What You Missed Last Week In Digital
Craving some juicy tidbits from the digital marketing industry? Well, you’re in luck, because our weekly dose of digital news is ready to roll. Sit back, relax, and get caught up on all the latest headlines.
Google Divides Its Index
Via an announcement made last week at Pubcon, an annual social media and optimisation conference, Google has confirmed that it will create a separate mobile search index. Serving as the search engine’s primary index, it will respond specifically to mobile queries, allowing Google to manage their ranking algorithm based on clearer mobile data, rather than sourcing data from desktop content in order to determine mobile rankings. A separate index will be maintained for desktop searches, although this version won’t be as up to date as the mobile index.
Google first raised the idea of creating separate indexes at a conference last year, so this news doesn’t come as a complete shock. Exactly when the new index will come into effect isn’t yet known; Gary Illyes, the Google webmaster trends analyst who made the announcement in a keynote speech at Pubcon, said it would happen “within months.”
Yahoo Uses Display Ads to Drive Traffic
Somewhat unconventionally, Yahoo has begun rolling out display ads that direct users straight to search results pages. For example, when you’re searching for something in Yahoo, a display ad for ‘most popular cars of 2016’ might pop up, with a ‘search now’ button featured. Clicking on it will take you to either a Yahoo or Bing search results page. It seems that the purpose of these ads is to drive search traffic for competitive terms, but the motivation behind them is unclear.
Yahoo is going through one hell of a rough patch at the moment, with the company recently admitting that hackers gained access to 500 million user’s login data in 2014. There’s been some speculation that the ads could an attempt to increase the company’s search performance at a time of intense scrutiny.
Baidu Launches Medical ChatBot
Chinese search engine powerhouse Baidu has launched a medical chatbot, designed to make it easier for doctors to diagnose patients. The technology will be available through the Baidu Doctor app, which allows people to seek medical advice from doctors in their local area. Named Melody, the chatbox will ask patients crucial questions about their symptoms, so the doctor they’re in contact with can make a more confident decision as to the best form of treatment.
Not sure about seeking medical advice from artificial intelligence? Melody is powered by Baidu’s deep learning and natural language processing systems, which the company has been developing for years. If you’re going to get diagnosed by a robot, make it this one.