This month we’ve really enjoyed reading about the second machine age and how this relates to digital marketing.

September has also seen updates affecting local businesses within search, with Google making visual changes to local listings and developing Google My Business.

To cap off the round-up we look at data-driven decision making and Google Search Rankings.

Boxing robots in a ring

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Machine learning and digital marketing: Why melding human and machine is important to your business

By Alex Weinstein

This article puts theory into practice showing how digital companies are adopting the new wave of machine learning and automation to drive campaigns. It highlights three major players who are using sophisticated machine learning to make business decisions.

How to plan now for tomorrow’s robotic workforce

By Ryan Holmes

Again this article is not specifically for search marketing, but does highlight some important topics which can be applied to all industries, most notably, where will we all be working in the next 20 years?

As Ryan states, Social Media Manager was the most in-demand job a few years ago, soon after seeing a whole in-flux of software automated systems and data driven platforms which aided that particular role.

This article is great, at going beyond the initial “will a robot be doing my job?” taking a look at education and how the industrial revolution created jobs, whilst the AI revolution may be taking them away.

Map Navigation search

Google Local Updates

In the past month we have seen Google make some changes to Google Local results which could have consequences for local businesses in search. Below are two blogs which explain what we are seeing and what this might mean for your business / clients’ businesses.

The New Google Local Search Display

By Jason Decker

Jason talks about the update that we have been seeing where Google has re-shuffled its local listings only showing 3 businesses within the main search pages, and removing the main link to the Google My Business page.

We also get some insight on what these changes could mean for local businesses in search and potentially what Google’s own aims for local search are.

Businesses’ peak hours now showing in Google’s desktop search results

By Local Visibility System

This blog goes a bit further into the changes Google has made to its Local Search functionality with the addition of some new features as well as how Google might now be using your mobile data.

Sugar sprinkle dots, decoration for cake and bakery

What we learned from one billion site audits

By Lee Wilson

With great data comes great responsibility.  One billion of anything is a lot – in search we love data, in fact we use data at the crux of everything we do. Lee goes in deep, speaking about what we learned from collecting audited data from one billion websites.

Google ranking factors

By Northcutt

Less of a blog and more of a resource, Northcutt makes use of the ranking factors which are widely talked about in search and combines them to make an incredible interactive resource.

It really shows us what can be done when time and effort is put into a piece of content and is definitely something I’ve favourited to return to and if nothing else, use as a great example of content with the bigger picture in mind.

Does Google crawl Rel=”nofollow” Links? [Experiment]

By Jamie White

Articles where practical elements of SEO are put to the test are great for us. Within SEO we’re always running experiments, trying to work out how we can make the most of each page on a website.

Rather than simply stating an opinion, this blog sets out to conclusively solve the question at hand. Building links to websites always has a lot of noise around it, so having some weight behind an argument can always help make sure you are doing the right thing.

Read anything good?

With all this talk of robots taking over, I may have missed some cool blogs and features. Do you have any that you recommend? If so, tweet me as I’d love to have a read.