Clicktrust

The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – March 2020

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

General: Data, Privacy & more

Reducing digital marketing due to COVID-19? Read this first

– Search Engine Land

“On the flip side, bids in many industries are lower than they’ve ever been. This is likely due to advertisers making fewer bids and cutting their budgets. But if your company is selling product/services that still have demand at this time, you should be looking to maximize your ad spend. Just make sure you keep a close eye on your ROAS.”


The new contextual ad targeting works, study says

– Search Engine Land

“Overall, the contextually relevant ads generated 43% more neural engagement and 2.2 times better ad recall, according to the study. They were also somewhat (10%) more engaging than the article content overall. Finally, the study concluded that the contextually relevant ads inspired a statistically significant increase in purchase intent.
The study was designed by GumGum, a contextual advertising company that uses computer vision and NLP to analyze the text, images and videos that appear on a web page (yes, it has skin in this game) and conducted by neuroanalytics company SPARK Neuro.”


COVID-Consumers: Pessimistic, but spending more online

– Search Engine Land

“Generally, the survey finds significant increases in at-home activities, particularly cooking at home, watching television, browsing social media and exercising at home.
In addition, the survey found that online spend is also on the rise, growing 10%-30% across grocery and non-grocery purchases.”


How B2B companies can be proactive about managing paid media during COVID-19

– Search Engine Land

“To navigate this changing landscape, make sure your brand continues to deliver value while building a pipeline for the future that isn’t tone deaf to the crisis.”


Safari Announces Full 3rd Party Cookie Blocking

– Search Engine Journal

“Apple announced that Safari is now fully blocking 3rd party cookies.
Apple didn’t provide guidance specific to Google Analytics. However, because Google Analytics is a third party that users haven’t opted into as a first party, presumably Google Analytics cookies may be blocked. This is something that will need to be tested.”


For Brands, Now Is Not The Time For Social Distancing

– AdExchanger

“For many brands, the immediate response to advertising during bad times is to retreat to avoid potential negative brand association. This is understandable, especially in an acute but temporary crisis. But in the current situation, which is protracted and unfolding before a captive global digital audience, strategic invisibility may be the wrong choice.”


Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

Google turns on ‘mark a business temporarily closed’ for business owners on GMB

– Search Engine Land

“Google announced that Google Search and Maps will start showing whether a business is temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus crisis. This followed an earlier directive to local businesses to update hours and other relevant content in Google My Business.”


Google My Business: When should you use ‘special hours’ vs. ‘temporarily closed’?

– Search Engine Land

“If your business has adjusted hours or is temporarily closed for a short period of time (less than two weeks), you should use special hours. For longer extended closures, two weeks or more, you should use the temporarily closed status if you’re able to.”


Google: Marking a Business ‘Temporarily Closed’ Doesn’t Impact Rankings

– Search Engine Journal

“Google’s Danny Sullivan confirms that marking a Google My Business listing as temporarily closed will not harm rankings or visibility.”


Winners and losers: How COVID-19 is affecting search behavior

– Search Engine Land

“Social distancing has resulted in wild click behavior swings across sectors including grocers, productivity tools, restaurants and hotels.”


YouTube Ad Revenues, Creative Output May Grow During Coronavirus

– Search Engine Journal

“As digital media buyers and strategists navigate the unknown in the coming months, one possible platform winner may be emerging: YouTube.
There has been ongoing concern that a drop in CPMs would be the natural consequence of advertisers pulling back ad dollars until the situation is more under control and consumer confidence is restored.
However, there is speculation something positive is actually causing it: a drastic increase in user consumption, providing more ad revenue than there typically is.”


Are Google’s Featured Snippets Stealing Clicks? It’s Complicated

– Search Engine Journal

“While this number is based on mobile searches and includes content that would have usually never seen clicks in the first place, what remains is still a more than significant percentage of what most SEO professionals claim they deserve for all their efforts.”


Why Using Conversions Imported From Analytics to Google Ads Does Not Actually Make Sense

– Search Engine Journal

“It is OK if you use imported conversions as additional data (“not included in conversions”). But for optimization and bid strategies, you should instead use Google Ads conversion tracking.”


Social: Facebook, Instagram & others

FDA Decides It’s Time to Study Influencer Marketing — Is This a Good Thing?

– Adleaks

“At this point, nobody really knows to what extent these studies and newly crafted laws around the world will impact influencer marketing, but we can all expect more regulation in the future.”


Will Facebook’s massive usage increases (eventually) turn into revenue?

– Search Engine Land

“The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day. But it immediately qualified that statement. The increased usage wasn’t tied to a corresponding increase in ad revenue.”


