Bans lifted, ad outages, feature releases, and more CWV; Tuesday’s daily brief
Plus, how has your martech stack changed with COVID--a survey
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Good morning, Marketers, and Google lifts the political ad ban tomorrow.
In an announcement yesterday, Google let ad partners know that the previous ban on political ads will now be lifted. The latest ban went into effect in January after the insurrection at the capitol, prohibiting advertisements about the election, results, impeachment, inauguration, etc.
A few search marketers reached out to us after the January ban to say some of their ads were mistakenly categorized as political (which a quick appeal could have fixed). Now, to get political ads running again, search marketers will have to use that same appeals tool to have another review within the Google Ads portal.
Google is one of the biggest digital platforms for political ads–including fundraising (which has taken a hit since the ban). Their ad disclosures portal shows that political advertisers have spent $750 million since 2018. It’s an interesting conversation–the balance between preventing misinformation and providing advertising services to political groups–one that’s especially sensitive given recent events.
Director of Search Content
Google announces new Search Console feature: Associations
Associations lets you connect your Search Console account with other Google accounts, such as YouTube, Google Analytics, Android apps and much more. Associations allow Search Console to pull data from your other Google properties and “can unlock more functionality for your site” according to the announcement.
The following properties can be connected via Associations:
- Google Analytics
- Google Ads
- Play Console
- Actions Console
- Chrome Web Store account
Why we care. Marketers are always looking for ways to connect data across platforms, and this is a step in that direction. That includes linking Search Console domain properties to Google Analytics to get better coverage of your organic search results, connecting YouTube videos to your associated website, and publishing apps and extensions to the Chrome Web Store on behalf of your site.
Facebook Ads experiences weekend delivery outage
If you noticed huge drops in your Facebook Ads traffic and conversions, it was due to a delivery outage over the weekend. The social media platform saw major disruptions in ad delivery starting February 18 and only resolved the issue yesterday. Most search marketers reported that only their Instagram Story campaigns remained unaffected in the outage.
Why we care. When asked for comment, Facebook sent us the boilerplate “We’re still investigating this issue and will take any learnings to improve our systems going forward.” Many marketers saw great campaigns and ROAS torpedoed over the weekend.
The ad outage comes on the heels of iOS14’s new privacy release which gives users more control over how they share their data with mobile apps, including Facebook (who says the outage was not related to the iOS update). Apple will pop up a prompt asking users for permission for cross-app tracking, giving people the option to opt out.
Some speculate that this outage is just an example of how Facebook will have to adjust given new privacy options: “Feel like their entire marketing architecture has been designed around the Pixel. Regardless, if it’s used or not. Thinking they need to rebuild their architecture from the ground up, to not be based around the Pixel,” said Edan Ben-Atar on Twitter.
Mike King to write a book on “The Science of SEO”
In a Twitter announcement yesterday, iPullRank’s Mike King announced that he’s writing a book with Wiley Publishing titled “The Science of SEO: Decoding Search Engine Algorithms.” King also won the 2020 Search Engine Land Search Marketer of the Year Award.
Expected to be released in 2022, “The Science of SEO” is an approachable guide to navigating the confluence of Information Retrieval, Web Development, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in Search Engine Optimization. This book is being written in response to the explosion of SEO interest in data science and the technical concepts behind search engines with the goal of creating the definitive resource to formalize the concept of SEO engineering.”
SURVEY: Have you tried new martech due to COVID?
As many marketers are now working remotely, there’s likely been a change in how you conduct business. But have you also changed the tools you use to do your marketing job? If so, we want to hear about it. Take our martech survey and give us the details on how your use of marketing technology has changed (and how freemium models have affected what you’ve ended up using longer term).
More Core Web Vitals for you
Continuing our Core Web Vitals conversation, Ian Howells of Traffic Think Tank posted some interesting data for a site on Twitter last week. The graphic shows CWV data for a single site over time. The site went from a 93% “passing” score to 61% in just 9 months.
Fellow marketers chimed in with their theories on what could have caused the change: an increase in users, plugin updates, external scripts, audience changes, trends in new devices, and more. While we’ve yet to see how CWV will affect sites in SERPs, the changing data behind the UX metrics is fascinating. Plus, Howells’ point about SMBs trying to figure it out could mean more headaches for marketers.
Google Search Console Discover performance report change
Google Doodle for Zitkala-Sa’s 145th Birthday. Yesterday, Google had a meaningful Doodle on its homepage for the 145th birthday of Zitkala-Sa. Zitkála-Šá, also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, her missionary-given and later married name, was a Yankton Dakota writer, editor, translator, musician, educator, and political activist.
Google malformed response bug. There may be a bug with Google Search Console’s URL inspection tool with sites on HTTP/2. Where Google is showing a malformed response when it should not. Gary Illyes from Google said he will look into this.
Google Discover performance report change. Google Search Console made some changes on how it reports Discover data. Google said, “Previously, if a viewer clicked into a Web Story on Discover, then continued from there into additional Web Stories, only the first Web Story was credited with an impression and click. From this date onward, any additional Web Stories that were reached from the first Web Story in Discover will also be credited with an impression and click in the Performance report for Discover. Therefore, you might see an increase in your Discover data.”
We’ve curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.
- Cumulative Layout Shift Study of Over 1 Million Websites – SEO Clarity
- Google Mobile Search Snippets Showing Keywords Mentioned – Brodie Clark Consulting
- Google Search Console (GSC) reporting for Soft 404s is now more accurate. But where did those Soft 404s go? – GSQI
- Publishing industry questions Google’s motives in paying off News Corp – Digiday
- Working With Large Internal Link Graphs in Python – Briggsby