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Latest installment of Digital Marketing Week in Review by Four Dots is here. In this column we try to glean some of the most relevant news, events and developments that happened across the dynamic digital marketing landscape and took place over the last 7 days (or so). 

This time around the industry has some exciting pieces of news, including:  

  • Google to stop indexing Adobe Flash 
  • Facebook changes the way it tracks organic page impressions
  • Google launches animated series about SEO 
  • Google has a new search algorithm to better understand natural language
  • Facebook introduces responsive ads with multiple text optimization

… and more. 

Let’s get busy!


Facebook Introduces Responsive Ads with Multiple Text Optimization

Last year, Google Ads rolled out a then-new responsive ad feature. Facebook now follows suit by launching a similar ad feature called Multiple Text Optimization that allows you to come up with multiple versions of your single-media ad’s headline, copy and descriptions. Once you create several different variations, Facebook’s ad system is able to dynamically serve your target audience the combination it thinks will have highest performance. 

This is a handy option as it can also be deployed to test how different approaches to writing an ad copy perform with your audience and thus help you figure out what type of ad copy resonates best with them. 


Google’s Goodbye to Flash

It truly is an end of an era. Google just announced it will no longer be indexing and ranking Flash content. In other words, the content within Flash SWF files will no longer be processed, regardless of whether the content is located on Flash-based websites or on pages that only have certain portions in Flash.

Here’s an excerpt taken from Google’s official announcement: “Google Search will stop supporting Flash later this year. In Web pages that contain Flash content, Google Search will ignore the Flash content. Google Search will stop indexing standalone SWF files. Most users and websites won’t see any impact from this change.” 

The statement closed with this right-in-the-feels statement: “Flash, you inspired the web. Now, there are web standards like HTML5 to continue your legacy.”

Read more here: Google to stop indexing Flash content


Facebook Launches a New Program to Help News-Related Sites

Facebook’s new feature dubbed Facebook News was developed in order to help the websites within the journalism industry by providing them with a brand new sub-platform that has a potential to become a valuable device for audience growth.

The social media behemoth is making news accessible to its users via a dedicated space for highlighting top news stories from both local and national publications. 

Facebook spokesperson recently said the following: “At launch, this tab is very much an alpha test as we figure out what will provide the best experience for people. Part of that testing includes partnering with some publishers who are required to build tools with us.”

The four categories of publishers include:

  • General News
  • Topical News
  • Diverse News
  • Local News

More on the Facebook News feature here: Facebook Announces Program to Help News Sites.


Animated Video Series about SEO Basics Launched by Google 

Google is looking to grow its YouTube audience and educate them further by developing another video series. This time around it is an animated show aimed at SEO apprentices and is called “Search for Beginners.” 

Here’s how Google described the series: “A new fully animated series for anyone who is interested in learning the basics of creating an online presence and the right Google Search tools to help customers find their website.”

The new series are planned to be released every two weeks, while the range of SEO-related topics includes: 

  • How Google Search works
  • Frequently asked questions about search and discoverability
  • How to change what’s showing up in snippets in Google Search
  • How to correct inaccurate information about a business
  • How to set goals for a website
  • Tips for hiring a web developer
  • Tips for hiring an SEO specialist
  • Top 5 things to consider for a website…


Say Hello to BERT – Google’s Latest Search Algorithm for Better Understanding of Natural Language

Google is making the biggest change when it comes to their search system since the legendary RankBrain, which was introduced five-years ago. The company states this will impact 1 in 10 queries in terms of changing the results that rank for the queries entered.

The company introduced BERT this week and they expect it to be fully live rather soon. At the moment, this new algorithm will only impact English language queries, but Google says it will expand to other languages in the near future.

BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and it is Google’s network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP). Simply speaking, BERT can help computers understand language in a way humans do.

Google claims BERT is there to help better understand the context of words in search queries and match those queries with relevant results more easily. According to the company officials, this change is also “representing the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.”

This makes perfect sense considering 10% of all queries have been impacted by this update. This is a big change and we recommend you watch your search traffic changes in the next few weeks and see how much your website was impacted by this latest update.


Google Ads Introduces 2 New Tools for Responsive Search Ads

The big G is gifting all advertisers with two brand new tools for responsive search ads, which are available in all languages. Also, responsive search ads can now be easily set up from Google Ads Editor, the Google Ads API, and the mobile app.

Here’s what the two new tools include:

Performance column – This allows users to identify the exact creative assets that are driving results in high volume ad groups. It also helps them improve “Low” rated assets, keep “Good” performing assets, and emulate the “Best” performing assets.

Ad variations – This tool now supports responsive search ads, which gives advertisers an option to run their own ad copy tests.


Facebook Changes The Way It Measures Organic Page Impressions

Facebook pages might see less organic impressions in the upcoming period as a result of certain changes when it comes to how impressions are calculated.

To be more precise, Facebook is changing how repeat organic page impressions are calculated. This basically means changes will affect the time frame in which organic impressions from the same person are calculated on a specific page. Pages may see less organic impressions simply because the impressions won’t be counted as frequently as before.

Facebook points out that this update will not impact distribution and other engagement metrics, including reach. The purpose of this update is to allow businesses to make accurate comparisons between organic impressions and paid impressions.


Google Ads Introduces New Sets of Data to Shopping Campaigns

Google Ads now has an option of reporting on cart data for shopping campaigns by tracking all information related to purchases.

It’s rather simple, an ad click on a product leads to sales of other products, so cart data allows advertisers to see which items were purchased after certain ads are clicked, which products are most likely to convert, and which items are the most popular among customers.

Here are some of the benefits cart data for shopping campaigns offers:

  • Detailed reports of sold products
  • Measure of revenue and profit generated by Shopping Ads
  • Accurate reporting on cart size and average order value


Until we meet again next week, take a look at our previous edition of Digital Marketing Week in Review.

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