3 days ago
Jochen Fostie


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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – February 2020

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

General: Data, Privacy & more

Future-Proofing Audience Strategies As Cookies Crumble

– AdExchanger

“But that doesn’t mean it’s necessary to switch back to contextual targeting and last-click attribution. There are other cookieless use cases to consider as marketers are forced to take a new approach to first-party data.
That also does not mean all forms of audience planning and measurement are dead. Demographic, in-market and affinity data from the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Pinterest will still be available, because they are first-party by design, and unlike audiences, you buy from data providers, they are free of charge. Retargeting and look-alike strategies will also weather the storm, as long as they rely on cookieless signals and CRM onboarding.
View-through attribution and omnichannel measurement will not go away, but they will only come from walled garden-specific first-party data integration and clean rooms such as Google’s Ads Data Hub and the Amazon Marketing Cloud. “


Planning For Safari Can Prepare Advertisers For Chrome’s Future

– Think with Google

“Advertisers have a prime opportunity to test non-behavioral targeting strategies right now, thanks to Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP).
Successful Safari strategies will likely give the cookieless a central role in the targeting and buying strategy. While there’s no need to completely abandon cookies, at least not yet, adopting this kind of thinking in Safari can prepare advertisers for the coming large-scale changes.”


Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

How to Structure a PPC Campaign in the Age of Automation

– Search Engine Journal

“Automation doesn’t require simpler account structures. We still need to run the structures that make sense for our business. If anything, we should devote more time to measuring conversions correctly rather than wrangling account structures into some weird shape we think will help the machines.”


Google mobile-first indexing to be applied to all sites within a year

– Search Engine Land

“Google is sending out notices via Google Search Console with “mobile-first indexing issues detected” alerts. In those emails it communicates the issues Google has when it comes to moving that site over to mobile-first indexing. It also says “Google expects to apply mobile-first indexing to all websites in the next six to twelve months. “ “


Google is Expanding Shopping Ads to Gmail

– Search Engine Journal

“In an email sent out to Google Ads advertisers, the company says Shopping ads will be eligible to appear on Gmail starting on the week of March 4, 2020. This includes both Product Shopping ads and Showcase Shopping ads. When Shopping ads are rolled out to Gmail, data will be reported under
the Google Display Network. Standard Shopping campaigns will be
automatically enabled to run on Gmail, as long as the campaigns are
opted into “YouTube, Gmail, and Discover.”


How to fight back against excessively deep pagination and regain rankings

– Search Engine Journal

“Use categories or tags to cross link so that you have a handful paginated pages per type, from where you link to the blog posts. Keep a good & balanced hierarchy, not too flat, not too deep.”


Optimization scores, recommendations and their impact on Google Partner agencies

– Search Engine Land

” “Over the years, we’ve all seen various automated scorecards used by aggressive SEO or PPC agencies when they audit a company’s marketing efforts. Typically these things are meant to find fault and to achieve a specific goal [that’s] not 100% aligned with the client’s objectives,” said Andrew Goodman, founder and president of digital marketing agency Page Zero Media, which has Google Premier Partner status. “Google’s scorecards are a highly sophisticated version of the same phenomenon. Recommendations as aids to busy / stretched account managers are certainly a good idea.” His concern comes in using them to judge account or agency performance. That “is jumping the gun, IMO,” said Goodman. “


Google Explains Gradual Declines in Ranking

– Search Engine Journal

“In a Webmaster Hangout Google’s John Mueller answered why a site might be gradually losing traffic. Once you know the reasons you’ll be better positioned to take action to reverse a traffic decline.”


Google’s new treatment of nofollow links has arrived

– Search Engine Land

“As of Sunday, Mar. 1, Google is treating the nofollow link attribute as a hint, rather than a directive, for crawling and indexing purposes. Google is already treating all link attributes (sponsored, UGC and nofollow) as hints for ranking purposes and has been doing so since it made the original announcement in September. “


Does Word Count Matter for SEO?

– Search Engine Journal

“Reaching a certain word count will not help a page rank better. Stay relevant to users. Relevance for Google is understanding what users mean when they type a keyword and matching that to a page that answers the question. Before writing a single word, check out the search results and try to understand what users mean when they type a search query.”


What happens if you stop doing SEO

– Search Engine Land

“The ugly truth is that it’s hard to reverse momentum once a website starts going in the wrong direction. I am a firm believer that all things online should be scaled as the business grows, SEO included.”


How a newly won partnership in France could signal Google’s broader TV ambitions

– Digiday

“Google has long pitched YouTube as an alternative to traditional TV advertising, but it’s never managed to make a move into the $170 billion global TV ad market itself. But as more linear TV viewing shifts to digital devices and platforms, Google is quietly making inroads on one of the few areas of digital advertising it doesn’t yet conquer.”


6 Reasons to Run Responsive Display Ads (& 2 Reasons Not To)

– Search Engine Journal

“Since 2018, responsive display ads have been the default ad type for the GDN. It might be time to take another look at them — for six good reasons. But at the same, there are two good reasons why you might not want to.”


Paid search marketers can find success with top of funnel campaigns

– Search Engine Land

“Paid search is often thought of as being really low funnel – and it absolutely can be! But it can also span up the funnel and, when done correctly, can even rival other top-of-funnel channels. Targeting informational queries, for instance, is a great way to engage folks that are beginning to look for solutions to their problems – which is a key piece of the Awareness stage. Equally, if not more important, is knowing how to handle the traffic that you receive from top-of-funnel campaigns. Since that traffic is cold, sending those visitors to the same low-funnel CTAs as your other campaigns will likely lead to high bounce rates and low conversion rates.”


Social: Facebook, Instagram & others

Changes to Web and In-Stream Placements

– Facebook

“Starting Apr 11 2020, Audience Network will no longer fill any ad requests to your web and in-stream placements.
We’ve made this decision based on where we see growing demand from our partners, which is in other formats across mobile apps. We also remain committed to moving our mobile app network into bidding.”


