This week: Google says mobile-friendly doesn’t mean mobile-first, a WordPress plugin is cursed, and a YouTube update could put more money in your purse.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
YouTube Offers Monetization to More Content Types
YouTube now allows you to run ads on more types of content.
The following content types are eligible for expanded monetization:
- Educational content – Documentary or news content that includes recreational drug use or violent interactions with law enforcement.
- Controversial issues – Content that isn’t graphic and includes an objective discussion of hot topics.
- Adult humor – Adult dating jokes and other adult themes.
- Profanity – Videos that include moderate profanity within the first 30 seconds.
If you’re part of the YouTube Partner Program, you can tell if your video is eligible for monetization by looking at a color-coded icon on your video.
- Green – fully eligible
- Yellow – limited or no ads
- Red – ineligible
- Grey – monetization turned off by creator
LinkedIn Users Can Add a Video to Their Profiles
This one seems overdue.
LinkedIn now allows you to add an intro video to your profile page.
It makes sense. Hiring managers want to see who they’re considering even before the first interview.
In the 21st century, a profile video will likely become the next cover letter.
When you upload a video profile, an orange ring will appear around your profile photo. Users who tap the photo will see a full-screen video of your intro.
LinkedIn is also rolling out a new feature that highlights the work of content creators.
Microsoft Puts Automotive Ads in Open Beta
This past week, Microsoft announced an open beta for Automotive Ads. It’s a new ad unit available in the U.S. and the UK.
The ads are similar to shopping ads. They’re feed-based and include important info about the cars for sale (mileage, model, color, etc.).
You can run the ads in the search engine results pages (SERPs) or as native ads on websites.
When they appear in the SERPs, users see them on the right-hand sidebar and in the Bing image results page. They’ll soon appear just under the search bar.
Currently, the ad units only appear on desktop platforms. Mobile support is coming soon.
Google Updates Business Profiles for Stores With Delivery and Pickup
Google is doing its part to make social distancing easier.
The company is adding more info to Search and Maps about businesses that offer grocery delivery and pickup options.
Specifically, people will now see the following details for eligible business profiles:
- Delivery providers
- Pickup and delivery times
- Order fees
- Order minimums
Google will start by rolling out the new features for mobile search.
If your business qualifies for the updated listing, there’s no work needed on your part. Google will get all the info it needs from your Google My Business (GMB) profile.
Google: Mobile-Friendly Doesn’t Mean It’s Ready for Mobile-First Index
If you’ve got a website that Google says is mobile-friendly, that doesn’t mean it’s ready for the mobile-first index.
That’s because Google looks at more than just mobile-friendliness when determining if a site is ready for the mobile-first index.
John Mueller made that clear in a Reddit thread this past week. He responded to somebody who asked why Google was still using a desktop agent to crawl his website.
Mueller pointed out that there could be other factors at play.
“Obviously, it could also be because your site has real differences, like missing structured data, fewer significant images, bad internal linking on mobile, etc — these are things that those who don’t look deeply might miss,” he said.
Google: No Limit on Title Tag Length
Feel free to make your web page titles as long as you want.
In fact, according to Google’s Gary Illyes, there’s a benefit to titles that exceed the displayable limit in search results.
This past week, Illyes was asked this question by John Mueller: “Is there a value in having title tags that are longer than the displayable space and the sections of it?”
Illyes responded in one word: “Yes.”
He went on to see that title lengths are externally made-up metrics.
Google: No Benefit to a Flat URL Structure
Google doesn’t care how many slashes there are in your URL.
That’s according to John Mueller, who fielded a question this past week about site structure.
“So if essentially the URL structure that you have on your site is something that you can use however you want,” he said. “Google does not count the number of slashes in your URLs and say: ‘oh this is like five levels down therefore we will not show it as visibly in search.’”
Mueller went on to say that you don’t have to create “an artificially flat directory structure” and that Google just looks at URLs as identifiers of content.
Google: It’s Okay If Your AMP Page Has More Ads Than Your HTML Page
Worried that a surplus of ads might adversely affect the rank of your AMP page?
If so, rest easy. Google doesn’t care.
The subject came up this past week during a Google Search Central SEO hangout.
In response to a question about the subject, John Mueller stated that the overall content on the pages needs to be the same. But there’s no problem with different ads.
“And even within a normal HTML page you could have something like dynamic ads where sometimes you have an ad unit there, and sometimes over here. So those kinds of changes totally don’t matter,” he said.
Another WordPress Plugin Threat Detected
Another week, another story about a WordPress plugin vulnerability.
This one affects the Facebook for WordPress plugin. And it’s nasty.
In fact, it’s not just one but two exploits.
The first is an object injection vulnerability. It enables hackers to upload code and run code on the website remotely.
The other vulnerability enables hackers to use cross-site request forgery to get admin credentials.
Fortunately, you can eliminate both of those exploits if you update to the latest version of the plugin (3.0.5) or later.
Google: Don’t Use Low-Quality Images to Improve Core Web Vitals Score
Some SEOs will stop at nothing to get a good Core Web Vitals score. They’ll even resort to using low-quality images so their pages load faster.
But, according to John Mueller, that’s a bad idea.
He made that clear when somebody tweeted him the following question: “Can you pls answer my query regarding quality of images used? I work for a news site which is currently optimising for CWV and in order to that, out tech is compressing the images to extreme level at the cost of image quality(blurred images now). Is it worth the cost?”
“That sounds like a bad idea,” Mueller replied. “Page experience is just one of many things we look at for ranking, but if users don’t like your content, they’re unlikely to convert (however you want them to), and unlikely to want to come back.”
That sounds like a bad idea. Page experience is just one of many things we look at for ranking, but if users don’t like your content, they’re unlikely to convert (however you want them to), and unlikely to want to come back.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) March 26, 2021
Study: Instagram Users Most Likely to Comment on Video From Business Accounts
According to a new study of business posts by Sked Social, Instagram users are more likely to comment on video posts than other types of content.
The research team analyzed more than 102 million posts from business accounts.
Here are a few other insights highlighted by the study:
- Instagram’s engagement rate is back to where it was in 2019. That’s after a spike in engagement during the early days of the pandemic last year.
- Carousel posts generate the most engagement – especially for accounts with fewer than 5,000 followers.
- Short captions (fewer than 10 words) work best for images, but longer captions work best for video.
It’s April Fool’s week, but you’re no fool if you apply what you learned here today.
- Think about how you can optimize your Instagram posts based on the results of that Sked Social study you just read about.
- Avoid sacrificing content quality to meet the Core Web Vitals standards. You’ll just alienate users.
- If you’re using the Facebook for WordPress plugin, make sure you update to the latest version so you can eliminate those vulnerabilities.
- If you’re in the auto sales business, participate in that Microsoft open beta for Automobile Ads.
- Add an intro video to your LinkedIn profile.
- Look at those new YouTube video monetization options and determine if you can generate some revenue.