This week: Reddit brags about the size of its user community, Google has some bad news for people who use click bots for ranking, and Amazon hit a new record.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google: We Combine Conflicting Hreflang Signals From HTML and Sitemaps
So what happens when your sitemap’s hreflang signals conflict with the hreflang attributes on your web pages? You get a two-fer.
That question came up in a Search Central live stream about a week ago.
Specifically, the questioner wanted to know what happened if his sitemap set the hreflang directive to “US-English” but his web pages set the hreflang directive to “US-French.”
John Mueller replied that Google would combine the signals in that case.
“From our point of view hreflang is not something where we say you can only have one language or country version on one page, but rather you can have multiple country versions on the same page,” he said.
“So if you have some hreflang in the HTML, and some in the sitemap, then we would try to combine that and add that together.”
Mueller went on to say that Google would get confused if you used one country/language version for one page and used the same country/language version for another page.
Google Discovery Ads Now Support 4:5 Assets
Got an “almost square” asset you’d like to use in Google Discovery Ads? If so, you’re in luck.
The platform now supports images in the 4:5 portrait aspect ratio.
Note: the “portrait” part means that the “5” size must be on the vertical side. In other words, the image must be higher than it is wide.
The change is good news because you might already have 4:5 assets for Facebook, Stories, and Instagram. Now you can reuse those images for Google Discovery Ads.
And what specific size should you submit? Google recommends 960×1200 pixels. But you can go as low as 480×600 pixels.
Google also offered an important tip on running Discovery campaigns: set a daily budget at least 10 times the value of your target cost-per-acquisition. Then, wait at least 40 conversions before making changes.
Why? Because Discovery Ads are powered by machine learning. They need time to “digest” performance data and optimize the campaign.
Reddit: We’ve Got 52 Million Daily Active Users
This past week, Reddit reported that it saw 52 million daily active users (DAU) in October. That’s a 44% year-over-year increase.
Reddit never reported DAU before. Last December, the company reported 430 monthly active users (MAU).
By the way, that 52 million DAU figure pales in comparison to Facebook’s nearly 2 billion DAU.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that Reddit’s ad revenue will soar more than 70% this year, reaching almost $200 million.
Google: Click Bots Won’t Improve Your Ranking
So you think getting a good rank is as easy as programming a bot to click your pages in Google search? Nope.
According to Google’s John Mueller, that won’t do you any good.
This past week on Reddit, someone asked the following question: “Let’s say you are trying to rank for a very niche keyword. What is stopping you from making a bot with rotating IPs to google the keyword and click on your website? Then stay there for some amount of time clicking randomly on your website to seem like a real person.”
Mueller replied: “It makes no sense, but knock yourself out.”
Still, some SEOs refuse to believe that Google ignores search clicks for ranking purposes.
Google: Core Web Vitals Signals Only Apply to Mobile Search
But keep in mind: mobile is everything. So this news doesn’t give you a reason to stop taking Core Web Vitals seriously.
Google also said that it prioritizes the observed user experience above everything else.
Additionally, the Big G says that if your website is using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), then you’re probably in great shape for the upcoming change.
Amazon Reports Biggest Holiday Shopping Season in Its History
In a blog post published this past week, Amazon said that this will be the biggest holiday shopping season in company history.
The e-commerce giant also said that people started shopping earlier this year. That’s probably due in part to Amazon moving Prime Day from July to October.
Further, the company said that independent businesses that sell on the Amazon platform raked in over $4.8 billion during the shopping weekend that spanned Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
More than 70,000 small-to-medium sized Amazon sellers took in at least $100,000 during that period of time.
“Thank you to our customers, employees, and selling partners around the world for making this our biggest holiday season to date, and for everything you’re doing to support our communities and each other now and throughout the year,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer.
But it’s not just Amazon that’s making bank this holiday season. Adobe Analytics reports that Black Friday online sales surged 22% this year, reaching $9 billion.
However, “old school” retail took a hit. Sensomatic Solutions reports that foot traffic to stores fell 52% on Black Friday.
It’s the holiday season, but there’s still time to cross a few to-do’s off your list.
- Look for ways to advertise on Reddit. The good news about that platform is that there’s a forum (called a “subreddit”) for almost any conceivable subject (and some subjects that aren’t conceivable). It shouldn’t be too difficult to find people in your target market over there.
- Think about ways that you can advertise on Google Discovery. It might be just the strategy you need to promote your brand to potential customers.
- If your website isn’t yet ready for Core Web Vitals, make it a point to get that handled by year-end. Otherwise, you could lose rank to competitors starting in May.