3 tips for optimizing paid social campaigns for seasonality

– Search Engine Land

“Planning your paid social campaigns well ahead of your peak periods — whether seasonal, holiday or promotional — help ensure you hit your goals.”


How to tackle rising Facebook CPAs

– Search Engine Land

“With more advertisers and bigger budgets crowding onto Facebook and Instagram, acquisition costs are climbing. Advertisers can make their social ad dollars go further by re-thinking campaign fundamentals. You need to make sure you’re scaling your available inventory for
click-through rates, mirroring your audience, and being dynamic.”


2 weeks ago
Jochen Fostie


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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – January 2020

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

General: Data, Privacy & more

The Marketing Funnel Isn’t Dead, We Just Understand It Better

– Search Engine Journal

“As we consider the concept of the marketing funnel, it’s tempting for us in the midst of the mess we marketers try to track every day, to throw our hands up and exclaim “it’s all chaos!”
However, I would (and have) argued there to still be a purchase intent progression that takes place in the customer journey. “


Google Chrome Will Drop Third-Party Cookies In 2 Years

– AdExchanger

“Third-party cookies – the backbone of programmatic advertising – are not long for this world. Google’s Chrome browser will phase them out in two years.
Google Chrome is betting that its Privacy Sandbox – the privacy-preserving API first unveiled in August – will over the next two years build functionality that replaces third-party cookies.”


DMPs Aren’t Dead, But They Must Continue To Evolve

– AdExchanger

“The DMP is not dead – but the free-for-all days of non-consented, persistent identification and data promiscuity are. What must also die is the near-total disregard for consumer privacy and consent, which reigned supreme in the quest for one-to-one marketing and its associated riches.”


You don’t just need personalization — you need the right personalization

– Think with Google

“Over half of U.S. consumers say they are interested in seeing personalized content when shopping. And they say they are comfortable sharing their information as long as they feel like they’re getting value in return.
A study that we fielded with Ipsos found that shoppers value experiences that: Save them time, Offer value & Surface the right product or service assortment.”


How brands can merge online and offline experiences to drive growth

– Think with Google

“For today’s consumers, shopping doesn’t begin and end in the store. With so many options both in stores and online, digital and video play a huge role in getting people through the door. For example, 80% of people say they typically switch between online search and video when researching products to buy. It’s no wonder, then, that every brand with an online and offline presence is looking for better ways to connect the dots between the two.
The final step in the campaign was measuring its success. In the past, H&R Block connected digital campaigns to digital KPIs, optimizing for what it could squarely measure: online appointments. But this proxy didn’t capture the full picture.”


Top-Down. Always Top-Down!

– Avinash Kaushik

“Taking a top-down approach – Success Delivered, Budget Spent, Executive Affection – helps deliver clarity of purpose for any analysis you do. It reduces the time you and I spend sitting in our Email silo or Display silo or TV silo and thinking our work is God’s gift to the company and going on meaningless analytical journeys.
Big lesson: Just because you can analyze something, don’t. You are magnificent, your time is precious. Find the worthy.”


Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

January Updates to Paid Advertising Platforms

– PPC Hero

“Google: Google implements black “Ad” label and brand icons on the desktop SERP
Google: What: Bid simulator now enabled for Target ROAS, while budget simulator is now available for Maximize Clicks and Maximize Conversions
Microsoft Advertising: Response Search Ads(RSAs) are now available worldwide
Microsoft Advertising: Microsoft sunsetting average position metric”


Google Ads Introduces Bid Simulator Support for Smart Bidding

– Search Engine Journal

“Google Ads is rolling out bid simulator support for the Target ROAS (return on ad spend) bid strategy, as well as a new budget simulator.
This marks the first time bid simulator support has been available for a smart bidding campaign. Previously, bid simulators have only been available for campaigns using manual bidding or Target CPA. “


Would Google’s own marketing team use Smart Shopping Campaigns? (Probably not.)

– Mike Ryan on Linkedin

“Google’s Smart Shopping Campaigns (SSC) have been at the center of tons of heated conversations in recent months. This is partly due to debates about the new campaign type’s pros and cons (increased reach and revenue in exchange for several settings and reports). It’s also due to a wide-scale sales push by Google reps to drive adoption – which has generated controversy among PPC managers. “


Google desktop favicon search results study

– Search Engine Land

“In 2019, Google introduced a new format in mobile search results which included a small “favicon” icon from the website, to the left of the snippet. This week, Google announced that a similar format was being launched in desktop results.”


Social: Facebook, Instagram & others

Now that Facebook lets users clear internet tracks, marketers lose another signal to target ads

– Adage

“Facebook finally rolled out a “clear history” button that lets people erase their online tracks, adding to the potential roadblocks advertisers face targeting consumers as more internet companies lockdown data.”

2 months ago
Jochen Fostie


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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – December 2019

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

General: Data, Privacy & more

The Power of Impression-Based Campaigns to Grow Your Brand

– Search Engine Journal

The title of this article is horrible and cliche in a time when everyone is talking about measurable impact but don’t let that stop you from reading the article. Full of knowledge gems and some nice anecdotes on why creating silo’s between “performance” and “awareness” is just a bad idea. They should be an integrated approach.

