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yWeekly news: July 27

Posted by YM Social on July 27, 2015


Display Media

In-app Ad fraud- firm claims to find large number of “mobile device hijacking” in which mobile apps load hidden ads and simulate human activity similar to traditional botnets.

Forensiq says its fraud detection platform identified over 5,000 mobile apps committing ad fraud while monitoring for irregular impression traffic patterns on various real time bidding (RTB) ad exchanges. Over a 10-day period, the company says it observed more than 12 million unique devices with “infected” apps, affecting about one percent of mobile devices it observed in the US

An annual loss to advertisers of more than $857 million globally, based on CPMs of $1.00 on Android and Windows Mobile and $1.25 on iOS

It is observed that some apps downloaded a script to simulate random clicks and load an advertiser’s landing page without the user’s knowledge. Other apps automatically redirected users through affiliate links to websites asking users to purchase items or other apps on the app stores


Search Engine Optimization

Google’s first Panda update in nearly 10 months was announced on July 22.

But rather than a fast rollout Google is saying this will rollout slowly over a few months, which means we will need to monitor this over time.  This update is expected to impact 2%-3% of English language queries.


Digital Intelligence

THE US DIGITAL MEDIA AD SPEND REPORT: Mobile will fuel strong growth across formats as desktop and traditional spend slow.

–        Dollars are increasingly flowing from traditional ads to digital, as strong growth in mobile, video, and social spending continue to change the face of the US media market.
–        Over the next five years, marketers will especially embrace mobile. Mobile will drive up spending on video, search, display, and social, and propel the migration of ad dollars away from traditional media, including newspapers and magazines.

There are great applications within mobile and other digital formats that allows marketers to do proximity based marketing  within inches of a product. Mobile is one of the channels that has a ton of opportunity to both be extremely effective, and/or very annoying and intrusive.


Performance Media

Google’s Geo-based ad customizer’s beta, includes hyper-relevant ad modifiers that will automatically insert local City, State, Region, etc. information into ads. Ad use both geo-specific search queries and/or searcher’s location to determine localized content.


Social Media

Twitter launches a new ad tool to help marketers hone in on live audiences.

The tool will have a calendar that highlights major global events such as sports, holidays, festivals, entertainment, politics etc. that can be filtered by event, location and date. Event insights, provides historical data about how events have performed on Twitter, including # of tweets, keywords & hashtags, reach and demographics etc.

Event activation enables marketers to launch ad campaigns targeting events with one click.

This new feature will allow brands on Twitter to be on the cusp of conversations as the tool simplifies research and execution during live events.

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yweekly news July 21

Posted by YM Social on July 21, 2015


Digital Intelligence:

Tableau Now Offers Deeper Integration with:

  • Spark on Azure HDInsight, a cloud-hosted Apache Spark service
  • Azure SQL Data Warehouse, a fully-managed elastic data warehouse as a service
  • Azure SQL Database, a relational database as a service

For those into geek speak, the integration supports both live connectivity and in-memory extracts. Now, what does that mean? This means that you can take full advantage of the power of Azure which provides you with real-time access to your data directly in the cloud, no extracts or snapshots required.  This continues to push more and more industries into the world of cloud computing and storage.

Read more about it:  


Performance Media:

Google is enhancing shopping ads for Mobile which will include expandable and swipeable Product Listing Ads. They’ve begun testing the  “Buy with Google” button with a few retailers. There’s also a priority for Local Inventory Ads, as they will now be shown first, when available, for local intent shopping queries, making the purchase process easier, and increase the inventory of mobile product listing ads.



Google is continuing its efforts to stress the uselessness of certain XML sitemap elements. In May, Google’s John Mueller pointed out that priority and change frequency don’t have any value anymore and this week Google’s Gary Illyes noted that the lastmod tag is ignored by search engines.  While Google supports these additional tags in an XML sitemap, this suggests SEO’s should not be wasting their time making sure these tags are in place and updated as they are basically being ignored by the engines.  As it stands, it looks like this may not just apply to Google, but become a search engine industry standard.

