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A significant Google algorithm update happened on June 25. This update has had webmasters and SEO pros buzzing all week about the significance of its effects on websites across the world.

Rather than succumbing to the information overload that comes with frequent “quality updates” from Google and forgetting about the other times that you saw the same problems, let’s cover the steps that turn a reactive or response into a proactive plan that can help your struggling online presence recover for good.

Google Algorithm Updates Will Only Continue Coming (As They Have for Years)

It’s no secret that Google updates its algorithm often, and based on what we’ve seen since 2000, it will likely continue to do so for years to come.

If you’re noticing the reduction of impressions in Google Search Console over the default view of 28 days, expand the range to 90 days.

If you’re examining site traffic in Google Analytics across the week, expand to a full historical view. If you have access to Google Analytics data that is filtered for your IP and your historical view doesn’t go back far enough, switch to the unfiltered master view.

If you were hit by Google’s algorithm update this week, there’s a chance you’ve been hit before. You may not even realize it.

Why Switch to an Unfiltered View?

Switching to an unfiltered view isn’t exactly the most scientific approach as it will show site visits by employees, webmasters, and those who provide digital support, which tends to be omitted in an IP filtered view when done properly. This will largely depend on your site’s general volume of traffic and weighed against how many daily and monthly visits you believe those visitors generate.

If your site receives tens of thousands of sessions a week and filtered sessions are in the single or double digits during the same time frame, the numbers won’t be exact, but you can still assess the historic damage with minimal variance.

What You Should Look For in Historic GA Data

In short, you’re looking to find evidence of other events similar to June 25 that may have been overlooked. A simple way to handle this includes:

Extend the time frame from the default seven-day view to as far back as you can, preferably before 2023. I’ll explain later on.

Under the Source/Medium columns, select google/organic.

Look at the line chart in a Weekly or Monthly manner, especially if you’re working with years of data.

Let’s use a test site of mine to uncover what a long, slow decline looks like if left untreated:

From here, you should have a pretty good glimpse at how your site has performed on Google Search. Now, you’ll need to ask yourself a couple of questions:

Where are the dips in traffic? Any gains? When did the decline start?

Can those be explained by seasonal factors or poor tracking issues?

Are there any annotations that can provide a better understanding? Often these can answer questions that you may not have considered if they cover site maintenance and migrations. If you’re lucky, you may even have a digital record showing correlation between performance and Google’s algorithm updates.

At this point, you have a number of options. One of my favorite things to do after an algorithm rolls out involves looking at the site’s top landing page performance before and after an algorithmic event.

Glenn Gabe developed a timeless tutorial on identifying low-quality landing pages affected by the Panda algorithm update using GA and Excel magic which still works wonders today.

What Does Panda 4.2 Have to Do With Google’s June 25 Update?

In short, Google’s Panda 4.2 refresh began slowly rolling out on July 18, 2023, taking weeks to fully go into effect. At the time, Panda was the name for Google’s algorithm that targeted sites of “low quality” content and rewarded sites that adhered to the search engine’s site quality recommendations.

Many of the points that Google made regarding Panda’s intent in 2014 are still focused on in 2023, most notably, with the March 7 rollout of the “Fred” algorithm update.

Here is the same site’s organic performance on Google, comparing “Fred” to this week’s update on a daily basis:

The Next Step is Admitting You Have an SEO Problem

Being able to accurately identify the root causes plaguing your website can seem like a scary proposition for some.

Using the scientific method can help you figure out whether you have a big SEO problem.

For those who have left their memories of childhood science fairs at the door of adulthood, here are the steps along with a general example for each situation:

Make an Observation

This is where many of us were at just a few days ago. For others, this might not have happened yet! One example of an observation I’ve seen across the web has generally followed the format of “My organic traffic on Google is down!”

Ask a Question

After identifying the downward trend, you may be asking yourself “Why did my organic traffic take a hit?” This is where most tend to stall, unsure of where to go or how to proceed. For SEOs, there’s a good reason for this…

Form a Hypothesis

The reason why many digital marketers and webmasters never reach this step is that when it comes to handling “The Google Dance”, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of ranking factors that come with the territory. However, by taking a step back and reviewing your site’s historic performance and comparing them to any changes that have been made on your site, you can make the case that “Turning hundreds of pages with thin content into ones that speak to the intent of each page will restore our site’s previous rankings.”

