Launchpad - June '22 Edition

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

June 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's title algorithm has been updated for multi-language or transliterated/scripted titles.

Google has added a new "algorithmic improvement" to how it selects titles for search result snippets for multi-language or transliterated titles, or when the title element is written in a different language or script than its content.

If your titles do not match the language and/or script of your page, Google may change them for you. If you notice changes in your click-through rates or changes to your titles and you use multilingual or scripted titles, this is why. So, make sure that your titles match the language and/or script of your page, or you may be ranked lower.

Google Chrome's Topics API test will be available to the public on July 1.

The new feature will allow users to enable interest-based advertising without tracking the sites they visit. Advertisers who use Google AdSense to monetize their websites may see the initial trial go live soon, but they can opt out.

The Topics API performs three primary functions:

  • Topics of interest are hosted on the Maps website. A yoga website, for example, would be classified as "Fitness"
  • Determine the most important topics for a user based on their browsing history
  • Provide a JavaScript API to assist in the selection of appropriate ads based on the user's interests.

Google is retiring the old Search Console message panel on August 1.

Google will officially be removing the legacy message panel on August 1, 2022. If you attempt to access the legacy version of the Search Console message panel, you will be greeted with the message “Important: This report won’t be available after August 1, 2022. Please use the new Message panel instead.”

Google now includes an LGBTQ+-owned attribute in business profiles.

In honour of Pride Month, Google has announced a new attribute for LGBTQ+-owned businesses in Google Business Profiles. This new attribute, which can be added to your verified Google Business Profile, maki it easier for LGBTQ+-owned businesses in their own community to be found. These labels can help some businesses increase visibility and possibly conversions.

To add this attribute to your Google Business Profile, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Business Profile and then find your profile.
  2. Select Edit profile, followed by Business information.
  3. Near the top, select the More tab.
  4. Select the category you want to change.
  5. Next to the attribute, select Yes or No.
  6. When you’re finished updating your attributes, click the Save button.

IndexNow is now available in Yoast SEO Premium.

Yoast SEO, one of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins, has finally adopted IndexNow, a Microsoft-backed protocol for submitting content to search engines. This is available in Yoast SEO version 19.2's premium version. Finally, Yoast SEO premium users can easily enable IndexNow for their WordPress sites.

Yoast also released Yoast SEO Premium 18.7. They are currently expanding on their recently introduced crawl settings. This beta feature allows you to disable various WordPress features that are automatically added to your site. As a result, it gives you more control over what search engines should crawl on your WordPress website. Find more information on Yoast SEO's Premium Changelog.

Google Maps now includes a new store location feature, Locator Plus, integration with Reserve with Google, new analytics, and more.

The Google Maps Platform has added lots of new features to help businesses add deeper integration with its Google Maps Platform APIs and streamline some of their Google Maps integrations.

These include the ability to:

  • Reserve With Google Embed Feature.
  • Store Locator Embed Feature.
  • Google Locator Plus Feature.
  • Google Store Locator Analytics and more.

All of these tools can help large and small businesses manage their local presence on Google as well as their own website. Furthermore, because searchers are accustomed to Google, they may recognise and use these embedded features. More information can be found here.

What’s happening in the world of paid media?

Meta is rumoured to be developing 'Basic Ads' in response to recent privacy changes.

With the release of iOS 14 in 2020 and the ability for users to opt out of having their data collected, Facebook advertisers are finding it more difficult to report on performance. Meta Platforms’ Facebook is reportedly in the early stages of developing a Basic Ads product to combat data privacy changes.

Basic Ads would be targeted at advertisers who want to raise brand awareness. A Basic Ads product would only provide and report the most basic metrics, such as engagement and video views. The Basic ads may be effective for brand advertisers, but less effective for businesses that require granular targeting and lead generation.

Google Ads launches v11 of API.

Changes to the Google Ads API include ad schedules for local services, as well as migrations and updates for Smart campaigns. The following client codes have been updated in this version:

  • Campaign performance max upgrade status
  • Support for Smart campaigns using business profiles optimised for ads as landing pages
  • The resource names of the Google Business Profile location are now accepted
  • Support for manual CPA, bid strategies to maximise conversions, and ad schedules for local services campaigns
  • Added asset source to show the source of asset or asset link for whom generated the entity
  • In Reach Forecast, new fields have been added to support retrieving co-viewing metrics.

