It’s the start of a new year and a good time to review what changes took place in 2016 relating to the worldwide web, web design and digital marketing. Let’s take a brief look at the big 3 – Google, Facebook and Yahoo.
In 2016 the company implemented a record number of manual penalties for websites with a certain type of ‘footprint’ or ‘functionality’. The focus of the penalties ranged from blogger outbound links to recipe plugins and widgets. Google also made an announcement of several significant changes it would soon be focusing on including HTTPS migration, Progressive Web Apps and a ‘mobile-first index’. The latter is due to roll out in its first format this month and may prove to be a challenge for many business websites in 2017. If you have a responsive or dynamic serving site this new indexing should not have any negative effect. However, if you don’t then you might want to read the official Google take on this imminent change.
In 2016 Facebook did incredibly well. At the end of the year its stock was up by 18% and, despite any adverse publicity the platform might have had (US election campaign, fake news accusations, etc), new Facebook users were actually up by 16%. This now means that as of a week ago, no less than 23% of the global population logs into Facebook at least once every month.
In 2016 Yahoo fared less well than its competitors. They reduced their workforce by 15%, battled to fend off a shareholder ‘revolt’ and were obliged to reveal that in the last few years Yahoo had been affected by two serious data breaches. Yahoo was hoping for better news with negotiations for a potential sale to Verizon (estimated @ $4.8billion) but experts are now questioning whether this will go ahead in the light of the security issues revealed.
The Future Of The Worldwide Web
One interesting point from 2016 regarding the future of the worldwide web was that it’s inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee spoke out in July 2016 against the way in which the current www works. Speaking at the Decentralized Web Summit he said: “It controls what people see, creates mechanisms for how people interact. It’s been great, but spying, blocking sites, repurposing people’s content, taking you to the wrong websites — that completely undermines the spirit of helping people create.”
His hope is to see the www become a place where governments don’t spy or censor information and information is stored in a decentralized way. Perserving culture is also another key feature of his hopes. Now that is something we will ‘drink to’ in toasting in a new year 🙂