This week: Twitter introduces voice tweets, Snapchat has an ads certification program, and Google bans clickbait ads.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Audio Tweets: Twitter Rolls out Voice Tweets
I guess we’ll all have to wait a little longer for that “edit” feature.
That’s because Twitter engineers are busy with other updates. Like voice tweets. You read that right. You can now tweet your voice.
At first, only a limited number of people using iOs can access the new feature, however, in the coming weeks, everybody will be able to use audio tweets.
If you’ve got access to the voice tweet feature you will see the soundbar icon next to the camera icon when you begin a new tweet. Just tap the new voice tweet icon and then hit the record icon on the new screen that appears.
Each voice tweet will allow for 140 seconds of audio, and if you go over that limit a new voice tweet will be automatically generated and start a thread!
Report: Instagram Will Become a More Popular News Source Than Twitter
Speaking of Twitter, it’s about to take second place to Instagram in terms of the most popular sources for news. That’s according to a 2020 Reuters Digital news report.
The report says that the number of people who look to Instagram for news has doubled since 2018, although it will be interesting to see if Twitter’s new Voice Tweets feature will keep it a relevant social media news source. Users in the 18-24 age range are more likely to get their news from social media instead of a news site, anyways.
However, across all demographics, 11% of users follow Instagram accounts for news. That’s just a single percentage point behind Twitter.
Google: Don’t Use NoFollow Links When Migrating Sites
You should avoid using nofollow links when migrating a site from one domain to another. That’s according to Google’s Gary Illyes.
In fact, it’s more helpful for site owners if Google’s bot can follow the links. Ilyes says Google can discover the new sites much faster that way.
He also said that Google might one day use nofollow links to find malicious sites.
Snapchat Rolls out Ads Certification Program
This past week, Snapchat launched Snap Focus. It’s a training program to help advertisers get the most out of the platform.
“Our new learning portal, Snap Focus, is our most up-to-date resource and destination to learn about the latest and greatest from Snapchat and the community who uses it,” the company said in a statement. “This will help advertisers and agencies master our platform and stay on top of everything Snapchat advertising has to offer.”
The program focuses on six areas of training:
- Intro to Snapchat
- The Snapchat Generation
- Advertising on Snapchat
- Getting Started on Ads Manager
- Creative Best Practices
- Measure and Optimize Campaigns
It’s a great program to consider if you’re trying to reach a younger demographic.
Google: Rankings for News Could Fluctuate for a Year
If you’ve got a new site and notice that it’s doing the Google Dance in the search results for various keywords, don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal.
Google’s John Mueller recently said that it could take as long as a year for the Google search algorithm to determine where to put new sites. In the meantime, you could see rankings bounce around quite a bit.
“So that’s something where I wouldn’t necessarily worry too much about this particular situation,” he said. “I’d continue working on your website, and over time that’s something that should be reflected in search overall.”
Mueller also pointed out that the search algorithm ignores spammy backlinks. So they shouldn’t have any impact on rankings.
Google Bans Clickbait Ads
Starting next month, Google Ads will roll out a new policy that characterizes clickbait ads as misrepresentation.
The new policy covers sensationalist text or imagery that tempts people to click the ad before they have a full understanding of the context.
In other words: say goodbye to the curiosity gap headline.
That’s a shame because some of the most well-known ads throughout history used what we would consider clickbait headlines to encourage people to read the rest of the ad. It looks like we’ll have to find another way to get people to our landing pages.
Google Bans Demographic, Zip Code Targeting for Employment, Credit, Housing Ads
Google won’t let people use its platform to discriminate. The company is prohibiting employment, credit, and housing advertisers from targeting users on the basis of demographics or location.
According to Google, the changes will roll out in the U.S. and Canada “as soon as possible.”
Google already prohibits targeting on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
Affected advertisers will get notified shortly about the change.
May Ecommerce Sales Top 2019 Holiday Sales
The recovery may, indeed, be here.
According to Adobe’s latest Digital Economy report, online shopping in April and May exceeded ecommerce spend during the 2019 holiday season by 7%.
Additionally, the April/May digital sales posted a year-over-year gain of $52 billion.
Further, BOPIS (or “buy online, pickup in store”) growth is up 195% but seems to be leveling off these days. Growth peaked at 200% in April.
Another survey found that almost a quarter (23%) of consumers prefer the BOPIS model.
Google: Bounce Rate Is Still Not a Ranking Factor
Google confirms it yet again: bounce rate isn’t a ranking factor.
This past week, John Mueller reiterated that Google doesn’t use its own analytics bounce rate data to determine the rank of a site.
“I think there’s a bit of misconception here that we’re looking at things like the analytics bounce rate when it comes to ranking websites, and that’s definitely not the case,” he said.
In the past, Google said that bounce rate is a noisy signal.
Google: We Don’t Use YouTube Links for Search
Google’s John Mueller confirmed this past week that Google doesn’t use YouTube links for search.
They’re nofollow links, anyway. So this should come as no surprise.
Mueller also added the people would probably be annoyed if you spam their comments section with links to your site.
Google: Make All Guest Post Links Nofollow
It seems as though Google is really cracking down on guest post links lately.
This past week, John Mueller revised and extended his previous remarks about guest posts by saying that all guest posts, whether they’re paid for or not, should be nofollow.
So if you’re guest-blogging to try to boost your rank, you should make the link on your post nofollow.
That, of course, pretty much defeats the purpose of guest-posting in the first place.
It’s likely that not too many SEOs will take this advice to heart, but be advised that one day Google will probably crack down on guest-posting.
Report: Local SEOs Most Focused on Link Building, Content Development
Speaking of link-building, it looks like that’s a favorite pastime of Local SEOs.
According to a recent survey of 1,300 local marketing agencies, 18% of local strategists want to invest more in local link building. That’s followed by content development (15%), and on-site optimization (13%).
Further, the survey found that 80% of Local SEOs buy ads on Google. That’s a 10% increase from last year.
When asked which search feature they’re most focused on, they responded:
- Featured snippets
- Local packs
- Google Business Profile
Seventy-seven percent of those polled said they believe that Google Business Profiles are the new home page for local businesses.
Here are a few action items you can pick up based on this week’s news:
- If you’re running any clickbait ads, think about how you can get those precious clicks with different headlines.
- If you’re trying to reach a young audience online, take the Snap Focus course. You might find some great ways to reach people on Snapchat.
- Think about how you can use voice tweets to boost your brand.
- Since Instagram is becoming the go-to place for news on social media, think about ways you can reach people who follow news reports on that platform.