Posted by YM Social on February 23, 2016
Google confirmed that over the weekend of January 9-10 they released an update to their core algorithm.
Initial rumors suggested this was the latest Penguin update, but Google later advised this wasn’t the case. Additionally, Google announced in a separate statement from their PR team that the Panda algorithm is now part of their core ranking algorithm.
These kinds of updates are important to track and monitor to see what kind of impact, if any, they have on client websites.
FiveThirtyEight, one of the best-known proponents of analytics in politics, has released a cool series of interactive maps called the “Facebook Primary”
The maps visualize Facebook likes garnered by the major presidential candidates across both parties—down to the county level
FiveThirtyEight’s team is a leader when it comes to making complex datasets easily understandable to an audience of laypeople.
As we seek to do that same thing for our clients, these sorts of visualizations are good examples of how to do it, and do it well.
Currently, FiveThirtyEight also has interactive data visualizations available for Presidential primary forecasts, NBA predictions, and the 2016 Oscars; they’re all worth checking out if you have a moment
Google AdWords has a mobile app
- DoubleClick does not
The new Google AdWords mobile app allows advertisers to make high level campaign/account adjustments & optimizations on-the go
Facebook Canvas: Allows advertisers and businesses to tell their story in a far richer and more immersive way
Built for mobile to load up to 10x faster than standard mobile web, it can be formatted any way you like to tell the story you want to tell
This is important for brands because this provides far more creative freedom for the business to express themselves in interesting and unique ways. This offers business a way to separate themselves and a far more engaging experience for the user.
Time Inc. Acquires Myspace-Owned Viant. This deal creates a potential quality ad environment that rivals Facebook’s and Google’s
Viant has access to 1.2 billion identified registered users. Time Inc. has more than 90 brands. Their offerings now include a massive database of identified first-party customers plus premium ad inventory space.
Although Facebook and Google currently dominate the ad market, now Time Inc. can provide a viable option for first-party customer data and premium ad inventory. For our Display team, this can be useful for planning campaign strategies moving forward.
Posted by YM Social on February 1, 2016
Google has revamped their webmasters portal home page with a new design and some brand-new tools.
Their new tools are:
The Webmaster Troubleshooter: designed to be a step-by-step guide to moving your site or understanding search console messages.
Popular resources: A curated list of popular Google Webmaster YouTube videos, blog posts, and forum threads.
Events Calendar: Office hours and events of Google’s team so you can meet them online or at a live event.
It has been awhile since Google has updated webmaster tools with a re-design.
Every webmaster uses (or, at least should use) Webmaster tools in order to track search performance and other website metrics.
The pre-existing way to directly connect Tableau and GA has issues:
– 10,000 row limit
– Sampling starts at 500,000 sessions, also applies to a request with too many dimensions
– “Filters” (GA sense of the word) does not apply
– Filter your data appropriately before importing into Tableau
– Easily maneuver around the 10,000 row limit by starting a second sheet at 10,001 (combine sheets afterwards)
– Get around sampling by pulling smaller data sets
– Combine data from different GA sources
Google released its annual bad ads report which revealing that the search giant disabled over 780 million ads in 2015 for policy violations.
Pharmaceuticals: Over 12.5 million ads disabled for pharmaceutical products that were either misleading, or not approved for use.
Google says it has developed the technology to determine when mobile ad clicks are accidental, and will be able to prevent users from navigating to an advertiser’s site that they didn’t mean to visit.
In addition, Google is going to crack down even harder on weight loss ads in 2016 by adding more restrictions on what advertisers can claim is effective for weight loss. The company also intends to implement new protections against malware this year.
Facebook pages improves organic reach with a new tool targeting posts to interests, demographics and geography.
Over the past few years, organic reach has been in decline as FB algorithms cater content that appears on news feeds based on a user’s interaction on the platform. More are choosing to show friends’ updates over page updates.
Posts can also be restricted from being viewed by selecting an audience to block
This is important for brands because relevancy is increased when posts are tailored to custom audiences, and the more engagement a post receives, the more likely it will appear on others’ newsfeeds organically.
Additional Information: http://marketingland.com/facebook-organic-audience-optimization-160548
Google files a patent to replace social media marketers!