Because this is a cause and effect relationship, be mindful of your variables – the aspects of your site that you’re changing. If you aren’t familiar with the site or if your experience in handling general website optimization efforts is minimal, you may want to control your other variables to ensure that any other changes outside of the ones stated in the hypothesis don’t turn your poor rankings into non-existing ones.

Make a Prediction

Conduct an Experiment

Now, this is where we turn a good idea into action. For this example, identify site pages that you believe are the source of your traffic (and rankings) issues identified and also confirm that if those pages are to be updated, that other unaffected pages won’t be next as a result. It needs to be said that if you’re going to write great content, you should know how Google defines “great content”.

If all goes well, you stand to see your site return to its former glory or even better, have it reach newer heights!

If this doesn’t affect your site at all, you may have other issues at play such as over-optimized anchor text or poor mobile experience, which means you’ll need to return to the hypothesis drawing board.

Since you’ve produced content that marketers dream of, this shouldn’t be a detriment once you begin your next experiment.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

With Google’s algorithms, there are no easy fixes for a poor showing. SEO success takes effort.

Your website is a single entity composed of hundreds of interconnected parts and numerous off-site accessories that if focused on individually using a detailed plan of action backed by tested best practices and continuous research, will add up to success in the long run.

Image Credits

Screenshots taken by Beau Pedraza in June.

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A Significant Google Algorithm Update Likely Occurred On June 25

According to data obtained from various tracking tools, a significant Google algorithm update likely occurred on June 25.

Google admittedly makes updates every day, but this one is believed to be significant in the sense that it has affected ranking positions in a noticeable way.

While checking client sites in SEMRush I saw this message popping up for every site I checked.

As you can see in the screenshot above, this particular update received a score of 9.5, which is the highest I have personally seen all year.

All other Google updates SEMRush has tracked this year fell between the 5-7 range, which is a further indication of the significance of this update.

Ranking Positions 6-10 Hit Hardest

RankRanger, another tracking tool, provided further analysis of the June 25 update in a blog post published today. The company says this appears to be a long running update, the likes of which has not been seen since October 2023.

Analysis from RankRanger indicates Google’s recent algorithm update primarily targeted sites that were ranking in positions 6-10.

RankRanger also broke down its analysis by niche. While there were fluctuations across all niches, the food & beverage industry appears to have been hit the hardest. This is followed by sites in the health & fitness, gambling, retail, and travel niches respectively.

Why the Lack of Chatter?

While this seems to be one of Google’s more volatile updates, industry chatter has been relatively muted compared to what usually follows an update of this magnitude.

Why is that? It could be because, as mentioned earlier, the greatest fluctuations were seen amongst sites ranking in positions 6-10. That means there has been minimal to moderate fluctuations amongst sites ranking in the top 5 positions.

It’s not uncommon to see ranking positions 6-10 fluctuate more than ranking positions 1-5. With that said, SEOs and site owners may have noticed ranking changes only to brush them off as business as usual, so to speak.

However, data from tracking tools indicates this is not just “business as usual,” and ranking positions 6-10 have been fluctuating more extensively than normal.

No Confirmation from Google

Google has gone on record saying there’s no confirmation of a major update, so once again statements from the search giant conflict with what the tools are telling us.

Have you noticed any ranking changes lately that appear to stray from the norm? Feel free to reach out to us on any of our social media channels.

UPDATE: What You Can Do Now

15 Social Media Mistakes You Should Never Make (+What To Do Instead)

The face you make when you realize you’ve made a social media mistake.

Mistakes happen to the best of us, but there are some your business can’t afford to make. Spare yourself from embarrassing or costly social media mishaps using this post to fully understand:

Social media do’s and don’ts

What you should avoid on social media

How to stop social media mistakes from happening

Let’s turn your social media miseries into social media magic!

Social media do’s and don’ts

Before we jump right into giving you a fright with scary social media mistakes, let’s review some simple social media do’s and don’ts:

Do: Tightly align with your other channels

To ensure you’re providing a seamless experience for your followers, you want consistency across your online (and offline) presence.

Make sure your profile pictures are the same across all your social sites by including your favicon or logo and keeping your cover photo consistent across sites. You should also check to ensure your business descriptions are consistent across all your social media profiles.

This will allow you to grow your following as people who see your business elsewhere online will easily be able to recognize your social media profiles’ posts.

