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Google’s guide to its search ranking systems; TikTok release Audience Insights; Google Ads Account Managers going too far; Best ads of the week & more

Welcome to this week’s Digital Discovery.

Here we cover everything you need to know in the world of digital marketing over the last week.

This week includes:

  • Google’s guide to its search ranking systems
  • TikTok release Audience Insights
  • Google Ads Account Managers going too far
  • The industry’s top Marketoonist cartoon of all time

Finally, we cover some of the best ads discovered this week and look ahead at key content dates coming up next week.

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

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

Google’s guide to its search ranking systems

Search engine optimisation (SEO) professionals take note. Google has released a very helpful guide that outlines what ranking systems are still in use for Google Search. Plus, a list of systems that have been retired.

Here’s the ranking systems that are currently in use:

  • BERT: An AI system that allows Google to understand how combinations of words express different meanings and intent.
  • Crisis information systems: Google has developed systems to provide helpful and timely information during times of crisis, whether those involve personal crisis situations, natural disasters, or other wide-spread crisis situations
  • Deduplication systems: Google’s search systems aim to avoid serving duplicate or near-duplicate webpages.
  • Exact match domain system: Google considers the words in domain names to match a search query but ensures this isn’t manipulated
  • Freshness systems: Google uses systems designed to show fresher content for queries where it would be expected
  • Helpful content system: To better ensure people see original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results, rather than content made primarily to gain search engine traffic.
  • Link analysis systems and PageRank: Systems that understand how pages link to each other as a way to determine what pages are about and which might be most helpful in response to a query
  • Local news systems: Systems that work to identify and surface local sources of news whenever relevant
  • MUM: Multitask Unified Model (MUM) is an AI system capable of both understanding and generating language. It’s not currently used for general ranking in Search but rather to improve featured snippet callouts.
  • Neural matching: AI system that Google uses to understand representations of concepts in queries and pages and match them to one another.
  • Original content systems: Systems to help ensure Google are showing original content prominently in search results
  • Removal-based demotion systems: Google has policies that allow the removal of certain types of content. For example, legal and personal information removals
  • Page experience system: Systems that assesses a variety of criteria, such as how quickly pages load, mobile friendliness, if pages lack intrusive interstitials, and if pages are served in a secure fashion. Google gives preference to content with a better page experience.
  • Passage ranking system: An AI system to identify individual sections or “passages” of a web page to better understand how relevant a page is to a search.
  • Product reviews system: Google prioritises high quality product reviews, content that provides insightful analysis and original research, and is written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well.
  • RankBrain: An AI system that helps Google understand how words are related to concepts. Allows Google to return results that don’t contain exact words used in a query.
  • Reliable information systems: Google has multiple systems to show reliable information, such as elevating authoritative pages, demoting low-quality content, and rewarding quality journalism.
  • Site diversity system: Google aims to avoid showing more than two web page listings from the same site unless necessary. Subdomains ( usually considered to be from the same single site.
  • Spam detection systems: Google uses a range of spam detection systems to remove spam content

Retired systems, which have been incorporated into other systems or made part of Google’s core ranking system, include:

  • Hummingbird
  • Mobile-friendly ranking system
  • Page speed system
  • Panda system
  • Penguin system
  • Secure site system

While most SEOs will be familiar with the systems used by Google it’s always handy to see what larger ranking systems are still in use.

TikTok release Audience Insights

Advertisers can now explore TikTok’s new Audience Insights tool to get a better understanding of their targeted audiences.

The new tool allows advertisers to apply audience filters

  • Locations
  • Languages
  • Age and Gender Demographics
  • Interests & Behaviours – by Ad Interest Categories or interactions with categories of Video, Creators or Hashtags
  • Devices – by operating system, OS versions, and device price
  • Custom audiences
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TikTok Audience Insights

But how can advertisers use this data? TikTok suggests four ways for advertisers to use Audience Insights:

  1. Discover insights for planning: You can see the top 10 hashtags your audience is interested in. Or use a custom audience to learn about audiences who have seen, clicked, or engaged with your content or audiences you’ve uploaded via Customer File.
  2. Validate and learn about your audience. Audience Insights can help answer questions about an audience and gain a quick understanding of demographics, behaviours and interests.
  3. Find inspiration for targeting and creative strategies. Some of the data might surprise you and allow you to discover audiences beyond what you traditionally target.
  4. Use hashtag and interest categories to plan future content. Advertisers can view the top 10 hashtags and top ad interest categories. Then incorporate these hashtags or interests into planning and content.

TikTok’s advertising platform continues to grow and compete with Meta and Google. Have you explored TikTok’s advertising yet?

Google Ads Account Managers going too far

Agency owners are often bombarded with calls and emails from account managers and ‘experts’ from Facebook and Meta. For those in the industry their advice is often standard, not bespoke and have a bias towards what is also best for the advertising platform – “We recommend you increase your budgets!” – of course you do!

This week, Matt Janaway, CEO of Marketing Labs shared his experience of Google’s Account Managers crossing the line by contacting clients directly and asking them to remove their agency from the account and to stop working with them. What’s worse is that they are using personal mobile numbers without permission, a potential breach of GDPR…

Matt’s experience isn’t a one-off. Reports on Reddit also show numerous experiences of aggressive sales tactics and similar practices.

So, let’s be clear:

1.     Agencies and advertisers are not obligated to speak with Google reps.

2.     Agencies and advertisers are not obligated to implement recommended changes.

3.     Google reps should not be contacting clients directly

4.     Google reps should not be encouraging clients to drop their agencies.

Google does not expect it’s reps to work like this, so any similar experience should be reported via Google’s official form.

The industry’s top Marketoonist cartoon of all time

Tom Fishburne, aka the Marketoonist, has drawn more than 900 cartoons over the past 20 years and now the industry’s favourite has been chosen.

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Watch the video to hear Fishburne highlight his top 20 cartoons of the past 20 years.


A Christmas Love Story | Just Imagine | National lottery

3D Billboard from Meta


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Nandos “wrapping paper”

 Key dates for your content:

28 November 2022: Cyber Monday

29 November 2022: World Cup: WALES vs ENGLAND 19:00, Electronic Greetings Day

30 November 2022: Computer Security Day, St Andrew’s Day

01 December 2022: World AIDS Day

02 December 2022: English Breakfast Day

03 December 2022: International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Small Business Saturday (UK), World Cup Round 16

04 December 2022: National Sock Day, World Cup Round 16

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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