Google’s system is built on email communication and when a linked is shared and clicked, Google’s pop-system will suggest how to share the link via social media.
Google will identify content within the email to show different suggestions on how to promote the content
Google is expanding beta testing on a new ad product timed to Super Bowl 50 that will allow marketers to serve ads in real-time in response to relevant TV moments, the company said at a press event Wednesday.
The ads will live on YouTube as well as sites and apps on Google’s display ad network.
Participating marketers will need to pre-plan the content they want to run as part of Google’s new offering. But the product will allow for dynamic insertion in real-time, as the moment is happening or just after it occurred.
Posted by YM Social on January 12, 2016
Bing search results are now live on AOL.
The ten year partnership, which was announced last year kicked off on Jan 1st with Bing now controlling AOL’s web, mobile and tablet search providing paid search ads and algorithmic organic search results to AOL’s properties.
The Digital Analytics Association is hosting an upcoming symposium in LA.
Sessions include topics regarding data integrity, testing, product promotions, and multi-channel mapping.
Theme of the symposium (personalization) is still a holy grail among marketers and while efforts have been made to strive for the right message at the right time to the right person, there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done to bring the dream into fruition
Expert practitioners will be speaking and will also be available for questions on their own personal experience and best practices
Although not explicitly stated, many of the topics covered have direct relevance to PPC, Display, SEO and Social Media.
Bing announced a 10-year search partnership deal with AOL last June.
It’s official now. Bing currently powers AOL’s web, mobile, and tablet search as of last week.
Bing Ads are now enabled for AOL search traffic worldwide. Extends the reach and growth volume for all advertisers. Allow advertisers to reach a desired audience with AOL’s many established websites (ex: The Huffington Post).
Snapchat Lets Publishers Link Directly To Their Discover Content on Facebook, Twitter
Snapchat is now letting publishers link directly to their Discover content on social networks like Facebook and Twitter and around the Web. This is a larger step in making it easier for publishers and Snapchat stars to draw traffic to the app from around the Web.
This has the possibility to dramatically increase traffic and users of the Snapchat App making it an attractive social marketing platform for the right demographic.
LiveRail will be exiting the ad serving business.
The video ad server, SSP, and publisher monetization platform will be no more.
Facebook, who acquired LiveRail in 2014, has chosen to do this in order to focus on more profitable areas of business. This includes the Facebook Audience Network, which had about $1 billion in ad spend in Q4 2015.
Existing LiveRail customers will be migrated onto alternative ad servers or other publisher offerings from Facebook.
LiveRail, highlights Facebook’s current movement to expand its mobile ad network. The number of apps in this network has grown 10x year-over-year and now accounts for 6 percent of total time spent in mobile apps.
Posted by YM Social on November 16, 2015
Google will now be sending out new Google Search Console messages for SSL/TLS certificate “does not include domain name” or HTTPS mismatch errors.
When you have an https:// error, it can introduce soft 404s into your website that are not normally detectable by programs like Screaming Frog or GSC.
This can be a problem because errors arising from https://, https://www omissions can cause serious problems with SEO by generating 404 errors where there should not be. Typically all variations should be allowed by the SSL certificate and should be crawlable: https://, https://www, and https://* [wildcarding (*) anything].
Because they don’t typically show up in reporting, these issues can go on for awhile before being discovered.
Google announced the release of TensorFlow: a machine learning system that is now open source
Days after, Microsoft announced DMTK, FB announced Torch earlier this year and there are other platforms like H20 which are already free: a larger trend of making machine learning open source by default and in part, to utilize wisdom of crowds
Hiding behind black box algorithms (i.e. attribution vendors) will not be normative in the future, and neither will exorbitant pricing for creating a process for complex analysis, tasks, etc.
Broad range of applicable use of a platform that is backed and utilized by Google itself
Algorithms work best when in the hands of many but also have many data points to process as well
Google is testing a new ad format where consumers can subscribe to get the latest offers and updates from multiple retailers via text message on their cell phone. Consumers would subscribe from the ad and start receiving these relevant offers and updates. Consumers can also choose from a variety of categories they want to see deals on.
Majority of holiday shoppers used their cell phones to hunt for the best deals last year. This new ad format will entice consumers to shop and spend more with the latest deals right in front of them.
