This week: Facebook is getting stricter with clickbait, Google Analytics improves AMP tracking support, and push notifications are coming to Alexa.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Analytics Improves AMP Tracking Support
Google is rolling out an enhancement that will give you a better understanding of how your visitors interact with AMP and non-AMP pages on your site.
Here’s exactly what Google said will change:
As we unify your AMP and non-AMP users when they visit your site in the future, you may see changes in your user and session counts, including changes to related metrics. User and session counts will go down over time as we recognize that two formerly distinct IDs are in fact the same user; however, at the time this change commences, the metric New Users may rise temporarily as IDs are reset. In addition, metrics like time on site, page views per session, and bounce rate will rise consistent with sessions with AMP and non-AMP pageviews no longer being treated as multiple sessions. This is a one-time effect that will continue until all your users who have viewed AMP pages in the past are unified (this can take a short or long period of time depending on how quickly your users return to your site/app).
Google: You Really Should Use Anchor Text and Image Alt Text
This past week on Twitter, Google’s John Mueller confirmed the importance of two ancient SEO tactics: using anchor text and image alt text.
Specifically, here’s what he said: “[A]nchor text (and image alt text) helps us quite a bit in understanding context, so I wouldn’t leave it out if you can avoid it.”
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) May 15, 2017
He was responding to a question that somebody had asked about creating an anchor tag with no text.
Facebook Incorrectly Charges Advertisers (Again)
This past week, Facebook admitted that it overcharged advertisers who use mobile video carousel ads.
Here’s what happened: Facebook charged advertisers when a user clicked on the video to play it on the full screen. However, advertisers are only supposed to be charged when the user clicks on a link to the advertiser’s site.
According to Tim Peterson over at Marketing Land, this is the 10th time that Facebook messed up advertising charges since September.
Amazon: Push Notifications Are Coming Soon to Alexa
Push notifications are coming to some Amazon Alexa skills.
Typically, Alexa devices respond to user queries. Soon, however, users will receive alerts about the information they’ve requested.
According to Amazon, push notifications will be tested on skills produced by companies such as The Washington Post, Just Eat, AccuWeather, and Life360.
Amazon seems to be enhancing the feature set of Alexa on a fairly consistent basis now. Just last week, the company announced that Alexa will support phone calls and messaging.
First Quarter E-commerce Sales Top $105 Billion
According to the US Census Bureau, e-commerce sales reached $105.7 billion in the first quarter of 2017. That’s a 4.1% increase over the previous quarter and a 14.7% year-over-year increase.
E-commerce sales made up about 8.5% of the total $1.25 billion in retail sales for the quarter.
The Census Bureau will release its report for the second quarter of this year on August 17.
Facebook Targets Individual Posts to Keep Clickbait out of Its Feed
Facebook is getting stricter with links that don’t offer a whole lot of value.
Now, the company’s algorithm will evaluate individual posts and downgrade clickbait links so they don’t show up in people’s feeds.
In the past, Facebook evaluated the domain of URL links to see if the site was a known offender. Now, though, the algorithm is filtering on a post-by-post basis.
Facebook says that most pages “won’t see any significant changes.”