Avatar Posted by Cameron Francis on in Weekly Marketing News

Google Makes Search Console Reports Simpler With These Changes

If you use Search Console, Google has introduced a few changes to make your life easier. 

Previously, if the web pages had a problem, a warning label appeared next to it in the Search Console. 

This label was a source of confusion for webmasters as to what it meant. 

Now, the warning label will be replaced by either valid or invalid. 

The valid label means there is an issue but the issue isn’t critical whereas an invalid label will appear next to pages or items that have critical issues. 

These new labels will allow webmasters to prioritise their fixes regarding the appearance of their site on Google. 

There won’t be any change to individual issues which will still be classified as good, warning, or error. 

This change will affect; 

  • URL inspection reports
  • Rich result reports
  • AMP reports
  • Mobile usability report and
  • Core web vitals.

You are unlikely to see any changes right now as it will take a few months for this update to roll out. 

Keep in mind that these are only reporting changes in the Search Console and it doesn’t affect how your website is indexed, crawled or served in the search results.

Does Using a CDN Boost Ranking

A content delivery network (CDN) is basically a service that provides a global server network to speed up the delivery of web pages. 

This is achieved by serving the web pages from a server that is located near the person trying to access them. 

This means that using a content delivery network service can substantially improve web page speed. 

Since speed is a direct ranking factor, does a CDN help in search rankings? 

According to John Mueller, Google’s Search Advocate, a content delivery network does not have an effect on SEO

If your site is slow for visitors, then it will be rarer for them to visit due to the frustrating experience. 

However, if it is fast for the users, then they have a chance to see a reasonably fast site, and thus boost your traffic. 

Mueller also stated that difficulty in crawling websites is not a common problem unless it’s a site with millions and millions of pages. 

This means that a CDN avoids the effects of a slow shared server and while it’s a solution with numerous benefits, SEO isn’t one of them.

Why Is Google Turning On Automatic Messaging For Some Businesses?

A local SEO has lodged a complaint in the Local Search Forums stating that Google has emailed the businesses of the local SEO with a message stating that messaging was automatically turned on for their business profile in Google Maps and Google Search. 

The complaint states that this was done without the consent of the local SEO.

It is helpful that messaging is available in Google Business Profiles; in fact, this capability has been available for years and years. 

However, to automatically activate it for businesses and then send them an email requesting that they check their messages, what would be the point? 

That doesn’t sound like a good plan at all. 

What if a company is so busy that it can’t answer its clients as soon as it normally would? 

What if they do not want communications from their customers? 

Sure, they have the ability to turn it off; but, to automatically opt businesses in? I can’t help but wonder whether there is a flaw of some kind. 

You may also have noticed that the logo that appears in the email is for Google My Business and not the new Google Business Profiles. 

Time will tell what will happen from here.

Google Ad Manager Recent & Upcoming Updates

Google has recently rolled out eight changes and tweaks to their Ad Manager. 

We’ll quickly list these below:

  1. Publisher – provided identifier time-to-live PPID TTL has been moved to 180 days, a significant extension from 90 days.
  2. Facebook – Following the recent rebrand of Facebook, Google Ad Manager has been updated to reflect Meta.
  3. Pricing – There has been an increase in floor prices in order to accurately reflect the user’s inventory value.
  4. Google Analytics 4 – Google Ad Manager has been integrated with Google Analytics 4 and is now in open beta.
  5. Block Ad experiences – The former ‘’Allow video ads’’ is now referred to as ‘’Block non-instream video ads’’.
  6. SupplyChain Object Complete – The company will be marking SupplyChain Object Complete for Multiple Customer Management (MCM) Manage Inventory publishers.
  7. WebView Api for Ads is now accessible – The aim is to help application developers get monetisation opportunities in WebView Content.
  8. Bid rejection reasons now offers more granularity, both in reporting and data transfer. 

Users can also expect several updates in the near future including query migration, app.ads.txt, and Active View Measurement (moving from proprietary viewability to Open Measurement SDK).

Apple’s Ad Business To Reach $6 Billion By 2025

JP Morgan’s analyst Samik Chatterjee forecasts Apple’s ad business to reach $6 billion by 2025. 

With the mobile advertising market expected to exceed $400 billion in 2024, Apple is supposed to bring in a revenue of $6 billion from mobile advertising in 2025. 

In fact, the mobile advertising market is supposed to increase by at least 33% in 2024 from its $288 billion revenue in 2021. 

