Good morning, e-commerce is set to be a record-breaker — and more competitive than ever this holiday season.

U.S. holiday e-commerce sales are expected to increase 33% year-over-year to and near $200 million this year, according to Adobe. It could exceed that if consumers shy away from in-store shopping or stores remain largely closed due to the pandemic. Mobile is expected to be more important than ever and generate 42% of online sales this holiday.

Yet, added competition can put a crimp on ROAS even as revenues increase, as many saw during Prime Day.

Even small advantages over the competition can yield better returns. But keeping up with the slew of new features the platforms roll out right before the holidays can be hard to keep up with. 

Just yesterday, Microsoft Advertising rolled out promotion extensions for text ads in the U.S. As in Google Ads, you have the option to designate certain occasions — Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, for example — in your promotion extensions.

Here’s a look at other recent retail-related updates from Google, Facebook and TikTok: 

Ginny Marvin,

Social Short

YouTube to stop full-day masthead reservations

Starting next year, YouTube will price its homepage masthead ad unit on an impression basis only rather than allow advertisers to reserve the spot for an entire day. 

“For years, advertisers asked us for more flexible options for appearing in the YouTube masthead, which is why we introduced the cost-per-thousand (CPM) Masthead in 2019 and earlier this year told advertisers that it would be our primary masthead reservation option in 2021,” the company told CNBC in a statement. “This change gives advertisers more budget flexibility and applies across all verticals — not just political advertisers.” 

Why we care. Though advertisers were notified earlier this year that Cost per Day (CPD) pricing would end, it caught attention this week as the Trump campaign reserved the homepage masthead for election day and the two preceding days. 

YouTube said the change isn’t related to political advertising or the election. Masthead CPM pricing has been available for more than a year. The CPM model also gives advertisers targeting options, whereas with the CPD option, every user sees the ad when they land on the YouTube homepage. 


Webinar: Leverage the power of local search

In 2021, mobile devices will influence more than $1.4 trillion in local sales. With markets diversifying and competition not being limited by physical geography to encroach on your search space, you must build momentum and identify new ways of growing your paid landscape. Join this webinar and learn how to pivot and adapt your strategy to dominate local search.

Download now »

Search Shorts

Pausing some Google advertiser accounts.

Google cache traffic. Traffic to your site does not influence if you have a Google cache link or not said John Mueller of Google.

Mobile indexing does index desktop. Mueller also clarified that mobile-indexing does not mean Google does not index desktop only sites, it does and will.

Google Ads account pausing. In December, Google will be updating the Business Operations Verification program requirements to reflect that certain advertisers’ accounts may be paused until the verification is completed successfully.


What can $199 get you at SMX?

Forward-thinking keynotes from Areej AbuAli and Mike King, 45+ tactic-rich SEO and SEM sessions, 1:1 community networking, and more. Book your SMX pass by November 14 for just $199!

See the agenda »


How CDP tech helped step up its customer-centricity

Sponsored by BlueShift

Before adopting a Customer Data Platform (CDP), had a vast dataset of customer behavioral data, but had issues with scaling to take advantage of it. In addition, it wasn’t able to glean insights from real-time signals as it would have liked to do. 

“We weren’t really getting to that one-to-one personalization and we felt like we were falling short,” said Houman Akhavan, CMO of, speaking in a recent session at the MarTech virtual conference. “With all of the advancements available in CDPs we saw the value of being able to really understand the voice of the customer and being able to market to them in a very relevant and personalized fashion.” 


What we're reading

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

Google Search Testing “Short Videos” In Search Results – Search Engine Roundtable

Google’s Machine Learning on Full Display – Metric Theory

How Google tests new content in the search results – Kevin Indig

How to track user progress in Web Stories using event tracking in Google Analytics – GSQI

Judge Kicks Off Scheduling in Google Antitrust Case – Wall Street Journal

Make the most of the eCommerce surge – Microsoft Advertising

Thoroughly understanding user intent – the next big thing for SEO – Marie Haynes Consulting

Understanding Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords – Koozai

Why You Should Embed a Google Map on Your Website – Sterling Sky