This week: Bing beta-tests a new UX tool, consumers like recent reviews, and a few companies tell us about popular topics and trends.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Will Roll out a New CTA Extension for Video Ads
Next month, Google will sunset the YouTube call-to-action (CTA) overlay. In its place, the company will roll out a new CTA extension.
You can apply the extension to TrueView in-stream ads, video discovery ads, and Bumper ads.
Google didn’t offer much else in terms of details about the new extension. Look for further info in the coming weeks.
You Can Now Build a WordPress Website Solely With AMP
This past week, the Accelerated Mobile Pages project released a major update of its WordPress plugin. The new version enables you to build an entire website with AMP.
In other words, you don’t need a “normal” web page and a duplicate that serves AMP content.
It looks like the idea behind the update is to fix the so-called hidden URL problem. Sometimes, when AMP results are served in search, the original publisher URL isn’t shown.
A site built exclusively with AMP wouldn’t have that problem because there’s one and only one URL for each post.
Keep in mind: there are technical limitations with AMP. So you might not want to build a whole site with it.
Be sure to check out the pros and cons carefully before going in that direction.
Bing Rolls out Free UX Analytics Tool
Earlier this week, Bing announced the beta release of Clarity, a free analytics tool that lets you see how users interact with your website.
The open-source tool collects input events such as clicks, touches, and mouse movements.
You’ll also need a Microsoft account if you want to access it. Since the product is still in beta, expect to get wait-listed once you create a Clarity project.
Facebook Begins Testing Ads in Search Results
On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it’s testing ads in search results.
The ads will appear in primary search results as well as in Marketplace search results.
According to Facebook product Manager Zoheb Hajiyani: “We’re running a small test to place ads in Facebook search results, and we’ll be evaluating whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it.”
Advertisers who are participating in the test program can select “Search Results” as a placement option when creating a campaign.
At this time, Advertisers can’t select search terms to target.
Search ads support both carousel and image ad formats. They only appear in the U.S. in Canada right now.
Google Expedites Shutdown of Google+
Google has moved up the shutdown date of Google+ from August to April.
Why? Because the company found another bug in the Google+ API.
All of the Google+ APIs will be cut off within 90 days.
Since Google+ was fairly unpopular, it’s not likely that you’re going to lose a lot of sleep over the new shutdown schedule.
Google was hoping to offer a social channel that limited its loss in search. Social apps are now handling about 2 billion searches every day.
Google: We Don’t Tell You About Bad Links Because We Ignore Them
This past week, Google’s John Mueller once again confirmed that the search giant ignores spammy links.
Somebody on Twitter asked him: “[C]an we expect any feature in search console to notify us for such sort of suspicious backlinks as quick as they are being found?”
Here’s how Mueller replied: “If we recognize them, we can just ignore them – no need to have you do anything in most cases.”
So “in most cases” you won’t have to do anything if you’ve got bad backlinks pointing to your site.
Study: 85% of Consumers Think Reviews Older Than 3 Months Are Irrelevant
A new study by BrightLocal highlights the importance of recent positive reviews.
According to the research, 85% of consumers don’t care about reviews left more than three months ago.
Almost half (40%) only take into account reviews that were written within the past couple of weeks. Last year, that number stood at 22%.
Some other results from the study:
- More than a quarter (27%) search for a local business online every day
- People in the 18-34 age range search the most for local businesses online
- Only 6% of people over the age of 55 even read reviews
- On average, respondents read 10 reviews of a local business
Facebook Releases Its 2019 Topics and Trends Report
This past week, a few Internet companies released their reports about popular topics and trends.
First up is Facebook. The company aggregated a list of subjects that saw the most engagements on its platform.
“When researching the validity of these findings, we uncovered other rising conversations that supported these connections, indicating larger trends emerging in culture,” the company said in its report. “Our findings are backed by Facebook IQ audience and vertical studies and third-party research.”
Among the hot topics:
- Korean beauty tips
- Eco-friendly beauty products
- Values-based consumerism
- High-tech escapism
- Multicultural cuisine
- Productivity hacks
- Privately funded space exploration
The report includes conversation trends over the past couple of years so you can see how each topic has evolved in popularity.
Pinterest Releases Top 100 Trends for 2019
Pinterest also aggregated a list of trends for the coming year.
“Pinterest is its own positive corner of the internet, where more than 250 million people around the world come to discover new ideas to try,” the company wrote in its report. “The way we know an idea is trending is by looking at what all those people are searching for. If an idea keeps getting more and more searches each month, and that upward trajectory holds steady for 6+ months, that’s how we know it’s a trend.”
Here are some of the trends identified:
- Hot springs tourism
- Bakuchiol (an alternative to retinol)
- Superfood powders
- DIY goat soap
- Body painting
- Backyard weddings
- Number-shaped cakes
- Flower garland
- Mushroom recipes
- Baking bread
- Oxtail recipes
- Tin interiors
- Natural swimming pools
- Vintage watches
- Bamboo bags
- Liquid exfoliators
- Geometric decor
Look through the whole list of 100 trends and see if any of them are relevant to your target market.
Google Releases List of Most Popular Search Terms in 2018
Finally, let’s look at Google’s list of the most popular search terms in 2018. Among them:
- World Cup
- Stan Lee
- Black Panther
- Hurricane Florence
- Royal Wedding
- Meghan Markle
- Sylvester Stallone
- Shaun White
- Cardi B
- Bohemian Rhapsody