Here’s an example of one business’s display ad versus its Instagram account:

The logo on the bottom left of the display ad above doesn’t fully match the one on this business’s Instagram page. The display ad also doesn’t touch on the main points mentioned in the brand’s bio. Meanwhile, the Instagram page doesn’t include any images of the apparel sold on the display ad. A consumer might be confused seeing this business on and off social media.

Don’t: Hop on a trend just for the sake of it

While it can be tempting to jump on viral social media marketing trends in hopes of increasing your reach, you don’t want to sacrifice your tightly aligned branding in the process. Some trends may not be the best fit for your business’s social media accounts–and that’s okay. It’s better to be strategic about the social media trends you adopt.

Here’s an example of a brand hopping on a trending hashtag without understanding the intent. The trending hashtag was meant for domestic violence awareness, not as a fun conversation starter. This brand had to apologize for its tweet and eventually deleted it.

Do: Promote your business regularly

Coming off as too “pushy” on social media is a valid concern, but many businesses forget to actually share promotional content. While you want to share engaging or educational content for your followers to interact with, it’s also okay to simply toot your own horn with the occasional “sales-y” post.

By using the 4-1-1 rule, you can ensure the majority of your content is engaging enough to keep your audience hooked while also regularly promoting your business.

This small business Instagram page has a mix of content that’s both business-focused and fun.

Don’t: Treat it like you would a personal platform

Let’s face it: Most of our experiences on social media stem from our own personal accounts. It can be easy to treat your business’s accounts like you would your personal platforms, but you’ll want to remember to match your post style, tone, and frequency with that of your brand.

It can help to do some target market research to understand what types of posts your audience might prefer that could be different from what you’re used to on your personal accounts.

This type of post could come off as a bit too personal—even for a fitness business account.

15 social media mistakes to never make (and how to avoid them)

Stop these social media mistakes in their tracks before your business falls victim to them with these social media tips:

1. Forgetting your social media goals

We wanted to kick off our list of scary social media mistakes with one that can make or break your online presence. Want to know a surefire way to guarantee you won’t see results from your social media posts? When you have no goals to measure your performance against, you’ll have no idea how to provide structure to your social media progress.

Your social media goals are vital to your business’s digital marketing success, and each post should have a goal assigned to it. That way, your posts have a clear purpose—making it easy for you to brainstorm content. Plus, this helps you make your call-to-actions more precise so that your audience can take action upon seeing your posts.

If you’re struggling to set a series of goals for your social media strategy, try using the SMART method. This ensures that whatever objectives you set out to achieve on your social media posts are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. With the SMART method, you’re making your social media goals easy to understand, track, and achieve.

2. Copy typos

Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, so don’t beat yourself up if this social media mistake happens to you. However, make every effort to check that your copy is spelled correctly, and is grammatically correct, clear, and concise. When you do have a typo pop up, though, be sure to correct it as soon as possible. Avoiding this social media “don’t” might require taking an extra minute to read back any content for edits. You could even try implementing marketing tools, like Grammarly, to help ensure your drafts are clear of errors.

This example proves that even big brands can fall victim to copy errors.

3. Using the wrong image sizes or video specs

Try using tools like Canva to size out your creative assets for social media ahead of time. Also, be sure to save our handy image below to use as a guiding light when creating custom image or video marketing materials for social media:

4. Not using videos

It can be tricky to hop on the video bandwagon since most businesses assume it needs to be a full-fledged production. While those types of videos are great if you have the bandwidth and budget to produce them, it’s important to note that videos quickly shot from your phone can be just as effective.

This is one of those cases where some video content is better than no video content. This is especially true as we’re moving towards a more video-based social landscape with the rise of platforms like TikTok and more.

Try starting off small by brainstorming a few quick ideas you could pull off in-house, like employee or customer testimonial videos, behind-the-scenes footage of your business, product demos, and much more.

An example of effectively sharing a customer testimonial video on social media.

Related: Looking for video ideas? We’ve got you covered!

5. Poor editing

With photo and video-based content comes the need for finetuning and edits. As a busy business owner, you probably feel like you don’t have a ton of time to spend editing your social content. However, clean and clear content can make your business stand out in saturated social spaces. For example, over 70% of businesses in the US use Instagram. That increased competition justifies taking a bit more time and resources to ensure you get your social media edits right.

