News and insights • Posted on 30 January 2023

Insights from below deck: January 2023

The ‘Free the nipple’ movement, Google’s Performance Max experiments update, and ChatGPT’s potential world domination are some of the topics that have got the team talking this month. Here, we discuss the latest news from the digital marketing landscape and how we expect brands to leverage updates throughout February and beyond.

ChatGPT: ready for world domination?

If you haven’t heard of ChatGPT, where have you been? Amassing over a million followers in just five days, ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI. Although relatively new, ChatGPT is quickly positioning itself as a very valuable tool in a web developer’s toolbox. Not only can it be used to quickly generate frameworks and outline builds of applications, it can also provide input into questions around how data should be structured, and what user interface features are needed.

If that’s not exciting enough, ChatGPT’s conversational output style means it also has useful applications for content writing – from generating blog post titles and summaries, to coming up with new ideas for content marketing, or simply learning about a particular topic quickly, and in an easily digestible format. While we believe technology can never compete with the creativity and flexibility of writers and coders, we’re looking forward to exploring ways to work with this tool.

John Bell, senior web developer

New Performance Max experiments have just been rolled out

Designed to help marketers reach and meet more customers – wherever they’re shopping – Google’s Performance Max campaigns are an effective marketing tool. And they just got even more effective, thanks to a new roll-out. 

While Google has always provided recommendations to improve campaigns, it now allows marketers to test them as experiments before applying the changes. We think this is a healthy move away from the ‘all-or-nothing’ approach, with potential to significantly improve campaign performance.

Ewan Burkinshaw, digital marketing manager

Progress for the ‘Free the nipple’ movement

Following years of protest against Facebook’s ban on bare-chested images of women, the ‘Free the nipple’ movement may finally be seeing some breakthrough. Comprising academics, politicians, and journalists, Meta’s advisory board says the current policy impedes right to expression for women, and trans and nonbinary people. As a result, the board has recommended that Meta change its adult nudity and sexual activity community standard “so that it is governed by clear criteria that respect international human rights standards”.

Let’s be clear – pornographic images are still a big no-no, and one driving sentiment behind this movement is that women’s breasts and nipples should not be seen as pornographic in themselves, something that was highlighted by the group of breastfeeding mothers who held a ‘nurse-in’ at Facebook’s headquarters over a decade ago. Whether AI and algorithms will be capable of determining whether an image is pornographic or not, remains to be seen.

Nina Cresswell, senior content writer

Google link spam update has finished rolling out

After starting the roll-out in December, the Google Search link spam update is complete. The update will allow SpamBrain, Google’s AI-based spam prevention system, to neutralise the impact of unnatural links on search results. If you saw Google ranking changes during this rollout period, they may have resulted from spammy links being neutralised and credit passed by those unnatural links being lost.

To prevent any future detriment to your ranking, Google advises that site owners “ensure that they follow the best practices on links, both incoming and outgoing.” The tech giant said focus should be on producing high quality content and improving user experience, and that this “always wins out compared to manipulating links”. It added: “Promote awareness of your site using appropriately tagged links, and monetize it with properly tagged affiliate links.”

Amy Taylor, digital marketing executive

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Written by Alice MacLaverty

Resident wordsmith Alice is dedicated to creating top-quality content that turns heads, builds audiences, gets clicks, and makes money.

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