This past week: Quora ups its ad game, Snapchat has more problems, and wait until you hear about how many Americans are using Facebook.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google AMP Team Launches New “Render on Idle” Feature for Ads
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) team at Google has launched a new feature called “Render on Idle.” As the name implies, it speeds up ad loads when a user isn’t interacting with the browser.
It’s available to any advertisers who use the DoubleClick AMP tag or any ad network that supports FastFetch.
Here’s a statement from the announcement: “With Render on Idle, ads load 12 viewports from the user’s scroll position (as opposed to 3) when the browser is idle, no other page content is being retrieved or rendered. This delivers better ad performance by loading ads earlier in the page lifecycle.”
The team says that publishers who’ve been testing the feature have seen a 13% increase in impressions per page.
Quora Ad Pixel Supports Multi-Event Conversion Tracking
Quora’s tracking pixel now supports more than one conversion event.
Supported events include: Add to Cart, Add Payment Info, and Purchase.
You can use multi-event tracking to adapt your campaign based on where your customers are in the sales funnel.
According to the announcement from Quora: “Advertisers can choose new conversion types when creating a new campaign to match the campaign objective. Each new conversion type will require the associated Quora Pixel to be set up,”
Quora also now supports view-through conversion tracking. That’s a feature that tracks people who saw an ad but didn’t click on it and yet ended up visiting the advertiser’s website anyway.
Report: More Than Half of American Facebook Users Visit the Site Several Times a Day
Americans love their Facebook.
According to a new report by Pew Research, more than half of American Facebook users (51%) visit the site “several times a day.”
Almost three-quarters (74%) check the site every day.
More than two-thirds of Americans (68%) are Facebook users.
Pew also says that, for the most part, Facebook usage hasn’t changed since April of 2016.
Seventy-three percent of respondents also said they use YouTube.
Report: Less Than 400 Brands Bought Ads on Snapchat Discover Channels in the Last 3 Months
This report might explain why Snapchat is laying off engineers.
According to MediaRadar, only 397 brands bought ad on Snapchat Discover channels in the last 3 months.
— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) March 8, 2018
Snapchat Discover features content from well-known publishers like ESPN, BuzzFeed, and Cosmopolitan.
By way of comparison, Facebook has more than 5 million advertisers and Twitter boasts 130,000 advertisers.
In a nutshell: Snapchat’s monetization woes continue.
Google Is Working to Deliver Non-AMP Content Instantly
AMP might become extinct in the not-too-distant future.
That’s because Google is working on a technology that will deliver non-AMP content instantly.
The instant content will appear in certain parts of Google search as well as the Top Stories carousel.
The AMP team needs to do more testing before rolling out the new feature. Google says it’s not possible at this time to say when the changes will move to production.
Google Can Detect Duplicate Content Before Crawling It
Googlebot is smarter than you think.
According to John Mueller, the Google crawler can determine when pages share the same content even if it hasn’t yet crawled that content.
“What sometimes happens is kind of proactively recognize that something is probably a duplicate, even before crawling it. So this happens when we see that the difference, for example, is within the URL somewhere in a place where we’ve generally notice that the content shown in this part of the URL is not so relevant to the content that’s shown on the page,” Mueller said in a Google hangout.
So this is yet another reason to avoid duplicate content.
Google Discourages Use of Its Own Search Console URL Submit Tool
Google doesn’t want you to use the URL Submit tool in the Search Console unless it’s an absolute emergency.
That’s according to John Mueller, who said that “you shouldn’t need to use [the URL Submit Tool] at all.”
If you’re frustrated because Google doesn’t index your content quickly, Mueller suggested that you link to it from an already indexed page or use a sitemap.
Mueller went on to say that there might be one time when you need to use the URL Submit Tool.
“…The one time I would recommend using the submit URL tool is when you have like real issues on your website that you urgently need to fix and you urgently need to have Google reflect that in the search results.”
Yelp Announces “Custom Ads” for Small Businesses
Yelp is giving small business advertisers the ability to select a positive review and an image to appear in their ads.
The new feature, called “custom ads,” is similar to a similar feature offered by TripAdvisor.
Here’s what Yelp said in its announcement about the new customization option: “By giving advertisers the ability to select which photos and reviews they would like to feature in their ad, we’re providing a unique tool that leverages the voice of a customer to promote their business. Based on our initial tests, businesses owners and marketers are loving the increased controls of Custom Ads. We’ve already seen 30% of new advertisers using this feature.”
Yelp also offers a machine learning algorithm that will automatically select a review and an image to use in an ad.
Google: Good Titles and Descriptions Are Easy SEO Wins
Sometimes, you just have to get back to the basics.
John Mueller reminded the world this week that one of the best SEO strategies is optimizing your title tags and descriptions so that they’re relevant to your content.
Here’s what he wrote on Reddit: “Good titles & descriptions are some of the easiest wins you can get on webpages. We did a round of site-reviews for some NPOs recently, and the number one item that came up for almost all of them was that what they cared about wasn’t front & center on their pages, and reflected in their meta-data. How are search engines supposed to guess what you want your pages to rank for?”
Google: Content Publishing Frequency Isn’t a Ranking Factor
You might be under the impression that how frequently you publish content affects your page rank.
In a word: nope.
That’s according to John Mueller, who went on to say: “A site isn’t a machine that pumps out content at a fixed rate. Well, it shouldn’t be :-).”
Google: There’s Always a Risk of Losing Rank When Moving a Site
Do you have to move a site to a different domain? Unfortunately, it might lose rank.
Moving a website almost always results in temporary fluctuations that settle down fairly soon, but there's never a guarantee that the site will perform exactly the same on a different domain.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) March 5, 2018
This past week on Twitter, John Mueller confirmed that “there’s never a guarantee that the site will perform exactly the same on a different domain.”
He went on to say that “[m]oving a website almost always results in temporary fluctuations that settle down fairly soon.”
Snapchat Adds User Tagging in Snaps
Snapchat is adding tagging to snaps.
It’s a feature similar to tagging people on Twitter or Instagram. Users who are tagged will receive notifications.
If you’re using Snapchat for marketing, it might be a great idea to tag key influencers in some of your snaps. You might generate a little bit of buzz.
The new feature also dovetails nicely with Snapchat’s new layout. That’s because the redesigned UI puts content from connections in one tab and content from everybody else in another tab.