Pure SEO’s This Week In Search series takes a look at the top SEO and SEM news stories from the week.
This week YouTube introduced stricter penalties, Instagram began notifying users of screenshots taken, Google began testing stories in Search Results and removed a couple of features in Image Search, and Google and Getty signed a partnership.
YouTube has Stricter Penalties for Channels That Spread ‘Widespread Harm’
Channels that publish videos that could cause widespread harm may face one or more of these penalties:
- Premium Monetization Programs, Promotion and Content Development Partnerships — Removing a channel from Google Preferred and also suspending, canceling or removing a creator’s YouTube Original.
- Monetization and Creator Support Privileges — Suspending a channel’s ability to serve ads and earn revenue, and potentially removing a channel from the YouTube Partner Program.
- Video Recommendations — Removing a channel’s eligibility to be recommended on YouTube.
YouTube says there has been an increase in harmful videos.
”That damage can have real-world consequences not only to users, but also to other creators, leading to missed creative opportunities, lost revenue and serious harm to your livelihoods.”
Instagram Now Shows Users When a Screenshot of Their Story is Taken
A limited test run means users will be notified when someone takes a screenshot or screen recording of their story. This can be discovered by checking who viewed the story in the ‘seen’ area. A circle-like icon will appear next to a person’s name if they have taken a screenshot. We’ll just have to wait and see if it will be implemented on a wider scale – which will be determined by user response.
Google is Testing Stories in Search Results
Following in the footsteps of apps like Instagram and Snapchat, Google is testing out its own version of stories called AMP stories. This new format will allow publishers to post tap-through pieces that can be linked from anywhere else on the web.
AMP stories are HTML web pages built on the technical infrastructure of AMP, meaning they can be indexed by Google Search on mobile and publishers will have to host each AMP story on their own website. Google provides layout templates, standardized UI controls and components for sharing and adding follow-on content. AMP stories can include images, videos and text.
Only stories from the following publishers are currently being displayed in Google Search:
- Conde Nast
- Vox Media
- The Washington Post
Google has plans to expand AMP stories across search results at a later date, as well as bring the new content type to more of its products.
Google Image Search Removes View Image Button & Search by Image Feature
In Google’s words:
“Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on.
The Search by Image button is also being removed. Reverse image search *still works* through the way most people use it, from the search bar of Google Images.”
This appears to be a direct response to the concession Google made with Getty a few days ago around helping reduce copywriter infringement, which leads us to…
Google & Getty Images Enter a Multi-Year Global Licensing Partnership
Last week, Google and Getty announced a partnership that effectively ends a long-standing copyright and antitrust dispute between the two.
In 2016 Getty filed a complaint against Google, claiming that the ability to save and download images from Google Image Search Results promoted copyright infringement and “piracy.” They felt coerced into participating in Image Search and complying with Google’s image format requirements despite its copyright-related objections.
Now, the dust has settled. Getty describes the new partnership as “a multi-year global licensing partnership, enabling Google to use Getty Images’ content within its various products and services.” As part of that deal, Google will be using Getty images across many of its “products and services.”
Google will make make copyright attribution and disclaimers more prominent in image search results and will remove view links to stand-alone URLs for Getty photographs.