This week: Google rolls out Discovery ads globally, IGTV offers monetization options, and your website font choice probably won’t have any impact on search rank.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Discovery Ads Now Available Globally
This past week, Google announced that Discovery ads rolled out globally.
If you’re unfamiliar with Discovery ads, they run on YouTube Home and Watch Next feeds as well as the Discover feed on Google Search. They also appear in Gmail Promotion and Social tabs.
Discovery ads reach people based on demographics as opposed to search intent. Google says that the audience size across all platforms includes almost 3 billion people.
You can run Discovery ads with a single image or in a carousel format with multiple images.
Google Rolls out ‘Confirm With Voice Match’ Payment Option
Google is making it easier for you to issue payments via your smart speaker.
This past week, the company introduced a “confirm with Voice Match” payment option into Google Assistant.
If you’d like to use it, though, you’ll need an existing credit card on file. Also, Voice Match isn’t available for all online purchases.
A warning, though: people who’ve recorded your voice can use the recording to make payments on your behalf. So tread lightly with this one.
Instagram Introduces Monetization Options
Finally! You can now make money with your IGTV productions.
You’ve got two options:
- Badges – People who buy them will see their live comments move to the top of the comment stream. Prices range from $0.99 to $4.99. As of now, IGTV will let you keep all the earnings from badges.
- Ads – They only run in the full-screen version of IGTV content. Users can tap through to learn more about the product or service that’s offered. The ads can last up to 15 seconds and Instagram keeps 45% of the ad revenue. As of now, ads are only available to 200 approved creators.
Video creators will have to abide by the rather strict rules of monetization which pertain to video formats, behaviors, language, and categories/content types.
Google Search Console Adds Core Web Vitals Report
If you visit Google Search Console today, you might notice something different: the speed report has been replaced by the Core Web Vitals report.
What’s the Core Web Vitals report? It’s a new report that gives you insights based on the experiences of people who’ve visited your site and could quite possibly become the next big thing for SEOs!
Google deems these core web vital metrics as essential in websites’ user experience, and that was the motive behind adding this report.
Specifically, the core web vitals report highlights three metrics:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Measures how quickly the page’s main content has likely loaded.
- First Input Delay (FID) – Puts a number on the experience of users who try to interact with the page.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Measure visual stability.
The new report is in the Enhancements section on the left-hand sidebar in Google Search Console.
Google: Don’t Create a Sitemap Manually
If you’re serious about SEO, then you should include a sitemap for your website. However, you shouldn’t try to create it yourself from scratch.
That’s according to Google’s John Mueller.
He was responding to a Reddit user who asked how to go about creating a sitemap for an ecommerce site that lists 2 million products.
“You need to get [the sitemap] from the CMS or underlying database directly,” Mueller said.
That’s great advice because if you hardcode a sitemap, then you have to update it every time something changes. That’s especially challenging when dealing with a site that lists 2 million products.
Google Rolls out Ad Credits for SMBs
Remember those ad credits that Google promised SMBs? They started rolling out this week.
If you receive an ad credit, you have until December 31 to use it before it expires.
Remember: you’re only eligible to receive an ad credit if you ran Google Ads in 10 of the 12 months during 2019 and in either January or February of this year.
Google promised $340 million in ad credits to qualified advertisers.
Google Ads Rolls out New Retail Reporting Category
Are you selling products with Google Search and Shopping campaigns? If so, you should check out the new Google Ads retail category report.
Specifically, the report shows performance across product categories. The categories are derived from labels Google uses to categorize words that people search for.
If you’d like to get started with a retail report, just head over to Google Ads and type “Retail” in the search bar in Report Builder.
You can apply filters to the report so you only see categories that meet your criteria. Google is on a roll with adding new reporting, as it also added the core web vitals report!
Google: Font Choice Doesn’t Matter for SEO
Good news: your font choice won’t affect where your web page ranks in search. That’s according to Google’s John Mueller.
Mueller was responding to a user who asked him about SEO-friendly fonts on Twitter.
“The choice of font doesn’t matter for SEO — use one that works for your site,” he said.
A caveat, though: if you’re loading a font that slows down your website, that could affect your rank. However, the actual design of the font itself won’t have any impact.
Google: Unlinked Citations Probably Won’t Help With Rank
If someone mentions your brand on a popular website but doesn’t link to your site, does that help you get a better rank in search? Nope.
This past week on Twitter, someone asked John Mueller about that.
“The short version is ‘usually not, imo’,” Mueller replied. “The long version is somewhat hard to squeeze into tweet form, and I’m not in the mood to write a long essay, so hopefully the short version is useful as a starting point :)”
He went on to hint that it’s something that SEOs should test.
Here are a few ideas based on this week’s news:
- If you’re using Google Shopping and Google Search ads to promote your products online, take a look at the new Retail report. See how you can use it to gain better insights about your marketing strategies.
- Head over to Google Search Console and check out the new Core Web Vitals report. See if there’s any opportunity to improve site speed.
- Video creators can now make money on IGTV for brand promotions — take a look at the new monetization options. Determine if either one of them might be a good match for your current strategy.
- Consider how you can use Google Discovery ads to promote your business. You might even find that you get more bang for your buck with Discovery ads than you do with social media marketing.