Tag: google news

Digital Marketing News, Insights and Updates from April 2021

April was an eventful month for digital marketing. As always Google launched a number of interesting features for Search, Maps and Web Stories while social media platforms continue to keep us on our toes with new updates to compete with ClubHouse app.

We’ve summed up the most important:

Digital Marketing News, Insights and Updates from April 2021

1. Search Marketing News

  • Microsoft rolls out new price comparison beta

Microsoft has announced a number of new features for Microsoft Advertising. One of the most interesting ones is the price comparison that allows sites that use Microsoft shopping features to be eligible to show in the flyout panel that delivers discount codes. 

Microsoft Price Comparison

The price comparison will appear within the toolbar of the panel when users browse and save a product on Edge or Collection. They would have to click on it to view the price comparison results. 

This new feature by Microsoft is so interesting for retailers because they can offer relevant information to their target audience while they browse other retailers’ sites and with no extra effort from their part. The listing will grab the information from existing catalogs from Microsoft Merchant Center which means no additional work is required from businesses that already have created shopping campaigns. 

The cherry on top is that, since this new feature is in beta testing, Microsoft won’t charge advertisers for the clicks they obtain through price comparison! Right now it’s only available on desktops in the US on Edge browser. 

  • Google adds 3 new travel-oriented features to search results

Google is very well-known from listening and adapting to users’ needs. That’s why due to a recent increase in travel related queries, they have announced to add 3 new features to search results in the intent of helping people plan their next vacation during pandemic times. Google stated: 

As vaccines become more available, many people are eager to start planning vacations again. We’re seeing more searches for travel-related destination information — like travel restrictions by country and where to travel, which both recently hit all-time highs. 

When looking for travel information like hotels, flights or things to do, Search will show results regarding Covid-19 related advisories on destination. Additionally, they’re adding more detailed information regarding if you need to comply with quarantine requirements or show test results proof.

Google Ads 3 Features to Search Travel

If users are logged in their Google accounts, they can choose to receive email notifications about restrictions updates from their selected destination by toggling “Receive an email if this guidance changes.”. These updates are country specific and will include information regarding any change on lifted or reduced restrictions. 

  • Google lets users talk directly to them to fix indexing issues

As we said earlier about Google: they always have users in mind. That’s why they created a new feature that allows webmasters to communicate with them to solve indexing issues they can’t figure out by themselves.

Google Report Indexing Issue

Webmasters can now get directly in touch with Google’s search team to report any indexing problem they can’t find an answer to in the “community forums and support documentation.” The new feature is accessible in the footer of the URL inspection help document and indexing coverage report document,  as a pilot only in the US.

Webmasters that want to access the reporting issue form need to have a verified Search Console account. Once there, they’ll need to answer a series of questions that try to help the user fix the issue by himself step by step before submitting to Google.

Digital Marketing News April 2021

This solution is aimed to help SEOs fix indexing issues that aren’t related to quality or technical issues within the website, but rather with Google Search. 

2. Marketing Tech Updates

  • WordPress plugin for Google Web Stories Updated

Even though there’s still some debate on whether web stories are worthy of our time and effort or not, new features keep coming and Google has updated their official Google Web Stories WordPress plugin with a feature that allows to embed content on webpages.

Google Web Stories WordPress Plugin

The plugin had many options available for content creators, but the ability to embed web stories was still missing until now. The new feature allows to do this very easily and also offers the possibility to embed web stories from other sites.

The process is very simple:

  • Insert a Web Stories block

Digital Marketing News April 2021

  • Select the type of Web Stories you want to to embed:
    • Latest Stories: display the most recent stories. The list will update automatically as new stories are published.
    • Selected Stories: display a list of handpicked stories.
    • Single Story: embed one single story by URL.
  • Choose if you want to to display the Web Stories as a carousel, a grid, or a list.
  • WordPress wants to block Google FLoC

Google’s FLoC (Federal Learning of Cohorts) solution for a cookieless internet has been raising some eyebrows. Even though Google has stated that this new tracking system is safe and much less privacy-invasive than 3rd party cookies, some don’t agree. 

Recently WordPress made their opinion very clear and proposed to block Google’s FLoC by default on all websites created with the platform. WordPress considers Google’s alternative for third party cookies a security concern:

Why is this bad? As the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains in their post “Google’s FLoC is a terrible idea“, placing people in groups based on their browsing habits is likely to facilitate employment, housing and other types of discrimination, as well as predatory targeting of unsophisticated consumers.

