This week: GMB adds video support, YouTube creates additional rules for monetization, and there’s a new mobile ranking factor on the horizon.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
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YouTube Creates Stricter Rules for Videos That Carry Ads
This past week, Google announced a number of new rules for YouTube channels that run ads.
The changes are the latest in a series of updates that the company has enacted in response to advertiser complaints. Google came under fire last year when digital marketers discovered that their ads were running alongside extremist content.
Here’s a summary of the latest changes:
- New minimum thresholds for channels that carry ads – In the past, Google required a 10,000-view minimum on channels that run ads. Now, channels must have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the last year.
- Manual vetting – Once upon a time, Google relied on an algorithm to determine which channels qualify for ads. That’s no more. Now, a human being will evaluate channel content to ensure that it’s suitable for advertisers.
- Brand safety controls – Google will give advertisers more flexibility over where their ads run.
You can expect to see these new changes in the coming year.
Google Releases New AMP Testing Tool
There’s yet another tool you can use to enhance your presence online. It’s an AMP testing tool.
To use it, just type “amp testing tool” in the Google search bar. In the results list, you’ll see the new tool just below the ecommerce ads at the top.
Enter the AMP URL that you’d like to check and click the “RUN TEST” button.
After some processing, you’ll see a report that tells you if the URL is a valid AMP page. As is usually the case, Google will offer instructions on how to fix any problems.
You can also use the tool to submit the AMP URL to Google for indexing.
Page Speed Will Soon Become a Mobile Ranking Factor
If you’ve been disregarding your low mobile score on PageSpeed Insights, you could soon lose rank. That’s because page speed will soon become a mobile ranking factor.
The change is expected to go into effect this July.
Google advises you to use the new PageSpeed Insights tool to ensure that your site loads quickly for people using a smartphone, tablet, or phablet.
Here’s what else Google had to say about the upcoming change:
The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.
It’s not yet clear how page speed will affect desktop search.
Facebook Adds Desktop Support for Stories
Facebook still wants you to use Stories.
It was once the case that Stories were only supported on mobile platforms, but they generated little interest.
Company management seems to think that Stories aren’t popular because they’re limited to mobile users. That’s why they’re now allowing desktop users to post them.
Stories are photo and video collections that can be viewed twice. They disappear after 24 hours.
Yes, Facebook stole that idea from Snapchat.
Many analysts believe that this latest move is basically a last-ditch attempt by Facebook to encourage users to post Stories. If it doesn’t work, it’s likely that the company will dump the feature.
Google My Business Now Supports Video Uploads
A couple of weeks ago, we reported that Google was testing video upload to Google My Business (GMB). Now, that feature has rolled out to everybody.
Here’s how it works: you upload a video to your profile. After 24 hours, that video should be live.
In this case, “live” means people will see it in the search results on Google Maps.
It doesn’t seem to be working for everybody, though. Some people are reporting problems with the new feature.
You might need to be patient if you start using it right away.