This week: Google dispels another SEO myth, Facebook destroys an analytics tool, and TikTok deploys a new video editor.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google: Changing Dates on Web Pages Won’t Improve Ranking
Changing the “published” date on your web page won’t affect its ranking. That’s according to Google’s John Mueller.
The subject came up during a Google Search Central SEO hangout this past week. Someone asked Mueller about whether publishing dates affect page rank.
“I don’t think it would change anything with regards to search, and we definitely wouldn’t rank those pages differently in search just because you’re changing the date and time on a page,” Mueller replied.
He went on to say that if your content management system (CMS) automatically updates the publication date every time you update the content, that won’t hurt your rank either.
Google Search Console Now Supports Regex Filters
Good news if you’re a tech geek: Google Search Console now supports regular expression filters.
If you’re unfamiliar with regex, it’s a way to search for substrings within a larger string, a collection of strings, or a set of files.
Now you can use it to find specific queries that got people to your page. Just go to Search Console, create a query or page filter, then select Custom from the dropdown menu.
Enter your regex in the prompt that appears.
Google also updated the comparison mode in Search Console. The new UI nearly doubles the area available for the data table, so you can more easily view results for more than one metric.
Facebook Analytics Shutting Down in June
This was quite a surprise.
Facebook Analytics will go dark on June 30. That gives you less than three months to export your data.
The company announced the shutdown on the Facebook for Business help center.
“Facebook Analytics will no longer be available after June 30, 2021,” the statement reads. “Until then, you will still be able to access reports, export charts and tables, and explore insights. To export data into a CSV file from Facebook Analytics on your desktop, click the arrow in the top-right corner of each chart or table.”
The company didn’t give any reason for its decision.
Google: Core Web Vitals Clearance Not Necessary for Inclusion in Top Stories
Good news if you’re running a news site and struggling to clear those Core Web Vitals hurdles: you don’t need to pass the CWV test to get included in Top Stories.
That’s according to an answer by Google in Google Search Console help.
Here’s the question: “Am I eligible for Top Stories carousel if my webpage is not clearing Core Web Vitals?”
And here’s the reply: “Yes. With the upcoming change to Top Stories carousel, all web pages irrespective of their page experience status or Core Web Vitals score are eligible for Top Stories carousel. When the changes go live the compliance with Google News content policies will be the only requirement, and we will use page experience as a ranking signal across all the pages.”
In answering a separate question, Google said that “any page” is eligible for Top Stories irrespective of its page metrics.
Twitter Restructures Ad Offerings
Twitter recently rebranded and recategorized its entire ad suite.
The company switched from more than 20 individual ad unit names to five advertising categories.
Why? So that marketers like you can more easily find the ad units that work best for your target market.
Here’s a rundown of the five categories:
- Promoted Ads – Includes images and videos. They can be used at different stages of the sales cycle.
- Follower Ads – Used to promote an ad to an audience based on who they follow. They’re great for attracting new followers.
- Twitter Amplify – Ads that run alongside video content.
- Twitter Takeover – Lives up to its name by taking over the timeline and Explore tab.
- Twitter Live – Used to broadcast a marketer’s biggest moments and allows the audience to join in real time.
Twitter says it will start phasing in the changes over the coming months.
Google Rolls out Video Ad Experiments
Looking to optimize your video marketing? If so, you’ll love this news from Google.
The Big G is launching a new video experiments feature in Google Ads. It will enable you to test and compare different video marketing strategies.
Here’s what Google has to say about video experiments: “Knowing the outsized impact of creative on driving sales, we’re launching video experiments globally in Google Ads over the next several weeks. These experiments are easy to set up and quick to deliver results you can act on. So whether you’re looking to understand the impact of different video ads on Brand Lift, conversions or CPAs, you too can make more informed decisions that improve your results on YouTube.”
You can see the new feature in your Google Ads dashboard. Just click on the Drafts & Experiments tab and look for the Video Experiments option.
If you’re looking for analytics, you’ll find them in the Google Ads dashboard as well.
Facebook Begins Testing Clubhouse Clone
This past week, Facebook launched a beta test of Hotline, its new live-streaming social media app.
It’s a lot like Clubhouse. But Clubhouse is audio-only. Hotline offers optional video streaming as well.
Also, Hotline is exclusive. People can only join if they receive an invitation.
It looks like Hotline will be available to everybody.
Hotline also allows hosts to give control to guests so they can speak for a few moments. Non-speaking guests can ask questions or make comments by typing them into a chat-like window.
Finally, Hotline also records each session. People who couldn’t make the livestream will have the opportunity to listen to it later.
Clubhouse Adds Creator Payments
Speaking of Clubhouse, the social audio app recently added a feature that facilitates payments to content creators.
“Today, we’re thrilled to begin rolling out Payments – our first monetization feature for creators on Clubhouse,” the company said in a statement. “All users will be able to send payments today, and we’ll be rolling out the ability to receive payments in waves, starting with a small test group today. Our hope is to collect feedback, fine-tune the feature, and roll it out to everyone soon.”
You can send funds to your favorite Clubhouse speakers by accessing their profiles and tapping the Send Money prompt at the bottom of the screen.
It looks like a move by Clubhouse to keep content creators active on the platform. That’s especially important now that Clubhouse is facing some stiff competition (see the previous story).
TikTok Launches New Video Editor for Ads
This past week, TikTok rolled out a new video editing tool for ads that makes it easier for you to create custom clips.
You can think of it as Premiere Pro lite. Use the tool to add video elements, popular music, fonts, subtitles, colors, and more.
The video editor also supports cropping so you can cut scenes to suit your style.
It’s accessible via the Create a Video menu in TikTok Ads Manager.
You can start enjoying the lovely Spring weather once you’ve completed these action items:
- Take a look at TikTok’s new video editor for ads. See if you can use it to create great ads that resonate with your target market.
- Speaking of video ads, take a look at Google’s video ad experiments. Use it to optimize your video campaigns.
- Familiarize yourself with Twitter’s new ad categories. Make a call as to which options you think are best suited for your brand.
- If you rely on Facebook Analytics, export your data as quickly as possible. Get it into CSV format and save it on a secure drive until you can find another tool to help you crunch the numbers.