With the release of iOS14 & the introduction of App Tracking Transparency (ATT) causing a $10 billion loss in revenue to Meta, Chatterjee mentions that the change drove headwinds for current advertising platforms and that it was Apple’s plan all along.

Apple’s search campaigns also developed a new pricing model earlier this month. The new model – Cost Per Tap (CPT) – replaces the CPM campaign standard. 

It is still uncertain whether Apple has a plan to implement an audience network. Given the large network of Apple users, it shouldn’t be completely discounted. 

The largest share of Apple’s revenue comes from Apple Search Ads, which should account for about $4.1 billion in revenue in 2025.

Microsoft Bing Is Building A New Retail Marketplace 

Microsoft Bing launched an updated retail marketplace within the last few months. The main goal of this initiative is to compete against Google. 

Bing has an existing platform called Start Shopping in which buyers find products and then click on them. 

The buyers are currently being redirected to the retailer’s website to process the purchase. 

Buy Direct is a new marketplace that will help the potential buyer to click on products and then complete the purchase within Bing’s platform. 

Similar to Google Shopping, sellers are able to develop a storefront and Bing will manage the payments for them. Bing also lets sellers promote their products through advertisements. 

LinkedIn’s audience data is already owned by Microsoft, and Bing will use it as an additional tool to assist advertisers in managing ad prices. 

In fact, Bing’s new marketplace platform is supposed to be better than Google Shopping because it is better equipped to help people find certain products they might be looking for. 

Bing will allow people to set their shopping preferences to show relevant products.

Meta Explains The Potential Of Metaverse Through New Videos

Meta has been pushing Metaverse hard for quite some time. The company has already invested and is currently pumping billions of dollars into its vision. 

There are a ton of cool concepts but nothing on the ground. Meta has now started a new promo campaign where it explains its vision for the Metaverse and potential applications in the field of education, skills training and healthcare. 

There is a lot of hype around the concept going by the number of explainer books and profiteers trying to scare businesses to be prepared for the metaverse. 

Some people also say that the metaverse isn’t limited to the one being created by Meta but the only metaverse that matters in terms of scale, functionality and value is the one being developed by Meta. 

One thing is clear so far — the metaverse is still very immature and there is a long way to go before it becomes a reality. 

This may be the reason why Meta is now trying to shift consumer focus into a future where metaverse and VR are a reality with real world applications.

FB Plans To Go All In On Video

The company plans to turn FB’s main feed into a discovery engine where people go for content recommendations. 

FB is focused on 3 main things including building an excellent recommendation technology, making reels (short-form video) successful and encouraging messaging-based sharing.

The company plans to build a recommendation system that identifies trending content and makes recommendations based on people’s interests. 

Short-form video is seen as the biggest gap in their product portfolio by the company and they plan to focus on making short videos available throughout their website and make reels more discoverable.

With these changes, the FB interface will have a more video-heavy experience. It’s not clear when these changes will take place but if FB is a priority for you, get ready to focus on short form video. 

The text and photos will remain but video will take priority in the feed.

TikTok Merger of US User Data Into US-Based Systems

After years of criticism over whether TikTok may be used as a surveillance tool by the Chinese government, the firm stated today that it has migrated US user data to Oracle servers, ensuring that US material remains independent from its Chinese parent company.

TikTok will still utilise data centres for backup, but US user data will be destroyed as part of a full pivot to US-based Oracle cloud servers. 

The announcement comes as BuzzFeed News reports that TikTok may be sharing US user data with Chinese authorities via ByteDance’s data review methods.

According to BuzzFeed News, ByteDance programmers accessed US customer data between September 2021 and January 2022. 

That contradicts TikTok’s head of US public policy Michael Beckerman’s sworn statement before a Congressional Hearing in October 2017 that TikTok does not exchange information with the Chinese government. 

Let’s see what happens from here.

TikTok Shares New Insights into How Users Respond to Promotions in the App

TikTok has released the second iteration of its “Path-to-Purchase” Report, which highlights how TikTok videos drive consumer behaviour, and the crucial elements that enhance marketing performance in the app. 

The report looks at how TikTok users feel about promotional/sponsored content in their feeds, and the products/services they purchase as a result of these promotions.

Creator and celebrity endorsements have been shown to play an important role in TikTok promotions with the report highlighting that, “TikTok users are 48% more likely to find new products and brands from public figures and celebrities”.

