Hello digital marketers! Welcome to this edition of Stukent’s News You Can Use. This is where we keep track of digital marketing updates and share the most valuable insights we’ve found over the past month.
This is one hot issue:
- Get the scoop on Mark Zuckerberg’s last big announcement
- Find out why strategy trumps tactics and where to leverage each
Those are just a couple of the stories we’ve covered below.
Topic: Social Media Marketing
Key Point: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touched off a firestorm of “What will we do now” and “I told you so” responses from internet marketers with his announcement that Facebook users will see fewer posts from businesses, brands, and media in the News Feed.
Facebook is about “personal connections,” Zuckerberg declared. Facebook users want to see more posts from friends and families. They want to establish “meaningful connections.”
What does that mean to digital marketers? Despite all the hoopla, it really changes very little. Facebook has been screwing down the hatch on organic business traffic in the News Feed for a while now. Zuckerberg doesn’t say this, but it’s obvious: If you want to play, you need to pay.
For a media report, check Michael Rucker’s article on TechCrunch: How Publishers Will Survive Facebook’s News Feed Change.
Key Point: How many of you remember the SEO nightmare Google touched off with Panda and Penguin? Do you recall Matt Cutts’ war on guest blogging and the subsequent rush by website owners to change all outbound links to nofollow?
Writing for the SEMrush Blog, Adam White took a contrarian opinion to set forth the proposition that Google expects to see nofollow links pointing to your website — therefore, not to have them is unnatural and can end up hurting your organic reach.
To back up that claim, White says his company’s research shows that nofollow links make up about a third of the total links pointed at top-ranked webpages in Google search. White’s article is a good read, and it presents an excellent topic for discussion. Here’s that article: Nofollow Links Are Actually Good.
Topic: Online Advertising
Key Point: Google launched a new course: Introduction to Universal App Campaigns (UAC). Aimed at marketers and app developers, the three units and ten lessons cover the value of machine learning, how to set up conversion tracking, how to identify high-value customers, and more. The course was created by Google marketing professionals; it was vetted by the team that created UAC at Google; and it’s free. That’s a tough trio to beat.
Here’s where to register: Intro to UAC.
Topics: Social Media Marketing
Key Point: Scott Ayres says the rumor that Facebook penalizes posts from third-party apps has been discredited. Now comes the same claim against Twitter. Is this one correct? Is Twitter really treating posts made by third-party apps (Buffer, Post Planner, etc.) like rotten apples?
Faced with a challenge by Ian Anderson Gray, Ayres went to work. He set up a fairly elaborate case study to get to the truth, and discovered that there was no significant penalty for posting with third-party apps.
This is important info for anyone using third-party apps to schedule or make social media posts. You can read all about it right here: Is Twitter Penalizing Apps?
Topics: Online Advertising
Key Point: Strangely enough, Google has deleted its announcement page concerning the issue, but Search Engine Land, WordStream, and others caught the almost hidden reference before it went up in smoke.
Here’s the news: text ad review extensions are no longer being shown. There may still be some remnants this month, but the plug has been pulled. If you used review extensions and wish to save the historical data, hurry to save it. That’s going away too.
Here’s how Search Engine Land handled the story: Goodbye Review Extensions.
Key Point: Amazon says the checkout line is unnecessary. Welcome to the brave new world of Amazon Go, an offline brick-and-mortar store in Seattle opened by the online retailer.
The flagship model serves food and drinks — items you probably seldom order online anyway — but it opens up a new realm of shopping possibilities. Shoppers need an Amazon account and the Amazon Go app. Once that’s in place, you use the app to enter the store, grab what you need, then head on out the door. It’s that simple.
To get an idea of what that’s like, check this article in the Seattle Times: Amazon Go article.
Key Point: Knowing and acting on the difference between tactics and strategy is critical to business success.
For an excellent look on how to consider both the tactical and strategic sides of conversion-rate optimization, check this video by Flint McGlaughlin from Marketing Experiments.
Don’t approach this lightly, though. Get ready to learn. McGlaughlin is a home-run hitter. He says tactical work can help you make incremental improvements, but strategic work can make the difference.
Key Point: Search Engine Journal’s Roger Montti took Google’s search liaison Danny Sullivan to task in this full-featured report on the current state of featured snippets. Montti’s primary objection isn’t that Sullivan is wrong — only that he “left out some telling details.”
Featured snippets are a mystery to most digital marketers. Consequently, those who take time to learn what they are and how to rank for them gain a definite advantage. Find out more here: Featured Snippets.
Congratulations! You’re all caught up on your digital marketing news and updates for the month! Tweet your excitement!
See you next month!
When you see an article or announcement you think should be covered in News You Can Use, let us know. Be a Stukent field reporter!
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