You can give it a try by texting “JOIN” to the numbers list and get holiday deals from some retailers:
For Black Friday: 847-904-0608
For Cyber Monday: 847-906-8958
For general holiday deals: 847-904-0596
Pinterest Introduces Visual Search Tool:
- A new in-Pin search tool will be a major benefit for users looking to find a specific item — No search queries required
Users find the actual products that pique their interest, with no textual input required.
In-Pin search results will only include organic Pins:
- Encouraging more organic participation from marketers on the platform if they can’t buy their way in with a Promoted Pin
- This will make Pinterest a more complete destination for product search
Google Adds Programmatic Support for Native Ads
Google is now offering programmatic ads for native content and mobile video publishers. Publishers can offer native ad units available for programmatic demand.
Native is a rapidly growing portion of the overall digital media spend. Google has now combined both programmatic and native ad inventory to be bought on Double Click Ad Exchange.
Currently, Google’s programmatic monetization is restricted to mobile app ads, where the company sees the greatest opportunity. However, Native web ads – both desktop and mobile, will follow in 2016 (available in open exchange and private marketplace buys).
With this new process, advertisers are able to provide a collection of ad assets, from which Google
Posted by YM Social on October 28, 2015
Google starts using “instant answers” in Chrome. This auto-completes queries with answers to questions as a sub-bullet. They have taken their mission to take the world’s information and “make it universally accessible and useful” another step further by displaying knowledge graph-type results directly in Chrome’s desktop address bar. The types of queries this impact (so far) include: ages, timeframes of significant events, & sizes of countries & states.
Users will be getting answers to their queries faster and with less effort. For SEOs, if a user is looking for a simple answer, what is their incentive to click on or finish that search result? If Google starts bringing more information into its address bar, we could end up seeing a decline in search volume and possibly traffic to our most user-friendly, informative pages.
REvJet introduces a new Acronym: CSP (Creative-Side Platform)
8 weeks ago, RevJet began working with Microsoft, aiming to unify ad creation, serving, testing, measuring, and optimization into a single platform for desktop and mobile display, video and social.
RevJet integrates with whatever demand-side platforms (DSPs) its clients are using. Right now, these include Rocket Fuel and Radium One. For example, a creative agency would develop a series of display ads, running multiple iterations of the ads against each other simultaneously. Once it is clear which piece of creative is best performing in terms of clicks and conversions, the lower performing ad was halted, and the higher performing ad continued to be served.
With this new CSP, there is a potential to increase conversions per thousand impressions and to see creative as a revenue center rather than a cost center.
Google launches new Shopping Insights tool in time for the Holiday Season.
Uses actual AdWords search data to allow for exploring trends and popularity of products across the US. Drills down to city level, and trends over time (can play a timelapse trending video)
SEM has had tools like this for a while, and similar to Google, but focused more on the interactive mapping and heatmapping experience , rather than overall search term trends. Preset filters allows you to drill into specific shopping seasons only, device type, and location.
Search terms are limited to product searches. Shopping Insights works best when tracking major trends. The beta version currently includes data for the 5,000 most popular products on Google Shopping between April 2014 and September 2015.
BING HAS REMARKETING!
Bing Ad’s now offers remarketing capabilities for search and shopping channels. Remarketing efforts, currently within Google, allows advertisers to revisit consumers who have shown a consider amount of intent. These efforts usually perform at a higher CRs while driving lead volumes.
Instagram introduces Boomerang
Boomerang takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward. Shoot in portrait or landscape. Share it on Instagram.
This is yet another tool that, given this reversing capability, we as marketers can get incredibly creative with for clients moving forward.
Facebook has just added the ability to upload 5-7 images that Facebook will automatically make a video.
Basically it’s a light version of Instagram’s Boomerang specifically used for Ads.
For our brands, we can now get more creative making moving images and mini videos to run in the background of our ads to be more eye catching and potentially improve results across all Facebook ad metrics and KPIs.
Twitter has announced Twitter Polls.
Now anyone at any time can quickly and easily poll their audience. We can utilize this tool in order to gather several data points from customer sentiment to product testing and review data.