This is in addition to the privacy concerns of tracking people and sharing their data, seemingly without informed consent – and making it more difficult for legislators and regulators to protect people.

This is a proposal from a WordPress developer and website admins who do want to allow FLoC on their site, can override the code. Google said that they appreciate the community taking part on this initial test of their proposal and that they will adjust accordingly to all the comments received. 

  • HubSpot acquires media company The Hustle and expands their CRM Platform with the launch of Operations Hub

The giant CRM platform announced they signed an agreement to acquire The Hustle, a media company that produces newsletter, podcast, and premium research content. Their objective is to keep offering their community very valuable and relevant content through a more diverse set of media:

For many customers, their first introduction to HubSpot is through our educational blog, Academy, and YouTube content, not our software (…) By acquiring The Hustle, we’ll be able to better meet the needs of these scaling companies by delivering educational, business, and tech trend content in their preferred formats.

With this move they show they’re listening to their audience and giving them what they want. HubSpot is betting for content marketing as their main strategy to reach out and get in touch with their target: entrepreneurs, startups, and scaling companies.

Hubspot Operations Hub

Keeping up with this in mind, they also announced they are expanding its suite with the launch of Operations Hub. The objective is to make companies’ lives a little easier by automating processes, unifying data and aligning teams’ purposes. 

With Operations Hub, users can unify customer data in a connected CRM platform, automate a host of time-consuming tasks, maintain a clean database with ease, and ultimately, play an active role in shaping their company’s strategy. 

 With the Operations Hub they want to include operations teams to the heart of the platform and help companies have seamless inner interactions. Hubspot believes that companies have to run better on the inside in order to offer a great customer experience, and the way to do so is for team members to work together in a unified CRM.

Operations Hub joins CMS Hub, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub as part of the HubSpot CRM platform.

3. Social Media Marketing Updates

  • Facebook and Instagram let business schedule stories

Last September Facebook introduced Facebook Business Suite. It’s an all-in-one platform designed for businesses to manage their social media activity from Instagram, Messenger and Facebook. Since the launch new features are being added constantly.

More recently a new capability was added in which businesses are now able to schedule stories on both Instagram and Facebook. Scheduling posts has always been a desired feature for any social media manager, since it helps plan ahead, save lots of time and maintain community engagement.

Facebook Business Suite Schedule Stories

By going to “Create Story” on Home, or by navigating to the “Posts & Stories” tab on the Business Suite app on iOS,Android or desktop, businesses can create and schedule stories very easily. 

It doesn’t end here. Facebook also added a feature that allows users to edit scheduled posts. If users wish to, they can access the “Scheduled Posts”section, select the post they wish to edit, choose “Edit Post” , make the changes and save it. In some time, they will also add a feature to Create and Manage Albums and Save Posts in Drafts. 

  • Reddit announces Clubhouse competitor Reddit Talk

Clubhouse appearance has shocked the social media world and now almost all platforms are preparing to launch their own version of the audio-only chat rooms wonder. We already talked about Facebook’s option, Twitter Spaces and now it’s Reddit’s turn with Reddit Talk

Reddit announced the intention to join the only-audio social media hype with their own version. It seems to be in very early stages of testing periods but the platform has invited moderators to join a waiting list, which indicates that they are moving pretty fast on the subject.

Reddit Talk Digital Marketing Updates April 2021

The moderators will be able to start talking immediately and they can invite redditors to participate as listeners. It will be available for both Android and iOS devices unlike Clubhouse which is only available for iOS with many interesting features:

We’re testing ways for hosts to customize the look and feel of Reddit Talk through emojis and background colors. Redditors can change their avatar’s appearance to fit the talk as well. We’re also exploring features to support AMAs and other types of conversations.

Moderators will have complete control over the rooms, being able to invite, remove and mute listeners. Reddit is really focusing on creating a complete experience for each room. 

  • Twitter launches test of a new profile type called Professional Profiles

The new Professional Profiles will provide businesses a new way to present themselves on the social media platform:

Professional Profiles are a new tool that will allow businesses, non-profits, publishers, and creators – anyone who uses Twitter for work – to display specific information about their business directly on their profile. We’re starting with a small pool of businesses in the U.S. and will give more accounts access to Professional Profiles in the coming months.

Twitter Professional Profiles

This new layout for professionals shows different information than regular profiles. It includes address and contact information and other elements like products displays, image galleries and business categories are being developed for the future. 

