With Halloween getting closer, everyone – including Google – is getting into the holiday spirit.

As the company does every year, Google is sharing the biggest search trends related to Halloween 2021, including the most popular scary movies, haunted houses, trending costumes, pumpkin patches, and more.

While some topics like the most popular movies stay largely the same year to year, other areas like popular costumes may provide a little more insight into the current trends and interests right now.

Getting out and enjoying seasonal in-person events like corn mazes and pumpkin patches also seems to be of particular interest this year, after the more subdued (if not completely canceled) Halloween during the peak of 2020’s Covid pandemic.

Let’s recap some of the top trends for Halloween 2021:

Top Halloween Movies

Unsurprisingly, the list of top Halloween movies includes a mix of horror classics and seasonal family staples which have lasted for decades since their original release.

  • Halloween (1978)
  • Friday the 13th
  • Hocus Pocus
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Halloweentown

Top Halloween Costumes

Based on early indications, the latest movies are mixing with a Halloween classic and a beloved celebrity to fill out the most popular costumes this year. Meanwhile, the couples costumes are a mix of famous couples from both screen and history, including a fair number of cartoon characters.

Trending Individual Halloween Costumes:

  • Squid Game
  • Gorilla
  • Britney Spears
  • Carnage
  • Venom

Trending couples costumes:

  • Trixie and Timmy Turner
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Skid and Pump
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • Cosmo and Wanda

Trending dog costumes:

  • Squid Game
  • Race car
  • Vampire
  • Donkey
  • Lobster

Top Halloween Drinks and Candy By State

Lastly, Google highlighted the top festive treats for both trick-or-treaters and adults. Specifically, the list collected the top Halloween-related drinks by state:

For more, check out the full Google Halloween Trends and Google Maps Halloween Guides.

YouTube announced that it is introducing an entirely new feed to the front page of its mobile app to help users find videos and creators they’ve never seen before. 

As such, the “New to You” feed also aims to introduce creators and channels to wider audiences.

The announcement – in the latest Creator Insider video – says that users have been increasingly complaining that their video recommendations are getting boring. Not only do they tend to show the same type of content over and over, YouTube’s recommendations also have a bad habit of suggesting videos you’ve already watched. 

To address this, the video platform created a feed exclusively containing videos and channels from a wider range of sources – and excluding anything you’ve already seen.

Two Ways To Explore New To You

The new feed will be available on the homepage in two distinct ways.

The first way is called New to You on refresh and is reachable through a dedicated button at the top of the page, within the topic carousel. 

YouTube's New to You Feed on Refresh

When tapped, the page will refresh with content from the New to You feed. 

New to You on prompt is the second way to explore the feed.

YouTube's New To You feed on prompt

This triggers if you scroll far enough down the main feed without selecting anything to watch. 

After scrolling down far enough, a prompt will appear which suggests checking out the “New to You” feed.

How New To You Differs From The Explore Feed

At first glance, the New to You feed might seem very similar to YouTube’s existing Explore feed, though YouTube was quick to establish how they are different. 

The main distinction is that YouTube Explore helps users find trending content from a specific topic. However, the content is not necessarily personalized for users.

The New to You feed, in comparison, is entirely personalized based on your own viewing habits. 

This means the New to You section may be more likely to show channels and videos directly related to your interests, instead of videos which all fit under a broad topic like “video games” or “music”. 

It is unclear exactly when the new feed will be available to all users, but you can find out more about the New to You feed in the announcement video below:

Since its launch, brands of all sizes have been using Snapchat as a major tool for connecting with younger audiences. Despite this, the platform has been slow to meet brands halfway. 

The social sharing platform has provided very few widely available tools to facilitate branded content, and – until very recently – didn’t even provide specific profiles for brands.

That changed in the past couple of weeks, as Snapchat has finally launched Public Profiles for Businesses. 

What Are Snapchat Public Profiles for Businesses?

Snapchat Public Profiles For Business - City Boutique

Similar to the separate profiles available for creators, Snapchat’s Public Profiles for Businesses provide a place to collect all your content, provide branded media like lenses, connect with your brand directly, and even house an online store full of your products (note: this feature does require directly working with Snapchat to implement in its current form). 

