May 2016 – Digital Marketing Recap @Hacktraction

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

SEO Recap

Google penalizes mobile sites using sneaky redirects: Google announced on Google+ and Twitter that they have been “taking action on sites that sneakily redirect mobile users to spammy domains.” Google added that “if your site has been affected, read this Help Center article on detecting and getting rid of unwanted sneaky mobile redirects.”

Google Search Console’s Search Analytics Report with New Features: If you login to your Google Search Console account and click on the Search Analytics, you will vertical line on April 27, 2016 that says “update.” When you click on the learn more link there, it takes you to this page which explains Google updated how they calculate some of the search analytics impressions and clicks in that report. Google said there it impacts mobile apps the most. But John Mueller of Google added that for the first time, the Search Analytics report now includes Knowledge Panel, in various Rich Snippets, and in the local results in Search as impressions when a URL shows up in those places. It seems Google did not count those before.

Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm second version rolled out: Google has fully rolled out the second version of the mobile-friendly update. Google said if you are already mobile-friendly, you do not have to worry, because “you will not be impacted by this update”.

Google News To Promote Local Publishers With Local Source Tag: Google announced on the Google News blog that in an effort to promote local news publications, when stories in their local towns go national, Google News is now using a “local source” tag. The interesting thing is that this tag is automated, you cannot markup your content to have this tag. Instead, Google News will automatically tag your publication as being local to a specific geographic region based on the history of your stories.

Google Analytics Improves Google Search Console integration: Google has announced they have more deeply integrated the Google Search Console metrics into the Google Analytics reports. Under the Acquisition tab, you may now see a new section named “Search Console,” and this has replaced the “Search Engine Optimization” tab. The new Search Console tab combines the data from Search Console and Google Analytics, into one report. Google will show you acquisition, behavior and conversion metrics for your organic search traffic directly in these reports. Previously, Google only showed the acquisition data in the old search engine optimization reports.

Google Search Console Adds AMP To Search Analytics: As expected, Google has added a feature to the Search Analytics report within the Google Search Console to filter out how your AMP pages are doing. It basically will tell you which queries lead to your AMP pages being shown in the Google mobile search results. You can access this under Search Analytics and clicking on the “search appearance” filter.

Google Search Console Search Analytics Let’s You Combine Properties Into Sets: Google announced it this morning saying “Search Console is introducing the concept of “property sets,” which let you combine multiple properties (both apps and sites) into a single group to monitor the overall clicks and impressions in search within a single report.” Here is more help documentation on how to manage property sets in Search Console.

Google Announced Firebase App Indexing: Google renamed Google App Indexing to Firebase App Indexing. The code base is the same, so you don’t need to do anything new for your Apps to be included. Google did revamp their documentation and move it all to firebase.google.com/docs/app-indexing. One of the new features is the search preview, you enter the app URL and it takes you to how it looks in the Google smartphone results. Google also announced it is moving the app analytics to Firebase analytics.

Google is Testing a Real-time Indexing API: In a talk at Google I/O, Google’s Richard Gingras said the purpose of creating a real-times indexing API is to give trusted publishers a way to send Google their content immediately, without Google having any delay in discovering that content. Google can then surface that content to searchers immediately, in real time, without any delay. Google plans on releasing a beta more widely in the upcoming months, but until then, we won’t hear much about this new API. Google does have a live carousel, which shows live real-time coverage, but this seems different.

SEM Recap

Adwords Editor version 11.4 Launched: The latest update of AdWords Editor includes new capabilities for app marketers and some other features.

  • Display app install campaigns are now available in Editor. You can create and edit a mobile app install campaign for Display from Editor.
  • App extensions are now available from the Shared Library in Editor and can be added and linked to text ads.
  • Review extensions are also available in the Shared Library in the latest Editor version.
  • Frequency capping is now a setting option for Display and Video campaigns in Editor.

Integrate Attribution Model of Your Choice in Adwords:  Google announced that advertisers using AdWords will soon be able to adjust their bids based on a last click attribution model. Google said advertisers will be able to select from six different attribution models. The six attribution models include last click, first click, linear, time decay, position-based, or data driven.

Google bans ads for payday and high-interest loans: Google announced it will no longer accept and display ads promoting payday loans requiring repayment within 60 days.The update to the AdWords policy also includes a ban on ads for high-interest loans with an APR of 36 percent or higher in the US. David Graff, director of global product policy at Google, made the announcement.

Google AdWords Testing Carousel Based Sitelinks Cards: Google AdWords is testing AdWords based cards in a carousel format in the mobile search results. So when you see an ad, under the snippet is a carousel of cards that you can swipe to left.

Google Image Search Gets Shopping Ads:  It is official, after months of testing ads on Google Images, now Google announced image search will have Google Shopping Ads. On mobile, they display in a carousel format above the organic images. If your Shopping campaign is opted in to Search partners, Product Listing Ads (PLAs) will automatically be eligible to show in image search results.

