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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.”

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