August 2016 – Digital Marketing Recap @Hacktraction

Here are some major digital marketing updates from the Month of August 2016.

SEO Recap

Google Defines Search Analytics Impressions, Position & Clicks: Google has released a new help document that defines the metrics used on the Google Search Analytics report: Impressions, Clicks and Positions. Google wrote the definitions may change in this document. And it is incredibly comprehensive, I suggest all webmasters and SEOs read it a few times.

Google Sending Search Console Notifications To Create AMP Pages: Google is sending messages and notifications to Google Search Console users to create AMP pages. These notifications were delivered just after Google announcing the expansion of AMP feature to non-news Mobile sites.

Google Doesn’t Follow Links In SVGs: Although Google began crawling and indexing SVGs back in 2010, Google does not follow any links within the Scalable Vector Graphics. SVGs are an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation. They can contain xlink:href links in them, but Google will not follow them.

Google’s Intrusive Interstitials Mobile Penalty Coming January 10, 2017: Google has announced that it will begin cracking down on “intrusive interstitials” on January 10, 2017, because this type of ad “can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.” This is actually replacing the app interstitials ad penalty that launched in September 2015. So that penalty is going away but it should cover and have the same impact on app interstitials ads. Google also updated the Search Console mobile usability report to take into account the change to the app interstitial ad penalty change.


SEM Recap

Google AdWords Adds More Details To Product Status Tab Report:  Google quietly announced on Google+ that they are “adding more” to the product status tab in the Google AdWords columns report. Google said they are “adding more to the Products tab to show policy details on why your products are disapproved or inactive.”

First appearance of ads in Local Pack found in UK mobile search result: Ryan Scollon spotted a Local Pack with three organic listings and one ad at the top in a UK mobile search. Google has not yet confirmed this to be legit but it seems like the real thing.

Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (RLSA) Expands To Google Search Partners:  Google announced quietly on Google+ that they have expanded Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) to Google search partners as an option. This change means your audience-targeted bids, keywords, and ads will reach more of your potential customers without any additional work.

Google AdWords Quality Scores Reports To Show Null Values: Google quietly announced on Google+ that starting September 12, 2016 the Google AdWords report may start showing null values in the quality score columns when the keywords are new or have insufficient impression or click data.  Google said they recommend reviewing your reports, filters, rules and scripts that rely on Quality Scores before September 12th, 2016.

Google AdWords Ad Preview Tool Lets You Share This Result: Google added a new feature to the Google AdWords ad preview tool that lets you share the result with your colleagues. After you run a search in the tool, there is a new button at the top right that says “share this result.” When you click on it, it opens a dialog that gives you a URL you can email to a friend to see the same result.

Google Confirms They Are Rolling Out The New AdWords User Interface To Users: Google has confirmed that the new Adwords interface is rolling out to more AdWords users. The shocker, we weren’t expecting any roll out until next year. It should be noted that this move is purely an interface design change — it will not change the core functionality of AdWords.

Google adds Export to Report Editor option in AdWords: Google is improving the integration of Report Editor into the AdWords experience. The next time you opt to download a report from AdWords, you may notice an option to “Open in Report Editor.”

Google AdWords Enables Campaign Drafts & Experiments For Display Ads: Campaign drafts and experiments in AdWords is now available for campaigns running on the Google Display Network. You’ll now see the Drafts box next to the date range in the upper right corner when you’ve selected a display campaign. Clicking on that button brings up the dialogue box below showing the steps to get started.

Google AdWords Account Health Score For Search: Google AdWords has this opportunities tab that shows advertisers suggestions on how to improve their campaigns. Google is beta testing a new feature there named “account health score for search.” This was first spotted by Chris Whyatt at the Receptional blog. The account health score for search measures how well your search network campaigns are configured. It then comes up with a set of recommendations that can/will raise your score and help your campaigns perform better, says Google. The score is 0 out of 100%.

Google AdWords Campaign Groups; Track Goals Across Campaigns: Google AdWords is testing a new feature named “campaign groups.” Campaign groups let you set and track goals across multiple campaigns to track their impact on a shared or “common goal.” Ariana Wolf first shared this finding on Twitter and shared these screen shots showing off the feature. You may be able to access it yourself under the “all campaigns,” “all drafts,” etc menu on the left hand side.