Make your social media editing easier by knowing what to look out for. Here are three main editing buckets you can use when evaluating your social content, along with some questions to ask yourself for each:

Copy: Are your captions clear, concise, and free of grammatical or spelling errors? Do you clearly call out the action you want your audience to take after seeing your post? Are you using social must-haves like hashtags or emojis?

Image and video quality: Are your images clear and cropped correctly? Is your video able to load quickly? Are your transitions smooth? Is it the right pixel and file size for your desired platform? Is it easy to watch or understand?

Branding and purpose: Does your post connect back to your social media goals? Is it clear that the post belongs to your brand? Does the voice, tone, and style of this post align with your brand?

If you find your editing is on the heavier side, that may be a sign that you should work with a marketing partner to help you avoid this social media “don’t.”

This brand portrays itself as a family-friendly restaurant, but the language in this Tweet is anything but that. It doesn’t align well with who they might be targeting across other channels, and it comes off as offensive and in poor taste. A quick editing session for quality assurance could have caught this.

6. Straying from your brand style

Congratulations! You’re finally bringing new potential customers to your social media pages. But when they arrive at your profile, they’re confused and unsure if it’s really your business that they’re about to follow.

Falling victim to a fake profile is something most of your followers have likely dealt with before. For example, Facebook reported up to 2.2 billion fake accounts in just the past couple of years. With stats like that, there’s no question that your audience will be on high alert for bots and fake profiles floating around social networks.

The easiest way to make your brand appear unconvincing? By not sticking to what your audience might know and recognize!

Avoid this by including your business’s logo in your profile, keeping your images aligned with brand colors, and using an authentic voice and tone so as to not come off as “spammy” or “sales-y.”

While this small business Instagram page does use a logo, it only has five posts and none of them include photos or videos of their finished pieces—this could make a consumer weary of whether it’s really the correct business account.

7. Ignoring tags, mentions, and messages

Have you ever tried to give someone a high-five only to have them leave you hanging? How embarrassing! That’s the same feeling your followers get when they tag, mention, or direct message your business only for you to ghost them in response. Plus, staying on top of social buzz about your business means you can be part of the conversation, and you can control your business’s social narrative as it evolves.

Assigning just a few minutes per day or every other day to check in on all your notifications and inboxes is a simple way to avoid this social media mistake.

8. Posting too little or too often

A consistent posting schedule is key to social media success. For example, when you post too little, your pages may as well be playing cricket sounds. Your brand will seem unexciting—making your audience think you’re unworthy of a follow. Meanwhile, posting too often can fatigue your audience. It’s best to strike a balance for a posting frequency that’s just right—which will be different for each platform. Try checking out these resources to find out the best times to post, like:

If you’re struggling to come up with content and stay consistent, try implementing our free marketing calendar and use our post ideas for social media holidays to fill in any social media gaps you may have.

A marketing calendar like this can help you manage your post consistency.

9. Posting the same thing across all platforms

Different social media platforms means different audiences, messaging, and post formats. Many of your loyal customers may be following you across multiple social media platforms, so saying the same thing over and over again on each one will give your audience a poor impression of your brand.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel for your posts on every platform. Simply take your main marketing message and tweak the content slightly to create variations fitting for your different social media accounts.

For example, if you’re promoting a limited-time offer, you might do a text-based post about it on Facebook, a shorter version of that same post for Twitter, and a quick video with varying captions for Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Adjusting your content to meet audience expectations across platforms takes practice, so be sure to use reporting tools to track your post progress on each account. With that data, you’ll learn what types of messaging resonate best over time.

This small business is promoting the same event on Facebook and Instagram. However, you can see from the bottom image that it used a much more concise caption on Instagram to better fit that platform’s caption style.  

10. Being afraid to try a variety of placements or post types

It’s no secret that social media has evolved quite a bit since its rise in popularity. For example, Instagram started as a platform to just post stagnant photos, but now there are multiple post and placement types like Instagram Reels, Stories, and more. While it can be tempting to stick to what you’re familiar with, the introduction of various post types is the perfect opportunity to get seen in more places, like the Instagram Explore page.

If you’re unsure how to best execute a trendy new post type, like a Live story, try checking out what other accounts in your industry have done for that specific format to get inspiration.