Those who use APIs to manage and report on Google Ad campaigns will find it easier to make changes, migrate campaign types, and keep budgets, assets, and settings intact. Further updates enable more functionality options for using Business Profiles as landing pages, as well as ad schedules for local services. The updated client libraries and code are now published, and you can view the complete list of updates here.

Google released several Ads Manager updates.

Google Ads Manager has added eight new features and updates that advertisers should be aware of. Google has also hinted at four more updates that will be released soon. The updates include new features as well as updates to reporting, network settings, and inventory. The following updates have just been released:

  • The PPID (publisher provided identifier) Time-to-Live (TTL) Extension has been increased from 90 to 180 days
  • Pricing has been optimised to reflect inventory value. This can be disabled through network settings
  • Facebook’s rebrand as Meta. Publishers will now see ‘Meta’ in all references in all ad manager references
  • Video protections have been added to the updated ad. Now called “Block non-instream video ads”
  • For MCM publishers, troubleshoot transparency files. Google is aiming to have the SupplyChain Object for MCM Manage Inventory publishers update completed by the end of June
  • GA4 web data integration is now in open beta
  • Updates to the “Bid rejection reason” in reporting and data transfer
  • Additional granularity is being added to the "bid rejection reason" in both reporting and data transfer to be more specific about scenarios that result in bid losses
  • The WebView API for Ads is now available to enable monetization opportunities.

The following updates are being worked on, but no release date has been set by Google:

  • Updates to the Active View measurement
  • The application of app-ads.txt to CTV inventory
  • Query migration for Ad Exchange Historical report type queries
  • Header bidding in yield groups (beta).

Google offers to show ad rivals on YouTube.

Google parent Alphabet has offered to let rival ad intermediaries place ads on YouTube as part of another EU antitrust investigation. An EU watchdog singled out Google's requirement that advertisers use its Ad Manager to display ads on YouTube, as well as potential restrictions on how rivals can serve ads. They're also looking into Google's requirements that advertisers use Display & Video 360 and Google Ads to buy YouTube ads, which is how publishers buy ad space on the popular video platform.

Google AdSense now has new shopping links.

Google AdSense now has a new Labs feature called shopping links. Relevant keywords on your site will be tagged and hyperlinked, resulting in a pop-up window with shopping results. When Google detects a mention of a shoppable product, users will be shown shopping ads for that product. You can read the full help document here.

Google will only display shopping links on pages with detectable product mentions. Because this is a new lab feature, Google will limit the amount of traffic that can view shopping links to 10%. You can opt out of showing shopping links by going to your AdSense account > Optimisation > Labs and turning off shopping links.

Google is experimenting with new featured snippet layouts.

Google has been testing new formats, layouts, and interfaces for its featured snippet slot in search results recently. Google typically displays a single source for a featured snippet, but since 2018, Google has displayed multifaceted featured snippets for some queries.

Google is testing showing many featured snippets, not just one or two, but up to four different featured snippets. If Google begins to show two or more featured snippets, that can impact your click-through rate and conversions from Google Search.

Pinterest has launched Idea ads as well as paid partnership tools.

Pinterest has introduced a new ad format called "Idea ads," as well as a new partnership tool that allows creators to tag brand partners in their content. The new features are intended to assist brands and creators in reaching out to consumers through creative images and videos.

The new Idea ads are formatted similarly to the Idea pins that were introduced last year. Similarly, Idea ads are a multi-page immersive format designed for advertisers to "showcase ideas in action." When customers click on the ads, they are directed to the brand's website, where they can view relevant information. This enables brands to collaborate with Pinterest creators and connect with their audiences.

What’s happening in the world of social media?

The LinkedIn Funny emoji is here!

LinkedIn has finally added one of the most requested features, "The Funny emoji," as promised. It has begun to be rolled out to LinkedIn users, and the 'Funny' Reaction has already paved the way for new types of content. LinkedIn is gradually shifting away from personal content and toward more humorous jokes.

LinkedIn announces Business Manager.

The new Business Manager is a centralised platform designed to make managing people, ad accounts, and business pages easier for large companies and agencies. LinkedIn’s Business Manager will attempt to simplify how marketers manage their accounts by making Campaign Manager and Pages options easily accessible from a single location. There is no word on when the new Business Manager platform will be available.

Here’s what LinkedIn Business Manager will offer:

  • From the central dashboard, you can view and manage teams, ad accounts, pages, and business partners
  • Easier management and control of administrative tasks such as permissions and billing
  • The ability to share and update Matched Audiences across ad accounts.