To help craft all this content with your team, Public Profiles are linked to mobile and web management tools via the Business Manager, where you can collaborate, review analytics, and manage your store in one place. 

Best of all, these features are all linked to analytics and insights for your brand to help refine your message and content as you go. 

Snapchat Public Profiles For Business - Universal Pictures

While Public Profiles for Businesses provide a lot of tools for brands, the announcement highlighted these four key features:

  • Public Stories: Share what’s happening in your world, from behind the scenes to daily activities, to drive deeper connections with the Snapchat community. 
  • AR Lenses: Publish Lenses to your Profile to ensure your most immersive AR experiences can be discovered by all Snapchatters and engaged with time and time again. Once linked to the Profile, these Lenses will also be discoverable through both Snapchat Search and Lens Explorer. 
  • Highlights: Permanently showcase your best Public Snaps, Stories, photos, and videos. This is the best way for Snapchatters who aren’t familiar with your brand to get to know more about your business, products, and services. 
  • Native Store: Link your US-based Shopify store on your Profile so Snapchatters can browse, try on, and buy through the “Shop” feature, turning Snapchat into a new point of sale. 

Setting up a Public Profile for your business also makes you eligible to be found through an array of new placements, including in Search, @ mentions, Discover, Lens Explorer, and through Snapchat Ads.

Snapchat Public Profiles For Business - Dior

How To Set Up Your Snapchat Public Business Profile

Setting up a Public Profile for your business is a simple, three-step process:

1) Log-In or Create a Snapchat Business Account

If you have already run ads on Snapchat, you simply need to log in to your Business Manager Account. If not, create an account by using your account sign-in info on the Snapchat Ads Manager. Once signed in, select ‘Public Profiles’.

2) Create Your Profile

On this page, connect your existing username (or establish a new one specifically for your business) and provide any additional business information to help others understand what you do. Click “Update Profile’ when you’re finished to make your account public. 

3) Add Content!

The last step is to start filling up your profile with great content that will excite users and drive engagement, such as sharing Lenses, posting new Stories, and creating Highlights for people to engage with.


Snapchat has been steadily expanding its audience to more than just Gen Z-ers. Now that the platform is also providing more robust tools for brands, there has never been a better time to dip your toes in to see if Snapchat is the best social network for your brand.

With vaccination rates on the rise and everyone on the country itching to return to something close to “normal”, Pinterest says many are turning to the internet to help plan their upcoming adventures, vacations, and more. 

In particular, the social network says Pinterest searches by Gen Z users have shot up more than 95% year-over-year, with much of this being attributed to a rise in searches for life after Covid.

The data from the company’s Q1 search trends report reveals a lot about how people see their lives as we get back out in the world and try to make up for the lost time. Find out more below:

Vacation Searches (Up 75%)

It’s not unusual for many to start planning their spring break trips and summer vacations once Christmas is in the past. What is unusual is to the rates for these searches to shoot up three times faster than average from January 2021 to March 2021. 

Even more, the searches show that users intend to make these trips something special. 

Pinterest says it saw significant leaps in all of these search terms:

  • Searches for “dream vacation destinations”: Up 13x
  • Searches for “luxury vacation”: Up 6x
  • Searches for “vacation fashion”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “travel tattoos”: Up 45%

Eye-Popping Fashion (Up 85%)

Overall, people are tired of wearing sweats, tank tops, and hoodies every day as they work from home. Users have shown a distinct desire to dress their best as we start to get out of the house more, with searches containing the word “outfit” at an all-time high. 

Compared to Q1 of 2020, the site has seen a 26% increase in searches containing the word “outfit”. Even more, searches with that word shot up 85% in April compared to last year. 

