This week: YouTube adds a new feature that could preserve your income stream, Amazon sets yet another record, and a couple of SEO myths get busted.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
YouTube Ads Feature to Crop Out Copyrighted Clips
A new feature in YouTube Studio makes it possible for you to eliminate copyrighted content from your videos while leaving the rest of the content intact.
That’s helpful because a copyright claim can not only demonetize your video, but you could also forfeit any revenue already generated.
Here’s how YouTube explains the update:
“We’ve added an explicit Trim option directly on the Video Copyright details page. You can trim out copyrighted content claimed by Content ID in your video which automatically releases the claim. The endpoints of the edit are pre-set to where the claimed content appears in the video. We’re working on allowing adjustable endpoints so you can cut out the portion of your video that provides the best viewer experience. In the meantime, you can still do this via the YouTube Editor.”
YouTube also reduced the financial incentive to claim “very short and unintentional music use.”
Amazon Attracted a Record Number of New Prime Customers During the 2019 Holiday Season
It looks like Amazon’s strategy of offering one-day shipping to Prime customers has paid off.
According to the e-commerce giant, more than 5 million people signed up for Prime or free trials during just one week in the 2019 holiday season. That’s a record.
Amazon also said that one- and same-day holiday orders nearly quadrupled compared to 2018. Also, the company shipped more than 100 million products sold by independent sellers via one-day delivery.
Google: You Always Need Text Content on a Page
If you’re hosting a website that uses a lot of video or audio content, you might be tempted to just embed it and forget about including any text on the page. According to Google’s John Mueller, that’s a bad idea.
In a nutshell: all pages need text content.
“If you’re a video-hosting site, you still need things like titles, headings, text, links, etc.,” Mueller said. “The same goes for audio-hosting sites. Make it easy for search engines to understand your content & how it’s relevant to users, and they’ll be able to send you relevant traffic.”
Although Google is getting better at parsing multimedia files, it still helps if you include text.
Google Says It Again: Linking to High Authority Sites Doesn’t Help Rank
There’s a popular SEO narrative that linking to domains with a high page rank can boost your own site’s rank. It’s not true.
This past week, someone tweeted out a graphic with the caption “Sites Linking to Authoritative Content May Count More Than Those That Do Not.” The person tagged Google’s John Mueller and asked if it was true.
Mueller replied with one word: “No.”
And it isn’t the first time he’s said it.
Google: E-A-T Isn’t That Important for E-Commerce Sites
If you’re running an e-commerce site, you’ll be happy to learn that E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) isn’t nearly as important for you as it is for some other sites.
This past week on a Google hangout, John Mueller said that E-A-T focuses on sites where “the type of information is critical for the user, where they really need to know that they get the right information there.”
As a rule of thumb, E-A-T is most important on YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) sites. In other words, sites that dish out medical or financial advice.
Also, E-A-T is a rating used by the quality raters. It doesn’t directly impact search results.
Google Ads Will End Customer Support Via Social Media
As of next year, which is also next week, Google Ads will end customer support via Facebook and Twitter.
If you try to get support from either of those channels, Google will redirect you to an online form.
“Customer security and success is paramount. Due to the growing global concern around spam and phishing, we are making an effort to resolve all Google product customer questions via 1:1 communication through direct email, phone or chat,” said Google in a statement. “Streamlining these channels will provide faster and more secure responses for all global customers.”
An 8-Year-Old Is YouTube’s Top Earner in 2019
Just when you thought you were a successful professional, along comes Ryan Kaji to put you in your place.
Who’s Ryan Kaji? He’s an 8-year-old toy reviewer. He’s also YouTube’s top earner this year.
It’s not the first time he won the title, either. He took the top spot among YouTube channel owners in 2018.
According to Forbes, Ryan pulled down $26 million over the last 12 months. He’s followed by Dude Perfect who took in $20 million.
Consider hiring a life coach.
Google Assistant Only Takes 9% of the VA Market
Google may dominate the search market, but it’s got a long way to go when it comes to virtual assistants.
According to a study from Futuresource, Google Assistant takes third place (9%) in VA market share behind Microsoft Cortana (22%) and Apple Siri (35%).
Futuresource says that the difference comes down to pre-installs. Apple Siri is already installed on almost all Apple devices. Cortana ships with Windows 10.
Google Assistant, on the other hand, comes pre-installed on products like Google Home and Chrome OS. It ships with some Android devices, but not all.
Expect that to change.
LinkedIn Data Says SEOs Are in High Demand
Good news if you’re into search engine optimization: you have a marketable skill.
That’s according to a study published by LinkedIn. The data shows that demand for SEO services has reached a point where it’s created a “seller’s market.”
Pro-tip: increase your rates in 2020.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator currently indicates that there are more than 47,000 U.S. job openings related to SEO. There are 909,000 U.S. professionals on the platform with “SEO” in their profile.
That ratio of 20 people for every job compares favorably to other disciplines, including product management (30:1) and designing (23:1).
Although there are more than 900,000 people with “SEO” in their profile on LinkedIn, there are only 26,500 on the platform with “SEO” in their titles. Most of those folks work in small-to-mid sized companies. Only 864 are self-employed.
There are about 6,000 SEOs with 10 or more years of experience.
Instagram Introduces New Rules About Branded Content
Instagram recently rolled out a new policy that prohibits influencers from publishing some types of content.
For starters, influencers can’t promote vaping products, tobacco products, and weapons.
Truth be told, that’s been the policy for some time. However, Instagram didn’t enforce it strictly in the past. That’s going to change.
In the future, look for policy changes that prohibit promoting alcohol and diet supplements.
With the holiday season behind us, it’s time to get back to work. Here are some action items you can pick up from this week’s news:
- If you have thin content on a page with an embedded video or audio clip, beef it up for SEO.
- If you have any copyrighted content on your YouTube videos, take advantage of the new feature to get rid of that content.
- If you’re an SEO, reevaluate what you’re charging clients in light of the LinkedIn study. Ask yourself if you’re due for a raise.
- Take a look at Ryan Kaji’s YouTube channel. Get some inspiration about how you can promote your brand on the platform.