The Oban Blog

Digital World – Global Digital Marketing News: Thursday 10 March 2016

Welcome once more to Digital World, Oban’s weekly update series in which we take a look at some of the most interesting news stories from popular and more obscure markets. This week: Google works out a compromise for EU countries demanding the extension of Right to be Forgotten removals to global Google versions; Chinese online tipping examined; mobile friendly now has a minimum font-size on Yandex; why you shouldn’t duplicate ad campaigns between search engines; and Arabic automatic translation arrives for Skype.

Google makes compromise for worldwide “Right to be Forgotten”

Facing pressure from the European Union, Google has agreed to a rollout of Right to be Forgotten removal requests to all international versions of Google. However, it has stopped short of rolling out removals for all users.

In 2015, a number of European governments took action against Google on the basis that while local versions of Google were removing listings based on RTBF requests, users could simply call up an out of region version (e.g. to view uncensored results.

In the face of potential fines, Google has engineered a compromise: results will be removed from all versions of Google if accessed in the relevant region, but the results will appear when accessed outside that region. This is handled slightly differently within the EU. For example, people in the UK will not find an affected result filed in Germany on other EU versions of Google – but they will find it on non-European versions of Google.


China doesn’t tip waiting staff, yet online tipping is the norm

Tipping is an area of cultural difference that many experience and remark on. China is similar to much of Asia in that gratuities aren’t generally expected, and the common wisdom is that Chinese consumers aren’t comfortable with the idea. At least, offline: online, Chinese users are increasingly willing participants, according to an article on

While tipping has no tradition in service-based industries, historically, the practice was common among higher social classes offering patronage to artists. Similarly, Chinese internet users are now tipping writers, musicians, game developers and film/television makers. The social class dimension is even retained: on some platforms, users compete to be seen to be among the most generous tippers.


Font size now a mobile-friendly ranking factor for Yandex

Yandex’s mobile-friendly ranking algorithm, Vladivostok, has been updated according to a notification on the Russian search giant’s blog (translated by Russian Search Tips). Key to this update is the fact that rankings will now be negatively impacted by any text with a font size smaller than 12px when viewed on a mobile phone.

The update will mean that pages are re-tested by the engine in the coming weeks – so pages that previously received a pass may be in trouble. Site operators can check whether Vladivostok is likely to take issue with the site’s mobile credentials by using the testing tool in Yandex.Webmaster (the guideline relevant to text is last in the tool’s results).


Campaign duplication across search engines results in missed opportunities

Search Engine Land has a post by a Microsoft employee making some observations about the false economy of wholesale copying ad campaigns from one platform to another. While using Bing and Google for his example, the points made apply when porting campaigns to foreign ad-platforms too – arguably to a far greater degree. According to Microsoft’s internal data, 33% of all queries found on the Bing network are not found or are infrequently found on Google (the opposite is also likely to be true).

The article points out that Bing’s different demographic and psychographic profile is just one of the reasons for the difference in unique queries. It also posits that even those who use both engines will approach each with a different mindset and that people’s search queries are influenced by the nature of the engine (Bing and Google have subtly different autocomplete implementations).

Skype adds real-time Arabic translation

Skype Translator, a feature for the popular communications app released in preview mode over a year ago, has just added the ability to translate Modern Standard Arabic. In addition to offering text-based translation, the tool can provide real-time processing of spoken language (the results of which can be subtitled over video feeds or listened to). Skype Translator already offers Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese translation capabilities.

Contact Oban on +44(0)1273 613 400 or email [email protected] for advice on how we can help leverage your global online presence.

Image credits

Daily News photo by Flickr user Florian Plag

Karaoke, […] Beijing photo by Flickr user Bill Holler

1162-1-1 photo by Flickr user Igor Gorshkov

Not quite clear on the concept photo by Flickr user woodleywonderworks