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New Google ranking update for review content; Security vulnerability on WordPress; Premier League bans gambling sponsors; Best Ads and More

Welcome to this week’s Digital Discovery. Each week we cover the latest developments and everything you need to know in the world of digital marketing.

This week we cover:

  • Google update for all review content
  • Security vulnerabilities found in popular all-in-one WordPress plugin
  • Google Ads introduces new verification badge for verified advertisers
  • Premier League bans gambling sponsorships on front of matchday shirts
  • Sainsbury’s shifts loyalty scheme focus to offer more immediate value
  • ITVX sees increase in brand awareness, while Unilever, PepsiCo, and Heineken join ITV AdLabs’ ‘Matchmaker’ retail media solution.

Plus we look at some of the best ads discovered and look ahead at key content dates coming up.

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

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

Google update for all review content

Google has launched an updated version of its reviews system that expands its evaluation of reviews beyond just products. The update released 12 April 2023, now encompasses reviews of various reviewable topics, such as services and businesses, destinations, and media like games and movies.

As part of this update, Google has also renamed its “product reviews system” to simply “reviews system” and made changes to its guidance documentation to apply to all types of reviews.

The significance of this update lies in the fact that what was previously limited to product reviews now encompasses all forms of reviews within Google’s review system.

The documentation puts an emphasis on experience – the new ‘E’ in Google’s E-EAT guidelines. Reviews can show experience with:

  • Visual evidence – using original photos instead of stock imagery.
  • Audio, visual or links to evidence of experience.
  • Quantitative measurements – how something measures up in various categories of performance.

Those signals of experience are evidence that the product has been handled, tested, used and measured. Make sure you read Google’s documentation on how to write high quality reviews

If your website features any review content, it is crucial to pay attention to this update. Monitor your rankings to determine whether your organic traffic increases, decreases, or remains constant.

Need SEO help? Book in a call with us

 

Security vulnerabilities found in popular All-In-One WordPress plugin

The All-In-One Security (AIOS) WordPress Plugin, which offers various security functions, including a firewall and login security protection, has two vulnerabilities that could allow malicious uploads, cross-site scripting, and unauthorized viewing of arbitrary files.

The plugin publishers have released a patch in version 5.1.6 to fix these issues, and users are recommended to update to at least this version. The plugin has over one million WordPress installations.

Is your WordPress site protected against these vulnerabilities? We offer support and maintenance packages for WordPress websites which automatically detects vulnerabilities like this one and much more.

Google Ads introduces new verification badge for verified advertisers

Google Ads has started displaying a new blue shield with a white checkmark as a verification badge for verified advertisers. Clicking on the badge leads to My Ad Center, where the advertiser’s name, location and Google verification details are displayed. The badge is expected to be a trust symbol that could potentially lead to more clicks and higher click-through rates for verified advertisers.

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Ads of the week

New Snoop Dogg advert for 19 Crimes Cali Blanc

Chocomel 2023

Chocolate milk drink Chocomel will be running its first UK TV ad from tomorrow. The brand – which is more popular than Pepsi in its home market of the Netherlands – has been available in the UK since 2019, but this represents its largest marketing investment here so far.

 

Costa – Made a little better

#StandUpToJewishHate

Absolutely love this! Great campaign.

 

Premier League bans gambling sponsorships on front of matchday shirts

Premier League football clubs will ban gambling brands from front-of-shirt sponsorships, but not on shirt sleeves or pitch-side ads. The ban will begin at the end of the 2025/26 season, and it follows consultations with the UK government. Anti-gambling campaigners have welcomed the decision but criticised the “incoherent” rules. The new measures are estimated to affect £60m worth of ads.

Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about the pressures and restrictions on gambling companies. I get the need to protect people, but the bans somewhat suggest that we don’t have the ability to manage our own temptations.

 

Sainsbury’s shifts loyalty scheme focus to offer more immediate value

Sainsbury’s, Boots, and Tesco have shifted their loyalty schemes to offer more immediate value to customers in response to changing buying behaviour due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Sainsbury’s is introducing lower prices for Nectar Card loyalty scheme members with discounts up to 50% on over 300 items, while Boots is offering 10% off the retailer’s own brand range for its Advantage Card holders. Tesco reduced the value of its Clubcard rewards last month while also reducing shelf prices for loyalty members. Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts said Nectar Prices would help millions of customers save money.

 

ITVX sees increase in brand awareness, while Unilever, PepsiCo, and Heineken join ITV AdLabs’ ‘Matchmaker’ retail media solution.

ITVX, the streaming service launched by ITV, has seen a significant increase in consideration and brand awareness scores in the five months since it replaced ITV Hub, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex tool. Although ITVX is yet to break into the top three, its consideration score has grown from 29.2 to 38, making it the fourth-ranked streaming service after Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video. ITVX’s ad awareness score has also increased significantly, moving to the top of the charts with a score of 27.7.

This follows the news that Unilever’s Magnum, PepsiCo’s Walkers, and Heineken are among the FMCG advertisers that have joined ITV AdLabs’ ‘Matchmaker’ retail media solution in partnership with Boots and Tesco. The program links the ITV’s audience of 37 million with Boots’ Advantage Card and Tesco’s Clubcard databases using InfoSum’s data collaboration platform. The scheme will be available to all qualifying FMCG advertisers from July.

 

KEY CONTENT DATES

April

Whole month: Stress Awareness Month (UK)

  • 17 April 2023: International Haiku Poetry Day
  • 18 April 2023: National Columnists’ Day
  • 20 April 2023: National Look-Alike Day, National High-Five Day, Get To Know Your Customers Day (3rd Thursday of Every Quarter)
  • 21 April 2023: Eid al-Fitr, National Tea Day, World Creativity and Innovation Day
  • 22 April 2023: Earth Day
  • 23 April 2023: St George’s Day, London Marathon Day, English Language Day
  • 25 April 2023: World Malaria Day
  • 26 April 2023: World Intellectual Property Day
  • 27 April 2023: International Girls in ICT Day
  • 28 April 2023: World Day for Safety and Health at Work
  • 29 April 2023: International Dance Day
  • 30 April 2023: National Honesty Day, International Jazz Day

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s newsletter and found it useful. Happy Easter and enjoy the long weekend.

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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