July 2016 – Digital Marketing Recap @Hacktraction

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

SEO Recap

Google May Count Your Annoying Pop Up As Primary Content: To a question asked by Mihai Aperghis in a Google Hangout on Google+, John Mueller told him it is possible that a pop up can be looked at by Google as the primary content on that page. Jonh Muller told,

“I think, just from a usability point of view, if you put this in front of a user before they’re even able to see what you offer, it’s probably counterproductive, in that you’re not really getting the most value out of that.

On the other hand, if you can tell that someone is already browsing your website, and they’re looking at stuff, or maybe they’re reading through a longer page, then maybe it makes sense to let them know, hey, if you really like this, is a great way to kind of keep in touch, stay up to date with the new changes. And maybe that makes sense to kind of, like you said, delay it into the session.”

Google Local Map Results Getting More Hyperlocal: We are seeing sporadic reports from some local SEO experts that the local results are becoming more “hyperlocal” and/or fewer results are showing for local specific queries during from July 2016.

Google Keyword Planner Estimates Are Based On Organic Search Data: Google Keyword Planner data uses organic search data, like Bing does. There was some confusion about where the Google Keyword Planner tool gets their estimates. Is it based on organic searches or does Google only look when there are ads available for those keywords.

 

SEM Recap

Google AdWords Adds Automated Bidding Health Reporting:  Google announced that they have added more reporting to their automated bidding is working for them. Google added three new features for advertisers to track their automated bidding including:

  • New alerts that immediately flag bidding issues
  • Bid strategy statuses that appear directly in your campaign and ad group status columns
  • Rich performance reporting for standard bid strategies set at the campaign-level

Google expansion of Local Inventory Ad product search now live: In May, Google announced it would soon give retailers running Local Inventory Ads, another way for searchers to find out if a product is available in their local store. That functionality is now live, with retailers like Ikea, Macy’s and REI participating. The new “Search items at this store” feature is available both in the Knowledge Panel and Google Maps results for participating retailers.

Google rolling out price extensions for mobile text ads:  Google is rolling out a whole new way for advertisers to showcase their services, products and prices, with a new extension for AdWords text ads. Price extension offers many advertisers the first opportunity to show pricing information for multiple products and services in their ads. It’s also the first extension that is likely to stir tough competition that will potentially drive up mobile CPCs in a meaningful way.

New Features for Google Manager Accounts: Google has made a couple of updates to manager accounts, which used to be called MCC. Many notifications are now rolled up for managed accounts, and managed accounts can give access to manager accounts.

Google AdWords To Add Cross Device Conversion Column By Default: Google announced that starting after August 16, 2016, all new AdWords accounts will include cross-device conversions in the Conversions column by default. Previously, this was a setting your can turn on or off but now, by default, the column will show up for all.

Google Adwords Rolls Out Showcase Shopping Ads: Showcase Shopping Ads have been in beta testing in the US since early 2016 and allow ecommerce retailers to showcase a range of related products in relation to broader category search queries such as “living room furniture” or “women’s athletic clothing”. Showcase Shopping Ads are charged on a CPC basis.

New Features in TrueView for Shopping Ads: Google is also rolling out more branding opportunities for merchants running TrueView for shopping ads. One is a companion banner that features a carousel of products that viewers can scroll through while watching the video. The second is a product picker which gives advertisers the option to select and prioritize the products to show within their TrueView campaigns rather than relying on Google to dynamically choose the products to feature.

Google AMP Ads: A4A: Google announced that, they have published the AMP version of how they should handle ads on AMP, also known as A4A. Malte Ubl from Google shared on Google+ that ads for AMP will:

  • be safe & behave well
  • use much less bandwidth
  • maximize battery life
  • run at 60 frames per second

 

AdWords Adds Imported Call Conversions: Google has rolled out a new feature which will enable you to import call conversion data. It requires Google forwarding numbers to work and if you have that then you are set. For more details, check out the blog post.

Google AdWords To Retire “Converted Clicks” On September 21st: Google announced that on September 21, 2016 they will be retiring the “converted clicks” metrics and replacing it with the “conversion” metrics. Google added if you are using “Conversions” for reporting and bidding, no action is required. If you use Target CPA or Enhanced CPC and your primary bid metric is set to “Converted clicks” at the present time, you should plan to update to “Conversions” by Sep 21st.

Google Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) are Live: Google has officially launched expanded text ads. The rollout comes along with the availability of device bidding and responsive display ads for native that were first announced at Google Performance Summit in May.

