This week: CCPA enforcement has arrived, TikTok rolls out its self-serve ad platform, and Google Images is creating new traffic opportunities for websites.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Ad Fraud Prevention Company CHEQ Goes PPC
Looking to prevent click fraud on your social and search PPC campaigns? If so, then check out CHEQ.
The tool works with some of the biggest names in PPC advertising platforms, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and even Quora.
CHEQ prohibits your ads from appearing in front of potentially fraudulent users. That way, you won’t have to ask for a refund from the advertising company.
Further, the platform provides a report so you can see how much click fraud you’d be paying for if you weren’t using it.
Finally, CHEQ also displays heat maps that show you how bots scroll through your pages.
CCPA Enforcement Is Here
The California Consumer Privacy Act went into effect on January 1 of this year. However, enforcement didn’t start until after six months.
That six months has now expired.
The law applies to businesses that :
- Earn more than $25 million in annual revenues
- Hold personal info of more than 50,000 consumers, households, or devices
- Earn more than half of their annual revenue from selling personal info
Keep in mind: your business could be affected by the law even if it’s not located in California. If you’re unclear about how you should stay in compliance, consult an attorney.
Google Images Creates New Opportunity for Traffic
Google Images is giving you yet another way to get traffic to your website.
Now, a new feature shows quick facts about the content in the photos, such as relevant info about the people, places, or things.
Google pulls the details from its Knowledge Graph and displays it just below each photo.
However, those details might not come from the website hosting the image. They may come from several different sources, each with its own link.
A downside is that site owners have little control over the information Google decides to display under their images in search results.
However, because Google is giving searchers more information with Google Images, this has potential to drive clicks to the image source.
In other words, you could land a link in Google Images that corresponds to an image not hosted on your site. Pretty neat, huh?
Of course, you’ll need content in Google’s Knowledge Graph if you want that link.
TikTok Self-Serve Ads Now Available Globally
TikTok is (finally) rolling out its self-serve ad platform globally.
You can use the new tool to budget your ad spend and target specific types of users.
In the past, you had to contact a sales rep and deliver a commitment via an insertion order if you wanted to advertise on TikTok. Only a few brands got whitelisted for the self-serve product.
TikTok offers prime digital real estate for advertising because of its phenomenal growth. The platform reached 1 billion users faster than any other social media channel.
Instagram Tests Replacing Activity Tab With Shopping Tab
Here’s more evidence that e-commerce is dominating the social scene.
Instagram is replacing the Activity tab with a Shop tab. It’s part of a test for select users.
Users who tap on the Shop tab will go to the Shop section. There, they can browse and buy products without leaving the app.
In the past, users had to access Shop via the Explore section. It’s still there for users who aren’t participating in the test.
However, the Shop section that users access via the Shop tab only shows products from brands that they follow. The “normal” Shop section shows products from a variety of retailers.
I’ll keep an eye on this and let you know how things turn out.
Google Decommissions Structured Data Testing Tool
The Google Structured Data Testing tool will soon go away. That’s because it’s been replaced by the Rich Results Test.
You can still use the old tool for a short time. However, Google advises you to familiarize yourself with the new tool sooner rather than later.
Google lists several advantages of the Rich Results Test over the Structured Data Testing tool:
- It shows which Search features are valid for the markup you’re using
- It handles dynamically loaded structured data better
- It shows both mobile and desktop versions of the markup
- It’s aligned with Google Search Console Reports
The new test also returns errors and warnings that it detects on the page.
Google: Spam Reports Don’t Generate Manual Actions
If you submit a spam report to Google, don’t expect a manual action against any websites. That’s according to Gary Illyes.
Instead, Google uses the spam report to improve its detection capabilities.
“Thanks to our users, we receive hundreds of spam reports every day,” Illyes wrote in the post. “While many of the spam reports lead to manual actions, they represent a small fraction of the manual actions we issue. Most of the manual actions come from the work our internal teams regularly do to detect spam and improve search results.”
Illyes went on to say that spam reports play a “significant role” in fine-tuning Google’s spam detection system.
Google: SEOs Getting More Work During the Pandemic
Some good news here: according to a poll conducted by Google’s Gary Illyes, almost half of SEOs are getting more work during the pandemic.
Illyes tweeted a poll with the following question: “With this COVID crap, my SEO related workload…”
The choices were:
- Stayed about the same
The winner of the poll was “Increased” with 48.6% of the vote. Roughly 31% said their workload stayed about the same while 20.5% said it decreased.
Illyes theorized that work increased for SEOs because more businesses moved online and they needed someone to help them optimize their websites.
Regex Filter for Google Search Console Reports
Good news if you’re a geek: it looks like you can soon use regular expression searches in Google Search Console reports.
Google recently updated its Search Console help document with this guidance: “If you choose the Custom (regex) filter, you can filter by a regular expression (a wildcard match) for the selected item. You can use regular expression, or regex, filters for page URLs and user queries. The RE2 syntax is used.”
Regular expression search is mostly used by developers. It’s a way to find text based on pattern matching.
YouTube Adds More Ads for Shorter Videos
Good news for advertisers, but bad news for viewers.
YouTube is updating its ad policy to allow mid-roll ads in videos that are at least 8 minutes in length.
In the past, YouTube only allowed mid-roll ads in videos that are at least 10 minutes in length.
YouTube says the policy change will start in July.
It’s possible that YouTube is making the change because advertising rates plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hope you had a great Fourth, but now it’s time to get back to work:
- If you’re an influencer, consider shortening your YouTube videos to just 8 minutes in length because you’ll still qualify for mid-roll ads.
- Get familiar with the Rich Results Test since the Structured Data Testing tool is going away.
- If you’re in the ecommerce space, think about how you can use Instagram to better promote your products, especially since the platform might make it easier for people to shop online.
- Now that the TikTok self-serve ad service is rolling out, look at ways you can reach a younger, global audience with that platform.
- Get your legal ducks in a row regarding California’s CCPA law. Talk to an attorney to make sure you’re in compliance.