Launchpad - May '22 Edition

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

May 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 is discontinuing support for certain video and image sitemap extension tags

On August 6, certain sitemap extension tags will be phased out. Google stated that it is discontinuing support for these sitemap extension tags in order to simplify sitemap extensions and "reduce the complexity of your codebases" by making sitemaps "less cluttered in general." But what exactly is being removed? The following will no longer be supported:

Within image sitemaps:

  • caption
  • geo_location
  • title
  • license

Within video sitemaps:

  • category
  • player_loc[@allow_embed]
  • player_loc[@autoplay]
  • gallery_loc, price[@all]
  • tvshow[@all]

The "deprecated tags will have no effect on indexing and search features after August 6,” according to Google. This is not to say that you should rush to remove these tags or attributes from your video or image sitemaps. "There is no immediate action required; you can leave these tags and attributes in place without drawbacks," Google stated. Google did add that if you still have these tags or attributes in those sitemap files in the future, Google may notify you that they are deprecated via messages or errors in Search Console.

Google has added a new help document for valid page metadata

Google has published a new help document titled "Valid Page Metadata," which discusses how Google can process invalid or inconsistent HTML and the issues associated with invalid markup. Google also updated its title link help document, adding a new section on "no clear main headline" in the troubleshooting section. These two changes may assist you in communicating with your stakeholders about how to build better pages that perform better in Google Search.

Google will be introducing a new image ranking signal called inclusive schema

Google has announced that it will soon include a new signal in image ranking. In an effort to make its image search results more racially diverse and inclusive, Google is also introducing a new type of schema. Google says it will use the Monk Skin Tone (MST) Scale to change the way it ranks images. The new MST Scale, named after Harvard University professor Dr Ellis Monk, is a 10-shade scale.

Google Search Console to release new video page indexing report

A new video page indexing report will be coming to Google Search Console in the near future, allowing you to better debug video indexing issues. The new report will provide you with a summary of all the video pages discovered by Google while crawling and indexing your site. The report on video page indexing will be available in Google Search Console, under the "Index" tab, under "video pages." This feature does not appear to be live at the moment, but it should be soon.

This report will give you a summary of all the video pages that Google discovered while crawling and indexing your website. It will help you with:

  • Examining how many video landing pages Google found and how many of them had a video indexed
  • Investigating the causes of unindexed landing page videos
  • Use the list of video pages that are affected. URLs for debugging and troubleshooting
  • Validating the fix in order to crawl known affected URLs.

Vimeo adds structured data to all public videos to improve Google Search visibility

Vimeo, a popular video hosting platform, has added structured data to all of its publicly accessible videos. Vimeo stated that the SEO changes they have made to the videos will provide "the best opportunity for your videos to appear for relevant searches." These changes should increase the visibility of Vimeo videos in Google search results.

Google Search Console page experience report now tracks more desktop search features

The page experience report in Google Search Console has been updated to track additional desktop features. This means that in the Page Experience report, Google Search Console will now be able to log impressions for additional desktop features, such as Top Stories. As a result, when you filter by "Good Page Experience," you may notice an increase in desktop impressions in the Page Experience report, as well as in the Search and News performance reports.

What’s happening in the world of paid media?

Google Ads reporting issues with APIs and Ads Scripts

A bug in Google Ads Scripts and AdWords API may have caused reporting issues between April 25th at 2:32pm PT and April 26th at 12:24pm PT. If you use Google Ads Scripts and AdWords API to get data for your tools or reports, you should annotate the problem or rerun the reports. It makes sense to rerun those date ranges to ensure the numbers you pulled in were correct the first time. If this is not the case, you should replace the data with the revised data.

Google to use Customer Match lists for Smart Bidding, Optimised Targeting

Customer match lists will be used more frequently in Google Ads. These lists will be available for use within accounts soon to help with Smart Bidding and/or Optimized Targeting. Advertisers currently have to manually apply customer match lists to campaigns, so this change will make them more useful. Manual bidding strategies will not be used in conjunction with customer match lists. Advertisers can still manually adjust bids using bid modifiers if they prefer.

New mobile Google Ads experiment puts favicon in line with display URL

Google has confirmed that they are testing a new Google Ads label display. Instead of simply saying "Ads," the test includes words like "advertisement" and "sponsored" above mobile search ads. The site's favicon is frequently displayed directly to the left of the ad domain and display URL.

