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theEweekly Wrap – Google, Apple and FourSquare

Lick of paint Google annoyed nearly everyone in the SEO industry this week after revealing a new homepage style. The design, which drew widespread criticism after its release yesterday, removed the calm and comforting background of Google’s site, replacing it with a random image (or if users log in, a picture of their choice).

“To provide you with an extra bit of inspiration, we‘ve collaborated with several well-known artists, sculptors and photographers to create a gallery of background images you can use to personalize your Google homepage,” read the official Google blog.

Many SEOers were quick to point out the search engine seemed to be following Microsoft’s lead on the design change. Indeed, Bing has been offering the same feature since its launch in 2009.

The change did not go unnoticed over in the Microsoft camp either, with Ashley Highfield, managing director of Microsoft’s consumer division in the UK, saying:

“Imitation, however pale, is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Four is the magic number It came as little surprise to find out that Apple had a new version of the iPhone in the works. The new model, which was announced this week by head Apple Steve Jobs, had already been leaked into the public domain after a tester had lost the handset in a bar.

Still, while none of the iPhone 4′s specifications came as a shock, the phone was well received by the media. You can read more about the new model in a special theEword news story by SEO copywriter Carli Harris.

In related news, UK telecom giant O2 annoyed a large proportion of its Apple subscriber base by announcing data caps for iPhone 4 users. While 3G owners had previously enjoyed unlimited data transfer on existing contracts, those hoping to purchase the latest Apple model will have to limit their mobile browsing to under 500Mbs or 750Mbs, depending on their package.

Four Snub The Chinese government embraced one of the latest social media channels last week, blocking users from accessing popular geo-tagging game FourSquare.

Beijing took the option to ban the location-based service, which sees individuals post their whereabouts to friends, after it became apparent users were leaving messages of condolence when ‘checking into’ Tiananmen Square, site of the 1989 protests.

The decision to block the site coincided with the 21st anniversary of the event which saw the death of over 3,000 students and demonstrators. While it is illegal to discuss the incident in public, dissidents of the communist regime often protest using social networking sites.

Indeed, this is not the first occasion where the government has restricted access to the internet and, in 2009, users were unable to access Twitter, Hotmail or Flickr over the anniversary of the massacre.

Written by Tom Mason

Google adds 'call-only' option to AdWords Tuesday 24th of February, 2015by Dan Moores When a user clicks a call-only ad on their mobile phone, it dials the phone number displayed – instead of taking the user to a landing page on the advertiser's website.

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Google gives businesses new features Wednesday 25th of February, 2015by Martin Lindley Google has revealed two new features for businesses: one allows the use of chat features within the search engine results, while the other allows the selection of search display pictures.

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Google to start warning users on slow sites? Thursday 26th of February, 2015by Andy Williams Google is reportedly testing a system which will warn users of slower websites by flagging them up with a red “slow” label within its search results.

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theEword - 2 days ago

Google gives businesses new features: http://t.co/mYcu0V0mcu http://t.co/lFQMmXoH9N

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theEword - 2 days ago

Digital marketing tip #5: Stop obsessing over ‘channel’ http://t.co/vBFOoo1NCR http://t.co/sHzGlmKgBI

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theEword - 2 days ago

Google to start warning users on slow sites? http://t.co/X21mZu9nse http://t.co/WkazE23NBh

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theEword - 2 days ago

Why the internet is going crazy over the colour of a dress: http://t.co/OUO86YfEVm

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theEword - 3 days ago

Lessons from Hollywood on how to write content that gets attention: http://t.co/UAc17QMCOQ http://t.co/knv5DBjjce

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Five ways to ensure you're writing great content in 2015 Friday 6th of February, 2015by Dan Moores 2014's Google algorithm updates made it very clear that 'Google-friendly' and 'reader-friendly' are starting to mean the same thing. We need to impress audiences, not search engines.

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What do you need to know about your prospective customers th... Tuesday 10th of February, 2015by Sian English Do you really know the right things about your prospective customers? The more you know, the more targeted you can be with any marketing activity, and, the faster your business will grow.

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Starstruck: lessons from Hollywood on how to write content t... Wednesday 25th of February, 2015by Martin Lindley The stars have something that we want. You know the answer. They have attention. But is there anything Hollywood uses to get attention that we can also use? Yes. Let me explain.

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