Read more about it:


Social Media:

In another power play towards other video competitors, Facebook will allow brands to embed Facebook videos on 3rd party sites. This portability allows brands to continue connecting their content outside of Facebook alone. While viewing the video on a 3rd party site, many Facebook video activities are still accessible to the user, such as liking, sharing, and even an icon on the video that leads directly to the Facebook post. Facebook is also trying to avoid annoying viewers by muting auto play videos, unless you click on the video to hear the audio.

Read more about it:


Display Media:

If your display media is still served in Flash, you may have an issue. FireFox and Chrome users will not be able to turn on the plug-in to access Flash content.  This could be on a site, system such as OAS, Operatives etc.  The good news for Firefox users is that most won’t notice a change. Just under 11% of websites use Flash, according to W3Techs, a technology survey company. However, if you’re one of the 11%, you may want to start migrating to HTML5.

Read more about it:


Take a look at the archives of all our digital news here


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yWeekly News: May 11

Posted by YM Social on May 11, 2015


Digital Intelligence:

The Upshot (NY Times division that focuses on data visualization regarding politics, policy and everyday life) has done an analysis on the gender gap between black male and female populations in the United States. In the wake of incidents involving Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, et. al, there has been a revived mainstream discussion about systemic inequalities throughout the country

The data visualizations in the article have been circulated around in the online space quite frequently. The visualizations are essentially non-interactive: a reminder that static images can deliver a tremendous amount of weight and meaning given appropriate context.

Performance Media:

Google had a Livestream Event on May 5th and the biggest topic they discussed was mobile. Google has rolled out a new format for mobile dedicated ads mainly focused on comparison/shopping for cars, hotels, and mortgages. The new ads are more interactive and will focus more on swiping than clicking.


It’s Official: Google says more searches now on mobile than on desktop. Several Google employees remarked last year that we may see mobile search queries overtaking desktop queries this year. Google has just confirmed that this has happened. The company said that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”

Google has recently unveiled their latest mobile-friendly algorithm update on April 21st.

This update targets mobile searchers by – supposedly – making sure that sites that meet Google’s guidelines for being mobile sites (a.k.a. ‘mobile-friendly’) are featured prominently in search results on mobile devices.

This gives us more color and a much clearer picture surrounding the context of Google’s actions behind releasing their mobile-friendly algorithm

Social Media:

Facebook made it easier for marketers to create native ads in their audience network, aiming to improve the relevance of mobile ads within 3rd-party apps. By creating ad templates based on common format sizes and best practices, publishers can define a variety of properties to make ad formats more in line with the app’s natural user experience.

Marketers can now manage multiple native ad requests to ensure the highest performing ad is delivered at the right time to the right person, which automatically optimizes for highest performing ads.

The new upgrade also allows users to display multiple ads in “h-scroll”

Display Media:

Both Google and Yahoo are pushing ahead of the “HTTPS Everywhere” movement to create secure online ads. The focus for both Google and Yahoo is headed towards ad. Over upcoming months, Google Ad products will be encrypted

AdWords and DoubleClick will have the ability to serve HTTPS-encrypted display ads to any inventory that is also HTTPS-enabled.

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yWeekly News: April 13

Posted by YM Social on April 14, 2015


Digital Intelligence:

The Digital Analytics Association announced winners to their Awards for Excellence

Recognizing industry talent and work is relevant for any discipline. The true value may very well be in the list of finalists published by the DAA beforehand. Being cognizant of major players and related work can help push precedent internally: one of the finalists for most influential industry contributor was Simo Ahava, whose blog has been used for internal education and reference:

Performance Media:

“Store Visits” is a metric that matters. Google launched “store visits” metric in December and released data last Wednesday on this new metric:

  • US retailers measured 4x more conversions overall and 10x more conversions on mobile

ALSO on Wednesday, xAd, introduced Blueprints – a technology that relies on physical boundaries of businesses rather than navigational map data/ location history (which Google’s ‘store visit metric’ does). xAd has marked perimeters for  more than 12 million US businesses already. They contend that typical geo-fencing  can miss ¾ of the building area thus resulting in inaccurate store visitation data

  • Per Google – US auto verticals saw 2x higher conversions with store visits data


Google has announced that branded searches will not be impacted by the mobile algorithm.