Google shopping ads get a ‘swipeable’ makeover

Google has announced a significant visual change to apparel searches, resulting in a unique blend of Google Ads advertisements and organic listings. Google Search now has a swipeable shopping feed. Shopping ads will be combined with organic results in a single swipeable visual feed. This is an important update to be aware of if you run shopping ads as a retailer.

7 updates coming to Google Performance Max campaigns

In its latest update, Google's newest campaign type, Performance Max, gains new insights, recommendations, and in-store goals. These new features should provide advertisers with additional data and options for these automated campaigns:

  • In-store goals

PMax campaigns will be able to optimise toward store sales goals, resulting in increased in-store sales, store visits, and local actions.

  • Performance Max optimisation score

Google is doubling down on automation with this addition, placing automated optimisation tips in their most automated campaign type.

  • Burst campaigns

A new "burst" feature within Performance Max campaigns will work in tandem with in-store goals, allowing advertisers to advertise for a set timeframe in order to meet in-store goals and increase seasonal in-person traffic.

  • Additional insights and explanations

Because of expanded insights, advertisers will receive more intelligence on their Performance Max campaigns. These include consumer, audience, and auction insights.

  • Performance Max experiment tools

These will be "experimentation tools" designed to demonstrate how PMax can drive incremental conversions from your existing Google Ads campaigns. These tools will take existing "comparable campaigns" and layer Performance Max on top to demonstrate how much lift is possible.

  • Increased availability and accessibility

Advertisers who use the Google Ads app or Search Ads 360 can now manage Performance Max campaigns.

  • Performance Max for hotels.

The addition of hotel advertising will be another update to Performance Max campaigns in the second half of 2022. With the expansion, hotels will be able to use Performance Max to promote their properties across all Google channels, including property-specific queries on Search.

3 changes coming to Google Ads audience features

Google Ads is reminding advertisers about changes to its audience targeting and reporting tools. These modifications are minor, and some have already begun to be applied to accounts. These are the three changes that audiences should be made aware of:

  • Reuse audiences

Advertisers will be able to reuse audiences across campaigns. When you create an audience for use in a campaign, Google Ads will save it so you can use it again in a future campaign. This feature is now available as an audience signal in Performance Max and will be available soon in Discovery, Video Action, and App campaigns. In the coming months, the ability to reuse audiences will be expanded to more campaign types.

  • New terms

Some key terms in your audience report and throughout Google Ads are being renamed. You may have already noticed this in some accounts. For example, “audience types” (e.g. similar, custom, in-market, and affinity) are now “audience segments”, and “remarketing” is now “your data.”

  • New audience reporting.

Google is consolidating audience reporting into a new Audiences tab. Reporting about demographics, audience segments, and exclusions can be found in the left-side navigation menu. According to Google, this is a "simplified view" of all the same reporting features. This is yet another change that you may have noticed in some accounts.

What’s happening in the world of social media?

Grow your business with the new WooCommerce TikTok integration

TikTok now has an official integration with WooCommerce. You can now connect your business’s product catalogue to TikTok, making the gap between your content and your bottom line smaller than ever. This is an exciting partnership, and you can learn more about the TikTok WooCommerce plugin by clicking here.

There has been a new Instagram carousel update

Finally, Instagram users can now delete content from carousel posts directly from the app. You can delete any unwanted or irrelevant photos from carousel posts that you no longer want to appear. This has been a long-awaited update for businesses, marketers, and influencers. If you want to recover these after they've been deleted, they'll be saved in 'Manage recently deleted' for 30 days.

YouTube’s moving the placement of video comments on desktop

YouTube is changing the way video comments are displayed on desktop with a new 'teaser' presentation that shows a single comment below the clip. When expanded, the new desktop comments stream will appear to the right of the playback window rather than below it. This will make viewing comments while watching videos more functional and easier for users. On mobile, YouTube currently displays a teaser with one comment below the playback display.

Facebook owner Meta has updated its privacy policy

Millions of Meta product users, including those on Facebook and Instagram, will be notified of the company's updated privacy policies. The changes, according to Meta, are intended to make it easier to understand how customers' information is used. Regulators and campaigners have previously chastised the company for its use of customer data. The update excludes WhatsApp and a few other products.

Watch out for our June round-up next month.

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