Launchpad - July '22 Edition

Welcome to Launchpad, the Monthly Digital Marketing Roundup - July '22 Edition

July has been quite a month! We'd like to share what's been going on in the digital marketing industry and round up what you might have missed this month, from SEO to PPC, social media, news and events.

 

What’s happening in the world of SEO?

Google has once again delayed the deprecation of third-party cookies.

 

Google has delayed the deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome yet again, according to its self-imposed timeline. The phase-out will now begin in the second half of 2024, rather than 2023 as previously announced, in the latest course correction.

This will give marketers enough time to adapt to a cookie-free digital world. While the demise of third-party cookies may be unsettling for some, it provides brands with a genuine opportunity to develop innovative alternatives to hyper-targeted and intrusive advertising.

Google releases July 2022 product reviews update.

 

Google has begun rolling out the fourth version of its product reviews update, a search ranking algorithm update aimed at ranking the most helpful and useful product review-related content on the web. The Google product reviews update aims to promote review content that goes above and beyond much of what you see on the web. Google has stated that it will prioritise these kinds of product reviews in its search results rankings.

Google does not penalise low-quality product reviews with "thin content that simply summarises a bunch of products." However, if you provide such content and your rankings are demoted as a result of other content being promoted above yours, it will feel like a penalty.

Google Search Console to release new video page indexing report.

 

Google Search Console is getting a new video page indexing report. The new report will provide you with a summary of all the video pages discovered by Google while crawling and indexing your site. This feature does not appear to be operational yet, but it should be available soon. It will assist you with:

  • Seeing how many video landing pages Google has discovered and how many of them have a video indexed.
  • Investigating the causes of unindexed videos on landing pages.
  • Using the list of affected video page URLs to debug and fix issues.
  • Validating fix to initiate recrawling of known affected URLs.

Many websites now include videos. So, these reports will assist you in determining how important those videos are for you in relation to Google Search. The new video indexing reports can assist you in identifying indexing issues with your videos and debugging those issues, making your video content more accessible to a wider audience.

Google now shows a return grace period within some product search results.

 

Google now includes the number of days you have to return a specific product to a merchant in the search results snippet. For some search results, Google displays a short section directly beneath the main snippet that says "30-day returns" or "15-day returns," and so on. Keep an eye on how this affects your Google Search click-through rate.

 

Google looks to be pulling price comparisons into the SERP listings.

 

It initially appears as though Google is testing the Currys website against other merchants. Nevertheless, this is not the case. Currys is actually sending this information to Google, where it is subsequently being shown in SERPs.

The information is contained in a "Price Promise" comparison table on the page, which in fact displays Amazon's product at a lower price than their own. A user can then choose not to click the Currys search result and instead go directly to Amazon if the cost of shipping is not provided. Due to this, we anticipate that Currys will shortly restrict access to this information to site visitors only and block Google from accessing it. (Credit to Ryan Siddle for spotting this.)

 

What’s happening in the world of paid media?

Microsoft introduces shopping campaign auto-updates.

 

Beginning July 10, Microsoft will enable automatic updates for shopping campaigns. By automatically updating prices and availability, the new feature will help advertisers sell more products.

It will collect price and availability data for the products offered by crawling the websites of advertisers. If a price change or availability issue is detected (for example, if an item is out of stock), the product information in your ads will be updated.

You can disable auto-updates in your Merchant Center account by going to the Automatic Updates tab under Settings. Remember that if your products are out of date, your ads may be disapproved.

Microsoft launches Merchant Promotions Coupons.

 

On July 10, Microsoft will launch Merchant Promotions. The special offer tags will appear at the bottom of the shopping results to increase customer engagement.

With the new feature, advertisers will be able to promote products directly from the Microsoft Shopping Campaigns inventory using special offer tags. The tags will appear at the bottom of the product listing and will include a link to a "special offer."

Google makes diagnostic insights available for Performance Max campaigns.

 

Google has launched diagnostic insights to assist advertisers in ensuring that their Performance Max campaigns are properly configured. The insights are intended to help ensure that there are no delays or problems that result in low engagement or disapproved ads.

When a new Performance Max campaign is launched, the diagnostic insights view can detect issues related to:

  • Account status
  • Billing status
  • Policy reviewing
  • Conversion tracking
  • Campaign budgeting
  • Bid strategy targets
  • Campaign status’
  • Ad strength.

The progress bar will also allow you to see recommendations. The new insights could be useful in ensuring advertisers do not violate ad policies and in providing useful visibility into ad strength. More information can be found here.

