday is unsurprisingly the busiest time to shop.

2. Expanded Directory Tabs

Google Maps is expanding the existing Directory tab globally for all airports, malls, and transit stations on Android and iOS devices.

The Directory tab details the stores in a shopping center, as well as showing airport lounges, car rental agencies, and other services in a building.

The tab also includes other helpful information pulled from local listings, such as whether specific stores are open and their Google reviews.

3. Grocery Shopping on Google

After testing the feature with some stores earlier this year, Google is expanded its grocery shopping feature to over 2,000 stores in 30+ states across the US.

Now, shoppers can order groceries from several large companies in the country, such as Kroger, Fry’s, Ralphs, and Marianos.

Once ordered, Google Maps tracks your order status and allows you to share your location info with the store so they will know when you arrive.

According to data from the tool before the expansion, Google says that customers who shared their ETA typically waited less than five minutes to pick up their order.

4. Additional Restaurant Info From Customers

Google Business Profiles for restaurants will now include more information provided by reviewers.

When leaving a review, Google now prompts customers to estimate the restaurant’s price ranges and note any amenities the restaurant offers – such as curbside pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating.

For more information about these updates, read the blog post from Google Maps Director of Product, Amanda Leicht Moore.

A few weeks ago, Google teased that it planned to refine its PageSpeed Insights tools to make data “more intuitive” and easy to understand. Now, that update has arrived.

What Is The PageSpeed Insights Tool?

If you’re unfamiliar, the PageSpeed Insights tool from Google evaluates your web pages to provide suggestions to improve how quickly content loads. 

The tool has been around in various forms since 2013 when it was a simple API webmaster could use to test their page speeds. Version 5, the most recent major update, arrived in 2018. However, smaller updates like this week’s happen somewhat regularly. 

Along with this new update, Google has moved the PageSpeed Insights tool to a new home at https://pagespeed.web.dev/.

What Is New In The PageSpeed Insights Tool?

The biggest focus of the new update is a change to the user interface to be more intuitive by “clearly differentiating between data derived from a synthetic environment and data collected from users in the field.”

To do this, Google has added dedicated sections for each type of data.

Where the tool used to include a label specifying which type of data you were viewing, Google has instead added information about what the data means for you and how it may be used to improve your performance.

Additionally, Google has shifted its emphasis to data collected from real users by moving field data to the top.

The Core Web Vitals assessment has also been expanded, with a label showing if your site has passed a Core Web Vitals assessment in the field and in-depth metrics from simulated environments.

Importantly, the PageSpeed Insights tool also includes details at the bottom of the page specifying how the data was collected in the field. This information includes:

  • Data collection period
  • Visit durations
  • Devices
  • Network connections
  • Sample size
  • Chrome versions

Lastly, Google has removed the previously included screenshot of the page as it indexed your content, replacing it with a series of images displaying the full loading sequence. 

For more, read the announcement for the update from Google’s Web.Dev blog.

YouTube announced it will no longer be showing the number of dislikes videos received after experimenting with the idea earlier this year.

Though the dislike button will still be available to help users customize their feed and recommendations, the company says that removing public dislike counts helps prevent group harassment like “dislike attacks”.

As YouTube explains in the announcement:

“As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button. But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior.”

This will presumably help provide creators with a more accurate view of how their community is responding to videos without interference from non-viewers. This information will still be available to creators in YouTube Studio, along with their other channel analytics.

YouTube does say the test wasn’t popular with everyone, and they expect some negative response to this decision. Still, they believe this change will be best for the site as a whole.

“We heard during the experiment that some of you have used the public dislike count to help decide whether or not to watch a video. We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform.”

The number of likes a video receives will still be publicly viewable for those who previously used dislikes to decide which videos to watch.

The company says this is just one of many steps it is planning to help ensure the platform is a positive space for discussion and creativity for everyone:

“We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves. This is just one of many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment. Our work is not done, and we’ll continue to invest here.”

For more, you can watch the video explaining the decision below or read the full announcement here.

Google’s Page Experience Algorithm update is officially coming to some desktop search results, beginning in February of next year.’

Google Search product manager Jeffrey Jose teased this news earlier this year at the annual I/O event. At the time, however, details about when it would be rolled out and how it would be implemented were scarce. Now, we have the full rundown.

What Is Google’s Page Experience Algorithm?