“As advertisers, we have the best targeting we have ever had available to us in the history of mankind.
We can literally advertise to our exact persona.
Yet, we insist on trying to drive leads and interest before we ever build awareness. It’s like we all somehow forgot the first part of the funnel.”

Coming Soon: The Demise Of The Brand Vs. Performance Construct

– AdExchanger

“Cliches about marketers on both sides of the divide are unfortunately often true. Brand marketers get excited about brand integrations and seven-figure YouTube masthead buys that grab a lot of attention, while performance marketers are overly obsessed with measuring every dollar.
As we head into 2020, conditions that allowed the brand and performance divide to persist are finally shifting, and marketers can take action. “

DMP Market Entering Period Of Volatility, According To Advertiser Perceptions

– AdExchanger

“DMPs from Oracle, Salesforce and Adobe have always been the most-used platforms in previous Advertiser Perceptions reports, and they still are in the research firm’s latest report, released Wednesday.
But their favor with marketers is either falling or remaining flat, Advertiser Perceptions found.”

The Perfect Rose Bush Distraction

– Avinash Kaushik

When data is presented in your org, the spotlight is on the beautiful rose bush in the front yard. How extraordinary the petals are, how perfect the shade of Mother of Pearl on your flowers, how amazing that YOUR WORK ensured that you had the first rose bush with its own Instagram feed. Everyone is looking, everyone is fawning, proud. Meanwhile, little attention directed to the fact that your entire house is going up in flames!

How important is this thing that I’ve been told relative to all other things I need to know?”

Oversold And Overpromised: Marketers Move Away From DMPs

– AdExchanger

“Marketers tell AdExchanger they have struggled to achieve ROI, often hiring consultants or in-house talent to manage their DMPs. Some went through disruptive rip-and-replace processes only to find that their new DMP providers also had poor match rates, bad integrations and weak connections into paid media.”

The 10 Game-Changing Ad Tech Exits Of The Decade

– AdExchanger

AdExchanger looked at the acquisitions that made the biggest impact in the past decade. Impact can mean many things. Some of these startups flourished under their new owners, showing worth far more than their deal price. Others, purchased during their downfall, reflect the changing winds of ad tech and how companies that were once dominant can swiftly fall from grace.”

Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

 

Google now showing ‘request quotes’ button above local pack on mobile

– Search Engine Land

The request quotes functionality is consistent with Google’s broader effort to make GMB an “engagement” and transactions platform.”

Google now shows carousels of reviews on local business profiles

– Search Engine Land

Google has been spotted displaying reviews in a carousel format, placed more prominently on local business profiles. Review excerpts on Google My Business-powered (GMB) listings are not new; however, this is the first time they are displayed in a scrollable carousel format that may promote viewing more reviews without the user having to click “see all reviews.”

Should Smart Shopping Include More Data? My Rebuttal to The Rebuttal – Part 6: The ZATO Guide to Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

– ZATO Marketing

“I believe Google owes a certain amount of data to the ones paying for the ads. That is, I just want to make sure I have access to the data that I am able to make good decisions by for the good of my clients and business.
But this is the rub, and why we’re having this conversation: We’re all going to disagree on what data is necessary to do our jobs well.”

Pro Tip: Why you should stop using last-click attribution in Google Ads

– Search Engine Land

“Often, people are searching on multiple devices and do extensive browsing and research before making a purchase. Understanding the impact that higher-funnel keywords have on conversions can help better utilize spend, cut out waste and inform other digital marketing channels such as SEO and social media.”
** The article does mix up Google Ads & Google Analytics attribution. It talks about increases in the number of conversions after switching an attribution model which isn’t possible in Google Ads, the total number of conversions would always stay the same inside of Google Ads. For this example, they’re clearly talking about an increase in conversions attributed to Paid Search in Google Analytics. However, the general idea of the article is correct: different attribution models value different stages of the funnel over others.

The big list of 2019 Google search algorithm updates

– Search Engine Land

2019 saw a number of publically disclosed core and other search algorithm updates. Among the many changes of 2019, Google established a naming convention for core updates and brought natural language understanding to search results.

3 months ago
Jochen Fostie


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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – November 2019

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

Data & Privacy

Digital advertising is not the dot com bubble, improper attribution is

– Marketing Land

“In other words, I am positing that paid search advertising itself has not failed, it’s that an understanding of how to use paid search advertising as part of an integrated marketing mix for individual companies has failed. Improper use of attribution has led to an obsession with directly tracked results that over time do not build a brand and incremental sales. They simply re-target (not necessarily remarketing, btw) the same users already in the sales cycle – ad nauseam.”

Apple’s data war could lower the value of ads, say these two major publishers

– AdAge

“Both executives say that they see a difference in the value of ads, depending on whether a reader comes to sites through Apple or Google browsers. Visitors through Apple browser, where cookie tracking is more limited, lead to cheaper ads.”

When Third Comes First

– Adexchanger

“Not all brands have first-party data, and in some advertising categories, first-party doesn’t help growth objectives at all because it reveals information about an existing customer, rather than potential customers where incremental opportunities reside.
Brands should seek a reliable and legitimate provider for the type of data they need, then apply a scientific, analytical approach to selecting the strong data signals they will use as a predictor to reach the right prospects.”

