June 2019 – SEO and marketing news

Jun 21, 2019 by
June 2019 – SEO and marketing news

As foretold, the end of May brought with it the end of May, as Theresa shuffled off the Conservative front line and back to the wheat field. June is very much a month of change this year, and in the world of online marketing, change is never easy.

This month, we see the SEO community coming together to put an unscrupulous advertising agency under the spotlight, introduce the winner of the Search Engine Land Awards, and check in on what the usual players have been up to.

The winners of the 2019 Search Engine Land Awards

Felicia DelVecchio, director of digital media at DAC Group, and Andrew Cooper, associate director of e-commerce at agency Metric Theory, were named Search Marketers of the Year at the 2019 Search Land Awards on Tuesday at the SMX Advanced conference. DelVecchio and Cooper were just two of the winners, named across more than a dozen categories in the annual awards program.

Cooper’s employer, Metric Theory, also won the agency of the year award in the category of SEM, while Wolfgang Digital won agency of the year in the SEO category. And in the in-house team category, the search team at mobile provider Sprint won in the SEM category, while the team at HomeToGo, a vacation home rental company, won in the SEO category.

In addition to handing out trophies for 17 categories tied to either search marketing initiatives, teams or personalities, Search Engine Land also gave its contributing editors Barry Schwartz and Greg Sterling Outstanding Community Service Awards for their years-long commitment to educating and supporting the search community. Click here for the full list of winners.

Firefox confronts Chrome and Facebook with enhanced privacy

Firefox has announced a privacy-first browsing experience with anti-tracking settings turned on by default. The announcement voiced strong opposition to the security practices of big tech companies like Google Chrome and Facebook.

Mozilla accused them of hiding privacy settings in order to discourage their use. Firefox specifically called out Chrome’s Incognito Mode for providing “an illusion of privacy.” Firefox announced that new users of Firefox will receive the privacy first version of Firefox. It will be made generally available to existing users in the coming months.

The North Face comes under fire from SEO community

Last week, outdoor clothing brand The North Face and its ad agency Leo Burnett Tailor Made came under fire after the agency updated images on Wikipedia pages for popular travel destinations. The efforts were part of a campaign to get The North Face branding at the top of Google image search results when anyone searched for the corresponding travel locations.

The brand initially claimed it collaborated with Wikimedia for the SEO campaign, but later apologized for the campaign – after the Wikimedia Foundation published a response saying The North Face had unethically manipulated Wikipedia, and risked the trust in Wikipedia’s mission, for the sake of a marketing stunt.

Dana DiTomaso, president of digital marketing and SEO agency Kick Point, called the campaign advertising at its worst. DiTomaso said: “Either the agency didn’t understand what they were doing, or were hoping to mislead people, or both. It’s also very clear that they knew they would be caught and the response would be part of the buzz the campaign generated.”

A clever campaign, but a poor decision on the agency’s part that will do no favours for the SEO community.

Google in hot water over misleading anti-abortion ads

Beginning this month, Google will be enforcing a new policy for any ads related to abortion in the US, UK and Ireland. Advertisers that want to run ads with abortion-related keywords will now need to apply for certification as an organization that does, or does not, provide abortions. If their ads are approved, they will run with an automatically generated disclaimer identifying which category they fall into.

The announcement of the new policies comes less than two weeks after The Guardian reported that Google had provided $150,000 in free advertising to an anti-abortion group that ran misleading ads which made it appear as though their centres provided abortions. Google’s new policies also come as several states in the US are passing (or are seeking to pass) some incredible restrictive abortion laws.

instagram iconInstagram allows advertisers to boost posts as feed ads

Advertisers on Instagram can now promote their organic posts as ads to appear in the feeds of other users. Intended for sponsored content posts, these branded content ads will appear in the Instagram feeds of users – whether or not they follow the influencer who originally published the content.

Advertisers can set their own targeting so the ads will still reach people who are likely to be interested in the product. Once an ad is live, advertisers will have access to all of the standard ad reporting metrics.

In order for a brand to promote an organic branded content post, the creator has to tag the brand in the post, and select the option that allows business partners to promote from the settings. Organic branded content ads have the potential to significantly expand the reach of brands as well as creators and will be available to all advertisers in the coming weeks.

To check out what was big in the world of SEO, digital marketing and the digital realm in general last month, click here for more news.