Here are this week's top online business stories:
#1 Google May Be Forced to Reveal Its Algorithm in Court
As we all know, Google keeps its search algorithm tight to the vest so that people and companies cannot game the system to get their websites to rank better in search.
However, Google is currently in the middle of a legal battle with a company called Foundem in the UK who alleges that Google deliberately hid their website from the search results to reduce competition with Google Shopping.
Google has to decide whether to reveal their algorithm to prove themselves innocent, to remove the document from evidence and risk losing the case, or to settle the case out of court. We'll see what happens!
#2 Chrome 81 will auto-upgrade images to https
If you open your website in Google Chrome and see an “i” symbol next to your URL instead of a secure padlock, 99% of the time this is because your website is loading non-secure versions of images on your site.
This is super annoying for both website visitors and website owners (it kicks off a “non-secure” warning).
Thankfully, the latest version of Chrome will change this. First, it will automatically try to display the https version of the photo (or other insecure resource), which, if that exists, will fix the problem & results in a secure website.
If a secure version of the resource doesn't exist, it just won't load it, so the website will still technically be secure (but the images won't load). Read more about this here.
#3 Upgrade your Rank Math plugin
If you use the plugin Rank Math for SEO on your website, make sure to upgrade to the latest version to patch a security vulnerability.
#4 New Facebook Messenger Desktop App
Now you can video chat with friends and family via Facebook Messenger on Desktop!
#5 Apply for a grant from Facebook
If your business has been around for at least 1 year, has between 2 and 50 employees, is located in an area where Facebook operates, and was negatively impacted by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a Facebook grant.
#6 Content and advertising guidelines for coronavirus content are constantly changing
Check out this article for the latest updates from the various social media platforms and Google.
#7 Google Chrome is pausing same-site cookie changes
Google is temporarily pausing its roll out of new same-site cookie requirements so that unprepared websites that offer essential services don't unexpectedly break during the coronavirus pandemic.
#8 Add a COVID-19 announcement to your site
If you want to add a COVID-19 related announcement to your website & want Google to pick it up and highlight it in the Google search results, you can now do so with “Special Announcement” schema.
Hope you enjoyed this update!