Is digital advertising a lot less effective than the ad industry believes?

– Econsultancy.com

“Put simply, companies are attributing to advertising what likely would have occurred anyway. Using an analogy from the article, there’s a person handing out coupons for discounted pizza in the restaurant itself and advertisers are crediting those coupons for sales even though it’s obvious this conclusion is flawed.”

Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

Google search results eye candy: How users navigate search features and what it means for SEO

– Search Engine Land

Because search-results pages are now so inconsistent from query to query, users are often forced to assess the page before digging in and making a selection,” according to the report. Any given query can surface numerous search features, ranging from rich answers to carousels and everything in between. This assortment of information plays a critical part in shifting the user’s attention across the page. “That means that the layout of a SERP can determine which links get visibility and clicks.”

Misquoted and misunderstood: Why many in the search community don’t believe the WSJ about Google search

– Search Engine Land

“Google aims to ensure that the most relevant and useful search results show up in the organic search results. While Google cannot open-source its search ranking algorithms due to (1) competitive and (2) manipulation reasons, Google does work hard to provide a trusted set of search results for its searchers.”

See the ‘top signals’ informing your Google Ads bidding strategies

– Search Engine Land

“Google’s smart bidding strategies use a host of signals to inform bids with each auction. Now, Google is starting to show which signals are driving performance to optimize bids for people more or less likely to convert.”

Social: Facebook & Instagram & others

Introducing New Brand Safety Controls for Advertisers

– Facebook

While our Community Standards apply to everyone on Facebook, we also have additional policies to hold publishers, creators and advertisers accountable. At the same time, we know that not all businesses are the same and some may want additional controls for placements within publisher content, like in-stream and Instant Articles on Facebook or Audience Network. It’s why we are focused on giving advertisers more transparency and sophisticated tools to suit their brand. Today we are announcing strides in our brand safety controls.”

Social media ads are most effective for inspiring new product research

– Econsultancy.com

This is one part of Econsultancy’s “The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week” linked to above.
“The study assumes that the first action an online shopper will take to express interest in a product can be to click a link to learn more, type in the brand domain direct, or run a search for the product or brand. When it comes to inspiring product research, 23% of survey respondents cited social media ads as the number one most effective form of advertising – out of 11 different common advertising and promotional mediums offered.”

TikTok Is Testing A Self-Serve Ad Platform

– Adexchanger

Advertisers in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the United States can purchase TikTok ads with partially self-serve tech. A pitch deck obtained by Digiday outlines TikTok’s two self-serve business models. The first allows bidding based on cost per click. The second model is based on cost per acquisition, targeting users most likely to convert. Among the usual audience parameters – age, gender and location – advertisers can also target based on device price, interests like beauty or travel and with look-alike segments.

4 months ago
Jochen Fostie


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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – October 2019

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

Data & Privacy

Four strong indicators that your marketing analytics programme will fail

– Econsultancy

“According to Gartner, so far marketers have leveraged only 61% of the functions available in their martech portfolio. The reason? Most organisations lack people, skills and a proper vision for their marketing analytics programme.
Ascend2 research further mirrors that sentiment indicating that 61% of companies originally invested in martech solutions to improve marketing efficiency and marketing ROI. Yet, post-adoption, 47% of respondents still struggle to capture that elusive ROI figure and 40% are far from being as productive as they’d like to be.”

Marketers Are Going Straight To Exchanges For Ultimate Data Transparency

– Adexchanger

“As marketers seek more transparency into their programmatic buys, they’re bypassing their demand-side platforms and going straight to exchanges and publishers to ask for log-level data about the bids they’ve won and lost. Advertisers are planning to use this data to power their buying strategies. Buyers could find pockets of undervalued inventory though log-level analysis and make more intelligent decisions than competitors who don’t have access to this data. Granular pricing information could inform negotiations in direct deals with publishers.

Data Platforms Enable First-Party Data Strategies – But Aren’t A Substitute For One

– Adexchanger

“The framework should provide for adding and removing online and offline data sources, easily integrating into multiple channels well beyond programmatic and setting up data partnerships to fill the data gaps and improve revenue, including the collection of additional data that the user may be willing to provide. It should be independent and not tightly tied to any specific technology partner or platform.”

Some Unsolicited Advice For Surviving The ‘Cookiepocolypse’

– Adexchanger

“The “death of cookies” may be second only to “year of mobile” as ad industry prediction fails. Both forecasts felt tired after too many false starts. The third-party cookie may not be dead just yet, but the increasingly scrutinized piece of code – one which for decades fueled audience buying across the digital landscape – is arguably now on life support.
If you were renting third-party data, you will likely need to build partnerships or some other means of working around the reduced efficacy of the third-party cookie. If you have strong customer (first-party) data, you will need to find partnerships that enable that data to work on third-party sites.”

Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

Is Google’s new BERT technology another nail in traditional SEO’s coffin?

– Econsultancy

As for optimizing content for BERT, Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz suggests that little can and should be done. He pointed to a tweet posted by Google’s Gary Illyes when RankBrain was launched, which stated “you optimize your content for users and thus for rankbrain. that hasn’t changed.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing for search marketers to do. For one, some companies might soon find that as Google’s ability to better understand natural language grows, they have reason to update content that was originally developed for traditional SEO so that it’s better-suited for human consumption.”

