This week: US display ad spend is expected to soar, Google will penalize you for using event markup incorrectly, and Cyber Monday was a big hit.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Facebook Disables Discriminatory Ad Targeting Options
Facebook is (again) promising to eliminate discriminatory advertising practices on its social media platform.
If you missed the old news, Facebook came under fire about a year ago for allowing advertisers to wiggle around federal housing laws. Specifically, marketers could run ads targeted to home buyers that excluded minority groups (such as African-Americans or Hispanics).
When that news surfaced, Facebook said it would take a look at the issue and correct the problem.
Just a few days ago, a report from ProPublica found that Facebook hadn’t done much of anything to correct the problem. So Facebook is once again announcing that it will prevent advertisers from running ads that discriminate against ethnic groups.
In addition to that, Facebook will require advertisers “to certify that they understand our anti-discrimination policies and the law when using multicultural affinity segments for inclusion on ads on Facebook.”
Forecast: US Display Advertising Will Grow 70% by 2021
According to Forrester Research, US display advertising will grow 70% by 2021.
Additionally, the firm says that Amazon will “steal market share” from both Google and Facebook.
The report also predicts that social media ad spend will spike to $40 billion by 2021 and will take the lion’s share of display advertising.
The firm forecasts that almost two out of every three mobile ad dollars will be in-app.
Finally, Forrester (conservatively) predicts that Amazon US sales will reach $2.5 billion by 2021.
Cyber Monday Haul Brings in $6.6 Billion
Christmas came early for e-tailers this year as Cyber Monday brought in a whopping $6.59 billion in revenue. It was the biggest shopping day in history with sales increasing 16.8% year-over-year.
Cyber Monday sales even dwarfed Black Friday sales by $1.5 billion.
Mobile revenue accounted for almost a third ($2 billion) of the total haul. According to Adobe, almost half (47.4%) of all visits to retail sites happened on a mobile device.
Adobe also says that smartphone traffic was up 22.2% year-over-year and smartphone sales were up 39.2%.
Total online holiday revenue from November 1 through November 27 currently stands at $50 billion. Adobe expects that number to more than double before Christmas.
Google Will Provide More Real-Time Data in Google Trends
Google Trends is adding a new feature that will offer even more insight into what people are searching for online.
Specifically, you can now find out what people are searching for in News, Images, Shopping, and even YouTube.
Here’s how it works: you enter your search term just as you did before. Google Trends will show you a report that shows how many people are searching for that keyword.
However, you can filter your result based on search segment. A drop-down at the top will allow you to select one of the following options:
- Web Search
- Image Search
- News Search
- Google Shopping
- YouTube Search
You might uncover some great SEO opportunities with that new filter.
Google Warns: Use Event Markup Correctly or Face a Penalty
Some savvy digital strategists like to mark up their online coupons or vouchers as events. That way, they appear as rich snippets in the search results.
That practice isn’t sitting well with Google. This past week, the company issued a warning: sites that misuse event markup could face manual action.
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) November 27, 2017
Specifically, Google said: “As much as using a discount voucher can be a very special thing, that doesn’t make coupons or vouchers events or ‘saleEvents’.”
“Using Event markup to describe something that is not an event creates a bad user experience, by triggering a rich result for something that will happen at a particular time, despite no actual event being present,” the company added.
Google Doesn’t Use Time to First Byte As a Ranking Signal
Although page speed certainly matters, Google doesn’t use Time to First Byte (TTFB) as a ranking signal. That’s according to John Mueller.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked Mueller if he should be concerned about TTFB.
AFAIK we currently don't use TTFB for anything in search/ranking. It can be a good proxy for user-facing speed, but like other metrics, don't blindly focus on it.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) November 30, 2017
Here’s how Mueller replied: “AFAIK we currently don’t use TTFB for anything in search/ranking. It can be a good proxy for user-facing speed, but like other metrics, don’t blindly focus on it.”
The best way to test page speed is with Google’s own tool: PageSpeed Insights.