Posted by YM Social on October 19, 2015
Google has announced that a prior recommendation they made for webmasters to make pages created with AJAX technologies crawlable has been deprecated due to advancements in their crawling abilities.
As Google becomes more advanced, out-of-date guidelines that are made redundant by new automated processes will no longer be necessary.
Facebook Readies DSP Product for Early 2016 Launch
In early 2016, Facebook’s Atlas team will be rolling out a demand-side platform (DSP) capable of executing programmatic buys.
This adds a new dynamic to Facebook’s ad platform business, which already includes an ad server (Atlas), sell-side platform (LiveRail), and ad network (Audience Network).
This new DSP will push the Facebook data set into an addressable targeted display program through Atlas. This feature set beyond the activation of Facebook’s cross-device audience data is still being defined. In addition, there is no information about integration of third-party data sources.
With this new DSP, Facebook now offers a poignant product line that integrates people-based marketing, and cross-device measurement with the rest of their ad platform business. This will compete directly against DCM.
In 2014, five people died in New Orleans in a house fire. Three of them were children. There was no working smoke alarm. So the city analytics team and New York-based data group Enigma developed a model to predict which blocks in the city were at high risk.
Data for social good continues to be a trend seen across many verticals: including design, analytics, programming and non-profit organizations.
While there are various organizations like HRDAG, DataKind and Data Analysts for Social Good, defining problems, designing for people and having the end goals in mind are critical components for such ventures.
Google Introduces Shopping Assortment Report in Google Merchant Center
Quickly discover top products that are not currently being offered in your Merchant Center product feed and identify new brands and products to add to your assortment.
Provides a near real-time view into online consumer demand for shoppable products
o Identify popular products you don’t currently sell
o Identify products you sell but may have forgotten to include in data feed
o Identify products with incorrect GTIN (product identifier)
Pinterest place pins will allow users to contact and find local retailers on iOS platforms.
Starting this week, pinners will now be able to call and get directions to brick-and-mortar locations through the app. Users will also be able to see store hours and tips left by visitors.
Pinterest pulls their location data via the public Foursquare API. Businesses using Pinterest should make sure that their Foursquare information is accurate.
Facebook is currently testing a dedicated hub for users looking to watch videos on the platform, helping them “discover, watch and share videos on Facebook that are relevant to them.”
To access this video section, there will be an icon at the bottom of the iPhone app or users can access it through their “Favorites” section on the left-hand side of the news feed.
Facebook populates the feed with videos users saved for later, videos from friends, Pages they follow and videos based on their interests and FB engagements – such as “suggested videos.”
- Suggested videos will present similar videos to what users just watched and allows spots for ads
- A “pop-up” interface for video watching
- A new “save” for later button for videos
- Users can now watch videos while scrolling through their newsfeed
Facebook announced that they are creating a new feed dedicated to shopping, allowing users a place to find products outside their News Feed.
Those who shop through this new feed will experience a fast-loading full-screen catalogue of items to purchase. Users can access the feed through the favorites section on the app and will be shown products based on their likes, interests and FB connections. They’ll also be able to search in this field.
- The platform will also extend access to its immersive ad unit for e-commerce merchants. The ads, called Canvas, allow marketers to display products in a “catalogue” format.
- The “buy button” option is currently not included in this interface, but experts believe it won’t be long until it’s added.
Posted by YM Social on October 16, 2015
Gary Illyes from Google confirmed a few things at SMX East :
– John Mueller’s prior announcement of a coming Penguin update.
– Announced that the next Penguin update is in the “foreseeable future”. SERoundtable speculates that it may come as early as within the next few weeks.
– He also stated that it should be the real-time/continuous version that we are expecting.
This is a major algorithmic change and it is the first time that the algorithm updates have been in real-time. If you get slammed by Penguin and the algorithm is real-time, as soon as Google processes your link removals (like disavows or they are actually removed) you can potentially recover immediately.
Google Display Network Will Charge Only For Ads That Are Viewed
In the next several weeks, GDN is moving to 100% viewable. Google will move all CPMs to viewable CPMs in its display ad network.
Definitely a welcome news to advertisers worried about the Google’s stat that 56 percent of online display ads never have a chance to be viewed. Among the reasons for their invisibility: they are low on a page, they have scrolled out of view or they are in a tab that isn’t activated.
