This week: Microsoft enables targeting to LinkedIn users, Bing offers a new SEO testing tool, and short form content gets more backlinks?
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Facebook Will Limit Ads
Starting in February, Facebook will limit the number of ads your page can run. The limit will be based on ad spend.
Why the limit? Because a high volume of ads creates the need for more optimization. And when there are too many ads, the Facebook algorithm doesn’t always have the opportunity to optimize each one.
In fact, Facebook says that 4 in 10 ads never get fully optimized. They remain in the so-called “Learning Phase.”
Here are the ad limits based on ad spend:
- Less than $100K per month: 250 ads
- Between $100K and $1 million per month: 1,000 ads
- Between $1 million and $10 million per month: 5,000 ads
- More than $10 million per month: 20,000
As you can see, the ad limits aren’t that restrictive.
Facebook advises you to avoid creating a second page to get around ad limits.
Google Will Pass UK’s Digital Service Tax to Advertisers
You probably saw this coming a mile away.
Google isn’t going to pay the UK’s new Digital Service Tax (DST). Instead, the company will just pass the tax on to you, the advertiser.
The new fees begin on November 1. Unfortunately, that’s about the worst time for the fees to begin because that’s around the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
Study: Shorter Content Earns More Backlinks
According to a new study by Fractl, shorter content earns you more backlinks than long form content.
How much shorter? The study found that the most linked-to articles are about 700 words in length.
The research also identified the most shared content on social media. Of the 5,000 articles included in the study, here’s the average number of shares by vertical:
- Sports (5,202)
- Sex and relationships (4,610)
- Fitness (4,587)
- Health (3,883)
- Technology (2,996)
And here are the top content types according to number of shares:
- How-to (14,475)
- List/video (10,251)
- How-to with video (8,623)
- Infographic (7,260)
- Newsletter (4,914)
Fractl also found that content with fewer than 1,000 saw the highest share counts.
Regarding backlinks, here’s a list of the most linked-to types of articles:
Bing Rolls out Updated Robots.txt Testing Tool
This past week, Bing announced a new robots.txt testing tool.
If you’re unfamiliar with the robots.txt file, it tells search engines how to crawl your website. Specifically, it tells bots which pages to index and which ones not to index.
You can experience ranking issues if your robots.txt file contains errors.
In some cases, you might find that pages on your site get blocked from search because you didn’t realize they were excluded from crawling by robots.txt.
The new Bing tool will evaluate both secure (HTTPS) and insecure (HTTP) versions of the file.
Microsoft Ads Now Integrates With LinkedIn Targeting
Great news: Microsoft Ads now lets you target LinkedIn users.
Microsoft rolled out the LinkedIn targeting feature back in 2018. But that was a beta release and only available to U.S. users.
Now, marketers located in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Germany, France, and Australia can target LinkedIn users by job function, company, and industry.
You can also specify bid modifiers by job description or industry.
Additionally, Microsoft now allows you to use in-market audiences when running ads in France and Germany. The platform currently supports more than 100 audiences in France and more than 200 audiences in Germany.
Finally, Microsoft also brought dynamic remarketing for Shopping out of beta. Now you can target your Shopping ads to people who’ve shown an interest in your brand.
Google: Unlikely Core Web Vitals Will Become a Primary Ranking Factor
Although the Core Web Vitals standards have been in the news quite a bit lately, it looks like they won’t ever become a primary ranking factor.
This past week, Google’s Gary Illyes went on Reddit to say that it’s unlikely that Core Web Vitals “would ever become the primary factor for organic traffic.”
He went on to say that you shouldn’t ignore the standards, though. That’s because they’ll still be *a* ranking factor. Just not *the* ranking factor.
Illyes also repeated the party line that Google ranks web pages based on “highest quality and most relevant results for users’ queries.”
He also said that the Core Web Vitals standards aren’t live yet.
Google Ads Triples Conversion Categories
This past week, Google Ads expanded the number of conversion categories from 6 to 19.
Some of the categories include:
- Add to cart
- Book an appointment
- Submit lead form
Additionally, Google will recommend new categories for some of your existing conversion actions. It’s up to you to decide if you want to use those new categories, though.
On October 15, Google will automatically apply the suggestions if you don’t reject them.
TikTok Most Downloaded Non-Gaming App in August
According to Sensor Tower, TikTok was downloaded more than 63 million times in August. That makes it the most installed non-gaming app for that month.
Indonesia and Brazil were the two countries that saw the highest percentage downloads for the short-form video app.
It’s still unclear where TikTok stands in the U.S. President Trump has threatened to impose restrictions on the app unless it’s sold to a U.S. company soon.
The owner of TikTok, ByteDance, is currently negotiating with the U.S. government about what, exactly, it needs to sell in order to satisfy the White House.
TikTok claims almost 700 million monthly active users (MAUs).
Now that the long weekend is behind us, it’s time to get busy.
- Review the new conversion categories on Google Ads. More importantly, take a look at the suggestions Google offers for your conversion actions. Accept or reject them as you see fit before the October 15 deadline.
- If you’re in the B2B space, think about how you can use LinkedIn targeting with Microsoft Ads to reach people in your target market.
- Use Bing’s new robots.txt testing tool to make sure that your robots.txt file is doing what you think it’s doing.
- Think about ways that you can use short form content to boost your brand online. You might earn more backlinks with shorter articles.