They’re starting to test with only a handful of businesses while taking notes to make the new Professional Profiles exactly what Twitter users expect them to be. 

To sum up!

It seems to be like digital marketing news from April 2021 are all tied together by the common thread of complying with users expectations and improving user experience. Google, HubSpot, Twitter and Facebook updates are all aiming into pleasing people’s needs with features that help them improve their working processes. 

Which new feature or update caught your attention the most? 

Make sure you check out:

Digital Marketing Insights and Updates from January 2021

It’s already been a whole month of 2021. We lived a very different holiday season with restrictions due to Covid pandemic, and most of us did all of our holiday shopping online for the first time. Online sales skyrocketed in December 2020, reaching records with over a 30% increase spent. 

This means, digital marketing professionals have to analyse and adjust their strategies to keep up with this fast growing pace. Being up to date with the latest digital marketing news and trends is completely essential. January 2021 has arrived with a lot of interesting updates and we’re here to sum them up for you. 

Digital marketing insights and updates from January 2021

1. Search Marketing Updates

New look and feel for Google Search on mobile devices

Mobile users account for approximately half of world wide web traffic and the number keeps going up. Each year, more people use mobile devices to browse the Internet and, being as user-centered as always, Google is focused on improving their experience as much as possible and launched an update to the design and interface of mobile Search.

Digital Marketing Updates January 2021

The new look is aimed to offer an easier to read interface with a cleaner design. “We wanted to take a step back to simplify a bit so people could find what they’re looking for faster and more easily,” says Google’s designer Aileen Cheng.

There are five aspects that drove the redesign:

  • Making information the main character: Google aimed at making the information the center of attention. They want users to get the result they searched for as clearly and quickly as possible by minimizing the elements around it.
  • Making the text easier to read: Google decided to change fonts, make the texts larger and bolder. The goal is to make the Search results easier and faster to scan so people can understand them better.
  • More space: another change is that results are now shown edge-to-edge with more white space and less shadows to make it less cluttered.
  • Highlighting with color: Google decided to use color intentionally to guide the user’s eyesight to what’s important. Contrasting color with clean, white backgrounds helps important information stand out.
  • Bubblier design: all of Google’s design is aiming to roundness and they wanted to incorporate this look and feel into the new mobile Search results design interface by rounding edges of icon and images.

Google adds a “price drop” tag to search results

Google made some important changes to its Product Structured Data page that allows search rich results to display price drops. Google uses organised information taken from websites to feed content and display it in the rich results section of search. The purpose of this data is to be eligible to communicate specific information about a web site to be shown in the rich search results.

Digital Marketing Updates Google Price Drop Appeareance

A product, for example, has “Product Structure Data” that contains information about images, reviews, shipping, price and offers. The new feature Google is implementing is called “Price Drop Appearance”, and tracks the price used for the “Offer” schema structured data within the product.

By tracking this information, Google will add the rich result “Price Drop Appearance” when detecting there’s been a price drop. According to Google this new feature is going to “Help people understand the lowest price for your product. Based on the running historical average of your product’s pricing”.

In order to be eligible for the price drop appearance, you just have to add an Offer to the Product structured data and the price has to be a specific number, not a range.

2. Marketing Tech Updates

Google’s alternative to third-party cookies available Q2 2021

As you surely know by now, Google is eliminating third-party cookies for good very soon. This effort into building a more secure internet experience for users, where privacy comes first, is creating major concerns in the digital marketing world. But Google’s not to leave marketers helpless and is currently developing a series of alternatives for third-party cookies.

This is where the Privacy Sandbox initiative comes in, and Google finally shared some insight on its development. The initial proposal was that Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) would group people with similar interests without identifying them individually:

Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) proposes a new way for businesses to reach people with relevant content and ads by clustering large groups of people with similar interests. This approach effectively hides individuals “in the crowd” and uses on-device processing to keep a person’s web history private on the browser. – Google Blog

Google is making this third-party cookies alternative available for advertisers to test in Q2 2021. They have been running tests already and state to have very promising results and say “advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising”.

The solution aims to provide both users, publishers and advertisers a solution that satisfies their needs by making the web a more secure environment that respects privacy over all things. Google has made a available a Whitepaper that outlines the FLoC’s principles if you want to run your own simulations.