Notably, Gen Z seems ready to really do it up, with search terms for bold patterns, retro styles, dramatic accessories, and daring makeup all showing increased attention this year:

  • Searches for “outfit”: Up 26%
  • Searches for “Y2K outfit ideas”: Up 230%
  • Searches for “60s and 70s fashion”: Up 133x
  • Searches for “zebra pants”: Up 14x
  • Searches for “plaid pleated skirt”: Up 12x
  • Searches for “clay rings”: Up 303x
  • Searches for “hippie jewelry”: Up 16x
  • Searches for “nose chain piercing”: Up 8x
  • Searches for “makeup makeover”: Up 100x
  • Searches for “alt makeup”: Up 60x
  • Searches for “puppy eyeliner”: Up 30x

Socializing and Parties (Up 64%)

Of course, you need somewhere to wear all those stylish trends, right? 

It should shock absolutely no one to see that users – especially those among Gen Z – are looking to party as larger gatherings become allowed. 

From November 2020 to March 2021, searches containing the keyword “party” have risen 64%. Year-over-year, the number of searches has doubled

Interestingly, the interest in parties range from extravagant affairs  to tasteful small gatherings with search rates for all these terms showing heightened interest recently:

  • Searches for “party life”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “Euphoria party ideas”: Up 43x
  • Searches for “backyard dinner party”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “party food buffet”: Up 10x
  • Searches for “dinner date outfits”: Up 30x
  • Searches for “hotel room party”: Up 8x
  • Searches for “group tattoo ideas”: Up 13x

Home Renovations (Up 28%)

While we may all be a little tired of spending too much time at home, home renovation interest appears to be at an all-time high on Pinterest. 

Similar to vacation searches at this time of the year, the platform says it typically sees spikes in home repair and renovation searches during this season. What the platform has seen this year, though, still far outpaces what they’ve observed in the past. 

Compared to Q1 2020, searches for home renovations were 28% higher on Pinterest, and 65% higher than Q1 2019. 

Specifically, the company says it saw spikes in searches for these search terms:

  • Searches for “home renovation ideas”: Up 5x
  • Searches for “grand millennial decor”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “indie room”: Up 132x
  • Searches for “sage green aesthetic”: Up 32x
  • Searches for “eclectic home”: Up 9x

For more, be sure to check out the full report from Pinterest here.

Facebook is making major changes to its news feeds in a new bid to create a better experience for users in the near future. Before it can do so, though, the company is seeking feedback from users.

As the company recently announced, it is revamping parts of the news feed system to encourage four specific types of user feedback to better understand content. In the future, Facebook intends to use this information to create new ranking signals to directly decide what content users see.

Specifically, the company says it aims to gather answers to these four questions to get better at providing quality content in the future:

Is This Post Inspirational?

Facebook’s feeds have a bad reputation for highlighting negative content which can turn into a feedback loop of endless “doom scrolling.” With this in mind, the social network is looking to deliver more inspirational or uplifting content for users.

As the announcement says:

“To this end, we’re running a series of global tests that will survey people to understand which posts they find inspirational. We’ll incorporate their responses as a signal in News Feed ranking, with the goal of showing people more inspirational posts closer to the top of their News Feed.”

Is This Content Interesting?

Perhaps the most important factors for users scrolling through content is whether any of it is actually interesting to them. At times, it can feel like you can scroll for hours without seeing anything exciting or particularly relevant to their interests. 

“… we know sometimes even your closest friends and family share posts about topics that aren’t really interesting to you, or that you don’t want to see. To address this, we’ll ask people whether they want to see more or fewer posts about a certain topic, such as Cooking, Sports or Politics, and based on their collective feedback, we’ll aim to show people more content about the topics they’re more interested in, and show them fewer posts about topics they don’t want to see.”

Do You Want To See Less of This Content?

A huge part of Facebook’s reputation for negative content is the huge amount of political content shared on the social network. 

Since many turn to social media to connect with family, friends, and get away from the pressures of the real world, a large amount of political content can be tiresome and potentially make them less likely to check their feed regularly. 

Further, there are times where you might show an interest in a topic and start seeing an influx of tangentially related content that is not especially useful to you. Think clicking one particularly interesting headline and suddenly seeing tons of content on that topic, even though it’s not really that interesting to you.

