July 2020 – SEO and Marketing News

Jul 24, 2020 by
July 2020 – SEO and Marketing News

The pubs are open and the weather is just about holding up to its pre-pandemic promise, so perhaps summer is saved?

Of course, COVID continues to dominate the news and of course, its impact is still being felt by marketers, but there is a genuine sense now that the world is ready to let something else in now.

So, this month, let’s delve into this new normal with aplomb and see what delights the world of SEO and marketing has in store for us.

Google creates a new way to drive traffic via image search

Google is adding more context to photos in image search results, which presents site owners with a new opportunity to earn traffic. Launching this week, a new feature in Google Images surfaces quick facts about what’s being shown in photos.

Information about people, places, or things related to the image is pulled from Google’s Knowledge Graph and displayed underneath photos when they’re clicked on. Google says this update is intended to help searchers explore topics in more detail.

One of the ways searchers can explore topics in more detail is by visiting the web page where the image is featured.

The added context is likely to make images more appealing to click on. It’s almost like Google added meta descriptions to image search results. However, it’s not quite the same as that because the images and the facts appearing underneath come from different sources.

Results in Google Images are sourced from sites all over the web, but the corresponding facts for each image are pulled from the Knowledge Graph.

Perhaps the best part of this update is it requires no action on the part of site owners. Google will enhance your image search snippets all on its own. So less work for us then!

TikTok self-serve ads available globally

After a couple of years of waiting patiently in the wings, TikTok has announced they are rolling out their self-serve advertising platform globally. The tools will give advertisers access to their tools for creative, targeting, and flexible budgeting.

Additionally, they also note there will be business accounts that provide additional tools but have not specified them at this time.

According to Blake Chandlee, Vice President, Global Business Solutions at TikTok: “TikTok’s immersive, short-form videos give businesses a platform to participate and engage with a community known for its creativity, ingenuity, and joy.

As our marketing solutions scale and evolve, we’re continuously building for the future and aiming to meet the growing needs of our partners.

We’re excited to continue supporting our community by providing the tools and resources for SMB owners to navigate these challenging times.”

Google unveils 3D swirl ad format

Swirl, the mobile interactive display ad format that Google started testing last year is now available globally to Display & Video 360 customers.

Users can rotate, zoom, and expand 3D elements in Swirl ads. Brands that have been testing the ads include Purina, Nissan, Adidas and Belvedere Vodka, Google said in the announcement. If you have existing 3D assets, upload them to Google Web Designer and select one of the Swirl templates or build creative from scratch.

Swirl ads are available in three sizes and fullscreen expansion is optional. The ads run across Google Ad Manager inventory. Advertisers get engagement time and type (rotation and expansion) metrics in DV360. The concept isn’t new, interactive ads have been around for years from a number of ad tech vendors.

This just means advertisers using DV360 can create and launch 3D ads natively within the Google ecosystem. That’s likely to hurt some of the early innovators in this space. Advanced Swirl template features include hotspots that reveal more details, a colour picker and other options.

Pinterest updates algorithm to surface more content types

Pinterest is introducing a new ranking model to its home feed in an effort to surface certain types of content more often. Traditionally, Pinterest ranks content in the home feed using a click-through prediction model.

Pins that a user is most likely to click on, as determined by past activity, are prioritised in their home feed. While that model is effective at maximising user engagement, it’s not the best model for surfacing a variety of content types. For example, if a user never clicks on video content then they’ll never be shown pins with video in their home feed.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t engage with video content if it were to be surfaced. Pinterest found itself with a problem of wanting to boost more content types while still keeping content recommendations relevant.

To solve this problem, Pinterest is introducing a real-time ranking system for its home feed called “controllable distribution.”It’s not a complete algorithm overhaul. Rather, controllable distribution is only applied after the traditional home feed ranking algorithm. Controllable distribution makes it possible to specify a target for how many impressions a certain content type should receive.

Google ads to ban spying products & software

Starting August 11, Google Ads will be denying advertising for anything designed at “spyware and surveillance technology.” It’s technically an update to the Enabling Dishonest Behavior policy, and will apply to both search and shopping.

Historically, the policy has focused on dishonesty in many forms, but they mostly fall into things that mislead others, or those that let users get unauthorised access to physical objects.

Violations will not result in immediate account suspension. Instead, Google will issue a warning at least 7 days out prior to suspension, so the advertiser has time to comply.

What will be interesting to watch is how Google enforces this. Will it be as simple as advertisers removing verbiage from the Shopping feed that notes something may be without consent? Will brands use supplemental feeds to note it’s a parent surveillance item to be in compliance? Will it be a blanket effect when the URL calls out “spy” in the domain name? Only time will tell.

SEO leads to 605% growth for one small Bury-based firm

Finally, a little spot of good news for once. This month, a small online firm based in Bury (of all places) posted a 605% increase in sales for the month of April 2020 compared to its previous highest record month.

To what did Painters World owe its good fortune? Not COVID-19 and the fact that everyone is spending their lockdown painting their homes, but the fact they had made a major investment in SEO with Manchester agency MadeByShape.

With so much negativity in the press right now, it’s encouraging to see that SEO is still working magic in some corners of the internet.