John Mueller of Google recently answered a long-standing question on the minds of SEOs about their new, upcoming mobile algorithm. He commented that it is not because these sites are somehow magically different but that these sites are the most relevant for that query, and that they will likely not see very much of an algorithmic drop in the search results. Google may demote the site one spot, but not much more than that.

Social Media:

More tests coming for Twitter, as they experiment with filtering options for their search capabilities. The new filters include: filtering by live results (current), media content, tweets from people you follow and tweets from people near you (and would be interesting to see if Twitter can track, target and serve ads locally). Users now can also save and embed searches, which would be a great aggregator for campaign/hashtag conversations.

With these updates, Twitter is looking to organize its searches to help users find the most relevant content.

Twitter’s new search updates will make it easier for users to find valuable brand content and for users to join and participate in the conversation. The new filters will also make it more manageable for brands to be on the cusp of conversations and to observe brand/content sentiment in the Twitter-verse.


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yWeekly News: April 9

Posted by YM Social on April 9, 2015


Digital Intelligence:

Google Analytics Query Explorer receives a fancy update.

Query Explorer is a tool used to pull custom datasets from GA, and it has been updated to be much more user-friendly. Drop down menus have been updated throughout the tool with plain-language metric/dimension names (instead of just their API values). Sampling settings are now editable, allowing us to pull larger datasets before sampling kicks in. Date fields now support plain-language date ranges (e.g. “60 days ago”). Segments are viewable by segment definition instead of API ID

Performance Media:

Google introduced Google Compare for car insurance in California with more states to follow. This gives users an easier way to understand and compare products online to make informed decisions.

Users can buy policies online or call a local agent from their phone. It’s CPA model, but according to Google the payment is not a factor in ranking or eligibility.


Google has added subdomain support to their change of address feature in Google Webmaster Tools.

This new feature will allow us to easily tell Google when a site moves from a subdomain.  With this feature, we can give Google a more definitive signal saying the site moved.


More details have been released on the upcoming mobile friendly update from Google.  We now know that this algorithm update will only impact mobile phones and not tablets. This suggests that tablet search results are more than likely desktop drive as opposed to mobile driven.

Social Media:

As part of their new test, Twitter is placing promoted tweets in people’s profile pages. Currently, the test ads are served on non-verified profiles and only seen when a user signs into the platform.

With Twitter’s new partnership with Google, be prepared to see ads served to logged out audiences because fly-by users may become more common since the partnership means that tweets will appear in search results.

Display Media:

Adroll has plans to integrate retargeting and mobile by trying to acquire new users via app installs and maximize the lifetime value of their users ie: engagement, in-app conversions and sales.

Their product collects anonymous data on website visitors and audience segments to retarget high-intent web users in-app and on the mobile web

We’re seeing next steps in mobile targeting capabilities and strategy. It’s exciting to see mobile targeting capabilities becoming more advanced, and people setting benchmarks/KPIs to gauge mobile campaign success.

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yWeekly News: March 30

Posted by YM Social on March 31, 2015


Digital Intelligence:

DJ Patil, the first ever White House appointed Chief Data Scientist, recently did an interview on FiveThirtyEight. After the announcement of the brand new role, the actual related work was a mystery until DJ provided details during the interview:

  • Precision Medicine: making sense of all the recent advancements in bioinformatics, chronic disease, cancer treatments, etc.
  • Open Data: Deciding what data should be available and then how to make it accessible by the public
  • Federal Initiatives: Data science applications and products for existing projects like the census, etc.

Performance Media:

Hilton is using Google Hotel Ads to entice new customers. Unlike other Google advertising products, Hotel Ads focus entirely on reaching travelers as they plan their trips. Hotel ads appear across devices wherever travelers might search on Google properties, including maps, search, and Google+. Hotel ads also link directly to checkout.