To help with this, the company will start surveying users about content they have responded negatively to in order to create a ranking signal to deliver more relevant and positive content.

Was Giving Feedback Easy?

In some form or another, Facebook has given users the ability to deliver this type of feedback for several years. The problem is that finding the tools to do so was often a game of hide and seek. 

To make it easier for users to give feedback, the company is testing a new post design which will include a more prominent button to hide “irrelevant, problematic, or irritating” content and see less content like it in the future.

How This Will Affect Facebook Rankings

For now, it is unclear exactly how much this will change the content appearing in our news feeds every day. 

The company appears to know it has gained a nasty reputation for being overly political, sharing divisive information, and generally being a somewhat negative place to spend your time. 

Still, it remains to be seen whether this will lead to a massive shift or if these ranking signals will be too little to effectively change what gets highly ranked and what people are sharing on the platform in general.

“Overall, we hope to show people more content they want to see and find valuable, and less of what they don’t. While engagement will continue to be one of many types of signals we use to rank posts in News Feed, we believe these additional insights can provide a more complete picture of the content people find valuable, and we’ll share more as we learn from these tests.”

Google My Business is finally giving businesses a little more information and control over their reviews with a new tool available here.

Through the tool, business owners or managers can view reviews, submit a request to remove misleading or problematic reviews, and check the status of takedown requests for these reviews.

How To Use The New Google My Business Review Tool

Rather than being built into the Google My Business dashboard, the tool is available through the GMB Help Center.

To get started, simply sign into the Google account related to your business and go to the help page. 

From there, select whether you want to check the status of a review or file a new report for a problematic review.

If you wish to submit a new takedown request, Google My Business will pull a list of your recent reviews which can be viewed and reported within the tool.

If you are simply checking the status of a past takedown request, the tool will show all your most recent requests along with information about the status of the request.

If you select a review, you can also get more in-depth information about the review and request. You can also submit an appeal from here if you believe a request has been improperly denied.

Only Available For Small Accounts

At this point, it appears the tool is only available for accounts with just a few Google My Business listings. Several SEO specialists who manage dozens or even hundreds of listings say they have received a message stating “Based on the number of Business Profiles you manage, this process is not available” when attempting to use the tool. It is unclear if or when GMB plans to expand the tool for larger accounts.

Getting your customers to share user-generated content like pictures with your products may be an unexpectedly powerful tool in swaying over other shoppers.

A new report from eMarketer claims that 62% of consumers are strongly influenced by user-generated content, including being more likely to buy after seeing pictures of a product shared by other shoppers. 

The survey included consumers from around the globe, including in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK.

Why Shoppers Like Customer Photos and Videos

When asked why shoppers responded so strongly to user-generated content like customer photos, the surveyed consumers said:

  • It may highlight something that wasn’t obvious (24%)
  • Like to see a product in action before they buy (21%)
  • Feel more confident that the reviews are accurate (17%)
  • It’s easier to see the quality of a product (17%)
  • It’s easier to see the size/fit or color of a product (11%)
  • It’s easier to see the material of a product (7%)

Unsurprisingly, social media is largely where shoppers are finding this type of content. The survey says more than a quarter of respondents pointed to Facebook as the best place to find customer photos or videos, followed by Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat. 

With all this in mind, eMarketer principal analyst Jeremy Goldman believes user-generated content will only grow in importance for brands.

“Consumers are less trusting of the mainstream media and slick corporate marketing, turning instead to user-generated content and influencers to find their own truth.

“Why would brands spend more time and money on large-scale productions when this option exists, particularly in a world where content must be created and shifted quickly?”

Although the report largely identifies social networks as the key place for user-generated content, it is worth noting that many online retailers are also allowing customers to upload images with products directly in their reviews. By doing this, other shoppers can find this type of information without ever having to leave the page to buy your products.

Blog comments are a tricky issue for many business websites. 

On one hand, everyone dreams of building a community of loyal customers that follow every post and regularly have a healthy discussion in the comments. Not only can it be helpful for other potential customers, but comments tend to help Google rankings and help inspire future content for your site. 

