September 2020 – SEO and Marketing News

Sep 25, 2020 by
September 2020 – SEO and Marketing News

The world remains in a perpetual state of barely concealed panic and marketing budgets are being cut left, right and centre to conserve funds for more lucrative short-term gains, as is so often the case in times of recession.

Because we are now officially in a recession, one that makes the last one (back in 2008 if you can believe it) feel like more of a mild inconvenience.

The world of SEO and digital marketing keeps ticking over though and there’s been a lot going on this month to wrap our heads around. COVID or no COVID.

Google Ads to limit Search Terms reporting

Google has begun alerting advertisers that it will soon stop showing search queries that triggered their ads when there is not any “significant” data. The impact of this change and affect on advertisers’ campaigns and budgets will largely depend on how Google defines “significant.”

Right now, it’s quite common to see search terms with one impression or one click in search term reporting. We can expect that will no longer be the case when this change takes effect, but beyond that, we’ll have to wait and see what the thresholds look like.

The notice read: “We are updating the search terms report to only include terms that were searched by a significant number of users. As a result, you may see fewer terms in your report going forward.

To maintain our standards of privacy and strengthen our protections around user data, we have made changes to our Search Terms Report to only include terms that a significant number of users searched for.

We’re continuing to invest in new and efficient ways to share insights that enable advertisers to make critical business decisions.”

Bing’s new robots.txt tester can help SEOs identify crawling issues

Bing has added a robots.txt tester to its Webmaster Tools, the company announced Friday.

The new feature allows SEOs to analyse their robots.txt files and highlights issues that may hinder Bing from optimal crawling. SEOs can use this tool to test and validate their robots.txt file, or to check whether a URL is blocked, which statement is blocking it and for which user agent. Changes can also be made to robots.txt files using the editor.

The test functionality can check the submitted URL against the content of the editor, allowing SEOs and site owners to check the URL for errors on the spot.

The edited robots.txt file can be downloaded to be updated offline and, if changes to it have been made from elsewhere, the fetch option can be used to retrieve the latest version of the file.

The tester operates as Bingbot and AdIdxbot (the crawler used by Bing Ads) would and there’s an option to toggle between the two. The tool also enables SEOs to submit a request to let Bing know that your robots.txt file has been updated.

InMarket buys NinthDecimal to compete with Foursquare

Location analytics and data providers InMarket and NinthDecimal are joining forces. InMarket is buying the latter for an undisclosed sum.

The combined entity, InMarket, says “on day one” it will have revenue of $100 million, 550 partners and serve a large number of brands, agencies and publishers.

The acquisition was likely motivated by several factors, among them the need to get bigger to better compete with market leader Foursquare. Also, COVID-19 may have put pressure on the revenues and outlook for both companies.

The location intelligence/analytics segment is consolidating and there will likely be more M&A activity to create fewer companies with more capabilities and scale.

Roughly a year ago InMarket bought ThinkNear from navigation provider Telenav. Foursquare recently merged with Factual and earlier bought Placed from Snap.

Traditional media suffer as digital ad spend grows in 2020 forecast shows

It’s an understatement to say ad budgets are in flux right now. Some forecasters see a flat or declining outlook for the rest of the year and into 2021, while others see growth. The truth is, there are lots of numbers and none are very precise.

The IAB’s latest survey of 242 media buyers and publishers projects that total US ad spending will be down 8% for 2020, but digital will be up 6% year on year.

By comparison, eMarketer projects digital advertising will be up a more modest 1.2% this year. Traditional media is going to be way, way off, however.

Buyers appear to be shifting budget away from linear TV, OOH, radio, direct mail, and print to digital channels. Some traditional channels are down more than 30% in the IAB projection.

Apple IDFA consent: Roughly 60% of consumers open to allowing tracking

Apple has delayed one of iOS 14’s most controversial new privacy features: consumer opt-in permission to track and trace. The rule requires apps to get consent from users to access the device’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and transmit data to third parties.

The announcement came during the company’s developer conference earlier this year and immediately set off alarms among mobile marketers.

Facebook said the change could “severely” impact its Audience Network revenue on iPhones. Sister company Instagram is complaining very publicly about the damage the change will do to mobile advertisers and publishers.

Those complaints were heard. So, in recognition of the potential financial hardship it would inflict on mobile publishers and developers, Apple announced in a blog post that it was delaying enforcement of opt-in tracking consent until next year. Apple note, “To give developers time to make necessary changes.” What those changes will be remains a bit unclear at this time.