Canonical Chronicle – Episode 7

In this weeks Canonical Chronicle, @rtavs goes into the new search console reports, shopable features in instagram and new bidding types inside of Google Ads


In this episode, Ross covers new bidding strategies in Adwords, new information in the search console reporting and new shoppable features in Instagram. Transcription - [Ross] "When I'm not with you, I lose my mind. Give me a sign. Hit me, baby, one more time." This is the Canonical Chronicle, Episode 7. Let's get into the search news today. ♪ [music] ♪First up, something in AdWords news. Google has announced a new way to bid on their ads. Google has announced a new targeting strategy to allow us to bid on their ads in a slightly different way. And I know what you're thinking, they're probably just coming out with something to help us get better ads to our customers and help us, as retailers, make more money. No, I'm only kidding. It's clearly ways to make you spend more money on your advertising and giving you less control over what's going on. You can now bid based on impression share. So for anyone who doesn't know what impression share is, it's essentially the percentage of the time that your ad shows versus the amount of times that people actually search for that query. So what's clear about it is you have three particular options. Do you want to be absolute top of the page, somewhere above the fold, or just generally on Page 1? I absolutely love that that's the lens that Google are now going to, to increase revenue. "Do you want to be roughly on Page 1?Yeah. Yeah. Just give us the money, and we'll deal with it later." In all seriousness, though, this is actually quite a good strategy, especially if you do a lot of brand bidding. Let's say, for example, you get tons of competitors bidding on your brand, and you're constantly adjusting cost-per-click, "Is it phrase match? Is it broad match?Is it exact?" So many campaigns, so many options. But using impression share match, now you can literally say, "Let me show 100% of the time, position one for my brand name." Job done. Of course, you're going to need to check into those campaigns quite often because they do have a tendency to run away with themselves. But a nice, new thing in our arsenal that we can start playing with. Next up, Google is now letting you comment on the results in the SERPs. Now, when I read this bit of news, I was like, "Ah, why, God? Why?" Like the last thing that we need is people commenting in search results. For me, I think the reason this actually happened was Google's going through the five stages of grieving when it came to Google+. So they literally killed Google+ last week, something that was designed for commenting and social sharing. And now, this week, magically in some of the SERPs, we can comment on them. It seems like a bit of a weird move. But if you actually drill down, it's only in live sports-based SERPs. So for example, if there's a football game on, you can actually go in, type about it, and actually comment and interact with people live in the SERP, while you're looking at the match unfold in real-time. I really don't know how useful this is going to be. But when I think about it, there's a couple of applications for this, helping with machine learning being number one. We all know that Google uses inputs from real people in order to train the algorithm and help the machine understand what's a good result and a bad result. As tons and tons of people comment on live sports, I imagine that it's actually quite a good way to get real-time interactive data from users and train the algorithm. Secondly, and what I think the real reason is, is probably because it's just another thing you can start to monetize. Let me give you an example. Let's say that you're Budweiser. At the moment, Google search isn't really a good play for you because there's no branding there. What, someone's going to type in "beer," and you're going to get some blue links at the top with absolutely nothing to do with your brand, and they'll hopefully click through it and visit a brand experience? It feels a bit lame, and it's not really a big value-add for a lot of those FMCG brands. But how about now, if I could tell you that you can actually put your advertising on live sports results to the exact people you already pay for, but at a fraction of the cost and only when we take an action? That feels like a little better for those sort of brands. Although it's not actually available for advertising, if we look a little bit into the future and look at where Google is weak, which is audience analysis and pushing brand messaging, it makes sense that it would start to offer this to select partners. Next up, in social news, your Instagram feed is even more shoppable than it was before. Now, I'm not really a social guy, I'm not on Instagram a lot, but I'm not totally adverse to like the odd, little duck-face selfie from time to time. But I do a lot of shopping ads and product feed ads, so this move I find absolutely fascinating from Instagram. Just a really big one, especially if you work with any sort of influencer. So