On the other hand, most business-based websites receive significantly more spam than genuine comments. Even the best anti-spam measures can’t prevent every sketchy link or comment on every post. For the most part, these are more annoying than being an actual problem. However, if left completely unmonitored, spam could build up and potentially hurt your rankings.

This can make it tempting to just remove comments from your blog entirely. If you do, you don’t have to worry about monitoring comments, responding to trolls, or weeding out spam. After all, your most loyal fans can still talk about your posts on your Facebook page, right?

Unfortunately, as Google’s John Mueller recently explained, removing comments from your blog is likely to hurt more than it helps. 

John Mueller Addresses Removing Blog Comments

In a Google Search Central SEO hangout on February 5, Google’s John Mueller explored a question from a site owner about how Google factors blog comments into search rankings. Specifically, they wanted to remove comments from their site but worried about potentially dropping in the search results if they did. 

While the answer was significantly more complicated, the short version is this:

Google does factor blog comments into where they decide to rank web pages. Because of this, it is unlikely that you could remove comments entirely without affecting your rankings. 

How Blog Comments Impact Search Rankings

Google sees comments as a separate but significant part of your content. So, while they recognize that comments may not be directly reflective of your content, it does reflect things like engagement and occasionally provide helpful extra information. 

This also means that removing blog comments is essentially removing a chunk of information, keywords, and context from every blog post on your site in the search engine’s eyes. 

However, John Mueller didn’t go as far as recommending to keep blog comments over removing them. This depends on several issues including how many comments you’ve received, what type of comments you’ve gotten, and how much they have added to your SEO.

As Mueller answered:

“I think it’s ultimately up to you. From our point of view we do see comments as a part of the content. We do also, in many cases, recognize that this is actually the comment section so we need to treat it slightly differently. But ultimately if people are finding your pages based on the comments there then, if you delete those comments, then obviously we wouldn’t be able to find your pages based on that.

So, that’s something where, depending on the type of comments that you have there, the amount of comments that you have, it can be the case that they provide significant value to your pages, and they can be a source of additional information about your pages, but it’s not always the case.

So, that’s something where I think you need to look at the contents of your pages overall, the queries that are leading to your pages, and think about which of these queries might go away if comments were not on those pages anymore. And based on that you can try to figure out what to do there.

It’s certainly not the case that we completely ignore all of the comments on a site. So just blindly going off and deleting all of your comments in the hope that nothing will change – I don’t think that will happen.”

It is clear that removing blog comments entirely from your site is all but certain to affect your search rankings on some level. Whether this means a huge drop in rankings or potentially a small gain, though, depends entirely on what type of comments your site is actually losing. 

To watch Mueller’s full answer, check out the video below:

YouTube’s Trending section is one of the most coveted areas for video creators to appear, as it introduces countless users to entirely new channels and topics every day. As it is one of the few areas on YouTube which isn’t influenced by users’ watch histories, opening the opportunity for people to find things they otherwise never would have watched. 

Perhaps most importantly, the list of videos is the same for users across an entire country, meaning a video creator could theoretically reach every American user if they manage to get into the YouTube Trending section. 

Of course, as the section content creators most aspire to be in, the Trending section has also developed its fair shares of myths and misunderstandings about how it works over the years.

From the idea you have to pay someone to get in, to the belief that there is an ideal time to publish your video, YouTube’s Creator Insider channel recently debunked some of the biggest myths surrounding the prized YouTube Trending section.

Myth 1: Preferential Treatment

Perhaps the oldest myth about the YouTube Trending section is that it’s all about who you know or who you pay. Unless you have connections at YouTube or you are willing to grease some palms, you won’t break into the VIP-esque Trending section. 

Now, this is obviously not true. There is no one you can pay or buddy up to in order to get into the Trending section. 

While YouTube’s algorithms are extremely complex and can be hard to decipher, it is clear there is a method to the madness. Specifically, YouTube considers these factors when selecting the latest Trending videos:

  • View count
  • How quickly the video is generating views
  • Where the views are coming from (including off YouTube)
  • The age of the video
  • How the video performing compared to recent uploads from the same channel

Additionally, videos have to be free of excessive profanity, violence, mature, or disparaging content to appear in the Trending section. 

