Honestly, I was starting to think that Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project might never become a thing, but there is still some hope that we may see it reach the next stage.
This week, eCommerce giant Shopify has announced that it’s joining the Libra Association, which is the support group that will oversee Facebook’s crypto governance.
As explained by Shopify:
“Our mission is to make commerce better for everyone, and to do that, we spend a lot of our time thinking about how to make commerce better in parts of the world where money and banking could be far better. That’s why we decided to become a member of the Libra Association. This is one step, but not the only step we’ll be taking to be a part of the solution to this global problem.”
Shopify says that, as part of the Libra Association, it will work with Facebook and other project partners to “build a payment network that makes money easier to access, and supports merchants and consumers everywhere”.
This is the true promise for Libra, facilitating a process that enables cheap, easy funds exchange. Facebook would then look to benefit from this by connecting streamlined eCommerce and bill payment options into the same network – once your money is being transferred in this way, it’ll be easier for people to spend on Facebook as well. Shopify will be looking to get in on the same – the idea begins with improved funds transfer, then expands into a wider network of online shopping, built into a single stream.
But Libra remains some way off being a reality. Most of the initial partners for the project have since pulled out, while various government groups have raised concerns, and even flagged blocks of the payment network, due to concerns around its governance and conflicts with existing systems.
Most notable on this front is India, where more funds are transferred through remittance than anywhere else. At the Libra launch event last June, Facebook confirmed that India would not be part of its initial rollout plan for the project, due to concerns around cryptocurrency from Indian regulators.
Will the addition of Shopify as a partner help resolve such?
In some ways, it gives the project more credibility – but then again, with the noted, aligned interest from Shopify in regards to eCommerce, it’s seemingly not a major vote in support of the project, at least from a regulatory standpoint. Over the last year, key financial partners like Visa, MasterCard and Stripe have all stepped back from the Libra Association, along with PayPal and eBay. Those are the backers that would likely imbue more regulatory confidence in the project, and in comparison, the addition of Shopify likely doesn’t add a heap.
But still, it may renew some level of optimism in the troubled cryptocurrency project, and it does show that Facebook hasn’t given up on it in favor of Facebook Pay and WhatsApp Pay just yet.
I mean, it still seems like that’s where Facebook is headed, but we could still see the rise of Libra at some stage in 2020.
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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