Another option would be to lean into influencer marketing and pay a socially savvy professional to create a new type of promotional post for your business. There are many micro-influencers out there that have reasonable fees for small businesses, so don’t be afraid to reach out and create a lasting partnership for ongoing social success.

Instead of creating an Instagram Reel themselves, the brand in this example paid this influencer to create one for them.

11.  Not reposting content from others enough

No conversation should be one-sided. Your followers want to hear from you, but they also want to contribute to your social media activity, and they want to hear from others too. When you’re the only one posting content to your social media accounts, you can slide into the habit of hitting the same type of post repeatedly. Eventually, your followers will get tired of your content.

Give your audience a fresh perspective by reposting content from other businesses, creators, or even customers.

Related: Get tips for user-generated content to build your social presence.

12.  Not rewarding your audience for interacting with you

This small business owner gave her customer a shoutout and tagged her on her page in return for her willingness to be in this video post.

13.  Buying followers

You read that right. Buying fake followers is, unfortunately, something that’s possible on social media. As a small business in a niche market, this might be a tempting option when your social media growth feels slow. However, you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid this social media mistake at all costs because your real followers will catch on. Basically, buying followers is a social media mistake that simply never works and ruins your business’s reputation—not to mention it could get your account shut down by going against platform policies!


Instead of buying followers, check out resources like our post on how to grow your Instagram following fast. Focus on the quality of your followers, not quantity, by building relationships with your customers on social media.

14.  Not being flexible with your budget

Our free marketing planning template can help you set up your social media budget for success. 

15.  Not leveraging retargeting

Falling victim to this last social media mistake means you’re missing out on a strategy that your competitors are most likely using as 70% of businesses choose to implement social retargeting. Social retargeting is a great strategy to increase engagement by leveraging an audience that’s already familiar with your brand. Plus, it can help turn prospects into customers.

Skip these social media mistakes for scary-good results

To recap, here are our top four social media do’s and don’ts:

Do: Tightly align with your other channels

Don’t: Hop on a trend just for the sake of it

Do: Promote your business regularly

Don’t: Treat your brand account like a personal platform

And, here are the 15 social media mistakes you never want to make:

Forgetting your social media goals

Copy typos

Using the wrong image sizes or video specs

Not using videos

Poor editing

Straying from your brand style

Ignoring tags, mentions, and messages

Posting too little or too often

Posting the same thing across all platforms

Being afraid to try a variety of placements or post types

Not reposting content from others enough

Not rewarding your audience for interacting with you

Buying followers

Not being flexible with your budget

Not leveraging social ad retargeting

Susie Marino

Susie is a senior content marketing specialist at LocaliQ where she uses her experience as a PPC consultant to share tips, tactics, and best practices. Outside of work, Susie loves to get outside for some snowboarding or (once the cold weather melts away) hiking!

Other posts by Susie Marino

What Is The Metaverse (And Why Should You Care)?

Is the metaverse just a trending topic, or is it going to shape the future of social media marketing? Here’s everything you need to know.

If you have to ask what, exactly, the metaverse is — don’t feel bad.

The metaverse is hardly a brand-new concept, but the speed with which it recently began making headlines is impressive. And the meaning of “metaverse” seems to expand daily, as more and more recognizable brands and businesses begin to incorporate it into their long-term plans.

While everyone from celebrities to global brands like Nike have gotten involved, Facebook is responsible for setting the metaverse buzz in motion. The company, a pioneer in social media (in a sense the earliest version of the metaverse itself) recently went through a major rebrand. Facebook is now Meta, and the company has plans to make significant moves in the metaverse world in the years to come.

This all begs the question: what even is the metaverse? The answer is at once a little bit complicated… and something you already know without even realizing it. It’s social media, the internet, video games, and online shopping all rolled into one.

Keep reading to learn more about the metaverse and find out if you should get in on the craze.

Download the complete Digital 2023 report—which includes online behavior data from 220 countries—to learn where to focus your social marketing efforts and how to better target your audience.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a virtual world in which users, businesses, and digital platforms can exist and interact. It includes everything from virtual social and gaming platforms (e.g. Roblox) to NFTs, a.k.a. non-fungible tokens (more on those later).

