March 2016 – Digital Marketing Recap @Hacktraction

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

SEO Recap

It’s Official: Toolbar PageRank is Going Away for Good: Google’s numeric rating of how important it considers pages to be will soon no longer be accessible to the public. Google explained that the company still uses PageRank data internally within the ranking algorithm, but the external PageRank values shown in the Toolbar are going away completely.

Google Smartphone Crawler Will Drop iPhone User-Agent For Android:  Google announced that they are updating their smartphone user-agent to a new user-agent on April 18th. The new user-agent drops the iPhone bit from the string and replaces it with Android.

Google to boost mobile-friendly algorithm from May 2016: Google said the update will happen “beginning in May,” and it “increases the effect of the [mobile-friendly] ranking signal.” Google said if you are already mobile-friendly, you do not have to worry, because “you will not be impacted by this update.”

Google to bloggers: Disclose & Nofollow Links When Reviewing Gifted Products: Google has published on their webmaster blog a notice that bloggers who receive free or gifted products from brands or manufacturers should make sure to follow some “best practices” to ensure they do not get penalized by Google.

Google AMP results carousel live in 12 countries: On February 23, Google began showing AMP listings in the mobile search results, but it only rolled out to select regions. A month later, Google has only rolled out the AMP-based news carousel in 12 different countries – Brazil, Germany, Spain, France, the UK, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Russia and the US. There is no word on when it will expand to other regions or beyond the news carousel.


SEM Recap

Google AdWords Editor 11.3: Version 11.3 of Adwords Editor brings support for video campaigns, callout extensions, HTML5 ads and more.

Google AdWords Automatic Scheduled Uploads: Google announced a new automated feature to let you automatically set scheduled uploads for your AdWords ads. Google AdWords can now automatically update your business data daily, weekly, or on the first day of the month. This sync process can happen without the need to sign in and update this information manually.

Google AdWords Testing Scrollable Product Listing Ads: Google is testing a new format for the product listing ads, Google AdWords shopping ads, at the top of the page. The format they are testing is a scrollable version. Check the screenshot here.

Google Opens Trial Run Ads To Search Ads With App Streaming: Google announced new ad formats and targeting options yesterday. The biggest item was expanding trial run ads to search ads. Trial Run Ads will have a “Try now” button, in addition to a download button. Users who opt to try the app will be able to play the game for up to 10 minutes before deciding whether to download it from the Google Play store. Developers will also soon be able to target ads to users who have spent more than 30 minutes playing games or played an app that’s integrated with Google Play Games within the past 30 days.

Google Revamps Search Advertising Exam For Google Partners: Google has quietly updated, the Search Advertising exam for Google Partners.

Google is completely redesigning AdWords: Google has announced the start of a major redesign process aimed at rejuvenating the AdWords interface. The last time Google touched up AdWords was way back in 2008. Over the next 12 to 18 months, areas of the redesign will roll out to select advertisers — big and small — for testing and feedback based on the capabilities they’re using. For example, advertisers running video campaigns will see video campaign management views, while others running Shopping campaigns will see that area of the platform. The goal is to have the redesign fully rolled out to all users by the end of 2017.

New: Google AdWords OEM Automotive Ads: Google announced a new search ads, AdWords, format for automative ads for OEMs such as Toyota, Honda, etc. OEM advertisers can run Model Automotive ads on searches for auto makes and models. The ads feature large-format images, performance details and links to the manufacturer’s website, nearby dealers and other information. The Dealer Automotive ads are available to franchise and authorized auto dealerships in the US. The ads include location, directions and a click-to-call button for nearby dealerships and display at the top of mobile search results. The dealer ads also integrate with the Model Automotive ads, accessed from the “Dealers” tab in those ads.

Bing Ads testing Social Extensions : Social Extensions appear under the ad copy of text ads and can be used to link right to advertisers’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr accounts. The network icons appear next to each link, which can include a hashtag. Users will be able to click on any of the links and go to the advertiser’s profile on the respective network.

SMM Recap

LinkedIn Introduces Account Targeting: LinkedIn is ready to let advertisers use their own data to target ads on the business-centric social network. LinkedIn’s new account-targeting option will let businesses upload lists of companies they do business with or want to do business with, and LinkedIn will cross-reference those lists with its own list of more than eight million company pages and show ads to its users who work for those companies. For now, Account-based targeting will only be available for Sponsored Updates and Sponsored InMail. Only brands buying ads directly from LinkedIn’s sales team can use account targeting at the moment, but the company plans to eventually roll it out to brands buying ads through its self-serve tool.

Facebook Launches “Your Business Story”: Facebook has announced the launch of a new tool, Your Business Story, which allows business owners to upload photos, add music and tell the story of what their businesses are doing. It also shared that “3 million businesses actively advertise on Facebook.” These advertisers are “from all over the world, with more than 70% from outside of the US.”

Pinterest Opens Pinterest Ads Manager and Rolls Out Additional Targeting Options: To let more businesses see results from promoted pin campaigns, Pinterest is “opening the Pinterest Ads Manager to all small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.” Targeting options now include Interest targeting, Keyword targeting, and Customer database targeting, and conversion tracking has been enhanced.

Facebook Adds Video Support and New Features to Lead Ads: Facebook adds “new CRM partners and support for video” for lead ads. Other updates include customizable disclaimers, duplicate lead ad forms, and making lead ads available in the Ads Create tool.

Facebook Adds New Daily Video Breakdowns: Facebook added “new daily breakdowns for video metrics,” which “gives Page owners a better understanding of when their audiences are watching their videos” and provides “a more detailed picture of performance that will help publishers inform their video strategies.”

Facebook Introduces Delivery Insights in Ads Manager: Facebook’s new Delivery Insights are “a new set of insights available in Ads Manager that tells advertisers how their ads are competing at auction and provides recommendations on how to tweak the ad to make it more competitive.” This new feature “will begin rolling out globally to Ads Manager in a few weeks.”

Google Builds Live-Streaming App Called YouTube Connect: Google has quietly been building a new livestreaming app called YouTube Connect. It has much of the same functionality that you’d already find with Periscope and Facebook Live, according to a source close to the matter. You can log into the app using your Google or YouTube account and immediately begin streaming from your mobile phone. There are chat and tagging features, and a “news feed” that features the latest clips from your friends or those that you’ve subscribed to on YouTube. Videos will be viewable live within the app, as well as on the YouTube site in their respective channels.

Instagram Introduces Feed Algorithm: Instagram has announced that over the next few months, they’re going to test out an algorithm-based feed instead of the reverse chronologically listed feed. Instagram said that the change would not be quick or jarring, and that it would start the shift in a series of small tests with a single-digit percentage of user groups before deciding whether to introduce the changes broadly.

Facebook Introduces Delivery Insights in Ads Manager:  Facebook’s new Delivery Insights are “a new set of insights available in Ads Manager that tells advertisers how their ads are competing at auction and provides recommendations on how to tweak the ad to make it more competitive.” This new feature “will begin rolling out globally to Ads Manager in a few weeks.”

Twitter Simplifies Website Conversion Tracking and Remarketing: Twitter introduced the universal website tag, “a new tool that makes it easier for advertisers to track website conversions and manage tailored audience campaigns.”

Analytics Recap

Google unveils Google Analytics 360 Suite: The Google Analytics 360 Suite will combine Google Analytics Premium (now called Google Analytics 360) and Adometry (which it acquired in 2014 and which is now called Attribution 360), with an enterprise-class version of Google’s Tag Manger and three new products (Audience Center 360, Data Studio 360 and Optimize 360) into a single solution for marketers.

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