Google Ads Rolls Out 2 New Tools for Responsive Search Ads

– Search Engine Journal

“The two new tools include:

  • Performance column: Identify the exact creative assets that are driving results in high volume ad groups. Improve “Low” rated assets, keep “Good” performing assets, and emulate the “Best” performing assets.
  • Ad variations: Google Ads’ ad variations now supports responsive search ads, which lets advertisers run their own ad copy tests.”

Google Ads is Testing New Lead Form Extensions

– Search Engine Journal

“Advertisers can customize lead forms with their own title and description, and indicate which pieces of information they want to ask customers for. ”

Google Ads now showing cart metrics for Shopping campaigns

– Search Engine Land

“Merchants capturing cart data with Google Ads conversion tracking will be able to see additional revenue and profitability data attributed down to the product level. The new metrics, currently in beta, take cross-device conversions into account.”

Google Chrome Will Block Mixed Content

– Search Engine Journal

“Google announced that Chrome browser will begin blocking web pages with mixed content beginning December 2019. Publishers are urged to check their websites to make sure there are no resources that are being loaded using the insecure HTTP protocol.
Mixed content is when a secure web page (loaded through HTTPS) also contains scripts, styles, images or other linked content that is served through the insecure HTTP protocol. This is called mixed content.”

Facebook & Instagram

Facebook is Changing How it Calculates Organic Impressions

– Search Engine Journal

“Facebook pages are likely to see organic impressions go down as a result of changes being made to how impressions are calculated. Facebook is specifically changing how repeat organic page impressions are calculated. Changes will affect the time frame in which organic impressions from the same person are calculated.”

5 months ago
Jochen Fostie


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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – September 2019

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

Data & Privacy

It’s Time For Consumer Choice In The Value Exchange For Content

– Adexchanger

“After 25 years of the commercial internet, two things are clear: People understand the internet, and publishers must be paid for the services they provide. The best path forward isn’t to infantilize the consumer by deciding for them in the name of protection. It’s to let consumers choose the value exchange that they prefer.”

The Demise Of Third-Party Cookies Means Brands And Publishers Must Get Closer To Consumers

– Adexchanger

“While the ramifications are quite serious for many stakeholders, these browser changes will hardly limit the practice of targeted advertising. They simply provide compelling new incentives for both publishers and marketers to move toward a targeting infrastructure built on first-party data acquired through a clear and transparent value exchange.

This is not a problem that can be solved by adding new layers of ad tech. The current landscape of identity solutions is fragmented and labyrinthine. If you name a supply-side platform or DSP, they’ve partnered with a different source to help fuel their ID business. While this new technological layer may seem to solve a short-term problem, it’s only creating a larger gap between the walled gardens and everyone else.”

Publishers Are Abandoning First-Gen DMPs

– Adexchanger

“The reasons are manifold: First-generation DMPs use cookies as their foundation, meaning publishers are seeing huge deteriorations in scale as more cookies are blocked or require consent. DMPs also failed to deliver on the promise to lure in data-hungry buyers, who weren’t interested or weren’t ready to incorporate publisher data. And the tech created more work than publishers were prepared for, meaning expensive DMP investments didn’t generate the promised ROI.”

There’s An Upside To Sharing Our Data

– Adexchanger

“Marketers want to stitch together a narrative about their brand’s performance using impression data from owned, earned and paid media. We desire access to common metrics across all data platforms. We want access to data – which resides within platforms and walled gardens, publishers and media companies and advertiser-owned digital properties – because this information will help reduce media waste and lead to better-informed business decisions.
What if there was a way to share standardized data – in a privacy-compliant way that protects valued customers and respects emerging regulations – while opening up a wealth of valuable data insights?”

Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

Google’s Ad Business Undergoes Massive Reorganization

– Adexchanger

“As part of the reorg, he’s re-visualizing the company as four “concentric circles.” The innermost circle is Google’s owned-and-operated properties, including search and YouTube. The next circle outside of that is Google’s buy-side and sell-side businesses. The two outermost circles span the organization: measurement and privacy.
Google’s network business is in the strange position of being powerful externally but disempowered internally. Externally, it faces complaints from competitors who see it dominating the market – which Hsiao recently denied in a blog post. But internally, its overall revenue importance has slowly diminished. Back in 2010, the network business comprised 30% of Google’s revenue. In the latest earnings, it was just 14% of its revenue – and that’s before it paid out 70% of that revenue to its partners.

Soapbox: ‘Intent’ should be every marketer’s #1 obsession

– Search Engine Land

“Google’s ranking algorithm might remain a mystery, but it’s always surprising to me that all marketers don’t rally around the same important concept as the most crucial of all: intent. By “intent,” I mean both user intent and what I call “creation intent.” That is, we should always be focused on what people are looking for and why we’re creating something because where those two elements meet is where the most successful content lies. Don’t get me wrong: There are other important elements, of course, like quality backlinks and keyword optimization, which can greatly boost your chance of ranking highly.”

