This week: another Google update, digital ad spend is on the rise, and marketing executives plan to open their wallets.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Digital Ad Revenues for First Half of 2017 Exceeded $40 Billion
According to a new report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, digital ad spend reached $40.1 billion in the first half of 2017. That’s up from $32.7 billion in the previous year.
Mobile advertising comprised more than half (54%) of that figure and grew at a compound annual growth rate of more than 75%.
Here’s how the digital ad spend broke down by category:
- Search: $19.1 billion
- Video: $5.2 billion
- Display: $17.6 billion
- Other: $3.6 billion
The IAB also said that social media ad spend hit $9.5 billion in the first half of 2017, versus $7 billion in the previous year.
Facebook Penalizes Pages That Solicit Likes and Shares
Facebook will penalize pages that request engagements.
Going forward, any pages that ask for likes, shares, or comments will receive a demotion in user news feeds. Essentially, those posts will go to the back of the line.
Facebook offered the following statement about the new policy: “Publishers and other businesses that use engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease. Meanwhile, Pages that repeatedly share engagement bait posts will see more significant drops in reach.”
Almost 70% of Marketing Executives Will Increase Marketing Tech Spend in 2018
According to a recent survey by Conductor, 68% of marketing executives plan to spend more on marketing technology in the new year.
Thirty percent of respondents said that they’ll spend between 11% and 25% more.
Of those surveyed, 28% said that they’re already spending more than $100,000 per year while 4% said that they were spending more than $1 million annually.
The survey was sent by email to 500 marketing executives.
Google AdWords Will Stop Showing Review Extensions Next Month
Google AdWords will no longer show review extensions beginning in mid-January.
All review extensions will be deleted from AdWords accounts by the middle of February.
The move is seen by some as a blow against third-party review sites.
As of now, Google isn’t saying whether or not there’s a replacement coming in the future.
Google Releases New Rich Results Testing Tool
Google has released a new testing tool for rich snippets.
Just plug in a URL and the tool will tell you if the page is eligible for rich snippets.
According to Google, the new tool “focuses on the structured data types that are eligible to be shown as rich results.” This new version enables you to test all data sources on your pages, including the recommended JSON-LD, Microdata or RDFa. Google said this new version is a “more accurate reflection of the page’s appearance on Search and includes improved handling for Structured Data found on dynamically loaded content.”
Right now, the tool only supports movies, courses, jobs, and recipes. Google said it will support other types of results in the future.
Google Tests Showing Landing Page Image in Ad Space
Google is toying with the idea of showing a landing page image in Google AdWords ad space.
In tests, Google search results show a thumbnail of the landing page image to the right of the ad copy. The image is similar in appearance to the thumbnail you’d expect to see in Google Search Console.
The company issued this statement about the test: “We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers and users, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now.”
— Sergey Alakov (@sergey_alakov) December 16, 2017
Google: Check Log Files to See If Your Site Moved to the Mobile-First Index
Curious about whether or not your site has moved to the mobile-first index? Check your log files.
That’s according to Google’s John Mueller, who was asked about that during a Google hangout conference this past week.
Here’s what he said: “I think you would probably recognize it in the log files. If you see, if you look now probably something like 80% of the crawling is with the Googlebot desktop and maybe 20% is with mobile with the smartphone Googlebot. And probably that will shift over and that most of the crawling will be done with the smartphone Googlebot and less crawling with the desktop Googlebot. So if you like really watch out for your log files probably you can notice that fairly obviously.”
Mueller also said that Google will probably issue a blog post by year end that further explains the mobile-first index.
There Was a Search Algorithm Update This Month
Google released an update to its search algorithm this month.
Some SEOs speculated that there might have been an update when they noticed rank fluctuations. That’s usually a non-story in and of itself because SEOs notice rank fluctuations pretty much every week.
This time, though, Google confirmed that there was an update.
According to Danny Sullivan: “[T]here were several minor changes that happened as they routinely do in any particular week.”
SEOs have named the update Maccabees in honor of Hanukkah.