Business names start showing in AdWords Call Only ads: Josh Leibner posted on Twitter that the Google AdWords call only ads is now automatically pulling in the business name into the headlines of the ads. I tested this myself and it seems to be legit.

New Version Of The Google Merchant Center Live: Merchant Center has a new interface built with Google’s Material Design used by so many of its consumer products, as well as the new AdWords interface currently in testing. The new look is now live globally.

New Google AdWords Account-Level Sitelinks: Google quietly announced on Google+ a new version of sitelinks named account level sitelinks. What this means is that sitelinks can show with any of the ads in your account automatically. More details can be found in this help document.


SMM Recap

Instagram Launches New ‘Stories’ Feature: Users of Instagram can now post picture and video slideshows that last 24 hours with the New Feature called – Instagram Stories – which is similar to the signature function of social media rival Snapchat. Instagram users will be able to view a person’s “story” by clicking on their profile photo. Unlike normal Instagram posts, there are no likes or comments.

Twitter Announces a New Twitter Ads Manager: Twitter is gradually rolling out a new Twitter Ads Manager to all advertisers globally in a public beta over the coming months. This tool will provide a central workspace to plan, manage and report on campaigns and easily view and optimize performance at multiple levels – campaigns, ad groups, or promoted Tweets and other ads.

Twitter Rolls Out Instant Unlock Cards for Exclusive Content: Twitter announced that all global advertisers can now use conversational ads and a brand-new Instant Unlock Card that encourages people to Tweet to unlock exclusive content. Twitter also introduced analytics for its Instant Unlock Card, allowing brands to view engagement metrics and earned media generated by their campaigns.

Facebook Introduces Shopping and Services Sections to Pages: Facebook is now letting businesses sell items and services directly through their pages at no extra cost. With the shop section, businesses can display products they’re selling on their page, which will enable customers to not only search for items, but to also make offers through Facebook Messenger. The services section is available globally to professional services providers and will be rolled out to all Pages in “the coming weeks.”

Snapchat introduces location-based Geostickers: Spapchat introduced ‘Geostickers,’ which are basically like Geofilters, except… stickers. They’re themed to your current location, and you can resize and move them around just like any other stickers or emoji in your snaps, or just send them in chats. Geostickers are currently available in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, Honolulu, London, Sydney, São Paulo, Paris, and Riyadh.

Pinterest Introduces CPM Buying: According to the Pinterest for Business blog, advertisers can now bid on a CPM basis or specify the maximum number of times someone sees your campaign and Pinterest will “deliver your ads to reach more people.” This new offering is available to all businesses in the US, UK, and Canada through Ads Manager and most Marketing Developer Partners.

Facebook Updates News Feed to Show More Personally Informative Stories: Facebook announced that it’s creating a new ranking signal to predict what is most informative to you, so those stories appear higher in your feed. Facebook anticipates that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed and suggests that Pages should continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences and that their audiences might find informative.

Facebook Expands User Control Over Ad Preferences and Combats Ad-Blocking: Facebook users can now add or remove interests from their ad preferences, as well as “stop seeing ads from businesses or organizations who have added them to their customer lists.” With the rollout of these powerful user controls for ads, Facebook also announced that ad-blocking software will no longer work when accessing the social network on desktop.

Pinterest Introduces Promoted Video: Pinterest rolled out Promoted Video, a new way for businesses to share their ideas with the people who are looking for them and make it easy for them to give these ideas a try. Promoted Video on Pinterest is currently only available to businesses with managed accounts in the U.S. and the U.K.

Facebook Confirms New Look and Layout for Pages: Facebook has updated your Page’s design on desktop to make it easier for your visitors to interact with you and your Page. These changes include an updated layout with “a cleaner design,” more prominent button placements that “drive the actions that matter to you” and improved navigation tools that “make it quick and easy for people to find important information about your business.” Facebook confirms that these changes have rolled out to all Facebook pages.