Fancy an NFT with your Happy Meal? 🍟

McDonald’s is making its way into the metaverse by registering for 10 trademarks in the virtual space 🤯

Yes, really. @anulee95 reports ✍️

— Metro (@MetroUK) February 10, 2023

It might seem like a new concept, but the idea of a multi-platform digital world has existed for years. We’ve seen it take form in everything from video games to social media. From World of Warcraft and Runescape to MySpace, the early versions of the metaverse have been a part of our world for quite a while. The 2023s metaverse simply builds on these ideas and takes them to the next level.

In October of 2023, Mark Zuckerberg announced that social media titan Facebook would be rebranding to Meta.

— Meta (@Meta) October 28, 2023

To be clear, Facebook (the social platform) has remained Facebook. It’s the parent company (under which Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, among others, are operated) changed its name to Meta.

The reason? It’s simple. According to Zuckerberg, “We’re basically moving from being Facebook first as a company to being metaverse first.”

Is the metaverse the future of social media?

With all of the buzz surrounding recent metaverse developments and investments, you might be wondering if — and how — the concept will shape the future of social media (and social media marketing).

2023 saw a great deal of money and resources poured into the metaverse. With platforms like Meta and businesses like Nike (who recently partnered with sneaker-centric metaverse giant RTFKT Studios) investing massive amounts of money and resources into the metaverse, there are clearly people and businesses out there who do think it’s the future of social media.

But the answer is still a bit up in the air. This version of the metaverse is very young. While 2023 may have been a breakout year for it, it’s actually the next few years that will determine its staying power.

What can you do in the metaverse?

With the high-level definitions out of the way, let’s take a look at some specific actions you can already perform in the metaverse.

1. Network

It seems that Meta’s metaverse is going to be a social platform first and foremost. After all, it wouldn’t be much of a virtual “reality” if users didn’t get the chance to interact in some way or another.

Sure, this applies to crypto exchanges and NFT purchases too, but it also involves socializing in a more classic sense.

A great example of this is Roblox, a digital gaming platform. In 2023, over half of kids under the age of 16 in the United States played it. Roblox is a platform through which users can play through a library of video games – all of which are created by Roblox users. There are currently over 20 million games in its library, many of which can generate revenue for the designers.

Users on Roblox can socialize through gameplay as well as an avatar-based platform similar to the early social media phenomenon Habbo Hotel. What it’s ultimately provided is a network through which aspiring game designers can test their skills, meet other people looking to work in the field, and… party:

— Roblox Corp (@InsideRoblox) February 4, 2023

Roblox is just one example of networking in the metaverse. Social media has long served as a way for professionals to meet peers and clients alike. The metaverse is a natural extension of that, and it often provides new and exciting ways to do it.

2. Invest and do business

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ve probably heard the terms “NFT” and “cryptocurrency.” Both are important building blocks in the metaverse and great ways for users and businesses to invest in the platform.

Cryptocurrency is a term encompassing a number of digital currency platforms. The most famous of these are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency run through a blockchain system. Its value is in a state of somewhat constant flux but longtime platforms (especially the aforementioned ones) have skyrocketed in value since their inception.

One of the big draws with cryptocurrency is the fact that it is not nationalized. As such, its value is the same in America as it is in Japan, Brazil, and any other nation. The metaverse is a global platform. As such, cryptocurrency is the preferred form of currency for many of its users. Investing in it now looks like it will pay off in the long run as its value continues to increase.

Speaking of investing, NFTs have become a cornerstone of the metaverse. The term stands for non-fungible token. This basically means that an NFT is a unique digital signature used as a sort of deed of ownership on digital goods. An NFT can be a piece of art, a photo, a song, or even a piece of digital real estate.

— ParisHilton (@ParisHilton) February 8, 2023

An NFT authenticates the ownership of whatever it’s attached to and certifies its value (which is unique to the item, hence the “non-fungible” part). It basically allows you to purchase the bricks that make up the world-wide web.

Right now, NFTs are a great investment. Like cryptocurrency, the overall value of NFTs is growing significantly. Some have already sold for millions of dollars. Others, like the famous “Bored Ape” series, have been purchased and shown off by notable celebrities including Justin Bieber (who’s actually built up quite the NFT portfolio recently) and Paris Hilton.

If you’re looking to get into the metaverse for the sake of investing, NFTs are a good place to start. The value of most NFTs right now is likely to keep going up as they grow in popularity.

It’s also a great time to mint some of your own. Almost any piece of digital media can be turned into an NFT. If you or the business you work with has a catalog of music, photography, or art, your potential NFT portfolio may already be bigger than you realize.