Official: Google to roll out Expanded Text Ads for all devices: Google announced that, Expanded Text Ads will be available to advertisers later this year. The new ad format will have two longer headlines of up to 30 characters each and a longer description line of up to 80 characters. The display URL can include up to two directory paths that advertisers can use to describe the landing page content. The paths do not have to match the landing page URL. Expanded text ads will be eligible to run across all devices and will be optimized for smartphones.

Adwords Will Soon Have Individual Device Bid Adjustments: Google Advertisers will soon be able to set separate bid adjustments for mobile, desktop and tablet for all the campaigns. When this change roles out you will set a default/base bid for one device type and then have the option to set bid adjustments for the other two, ranging from -100 percent to +900 percent (up from 300 percent).

Google is completely redesigning AdWords: Google 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. The redesign is based on Google’s design language, Material Design, that is used in many of its consumer products, like Gmail, Maps and Search. Over the next 12 to 18 months, areas of the redesign will roll out to select advertisers for testing and feedback based on the capabilities they’re using. The goal is to have the redesign fully rolled out to all users by the end of 2017.

SMM Recap

Instagram Beta Tests Video in Carousel Ads: Instagram is beta testing the addition of video to its carousel ads with a select group of advertisers. This new feature will be made more widely available in the coming weeks.

Instagram Tests New Profile Features for Businesses: Instagram is testing three new profile features that make your Instagram bio more like a Facebook page. These features include a simple “Contact” button that appears beside the “Following” button, a linkable “location tag” and a “category” for your Instagram profile.

Amazon Targets YouTube With Video Upload Service: Amazon debuted a new video upload service that allows users to post videos to its website and earn money from advertising, royalties and other sources, putting the company in more direct competition with Google’s YouTube. Amazon’s only requirements are that the videos be high definition and have closed-captioning for the hearing impaired.

Pinterest Strengthens Spam Detection, Allows Affiliate Links: Pinterest announced that it will now allow businesses and bloggers to share affiliate links on its network. In the past, Pinterest removed affiliate links from pins because of abuse by spammers. The site confirms that it now has a “much stronger” spam detection system and is “ready to allow affiliate links again.”

Facebook Expands Dynamic Ads to Instagram and Updates Custom Audiences: Facebook is bringing the retargeted ad product it rolled out in February 2015 to Instagram. It’s also changing the name of the ads from “Dynamic Product Ads” to “Dynamic Ads” because they’re not only about pitching product anymore. Now travel brands will be able to use these ads to advertise hotel rooms to people who are looking to take a trip.

Facebook also announced two new ad features: travel-specific dimensions like location and time and advanced behavior criteria for custom audiences. Brands using custom audiences for websites can better target visitors who show strong intent to purchase by frequently visiting the site or viewing specific pages. These new targeting options enable marketers to drive conversions based on the “true value of an action.”

YouTube Tests an In-App Messaging Feature: So-called native sharing will go live for a small percentage of YouTube users” and allow them to “chat and share with friends, right in YouTube. According to Wired, “friends can chat about the shared video right inside YouTube’s mobile app… and can also reply with another video.”

WhatsApp Releases an Official Desktop App: WhatsApp is introducing a desktop app so you have a new way to stay in touch anytime and anywhere – whether on your phone or computer at home or work. The new desktop app is available for Windows 8+ and Mac OS 10.9+ and is synced with WhatsApp on your mobile device.

 Twitter Opens Audience Platform Worldwide and Adds New Creative Formats: Twitter announced that advertisers who want to drive website clicks or conversions or mobile app installs can seamlessly extend their campaigns to Twitter’s audience of more than 800 million visitors – whether they’re on Twitter or engaging with thousands of mobile apps and websites. Twitter also rolled out new creative formats to help direct response advertisers better connect with this influential, high-intent audience across both mobile and desktop.

Facebook Expands Video Ads to Third-Party Publishers: Facebook Audience Network will now deliver video ads in both in-stream and in-article formats. In-stream video ads will play before, during or after (pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll) video content on third party apps and sites, such as USA Today Sports Media Group. In-article ads will appear on mobile pages of publishers, such as Daily Mail, between paragraphs of text and play automatically when at least half of the pixels are viewable and will start with Instant Articles.

Instagram Rolls Out New Analytics: With the debut of Instagram’s new analytics feature, “Instagram Business Profiles now show you the most popular times and days that your followers are on Instagram, along with follower demographics, post impressions and more.”

Facebook Experiments with Videos in Comments: Facebook is testing a feature in select countries that gives users the ability to post a clip to respond to any status update as part of an effort to give people different tools to share fun, expressive content with their friends on Facebook.

Analytics Recap

Google releases free version of Data Studio custom reporting product: Google has released Google Data Studio, a free version of its new reporting and data visualization tool, Google Data Studio 360.The free beta version is not as robust as the paid product, but users can create up to five multi-page reports that can be shared with and edited by an unlimited number of users. It’s available in the US now, and Google says it will be rolling out Data Studio to other regions throughout the year.

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