LAST UPDATED: INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Support for Bing Ads standard text ad to end July 31, 2017
Bing Ads announced that it will end support for creating new and editing existing standard text ads (STAS) on July 31, 2017. Standard text ads can keep running, but advertisers will not be able to make any changes, including to landing page URLS.
In March, Bing Ads added the option for advertisers to convert standard text ads to expanded text ads in the Web UI and in Editor. According to the Bing blog, ‘’since the launch of EXTAS, there has been a great adoption of this new ad format across many of our customers globally and it continues to grow.’’
To better prepare for the STAS change, Bing Ads has provided some best practices to help improve implementation and increase performance of your extended text ads (EXTAS):
- Use Standard Text Ads as baseline to measure how well Expanded Text Ads are performing.
- Create a 1:1 ratio of EXTA to STA ads in each ad group to maximise EXTA impressions.
- Use your best performing STA copy as a starting point when creating EXTAS.
- Experiment with messaging [try different length combinations).
- Remember that headlines are important. Longer headlines help increase the visual space of text ads and help communicate additional information to searchers.
- Think about using content such as domain, display, description, query in as title 2.
In addition to these tips, Bing Ads has provided some tips for optimising your EXTAS:
- Review your ad extensions to ensure that they have fresh, differentiated content from your expanded headlines.
- Add your brand in the headline for trust.
- The clearer and more specific your offering, the better. For example, rather than ‘’big discounts’’, specify an exact percentage, such as 50% off.’’
Quality score reporting gets an improvement
AdWords has rolled out several improvements to Quality Score reporting in order to make it easier for you to get more visibility into these scores. With this update, we’re seeing:
- New status columns for Quality Score: Three new optional status columns have been added to the Keywords tab. These columns are for ‘’Exp. CTR,’’ ‘’Ad Relevance’’ and ‘’Landing Page Exper’’. If you add these columns to your keyword reports, you’ll get a comprehensive snapshot of your keywords’ current scores.
- Historical quality score: Google says ‘’to improve campaign performance, it’s important to understand changes to your account, like ad optimisation and impact Quality Score. You can now view historical Quality Score, and its components. For all of your keywords to understand how they’ve changed over time.’’ You’ll find this data in four new columns: ‘’Qual.Score (hist),’’ ‘’Landing page exper.(hist),’’ ‘’Ad Relevance (hist.)’’ and ‘’Exp.CTR (hist).’’
Google outlines a couple of things to note about these columns:
- They reflect the last known score for the date range you selected. Note that historical data won’t be available for dates earlier than January 22, 2016.
- If you apply the ‘’Day’’ segment to your Keyword reports, these columns will show daily values that reflect what your scores were at the end of each day.
Example on Google’s blog:
Let’s say it’s Feb.10 and you want to see what the Quality Score was for your keyword ‘’Oranges’’ from Feb.3 to Feb.8.
- First, notice the current Quality Score in the ‘’Qual. Score’’ column, 3/10. This column will always show the current Quality Score, regardless of the date you’re reporting on.
- Next, you’ll see the new ‘’Quality Score (hist.)’’ column shows the last known Quality Score for the reporting period, 4/10, as well as the historical score for each day within that period.
- When there aren’t enough impressions or clicks to accurately determine a keyword’s Quality Score, like on Feb 7 and Feb. 8, you’ll see a null Quality Score (‘’- ‘’)
AdWords announces upcoming changes to enhanced CPC bidding
AdWords users will notice a new alert in their accounts notifying them of changes to Enhanced CPC bidding. The notice reads:
“ECPC is changing to help you increase conversions. Previously, ECPC would raise your max CPC bid by up to 30% in cases where you’re more likely to get a conversion. We’re now removing the 30% bid cap to fully account for differences in conversion rates across dimensions like audience and location. This means you generally won’t have to set bid adjustments when using ECPC. You may still want to set a bid adjustment for mobile, as ECPC doesn’t adjust for the difference in conversion rates between mobile and other devices.
ECPC will still respect your manual bid by trying to keep your average CPC below your max CPC over time. For Search and Display campaigns, ECPC will help increase conversions while keeping your cost-per-conversion the same. For Shopping, ECPC will help increase conversions while maintain your same overall spend.”
Google says the system will try to keep CPCs below the max CPC you set, but it may exceed your max CPC for short periods of time.
Advertisers may also see different outcomes depending on campaign type as a result of these changes:
- For Search and Display Campaigns, ECPC helps increase conversions while trying to keep your cost-per-conversion the same as you’re getting with manual bidding.
- For Shopping, ECPC helps increase conversions while trying to maintain your same overall spend.
Google says the changes will roll out gradually from June.
Similar audiences for Search and Shopping rolled out by Google
Google announced the rollout of similar audiences for Search. The post reads ‘’starting today [May 1, 2017] we’re rolling out similar audiences for Search and Shopping along with Customer Match for Shopping to help you use your own data to reach the right customer with the right message.’’
