Here’s a Facebook initiative that’s particularly close to my heart – in fact, close to my house (I could see the flames at one point).
This week, Facebook has announced a new set of support measures for businesses impacted by the recent Australian bushfires, in order to help them make best use of the platform to get their operations back on track.
As per Facebook:
“Australia is going through a difficult time. Unprecedented bushfire events have taken a huge toll on communities across the country. If your small business has been affected by bushfires please [get in touch] and a Facebook Small Business Support Specialist will reach out to understand your business challenges and offer guidance and assistance.”
Facebook is offering a range of free assistance measures, including general Facebook business Page coaching and advice, one-on-one business consultation with a Facebook Small Business Support Specialist, and $200 in Facebook ad credits for those in the impacted regions.
In addition to this, Facebook will also be running a series of workshops in bushfire hit towns, in order to help “empower local businesses and communities with the digital skills to thrive online”.
The workshops will be hosted by a member of the Facebook Community Trainer Network, and will cover everything from the basics of managing your presence online, to using ad targeting tools. The workshops will also include specific content for tourism businesses, in order to help encourage more visitors back to fire-ravaged regions.
This is particularly important for one of the hardest-hit areas – the south east coast of New South Wales is a popular tourist destination, and this year’s bushfires have decimated the economies of various local communities who rely on the holiday influx to survive.
More than 2,000 homes were lost in the New South Wales bushfires, with the Insurance Council of Australia putting the estimated damage bill at more than $700 million in property alone. And that doesn’t account for expanded impacted on farms, resources, and indeed, local businesses, nor does it factor in the ongoing human impact of the traumas local residents have faced.
It’s good to see Facebook offering assistance to these towns, and making an effort to actually be present in the communities to provide direct advice and notes.
Businesses in bushfire impacted regions can fill out this form for more information.
Google’s Latest Core Search Update is Rolling Out from Today
Digital content managers and webmasters, best to keep an eye on your Google rankings over the next few weeks.
Today, Google has confirmed that it’s rolling out a new Core update for Search, which will change the way some sites are listed in Search results pages.
Today, we’re releasing a broad core update, as we do several times per year. This update is called the May 2022 core update. Learn more: https://t.co/7kFklwdkAb
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) May 25, 2022
So what’s changing? Helpfully, Google never explains exactly what’s being updated, which is a measure designed to stop users trying to scam the system.
Google does, however, offer this generic overview of what’s happening:
“Several times per year, we make substantial improvements to our overall ranking processes, which we refer to as core updates. Core updates are changes we make to improve Search overall and keep pace with the changing nature of the web. While nothing in a core update is specific to any particular site, these updates may produce some noticeable changes to how sites perform.”
Indeed, Google further explains that:
“There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update. They haven’t violated our webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those guidelines. In fact, there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better.”
In other words, you haven’t done anything wrong, but your SEO performance could take a hit anyway, and you’ll just have to deal with it – and maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll actually see an uptick in Search referrals because of something Google has changed.
Though you won’t know what it is, exactly, nor how to capitalize on it.
Such is the mystery of the Big G, giving and taking valuable web traffic with the winds of change, via every core update.
As noted by Search Engine Journal, the last Google Core update was in November, so you’ve had a good six months to get used to things as they are. Now they’re going to change again.
So what’s the point of me even telling you? Nothing, you can’t do anything about it anyway – but if you do notice a change in your rankings, you can point to the latest core update from Google and make it look like you know what’s happening to those less web literate.
‘Google’s putting a bigger focus on quality content, which is why we’ve seen an increase in traffic.’
That’s both vague and knowledgeable-sounding enough to get you through, while it’s also not incorrect, if anyone were to try and catch you out.
Google says that the full impacts of the May 2022 core update will take a couple of weeks to fully roll out.
If you’re looking for more insight on what’s changed, this forum thread will track responses to the update.
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