Good morning, there are now 8 weeks of holiday shopping to go,

Just how important has online commerce advertising become? Facebook’s early advertiser growth was spurred by local businesses — it surpassed 1 million active advertisers in 2013. Fast forward 7 years and the company says it now has more than 10 million advertisers — with online commerce representing its largest advertising ad vertical. (See more in the Social Short below.)

“Commerce” or “e-commerce” was mentioned 29 times on Facebook’s earning’s call. In contrast, it came up just 9 times on Google’s earning’s call last week; “shopping” was mentioned 8 times. Google continues, of course, to make moves to attract shoppers and commerce ad budgets: free Shopping listings are available in 48 countries; buy on Google has gone commission-free and integrates with Shopify and PayPal, and users can see curbside pickup options and compare and track product pricing, for example.  

Google CEO Sundar Pichai also pointed to YouTube (which saw ad revenue jump 32% YoY to $5 billion last quarter) as “an important platform for e-commerce as well.” He said it is still early for YouTube and commerce, but the company sees it as a “long-term opportunity.”

Focus has long been on a Google vs. Amazon battle for product search and ad budgets. (Amazon ad revenue increased roughly 49% YoY to $5.4 billion for the third quarter.) 

But, with the rise of direct-to-consumer brands, in particular, Facebook has become a major commerce channel in its own right.  

Ginny Marvin,

Social Short

Online commerce advertisers reign on Facebook

The significant shift from offline to online shopping during the pandemic led to a surge in advertising demand across Facebook’s family of apps, Facebook said in reporting third-quarter earnings last week. Total ad revenue for Q3 reached $21.2 billion, up 22% year-over-year in Q3, and there are now more than 10 million advertisers on the platform. 

Why we care. Facebook’s investments in social commerce features for SMBs, in particular, over the past couple of years helped put it in an ideal position to capitalize on the accelerating shift to online shopping. The company also fast-tracked and expanded several efforts, including Facebook and Instagram Shops, Instagram Checkout, and the Facebook Shop tab, since the pandemic. Facebook apps can now play a role in the customer journey all the way from discovery to purchase, all while keeping users on the platform

Expect to see messaging play a bigger role. “I think the goal is to build out a commerce platform around messaging with all of the tools starting with Facebook Shops, which we’ve already announced will be coming to WhatsApp and Messenger,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in response to a question on the earnings call. 


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Search Shorts

Spooky Google algorithm tremors?

Google algorithm tremors. On October 28th, there may have been a smaller Google search ranking algorithm update. This was not confirmed by Google.

Halloween. We hope you had a safe but spooky Halloween! If you missed the underwater Google Doodle, you can check it out over here.

Case in HTML. Do you use uppercase or lowercase in your HTML, it doesn’t really matter to Google, Google can handle both or a mixture said John Mueller of Google.

B2B vs B2C. John Mueller of Google said  “we (as in Google Search) don’t have a direct understanding of the difference” between B2B or B2C web pages.


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What we're reading

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

6 Questions to Ask Your Next PPC Agency – BruceClay

6 things we learned about families and tech during COVID-19 – Google Blog

Enhanced protection: Multi-factor authentication – Microsoft Advertising

How to Measure SEO Performance and Results – SEM Rush

SEO for the Procurement Professional – iPullRank

Sustainable Link Building: Increasing Your Chances of Getting Links — Best of Whiteboard Friday – Moz

Target Spend Migration for Maximize Clicks Bid Strategies – Google Ads Developer Blog

US Election 2020 Trump vs. Biden: An SEO Check – Search Metrics

Use the Content API for Shopping to serve Shopping ads and free listings in multiple countries – Google Ads Developer Blog

Voice Search: A No-Nonsense Guide – Ahrefs