How it works? Google’s example:
Say you’ve created a remarketing list of people who bought running shoes from your sporting goods site. Instead of helping you reach broad groups of people interested in ‘running’, similar audiences will identify that people on this list tended to search for ‘triathlon training’ and ‘buy lightweight running shoes’ before coming to your site and making a purchase. Based on this, similar audiences will then find other people with similar search behaviour such as people who searched for ‘lightweight running shoes’.
Lists will automatically get updated as the original list evolves and people change their search activity.
According to Google’s blog, to ‘’find similar audiences, AdWords looks at the millions of people searching on Google. The system will automatically identify which of your remarketing lists qualify for similar audiences based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- The number of visitors of the original list.
- How recently these people joined the original list.
- The similarity of these visitors’ search behaviour.
- As your remarketing list changes, your similar audience will adjust.
A similar audiences list is created from a remarketing list with at least 1,000 cookies with enough similarity in search behaviour to create a corresponding similar audience.
Similar audiences can’t be created based on the behaviour of individual users, and AdWords can only define a similar audience for your own remarketing lists.’’
People who don’t want to be included in similar audiences can opt out through their Ads Settings.
Google targeting guest posts as link building scheme
Google issued a warning (via their blog) against any website that is leveraging guest posts as a link building technique. Specifically, their focus is on ‘’spammy links contained in articles referred to as contributor posts, guest post, partner posts, or syndicated posts. These articles are generally written by or in the same name of one website, and published on a different one.’’
Google says it ‘’does not discourage these types of articles in the case when they inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company. However, what does violate Google’s guidelines on link schemes is when the main intent is to build links in a large-scale way back to the author’s site.’’
Google lists factors that can indicate when an article is in violation of these guidelines:
- Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles.
- Having the articles published across many different sites, alternatively, having a large number of articles on a few large, different sites.
- Using or hiring article writers that aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they’re writing on.
- Using the same or similar content across these articles, alternatively, duplicating the full content of articles found on your own site (in which case use of rel=’’canonical’’, in addition to rel=’’nofollow’’, is advised).
Google warns that if it ‘’detects that a website is publishing articles that contain spammy links, this may change Google’s perception of the quality of the site and could affect its ranking.’’
Google announces Google Lens
At the I/O 2017 Keynote conference, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced Google Lens, a new visual search tool coming to Google Assistant and Google Photos. He described Lens as ‘’a set of vision-based computing capabilities that can understand what you’re looking at and help you take action.’’
Some examples of how it works (as demonstrated by Pichai)
- Identify things: In one example, Pichai showed Lens being able to identify a flower from a smartphone’s camera and offer additional information on the flower (similar to what you’d find in Knowledge Panel).
- Log onto Wi-Fi: A second example showed how you can connect your phone to a Wi-Fi network by snapping a picture of the username and password.
- Local business details: In a third example, Pichai took a picture of a restaurant and Lens was able to pull up business details like you’d find via a Google Maps search.
Check out the video of Pichai’s Lens demonstration.
Google for jobs – Google launching new job search platform
Google confirmed at the I/O conference that they are rolling out a job search feature.
Here’s the tweet which makes the announcement.
Rumours began circulating about Google’s move into the job search industry when https://hire.withgoogle.com/ was launched.
According to an article on SEJ, ‘’rather than competing with other job searches Google will be partnering with them. The company will initially partner with LinkedIn, Facebook, Monster, Glassdoor and others.
Searchers will be able to filter job listings by various attributes, as well as see what the daily commute time would be like. The ability to submit an application directly from a job listing was briefly mentioned as well.’’
Google testing new interface for hotels reviews
Google is testing a new method of displaying local reviews for the hotel industry. It involves grouping and summarising reviews by traveller type and category of service. Sergey Alakov first spotted this test, and shared a collection of screenshots that you can see here.
A Google spokesperson confirmed this update to Search Engine Land . The statement said ‘’Google is continually improving the information shown to people to help them make decisions about where to go. When people are searching for a hotel to stay at, we want to ensure we make it easy for people to find useful and relevant web reviews about that place to help them make informed decisions.’’
Highlights’ icons being tested by Google in Local Knowledge Panels
Another spot by Sergey Alakov, shows Google is testing another new local feature in the local knowledge panels.
This test shows icons to represent the ‘’highlights’’ of the venue featured in the local panel. Highlights icons include icons that represent features of a particular place. Features can include the venue being a quiet place, good for kids, casual, bar games, good for groups, on critic’s lists, great beer selection, and great cocktails.
Instagram adds search options for stories, by hashtags and location
Instagram is giving users the ability to search for Stories content based on location and hashtag, via their Explore section.
The post on the Instagram blog says ‘’you’ll see a new story ring at the top of Explore filled with stories happening near you. These stories come from people who have used location stickers on their stories. You can also search for any location around the world, and you’ll see a story ring for that place at the top of the location page.’’
In addition to this, Instagram has also introduced hashtag stories on Explore: ‘’when you search for a hashtag, you may see a story ring at the top of the page filled with stories using that hashtag.’’
This update was first reported by TechCrunch and comes soon after Snapchat adding a similar update.