The Page Experience Algorithm was originally rolled out exclusively for searches coming from mobile devices earlier this year, but the search engine confirmed it will be bringing much of the algorithm to desktop searches. This includes the much-talked-about “Core Web Vitals” metrics which are intended to ensure a good user experience on sites.

As the announcement says:

“This means the same three Core Web Vitals metrics: LCP, FID, and CLS, and their associated thresholds will apply for desktop ranking. Other aspects of page experience signals, such as HTTPS security and absence of intrusive interstitials, will remain the same as well.”

However, one notable signal from the mobile Page Experience Algorithm will not be coming to desktop search results for obvious reasons: mobile-friendliness.

To accompany the new search signal, Google says it is working on a new Search Console report dedicated to showing how your desktop pages stack up when this algorithm is applied to them.; For now, the release date of that is unknown, but most believe the report will arrive before or at the same time as the algorithm update.

For more information, read the full announcement here.

Say goodbye to “Google My Business” and say hello to “Google Business Profiles” as the search engine streamlines its tools for businesses.

Though much will stay the same for businesses listing their services on Google, the rename marks some significant changes – such as where and how your businesses can claim their profile. Starting now, your brand can claim its profile directly from either Google Search or Google Maps.

Below, we will talk a bit more in-depth about how you can claim your listing and what this means for existing listings.

How to Claim a Google Business Profile

When signed into the Google account associated with your business, the fastest way to claim your listing is to simply search for your business name. 

This will bring you to a prompt that will allow you to verify your listing or challenge someone who has already made a claim for your listing. 

Once claimed and verified, you will be able to edit any information shown and add additional details like photos, videos, unique services, and Google Posts.

Is Anything Else Changing?

For the most part, everything else is staying the same regarding local business listings on Google. Their appearance will stay the same, as will the optimization methods to ensure your business appears for relevant searches. 

What will change is where you are editing this information. 

For example, the search engine says it is no longer necessary to use the specific Google My Business website or app to update your listing.

The app will be phased out in early 2022, though you can still use the website if you are managing multiple listings. It will simply be renamed to “Google Business Profile Manager.”

For now, this is all the news we have about the relaunch of Google My Business and Google Business Profiles. More info will be coming in the coming months as the relaunch rolls out.

It is no secret that the hiring market has gotten considerably more competitive since the onset of the Covid pandemic. Now, LinkedIn is giving companies new tools to better attract new talent, improve communication, and compare yourself against your competition.

Especially in the wake of “The Great Resignation” (or, as LinkedIn is apparently calling it – “The Great Reshuffle”), the professional social network says it is “excited to introduce a few new LinkedIn Pages features that are designed to help your brand share more about your organization and culture to more quickly attract top talent while retaining your current employees.

Let’s explore exactly what these features are, how you can access them, and how they can help you solve your hiring challenges starting right now. 

Expanded My Company Tabs

For starters, LinkedIn is updating the My Company tab to make it easier to keep your employees connected, share data, and encourage employees to share branded content to their network. 

If you are unfamiliar, the My Company tab is a feature exclusively for brands on the platform with more than 201 employees, which is designed to connect coworkers even when they are working remotely. 

In the upcoming weeks, LinkedIn will be updating this tab with these new features:

  • Easily curate content from your Page Feed to the My Company tab with the simple click of a button.
  • Notify employees as soon as new content is curated and drop them right into the resharing experience.
  • Show employees how their re-share matters with a dynamic visualization of the content that others at the organization are sharing.

Share Your Workplace Policies

One thing made very clear by the current state of the workforce is that skilled workers are looking for more than a stable paycheck. They are looking for an employer that understands their needs and implements workplace policies that encourage a positive working place.

For example, LinkedIn says employees who are satisfied with their employer’s work schedule or location flexibility are:

  • 3.4x more likely to balance work and personal obligations
  • 2.6x more likely to be happy working for their employer
  • 2.1x more likely to recommend working for their employer

By sharing your company’s policies, you can help attract talent with a similar vision for their personal and work-life balance. 

Notably, the social network is giving this info a very prominent place on company pages, with policies being displayed directly in the LinkedIn Page header. That means it is one of the first things potential applicants might see when checking out your company.

See How You Compare To Your Competition

The last big update coming to LinkedIn is an addition to its Analytics tab which allows you to directly compare your page’s performance to up to nine competitors. 

In this new tab, called “Competitor analytics”, you can see how many followers your competitors have right now, along with how their latest content has performed compared to yours.

To find out more about these updates, read the full announcement from LinkedIn here.