LinkedIn announces boosting for Event posts.

LinkedIn has just announced that the Boost button will now be available on the LinkedIn Events page. Last year, LinkedIn introduced a new feature that allowed advertisers to Boost organic posts on their page. This enabled them to promote an organic post to a larger number of their followers or to specific professional audiences of their choice. Now, advertisers will be able to promote events and drive registrations.

Twitter testing Notes, a long-form content feature.

Twitter is testing a new feature that will allow users to share "notes" of up to 2,500 words in length. Normally, posts on the social media platform are limited to 280 characters, but this has now been increased and will also include photos, videos, GIFs and Tweets. Twitter stated that the change was made in response to people using the platform to post images of longer announcements and direct followers to external newsletters.

In Twitter Notes, it looks like you will be able to add:

  • Formatting including bold, italic and strikethrough text; insert ordered/unordered lists; add links.
  • You can include one GIF, one video, or up to four images in your media.
  • You can embed tweets by pasting URLs or by selecting bookmarked tweets.

Twitter launches Campaign Planner.

Twitter recently launched Campaign Planner, a forecasting tool designed to assist advertisers in estimating campaign results prior to launch. Twitter began testing the tool in 2021 and has now made it available to all managed advertisers. The new Campaign Planner assists advertisers in the following ways:

  • Forecast reach, impressions, average frequency, and CPM for a specific audience, duration, frequency setting, and placement
  • Budget for auction-based campaigns
  • Start and save draft campaigns directly from the tool.

Twitter developed this tool to help partners and advertisers better understand the size and cost of reaching a target audience during the campaign planning process. The Campaign Planner is accessible through your Twitter Ads account. After that, you'll be prompted to enter details to start building your forecast.

Twitter announces Product Drops for merchants.

Product Drops on Twitter is a new feature that allows brands to notify their followers when a new product is available. This is the first feature of its kind for a social media platform. Product Drops are currently only available to merchants in the United States and on English iOS devices. It is being tested with a small group of partners, including:

  • Dior
  • Fossil
  • Jeff Staple
  • Home Depot.

There is no word on when the feature will be made available to all merchants. Followers will see a "Remind me" button at the bottom of a merchant's tweet about an upcoming launch. Simply tapping that button will remind them of the launch date. They will receive a notification in the app 15 minutes before and at the time of the drop on the product's launch day. When they click the notification, they will be taken to the merchant's website, where they can shop for the product and hopefully get it in time.

Twitter has launched Branded Likes.

Branded Likes are custom Like animations for tweets that brands can create through the ads manager. The custom emojis were previously only available to large brands paying a premium. During the Super Bowl, brands Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo took the bait with branded Likes. However, the emojis cost around $1 million at the time. They won't be that expensive when they're released. Branded Likes are a novelty, but there are no early indications that they will improve brand awareness or engagement. More information can be found here.

Is a new Twitter 'Search Subscribe' feature on the way?

Twitter may soon offer a new way to receive push notifications whenever someone's tweets match a search query you specify. Twitter currently allows you to enable or disable various notifications. This includes things like:

  • Mentions
  • Replies
  • Retweets
  • New followers
  • Direct messages and other things.

Search has never been one of these options until now. Twitter has not confirmed if or when the feature will roll out to users. Assuming the feature goes ahead when you perform a search in the Twitter app, a bell icon will appear next to the search bar. When you press the bell, you'll see a message that says “You’re subscribed to receive push notifications for Tweets about [insert your search query here]”.

Twitter removes the nofollow attribute from tweet links.

Twitter has removed the nofollow link attribute from Twitter posts in its source code. It is unclear whether Twitter removed the attribute on purpose or not, and whether Google would count links in Twitter posts. This includes links found on "Twitter profiles, tweets, and other pages". We believe Twitter will reinstate the nofollow link attribute to external links as soon as they learn of it publicly. As a result, this may be temporary.

TikTok introduces Attribution Manager with flexible windows.

TikTok is introducing a flexible Attribution Manager to give advertisers more flexibility in their goals, strategies, and conversion journeys. The new TikTok Ads Manager feature allows users to set custom attribution windows.

The default and original attribution windows are set to 7-day click and 1-day view, respectively. This means that potential customers have one day after viewing an ad or seven days after clicking on an ad to convert.

The new options available for advertisers are:

  • Click-through (CTA): 1, 7, 14, 28 day
  • View-through (VTA): off, 1 and 7 day.

Watch out for our July round-up next month.

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