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New Google Ads Transparency Center (Good for ad research); Twitter Verified costs $1,000 a month (Wow); SEO study; Best Ads and Key dates in April

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:

  • The new Google Ads Transparency Center – Exciting for advertisers?
  • Twitter Verified costs $1,000 a month (Wow) – but free for some
  • Microsoft announces Professional Service Ads
  • New LinkedIn features including Suggested Posts
  • SEO study: 31% of websites have hreflang errors
  • Microsoft consider new Bing Chat features including Ad revenue share

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…

The new Google Ads Transparency Center – Exciting for advertisers?

Google released it’s annual Google Ads Safety Report, and announced “In 2022, we removed over 5.2 billion ads, restricted over 4.3 billion ads and suspended over 6.7 million advertiser accounts. This represents an increase of 2 billion more ads removed in 2022 from the previous year”.

The numbers are huge and while it’s nice to know Google are ‘keeping us safe’, let’s face it, they have to do this to protect the quality of their search engine. As legit advertisers and marketers, we shouldn’t be too worried about banned ads – follow the policies and be responsible and I’m sure we’ll be able to advertise just fine.

The real news here is the announcement of the new Ads Transparency Center as a result of the report.  Google is rolling out its Ads Transparency Center globally to help users learn more about the ads they see on its platforms such as Search, YouTube and Display. The center allows users to search for ads, see which ones were shown in a specific region, and learn more about the advertiser, including their identity verification status.

Google will continue to roll out the Ads Transparency Center in the coming weeks. You will be able to access it directly or through visiting My Ad Center

This is great for advertisers to research competitor and industry ads whilst planning their own campaigns. Meta offers similar ad information in the Facebook Ad Library which we use frequently when researching ideas for our client advertising campaigns. While tools like Semrush already allow us to get data on Google Ads, this new Ad Center from Google should hopefully make this a lot easier.

On the flip side, for market leaders, this could be a frustrating insight into their ad efforts. But with that being said, I can’t imagine they’ll be overly concerned.

Twitter Verified costs $1,000 a month (Wow) – but free for some.

In another attempt to boost ad revenue, Twitter is offering a free pass to 500 of its top advertisers and the top 10,000 organisations by follower count, exempting them from paying the $1,000 monthly fee (Wow!!) for retaining their verified status and checkmarks.

This comes ahead of Twitter’s major changes to its verification programme, which will replace the legacy verified programme with the Verification for Organisations scheme, charging $1,000 per month and $50 per month per affiliated account.

Is this an April Fools?

 

Microsoft announces Professional Service Ads

Microsoft has announced that Professional Service Ads are now available globally along with other product updates for April.

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Microsoft’s Professional Service Ads may be similar to Google’s Local Service Ads (LSAs), however there are significant differences between the two. Advertisers must undergo licensing, insurance, and background checks to participate in Google’s LSAs and be certified as “Google Guaranteed” or “Google Screened.” In contrast, Microsoft’s Product service ads do not require such certification.

To get started with Professional Services Ads, Microsoft says “You’ll need to create a search campaign with a responsive search ad that functions as a placeholder. Then, you’ll create a dynamic data feed file where you’ll reference the campaign. We create your Professional services ads by pulling information from your feed file to generate ad copy and we use the responsive search ad’s settings for targeting and optimisation”.

New LinkedIn features including Suggested Posts

The latest Building LinkedIn newsletter dropped and showcases new features to make the platform more personalised and help users stay in touch with their communities.

The main feature is Suggested Posts in user feeds which surfaces trending conversations and topics within your industry. This is great for relevant conversations, content discovery and hopefully boosting the reach of your own posted content.

The update also include personalised feeds for more relevant content from connections and people you follow, enhanced search that allows users to find valuable content from credible sources on topics they care about, and finally a customisation feature asks users for feedback to improve their feed.

Best Ads of the week

Vanish | Autism

April Fools | Domino’s

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SEO study: 31% of websites have hreflang errors

study on 18,786 websites to identify common hreflang issues was conducted and found that 31.02% of websites had conflicting hreflang directives, 16.04% lacked self-referencing hreflang tags, 47.95% did not utilize the x-default attribute, and 8.91% had invalid language codes.

Additionally, 1.6% of websites contained invalid region codes.

Implementing hreflang can be difficult for many SEOs due to the syntax variations across different languages, language nuances, and regional targeting. Incorrect implementation can lead to duplicate content, indexing errors, and poor SERP visibility, which can harm SEO performance. It is crucial to implement hreflang carefully, and various SEO tools can help identify related issues.

If you need help with implementing hreflang or any other area of SEO don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Microsoft consider new Bing Chat features including Ad revenue share

Microsoft is currently exploring various methods to expand its content distribution and boost both revenue and traffic. Among the initial proposals are:

Chat ads: Microsoft is contemplating integrating ads within chat sessions and splitting the revenue with partners whose content played a role in the chat response.

Enhanced hover experience: When hovering over a link from a publisher, additional links from the same publisher will appear, thereby increasing user engagement and driving more traffic to the publisher’s website.

Rich captions for Microsoft Start partners: Incorporating a rich caption of Microsoft Start licensed content alongside chat responses can enhance user engagement and provide opportunities for partners to share in ad revenue.

Before we get too excited, it seems that all of the proposals will benefit ‘premium brands’ who are part of Microsoft’s Start Partner Hub

 

KEY CONTENT DATES

April

Whole month: Stress Awareness Month (UK)

  • 01 April 2023: April Fool’s Day
  • 02 April 2023: World Autism Awareness Day,
  • 03 April 2023: Post a Picture of Your Cat Day, Find a Rainbow Day
  • 04 April 2023: International Carrot Day
  • 05 April 2023: International Day of Conscience
  • 06 April 2023: US Masters Golf (6th-9th April) Begins
  • 07 April 2023: Good Friday, World Health Day
  • 09 April 2023: Easter Sunday
  • 10 April 2023: Easter Monday, Encourage a Young Writer Day, Siblings Day
  • 11 April 2023: National Pet Day
  • 12 April 2023: International Day of Human Space Flight
  • 15 April 2023: World Art Day, Grand National 2023, Record Store Day
  • 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

Happy Easter and 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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