Facebook bans misleading use of live video format
Facebook is cracking down on fake live videos. Reporting in TechCrunch says the company has confirmed to the publication that it’s adding a section to it Live API Facebook Platform Policy that reads ‘’Don’t use the API to publish only images (ex: don’t publish static, animated, or looping images), or to live-stream polls associated with unmoving or ambient broadcasts.
Videos that violate the policy will have reduced visibility on Facebook. Publishers that repeatedly break the rule may have their access to Facebook Live restricted.
Facebook adds new features to live stream
Facebook has added new features to Facebook Live which include in-stream chat and live guests.
Here’s the details on the updates, according to Facebook’s blog.
Live chat with friends: This new feature lets you invite friends to a private chat about a public live broadcast. You can invite friends who are already watching or other friends who you think may want to tune in. You’re able to jump back into the public conversation at any time, and you can still continue chatting with your friends via Messenger after the broadcast.
With Live Chat with Friends, you can be part of big moments with the wider community but also have the option to participate in personal conversations with the people closest to you, directly with the Live experience. We’re testing this feature on mobile in several countries, and we look forward to making it available more broadly later this summer.
Live with: Last year we started rolling out the ability for public figures to go live with a guest, it’s now available for all profiles and Pages on IOS. Live with lets you invite a friend into your live video so you can hang out together, even if you’re not in the same place. Sharing the screen with a friend can make going live more fun and interactive – for both you and your viewers.
To invite a friend to join you in your live video, simply select a gust from the Live Viewers section, or tap a comment from the viewer you want to invite. Your viewer can then choose whether or not to join your broadcast. You can go live with a guest in both portrait mode and landscape mode.
Twitter Announces New Premium Planning for 24/7 Streaming Video Content
Twitter made the announcement about a new ‘’always-on’’ live streaming content onto the platform at their first-ever Digital Content NewFronts. The company announced 16 live streaming content deals across sports, news, and entertainment, which will bring ‘’hundreds of hours of new premium video content to Twitter.’’
A post by Matt Derella on Twitter’s blog discussed this further. It said the content line-up includes ’new exclusive original live programming, live games and events, live syndications, extensions of existing live deals, and new always-on live streaming content onto the platform. ’It continues to say that’’ this presents new opportunities for brands to reach passionate and engaged audiences by sponsoring premium video content at scale.’’
The blog post finished off by saying Twitter is just getting started. ‘’Twitter is what’s happening and this makes it a unique and powerful platform for premium video content that people watch and discuss in real time. With these new content offering, we’re helping people enjoy more great video content, helping publishers drive more revenue. And helping brands align with the best mobile video content, all at massive and accelerating scale. If you’re a brand, there’s no better time to reach and engage your audience through premium video content. ‘’
19 Favourite Tools for Content Promotion in 2017
In this post, Sujan Patel shares his favourite tools he used to promote content. You’ll learn about tools like Outbrain, Taboola, Social Warfare and much, much more. Check out his post here.
The Only 10 Ways to Make Money from Content Marketing
In this post, content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi outlines the 10 ways you can make money from content marketing. Check out his post here.
3 Hard Content Marketing Truths
Contently’s Editor in Chief, Joe Lazauskas outlines 3 hard content marketing truths he’s learned throughout his career. Check out his post here.
How to Leverage User-Generated Content in Your Marketing Strategy
In this post, Hubpot focuses on why brands should let their users help create value in content. Read the full post here.
Top Picks from the Tinderpoint Content Hub
What Does Google’s ‘’Project Owl’’ Mean for Search and Fake News
Project Owl is Google’s answer to addressing fake news. It plans to do this with new feedback forms for search suggestions and the answer box, and authoritative content prioritisation in the answer box. In this post, Search Engine Watch outlines the challenges it predicts with Google’s ‘’Project Owl’’. Read the full post here.
9 Ways to Use Automation to Optimise Your Facebook Ads
In this post, Social Media Today outlines the ways and benefits [via infographic] of automating your Facebook ads. Read the full post here.
A Brief History of Content Marketing, Back to the Future Edition
In this post, Hubspot shares an infographic that user our most beloved 1980 movie characters to explain the history of content. Read the full post here.
Data Summit 2017
When: Thursday 15, June and Friday 16, June 2017
Where: Convention Centre, Dublin
Details: The Data Summit Dublin provides a unique opportunity to hear leading international, European and Irish speakers debate the social, technical, ethical and cultural issues that arise in the context of our world of total connectivity, from discussions on the future of privacy and trust in the digital age to how you can manage your own privacy in an online world.
For more information, click here.
Native Breakfast – Paul Carton, Vodafone
When: June 14 from 08:00 am – 09:30 am
Where: Coppa Café, RHA, 15 Ely Place
Details: The guest speaker for IAB Ireland’s next Native Advertising Breakfast is Paul Carton, Head of Digital, Vodafone Ireland. For details, click here
Google Digital Garage on Tour
When: Tuesday 13, June 2017 from 14:00 pm -17:00 pm
Where: Craigavon Civic Centre, 66 Lakeview Road, Craigavon, BT641AL, United Kingdom
Details: Northern Ireland is bringing Google experts to Craigavon to teach delegates how to: tell your story online, reach new customers online, know your business with Google Analytics. For more information, click here.