Google has released Ads Editor version 2.1, which includes 13 new features.

 

Google confirmed the update and linked to their help documentation, which can be found here. So, what's new? Lead form recommendations, warning dialogues, custom questions, and other features will be included in the new update. Among the new features are the following:

  • Recommendations for table headers
  • Primary Display Status
  • Overview recommendation cards
  • Recommendations
  • Cross-account copy and paste warning dialogue
  • Validate aligned budget or bid strategy
  • Video-Drive conversions campaigns with shopping
  • Final URL expansion
  • Initial view on start-up
  • Global offers
  • Lead form: age questions and custom questions
  • Account-level lead form extensions
  • Budget Explorer.

Google has updated advanced location options for Performance Max campaigns.

 

Google is attempting to provide advertisers with new feature updates aimed at increasing transparency and account/campaign-level controls, particularly with Performance Max campaigns. Advertisers who receive unwanted clicks or leads should now be able to exclude specific locations from their targeting.

Advertisers can now target based on physical "Presence" or "Presence or interest" in campaign settings under "Location options." They'll be adding advanced location exclusions for "Presence" or "Presence or interest" to Performance Max campaigns for online sales with a product feed, similar to what's available in Smart Shopping campaigns today.

What’s happening in the world of social media?

Twitter has begun testing 'CoTweets', which will allow users to co-author tweets.

 

The company says it’s testing CoTweets for a limited time to learn how people and brands may use this feature to grow and reach new audiences and strengthen their collaborations with other accounts. Select accounts in the US, Canada, and Korea currently have access to the feature.

Users that have access to CoTweets will see the feature appear in the tweet composer via a pop-up that invites them to "tweet together with CoTweets." According to Twitter, you can invite another account to co-own a tweet with you. If they agree, a CoTweet will be generated with both of you listed as co-authors. A request to share ownership of a tweet with you will be sent to the person you've chosen, and they can accept or reject it.

TikTok abandoned plans to expand its live e-commerce initiative in Europe and the US.

 

The social media platform’s foray into QVC-style shopping in the UK was hit by internal problems and struggled to gain traction with consumers. "TikTok Shop," TikTok's most recent venture, made its debut in the UK last year. Since then, a lot of TikTok Shop live streams have had dismal sales, despite the company's efforts to entice companies and influencers to sell through the app by providing subsidies and cash incentives.

Instagram has added new features.

 

To keep audiences engaged, the social media platform has introduced a slew of new features, ranging from avatar stickers to reel remixes and grid planning. The following has been added in the latest update:

  • Avatar stickers are now available in stories.
  • You can now tag users in your stories after they have been posted.
  • More reel creations have also been added, which means you can now remix for photos.
  • New age verification tools are currently being tested, including video selfies.
  • Grid planning has been rolled out to users, you can now change your photo grid and pin important posts to the top of your profile.
  • Instagram stories have been glitching, but this can be fixed by updating the app.
  • The app automatically changes to dark mode. This can be altered and changed within the settings.

Google will start to show videos from TikTok and Instagram in search results.

 

Google is reportedly in talks with ByteDance and Facebook to obtain the data required for indexing and subsequent delivery of TikTok and Instagram videos in Google SERPs. With short-form videos taking the world by storm, this will be a very interesting development, especially after Google released internal data indicating that 40% of Gen Z use TikTok as a search engine.

 

Hootsuite has rebranded with a new logo.

 

If you're a marketer and use the social media scheduling tool Hootsuite, you'll notice that they've rebranded. The rebrand gives its owl mascot (Owly) a bolder new look as they move forward in its marketing journey.

Since its inception in 2008, Hootsuite has had three logos. Our junior accounts executive, Chloe Kerfoot, mentioned a TikTok video posted by TikTok creator Emily Zugay, who is well-known for her take on Gymshark's logo, in which she redesigns Owly with a makeover. We can only assume that this is a reactionary marketing strategy, and we may see their old logo appear, as we did with Gymshark. You can watch Emily’s video here.

Instagram Reels now has more new features.

Instagram is introducing new ways to create, share, and drive more engagement with Reels. In their most recent update, they've added templates, boosts, and much more to their Reels feature. The following new Reels features are now available:

  • Remixes with improvements
  • New design templates
  • Video posts are automatically converted to reels
  • The ability to boost Reels as advertisements.

Instagram's latest blog announcement contains more information on the new ways to collaborate and create with reels.

Watch out for our August round-up next month.

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