The Week in SEO: 11/9

Three Superede logos in red, blue and yellow

Welcome to the week in SEO! Every Saturday, Supersede Media will trawl the internet and bring together a delightful smörgåsbord of the top stories, updates, tips and general happenings in the world of tech. Here’s what you need to know from the past 7 days!

The Headlines

This week saw some potential progress in the fight to improve online privacy, and further proof of TikTok’s meteoric rise. Let’s get stuck in!

Information Commissioner Urges G7 to Overhaul Pop-Up Cookie Requests

On Tuesday members of the G7 met to discuss technology issues that could be improved by more cooperation between the nations. The UK’s Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, used the opportunity to raise the issue of tracking cookies, and the problems with the current pop-up request approach.

We all know how frustrating it is when you land on a website and have to wade through cookie requests before you can actually get to the information you want. In fact, many of us simply click ‘I agree’ to whatever we are presented with to save time. As a result, we still have little understanding or control over how our data is being used.

Denham is calling for this process to be replaced with an approach whereby users can set long-term privacy preferences within the settings of web browsers or devices, as opposed to each individual website. While this is currently possible from a technological and legal perspective, it is not happening. The Information Commissioner therefore wants the G7 to put pressure on tech firms to do so:

“I am calling on my G7 colleagues to use our convening power. Together we can engage with technology firms and standards organisations to develop a co-ordinated approach to this challenge.”

Critics of the move are confused as to why the ICO is looking to the G7 for help, when they have the power and responsibility to enforce these changes themselves.

It is still too early to tell what impact, if any, this meeting will have on the ongoing debate surrounding tracking cookies.

TikTok Overtakes YouTube in UK and US For Average Watch Time Per User

TikTok logo displayed on a phone Image source: Franck (via Unsplash)

App Annie, an app monitoring company, has released data showing that TikTok enjoys a higher level of engagement than YouTube. The video-sharing social media platform, which made a big splash during the pandemic and has gone from strength to strength, is the most-downloaded app worldwide since 2020.

According to the data, TikTok users in the UK watch around 26 hours of content a month, whereas YouTube users watch an average of 16 hours in the same timeframe. It should be noted, however, that the report only captured data from Android phones. This means it may not be representative of all users. That being said, the trend is the same in the US, though by a slightly smaller margin.

While YouTube can still claim to have more users and so more overall activity than TikTok, these new figures will surely get content creators and advertisers alike investing more in the ByteDance app.

Twitter Testing Features to Improve Social Privacy

Twitter is testing 4 products that aim to give users more control and privacy. The company has noticed that a significant number of users are not engaging with the social media platform as much, and some of this is attributed to confusion surrounding privacy rights. The reputation-damaging potential of the site is also something that people are increasingly aware of.

Along with users being told to check their current privacy settings, the company is planning or testing the following tools:

  • The ability to edit follower lists to prevent certain people from following you (without having to block them).
  • An archive option so that old tweets are only visible to you.
  • The power to prevent people from seeing which tweets you have ‘liked’.
  • A feature that allows users to leave a public Twitter conversation.

Each of the tools are at varying stages of development, with some yet to even begin the test process.

Other tech news on our radar…

Step up your SEO game

September is really bringing the back to school vibes, so it’s the perfect time to brush up your SEO skills! Use the list below to get started.

Workplace wellness

Whether you’re back at the office or still holed up in your WFH den, here are some gems of wisdom (this week’s come courtesy of the guys over at the Mental Health Foundation) that will make a difference to your professional and personal wellbeing. You’re welcome!

Empty bank of office desks with black office chairs
Image source: Jose Losada
(via Unsplash)

As lockdown eases, or comes to an end, our working lives are changing again. We must be alert to ‘Returnism’ – the impact that resuming [life] after lockdown will pose to our mental health. We know there will be an effect, and that this will vary.

In this article on Going Back to the Work Environment, the team at the Mental Health Foundation provide some really useful tips on how to protect your mental wellbeing when once again adjusting to a new way of working.

And that’s it for the Week in SEO! Be sure to return in 7 days when we will have another fresh take on the latest happenings in tech. Enjoy your weekend. Ta-ra!