digital markteting desk with spring flowers lily of the valley

New Google core update follows ‘Helpful Content’ anti-climax; Exciting ad updates from Microsoft; Ad rules on HFSS scrapped? Ads of the week and more

Before we get started this week, I would like to pay my respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Like many others, Queen Elizabeth II is the only Monarch I’ve known and witnessed in my lifetime. A constant presence in a changing world.

It didn’t feel right to post an update last week and I’m pleased to see so many others respect the period of mourning. It’s so moving to see how the nation has shown the upmost respect during this time.

I wanted to share a small clip by BBC which stood out to me:

Rest in Peace.

This week’s Digital Discovery will cover everything you need to know in the world of digital marketing over the last two weeks.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this newsletter and follow me on LinkedIn.

Ok, let’s dive into this week’s update…

New Google core update follows ‘Helpful Content’ anti-climax

Earlier this week on 12 September, Google announced a core update which should take 2 weeks to complete.

The update follows the helpful content update which finished rolling out on 9 September. In summary, Google’s helpful content update aims to “better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.”.

The industry was expecting big changes from the helpful content update; however the impact was minimal with only a few sites such as ringtones, coding and lyrics pages noticing anything substantial.

But could the new core update change things?

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Tweet from Danny Sullivan

Danny Sullivan is Google’s public search liaison. His tweet doesn’t comfort those who were worried.

Ultimately, the best thing for site owners to do is follow Google’s advice and create good content for people. Have great content whilst removing or updating content that isn’t helpful and you should be fine.

More Google things you need to know

A new Google Ads policy that requires landing pages to meet the “better ads standards” will be implemented in October. If a page does not meet the requirements, then Google will disapprove the ad. Check out the standards here

Google has updated its documentation on meta descriptions. The update includes examples of both good and bad meta descriptions. The bad includes listing keywords, duplicate generic content, failing to summarise the page and short content. Google recommends site owners to ensure descriptions are truly descriptive. Read more here

Google is removing ‘top content’ bids in October. The top content bid allows advertisers to set bid adjustments for content that Google deems to be popular. The change is another manual control taken away by Google as the platform continues to steer towards automation.

Google’s big search event #SearchOn 2022 will take place on 28 September at 6pm. Find out more here

A new HTTPS report is coming to Google Search Console. A useful tool to discover if any particular pages are being indexed as unsecure. A well known ranking factor.

Microsoft Ads get better and better

Over the last two weeks Microsoft have announced a number of exciting updates to its advertising platform. Here’s what’s important…

You can now import Pinterest campaigns to expand your reach to the Microsoft Audience Network. The handy import adds to the existing import functionality that allows users to import campaigns from Google Ads and Facebook.

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Microsoft Ads Import Options

In more import news. Google Performance Max campaigns can also now be imported as Smart Shopping Campaigns and Local Inventory Ads in Microsoft. The feature is currently in beta

Microsoft also announced support for managing Multimedia Ads in the Ads Editor is now available in all markets. Shortly afterward the company also launched the new ad formats for use on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network. Read more here

Finally, Microsoft announced a very exciting feature that allows advertisers to run smart campaigns across any mix of Microsoft Advertising, Google, Facebook, and Instagram—all from one interface within the Microsoft Advertising platform.

New UK PM Liz Truss may scrap new advertising rules on foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS)

While unconfirmed by the UK Government, there have been reports that Liz Truss is looking at scrapping incoming rules on HFSS.

From October, HFSS products will no longer be able to be displayed in ‘impulse’ areas such as shelve ends and checkouts. While rules banning HFSS on TV pre-watershed have been delayed until 2024.

Marketing and advertising industry bodies have welcomed the news.

LinkedIn data shows huge change in digital marketing skills since 2015

In a recent blog, LinkedIn have released data that shows how professional skills have changed since 2015. Part of the blog takes an interesting focus on marketing skills. The data shows a 50% change in the top 10 skills needed in marketing.

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New skills that have appeared since 2015 are SEO, Photoshop, Content Marketing, Google Analytics and Corporate Communications.

Skills that have fallen out of the top 10 are Public Relations, Event Marketing, Online Marketing, Event Management, and Sales.

Ads of the week

Warm felt ad from John Lewis shows father and daughter moments

Monopoly claims its good for child development

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IKEA | Bring Home to Life

Other stories of interest this week

How brands are paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Read more

D2C ecommerce brands spent $29.9 million on TikTok advertising in Q2 — up 60% QoQ

Read more

Kanye West ends partnership with Gap

Read more

Adobe buys Figma for $20bn

Read more

Key content dates for your social media next week

19 September – Funeral for HM Queen Elizabeth II

(This is not a recommendation to post, more of a reminder to be respectful. View the funeral plans here. Service starts at 11am and national 2 minutes silence at 11:55am)

21 September – International Day of Peace

22 September – World Car Free Day, Hobbit Day

23 September – First Day of Autumn

25 September – World Rivers Day


Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s newsletter and found it useful.

Please follow me and subscribe to my Digital Discovery newsletter. I’ll be posting each week about the digital marketing stories that matter.

See you next week.


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