This week: Twitter Spaces is here, Facebook Neighborhoods is here, and a Google spam-fighting tool is here.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google: We Don’t Penalize Sites for Using Google Analytics
Google says that it doesn’t penalize sites that use its analytics tool.
That might seem like a no-brainer, but Google Analytics has been known to slow down websites.
And when websites slow down, they take a hit to their Core Web Vitals scores.
And when sites take a hit to their Core Web Vitals scores, they could lose rank.
But Google’s John Mueller says that “it’s not the case that we penalize for Google Analytics.”
He went on to elaborate on that by saying that the company doesn’t “special-case” Google products.
So it looks like a CWV hit could happen because of GA.
The only way to find out is to run your own tests.
Facebook Rolls out Neighborhoods
Want to connect with people in your community?
There’s an app for that. It’s called Facebook.
This past week, Facebook launched Neighborhoods. It’s a virtual space that enables you to connect to people who live close by.
You can get the ball rolling by creating a Neighborhoods profile. It’s different from your Facebook profile.
Then, you can join discussion groups with other people who live near you.
Of course, there are already countless region-specific Facebook groups. So Facebook might be late to the party here.
Twitter Acquires Scroll
This past week, Twitter announced that it’s purchasing Scroll, a service that removes ads from news sites for users who pay a monthly fee.
Twitter plans to use Scroll as part of its own subscription service. Subscribers will enjoy an ad-free Twitter experience.
“Twitter exists to serve the public conversation,” Scroll said in a statement. “Journalism is the mitochondria of that conversation. It initiates, energizes and informs. It converts and confounds perspectives. At its best it helps us stand in one another’s shoes and understand each other’s common humanity.”
What about existing Scroll users? They’ll continue to enjoy the same ad-free experience.
However, the company isn’t accepting any new subscriptions until it’s fully integrated with Twitter.
Microsoft Ads Announces Feature Updates
Lots of new Microsoft Ads features that you need to know about.
First up, look for changes to phrase match and broad match modifier.
Microsoft took a page from Google’s playbook and updated phrase match to work just like modified broad match.
That change is expected to roll out in just a couple of weeks.
Next, the platform will now deliver two-line desktop search ads. They display just the ad title and a URL.
Yep. That’s it.
You can opt-out from that ad format but you’ll need to contact Microsoft Ads support to do so.
Also, customer match is here.
At least for many users. It’s not available in the health and wellness vertical. Nor is it available for users in the European Union, the UK, and China.
Next, Microsoft Ads now integrates with Dynamics 365. You can use that integration to import customer segments from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights into Microsoft Ads.
And Smart Goals has rolled out. That will help you identify sessions that generate conversions.
You’ll receive a notification if you’re eligible for Smart Goals.
Finally, Microsoft made shopping campaigns and extensions available globally. Previously, they were only available in the U.S.
YouTube Allows Videos to Be Sampled by Default
Hey, guess what? If you’re on YouTube, your videos are automatically opted in to allow other producers to sample your content.
But only for YouTube Shorts videos.
If you’re unfamiliar with YouTube Shorts, it’s YouTube’s version of TikTok. It lives up to its name by allowing people to upload only short videos.
And they can upload videos that include your creative work.
You can opt-out of that, of course, but it ain’t easy. It looks like YouTube intentionally buried the opt-out checkbox so that creators would have a tough time locating it.
And once you find it, you have to go through that process for all your videos.
You can find the opt-out instructions at the link above.
Google Rolls out AI Tool to Fight Spam
Black hatters, beware!
This past week, Google announced that it’s now using artificial intelligence (AI) tools that have the ability to block 99% of spam.
Google describes its new toy as something that has the “unprecedented potential to revolutionize” spam fighting.
The tools focus their efforts primarily on fighting spam related to important topics, like anything related to health.
But they also go after review sites with thin content.
Google says it’s reduced sites with auto-generated and scraped content by 80% compared to two years ago.
Twitter Spaces Is Here
Twitter has teased this one for a while. Now, the wait is over.
If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter Spaces, it’s Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse, an audio-only social media platform.
Twitter Spaces has been around for a while (6 months). But it was only available to select users.
Now it’s open to everybody with at least 600 followers.
However, any user, no matter how many followers, can join a Space (as long as the user isn’t blocked by the host).
Listeners can participate via chat and emojis.
Twitter says that more Spaces features, such as monetization options, are in the works.
Elementor Update Addresses Core Web Vitals Concerns
The WordPress plugin Elementor makes it easy to create awesome-looking web pages in a jiffy.
However, sometimes the finished product takes a long time to load.
That’s a problem because any second now Google will use Core Web Vitals as a ranking signal.
If you’re unfamiliar with Core Web Vitals, it’s a set of user experience metrics. The better the metrics, the more likely the page ranks well.
The folks at Elementor knew their software could produce pages that didn’t pass the Core Web Vitals test, so they made some updates.
Elementor also offers YouTube courses on optimizing websites.
We’ve got some news you can use here. Now it’s time to get busy.
- If you’re an Elementor user, get that latest version of the product so your pages load more quickly.
- Think about how you can use Twitter Spaces to promote your brand.
- If you’ve got creative work on YouTube that you don’t want other people stealing, go through the tedious process of opting out of content sampling.
- Take a look at all those new Microsoft Ads features. Think about how you can use one or more of them to get additional bang for your buck in online advertising.