It’s seen a 45 percent increase in conversions and a 12 percent increase in ROI since adopting Hotel Ads. Like AdWords, Hotel Ads use a limited number of words to list amenities and specific offers. Hilton’s marketing team worked very closely with its revenue teams to use Hotel Ads to fill specific vacancies within the hotel chain.


New details have been released on Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm, which is rolling out April 21st.  There will be no levels of mobile-friendliness, you’re either fully mobile-friendly or you’re not and ranking will be based on this.

This new detail means that sites will need to pass all aspects of mobile friendliness to receive the benefit of the new algorithm.

Social Media:

On March 25th and 26th, San Francisco hosted Facebook’s annual F8 Developer Conference. #F82015 introduced new Facebook features for the year.

Facebook unveiled a slew of new platforms and capabilities that will be launched in 2015:

  • Messenger as a Platform
  • Realtime Comments System
  • FB Embeddable Videos
  • Remember Oculus Rift? FB unveils Spherical Videos
  • Expansion of LiveRail
  • Analytics for Apps
  • Facebook’s Parse Launches New IoT Service and Moves Towards the #InternetofThings

For more details about the latest updates, visit our blog recap below!

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yWeekly News: March 24

Posted by YM Social on March 24, 2015


Display Media:

AOL will announce a global partnership with Kenshoo on Thursday- allowing brands to advertise across its network to target Facebook and Twitter. AOL advertisers will gain access to proprietary predictive and first-party audience segments for targeting:

–        Twitter inventory on desktop and mobile

–        Native and video ad inventory on FB

AOL’s predictive analytics engine (ONE) will provide insights, including attribution, on metrics such as reach frequency and performance across all screens and formats. This means that we will have access to more audience segments and data. This deal will open up new opportunities to target content, such as video in social channels, to specific audience segments.


Digital Intelligence:, a hub for public analytics data on US government websites, provides high-level analytics data on all public-facing US government-run websites.

Part of an ongoing effort to modernize digital capabilities and analytics across government agencies called the Digital Analytics Program (DAP). While the data presented on may not be useful in practical applications, it’s an important symbol of the ongoing shift toward data-driven digital governance

Find the DAP here:



Google has announced updates to its policy on doorway pages and updated its algorithm to better detect and remove them from the search results.


Social Media:

Meerkat pops up on social media, providing a simple way to live-stream video. They’re teaming up with Twitter to broadcast its live-stream videos. Its key to success is enticing viewers with its ephemeral nature, once a live stream is over, the audience can no longer see it – driving the #FOMO factor.

The app’s scheduling feature was created with businesses in mind and living on Twitter, means that brands do not have to create a new profile. Brands are currently using Meerkat to give tours & product features, showcase quick live events (fashion runways, Red Bull races), holding press releases (NFL introducing new teammates) etc.

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yWeekly News: March 16

Posted by YM Social on March 16, 2015


Display Media:

YouTube makes a move against brand-sponsored videos and quietly amended its ad policies to block “graphical title cards” from sponsors. Video overlays of sponsor logos and product branding are no longer allowed unless the sponsor pays Google to advertise on that channel.

This pushes brands to spend money on Google ad units to sponsor video content on the platform. This means more money for Google and less money for video publishers.



Google’s John Mueller stated in a Google+ Hangout that Google’s Penguin algorithm is not refreshing monthly as was suggested back in October.  However, Mueller did say later in the hangout that though the next update won’t be announced, they will confirm it after it happens if asked.

Algorithmic penalties can have significant impacts on rankings and organic traffic and sites impacted by them cannot recover until a refresh happens.


Social Media:

Facebook Opens “Topic Data” Firehose To Select Marketers

Topic data shows marketers what audiences are saying on Facebook about events, brands, subjects and activities, all in a way that keeps personal information private. Marketers use the information from topic data to make better decisions about how they market on Facebook and other channels, and build product roadmaps.

