This week: Microsoft has a new ad format, TikTok has a new video length, and Pinterest has a new policy on weight-loss ads.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Microsoft Advertising Announces Multimedia Ads
This past week, Microsoft Advertising announced a new ad format: multimedia ads.
The ads combine headlines, images, and descriptions using machine learning. The idea is that the algorithm will pick the combinations most likely to get conversions.
Users will see the ads on Bing search results. They’ll appear at the top and on the right rail.
However, Bing will only serve up one multimedia ad per page. So you can be sure that the new ad format will cost a pretty penny.
Multimedia ads are available right now in all countries.
TikTok Triples Video Length
The micro-video blogging platform isn’t so micro anymore.
TikTok tripled the length of its videos from one minute to three minutes. That update is effective immediately.
You can record and upload the entire three-minute video from within the TikTok app. The platform also offers an editor so you can spruce up your production.
Keep in mind, though: other social app micro-video options (like Instagram Stories, Snapchat Stories, and YouTube Shorts) still limit video length to one minute.
That’s significant because you could previously record a single video and share it across all social channels. But if you record a video that’s more than a minute in length, you can only share it on TikTok.
At least for now.
Google: Don’t Use Too Many Internal Links
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. That’s even true with internal linking.
According to Google’s John Mueller, too many internal links on a single page can dilute their value.
The subject came up during a Google Search Central SEO hangout this past week. A webmaster flat-out asked if there’s any danger with a high number of internal links on one page.
Mueller started the answer with a “Yes and no.” He went on to say that too many links could make it difficult for Google to determine the overall structure of the website.
And then he offered this: “[I]f you do dilute the value of your site structure by having so many internal links that we don’t see a structure anymore, then that does make it harder for us to understand what you think is important on your website.”
John Mueller Doesn’t See SEO Becoming Obsolete
Good news if you make a living with SEO: Google’s John Mueller said he doesn’t see your skillset becoming obsolete.
During a recent Google SEO Search Central hangout, Mueller fielded this question: “What’s your vision for the future of SEO?”
In response, Mueller said this: “I think one of the things that people always worry about is everything around machine learning and that Google’s algorithms will get so far as to automatically understand every website and SEO will be obsolete, nobody will need to do that. I don’t think that will happen.”
And that makes sense. No matter how sophisticated technology gets, there’s always a need for more software developers, IT administrators, and data security professionals.
Mueller also predicted that we’ll see more tools that make SEO easier.
Report: 12% of Google Top Stories Aren’t AMP
According to Newzdash, the Google Top Stories carousel recently displayed 12% of non-AMP URLs.
That’s a first.
And it reinforces what I’ve pointed out in this space repeatedly: Google seems to be shifting away from AMP to focus more on responsive website design.
By the way: that change is expected as a result of Google’s recent algo update. There’s no longer a requirement in place that Google Top Stories must point to AMP links.
— John Shehata (@JShehata) June 29, 2021
Facebook Introduces Conversion Modeling Updates
For starters, Facebook will now allow you to update your campaign focus event without pausing and manually restarting the campaign. That makes it easier to keep your campaigns going while still adapting to performance trends.
Next, the social media company will add estimated conversions to its 7-day click attribution window. That will help you account for data that got lost because of the ATT update.
Finally, Facebook will also add flexibility so you can market to Android users. That’s a nice touch since there’s no ATT update on Android devices.
BuzzSumo Shares Tips on Creating Evergreen Content
The folks behind content marketing tool BuzzSumo recently analyzed more than 3 billion posts to reveal key trends about evergreen content.
If you want to post evergreen content, you should pay attention to their findings.
First, the company found that headlines with these words produce long-lasting content:
And BuzzSumo also offered this bit of advice: find successful evergreen content online and then produce your own 10x content on the same subject.
10x content, by the way, is online content that’s 10 times better than anything about the same topic. Learn all about it here.
Additionally, BuzzSumo says you should convince influencers to share your articles.
Pinterest Bans All Weight Loss Related Ads
This past week, Pinterest announced that it’s banning all ads related to weight loss.
The company had already banned ads with the following types of content:
- Weight loss pills
- Before and after imagery
- Weight loss procedures
- Body shaming imagery
- Unrealistic promises
The new policy bans the following types of content:
- Weight loss imagery
- Testimonials regarding weight loss
- Language that denigrates certain body types
- References to body mass index (BMI)
Pinterest said that will still allow ads that promote healthy lifestyles and habits, such as those coming from fitness products and services. But they can’t promote weight loss.
In making the change, Pinterest seems to be responding to its target market. The company points out that searches for “body neutrality” and “stop body-shaming quotes” have increased significantly.
Norway Now Requires Disclosure on Retouched Photos
Finally, from the land of the Vikings, here’s a bit of news that might start a trend.
Lawmakers in Norway passed new regulations requiring all influencers and advertisers to label retouched photos posted online.
Here’s what you need to know about the new rules: “advertisements where a body’s shape, size, or skin has been retouched – even through a filter before a photo is taken – will need a standardized label designed by the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Family Affairs. Examples of manipulations requiring labeling include enlarged lips, narrowed waists, and exaggerated muscles, but it’s not clear if the same will apply to adjustments of lighting or saturation.”
The rules apply to anyone who “receive[s] any payment or other benefit” by posting the photo.
Officials in Norway admit that it could be difficult to enforce the new regs, though.
View this post on Instagram
Hope you enjoyed the Fourth. Now it’s time to get back to work:
- Make sure you clearly identify retouched photos you post online for marketing purposes. Yes, even if you’re not running the ads in Norway. That “full disclosure” policy is probably going to catch on.
- If you’re in the health and fitness or weight loss space, be careful how you promote your products. Make sure you’re sensitive to people whose workout routines were disrupted thanks to the pandemic.
- Follow BuzzSumo’s advice on creating evergreen content.
- Think about how you can use Facebook’s conversion modeling updates to reach people in your target market.
- If you’re overdoing it with internal links, take a step back. Make sure Google can clearly get an understanding of the nature of your website with your internal linking strategy.
- Think about how you can use the extended TikTok video length to promote your brand.
- Consider how you might use Microsoft’s multimedia ads to reach more people in your target market.