This week: Core Web Vitals will soon become a ranking factor, TikTok could set a new milestone next year, and there are more problems with WordPress.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Snapchat Offers New Ads Certification Courses
Snapchat is adding more advertising courses to its education program. The new courses include free certifications.
The program, dubbed Snap Connect, lets you learn from Snapchat subject-matter experts.
Specifically, you can learn about how to:
- Send customers to an ecommerce app or website
- Promote an app to get more installs
- Build awareness about a mobile game
The certification courses are in video format.
Search Ad Spending Continues to Grow
The pandemic isn’t slowing down search ad spending.
Digital marketers increased spending on search ads to the tune of 5.9% in 2020, according to a report from eMarketer.
That’s a change from eMarketer’s previous forecast, which predicted a drop in search ad spending as a result of travel industry woes.
However, consumer ecommerce remained strong through the COVID-19 pandemic. That helped spur demand for ad space in search results.
Additionally, eMarketer forecasts that the increased online ad spend is far from over.
Still, digital ad spend currently grows at a slower pace than it did before the pandemic.
Google Webmasters Is Now Google Search Central
Google Webmasters has rebranded. It’s now Google Search Central.
Why? Because Google says that the word “webmaster” is out of vogue.
“A user experience study we ran revealed that very few web professionals identify themselves as webmasters anymore,” Google said in a statement. “They’re more likely to call themselves Search Engine Optimizer (SEO), online marketer, blogger, web developer, or site owner, but very few ‘webmasters.’”
Note: the mission of Search Central will remain the same as the mission of the old Google Webmasters. It’s to help SEOs improve site visibility.
Google will also consolidate its blogs and documentation on one site.
Core Web Vitals Will Become a Ranking Signal in May
If your site isn’t optimized for Core Web Vitals, you’d better get busy. Otherwise, you might soon lose rank.
According to Google, Core Web Vitals will become a ranking signal in May 2021.
“We’re announcing that page experience ranking signals for Google Search will launch in May 2021,” the Google Search Central account tweeted. “This will combine Core Web Vitals and previous UX-related signals.”
Core Web Vitals is a term for a set of page experience measurements, such as:
- The time it takes a page to load its main content
- The time it takes a page to become interactive
- The amount that a page shifts after loading
Google will also reward pages that comply with Core Web Vitals guidelines by labeling them in search results.
WordPress Ultimate Member Plugin Reports Vulnerability
Seems like I’ve been covering WordPress plugin security issues a lot lately. Here’s another one.
Ultimate Member plugin developers recently patched the software to fix “critical and severe vulnerabilities.”
According to reports, the threat was easy to exploit. It gave the attacker admin access.
Here’s how Wordfence described the threat: “This vulnerability is considered very critical as it makes it possible for originally unauthenticated users to easily escalate their privileges to those of an administrator. Once an attacker has administrative access to a WordPress site, they have effectively taken over the entire site and can perform any action, from taking the site offline to further infecting the site with malware.”
The plugin is essentially a tool that creates a social media platform on a WordPress website.
LinkedIn Releases New Marketing Guides
Here’s some good news if you’re in the B2B space: LinkedIn recently published three new guides to help you get the most out of the platform.
Each guide covers a separate topic:
- Building your brand
- LinkedIn advertising
- Driving more leads
“The ‘Read Me’ series by LinkedIn is a trilogy of essential guides that will equip you with insights into our platform, its features and functionalities, and how you can best leverage these to achieve your marketing objectives, no matter what they are.,” LinkedIn said in a statement.
The guides are fairly visual. So if you like to learn via infographic, you should get a lot out of them.
WordPress 5.6 Might Break Sites
More bad news if you use WordPress for content management: the next version of the software might break your website.
That’s because WordPress v5.6, slated for release next month, will render the jQuery Migrate Helper plugin “useless.”
As you might recall, people experienced a similar problem with WordPress 5.5. In fact, it was really just the same issue.
If you’re not using the jQuery Migrate Helper plugin, this update shouldn’t affect your site.
Report: TikTok Will Surpass 1 Billion Users Next Year
According to App Annie, TikTok will achieve a new milestone in 2021: one billion users.
“TikTok has seen sharp growth in active users by amassing a sizable global footprint in 2020 — nearly tripling in size since 2018,” App Annie said in a statement. “In 2021, we expect TikTok to not only achieve a coveted spot in the 1 Billion monthly active users club, but to sail straight past to 1.2 billion.”
Additionally, App Annie holds the title as the second-highest consumer spend among non-gaming apps in Q3 2020.
Some more good news for TikTok: it’s doubtful that the incoming Biden administration will pursue the app ban sought by the Trump administration. As a result, TikTok’s user base is set to soar here in the U.S.
Some things to do before you get your Thanksgiving menu ready:
- Consider how you can promote your brand on TikTok, as it looks like that app is here to stay.
- If you’re in the B2B space, go over those LinkedIn marketing guides. You might find some nuggets of info that will help you expand your reach on that platform.
- If you’re using WordPress, avoid upgrading until the newest version of the software has been “tested” by other people who are willing to take a chance with it. Avoid jeopardizing your own site just to have the latest and greatest.
- If you have the Ultimate Member plugin, upgrade to the latest version so that you don’t expose your website to hackers.
- If you haven’t yet optimized your website for Core Web Vitals, get on that yesterday. You’ll lose rank in May if you don’t.
- Take a look at those Snapchat ad courses. You might find some great ways to reach young people.