Apple rolls out new privacy feature on iOs 14

Apple is riding the wave of an user-privacy oriented internet and it’s rolling out a new initiative with an upcoming iOS14 update. The App Tracking Transparency will require users to give their permission for apps to track their personal data across other apps or websites owned by other companies.

Digital Marketing Updates January 2021 Digital Marketing Updates January 2021

Every app, including the ones from Apple, will be required to ask user’s for their permission to track their activities beyond the use of the app. Users will be able to access their privacy settings at any time, see which apps have requested permission and make changes if they want to.

“Privacy means peace of mind, it means security, and it means you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your own data,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

Apps can continue tracking user’s activities as they’ve always done before, they’ll just need to ask for permission now. This iOS14 update will come early spring in March of 2021.

Google might not show teasers in web stories

We all are familiar with stories, maybe too familiar since every social media platform has added its own version: Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Stories, Fleets on Twitter, Whatsapp Stories and so on. Web Stories are basically the same thing, but shown in the Google Discover Tab of their mobile app.

Marketers and overall publishers have been including them on their marketing mix as additional channel to communicate and engage with their audience. However, Google has detected some “bad practices” and released an article stating that they’ll stop ranking teaser stories.

According to Google, they’ve discovered that users don’t want to see content that teases them and essentially works like ads to redirect them to other content. They say “Readers don’t like to feel forced to click through to a connected blog post to finish reading”.

With this in mind, Google shared a few dos and don’ts for optimizing Web Stories strategies and content. Being kind of a new channel, it’s understandable that we’re still discovering how to really profit from it and these tips might help with that:

  • Focus on creating quality content
  • Showcase a product and share link to where you can buy them
  • Tell a complete story that inspires users to dig a little deeper
  • Create the same story that connects to an article about the same topic, but with a different angle
  • Don’t tease the audience with uncompleted content they have to click-through to finish

3. Social media updates

Clubhouse: The invite-only new social media everyone is talking about

Clubhouse is a new social media platform where users share audio-only content instead of images or text posts. It was launched in 2020 by Alpha Exploration Co. and valued at $100 millions by December 2020.

Digital Marketing Updates January 2021

BERLIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 26: The invitation-only audio-chat social networking app clubhouse is pictured on a smartphone on January 26, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

It’s an invite-only platform, which means you can’t join unless an existing user sends you an invitation. The app has audio chat rooms users can join and participate, or create their own. The owner of the virtual room decides who can speak and participants can raise their hand to join the conversation.

The themes of the chat rooms vary from politics, books discussions, comedy shows, debates or simple impromptu conversations. Each person gets one invite when invited by another friend, and after a while you get 3 more. You also have to be an iPhone user, since the app is only available for iOs.

Twitter acquired newsletter platform Revue

Twitter wants to offer writers, publishers and creators new ways to share their content. They have been exploring for monetization means and newsletters have always been a valid option. With this in mind, the social media platform has acquired Revue, a Dutch startup that allows content creators to send and monetize editorial newsletters.

Digital Marketing Updates January 2021

The main goal here is to encourage publishers to keep creating content with the incentive of monetization, while helping audiences connect with their favorite content creators.

Many established writers and publishers have built their brand on Twitter, amassing an audience that’s hungry for the next article or perspective they Tweet. Our goal is to make it easy for them to connect with their subscribers, while also helping readers better discover writers and their content.

Twitter informed that they’ll continue working with Revue as a standalone and make the platform’s pro features free for all users, while lowering the paid newsletter fee to 5%.

LinkedIn launches “LinkedIn Marketing Labs” on-demand courses

LinkedIn has launched a free new learning platform called LinkedIn Marketing Labs. It’s about online, on-demand video courses to teach marketing professionals how to use LinkedIn ad tools. It’s LinkedIn strategy to face the controversial and divided opinions marketers have about the effectiveness of ads within the platform.

The courses cover everything from a basic introduction to LinkedIn Ads, how to target audience, reporting and analytics.

  • 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

The courses are curated by experts and you can tailor them to fit your own needs. Customer Marketing Manager from LinkedIn, Renee Lowe said that “there’s an art to using LinkedIn advertising tools, but there’s a science behind it as well.” She states that all marketing professionals, regardless of their knowledge of LinkedIn advertising tools, can benefit from the courses.

The courses are already available and users will be directed to the most interesting courses for them, based on the answers of a short form when accessing Marketing Labs.

We’ll keep tracking the most important digital marketing updates and insights every month! In the meantime, you might like:

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