This week: Bing shares top holiday search terms, Instagram sponconning is a thing, and wait until you hear about how many Amazon reviews for electronics are fake.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
AdWords API Will Allow Targeting to TV Screens
Starting January 8, you can use the AdWords API to target TV Screens in your campaigns.
In the API, “Connected TV” will appear as a new platform. That’s in addition to the “old” platforms: desktop, laptop, and mobile.
The device segment is named CONNECTED_TV.
As of now, all YouTube TrueView and bumper ad campaigns designed for shopping, awareness, or action target Connected TV inventory.
Connected TVs include smart TVs, AppleTV, gaming consoles, Roku, and Chromecast.
Back in June, Google reported that users watch more than 180 million hours of YouTube on TV screens every day.
Study: 61% of Electronics Reviews on Amazon Are Fake
Looks like some marketers are going to end up on Santa’s “naughty” list.
According to a recent analysis by The Washington Post, 61% of reviews for electronics products on Amazon are fake.
Electronics isn’t the only category with a majority of fake reviews, though. Others include Beauty (63%) and Supplements (64%).
The findings are supported by research from Fakespot. In one example, Fakespot found that only 32% of reviews on Amazon for Ring Stick Up are “reliable.”
Marketing Land reached out to Amazon for comment on the issue. No response as of now.
Amazon has a history of suing sellers who buy fake reviews.
Google Rolls out Pay for Conversions Bidding in Display Campaigns
This seems big.
Google just announced that advertisers can use conversion-based bidding in display campaigns.
With conversion-based bidding, you’ll pay when people convert rather than when they just click on your ad.
Here’s how it works: you set a target cost per acquisition (CPA) in the Bidding section of your campaign. Then, just multiply the number of conversions you receive from the campaign by the CPA and that’s how much you’ll pay.
To be eligible for the new bidding strategy, you need to have at least 100 conversions within the past 30 days. Also, 90% of those conversions must have occurred within 7 days of the buyer clicking the ad.
Facebook Won’t Change Chatbot Message Policy After All
Once upon a time, Facebook pages needed permission to send subscription messages via chatbots. That’s no longer the case.
So if you’re running a page that uses subscription messages and you were concerned that the new policy might affect your ability to reach out to people, you can put that fear aside.
“As we continue to review our Subscription Messaging policies, developers provided access to send messages via app-level permissions may continue to do so until further notice,” Facebook said in a statement. “We still encourage developers to migrate to the Page-level permission as we evaluate potential updates to this policy.”
Please note: subscription messages are non-promotional in nature. They usually involve news updates or alerts about apps.
Facebook may still change the policy in the future.
Bing Shares Top Holiday Search Terms
Bing Ads released a list of the top holiday search terms for 2018. Among them:
- New iPhone SE Deals
- Tablet offers online
- 55 inch TV for 300
- Grinch Christmas paper plates
- Rebel coat
- Playground equipment outdoor
- Wrinkle treatment that works
- Best mattress for back pain
- Kitchen remodel quote
- Free bar stand
- Dumbbells equipment
- Tasty cheese recipes
- Delivery meal
The data is recent as of December 2018.
Mobile-First Indexing Now Used for More Than Half of Google Search Results
Over 50% of the search results that Google returns are from mobile-first indexing.
“There’s still a lot to do, but today, we’re happy to announce that we now use mobile-first indexing for over half of the pages shown in search results globally.,” said Google’s John Mueller in a blog post.
Google should send you a notification when your site moves to mobile-first indexing. If you think you might have missed the notification, use the URL inspection tool to determine which type of agent is crawling your site.
Google: You Can Ignore Negative SEO Threats
Are you receiving anonymous negative SEO threats from competitors? If so, feel free to ignore them.
That’s according to John Mueller.
This past week on Twitter, Mueller was asked the following question: “How can we be safe from negative SEO like CTR Attack & bounce Attack?”
Mueller replied: “You can just ignore it.”
There’s a good reason that he gave that answer. Negative SEO is no longer as effective as it used to be.
Nowadays, Google just ignores spammy backlinks rather than punishing sites that use them.
So your unethical competitors can no longer hurt you.
Media Buyers Say Facebook Data Deals Won’t Stop Advertisers
In case you missed the news this past week, Facebook reportedly shared user data with Bing, Netflix, Spotify, Apple, and other tech companies.
It’s just the latest in a series of scandalous or controversial reports about the social media giant. Facebook’s PR department worked quite a bit of overtime in 2018.
But has the bad news about Facebook affected its ability to attract advertisers? Doesn’t look that way.
“Our clients care more about performance marketing results than political and legal kerfuffles,” says Marty Weintraub, who founded digital agency Aimclear. “Decisions as to our media spend mix and Facebook have only to do with likely marketing results.”
Weintraub says that none of his clients have resisted recommendations to advertise on Facebook in light of the recent news.
Michelle Morgan, director of client services at Clix Marketing, also sees advertisers continuing with Facebook.
“Although these scandals are bad for Facebook and incite a larger conversation about privacy and personal information on the internet, the bigger concern for advertisers is still around performance,” she says. “As long as Facebook Ads continue to perform well for companies, they’ll keep their advertising budgets in place.”
However, it’s not all good news. But the bad news for Facebook has nothing to do with the bad news about Facebook.
It’s about the loss of targeting capabilities. Recently, Facebook removed audience reach estimates and third-party audience segments.
That has marketers concerned.
“Loss of targeting is driving advertisers to greater use of programmatic platforms offering a full spectrum of third-party data partners,” says Weintraub.
Hilarious: Instagram Rising Stars Are Posting Fake Sponsored Content
It looks like some Instagram users are pretending to be influencers so they can become real influencers.
Fake it til you make it, amiright?
Here’s how it works: an aspiring Instgrammer poses in a photo with a product. The photo looks and feels like an endorsement of the product. Effectively, it’s an ad.
But nobody paid that person for the ad.
So why did the user do it? To look like an influencer.
It’s called a “sponcon.”
Sponconners hope that, at some point in the future, a brand will approach them with an offer for an endorsement.
It’s happening more than you might think.
Monica Ahanonu is an Instagram influencer with 12,000 followers. She says that fake ads are so common she’s not even sure which ones are real any more.
Many brands don’t like sponconning, though. One owner of a sunglass company said that it puts him in a difficult spot when people post low-quality endorsements of his products. That kind of thing could hurt his business.
Not everyone sees it that way. Vingan Klein, editor-in-chief at Fashionista, says she doesn’t blame the sponconners.
“Trying to get sponsored is your way out of this rat race,” she says.