Search query reports show a huge increase in Google close variant traffic

– Search Engine Land

“Close variant performance can vary by advertiser, campaign, keyword and specific close variant match. While most advertisers see these matches convert at meaningfully lower rates than true exact matches for non-brand keywords, some actually see higher conversion rate from close variants looking at this comparison account-wide. However, there’s likely no account where close variants are so relevant and tightly related to all the keywords being triggered that advertisers should simply allow them to take their course.”

September Updates to Paid Advertising Platforms

-PPC Hero

Accelerated delivery to be removed in favor of Standard Delivery
Add store visit to Smart Bidding
Instagram testing Shopping Posts as Ads
Search Ads 360 introduces auction-time bidding for Google Search Campaigns”

Facebook & Instagram

The Rise of Social Commerce – and What it Means for Your Brand

– Social Media Today

“With more social platforms looking to integrate direct, on-platform selling tools, social commerce looks to be the next major retail shift.”

#SMTLive Recap: Facebook’s Recent Updates

– Social Media Today

“Even people outside the social media marketing sphere have heard about all the changes coming to Facebook over the past few weeks. From the Facebook news tab, to Instagram and Facebook removing total like counts, to the Instagram scheduling option on Creator Studio, to ad targeting restrictions, these massive updates have been kind of hard to miss.”

6 months ago
Jochen Fostie


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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – August 2019

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

Data & Privacy

RTB RIP? The Writing Could Be On The Wall For Real-Time Bidding In Europe

– Adexchanger

“There is a latent question in the air,” said Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe. “Is it possible to do programmatic in a way that complies with the GDPR?”

Performance Marketing And Measurement: A New Beginning Amid Ever-Evolving Privacy Restrictions

– Adexchanger

It’s high time that marketing analytics teams perform a thorough audit of their measurement stacks, rules and approaches. For example, it’s worthwhile to understand how much of the business is driven by Apple’s Safari and how the attribution by channel is impacted since the new tracking restrictions went live this year.

The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week

– Econsultancy

1) Influencer fraud predicted to cost brands $1.3 billion in 2019
2) Correlation found between GDPR and online visits and revenue
3) Ecommerce ad spend rises and CPCs fall
4) Mobile ad fraud costs marketers $2.3 billion in H1 2019

Is Conversion Lift the Future of Attribution?

– Searchenginejournal

If we will be able to conduct a controlled experiment for any campaign, keyword, or audience, there will be less guesswork in estimating the actual incremental value of advertising.

Apple Clarifies Its Anti-Tracking Policy For Safari – And Possible Exceptions

– Adexchanger

“You can maybe look at what Apple is doing on Safari as a precursor to what could happen in mobile,” Eliashiv said. “Are mobile and web on the same path in terms of privacy?”

The Grim Future Of An Open Web Devoid Of User Tracking

-Adexchanger

While the regulations and browser changes that are coming into place are primarily being directed at user privacy, they will have the perverse effect of pushing even more personal data and revenue toward some companies that are arguably the greatest violators of user privacy. Certainly they’ll be slapped with fines and will clean up their acts, but they will end up even more dominant in the industry than before.

Is It Time To Reward Users For Sharing Their Identity?

– Adexchanger

A new idea: a reward program that grants “brite points” to people who agree to have their identities tracked across a federation of websites. These points can be exchanged for free gas or other benefits.

How to measure marketing in a world without cookie-tracking

– Econsultancy

There are a number of testing strategies you need to be familiar with in this new age of measurement. Here are the main ones, arranged from the broadest scope to the narrowest.

Ignoring The Clash Between RTB And Privacy Regulations Doesn’t Remove The Threat

– Adexchanger

There are two outcomes, in my opinion. The first (and only one, if you asked me) is for quality media owners to break away from the programmatic marketplace and create their own walled garden, RTB-free.
The second outcome is crueler but sadly the most likely, the longer media brands’ tinker: Only those that can afford to switch RTB off and diversify – by offering capabilities like sophisticated contextual targeting and non-RTB behavioral targeting – will survive.

Google Ads & Google Analytics

How to Handle Google Ads Average Position Sunsetting

– Clix Marketing

If you are still using average position to evaluate performance, it’s time to start getting familiar with the metrics that can be used to improve ad placement: Search top impression rate and Search absolute top impression rate.

Step by Step: Setting up an App + Web Property

– Krista Seiden

In this Step by Step guide, I’ll take you through the three steps you’ll need to go through to set up a new App + Web Property in Google Analytics.

Google extends same-meaning close variants to phrase match, broad match modifiers

– Searchengineland

As expected, Google is further loosening the reins on close variants, this time extending same-meaning close variants to phrase match and broad match modifier. With the changes, Google is also changing its keyword selection preferences to prevent keywords from competing against each other.
This change will rollout in English in the coming weeks, with more languages to follow through 2020.

A new way to unify app and website measurement in Google Analytics

– Google

Currently, many businesses measure app engagement with Google Analytics for Firebase and website engagement with Google Analytics. While each of these products separately offer powerful insights, getting a more unified picture of engagement across your app and website can be a manual and painstaking process.
To make this simpler, we’re announcing a new way to measure apps and websites together for the first time in Google Analytics.

Facebook & Instagram

Facebook Adds Instagram Scheduling to Creator Studio

– Social Media Today

Yes, that’s right – native Instagram scheduling, via an official app.