3. Shop

These days you can use cryptocurrency to buy just about anything in real life. Heck, New York mayor Eric Adams even accepted his first paycheck in Bitcoin and Ethereum. In that sense, the shopping possibilities of that corner of the metaverse are endless.

At the same time, there’s a form of shopping that relates far more directly to the metaverse. Whether you’re building up your inventory of NFTs or building out your avatar’s world on a platform like Roblox, there’s plenty of shopping to do in this new virtual space.

Earlier we talked about “digital real estate.” It’s exactly what it sounds like – pieces of virtual land in online worlds like the one Roblox has built out. Digital real estate is just the first step in building an identity in the metaverse. Platforms like this are going to be big as the space develops. Meta’s plans currently include an endeavor called Horizon Worlds that has been described as “Minecraft meets Roblox.”

— Meta Horizon (@MetaHorizon) December 9, 2023

Users in spaces like these can shop for all kinds of upgrades for their avatar, from new outfits to sneakers to new ways to style their digital real estate. It’s a way to create an identity for yourself in the world of the metaverse the same way you would in a video game.

If you’re more into the metaverse for the gaming aspects platforms like Roblox provide, there’s still plenty of shopping to do. From buying games to buying upgrades on your library, it’s already a huge part of life in the metaverse.

— XRCentral (@XRCentral) February 3, 2023

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The Best Google Apps For Iphone You Should Be Using

Any list of the best Google apps is subjective, of course. Nonetheless, we’ll give it a try. Here are the seven of the best Google apps on the App Store. Why should you care? Google’s one of the largest companies in the world and its apps and services are typically compatible across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows. 

Yes, your iOS device ships with a native Calendar app. However, if you’re looking for something better, look no further than the Google Calendar app. Fully integrated with events from Gmail, Google Calendar can pull in flight, hotel, concert, and restaurant reservations with ease. You can also add personal goals like “go to the gym every two days,” which are attached to your calendar automatically.

Looking for more reasons to switch? Google Calendar works with all calendars on your device, including Exchange and iCloud. It’s also integrated with Apple Health to track your workouts.

Until the arrival of iOS 6 in 2012, YouTube was a native app found on all iOS devices. Now, you have to install the app yourself. Regardless, with the app, you can watch, stream, and discover all that the free YouTube service has to offer. Use the app to subscribe to channels, share with friends, or upload videos.

Like YouTube, Google Maps once came preinstalled on every iOS device. Not anymore. Since 2012, you need to install Google Maps from the App Store. By contrast, every iPhone and iPad now ships with Apple Maps.

Whether you should use Google Maps over Apple Maps remains open to debate. Both are among the most popular apps on the App Store, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

If you’re not using Google Photos and happen to have a lot of photos and videos, you’re missing out. With Google Photos you get free storage for unlimited photos and videos, up to 16MP and 1080p HD, regardless of your device.

Let me repeat; Google gives you free storage of high-quality images, as opposed to Apple, which charges for iCloud storage after 5GB. If you want to save your images in their original sizes, you’ll need to buy storage through a subscription.

Until recently, Google hadn’t shown the iOS version of Google Earth much love. That all changed in 2023 when the app finally received a significant update.

The new Google Earth app allows you to explore the world with a swipe of your finger. Fly through landmarks and cities like Paris, New York, and Toyko in 3D, then take a more micro view by using Street View. With Voyager, visit places in all-new ways, including Sesame Street, BBC Earth, NASA and more.

There are countless keyboard apps available on the App Store, but only one Gboard. It features all the tools you’d expect a digital keyboard to have plus lots of extras, including GIFs, and Google Search built-in. Plus there’s no more app switching; just search and send, directly from your keyboard.

Over the top (OTT) television subscription services continue to improve with each passing year. In 2023, YouTube TV joined Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and Hulu TV on the market. With YouTube TV, you get 24/7 access to more than 50 channels plus unlimited cloud storage. Each subscription comes with six accounts per household.

YouTube TV is slowly becoming my favorite OTT service mainly for its ease of use and budget price. Best of all, it’s available on multiple devices, including iOS, tvOS, Android, and Windows. Mac users can also use the service through the Chrome browser.

Best Google Apps

There are plenty of other Google apps worth considering, including Gmail, the official Google app, and many more.