GDN to become one of the only media platforms where advertisers don’t pay for an ad impression unless it was viewable. This means your media dollars will only be spent where they can have impact. In the next few months, all campaigns that buy on a CPM basis will be upgraded to be viewable CPM (vCPM).
With this all advertisers will be able to see viewable metrics so they can make better decisions.
AdBlock Extension is quietly sold to a Mystery Buyer.
40 million users on Chrome & Safari use this extension.
Although there are 2 prevailing AdBlockers, both started as Open Source, but this one is the 2nd most widely used and went private a few years ago (2013).
Nobody pays attention, and since this has more users, it just gets installed more than the others and now some mystery company owns them. You can’t avoid ads because someone will buy the ad blocking company and let their ads through. What a world we live in.
Google announces Customer Match
Upload Emails Lists for Search, Gmail and YouTube Ad Targeting
Customer Match marks the first time advertisers will be able to set bids and create specific ads tailored to customer audience segments built with first-party data
The ability to set bids and create ad copy based on advertiser data on customers could be more powerful than doing so based on site visitor behavior
A slew of small things that are rolling out in the social sphere around Facebook
– Profile videos: Facebook is rolling out the ability to update your profile with a 7 second video instead of just a static image
o Profile videos will allow brands to stand out and grab user’s attentions in newsfeeds, helping to gain engagement and attention. Per the Facebook way, these usually roll out to personal profiles for testing, before integrated into brand pages.
– Instagram being shown in Facebook settings: Continuing to lean towards the ability to sync Instagram ads through Facebook ads manager, hints of the integration are showing up in page settings
o Instagram integration: with 53 percent of Instagram users follow their favorite brands, paired with Facebook’s targeting, Instagram will continue to be a sought after marketing platform
Posted by YM Social on September 28, 2015
Search Engine Optimization
Google has announced a faster and more accurate voice search, which replaces the technology they adopted in 2012 and is said to be more effective in noisy environments. The new models Google has created are now being used for voice searches and commands in the Google app on both Android and iOS.
This shows Google’s continued dedication to voice and natural language search.This will allow voice search to be easier for users and potentially increase adoption
Ad Blocker Usage Highest Among Key Advertiser Demos: Millennials and High Earners
Study by Sourcepoint and comScore shows people who use ad blockers are more likely to be the types of high-value consumers marketers aim to reach: young and well off. Ad blocking skews younger, with 18-24 year-olds using ad blockers most often in all regions the study looked at.
The increasing use of ad blockers is concerning to both publishers, who stand to lose more revenues, and advertisers, who could lose access to coveted audiences of high earners and Millennials
The term “data scientist” is used as a misnomer for many open positions; the posts referenced above refer to how the emerging field is still searching for the guardrails on mainstream definitions
Many schools of thought agree that there are at least two types of roles: builders and analysts; not many companies or agencies even have the analytics maturity to effectively use either
As technological tools continue to evolve to make complex analytical techniques more accessible, digital advertising will begin to see more transparent depth and sophistication at its disposal.
Google is releasing Dynamic Callout Extensions
Dynamic callout extensions will automatically pull information about the business and products from your website into search text ads. If you have your own callouts set manually at the campaign or ad group levels of your accounts, those will trump dynamic efforts by Google.
On the flip side, Google still recommends adding and optimizing callouts in your accounts because dynamic callouts may not show for all advertisers. Unlike regular callout extensions, dynamic callouts are currently only available in English.
Facebook will begin passing browsing data from websites and apps that use their Like, Share or Send buttons into their ads system. Users would just need to visit a page with the enabled buttons for their browsing data to be captured.
Until now, interest-based targeting has been limited to what users do on the platform, but now advertisers will be able to target ads using browsing data in FB properties as well as through their in-house mobile ad network.
How granular the targeting may be is still up in the air, but FB’s example is: “… if you visit hotel and airline websites to research an upcoming trip, you might then see ads for travel deals on Facebook.”
FB will launch this new targeting capability next month.
Posted by YM Social on August 25, 2015
Search Engine Optimization
Google expands site links on mobile SERPs.
