May 2019 – SEO and marketing news

May 24, 2019 by
May 2019 – SEO and marketing news

May is the month of the bank holiday and the month that sets the stage for summer. It’s also a month rife with change and we saw quite a bit of that last month.

This month there are even more shake ups to report from the usual suspects (Google) but also from the fringes of the sector, where the most exciting things often happen. So, allow us to take you on a journey of the SEO and marketing world as it stands in May 2019. There’s nary a mention of Brexit in sight, we swear!

YouTube Developing Six Second Automatic Ad Maker

YouTube is working on a tool called a “Bumper Machine” that can cut down a longer ad into 6 seconds. This is all done automatically using machine learning. The Bumper Machine takes a 30 or 90-second ad and creates a 6-second bumper ad. TechCrunch reports that YouTube is currently alpha testing the Bumper Machine.

Eventually, the current test will move to a beta test and ultimately a worldwide rollout. Bumper Machine works by searching for key elements in an ad, which could be voiceovers, a focus on specific people, company logos, or products. The last two-to-three seconds of an ad will always have a call-to-action.

Since machines are unlikely to get things right 100% of the time, creating an ad will still require a degree of human intervention. Bumper Machine will create four variations of an ad for the user to choose from. The user can choose one or keep all four if they choose. That’s all the information available about the tool at this present time. I expect we’ll hear more as development progresses – particularly given YouTube’s increasing weight as a marketing platform.

Google Search Console Reports Back on Track

After a shaky start back in April, when it was stricken by a bug that took three weeks to fix and impacted numerous reporting features, the Google Search Console has finally fixed its problems. The bug led to an issue with fresh data and correct live status reporting and an indexing issue caused by unrelated canonical URLs. There is still a backlink report that is being worked on, but otherwise, everything should be 100% operational at time of writing.

24% of Search marketers Running Responsive Ads

Responsive search ads are catching on with search marketers. Marin Software’s Q1 2019 digital marketing benchmark report shows that 24% of marketers are utilising RSAs. Google first introduced them in July 2018 as ad units that use machine learning to adapt to user queries. At the time, the ad units were only available in beta, which makes the adoption rate feel even more significant.

Wesley MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing at Marin Software, said in a recent press release: “Up-and-coming ad formats like Shopping Ads, Responsive Search Ads, and Messenger Ads rose in popularity this quarter as advertisers looked for ways to capture consumer attention in this evolving digital landscape.”

51% of D2C Brands Say SEO is a Top Acquisition Channel

A report on direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketing in 2019 has found that SEO is a top acquisition channel for most brands. When asked “what are your top 3 acquisition channels?” the responses were: 61% social media, 51% SEO and 50% direct traffic. Paid search came in fourth place (26%), and physical stores were a distant fifth (18%).

The above data comes from the State of D2C Marketing 2019 report from Yotpo in partnership with Magento. Data in the report is based on a survey conducted between March and April 2019, with responses from 512 eCommerce and marketing decision-makers.

Google Announces New ‘Discovery’ Ad Formats

Discovery is a big theme at this year’s Google Marketing Live, its annual event to unveil new ads products held in San Francisco. And several new ad units announced today are designed to address top-of-funnel consumer scenarios.

Chief amongst them was the introduction of “Discovery ads.” These are native ads that appear in multiple Google feed environments. Google’s VP of Product Management Brad Bender said at a press briefing that Discovery ads are “visually rich, mobile first and use the power of intent.” This “power of intent” essentially means the signals Google derives from site visitations, app downloads, videos watched and map searches – the same signals Google uses for its In-Market audience targeting.

To get started, advertisers must specifically create a Discovery campaign and upload ad copy and creative assets. Google will then optimise the best performing combinations using machine learning. Discovery ads appear in the Google Discover feed, on the mobile YouTube feed and in Gmail. Google also revealed that the Discover feed now reaches 800 million users globally. The company added that Discovery ads will become available to advertisers later this year, worldwide.

Instagram to Let Creators Tag Products in Posts

Instagram will soon allow creators to link to products in their posts, so users can shop without leaving the app. Creators will be able to tag products in their posts from businesses that are part of the Instagram checkout service, which is currently in beta.

These tags will lead to a bespoke in-app shopping page. Instagram is rolling out product tags first to a small group of notable influencers. Both creators and the brands they tag will receive insights about the performance of shopping posts.

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.