This week: YouTube has a new ad format, you might get into trouble if you’re using real-time bidding in Europe, and wait until you hear about how many search results are no-click.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
UK Regulator: RTB Violates GDPR
According to a report by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, Real-Time Bidding (RTB) violates Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Why? Because it transmits personal data without required security in bid requests.
The ICO says that there are “systemic problems, including insufficient consent, transparency and overbroad collection of data within the RTB supply chain.”
However, the report also stresses that its conclusions aren’t guidance. They’re also not legally binding.
So stay tuned for further updates on this issue.
Report: Internet Ad Growth Slowing
A new report by Mary Meeker shows that year-over-year Internet ad growth is slowing down.
In fact, ad growth on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google has been dropping since the first quarter of 2018.
Keep in mind: that doesn’t mean ad revenue is slowing down, just the growth in revenue.
E-commerce was an exception, but just barely. In that vertical, ad revenue grew 12.4% YOY in Q1 2019. That’s an increase of just .3% from the previous year.
The report also shows that programmatic ad buying has grown from 10% of ad spend in 2012 to 62% of ad spend in 2018.
Google Deprecates Use of Social Media Profile Markup for Knowledge Panels
Once upon a time, Google relied on social media profile markup to include social media buttons in knowledge panels. That’s no longer the case.
From now on, the Big G says it will locate the appropriate social media profiles and include those in the knowledge panels.
Also, if you claimed a panel, you can suggest one or more social media profiles that didn’t automatically get added.
Google Won’t Display Multiple Types of Markup in Search Results
If you have multiple types of markup on one of your web pages, Google will decide which one it wants to include in the search results. That’s according to John Mueller.
This past week, in a Google Webmaster Central hangout, someone asked what would happen if a web page included both “how to” and “recipe” markup.
Here’s how Mueller replied: “I don’t think we would show all of these at the same time, but we would probably pick one of those and show it depending on how people search.”
If you’re under the impression that you can use two different kinds of markup so that your page is eligible to appear in two different featured snippets, think again. That strategy probably won’t work.
Google Ads Now Offers Analytics on Shopping Campaign Landing Pages
Good news: Google Ads now includes landing page performance metrics for shopping campaigns.
Here’s the data that you can expect to see:
- Conversion rate
- Average CPC
You can use that info to see which landing pages are generating revenue and which ones need more work.
Google issued the following statement about the new feature: “For example, let’s say you’re a bicycle shop owner and you notice that your top-selling bike is no longer converting. When you check the ‘Landing pages’ page, you see that the product landing page has been broken since last week. With this insight, you can work with your webmaster to fix the landing page and get your conversions back up.”
Google: Disallowed URLs Don’t Impact the Crawl Budget
If you’re disallowing URLs in your robots.txt file, they won’t affect your crawl budget. That’s according to Google’s Gary Illyes.
This past week, Illyes updated his document on the crawl budget with the following Q&A:
“Q: Do URLs I disallowed through robots.txt affect my crawl budget in any way?
A: No, disallowed URLs do not affect the crawl budget.”
Illyes also said on Twitter that there are plans to turn that document into a help center article.
YouTube Allows Advertisers to Promote Live Streams As Display Ads
YouTube has a new ad format that enables you to run live streams in display ads.
The ads are eligible to run on any websites that run display ads to generate revenue.
In other words, you could scroll through a web page one day and see a live stream in the right-hand sidebar. That might catch you off-guard at first.
Live-streaming on YouTube is free. But you’ll still have to pay for the ad.
It’s unclear how much of an ad somebody has to watch before Google will charge you, though.
Look for the new ad format to fully roll out in the near future.
Study: Almost Half of All Google Searches Are No-Click
According to a new study by Jumpshot, zero-click searches are on the rise.
In Q1 of this year, almost half (48.96%) of U.S. Google searches ended with no click. That’s an increase of 12% from the first quarter of 2016.
Jumpshot also noted organic click erosion. The company estimates that there were about 61.5 billion organic clicks at the beginning of this year. That’s down from 75.6 billion clicks at the beginning of 2016.
The study also points out that the click-through rates are down for organic results but up for ads.
The drop in organic clicks might be attributed to instant answers in the search results pages.
Finally, the study shows that almost 6% of searches from Q1 ended with users going to a Google-owned site. In other words, Google is taking market share from companies that rely on its search engine.
Google Updates Portfolio Bid Strategy
This July, Google will roll out changes to two portfolio bid strategies.
If you’re unfamiliar with portfolio bid strategies, they can be applied across multiple campaigns in Google Ads.
The first change: no more target spend setting when you opt for a maximize clicks strategy.
Google is eliminating the target spend setting after receiving feedback that it was too confusing.
Going forward, the maximize clicks strategy will use the average daily budgets of campaigns in the portfolio.
Next, Google is getting rid of portfolio eCPC. Google says that strategy is more widely used on individual campaigns.
If you’re already using eCPC bidding, it will be converted to the campaign level in July.
New Study Shows the Best Times to Post on Different Social Platforms
A new study by Sprout Social identifies the best times to post on different social media channels.
The study covered Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to post on weekdays. That’s for all social media platforms.
The day of the week that “wins” for all social sites is Wednesday. Maybe that’s because it’s the day that’s farthest from the weekend.
The hottest times seem to be between 9AM and 3PM for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Unsurprisingly, though, there’s quite a bit of interest in LinkedIn as early as 8AM.
Sprout Social also notes that it’s seen significant engagement in LinkedIn lately.