TrueView Discovery Ads: Google announced, that they were changing the name of “TrueView in-display ads” to “TrueView Discovery Ads.” They didn’t stop with just the name change though, they also made significant enhancements to the product, TrueView Discovery Ads will now appear on mobile search results. They’ve also made TrueView Discovery Ads more relevant on search results pages and are being used across the full inventory of YouTube videos, which Google says has increased ad click-through by 11%.

Google AdWords New Machine Learning Based Smart Bidding: Google announced that “Smart Bidding” is now going to be powered by machine learning. Google said they are “excited to announce Smart Bidding, our new name for conversion-based automated bidding across AdWords and DoubleClick Search that reflects the powerful machine learning behind it

Google Releases AdWords Editor 11.5: Google announced version 11.5 of the AdWords Editor. The big change is to support expanded text ads which started rolling out already. The other larger changes include mobile app engagement ads, import/export and simultaneous posting for multiple accounts, and other updates.

 

SMM Recap

Snapchat introduces Memories: Snapchat introduced Memories, a way of saving and sharing old snaps in a private archive inside the main app. It’s a living, social camera roll in which photos and videos can be organized, edited, and shared long after they are taken. There are no ads or other revenue-generating products inside Memories at launch. It could take up to 30 days for you to receive the update, the company says.

Instagram Adds Comment Moderation to Business Accounts: Instagram added a new Comment Moderation option to its business profiles. This new feature automatically “blocks comments with words or phrases often reported as offensive from appearing on your posts.” The new feature can be found in the settings of accounts that have turned on the Business Page option.

Twitter Launches First Sports Livestream: Twitter launched its first sports livestream broadcast at this year’s Wimbledon. The screen looks a lot like what you see at the most live streaming services with commentary on the side. Tweets with the associated hashtag will appear along the side and you can tweet directly along the stream without opening another window. Viewers currently can’t filter the feed to only see tweets from those they follow, but are able to pause or mute the feed.

Facebook Will Roll Out Instant Articles in Messenger: Facebook will make Instant Articles accessible on Messenger over the next several weeks, beginning with support for Android, followed by iOS. According to the Facebook Media blog, people using Messenger will see a lightning bolt on the top right corner of some links shared in Messenger, which indicates the link is an Instant Article.

Pokémon Go Will Soon Include Sponsored Locations: The developers of the popular augmented reality game plan to include “sponsored locations” within the game, which would “provide a new revenue stream, in addition to in-app purchases of power-ups and virtual items” and offer “retailers and companies… the paid opportunity to be featured prominently on the game’s virtual map, in the hope to drive customers inside their facilities.”

Facebook now lets broadcasters restrict their Live audiences by age, location, gender: By default, if you’re broadcasting using Facebook Live, you’re doing so publicly for anyone to see. At least until now. Facebook quietly added a new option for some broadcasters to restrict who can tune into a Live broadcast, which the company announced in a blog post published on its developer site. The audience restrictions option is only available only to people who post their Live streams to Facebook using the social network’s API (application programming interface), e.g., media companies, professional creators and brands using software to send the stream that’s shot using fancy cameras or game- and screen-casting tools, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed.

Facebook Tests Snapchat-like Disappearing Updates: TechCrunch reports that Facebook is still trying to mimic Snapchat with a new Stories-style feature its testing called ‘Quick Updates’. According to the article, “these 24-hour ephemeral updates are buried in a special part of the app, and won’t show up in News Feed or on your profile.” This feature is currently being tested with some but definitely not all users.

Reddit introduced Promoted User Posts: This is a new ad offering that gives marketers the ability to sponsor user-generated posts on Reddit’s platform. According to the announcement from Reddit, this new ad offering “will essentially let an advertiser identify an organic post that they find especially relevant to their brand or product and promote that in the Sponsored unit.” In turn, the author of the post will be notified and asked to give their expressed “opt-in approval” before their post can be used as part of a branded initiative.

 Tumblr Launches Ads and Announces Monetization Features: Tumblr announced that later this year, its users will be able to “start making money from their blogs” with ads. While this opportunity will be available to any eligible Tumblr, the site assures users that they will have the option to turn off on blog advertising in settings if [they are] not comfortable with it. Tumblr is still working out the details of the partner program, so no launch date has been announced yet.

Analytics Recap

Hack Notifications Come To Google Analytics Alerts: Google announced that Google Analytics is now getting some of the messaging features from Google Search Console. This one is about hacked site alerts, hacks that actually make your site go against Google’s webmaster guidelines. Your site does not need to be linked from your Google Analytics account to your Google Search Console account for it to work.

Google Analytics Redesigns User Interface: It appears Google is doing a slow rollout of their new Analytics 360 Navigation to their freemium Tier. Google did a paint job around the top navigation and it makes navigating to other accounts a snap, keywords, id numbers, and simple wizard navigations.

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