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Good day to you, fellow digital marketing warrior, and welcome to the newest installment of Digital Marketing Week in Review by Four Dots. For those of you who are unfamiliar with our weekly category, this is where we digest some of the most relevant industry-related topics and events we gleaned over the last seven days or so. 

In our February 2020 Week 1 edition, you can read about the following events: 

  • Microsoft Says SEO Is The Most Important Hard Skill For Marketers In 2020
  • Facebook Revealed The Ways It Stalks Us, Even When We’re Not Using It 
  • All Google Ads Campaigns Will Soon Be Utilizing Standard
  • WordPress Version 5.4 to Add Lazy-Loading to All Images
  • Google Search Console Rolls Out New Removals Tool…

…and more

Let’s get crackin’!


Facebook Revealed The Ways It Stalks Us, Even When We’re Not Using It 

The days of suspecting that the Facebook app is listening to us in order to target its users for ads are over, but not exactly in a good way. 

The social media giant provided us with a long-awaited insight into how much information it is able to glean on, well, all of us. A few days ago, Facebook created something called the “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker that displays the extent to which this platform (along with its sister apps Instagram and Messenger) goes to track your activity, without even using your device’s mic, or – even creepier – while you’re not even using the app. 

What the “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker basically does is displaying its users the data it gathered over the last 180 days via various other organizations and advertisers that this social media behemoth is in cahoots with. 

“Even when your phone is entirely off, businesses can upload information about you making an in-store purchase,” write folks over at Washington Post. “One colleague found 974 apps and websites shared his activity.”

More on the Off-Facebook Activity tracker here. 


WordPress Version 5.4 to Add Lazy-Loading to All Images

The company announced that the upcoming iteration of its content platform – WordPress 5.4 – could be featuring image lazy-loading for all WP images, enabling the “loading” HTML attribute on all IMG elements. This means that WordPress users won’t be needing JavaScript (or third-party plugins) in order to use lazy-loading for their WordPress images.

For those who are not aware of lazy-loading, it is basically an HTML attribute that provides your browser with information on whether it should wait before downloading an image or if it should download it instantly. 

Two main lazy-loading attribute types are:

  • Eager – tells your browser to download the image right away.
  • Lazy – tells the browser to wait until the viewport is within a certain distance before it downloads the photo. 

The latter will definitely improve and speed up the user experience on WP pages. 


Google Search Console Rolls Out New Removals Tool

The new GSC removals tool will be providing the users with 3 new options:

  1. Letting the user hide URLs from showing in Google search for a certain period of time
  2. Letting you know which content is outdated and is therefore not showing in Google 
  3. Showing the user the URLs that were filtered by Google’s SafeSearch adult filter

To access the new removals tool, you need to go to Google Search Console’s “Index” menu and click on “Removals.” 

What this means from the SEO standpoint is that not only can we now quickly remove content from Google but also gain insight into why exactly a certain piece of content has been taken down via third-party requests.

More detailed info on GSC removals tool here. 


All Google Ads Campaigns Will Soon Be Utilizing Standard Delivery 

As of May 2020, Google Ads will make standard delivery the one and only ad delivery method for each and every type of Google Ads campaign (including Video, Display, App, and Hotel campaigns). The migration from accelerated delivery to standard delivery commenced in October 2019 and started with Search and Shopping campaigns.

All ongoing campaigns that are currently utilizing the accelerated type of delivery will be automatically converted to standard delivery as soon as this change officially starts. 

According to Google, standard ad delivery is optimal for all ad campaigns as calculates expected ad performance on a daily basis, while accelerated delivery isn’t cost-efficient: 

“… for campaigns that are limited by budget, [accelerated delivery] can increase CPCs due to increased competition early in the day, or unintentionally spend most of your budget in earlier time zones. Alternatively, Standard delivery takes into account expected ad performance throughout the day and is better at maximizing performance within your daily budget,“ Google officials stated. 

More info on standard ad delivery here. 


Google Will No Longer Be Deduplicating Right-Sidebar Featured Snippets

Right-sidebar featured snippets in Google search have URLs shown below. These URLs will, despite recent talks of Google removing them, still be shown in the snippet within the main organic listings

For now, anyway. 

The company will definitely, at some point, be removing the featured snippets from the right rail in order to place it to the main listings. 

Currently, the URLs that managed to reach the right-sidebar featured snippet appear twice within the first page in SERPs. 


Microsoft Says SEO Is The Most Important Hard Skill For Marketers In 2020s

According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the SEO skillset is currently among the most important ones alongside data analysis, copywriting, etc. 

The research features a section regarding current trends in marketing skills, including the forecast on trends spanning over the next decade. The good news for all SEOs out there is that the list of crucial hard skills features Search Engine Optimization at its very top. 

The data processed within the aforementioned study comes from a poll done via LinkedIn that included 600 global senior marketer participants. Here are the most important marketing skills to have in  2020s:

Hard skills:

  • SEO
  • Data analysis
  • Copywriting
  • Behavioral analysis
  • Automation

Soft skills:

  • Creativity
  • Humility
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability
  • Transparency

More on this interesting study here. 


This concludes this rendering of our Digital Marketing Week in Review. Until next week, check out our previous edition!

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