This week: Google makes podcasts playable in search results, Alexa still dominates U.S. smart speaker market share, and don’t embed Instagram images on your website.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google: We Don’t Index Parts of a Page
If you think that Google doesn’t index a page as a whole, but only parts of a page, think again.
This past week on Twitter, Google’s John Mueller addressed the issue.
Here’s what he tweeted: “We don’t index parts of a page independently, we index the pages as a whole, and try to understand the context of the content there. Scrolling to a part of a page when we know that’s where the snippet was from makes a lot of sense regardless of indexing.”
Mueller also said that Google ignores everything in a URL after the hash unless the hash leads to unique content or it’s followed by an exclamation point.
Google Says Embedding Instagram Images Can Cause SEO Issues
Maybe it’s best to leave Instagram photos on the Instagram platform.
Why? Because if you try to embed Instagram images on your site, you could run into SEO problems.
Google’s John Mueller discovered that recently when he looked at a site that dropped in image search.
It turns out the site hosted Instagram images. That’s a problem because the Instagram embed code includes no index robots meta tag.
The tag tells Google not to index the images with the page.
So if you want to put an Instagram image on your site, use a screen capture instead.
Average Position in Google Ads Is Going Away
This past week, Google announced that it’s getting rid of the average position metric for ads.
It should be gone by September 30.
Google advises you to use the search top impression rate and absolute top impression rate stats going forward. Both of those metrics were introduced last year.
Saved reports and saved filters that use average position will also sunset by the end of September.
In the past, the tools rendered websites as though they were using Chrome 41. Going forward, they’ll use Chrome 76.
That means the Google testing tools will emulate more modern browsers.
Also, Googlebot is now “evergreen.” That means it will automatically upgrade when a new version of Chrome is released.
Google Makes Podcasts Playable in Search Results
This isn’t surprising, but it’s welcome.
Google is now showing playable podcast episodes in search results.
They’ll show up when users are searching for podcasts.
To see some examples, just go to Google and search for “instant pot recipe podcasts.” You’ll see a few results above the fold.
Note: the playable podcasts show up in mobile results as well.
Google says it will show podcast results based on its understanding of what’s in an episode.
Google Ads Optimization Score Will Now Include Shopping Campaigns
Optimization scores in Google Ads aren’t just for search campaigns anymore. Now, they include shopping campaigns as well.
Here’s how it works: Google Ads will assign an individual score to each campaign. Then, it will calculate a combined score for the whole account.
Scores range from 0-100%, with 100% meaning the campaign is fully optimized.
Google says that marketers saw a 10% average increase in conversion rates after increasing account level optimization by 10 points.
Report: Instagram Ad Growth Flattening
According to a new report by Kenshoo, Instagram’s ad growth has leveled out.
Now, it’s on par with Facebook’s ad growth.
However, there’s a hidden gem in the findings. Yenshoo says that Instagram’s share of Story ads doubled year over year, from 9% to 18%.
Some marketers attribute the growth to automatic placements in Instagram Stories. Others think Story ads are growing because Instagram recently announced that it was planning to show more ads on the platform – specifically, in Stories.
Report: Alexa Holds 70% Smart Speaker Market Share in U.S.
According to a recent survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), Amazon Echo/Alexa control 70% of the smart speaker market share in the U.S.
That’s roughly the same from January 2018.
CIRP says that there are about 76 installed smart speaker units in the U.S. That’s up from 70 million in March 2019 and 50 million in June 2018.
Google Home controls about 25% of the market and Apple HomePod about 5%.
WordPress Parent Company Buys Tumblr
Verizon Communications finally found a buyer for Tumblr: Automattic, Inc.
Automattic is the company that manages the WordPress content management system platform.
According to the whispers, Automattic bought Tumblr for $22 million. But Yahoo paid more than $1 billion for Tumblr in 2013.
It’s safe to say that was not a wise investment.
Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg said that the acquisition was the largest in the history of his company.
Spotify Offers Audience Insights for Podcasters
Spotify for Podcasters is now out of beta.
If you’re unfamiliar with Spotify for Podcasters, it’s an analytics platform that enables you to view listener demographics and engagement data for podcasts.
The tool even allows you to see where people start and stop playback.
Spotify for Podcasters is a bit of a misnomer, though. It’s not just for podcasters.
Marketers can also use the analytics to create targeted ad campaigns.
So whether you’re a podcast producer or an advertiser, you’ll find the new platform useful.
LinkedIn Rolls out Audience Insights for Third-Party Apps
LinkedIn is making it easier for you to optimize your campaigns. If you work with the right third-party service, that is.
This past week, the company announced that it’s rolling out a new feature in its API that will enable some third-party partners to gain audience insights.
Specifically, the update allows users to “discover new audiences, better understand the types of content those audiences are engaging with and see how your content is performing against industry benchmarks.”
However, to gain access to that kind of data, you have to work with the right partner platform. Right now, partners that are participating in the program include:
Working with one of those partners might be worth the investment if you’re in the B2B space.