This week: Google allows musicians to post directly to search results, Reddit offers a new ad format, and wait until you hear how many of the top websites are using WordPress.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Watch The News Update
Google Removed More Than 3 Billion Ads Last Year
Google said that it removed 3.2 billion ads that violated company ad policies in 2017.
“That’s more than 100 bad ads per second!” said Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads.
The Big G removed “trick to click” ads, malware site ads, and ads that prompted for software installation.
Google said that it will soon prohibit cryptocurrency ads as well.
Reddit Rolls out Promoted Posts in Mobile App
You can now run a native ad in Reddit’s mobile app.
Promoted posts will look like “standard” Reddit posts. They can also receive upvotes or downvotes.
Users can comment on native ads as well.
Reddit said that it has 330 million active users. Mobile use accounts for 41% of the time that users spend on Reddit across all platforms.
Eighty percent of app users never access Reddit on a desktop.
Report: Email Subscriptions Declined in 2017
According to Yes Lifecycle Marketing, the number of people who signed up for email subscriptions declined last year.
“Throughout 2017, the share of new subscribers in marketers’ databases consistently declined, falling to its lowest point in Q4 when new subscribers accounted for just 3.5 percent of marketers’ mailable audience,” the company reported.
Yes LifeCycle Marketing also said that there’s usually a lift in email subscriptions between Q3 and Q4 in a given year. But last year “marked a U-turn.”
According to the report, 20% of mailable audiences hadn’t opened an email in more than a year.
A “mailable audience” includes people who’ve opted in to receive emails.
Open rates per subscriber did show some growth, but at a noticeably slower pace. Unique opens were up just 8.4% year-over-year.
The company also reported that mobile represented 46% of all email-driven orders. That’s a 33% increase over the 2016 figure.
Unsurprisingly, desktop email orders dropped 18%.
Finally, Yes Lifecycle Marketing said that brands with responsive emails outperform on both desktop and mobile.
“Marketers who are yet to optimize their messages only capture 75 percent of the engagement generated by their responsive counterparts, thus missing out on significant opportunity for conversion.”
Google Brings Custom Intent and TrueView to YouTube
Google announced a couple of new YouTube ad features this past week.
The first is the ability for advertisers to target people based on search intent.
For example, an airline company can run an ad to people who’ve just searched for flights to Las Vegas.
That advertising strategy can only target people who are signed in to Google, though. Fortunately, there are a lot of Gmail users who stay signed in.
The second feature is the ability to run TrueView for Action ads. It enables advertisers to customize calls to action that are embedded within the ads.
As with other TrueView ads, TrueView for Action ads can be skipped after 5 seconds.
Twitter: We’d Like to Open Verification to Everybody
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he plans to open up verification to everybody on the platform.
During a livestream this past week, a couple of viewers brought up the company’s verification process. One of them asked if Twitter was going to be verifying more people.
“Short answer is yes,” Dorsey said in response.
He prefaced his answer by saying that the whole point of the new verification process is to open up verification to all users.
Report: Google Will Boost News Articles in Search for Paying Subscribers
Soon, Google will boost news articles in search results for people who are paying subscribers to news sites. Maybe.
According to Bloomberg, the company is making the change in an effort to help subscription-based sites find and keep customers.
Google will also share search data that shows who is likely to pay for a subscription to a news site.
A word of caution here, though: everyone who spoke about this subject did so off the record. In other words, this might never happen.
Publishers have been pushing Google to customize search results for paying subscribers.
WordPress is Used by 30% of the Top 10 Million Sites on the Web
Almost a third (30%) of the top 10 million sites on the web use WordPress.
That’s according to data collected by W3Techs.
The company also said that WordPress holds a whopping 60.2% market share.
WordPress is in third place in terms of traffic, according to the report. Believe it or not, sites powered by Drupal receive the most traffic. Magento is in second place.
Still, this report highlights a big milestone for WordPress.
Google Confirms an Algorithm Update Occurred Last Week
There was a search algorithm update last week. According to Google, it was the kind of search update that occurs several times per year.
The company didn’t specify which kinds of changes were rolled out.
Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year….
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 12, 2018
If you noticed one or more of your sites doing the Google dance last week, it’s probably due to the algorithm change.
At this point, people are only speculating about the nature of the change. Google isn’t confirming or denying any reports.
Now Musicians Can Publish Directly to Search Results
Google is allowing musicians to post short updates to the front page of the SERPs.
The whole thing is handled through Google Posts. It’s similar to how small businesses publish to search results.
Right now, Google is only allowing select musicians in the pop and electronic dance genres to use the new feature.
You can see examples,if you Google the names of the following musicians:
- Sofi Tukker
The posts appear in the knowledge panel.