#TWIMshow - This Week in Marketing

Episode 202 contains the Digital Marketing News and Updates from the week of Mar 4-8, 2024.

1. IndexNow Insights & Top SEO Insights Report - In an announcement at PubCon and then shared on the Bing blog by Fabrice Canel, Principal Product Manager at Microsoft Bing, Bing Webmaster Tools has introduced new insights and reports aimed at enhancing site performance across Bing and general search engines. 

The new IndexNow Insights report, now offers more than just a glimpse into URLs submitted through IndexNow; it provides:
  • Learn about issues with crawled URLs and the status of your submitted URLs.
  • Receive detailed reports on the number of URLs submitted, crawled, and indexed.
  • Learn about your latest 1000 submitted URLs, including their index status, first indexed date, and whether they were submitted late.
  • Get insights into the source of your URL submissions, whether through Cloudflare, WordPress, manual submission, or other means.
  • With the "Important URLs Missing" tab, find out which newly discovered links are getting clicked but were not recently visible in IndexNow, helping you to better optimize your content and identify any technical issues.
  • Get detailed information on individual errors, including content quality, robots disallowed, not crawled, indexed, and deadlinks. View a list of problematic URLs and steps to fix them.
  • Drill-down for further details on non-indexed URLs, sample URLs, submission times, and mitigation steps to getting URLs indexed.
  • Export indexing trends for further analysis or reporting.
With IndexNow reaching 2.5 billion URLs submitted—up from 1.2 billion six months ago—and accounting for 17% of new URLs clicked in web search results, as stated by Canel, the importance of adopting this protocol cannot be overstated. 

2. YouTube's Algorithm Insights for Creators - In a recent conversation on the Creator Insider channel, Renee Richie, a creator liaison, delves into the intricacies of YouTube's algorithm with Todd, who leads the Growth and Discovery team at YouTube. The discussion focuses on clarifying common misconceptions creators have about the algorithm and offers valuable insights into optimizing content for better visibility and engagement.

The algorithm, contrary to popular belief, evaluates videos on an individual basis rather than assessing the overall performance of a channel. This approach ensures that a single off-topic viral video or a poorly received video does not adversely affect the channel's standing with the algorithm. Todd emphasizes the importance of aligning content with audience interests to maintain and enhance video performance.

One of the most enlightening points made during the discussion is the concept that YouTube does not push videos to viewers; instead, it pulls videos based on viewer preferences. This viewer-centric approach means that the algorithm is activated when a user visits YouTube, making recommendations based on the user's history, device, and other contextual factors. Such insights underscore the importance for creators to focus on creating content that resonates with their audience, rather than trying to game the system.

Another key takeaway is the algorithm's persistent support for videos, regardless of their immediate performance. Todd reassures creators that a video's success is not confined to its initial launch period. YouTube continues to recommend videos over time, adapting to shifts in viewer interests and trends. This perspective encourages creators to remain patient and not to disregard videos that do not perform well initially.

The conversation also touches on the dynamics of content strategy, highlighting the necessity for creators to adapt to changing viewer preferences, such as the rising popularity of short-form content. Recognizing and responding to these shifts, and understanding the competitive landscape, can significantly influence a creator's success on the platform.

Creators are advised to analyze their content's performance, especially how it's received by subscribers, to identify areas for improvement. This process can help pinpoint issues related to content packaging or delivery that might affect viewer engagement.

In summary, the discussion between Renee and Todd sheds light on the operational principles of YouTube's algorithm, debunking myths and providing creators with a clearer path to optimizing their content strategy. Understanding that the algorithm favors content that meets viewer demands and preferences can empower creators to produce more engaging and successful videos.

3. Local Services Ads Verification to Combat Spam - On March 4, 2024, Google updated the verification process for Local Services Ads (LSAs), aimed at enhancing security and trustworthiness among users and advertisers. This update, first rolling out in smaller U.S. states and progressively expanding to larger ones throughout the year, introduces a stringent verification procedure that includes identity checks alongside the existing license verifications for professionals featured in LSAs, such as lawyers.

The revised verification process is Google's response to the growing concern over spam and fraudulent activities within the LSA program. By enforcing identity verification, Google intends to safeguard consumers from impersonators posing as licensed professionals. This move ensures that only verified business owners or senior partners, along with their affiliated professionals, are eligible to appear in LSAs, thereby enhancing the integrity of the ads shown to users.

Affected advertisers are notified via email, with instructions on completing the verification process through Google's partner, Evident. Failure to comply within a specified timeframe results in the removal of the ads from search results, impacting the visibility and potential reach of the business. This initiative reflects Google's commitment to improving the LSA ecosystem, protecting both consumers and legitimate advertisers from the adverse effects of deceptive practices.

4. "Solutions": Google Ads' Latest Innovation to Streamline Ad Management - Google Ads has announced "Solutions." This new tool is designed to simplify and automate the management of Google Ads accounts, offering a seamless experience for advertisers. Accessible for free under the "Tools" section in Google Ads, Solutions empowers users with the ability to generate comprehensive reports, automate basic management tasks, and much more, all tailored to enhance campaign performance relative to business goals. Here is what you can do with it:
  • Filter your data by campaign, ad group, keyword, or other dimensions
  • Set flexible budgets
  • Manage negative keyword lists throughout your account
  • Sort your data by any metric
  • Export your reports to a variety of formats, including CSV and XLSX
Solutions help you to create automated and customized workflows without making changes to the code. Solutions are accessible for all advertisers and don’t require technical skills or coding knowledge. Here are the types of solutions:
  • Account summary: Generates a report of the performance for a Google Ads account
  • Ad performance: Generates a Google Spreadsheet with distribution charts showing an ad's performance
  • Account anomaly detector: Sends out an email when an account's performance stats deviate significantly
  • Link checker: Checks that URLs in ads and keywords don't produce any "page not found" or other errors
  • Flexible budgets: Dynamically adjusts campaign budget daily with a custom budget distribution scheme
  • Common negative list: Simplifies management of negative criteria
However, with the introduction of Solutions, Google plans to sunset the manual Solutions library to streamline user experience and eliminate redundancy. For those eager to leverage this powerful tool, getting started is straightforward. Simply install the solution from the Google Ads Solutions Gallery.

What is #TWIMshow - This Week in Marketing?

This Week in Marketing is a weekly roundup of all the notable latest developments that you need to know to stay on top of your Digital Marketing game.