This week: TikTok hits a new milestone, DuckDuckGo breaks a record, and LinkedIn is here to help B2B marketers.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Indexes Popular Content on Faster Storage
This past week, Google’s Gary Illyes revealed that Google indexes high-demand content on faster servers than lower-tier content.
Illyes pointed out that pages get indexed on three types of storage:
- RAM (Random Access Memory) – fastest and most expensive
- SSD (Solid State Drive) – fast but expensive
- HDD (Hard Disk Drive) – slow but inexpensive
Content that gets accessed every second (Buzzfeed?) gets stored on RAM or SSD servers. That’s just a small amount of Google’s index, though.
Most of the search index is stored on HDD servers.
I don’t believe Google has ever shared this kind of info about its search index before.
Standalone Gmail Ads Going Away
Bad news if your digital marketing strategy includes the use of standalone Gmail ads: they’re going away.
As of July, Gmail ads will get lumped in with Discovery campaigns.
According to Google, when you launch Discovery campaigns, you’ll have the opportunity to reach 3 billion people, including Gmail users.
Google recommends that you double your monthly Gmail budget when you make the switch to Discovery campaigns. But obviously the company has a financial interest in dishing out that advice so treat it accordingly.
Google Confirms It: Yes, You Can Use Buttons to Hide Internal Links
This past week, Google’s John Mueller confirmed that you can use buttons to hide internal links.
But should you do it? That’s a separate question.
If you’re unfamiliar with the tactic of hiding internal links, it’s often referred to as The New Nofollow or the PRG Pattern. Here, PRG stands for Post/Redirect/Get.
In a nutshell: it means that you hide links by putting them in buttons.
Why would you want to do that? Because you might not (and probably don’t want) to pass PageRank to non-essential pages, like your Terms of Service page. Strategists call that tactic PageRank sculpting.
Also, some ecommerce SEOs use the PRG Pattern to prevent Google from indexing multiple different links that point to the same product detail page.
When asked about using that strategy to hide links, Mueller said that yes, in fact, Googlebot doesn’t follow links on buttons.
So it works.
But is it harmful for SEO purposes? Mueller didn’t say.
DuckDuckGo Hits 100 Million Daily Searches
Expect to read more and more stories like this in the near future. DuckDuckGo is DuckDuckGrowing.
According to the company’s public traffic data records, the privacy-focused search engine reached 100 million daily searches in January.
That’s about twice what the search engine did in January of 2020.
And it’s not just the web search that’s growing. Its mobile app recently reached a high of #7 on iOS App Store and topped all utility apps.
And now it’s passed Bing and Yahoo to take the #2 spot in mobile search market share.
Keep an eye on this one.
TikTok Passes Facebook in Time Spent Per User
According to App Annie, users are spending more time on TikTok than on Facebook.
In fact, time spent on TikTok is up 325% year-over-year.
Although time spent on apps is up on almost every app (thank you, pandemic), not too many are up by as much as TikTok.
Also, TikTok is on track to hit 1.2 billion monthly active users (MAUs) by 2021.
Google: Paying for Dofollow Backlinks Is Against Guidelines
Well, you should know this already. But it’s worth repeating.
If you pay someone to write a blog post for a website so that you can get a dofollow backlink from that article, then you’re breaking the rules.
And if you get caught, you could pay dearly.
Here’s what Google’s John Mueller had to say about that subject: “[I]f you’re paying people to create content with links, then you’re paying people for those links. And if you’re paying for links, then that would be something that would be against our webmaster guidelines. So that’s kind of the easy answer there.”
He went on to say that it’s fine to pay bloggers to post nofollow links back to your site.
Facebook Will Remove the “Our Story” Section From Pages
Got a story to tell? You’re going to have to tell it somewhere other than your Facebook “Our Story” page in the near future.
That’s because Facebook is removing the “Our Story” page.
Instead, you’ll have to put that story in the “Additional Information” section which isn’t really a cool place to tell a story.
The “Our Story” page was added a few years back. Its purpose was to help brands explain the background behind the business.
Today, it appears in the “About” section of your page. It does seem a bit forced there, though.
Google: Better to Put Structured Data on the Page Rather Than Use GTM
This past week, Google’s John Mueller made it clear that it’s best to put structured data on the page instead of relying on Google’s Tag Manager.
Why? Because, according to Mueller, it’s “straight-forward & usually easier to monitor/maintain.”
Mueller did say that GTM is great for trying out structured data and fine-tuning it. But when it comes to implementation, go straight to the page.
If you can implement the SD on the page itself, I’d aim for that. GTM is great for trying SD out & fine-tuning it, but on-page SD is much more straight-forward & usually easier to monitor/maintain.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) January 15, 2021
LinkedIn Offers 6 Free Advertising Courses
How would you like to beef up your B2B marketing? If so, then you’ll enjoy this news.
LinkedIn is offering six new advertising courses. Better yet: they’re free.
The courses are offered via LinkedIn Marketing Labs. They’re curated by digital marketing experts.
Here’s the list of courses:
- Introduction to LinkedIn Ads
- Using LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting
- Reporting and Analytics for LinkedIn Ads
- Building a Full-Funnel Content Marketing Strategy on LinkedIn
- Using LinkedIn for Brand Awareness
- Using LinkedIn for Lead Generation
Each course starts with a pre-course assessment that’s optional.
The year is still young. Why not take on a few action items?
- If you’re using GTM, give it up in favor of putting structured data directly on the page. You might have to enlist the aid of your development team for that.
- If you’re relying on the “Our Story” page on Facebook, think about a new way you can communicate that story as Facebook is phasing out that section.
- If you’re paying for dofollow backlinks, stop that practice. You’ll likely get caught and then you’ll wish you’d played by the rules.
- If you’re in the B2B space, consider going through LinkedIn’s free advertising courses. You might pick up some great ideas on how to attract new business.
- If you’re relying on standalone Gmail ads, prepare to make the switch to Discovery campaigns.