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Fortnite’s Ariana Grande concert offers a taste of music in the metaverse

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Ariana Grande strutted and soared around a candy-colored series of Fortnite sets in Epic’s latest major in-game live music event. The multi-day “tour” offered gamers and Grande fans alike plenty to enjoy while showcasing Epic’s impressively smooth and visually inventive vision for live events that millions of people can enjoy simultaneously.

Fortnite players have known an Ariana Grande event was in the works for a while, and the concert followed previous in-game events featuring rapper Travis Scott and Marshmello. Scott’s in-game performance saw 12.3 million live viewers, a number that the Ariana Grande event is likely to top, given that it ran over multiple days.

Epic put up a video of the concert that’s well worth checking out, if only to marvel at the kind of stuff that’s possible in gaming worlds these days. Experiencing the event live in the game is obviously ideal, but the video captures the experience pretty well, minus the sense of presence from having an avatar zooming around the space with grande Grande.

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This time around, the show featured a handful of mini-games that gave players more to do than just flying around while a gigantic virtual pop star does her thing. The sequence kicked off with players surfing a rainbow racetrack, hitting power ups in a cross between Mario Kart and Splatoon to “Come & Go” by Juice WRLD and Marshmello. The racetrack sequence was followed by bouncing players through a Dr. Seuss-style landscape with candy-pink trees and giant floating eyeballs before dropping them into a mini-game shooting down the game’s Storm King boss to Wolfmother’s “Victorious.”

Grande made her Fortnite debut a few songs in with the 2019 hit “7 Rings,” streaking across the sky and materializing on top of a planet suspended in a sea of stars. Later she soared through the clouds with angelic wings as players followed, suspended in rainbow bubbles. In the coolest portion, a skyscraper-high Grande ascended a series of Escher-esque staircases with a giant diamond mallet before slinging it to shatter the sky, shotput-style.

Fortnite’s latest event didn’t have any huge surprises, but that’s only because Epic sets the bar so high. Getting dressed up in your favorite skin to sail around a skyscraper-tall pop star along with millions of people around the world might not be everyone’s vision for the metaverse, but Fortnite’s wildly imaginative live events are a taste of the future that here’s right now.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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Searchenginejournal.com

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