The Oban Blog

Digital World – Global Digital Marketing News: Friday 12 June 2015

Digital World is our regular roundup of key digital marketing news from every corner of the connected world. In this week’s update: Mobile Chinese shoppers are rarely out and about when shopping online; the head of Yandex discusses the inner workings of the Minusinsk update; German webmasters first to see signs of a Google update; India and Brazil to get pre-processed websites via 2G; and Alibaba promises it won’t invade America.

Chinese mobile buyers prefer late night shopping

A poll by Analysys International Enfodesk has found that nearly half of all teen and adult mobile consumers in China prefer to shop between the hours of 9pm and 12am. The poll, as reported by, states that no other time of day is even half as popular – second to the late night slot’s 45.1% was a late afternoon 3pm to 6pm slot that managed just 17.7%.

The conclusion one can draw from these figures, corroborated by stats elsewhere in the survey, is that most mobile shopping doesn’t actually take place on the go – 85.2% of teen and adult mobile buyers in China said that they shopped from a home or dormitory, and 9.1% said they shopped at work or school.

roundup-junewk2-01-yandex street

Interview with the head of search at Yandex

Yandex head of search Alexander Sadovsky has been interviewed by about the recent Minusinsk update. Sadovsky stated that “generally [Yandex are] happy with first wave of Minusinsk” and offered some background to the improvements, noting that a 2014 survey found that around 74% of Russian links were paid and that removing links from the ranking formula only reduced this activity by 14% .

The interview delves into how Yandex defines paid links (it uses a machine learning process based on a learning sample that originates from a service that sells links) and the fact that the penalty is automatically applied. The interviewer also asks Sadovsky to name the top three ranking factors for Yandex – a question he largely deflects, while noting that content-related factors are increasing in importance while link-related factors are being removed from the formula.


Speculation on Google update starting among German webmasters

Whether regional or international, Search Engine Roundtable reports that the tell-tale signs of a Google update were witnessed by German webmasters around June 10. Ranking and traffic referral changes were noted, along with crawl-rate spikes by Google bot and sporadic cache dates. One webmaster reported a 25% drop in traffic, and another a visibility drop for a content site. Some comments suggest this could be a sign of an anticipated Panda update.

4x faster Android web-browsing promised in India and Brazil

After field testing of the tech in Indonesia in April, Google has just announced that it will be rolling out a server-side web-page optimisation process in Brazil and India. The feature pre-processes web pages accessed by Android mobile phones on 2G connections, ensuring they load up to 4x faster by stripping out extraneous scripts and CSS styling. As well as the speed benefit, users will see their data consumption fall by 80 percent – Google also claims that sites will see a 50% rise in page views.

Alibaba promises to not invade America

Speaking at a meeting of the Economic Club of New York, Alibaba’s executive chairman stated that China’s foremost ecommerce company had no plans to “invade” America and take on Amazon and Ebay. As notes, the wording and content of the speech seemed to be in part prompted by a December 2014 political attack ad, paid for by the Alliance of Main Street Fairness, that claimed Alibaba would use tax loopholes and “decimate local retailers”.

Instead of a danger to American business, Ma argued that Alibaba’s biggest opportunity in the country was as a channel through which small businesses can sell in China. As seen in the video above, Ma cites as evidence the fact that the Chinese middle class is roughly the same size as the entire American population, as well as the success of past promotions that saw smaller US firms selling fresh food in China.

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Image credits

Ciqikou late night shopping photo by Flickr user Lauri Vain

OutP4180343 photo by Flickr user Dmitry Dzhus

Google Deutschland Hamburg photo by Flickr user Thomas Cloer