March 2021 – SEO and Marketing News

Mar 26, 2021 by
March 2021 – SEO and Marketing News

To say there’s a lot to get through this month would be an understatement. This month’s SEO and marketing news is going to be more of a bitesize affair (there’s just so much to fit in), so, let’s crack on shall we?

Semrush publicly sell shares on the New York stock exchange

At the beginning of the month, Semrush announced an initial public offering (IPO) of company stock, which saw the popular SEO software company selling shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Semrush is listed as an “emerging growth company” that enables customers to understand trends with actionable insights that can lead to improved online visibility.

The premium features of Semrush are a favourite among SEOs, but the software also offers solutions for PPC, content marketing, social media marketing, and competitive research.

Microsoft Bing rolls out upgrades

Microsoft Bing has launched five updates to search. They aim to evolve SERPs beyond a list of links to provide users with a richer experience.

Bing’s latest updates have one thing in common – they all combine visually rich imagery with text-based information in a single view.

The experience is described as more intuitive and engaging. The new format is said to deliver information quickly and in a way that allows searchers to find what they need without scanning large blocks of text.

Bing’s upgraded search features include:

  • Intuitive highlighting of content
  • Integrated visual search
  • Expandable carousels
  • Infographic-like SERPs
  • Richer results for local queries

Brave browser launch a privacy-focused search engine

Brave, the makers of an open-source web browser, is launching a privacy-focused alternative search engine that will offer options for ad-supported and ad-free search results.

Following Brave’s acquisition of the Tailcat search engine, the company announced its forthcoming product known as Brave Search. This is being touted as, “The first private alternative to Google Search and Google Chrome on both mobile and desktop.”

DuckDuckGo is the most successful private alternative to Google at the moment, but the one thing it is lacking is a desktop browser.

DuckDuckGo blasts Google over iOS privacy labels

DuckDuckGo is calling out Google over its new privacy labels on iOS which reveal how much data the company is collecting from iPhone users.

Google’s main app and the Chrome browser app have both been updated for iOS. As is now required by Apple, Google is providing privacy labels for each of the apps. These labels list the data they collect from users and what the data is used for.

The long list of information Google collects from iOS app users is the subject of DuckDuckGo’s latest attack against the search giant.

Google’s annual Ads Safety Report

This week, Google released its 10th annual Ads Safety Report, which is designed to prevent the malicious use of Google’s ads platforms including those that misrepresent, mislead, or threaten the safety of users.

In 2020, thanks to 10 years of efforts to clean up the ad space, 3.1 billion ads were blocked or removed. Of the 3.1 billion ads blocked in 2020, more than 867 million ads were blocked for attempting to evade detection systems and 101 million were blocked for breaking misrepresentation policies.

Ex-Google employees build new ad-free search engine literally down the road

A new search platform has just gained $40 million in Series B funding. Founded by two ex-Google employees, the company also has headquarters down the road from the tech giant. Neeva is extremely strict about operating its platform without ads.

The brand wants its users to see search results that aren’t dictated by advertisers. In their own words, “Search is the gateway to the world’s information, and with Neeva, we want to help you experience the Internet in a new way—free of distractions, prying eyes and frustration.”

YouTube adds more analytics data and updates studio mobile app

YouTube creators now have access to new metrics about video views, and the Studio Mobile app is getting refreshed with efficient ways to view data.

New analytics data includes granular information about the sources of video views which wasn’t available before. The forthcoming update to the Studio Mobile app is the first step toward a larger goal of making it just as feature-packed as YouTube Studio on desktop.

OVH data centre fire brings down popular sites worldwide

OVH Datacenter in France was engulfed in flames last week, taking down thousands of sites and businesses including popular plugins WP Rocket and Imagify. A fire engulfed an OVH cloud data centre that is located in Strasbourg, France.

The fire was initially reported to be uncontrolled but was subsequently controlled by firefighters, who remained on the scene to make sure the building cools down.

Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings begin rollout for YouTube CTV

In December 2020, a quarter of logged-in YouTube CTV viewers watched content almost exclusively (more than 90%) on the TV screen, according to internal YouTube data.

The growing viewership of CTV creates a new opportunity for advertisers. However, understandably, many advertisers have hesitations around advertising on CTV due to difficulties in measurement and attribution.

YouTube has acknowledged the importance of measurement across CTV and, as a result, advertisers leveraging Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings will now also be to measure their YouTube CTV campaigns.

This comes on the heels of Nielsen’s announcement in October 2020 that it would begin to measure YouTube CTV in early 2021 for the first time.

Google may withhold taxes from non-US YouTube creators

Google will soon be required to withhold taxes on YouTube earnings generated from viewers in the United States. This change is going into effect as early as June. How much tax is withheld from YouTube creators depends on a few factors.

If you live outside the United States and have a revenue-earning YouTube channel with a US-based audience, this applies to you and you may begin to have taxes deducted from your US earnings later this year.

Google is asking YouTube creators to submit relevant tax information in AdSense by May 31, 2021.