20 May 2016

Good News, Bad News, Long News: Weekly Forum Update

seochat-wmw-cre8asite-threadwatch-roundup-768x576We bring you three types of news from our communities this week, as well as plenty of engaging discussions! Let’s start with the good news – Twitter’s character limit will be expanding… sort of. URLs and photos will no longer count against the character limit, leaving users a little more room to express themselves.

In bad news, we’ll bring you coverage from WebmasterWorld about the recent security snafu at LinkedIn. The website was hacked back in 2012, but many believed it was a small incident. Now, four years later, it looks like it was a much bigger breach. And the “long news?”

That’s the news from PEW Research that mobile readers spend more time engaged with long-form than with short-form articles. Now, let’s go in-depth!

URLs and Photos No Longer Count Towards the Character Limit on Twitter

URLs and Photos No Longer Count Towards the Character Limit on TwitterClick To Tweet

Remember a few months ago when Twitter was talking about expanding its character limit to 10,000 or more? Remember the uproar that caused? It was pretty crazy – Twitter users and market observers seemed to feel that such a huge expansion would turn Twitter into Facebook clone.

But everyone did agree – some extra characters would be nice. This is Twitter’s compromise: URLs and photos no longer count towards the 140 character limit. Still, it makes you wonder how much even a small expansion will change the way Twitter looks. What do you think?

117 Million LinkedIn Account Emails and Passwords Leaked Online

Back in 2012, LinkedIn’s database was “the victim of an unauthorized access and disclosure of some members’ passwords.” At the time, it seemed like a small hack. LinkedIn invalidated the passwords of affected users, asked them to reset, and everyone moved on. But just recently, it’s come to light that the hack was actually much bigger. Even though the passwords stolen are encrypted, hackers have supposedly cracked quite a few of them in the last 72 hours.

Users on WebmasterWorld are discussing the hack. Admin engine adds context by saying,

“It’s not just the fact that the same passwords may be used on other sites, but an e-mail address can give thieves pointers to other services, and, of course, help towards identity theft.”

Martinibuster shares a story about the relationship between security and user experience:

“I did a site audit for a company and noticed their password requirements were weak. They balked at requiring difficult to guess passwords and a minimum number of characters because they felt it was a poor user experience.”

With hackers as powerful as they are today, it seems like site owners balk at their own peril.

Longer News Articles Favored By Mobile Users

Here’s that study from the PEW Research Center, as discussed on Cre8asiteforums. The stereotype of today’s young people, and by extension of mobile users, is that everyone wants something quick and snappy. But PEW presents some evidence that contradicts that stereotype:

“Overall, our analysis of nearly 75,000 articles finds that mobile users spend more engaged time with long-form (1,000 words or more) than short-form (101-999 word) news stories – 123 seconds compared with 57…”

The study also compares Facebook and Twitter engagement. Give the studies a read and share your thoughts!

What Are “Rich Cards” in Search Console?

WebmasterWorld newbie NSikes found “Rich Cards” referenced in Search Console, “…but the links to get more information are broken.”

So, what are they? Users Andy Langton, rainborick, and engine provide some helpful blog posts from Google with more information. Basically, they’re a special kind of structured data. As the name implies, they show up as “cards” instead of the traditional snippet blocks. The example engine gives in his post is for recipes – they seem to put more emphasis on the image than on the text.

As it turns out, Rich Cards are quite new and still being tested. User Wilburforce writes that

“The scope is limited, however, and there’s no indication of when it will be extended…In my case, I can’t even test it, so including it in GSC seems a bit premature.”

Andy Langton agrees, and also wonders

“…if they’re ditching ‘structured data’ for ‘rich cards'” based on Google saying “We plan to migrate all errors from the Structured Data report into the Rich Card report.”

So could this be the future of structured data?

Weigh In: The Web And World In 10, 20, 50 Years?

Where have we come from and where are we going? That’s the big question in this Cre8asiteforums thread! Not just about the web, SEO, and advertising, but also about the “real world” and how those two spheres interact. User EGOL writes that

“Competition on the web is becoming more intense as more and more companies are spending millions per year on their online marketing efforts. As that happens, organic traffic is becoming harder to get, not only because of the competition, but also because Google is formatting the SERPs to grow their income…”

And of course, ad blockers are becoming more popular. According to EGOL,

“Anyone who stops shoveling fuel into their web engine will see their traffic and income go down.”

It’s a brutal world out there, for some! Share your thoughts about the web – or free energy, or anything futuristic that strikes your fancy – in this thread!

Are Monthly SEO Contracts A Scam?

Every now and then on SEO Chat, someone starts a topic about freelancing or how to do business as a professional. I look forward to these threads, because they present a different angle of SEO other than “how do I get to the top of Google?” Newbie muzzchat writes that, in a LinkedIn discussion group, someone told them

“We do SEO for several clients and once we do the initial work, we only need to analyze it from time to time. Any monthly contract is basically a scam.”

User Test-ok responds that,

“It really depends what one is doing. The onsite can be done quick but there’s a lot more that can be done on a monthly basis.”

ThomasHarvey writes that while they might have a point – most SEO auditing and changes can be done as a one-off –

“…What a monthly contract does offer you… over a one off payment/audit is the contact with an SEO. You can ask them whatever questions you may have, ask them their thoughts or ideas before you proceed with it.”

It seems that there are many different approaches and opinions! I always love seeing some nuance in a discussion topic.

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  1. Hakukonekeisari May 25, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Great article! It’s funny to see so many different thoughts about monthly SEO contracts. Onsite search engine optimization can be done once, but there is many things that you need to improve weekly or monthly basis.

  2. Raxix June 18, 2016 at 2:14 AM

    Glad to see 3 important news at one place. Good to know Twitter don’t count images and URL character. Now we will tweet with more characters while using images.

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