Lastly, this latest report has revealed that over 50% of users on TikTok search for information about where to purchase products they have seen within the app. 

This means that the platform’s impact goes beyond the app itself.

TikTok Testing New View History Feature For Followers

TikTok has seen its fair share of controversies in recent years but the platform remains strong with nearly 700 million active users each month. 

The company recently announced an entirely new feature that adds a viewer history section to each upload. This new feature has already been tested on some select accounts. 

The purpose of the feature is to allow users to see exactly who has viewed their videos. 

This is beneficial for content creators because it lets them know which followers enjoy their content the most. 

The good news for some is that this will not be a mandatory feature. The feature will be disabled by default with the ability to easily enable it in your account settings. 

Only the users who enable the feature will be visible in a post’s view history. 

TikTok has already confirmed that the feature is real and is in private testing with a group of users. 

It’s unknown when the feature will be fully available for the app and how the larger public will respond.

Snapchat Likely To  Introduce A Subscription Service

With revenue not meeting expectations, Snapchat is looking at new monetisation strategies and one of the strategies it has come up with is a subscription service. 

This new subscription will service will be known as Snapchat+. 

Users may find these features as part of the subscription:

  • Getting access to exclusive Snapchat icons
  • Profile badge displaying a Snapchat+ sign
  • Check friend’s location history over the last 24 hours
  • Users who have rewatched your story
  • Ability to pin a user as your #1 best friend

Think of it as Twitter Blue but for Snapchat. Twitter Blue hasn’t been an overwhelming success. 

In fact, the revenue has fallen by 31% in Q4 2021 (YoY) to just $94 million. Having said that, Snapchat is a much more personal app for its users as can be seen from the popularity of Snap Streaks.

It remains to be seen how many users sign up for the subscription service, what features are there when it’s launched and what effect it’s going to have on Snap’s revenue.

Full Screen Instagram Main Feed Unleashed

Instagram has upgraded its full-screen main feed test, which stretches pictures, videos, and Reels into a TikTok-like swipeable river of IG content. 

Reels are Instagram’s fastest-growing content choice, with 20% of all time spent in its Reels stream.

This new strategy would also take the Stories bar out of view, while the longer-term plan would likely include Stories with a frame count bar along the bottom of the screen, prompting users to swipe for more. 

The upgrade underscores TikTok’s continuous effect, which has influenced how practically every platform considers growth.

The rise of short-form video is affecting user attention spans and customer expectations, which means platforms must change in line with the trend or lose viewers by ignoring it. 

If businesses aren’t developing short-form video content, they should start experimenting since it’s going to be big on IG.

Over 1.5 Billion Users  Are Interacting With Youtube Shorts

YouTube recently disclosed new figures on the soaring popularity of YouTube Shorts, which was initially supposed to erode the distinction between TikTok, and deter YouTube users from straying.

Over 1.5 billion logged-in people watch YouTube Shorts monthly. That’s a lot considering YouTube’s 2 billion monthly logged-in users. 

This means that 75% of YouTube viewers are using Shorts, which is a strong vote of confidence in YouTube’s counter-offensive against TikTok. 

Inmar Intelligence revealed that 70% of online visitors now view short-form videos. 

While Vine had a cult following, user consumption patterns have shifted, with short-form video being the optimal medium for decreased attention spans.

Pinterest Introduces Idea Ads & Paid Partnership Tools

Pinterest’s new ad format – Idea Ads – was launched recently. The Idea Ad format is a new format that is similar to Idea Pins which was launched by Pinterest last year. 

Idea Ads include a multi-page immersive format specially created for advertisers to show their ideas that are in action. 

When a shopper clicks on such an ad, they will be taken to the website of the relevant brand to view the information. 

On the other hand, there is the Paid Partnership Tool that allows brands the opportunity to partner with Pinterest creators. 

The partnership will let large companies collaborate with Pinterest’s community of creators. With this tool, any brand can review the tag and deny/approve the content.

Companies can significantly benefit from the unique content developed by creators using the new tool. 

This means that any company can promote the creator’s content as its own Idea Ad across Pinterest thanks to this new tool.

The first few brands that saw immediate success with these tools are Gatorade and Scotch in the United States. 

They worked with creators and saw 38% higher brand awareness, and 37% higher Pin awareness. 

Watch this space if you have a specific target in mind with your advertising. 

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