This week: Google announces another core algorithm update, plus a new Podcast Manager Tool.
Twitter adds millions of more users, and high-profile brands are rolling out omnichannel solutions.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Rolls out Podcasts Manager Tool
This past week, Google introduced Podcasts Manager. It’s a tool that provides analytics about your podcasts. You can track and measure the number per show and episode, the number of listens per episode segment, the percentage listened for each episode and anonymized device analytics.
Specifically, Podcasts Manager gives you insights about minutes played, listening duration, and retention.
Spotify already released a similar tool that’s designed for advertisers.
The tool only offers data for listens that occur on Google Podcasts platforms like the Google Podcasts App and Google Home.
Google Removed More Than 2.7 Billion Bad Ads in 2019
Google says it took down 2.7 billion ads that violated company policies last year.
That’s an increase from the 2.3 billion ads that the Big G removed in 2018.
Specifically, Google targeted deceptive ads that pretended to help people get passports. In reality, the people behind the ads tried to steal the identities of unsuspecting travelers.
Additionally, Google terminated the accounts of over 1.2 million advertisers and removed ads from more than 21 million web pages in its publisher network.
The company also says it blocked or removed tens of millions of bad ads related to COVID-19 during the past few months.
Pinterest Adds 32 Million Users in Q1
Pinterest continues to reach new heights.
In its most recent quarterly report, the company announced that it’s now at 367 million monthly active users (MAUs). That’s an increase of 32 million users from Q4 2019.
Pinterest also said that users nowadays search for topics such as “practical solutions on how to educate and entertain their kids, how to clean during quarantine, what food to put in the pantry and how to make masks. Recently we’ve started to see people return to more future-oriented interests such as vacation and event planning.”
However, the company warned of a slowdown in ad spend because of the pandemic.
Twitter Hits 166 Million Daily Active Users (DAUs)
Twitter also benefited from social distancing.
In its most recent quarterly report, the microblogging service announced that it’s up to 166 million daily active users (DAUs). That’s an increase of 14 million users from the previous quarter.
Here’s what the company had to say about its progress:
The increase in mDAU was driven by typical seasonal strength, ongoing product improvements, and increased engagement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw strong mDAU growth throughout the quarter, with a significant acceleration in March as the pandemic became global. The absolute number of mDAUs stabilized toward the end of March as many people around the world settled into new routines.
Twitter also noted that ad revenue declined once the lockdowns went into effect.
Shopify, Yelp Roll out Omnichannel Solutions
Shopify and Yelp recently rolled out new features that make it easier for you to integrate your offline and online strategies.
You’ll also appreciate the new tools if you’ve recently adapted your operations to cope with the pandemic.
For example, Yelp now displays an icon in search results that identifies businesses offering online services, such as virtual classes or consultations.
Additionally, Yelp also made it easier to find restaurants that offer takeout or delivery.
Shopify, for its part, released a new point-of-sale (POS) solution that combines online and offline capabilities. The tool also offers mobile checkout for curbside or in-store pickup.
According to Shopify, merchants who used the new POS saw a 30% revenue increase year-over-year.
LinkedIn Delisted From Google (Temporarily)
This news should make you feel better about your SEO work.
Sometime during the past week, LinkedIn got deindexed from Google.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s absolutely the case. People could go to Google and type “site: linkedin.com” in the search bar.
The search results showed nothing.
What happened? We don’t know.
However, users could still get to LinkedIn by navigating directly to the site.
Neither LinkedIn nor Google have publicly commented on the blackout. So we’re not sure who’s responsible.
All’s well that ends well, though. LinkedIn is back in the index as of this writing.
Google: If You Have to Choose Between Desktop or Mobile, Go Mobile
This one seems like a no-brainer.
Google’s John Mueller recently told SEOs that if they have a mobile version of a website and a desktop version, they should prioritize the mobile version.
That’s because mobile is everything.
Mueller made the statement during a Google Webmaster Central hangout. He responded to a strategist who didn’t have the budget to maintain both versions of a website and sought guidance about which one to focus on.
Keep in mind: Google uses a mobile-first agent to crawl most websites nowadays. So Mueller’s advice makes perfect sense.
Google Confirms Core Update
This past week, Google confirmed a core algorithm update. It’s called the May 2020 update.
Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted about the algorithm change on Monday. He also said that the company’s guidance for SEOs remains the same now as it has in the past.
That guidance can be summed up in four words: don’t worry about it.
Don’t bother making changes in response to the update. Just keep producing quality content based on keywords relevant to your business.
Unsurprisingly, though, many SEOs took to Twitter and various forums this past week to complain about ranking drops and traffic loss. But that’s par for the course with these updates.
Sullivan also said that it will take about one to two weeks for the algorithm update to fully roll out.
This is the second core update in 2020. The first one happened in January.
Google: If You See Lots of Soft 404s In Search Console, Check Your Internal Links
If you’re noticing quite a few soft 404 errors in Google Search Console reports, you should probably check your internal links. That’s according to Google’s John Mueller.
In case you’re unfamiliar with a soft 404, it’s an error telling you that the page doesn’t exist but still returns a 200 (OK) status. Sometimes, servers return soft 404s when pages have very thin content.
Here’s what Mueller tweeted about soft 404s this past week: “My feeling is if a site has a lot of soft-404s, then it might be that it’s linking to those resources internally in a way that suggests they may be web pages. It’s usually not critical, but it’s kinda suboptimal (for users & bots).”
Here are a few items you can add to your already crowded plate in response to this week’s news:
- If you notice a lot of soft 404s in your Google Search Console reports, check your internal linking to make sure nothing is amiss.
- Keep an eye on your rankings over the next couple of weeks. You’ll likely see some keywords bounce around as Google’s new algorithm works its way through the system. Once everything settles, take a look at where you need to re-optimize.
- If you have both a desktop and a mobile version of a website, make it a point this week to prioritize the mobile site.
- Take a look at the new features offered by Shopify and Yelp. See if you can use them in your digital marketing efforts. Also, consider the underlying strategies behind the new features. You might uncover some ideas that you can use in your own marketing efforts.
- See if you can use Google’s Podcasts Manager tool to track analytics for your own podcasts.