It seems that Google didn’t stop at updating it’s homepage and logo, this week they’ve announced a couple more changes. Read about the updates to Blogger, YouTube and Google Analytics below.
Blogger Images – Auto-Enhance (how to turn it off)
Blogger accounts connected to Google+ now have a new image feature – auto enhancements and skin smoothing. This feature already existed on Google+ and since bother Blogger and Google+ upload via Picasa Web Albums it makes sense why it is now on Blogger too. Although it may be a great feature for some users, I don’t think it will get approval from beauty bloggers who post reviews, before and after pictures, etc. It also turns white blog headers slightly darker. To turn this off login to Google+ Settings and un-tick the box beside Auto-Enhance.
Blogger Comments – Notify of replies
Blogger updated it’s comment box (finally!) which looks much better and now includes an option to notify you if the author replies to your comment. You can also implement Google+ comments, which means when a user comments it gets shown on their profile. Great for promoting your blog but not all readers will have Google+ so keep this in mind if thinking about switching over.
YouTube announced that comments will now be powered by Google+ and ordered by relevance instead of most recent. The comments you care about (from the Youtuber, your Google+ Circles, popular personalities and discussions) will be on top, join in publicly or privately. They say that this change should help reduce spam and give you better tools to moderate comments, block certain words and auto approve comments for certain users.
Google also announced that they will no longer allow keyword value or search terms to be shown in your analytics programs (such as Google Analytics) instead we will see “100% Not Provided”. The change is apparently to offer more security for Google Search Engine users although some people think it’s to promote other Google services such as Adwords. The removal of keyword search values will change the way Bloggers, Marketers, SEO enthusiasts and companies use Analytic Tracking Tools, forcing us to find other ways to collect data for SEO and marketing such as looking at how many new visitors are on our site and what page users are landing on as well as tracking the keywords from other Search Engines such as Yahoo! and Bing.