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yWeekly News: March 10

Posted by YM Social on March 10, 2015


Digital Analysis

Adbrain launches Cortex – a data intelligence platform where data and insights gather using Artificial Intelligence. It uses an algorithmic approach to “make sense” of the data systems, audiences, and optimization, and allows insights to be scalable across any platform. Cortex provides the first truly scalable cross-device solution with over 90% mobile match back success.

Display Media

Google now auto-converts Flash display ads to HTML5 for  Mobile and non-Flash supported browsers. Ads will be converted when advertisers upload Flash ads to AdWords directly or through 3rd party tools. Previously, when Flash wasn’t supported, Google displayed a static image and now the ads will display as fully interactive on all devices.

Performance Media

Google Launches First Ever AdWords App on Android. AdWords users can keep an eye on their campaigns from wherever they are and act on things that need attention, such as topping up a budget that’s running out or pausing campaigns during a site outage.

Here is a full list of things you can do on the app:

  • View campaign stats
  • Update bids and budgets
  • Get real-time alerts and notifications
  • Act on suggestions to improve your campaigns
  • Call a Google expert

This app is designed to alert users when an opportunity arises that they can act on. For example, if you can get more impressions by adjusting your bids, the app will let you know so you can make the changes right then and there.

Search Engine Optimization

A new paper published by Google suggests that in the future they could use an alternate means of judging the quality of a website using Knowledge Based Trust instead of links.

The quality of web sources has been traditionally evaluated using exogenous signals such as the hyperlink structure of the graph. We propose a new approach that relies on endogenous signals, namely, the correctness of factual information provided by the source. A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy.”

It’s important to note that in the paper it says these signals would be used in conjunction with existing signals such as PageRank, so this doesn’t mean links are dead.

Social Media

Following suit from Instagram and Twitter, Facebook is purging inactive accounts from their system starting on March 12th

The Good:

  • Because Edgerank factors in “page size vs people engaging” as a page health, the ratio should come closer together and improve page Edgerank overall
  • As a result of the above, we should have more accurate reporting, and overall better page performance metrics

The Bad:

  • A lot of pages will see a drop in total page likes
  • Pages that have used 3rd parties to “buy” fans will likely feel the biggest impact
  • Facebook hasn’t disclosed what it considers “inactive accounts”

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yWeekly News: March 2

Posted by YM Social on March 3, 2015


Display Media

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) just approved its long-awaited network neutrality plan!!!

  • Reclassifies broadband internet as a public utility and gives the agency more regulatory power in the process
  • Also applies to mobile broadband
  • Ban prioritization and the slowdown of lawful content

What is Net Neutrality?

Believers of Net Neutrality believes that all digital content is treated equally by cable companies- which many consider a fundamental freedom. The FCC’s decision could affect the future of digital advertising potentially for the better



Google has announced that mobile friendliness will be a much stronger ranking signal for mobile results beginning April 21 and effective February 26. They will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. Google improved their ability to index apps and their content, as well as the increasing importance of having a site optimized for mobile users.


Digital Analytics

The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference: The who’s who of sports data has descended on Boston to swap tips and tricks on how to use data to win in sports. One of the big themes: player-tracking through RFID (or a few other systems)—see where a player goes, how quickly, whether there’s anything that might be causing inefficiencies.


Performance Media

Google AdWords is introducing Call-Only Campaigns, a way for businesses to display their phone number, business description and a call button right when people search. Call only campaigns are optimized to show only on mobile devices. Google says that 70% of mobile searches call a business directly from search results. With Call only campaigns, one has the ability to bid based on the value of a call. Since every click goes towards a call, you can design bidding strategies based off your CPA or ROAS goals for strictly calls.


Social Media

Twitter unveils two new tracking tools to measure ad ROIs: Transaction Values & Key Conversion Tags, that will allow website owners to see sales that were driven by Promoted Tweets. Both require conversion tags on websites. Tags that were once used for remarketing purposes can be adjusted to track sales figures, enabling marketers to further refine their campaign measurement.

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