Twitter launches Promoted #Stickers: Twitter has launched a new feature for marketers called Promoted #Stickers. Brands will now be able to create and promote custom stickers which can be used by anyone on Twitter. Moreover, a brand’s stickers, which can make a person’s photos fun and engaging, will be featured in the Stickers library. Pepsi is the exclusive launch partner of Promoted #Stickers, and will share nearly 50 custom stickers across 10 markets, including India, for fans to use as part of its global PepsiMoji campaign. Promoted #Stickers are available globally to select marketers with a managed account.

Instagram Business Profile Rollout in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia: New Business Profiles on Instagram and other business tools are finally starting to roll out in certain regions – mainly Europe, the Middle East and Asia. These tools are coming to the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand in the coming months and are expected to be available globally by the end of the year.

Facebook Expands Number of Photos and Videos in Carousel Ads: Facebook has quietly doubled the number of images and videos that can be included in its carousel ads, to ten from five.

Twitter Released a Direct Message Button for Websites: Twitter introduced a new Message button that lets your website visitors Direct Message you with a single click. According to the Twitter Publish site, “the message button makes it easy to start a private conversation with you.” Twitter suggests that the new Message button “works best when your account settings allow you to receive Direct Messages from anyone, whether or not they follow you.” The Message button is now available to all site owners.

LinkedIn Started Rolling Out Conversion Tracking to Select Users: LinkedIn is slowly rolling out conversion tracking to select advertisers, with the hope of 100% rollout by the end of August. LinkedIn conversion tracking is an analytic function powered by the LinkedIn Insight Tag that gathers insights into post-click and view-through conversions of your Sponsored Content and Text Ad campaigns and gives you the ability to measure the impact and ROI of your ads.

Facebook Will Expand Audience Ad Network through Header Bidding: Facebook is moving to expand the reach of its audience network through header bidding. This new ad product will bring advertiser demand from the Facebook Audience Network to the world’s largest publishers by integrating itself within a header bidding wrapper and will heavily focus on serving ads on the open mobile web. Header bidding is expected to launch in September or October of this year. By embracing header bidding, Facebook could extend its reach with publishers, upping the ante in its battle with Google to be the dominant ad player on the web and mobile.

Twitter Will Now Share Video Revenue with Individual Content Creators: Twitter is pulling a page from YouTube’s playbook: It’s going to sell ads alongside creator videos and share that ad revenue with the people making the content. And Twitter is offering very appealing terms. Creators who publish videos on Twitter will get about 70 percent of the ad revenue, according to a source close to the situation. Normally accessible only to companies, Twitter’s Amplify Publisher program is now available to individual content creators. Once they’re approved by the company (after a quick application process) they can check a box to elect to have pre-roll ads run against their video.

WhatsApp to Share User Data with Facebook for Ad Targeting: WhatsApp has announced a big change to its privacy policy which, once a user accepts its new T&Cs, will see it start to share some user data with its parent company — including for ad-targeting purposes on the latter service. Along with phone number and last seen data, Facebook may also be fed intel on a WhatApp user’s operating system, mobile country code, mobile carrier code, screen resolution and device identifier. All of which open up plentiful tracking/ad-targeting possibilities.

Opting out of the data-sharing entirely does not seem to be possible, but WhatsApp is offering a partial opt out — specifically for Facebook ad targeting and product-related purposes. WhatsApp details two ways to opt out of sharing data for Facebook ad targeting on its blog here.


Analytics Recap

Google Tag Manager Updates: Workspaces and User Interface: Google has launched a new feature called Workspaces for both GTM and GTM 360 users. The goal of this new feature is to solve workflow challenges for multi-user teams working within the same container. Workspaces allow you to make changes in a specific instance of GTM, while others can work in a separate instance of the same container.

If you have recently logged into your GTM account, you will notice that Google has completely revamped the UI. The clean new design of GTM does not take long to get accustomed to. The common GTM tasks (creating tags, configuring variables, and applying triggers) are more intuitive than ever before.

Google Analytics Demo Account: To help people gain experience with Google Analytics, Google is launching Demo Account for Analytics. The idea is to give those without access to a full-fledged account a way to get hands-on experience, but it can also be used by those with access to accounts who want a playground for experimentation before making changes — in a client’s account, for example. And of course, Demo Account can be used in any training environment.

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