Myth 2: You’ve Got To Be Well-Known

Due to its nature, there is a commonly held belief that the Trending section is dominated exclusively by famous comedians, talk-show hosts, and influencers with massive followings like Jake Paul or PewDiePie. 

Not only is that not how the Trending section works, it goes against the actual purpose of the list. 

While many recognizable faces regularly appear in YouTube Trending, the company actually works to guarantee at least half of the videos at any given time come from smaller creators. 

In addition to this, the YouTube Trending section also includes areas which specifically showcase a daily “creator on the rise” and “artist on the rise.”

Myth 3: There’s a Perfect Time To Publish

Since YouTube has never revealed the more minute details about the Trending section, many have developed theories about the ideal time and way to publish their video to boost their chances. 

This one falls under mostly false. The YouTube Trending feed updates every 15 minutes, so exactly when your video is uploaded does very little to directly influence your chances. 

However, it is very possible there is a best time to publish for your audience. This is something that can only be discovered through trial, error, and analysis, though, so I wouldn’t spend much energy listening to anyone who says you have to be publishing at a specific time to make it on the Trending list. 


To hear more about these myths and their explanations, check out the full video from YouTube’s Creator Insider channel below:

Google released its “Year in Search” report breaking down the biggest trends in search in 2020. As you might expect with everything that has happened this year, though, the biggest trends show a more somber, serious tone than in the past. 

Coronavirus and the 2020 election dominate many of the lists, even directly affecting the trends for concerts, events, and recipes we searched for this year.

Still, there are some bright spots among the year’s search trends. Not only did we find new ways to connect with those we love and care about, the social limitations we faced pushed us to try new things, learn new hobbies, and watch some distinctly Oklahoman TV shows.

In Google’s report, you can find data and topics from around the world, including 70 different countries. Below, we’re going to share some of the most revealing US search trends from this year.

Top US Search Trends in 2020

When we look at the big picture, it is immediately apparent how much covid has impacted our lives. The topic accounts for 3 of the top 5 spots for the overall top searches.

Top US Searches

  1. Election results
  2. Coronavirus
  3. Kobe Bryant
  4. Coronavirus update
  5. Coronavirus symptoms

Next, let’s explore a few new categories directly inspired by coronavirus:

Top “How to Make” Searches

  1. How to make hand sanitizer
  2. How to make a face mask with fabric
  3. How to make whipped coffee
  4. How to make a mask with a bandana
  5. How to make a mask without sewing

Top Virtual Searches

  1. Virtual field trips
  2. Virtual museum tours
  3. Virtual Kentucky Derby
  4. Virtual learning
  5. Virtual NBA fans

Top “… During Coronavirus” Searches

  1. Best stocks to buy during coronavirus
  2. Dating during coronavirus
  3. Dentist open during coronavirus
  4. Unemployment during coronavirus
  5. Jobs hiring during coronavirus

As Google says in the opening of the report, “2020 was the year we asked ‘why?’”

This is because “why?” searches were more common than ever before for a huge range of topics:

Top “Why?” Searches

  1. Why were chainsaws invented
  2. Why is there a coin shortage
  3. Why was George Floyd arrested
  4. Why is Nevada taking so long
  5. Why is TikTok getting banned

And, of course, we have to talk about the biggest TV shows of the year. 

It didn’t matter where you turned in 2020, you were bound to hear about Tiger King, a documentary series about a ragtag web of exotic animal breeders which somehow included murder, cults, and international drug-smuggling. 

The rest of the list is entirely made up of Netflix shows, highlighting the services dominance as we have been cooped up at home.

Top TV Show Searches

  1. Tiger King
  2. Cobra Kai
  3. Ozark
  4. The Umbrella Academy
  5. The Queen’s Gambit

If you’re interested in expanded versions of the lists below, or the top searches from around the world, be sure to check out Google’s Year in Search Report for 2020 here.