John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst said that “a desktop site is no longer necessary.” Shree Vaidya, head of SEO at Engage Interactive, believes this Google update is along those lines, to an extent. He thinks the expanded site links are more about device unification than prioritizing mobile over desktop, however.
Beyond device unification, Vaidya thinks expanded site links on Google are about staying ahead of the curve. Like the Knowledge Graph and Maps, the latest update to the SERPs creates an improved mobile user experience, eliminating, in Google’s eyes, the need to use other search engines.
The Content Marketing Platform Livefyre Enables Ads In Comment Threads
Publishers now have the option to insert ads right into the comment threads on their sites. It lets publishers sell inventory using their current ad system. This tool empowers publishers to monetize their on-site engagement by offering premium ad inventory. Ad formats can be Display or Sponsored social posts
Snowden leak documents revealed incredibly close relationship between AT&T with the NSA to help spy on the Internet. AT&T provided complete access to their Main Data Stream, which includes Cable Landing Areas (transoceanic fiber optic lines), and all internet backbone traffic. Relationship goes as far back as 1985 (phone calls, long standing relationship)
AT&T installed an “NSA Room” at key data centers in the country for complete and unabridged access to all internet traffic in the country and most nations outside the US as well.
– Blind sweeps, which is unconstitutional
– Included complete tracking on all communications at the UN Headquarters
– Issue has not gone away, and is spurring a new industry, most notably with Encryption & Security/Privacy:
– Tracking at forefront (Do Not Track)
– Secure Email (ProtonMail)
Makes it more difficult for us marketers to do our jobs.
Google has announced that those that manage Google Shopping campaigns will now have a slew of new bidding options in AdWords. These new targeting options include maximizing clicks, leveraging Enhanced CPC and optimizing for ROAS.
Managers who run Google Shopping can now leverage the same bidding options that are available for keywords on their shopping campaigns. This has the potential to be a gain from an efficiency standpoint since managers can test out each automated bidding option and leverage the one that provides the largest return.
A new PEW report was released on social media habits of Americans. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/19/mobile-messaging-and-social-media-2015/
The report confirms a lot of what we already know about millennials, Facebook and the rising use of message apps, but the data reveals “the noteworthy and rapid emergence of different kinds of communication tools serving different social needs.” Some of the main findings released this week were that young adults LOVE messaging apps. Just under half of the 18-29 demo pool reported using these apps. 67% of internet users are smartphone users. Facebook is still king of social media, but Pinterest and Instagram doubled its usage since 2012. 59% of Instagram users are on the platform daily, 2nd to Facebook with 70% of its user on the social network daily. 35% of Instagrammers visit the platform multiple times a day.
Posted by YM Social on August 18, 2015
Search Engine Optimization
The first eye and click study on the new 3-pack for local results in Google has just been published.
The key findings of this study were that “organic was the clear leader with the #1 organic result generating 39.5% of total clicks.” Adding, “while 39.5% of the click-throughs on the organic result went to the firm’s website directly, only 6% of the local clicks resulted in one click visits to the firm’s website.”
Headway Digital launches NativeWay, its new Native Ads tool suite. The new platform combines native display, video and mobile advertising solutions via programmatic buying
NativeWay will offer marketers considerable benefits over traditional banners, including enhanced user experience, higher viewability, measurably better engagement rates as well as a boost in the number of organic installs of mobile apps.
NativeWay offers performance and brand marketers the ability to target their ideal consumers wherever they are in the digital universe via Native Display/Video/Mobile Ads – dynamically displays a marketer’s ad to fit the look and feel of each publisher site.
R2D3 is a group that has created a ‘Visual Introduction to Machine Learning’
The link below walks a visitor though a basic example and shows a step-by-step approach of what happens when a machine ‘learns.’
With data driven attribution for Adwords coming soon, a host of attribution vendors claiming to use machine learning algorithms and data science techniques becoming ever more popular, it behooves end users to be familiar with basic concepts.
AdWords Drag-and-Drop Report Editor is officially rolling out!
With the Report Editor, you can build out custom pivot tables and charts by dragging and dropping dimensions and metrics. You can start by filtering dimensions before starting to build your report, or you can wait until it’s built to segment, sort and filter the data shown. A drop-down enables you to switch between visualization formats including table, pie, bar or line charts.