This week: LinkedIn shares platform analytics, GMB gives you a new way to respond to reviews, and paid search continues to grow.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Adjust Releases New Standard to Fight Against Fraudulent Ad Clicks
Adjust, a Berlin-based mobile measurement company, just released a new standard in the ongoing war against click-fraud.
It’s called Click Validation Through Proof of Impression. It ties an ID in the ad impression to an ID in the ad click.
According to Adjust, this is the first time anyone has taken that approach to fight against click-fraud.
Some anti-fraud companies use a technology that checks the frequency of ad clicks from a single IP address. If too many clicks appear from the same address over a short period of time, the system raises a red flag.
However, that kind of tracking can be challenged with IP-spoofing.
It’s much more difficult to get around the new standard released by Adjust.
Google My Business Offers a New Way to Respond to Reviews
This is clever: Google My Business (GMB) is now allowing you to reply to reviews on the desktop version of Google Maps.
In the past, you could only reply to reviews on the GMB app or website.
Of course, you’ll still need to have a verified business profile before you can reply.
Google also updated its help document with tips for responding to negative reviews.
Google: A Great Score on Web.dev Won’t Boost Rank
If you think that your site is going to land a top spot in the SERPs just because you got a perfect score on Web.dev, think again.
According to Google’s John Mueller, there’s quite a bit more to ranking well than getting a 100 on a Web.dev test.
“Web.dev is a great way to test your site for a lot of known issues and to compare against known best practices,” Mueller said in a Webmaster Hangout. “But just achieving good results there doesn’t mean that your website will automatically jump up in rankings above everyone else.”
He went on: “I think it’s a good idea to look at these things but you need to interpret what comes out of them and you need to realize that there’s more to ranking number one than just kind of fulfilling a set of technical requirements.”
Keep in mind: if you get a bad score on the Web.dev test, you’ll almost certainly find it harder to get a good rank. So you should still aim for a great score.
Just make sure you follow standard optimization strategies as well.
Report: Paid Search Spend Grows 10% YOY
According to a new report by Marin Software, paid search spend grew 10% year-over-year in Q4 2018.
Growth was highest in the financial (25%) and retail (12%) sectors.
Unfortunately, click-through rates (CTRs) declined quarter-over-quarter in the same period. CTRs stood at 3.46% in Q3 and 3.16% in Q4.
Average CPC dropped slightly from $0.77 in Q3 to $0.75 in Q4.
Of all the sectors, travel saw the lowest global CPC at $0.45. Retail was second-lowest with $0.48.
Mobile took 41% of all ad spend and 36% of retail ad spend during the quarter.
The report also shows that advertisers invested more in Instagram Stories during Q4.
Google: Just Stick to the SEO Basics and You’ll Be Fine
This past week, Google’s Gary Illyes held an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Reddit. During the session, he advised digital marketers to stick to the basics.
“i really wish SEOs went back to the basics (i.e. MAKE THAT DAMN SITE CRAWLABLE) instead of focusing on silly updates and made up terms by the rank trackers, and that they talked more with the developers of the website once done with the first part of this sentence,” he said.
The point about making the site crawlable was repeated more than once during the session.
Also, Illyes was not pleased when somebody asked him about “link velocity.”
“I would love if you didn’t focus that much on links and made up terms like link velocity,” he said.
Google: Hreflang Isn’t a Ranking Signal
The Hreflang attribute isn’t a ranking signal but you should still use it to drive targeted traffic. That’s according to Google’s Gary Illyes during this week’s AMA.
Somebody asked Illyes the following question: “Hey Gary, you and [John Mueller from Google] have conflicting statements on hreflang. John says they will not help with rankings and you have said they’re treated as a cluster and they should be able to use each others ranking signals. Can we get an official clarification on this?”
Illyes replied: “You will NOT receive a ranking benefit per se, at least not in the internal sense of the term. What you will receive is more targeted traffic.”
He went on to say that the confusion is probably caused by how people interpret the phrase “ranking benefit.”
When Google detects an Hreflang attribute on a page, it will retrieve the version of the page with the strongest ranking signals.
However, if one of the other pages is presented in a language that’s more relevant to the user, Google will serve that page instead of the first one.
LinkedIn: 40% of Our Members Visit the Site Every Day
LinkedIn has some nice things to say about LinkedIn.
The social media company released an ebook this week that highlights platform analytics. Here are a few of the most significant:
- The site now has 610 million members. Of those, 40% use it every day.
- Engagements (comments, likes, and shares) are up 60% year-over-year.
- Views in the LinkedIn feed are up by the same amount.
- Mobile LinkedIn sessions are growing by more than 50% year-over-year.
- Every week, LinkedIn users create more than 130,000 articles.
- 45% of all social media traffic to a company’s home page comes from LinkedIn.
- 50% of LinkedIn members are more likely to buy from a company after engaging with its social channels.
LinkedIn also said that executives from all Fortune 500 companies are using the site.
Google: There’s No Such Thing As an Internal Linking Over-Optimization Penalty
You still don’t have to worry about too much internal linking on your website.
This past week on his AMA, Google’s Gary Illyes said “you can abuse your internal links as much as you want.”
It’s not new news, but it’s worth noting because Google is reinforcing the point.
Google Ads Rolls out Click Share Metric to Search Campaigns
Google Ads is giving you a new metric: click share.
Click share shows you how many clicks your ads received out of the total number of times that Google estimates your ads could have been clicked.
That’s in contrast to impression share, which shows you how much your ad is getting shown to users.
Those two metrics work well in concert, though. If you find, for example, that you have a high impression share but a low click share, that means your ad isn’t appealing to your target market.
Google started rolling out click share to accounts this week. It should be available to all accounts in the coming weeks.
Click share can be viewed at the campaign, ad group, and keyword levels.