Hacker News.

 

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SEO

What’s changed?

Google rolled out one of their notorious Core Updates last week. At the time, we weren’t sure how big the update was or how it’d affect search results – but some data came in over the weekend, and it’s time to take a look at the wreckage.

This Search Engine Land article from Barry Schwartz gives a comprehensive overview of the situation. Here are the highlights:

  • This was the biggest algorithm update in 2020. Data from RankRanger showed that in most categories, the December update was bigger than the tumultuous May update from earlier this year! We may see some corrections and updates over the next couple of weeks, though.
  • Pinterest and Wish were losers. Though we don’t have hard-and-fast rules on which types of sites benefitted and which didn’t, Pinterest and Wish were some of the big-name losers from the update. This probably won’t offend any people in the SEO community, many of whom think Pinterest ranks too high, anyway.

That’s about all we know so far from the December Core Update. How’s your site faring?


COPYWRITING

Lessons learned from going viral on Hacker News

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“We’re going viral on Hacker News!”

It’s every content marketer’s dream to hear that from someone on their team. Going viral on Hacker News doesn’t have quite the prestige of a Product Hunt launch, but it can drive similar levels of traffic.

Recently, a guy named Xavier Coffard got more than 7k views in one day on his first blog post, thanks to plenty of attention on Hacker News. This is how he did it, as well as the lessons he learned:

  • Don’t give up. If you’ve posted much in online communities (Reddit, IndieHackers, Growth Hackers, you know the type) you’ll know that getting traction is very hit-or-miss. The first time Xavier posted his article on Hacker News, he didn’t get any traction. Turns out, a new day and a new title was the secret sauce for his success.
  • CTA is crucial. Even though Xavier saw more than 7k people visit his site in a single day, he only got a couple of conversions to his product. He recommends making CTAs visible and adding them at the top of content, for users who don’t read all the way through.
  • Distribution is very important. If you’re not posting your content in the places where your audience is hanging out, you’re not going to get the attention you deserve!

Check out Xavier’s post on IndieHackers here.

The Crew’s take: Another big takeaway from Xavier’s success is that you don’t need to create the most comprehensive piece of content on the planet. His blog post is fairly short, and it’s basic for those familiar with promoting content. But, it got plenty of attention.

Sometimes, knowing your audience and coming up with a creative concept is all it takes!


SPONSORED BY TRENDS

This is how 12,000+ entrepreneurs and investors discover business trends before they explode

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Do you know how much the indoor plants market is worth?

Last year, Trends wrote a report where they predicted the indoor plants market growth.

They saw signals that the indoor plant industry could take off like the mattress industry in 2010.

Based on this report, one of Trends’ community members decided to launch an indoor plants startup.

40 days later, Narek netted $1.5M from his indoor plants startup. N-e-t-t-e-d!

If you were a Trends subscriber you would have known about the booming indoor plants market too. Or about other thousands of opportunities.

That’s because every week, Trends puts together an exclusive report that details the up and coming market opportunities along with the steps to execute on them.

Joining Trends can be an unfair advantage over your competitors:

  • You get access to their database of research and reports.
  • You’ll join a community of hustlers that can help you. A place where founders of 9-figure companies help people that are just getting started.
  • You can find partners, investors, and clients as well.
  • Interviews with the founders of some of the hottest companies. That’s like the Netflix of entrepreneurs.

Trends is the whole package: early business trends, network opportunities, execution plans.

And it costs just $1 dollar to try.

Every day there are new hot trends to turn into real companies.

Don’t let them pass by.


SOCIAL MEDIA

What’s coming next?

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2020 has been a hell of a year. Some would rather forget it. Other businesses saw incredible growth.

But, the common factor for everybody has been unpredictability.

And based on current social media trends, Social Media Today put together a collection of predictions for 2021.

With the hope that the next year will be sweet and gentle, let’s see what might happen on social platforms.

+ Instagram

  • In-stream shopping: With the new Shop tab and the dedicated e-commerce features, the app became a virtual shopping mall. But expect it to go further with advanced one-click purchasing, new AR try-on tools, and video tags for products.
  • Variable home feed: With Stories becoming the main content, Instagram might include them straight in the home feed.
  • Reels are good and will gain traction, but not enough to become a TikTok killer. However, they might find their own niche in India, where the Chinese app is banned.

+ Snapchat

  • One of the company’s strengths has been Snap Originals: short, vertically-aligned TV-style shows. Given it grows, expect Snapchat to focus more on it.
  • Snapchat will probably join the in-feed shopping trend and other features for e-commerce businesses.
  • Advanced AR features are what separates Snapchat from the pack. And they’ll probably try to take their AR tools to the next stage in 2021.

+ TikTok

  • More emphasis on e-commerce. The Chinese version has already had a major success by incorporating e-commerce and in-stream purchasing options. Thus, expect TikTok to incorporate them for all users. And, don’t forget that Walmart will definitely take advantage of the deal with the app to increase its firepower.
  • Music industry links: The app will probably install stronger ties with the music industry, particularly because the platform proved to have incredible promotional power for musicians.

+ Twitter

  • Stories are the most popular content type now, and Twitter will probably put more effort into improving Fleets.
  • In 2021, we could see Twitter introducing Topic spaces, where it will collect relevant tweets on a topic.

+ LinkedIn

  • The professionals’ social will double down on live events, which have already been popular in 2020.
  • LinkedIn might capitalize on the popularity of video content by introducing a dedicated video section.

Yes, there’s a social network missing, the big one. Well, we already talked about Facebook’s 2021 predictions… so we gave more space here to other platforms. And for more insights, read the full thread here.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

FACEBOOK: The final global state of small business report from 2020 is out from Facebook, and it’s got some good insights if you’re curious how the pandemic has affected small shops.

SHOPIFY: Here’s a brilliant Google Slides breakdown of Shopify’s advertising, if you’re looking for some inspiration.

SEO: Brian Freiesleben on Twitter is noticing that Google’s ranking featured videos in position 1 on mobile in certain tests.

TWITTER: Have you been seeing lots of promoted tweets? You’re not alone. While it was initially thought to be a glitch, it appears that Twitter’s testing different levels of ad exposure.

LINKEDIN: Yes, LinkedIn can really suck. If you’ve got pent-up LinkedIn hate and you’re looking for a release, this article is a good one to check out.

TWITTER: What was trending this year? Twitter just released their report with top trending topics and emojis for 2020.

SEO: John Mueller just clarified that structured data isn’t really a signal and won’t help you rank – so no, there’s not a need for your WebPage schema (for most sites).


BRAIN TEASER

What was the most frequently used emoji on Twitter in 2020?

You can find the solution here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

A genius collaboration

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Oh, Instagram Reels. Sometimes you can’t help but feel bad for the platform that’s had a tough time taking on TikTok – but Instagram announced a new initiative this week.

Partnering with Genius, a popular song lyrics (and lyric explanations) site, Instagram is creating Reels with artists explaining their lyrics.

It’s a cool little effort, and should generate at least a little bit of attention for Reels. Funnily enough, though, the series kicks off with Megan Thee Stallion discussing the process behind lyrics for her song, Body.

Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

“Body-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody
Ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody (mwah)
Body-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody (ah, ah, ah ah)
Ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody”

It’ll be interesting to see how that one goes.

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