Changes to text and aspect ratios on Mobile News Feed

– Facebook

Updates for mobile News Feed: Fewer lines of primary text will show on mobile News Feed. Now only 3 lines of primary text will show on Facebook mobile News Feed, after which people will be prompted to click to view additional text.
Maximum media height for photos and videos will reduce to 4:5 on mobile News Feed. The tallest supported aspect ratio for images without links and for videos is now vertical (4:5). Media taller than 4:5 will be masked on Facebook mobile News Feed.

7 months ago
Jochen Fostie


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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – July 2019

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

Analytics & Data

IAB Tech Lab Releases Data Transparency Standard, With Audits To Give It ‘Teeth’

– Adexchanger.com

“The IAB Tech Lab on Thursday released a new standardization system for third-party audience data and an auditing and credentialing program for data sellers.”

Could A Consumer Taxonomy Fill The Identity Void In A Cookie-less World?

– Adexchanger.com

“Instead of approaching the problem from a universal cookie angle, an independent trade group like the IAB should step in and create a standardized consumer taxonomy that will allow for identity- and interest-based targeting while still maintaining user privacy.”

The Tyranny of a Single KPI

– Avinash Kaushik

Of all the harmful business decisions you can make analytically speaking, the worst is picking a single KPI for success. … There is an enormous amount we can get wrong when it comes to Analytics. Please get this basic bit about KPIs right. Not doing so has a profoundly corrosive impact, one that permeates across the organization in harmful ways. Don’t let your KPIs be lonely.”

Trade Desk Clashes With Google Over Transparency Initiative

– Adexchanger.com

According to sources involved in the discussions, Google worries that if exchange bidding is categorized as an intermediary who takes an extra financial cut out of transactions, some buyers will stop using it. Instead, they may route more spend to competitor Prebid, the open source wrapper which will be classified as “direct.
The ultimate fear is that Trade Desk and others would stop buying through exchange bidding completely.”

Brand Safety Is Not Synonymous With Quality

– Adexchanger.com

“The result is ads from some of the top advertisers often being displayed, by exclusion, on “safe content” like silly polls, competitions or otherwise bland content of little quality and engagement. At the same time, quality media owners complain that a good amount of premium content is automatically filtered out by brand safety algorithms, affecting their revenue.”

How to Use Google Data Studio for Client Reporting

– Conversion XL

While we think the title of this article can be misleading, the content is really interesting and basically explains what should (or shouldn’t) be in a client reporting.

“In data-driven industries, it’s easy to imagine that we can “let the data decide,” but that’s actually not the function of data. It’s our job to help our clients interpret the data so they can approve recommendations and take action.”

How to get the best out of Google and Facebook’s free attribution services

– Econsultancy.com

“The reason I’m excited is because an attribution competition between the two biggest advertising platforms creates opportunities for advertisers. Limitations in one can be offset by capabilities in other, and biases can be identified and mitigated through cross-referencing.”

#GTMTips: Introducing The GTM Templates Library

– Simo Ahava

“When Custom Templates were released in Google Tag Manager, many of us active in the GTM communities started doing two things: 1) creating our own custom templates, and 2) waiting patiently for Google to release a “gallery” or “library” for distributing these community contributions.
While I have full faith in the latter happening some time in the future, I thought it would be fun to create something similar to a library, and then open-sourcing it for the community to help out with or to download locally for their own purposes.”

The Case For First-Party, Community-Driven Identity

– Adexchanger.com

“It’s hardly revolutionary to predict the end of the third-party cookie. Digital advertising’s fundamental currency for the last ten years is under increasing strain….With publisher revenues and marketer outcomes on the line, there is still no industry-wide consensus as to what will replace them.”

Facebook & Instagram

A Short Reference of Facebook One-Sheeter Guides

– Jonloomer.com

“This short article will help provide an easy resource to bring some of these Facebook one-sheeter resources together. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it captures some of the main topics.”

How Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) is Performing Around The World

– Jonloomer.com

“Here’s the bottom line: no one has CBO completely figured out just yet. Regardless of your country, the vertical you sell in, or your Facebook campaign objective, there just doesn’t seem to be one, consistent formula that everyone can use for success.”

Google Ads

Google Gallery Ads – Another Day, Another New Ad Format

– PPC Hero

“All in all, it is an exciting time for search. The possibilities are endless for advertisers. From displaying multiple aspects of a retail product to highlighting popular dishes on a restaurant’s menu, digital search strategies will be evolving to fit an image focused agenda as Google Gallery Ads enter the game.”

Automation layering: How PPC pros retain control when automation takes over

– Search Engine Land

“The engines are automating many things we used to have lots of control over because we used to do them manually: from finding new keywords, to setting better bids, to writing ads. But when the people behind the businesses that advertise on Google get a say, results can be better than if the engine’s automation runs entirely on its own.”

RSAs vs. ETAs: Stop Comparing CTR

– PPC Hero

“We will not be comparing CTR between ETAs and RSAs. Why? For one, RSAs will show up for different queries, devices, etc., so it’s not an apples to apples test. And two, per a current Google Agency rep, Google created RSAs to be complementary to ETAs: they will win some auctions ETAs wouldn’t have and vice versa. “

8 months ago
Jochen Fostie


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