This week: Instagram offers a new ad format, lots of marketers like promoting video on Facebook, a low crawl rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Facebook Allows Ads in Instant Articles’ Related Articles Section
This past week, Facebook announced that Instant Articles publishers can include ads within the “Related Articles” section that appears below their own articles.
Facebook began testing the ads in March. The company noticed that they generated an “incremental increase” in revenue earned by publishers.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook refers to the new ads as native ads.
Report: Two-Thirds of U.S. Marketers Paid to Promote Video on Facebook in the Last Year
According to a new report from Animoto, 67% of U.S. marketers have paid to promote videos on Facebook within the last year.
Animoto surveyed 1,000 consumers and 500 marketers who work at companies that produced at least two videos in the last year. The purpose of the study was to determine how marketers are using video on social media networks.
The survey also found that marketers intend to promote videos on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
Google: Popup DIVs Are Better Than Interstitials
This past week on Twitter, Google’s John Mueller said that it’s better to use popup DIVs for age verification or gates instead of using interstitial forms.
Specifically, someone asked him for the best age verification method that allows the Googlebot to crawl content.
Here’s how he replied: “These are always tricky. Popup-style DIVs are usually better than interstitials; avoid redirects to interstitials.”
Google: Order of Values in hreflang Doesn’t Matter
If you’re using the hreflang attribute to serve the correct language of your website, you might be wondering if the order of languages in that attribute makes any kind of difference. According to Google, it doesn’t.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked John Mueller if order matters in that attribute.
These are always tricky. Popup-style DIVs are usually better than interstitials; avoid redirects to interstitials.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) June 7, 2017
His answer was brief: “No, order doesn’t matter.”
Google: We Will Penalize Egregious Link Manipulation
As you’ve probably heard, Google’s real-time Penguin algorithm devalues spammy links. That’s different from the old system, which penalized sites.
But don’t think that your site can never be penalized if you practice blackhat tactics.
That depends on the purpose of that link really, but if it's not a egregious link manipulation scheme, we're more likely to just ignore them
— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@methode) June 2, 2017
This past week on Twitter, Google’s Gary Illyes implied that “egregious link manipulation schemes” can still incur a penalty.
So it’s still a great idea to follow Google’s rules in your SEO efforts.
Google: Less Crawl Rate Isn’t Necessarily Bad
If you’re worried because your site has a low crawl rate, worry no more.
According to John Mueller, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Specifically, he replied on Twitter to someone who expected to have 10 times as many pages on his website as his crawl budget.
Mueller said: “That’s not necessarily a bad thing; some sites just don’t change a lot, some are just less interesting, every site’s different.”
That's not necessarily a bad thing; some sites just don't change a lot, some are just less interesting, every site's different.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) June 5, 2017
Instagram Adds Direct Response Ads in Stories
Instagram is now featuring direct response ads within the Stories stream.
The ads are similar to the “See More” prompt that Instagram offered to verified users back in November, but they’re presented as ads instead of simple links.
The option to include the ads is available on Facebook’s self-serving ad-buying tools, Ads Manager, and Power Editor.
The new ad supports single vertical photo and vertical video formats. The call to action appears at the bottom of the screen.