Ah, Friday. We’ve missed you. To help you pass the time till 5:30pm, check out our breakdown of the week’s digital news – including information on Google’s algo update (and the brand’s location-data troubles), how Facebook ads are improving, an exciting Movember launch, and how the heatwave has affected online behaviour.
Google’s core algorithm update: were you affected?
On the 1st August, a new Google search algorithm was rolled out – which means that affected parties have now had time to feel the impact of the change.
The update, dubbed “a broad, global, core update” was launched by Google in the standard way it releases updates “several times per year”. The search giant re-released its algo advice around there being no ‘quick fix’ for sites that suffer as a result, “other than to remain focused on building great content”. To put it simply – if you’re not doing anything wrong, then you won’t see any negative implications.
Our resident SEO guru and knower of all things search (who’s recently famous thanks to Search Engine Land), Danny Dzhenev, had some advice for businesses:
“There has never been a bigger focus on searcher’s intent, and entire SERPs are being shifted around anticipated intent and user engagement. Despite the magnitude or scope of a specific Google algorithmic update, the long-term picture is geared towards the user.
So how can you ensure your efforts are aligned with that shift?:
• Monitor what type of content is being used and works well across the top results in your vertical
• Break the content stereotypes paradigm – research more, post less if needed, and make sure the outcomes are trustworthy content pieces that your users will be happy to engage with
• Ensure a solid technical foundation and site architecture are in place.
• Stay true to your audience – give them what they expect to get or see (intrusive ads not being one) and don’t dilute your main website purpose or context.
At SGM, we incorporate these major principles when working on our clients’ search strategies, so we have not experienced any major negative fluctuations as a direct result of the most recent update.” Read tons more detail on the update over at Search Engine Land.
Facebook Video Ads becoming more relevant according to 71% of consumers
New data released this week has shown that 71% of online consumers find Facebook video ads either relevant or highly relevant, highlighting how brands have been working to improve their ad targeting over recent years.
44% of the people surveyed said that they watch at least five videos every day, which means that there is tons of opportunity to ensure that viewers are seeing ads that will drive them to action. The study also found that almost three in four of the respondents said they visit a publisher’s site sometimes or very often after watching their video, which shows that the potential to drive these actions is high if the message is right.
The study also found that Facebook is providing stiff competition for YouTube when it comes to ads, with Facebook video ad views up by six percentage points at 47% – compared to 41% for YouTube. Stories also got a mention in the study, with 68% of respondents saying they watch Stories on Facebook and Instagram some or all of the time. With ad placements now available in Stories, brands have yet another way to tap into their audiences where they hang out.
Resident paid social enthusiast, Ben, said: “If you needed any excuse to invest in video or advertising on Facebook, here it is. With such a huge active audience, some of the cheapest CPIs and fairly extensive targeting, Facebook remains one of the most effective social ad platforms. These results should fairly unanimously confirm just how effective social ads are, and how video content really is essential to marketing campaigns.” Check out more of the stats over at SmallBizTrends.
Google searches for Cornish holidays increase by 363% during heatwave
Whether you’ve been loving or hating the recent stretch of hot weather, there can be no denying that it’s affected the way we’ve behaved. Sales of BBQs and paddling pools soared across the country, and people had to trek to towns and cities further afield in order to panic buy garden furniture.
Stats released this week shows that staycation destinations across the country have also benefited from the warm weather – with a 363% increase in demand for holiday spots in Cornwall during the recent weeks. This is backed by stats from the Association of British Travel Agents, which showed that two thirds of us have planned a British break for this year – showing a reduction in people flocking abroad in search of sun.
Samuele Armondi, Managing Director of Everest Media, said: “With 84% of all holidays now being booked online, it’s no surprise that the heatwave has seen a significant rise in the volume of searches being made for holidays and beaches in the South West.”
This heatwave has meant that UK-based travel brands who optimised their keyword strategies pre-emptively could’ve seen great success over the summer. Check out more on the story at Net Imperative, or read one of the recent blogs from Giant Campus on how you can use the warm weather to heat up your content marketing.
Movember to use Instagram TV to launch emotive prostate cancer docu-series
A potentially life-changing release was announced this week in the form of a documentary from The Movember Foundation, designed to help raise awareness of those living with prostate and testicular cancer. And the platform they chose to debut the series? IGTV.
Instagram TV will be the exclusive host of the documentary series, which will give insight into a collection of people suffering from the condition, as well as interviewing people who have overcome it. IGTV, which launched recently, is intended to offer a platform for sharing long-form video content (up to an hour long), giving businesses and brands the opportunity to expand their Instagram offering and tap into a new format for educational, entertaining or inspirational content.
Jon Akerman, Movember Foundation global digital director, told The Drum: “With Instagram’s launch of IGTV to share longer-form content it is the ideal platform to tell more emotional, engaging stories that can connect with and help others.”
It is believed that 5.6m men across the world have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, so hopefully IGTV can help spread the message to wide swathes of people worldwide. Read more on the release over at The Drum.
Google location tracking remains active when deactivated, according to research
Google faced controversy this week, following an investigation by the Associated Press which found that location data sharing settings within Google services could potentially be rather misleading.
According to their research, Google’s location data sharing function cannot in fact be switched off – despite users being presented with an option to deactivate within settings. This is due to many location-based apps storing time-stamped location data against users’ wishes – even when the feature has been manually switched off.
Loopholes found include things like automatic weather updates, which give an approximate indication of a person’s position, and Google Maps, which automatically detects a location when the app is opened.
Experts have highlighted how important location-based advertising has become to the platform, particularly relating to revenue, which could be one reason Google’s blurring lines when it comes to disabling location data. Google however said that “we make sure Location History users know that when they disable the product, we continue to use location to improve the Google experience” – so perhaps the lines aren’t so blurred after all.
Read more over at The Drum.
The Agency League comes to GIANT Towers
Following the furore of the World Cup, a bunch of creative agencies in the UK decided that it’s not time to hang their virtual boots up just yet. The Agency League is a fantasy football league that unites the country’s creative agencies, and, naturally, we’ve got involved!
BREAKING NEWS… As we sit here before the gathering press, we’re delighted to announce the latest teams to join #TheAgencyLeague. Welcome to the league @TidyStudio, @pillorybarn, @SleepingGiantM & @CommCuriosity. Great to have you on board. #AgencyLife ?? pic.twitter.com/YY3e87WlvG
— The Agency League (@TheAgencyLeague) August 10, 2018
We’ve already got our own in-house fantasy football league on the go, with an Amazon voucher up for grabs, but we thought that simply was not GIANT enough. No, it was time to push that competitive streak one step further in the quest to discover who really is the best agency out there – when it comes to fantasy football, anyway. Don’t forget to check back in over the season to see who’s coming out on top, and let us know how your leagues are going!
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