2019 brought some significant changes in the internet marketing field. Here are some of the top events that made the headlines last year!
Google’s Organic Search CTRs Decline on Desktop and See a Significant Drop on Mobile
The data and analysis from SparkToro’s Rand Fishkin and Jumpshot showed the continuing decline of click-through rates (CTRs) on Google search results on smartphones and desktop. Experts believed this decline in CTR was because users can easily find the answers to their questions through Google Snippets and other features directly on the search engine.
LinkedIn Rolls Out Interest Targeting for Advertisers
LinkedIn announced a new “Interest Targeting” feature in Campaign Manager that allowed advertisers to target ads to the platform’s audience members based on their professional interests and topics. Advertisers can choose from 200 professional issues, including artificial intelligence, global economy, and customer experience.
Google Says Some of the Search Console Data for December Might be Inaccurate
Google announced that a bug was discovered in Search Console, which may have impacted reporting for some time in December. Specifically, the bug alters the reporting of Google Discover impressions and clicks. As a result, the site owners may see a data drip in the Performance report during the period.
The bug does not affect a site’s content that has been surfaced in Google Discover. Data reported after December 13 will be accurate, although data that was lost between the 8th and 13th will not be able to recover.
Instagram has New Rules for Publishing Branded Content
Instagram introduced a new policy that will inhibit consultants from publishing certain types of content. Under this new policy, branded content that boosts goods such as vaping, tobacco products, and weapons will not be allowed on Instagram. Instagram’s current advertising policies have long prohibited that type of content, but the existing systems were not strictly enforced.
Yandex Announces Major Algorithm Update
Yandex, the largest search engine in Russia, announced a new algorithm update named “Vega Update” that introduced “1,500 improvements to Yandex Search.
The biggest and most significant change with this update, according to Yandex, is that the company is adding expert human feedback into algorithm training. Another change was the ability to double the size of their search index without impacting search result speed.
Google Launched a Hub for the Top Trending Product Searches
Google launched a home on the web for marketers to detect the top trending product searches across different categories. Google Shopping 100 features the products that have recently seen an increase in the searches. It’s crucial to note that these are not necessarily the top product searches overall, they’re products that are rising in popularity.
WordPress Announces Gutenberg 7.1
WordPress Gutenberg 7.1 has updated with a large number of advancements. While there is a small slowdown in performance introduced in this version of Gutenberg, the scope of improvements can override those concerns.
An improved feature has been introduced in the welcome UI screen. This is an element for new users to help them introduce to the Gutenberg block editing experience. This release introduces Table Captions, which allows users to add captions to the bottom of the tables. A new UI toggle has been submitted for selecting between editing and selection modes.
This makes Gutenberg’s table functionality more useful and saves the user from having to download a plugin. However, users interested in creating tables with advanced features may be interested in using a plugin.
Google’s BERT Rolls Out Worldwide
Google announced the launch of BERT. BERT algorithm update enables Google to understand search queries better. So if Google follows the query better, that means Google can direct organic search traffic to the most appropriate web pages. Google already noted that BERT affected 10% of search queries for the English language when it rolled out in the United States. Featured snippets were affected by BERT so we may be seeing an improvement or increase in international featured snippets in the languages where featured snippets are available.
Google Lets Businesses Add a Custom List of Services to GMB Listings
An update to Google My Business granted service-based businesses to specify the types of services they offer to the customers. Google My Business will contribute a selection of suggested types of services to choose from. For example, electricians may see “Install water heater” or “Residential electrician” as services to add.
Google believes that having a standardized job type will make it easier for customers to find the services they needed. On the business side, Google says that adding a list of service types will bring about more relevant leads for those services. If the service isn’t recorded in Google’s suggestions, then businesses can add their custom services.
Facebook Introduces 3 New Ad Reporting Tools
Facebook rolled out new tools to assist advertisers in analyzing campaign performance. Facebook is making it a lot easier for advertisers to compute ad performance across accounts, channels, and even publishers. Using this data, advertisers can better understand how ads are performing, which demographics they’re reaching, and where the most conversions are coming from. The new ad reporting tools are:
Cross-Account Reporting: Cross-account reporting allows the advertisers to see metrics from multiple ad accounts all in one place. This comprises of data such as reach, impressions, and conversions.
Custom Metrics: Advertisers will have the choice to build their custom metrics to track more of the data they care most about. The custom metrics can be created once and used across all reports.
Conversion Path Reporting: Facebook has launched its Conversion Paths earlier this year to help businesses trail the multiple interactions an individual customer may have before making a purchase. To accompany these features, Facebook is now rolling out conversion path reporting.
Package Tracking is Coming to Google Search Results
Google is working on incorporating package tracking into search results, allowing users to get information without visiting the carrier’s website. With the package tracking, people will be able to enter a tracking number into the Google search bar to find out the status of their order.
While this feature looks like it could take traffic away from carrier’s websites, it’s crucial to note that inclusion is entirely voluntary. That means shipping companies have to opt-in to allow Google to surface their tracking information. Shipping companies are encouraged to opt-in via an early adopters program.
It will be delightful to see how many shipping companies end up getting involved. I’d wager they’d be giving up a significant amount of traffic if customers could get the data and information they need right from the SERPs.
These are our top 11 headlines from 2019. Some of them influenced us a lot, and some didn’t. Which digital marketing headlines captured your attention in 2019?