This week: LinkedIn rolls out a paid media worksheet, a recent survey shows Facebook engagement is dwindling, and Google has a new search engine.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
New Survey Shows Significant Reduction in Facebook User Engagement
People aren’t liking Facebook as much as they used to.
According to a new Pew survey, 42% of Facebook users have reduced their daily engagement on the social media platform since March.
The same survey shows that more than a quarter (26%) of respondents have deleted the app from their smartphones.
It’s not clear from the stats if there’s any overlap between those who’ve stepped back from engagement and those who’ve deleted the app.
The results of the Pew survey seem to support reports by numerous digital marketing agencies showing that Facebook advertising has stalled while Instagram advertising has accelerated.
New Google Search Console Is out of Beta, But…
The updated version of Google Search Console is out of beta testing. But not all features are immediately available.
Keep in mind, the new version spent more than a year in “open beta.” That means anybody could use it and offer feedback to Google developers.
Now, the word “Beta” has been removed from the title bar. A couple of the new features are visible on the sidebar.
For starters, there’s a Manual Actions section. Click on it and you’ll see if your site is currently subject to any manual review.
There’s also a URL Inspection item available in the sidebar menu. Click on that you can run real-time tests against a live URL.
“This is useful for debugging and fixing issues in a page or confirming whether a reported issue still exists in a page. If the issue is fixed on the live version of the page, you can ask Google to recrawl and index the page,” said Google in a statement.
The search giant also said that not all Search Console features were available at this time.
“[T]he old Search Console still has some features that are not yet available in the new one, we believe that the most common use cases are supported, in an improved way, in the new Search Console. … When an equivalent feature exists in both old and new Search Console, our messages will point users to the new version.”
You Can Include Third-Party Reviews on Your Website After All
This past week, Google’s John Mueller formally gave the thumbs-up to webmasters who want to use third-party reviews on their websites.
For example, if you’d like to include reviews from Yelp or Google Maps on your homepage, you can do that with Google’s blessing.
But there’s a caveat.
You can’t mark up those reviews with structured data. That would be a violation of Google’s guidelines.
Reviews that are marked up on your site must have originated on your site.
Here’s the question that somebody asked Mueller on Twitter this week: “Does Google devalue a page if you copy/paste reviews from your GMB or Yelp & add them to your website homepage? (500-700+ words of text) Is this not considered duplicate content to some extent?”
And here’s how he answered: “From a Google SEO point of view, I don’t see a problem with that. I imagine the original is more likely to rank for that text, but if you use that to provide context, that’s fine (it shouldn’t be marked up with structured data though). Maybe an iframe/embed would work too?”
Google: You Probably Shouldn’t Link to Every Page From Your Site’s Homepage
Google’s John Mueller says you shouldn’t link to every page on your site from your homepage.
Why? Because it might prevent the Googlebot from following the site’s architecture.
The subject came up this past week during a Google Webmaster Central hangout. A site owner asked: “If we try to link to every page on our website from the home page does this dilute the focus?”
Here’s how Mueller responded: “It does dilute [the focus] a little bit in the sense that we don’t understand the structure of your website that cleanly in a case like that. With smaller websites I think it’s completely natural that you would be linking across all of the different pages on your website. If you have, I don’t know, 10-20 pages on your website then it’s kind of normal that you can get to all of those pages from the home page. But if you have a larger website and you link to all pages from your home page then we lose the semantic structure of the website. So we kind of lose the understanding of categories, higher level pages, lower level pages, and where these pages fit into the structure of a bigger website.”
Google Introduces New Search Engine for Finding Datasets
Google has a new search engine. It’s designed for people who want to find data.
The tool, appropriately called “Dataset Search,” offers access to millions of datasets across cyberspace.
It’s still in beta, though.
In a statement, Google emphasized the value that its new search engine offers to scientists and journalists alike: “In today’s world, scientists in many disciplines and a growing number of journalists live and breathe data… To enable easy access to this data, we launched Dataset Search, so that scientists, data journalists, data geeks, or anyone else can find the data required for their work and their stories, or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.”
Google finds the data by searching through dataset markup that was rolled out this past summer.
As of now, the new search engine is most useful when searching for government, environmental, and social science data.
Of course, as more publishers start using the markup, more data will be available.
Report: Instagram Wants to Launch a Standalone App for Online Shopping
According to the rumor mill, Instagram wants its own e-commerce app.
This past week, The Verge reported that the Facebook-owned company is working on a cyber-shopping solution. It might be called IG Shopping.
The app would allow users to browse and purchase products from merchants that they follow on Instagram.
There’s going to be some direct link between the main Instagram app and the shopping app. How exactly the two will integrate is unclear at this time.
Instagram currently has more than 25 million active business profiles.
LinkedIn Rolls out Paid Media Worksheet to Help Businesses Optimize Their Ads
LinkedIn continues to ramp up its advertising game.
Most recently, the B2B social media channel rolled out a paid media worksheet. It’s designed to help businesses target potential clients and customers.
Here’s what LinkedIn says about the new tool: “Through Campaign Manager, your business has access to a wealth of useful information. For example, you can use the LinkedIn Insight Tag and Website Demographics feature to understand the groups of people who most frequently visit your website domain, revealing percentage breakdowns of top company sizes, locations, industries, job functions, job titles, and more.”
Although the worksheet is fairly detailed, it’s also user-friendly.