Good morning, the biggest update to Google Analytics in 7 years is out now. 

Google introduced its vision for the future of Analytics yesterday. Google Analytics 4 is an update and rebrand of the App + Web property type that Google introduced in beta last year and is now generally available. Universal Analytics was the last big overhaul way back in 2013. 

Among the highlights of GA4:

  • No surprise, machine learning plays a bigger role here. There are more ML-powered insights, however, more indicative of where things are headed is that Google is using AI to make more predictions about audience outcomes — such as churn rates and revenue potential — within Analytics. 
  • Cross-channel audience integrations with Google Ads to help ensure users are kept on or off lists depending on the actions they take regardless of device.
  • Reporting is reorganized and now framed around the customer lifecycle — or funnel — through to retention.
  • Google will be using more modeling in the future as cookie functionality fades.

Starting now, when you set up a new property in GA, it will default to Google Analytics 4. You can still choose to set up a UA property, but Google will be concentrating on GA4 when it comes to new feature development. Eventually down the road (no timeline yet), Google Analytics 4 will replace Universal Analytics, but for now, site owners should set up GA4 properties to run in parallel with your existing UA properties. 

Ginny Marvin,

Social Short

Pinterest users are heavy gift shoppers

Compared to other social media, Pinterest users are the top spenders on gifts and holiday shopping. That’s among the findings from StatSocial which looked at the purchases of millions of U.S.-based users of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Pinterest. It found that Pinterest users spend 39.2% more on gifts and holiday shopping than the average U.S. consumer.

Why we care. It may be intuitive that Pinterest users would over-index on holiday and gift shopping, but does your holiday marketing plan reflect this finding? If you don’t have a Pinterest strategy yet, this holiday season could be worth a thoughtful test.


Webinar: Fight back against the competition with your Google Shopping Ads this holiday season

We need to prepare and adapt for the 2020 holiday shopping season as data has shown consumers have been withholding on spending during the pandemic. But with shoppers more focused on purchasing online now, how can we make sure we are in front of these consumers at the right time and get ahead of our competition? Join this webinar and learn how to identify how different shopping trends are from 2019 and what to expect this year.

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8 major Google Algorithm updates, explained

Sponsored by SEO PowerSuite

Google claims to update its search algorithm several thousand times per year. In the absolute majority of cases, Google algorithm updates are too small to notice. But, every once in a while, Google introduces a change so fundamental, that it disrupts the way we do SEO forever.

Whether it’s Panda or Penguin, Hummingbird or a Core Update, it’s critical to get a handle on how algorithm updates are affecting your sites’s rankings. Then, once you know what’s happening, you can do something about it.  

Read More »

Search Shorts

Is Google Search broken or being fixed?

Google search fluctuations. There seems to be a lot of instability in Google Search now. Is it the ongoing bugs or is it an algorithmic update? It is hard to say.

Sitemaps crawling. XML sitemaps do not replace crawling. They help Google crawl more efficiently, said Google’s John Mueller. “The sitemap file helps us to crawl more efficiently, it doesn’t replace the usual crawling that we do,” he said on Twitter. 

Core Web Vital data. The data is not theoretical — it is real user measurements, said Mueller. “We use the page as the user would see it – the CWV data in Search Console is based on real user measurements, not theoretical ones,” he said on Twitter.


Super Early Bird rates end Saturday

Register now to access 45+ tactic-rich SEO and SEM sessions that can help you drive more awareness, traffic, and conversions… and join us at SMX online December 8-9!

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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.

Adjusting Featured Snippet Answers by Context – SEO By The Sea

Celebrated Partners for September 2020 – Microsoft Advertising

Chrome OS 86 rolling out: Custom mouse cursor colors, accessibility updates – 9to5Google

Embracing Automation to Double Conversions and Halve CPA – Seer Interactive

Google ‘Search On’ livestream event to take place Oct. 15 – 9to5Google

Google Employees Are Free to Speak Up. Except on Antitrust. – New York Times

Google Key Moment In This Video Now With Transcriptions In Search – Search Engine Roundtable

Meet AMP’s Page Experience Guide – The AMP Blog

What is Enterprise SEO and How is it Different? – SEM Rush

Yoast is announcing a partnership with SEMrush – Yoast