What are your favorite Google apps for iOS? Let us know below.

What You Should Know About The New Climate Change Report

It’s a beautiful day to talk about climate change. Pixabay

Even tiny increases in global temperature—give or take just 0.5°C—could severely alter our planet, bringing us hotter days year-round, the total destruction of the world’s corals, more dangerous flooding, and increased instances of drought and wildfire. Even though we have the technology and know-how to cap warming at a 1.5°C increase, humanity is on track to warm the planet by 3°C by the end of the century.

What, exactly, the IPCC report says

The report combined expertise from 91 scientists and government agents from 40 countries around the world, and referenced 6,000 studies and reports. The final document is intended to guide policymakers as they make decisions about how to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

If business continues as usual, the report says it’s likely the globe will reach 1.5°C of warming between 2030 and 2052. If we manage to cap warming at 2°C in this century, as the Paris Agreement aims to do, we would still be living with the extreme effects of global climate change—like the loss of all the world’s coral reefs.

“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of the IPCC group, in a release.

How will 1.5°C or 2.0°C of warming affect me?

Earth has already warmed about 1°C compared to average temperatures in pre-industrial times—that is, before humans started burning lots of fossil fuels. You can already see this incremental change in your everyday life.

“We are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels, and diminishing Arctic sea ice,” Panmao Zhai, co-chair of IPCC working group focused on the physical science of climate change, said in the IPCC release.

An additional 0.5°C of warming would mean the hottest days of the year get 3°C hotter across much of the globe. The number of hot days in a year will go up almost everywhere, though the tropics will be hit particularly hard.

The differences are even more evident when you compare a 1.5°C increase and a 2°C increase. At 2°C of warming above pre-industrial levels, eastern Asia and eastern North America will see more heavy precipitation events, and tropical cyclones (like hurricanes) will dump even more rain. Meanwhile, other parts of the globe will get less rain and face persistent periods of drought.

The scientists also estimate global sea levels will be four inches higher if we reach 2°C. Ice in the Arctic Ocean would melt completely in the summer at least once a decade instead of once a century. And “virtually all” coral reefs would die off, instead of just 70 to 90 percent of them. Because other air pollutants are often spewed along with greenhouse gas emissions, reducing emissions enough to limit warming to 1.5°C by 2100 could also potentially prevent 150 million premature deaths around the world in the next 80 years. That’s because worldwide, ambient air pollution is one of the leading contributors to illness and death worldwide, according to a study of global disease burden in 2023 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

What will our leaders do to keep climate change from irreversibly altering our planet?

To limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, Earth’s inhabitants need to reduce our global net CO2 emissions by 45 percent compared with 2010 emission levels. We need to do that in the next 12 years. We would have to stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere completely by 2050. To do this, governments need to change land use practices, make our buildings more efficient, switch to clean energy sources, revolutionize manufacturing practices, and change the way we get around.

We also have to physically remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In the climate models in the new report, every scenario that keeps global warming below 1.5°C involved carbon capture strategies, which are currently largely theoretical or possible only on a small scale. To keep us from exceeding a 1.5°C increase, humans need to remove 1,000 gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2100.

“Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, co-chair of IPCC’s climate change mitigation group, in the IPCC’s release.

This year, global greenhouse gas emissions are expected to rise, not fall. Most countries are not on track to meet their Paris Agreement goals. That includes Germany, which has invested $580 billion in renewable energy. The United States has declared it will pull out of the agreement entirely in 2023.

With current policies, including those from Paris, the global temperature increase could reach 3°C over pre-industrial levels, wrote Diana Liverman, one of the IPCC authors who studies the human aspects of climate change at the University of Arizona, in a statement by her university. That much warming would mean a state like Arizona, which already experiences sweltering summers, could get hotter still by an average of 7°F, Liverman said. That much warming would mean cranking up the effects of 2°C of warming: Even more extreme weather, higher seas, hot days, and the loss of whole ecosystems, like coral reefs.

The report is one of six currently in the works by the IPCC. It will serve as a focal point for the Katowice Climate Change Conference in December, when countries gather to review the Paris Agreement and discuss a way forward.

World leaders will have to take fast, drastic action to avoid the future laid out here, or worse. It’s not impossible for us to curb warming at 1.5°C, but it will require massive political will, capital investment, and mutual determination.

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