This week: the Google algorithm change has completed, Chrome cracks down on heavy display ads, and Facebook rolls out a gift for ecommerce marketers.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Ads Reduces Verification Time
Important news if you’re looking to get verified on Google Ads: you have three weeks to comply.
In the past, Google gave you a full month.
If you don’t submit the required documents within 21 days, Google will send you a warning stating that your ads will be removed after a week.
Google rolled out business verification for Ads to increase transparency between consumers and businesses.
The Google May 2020 Update Is Officially Complete
This past week, Google’s Danny Sullivan declared that the Google May 2020 algorithm update has completed.
That means the new changes are on all of Google’s data centers around the world.
Hopefully, your keywords will stop doing the Google dance now.
That doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy, though. Lots of SEOs took to social media to complain about the effects of the update.
Some said that Amazon won big with the new changes. One dissatisfied strategist noted that the e-commerce giant landed 3 listings for the search term “fishing game.”
Others said that the update benefited social media sites with thin content. I’ll have more on that later.
Report: DOJ, A.G.’s May Pursue Antitrust Action Against Google
Whispers abound that several state Attorneys General and the Justice Department will soon sue Google for antitrust violations.
If you’re unfamiliar with antitrust laws, they exist to prevent one company from cornering the market and becoming a monopoly.
Google already faces legal action in Europe for harming competitors.
And it’s not the first time, either. In 2019, the Big G was fined $1.7 billion in Europe for anti-competitive actions.
Companies like Expedia and TripAdvisor have accused Google of using its dominance in the search market to rank its own travel pages above competitors.
Google, for its part, said it’s cooperating with investigators and has no further comment.
Google Search Console Adds Guided Recipe Reports
Recipes get a lot of attention in search. That’s why Google added new Guided Recipes tools to Search Console.
First up is the Guided Recipes Enhancement Report. It gives you a full report for your recipe markup.
Use that tool to identify errors and warnings about your recipe code.
If you find any problems and fix them, you’ll also use that tool to let Google know that you’ve made changes. Google will recrawl the page and tell you if it’s valid.
Next up is the Guided Recipes in Rich Results Test. Use that tool to identify errors or suggestions about your recipe markup.
The Rich Results Test also offers a preview tool so you can see what your page will look like to people who visit your website.
Google Chrome Cracks Down on Data-Heavy Display Ads
Don’t shoot the messenger.
At the end of August, Google Chrome will start blocking data-intensive display ads.
Specifically, the following types of ads are slated for the chopping block:
- Poorly programmed ads
- Network-intensive ads
- Ads that mine cryptocurrency
Data-heavy ads use a chunk of the monthly bandwidth allocated to people who aren’t connected to WiFi. They also slow down page loads.
Since Google is all about optimizing the user experience, it makes sense that Chrome won’t show those types of ads anymore.
Google Explains Why Pinterest Ranks Well in Search
Ever wonder why you struggle to make it to the top of the search results with a 2,500-word post that perfectly explains a keyword while Pinterest results zoom to Page 1 with thin content? Google has an answer for that.
“I’d argue there’s a lot of content on Pinterest,” tweeted John Mueller this past week. “Sometimes images, even with minimal textual content, can be exactly what people are looking for. Not always, and sometimes we get it wrong, but it’s certainly an option.”
So there you have it. Pinterest ranks well because sometimes people are looking for images.
Facebook Unveils Shops
If you’re looking for an easy way to sell your products via social media then you should take a look at Facebook Shops.
It’s a new feature that CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced just this past week.
Zuckerberg says that Facebook Shops operate natively within the entire Facebook ecosystem. That means people won’t have to leave the app to browse your catalog and purchase your products.
And remember: Facebook owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and of course Messenger as well. Facebook Shops will integrate with all of those apps.
The new product also integrates with ecommerce tools like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Shopify. That means you can follow the entire customer journey from one platform to the next.
LinkedIn Now Uses Dwell Time As a Ranking Factor
LinkedIn is moving beyond determining post rank by simple reactions. Soon, the platform will take dwell time into account as well.
If you’re unfamiliar with dwell time, it’s the average amount of time that users spend reading an article or watching a video. A longer dwell time indicates higher quality content.
In its testing phase, LinkedIn engineers determined that dwell time is a great indicator about whether or not a user is likely to engage with a post.
LinkedIn isn’t the first social media platform to take dwell time into account. Facebook already uses it in its ranking algorithm.
YouTube Unveils 4 New Features
This past week, YouTube announced four new features that help you provide a better experience for your audience.
First up: analytics about when your audience is online. Use that data to determine when to run ads and to schedule videos for publication.
Next, YouTube will turn on the hold inappropriate comments for review option by default. That should help you improve the conversation quality about your videos.
Note: you can still turn off that feature if you don’t want it.
Next, YouTube is giving you the ability to schedule community posts. That’s only on the desktop web app for now, though.
Finally, the platform will allow you to create video chapters. Viewers can jump straight to the chapter they want to watch.
Here are a few action items you should start tracking after your Memorial Day weekend:
- Think about how you can use the new YouTube features to enhance your video marketing.
- Now that LinkedIn uses dwell time as a ranking factor, make it a point to produce longform content for LinkedIn that people will love instead of headlines that get quick reactions.
- If you’re running an ecommerce site, check out Facebook Shops. It looks like a great way to promote your business on social media while still practicing social distancing.
- If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Since Pinterest ranks so well in search, do more posting on Pinterest. Be sure to optimize your pins for keywords specific to your niche.
- If you’re running data-heavy display ads, look for alternative ways to reach people in your target market. Google Chrome will block those data-heavy ads soon.
- If you’ve got a site with recipes, make sure that your markup conforms to the new Google standard. Use the Guided Recipe tools in Search Console for help with that.