what you can literally do now is tag up your own products inside of Instagram Video, not Photos. This is a game-changer on so many levels. If there's an influencer that you've paid to walk about in all of your stuff, instead of some kind of lame discount code that you try and send them through some sort of Instagram bio link to buy, what you're actually doing now is tagging the video up with your exact product feed, and there's a space for people to click and go straight through to buy. In fact, Instagram is so aspirational and so many people are using it to actually like discover things like that, it's an absolute killer, killer move. I honestly think Mark Zuckerberg is literally setting down every day looking at every other social media platform and thinking, "Hmm. Who can I kill today?" - [Mr. Burns] There must be something I can do about this. Wait. Yes. I think I know just the thing. - First, it was Snapchat with Instagram Stories steamrollered over all of their competitors. Next up, Pinterest. I guarantee you, as soon as all this stuff becomes more and more shoppable, we're going to see the Pinterest stock go down, down and down, and it's going to be a distant memory for us as marketers. Next up, more in social news. This week, Mark Zuckerberg has come out and said that he's going to curb more questionable content in their newsfeed. So he used the word "borderline," and he had it in inverted commas. So what exactly is borderline content? Well, he says that it's clickbait content that attempts to deceive or push people to somewhere that they don't want to be pushed. Now, that's all very well and good, and that's very lovely and gives us nice, warm feelings inside, but let's drill down to what that actually means and who it actually affects. So at Type A Media, we feel very, very privileged because we've been able to work with the biggest Facebook page in the world, bar none. Oh, I'm sorry. I just dropped that name there quite heavy. And because of that, we see all of the analytics, all of the clickthrough data, and everything that actually works and actually does not work on these platforms. This is not the first time that Facebook have come out and said this for publishers. They actually said it months and months ago, and we absolutely did see organic decline for a while. But the thing is, when you're training these algorithms, looking at engagement and things like that, people are looking at it, commenting on it, sharing it, and things like that, well, although it's clickbait content, it's still good content that people want to share and find entertaining. So when it comes to policing that, it'd be a very, very hard job of actually making any impact at all. Now, let's take a step back and think about what Facebook actually care about. Facebook care about cold, hard cash. - [Stewie] Yeah. That's what happens, man. - [Brian] Oh my God. - Yeah, that's what happens. Where's my money? You going to give me my money? Where's my money, man? - [Man 1] What the hell happened to you? - What we saw is that when we started choking the organic reach of all these big publishers, when the publishers moved to Instant Articles, which is a Facebook property that contains their in-house advertising, magically, all of the organic reach started to come back. And what's the kicker there? Why would they want to push Instant Articles on Facebook and keep you on their platform? One very simple reason, my friend, money, money, money. ♪ Money, money, money, money, money ♪- They take a third of the ad revenue from that versus 0% of the ad revenue when you click off of their platform. Sometimes you've just got to look at the Facebook team and just take a step back and be like, "Beautiful, beautiful play, guys. Apart from completely trashing most of the world economies and political landscapes, when it comes to making money, you guys sure know how to do that." Next up, some new information for the Search Console reports. So the new version of Search Console is just getting better and better and better, from the URL Inspection Tool to the performance over 16 months. Like, as SEO people, I think we can both say that we're absolutely in love with what they're doing to it right now. This is one of the things in a long line of updates that they're doing, you can now get information about your event listings inside of Search Console. So think about it, how many times have you been there with a client and they're like, "Oh, my average ranking is all over the place? Like we're usually somewhere in the front. Sometimes it's map packs, sometimes it's these event listings, sometimes it's actually in the SERPs, but our average keeps going all over the place. Like what's going on there?" And the thing is, as the SEO, you're like, "Well, we can see your landing page they're going to and the query they're [inaudible]. But in terms of the makeup of that SERP, it can't really tell you what they're clicking on and what's the most effective." Well, inside Search Console, now we can. So we're going to see impressions, clicks, and queries just the same way we can do it for standard SERPs, this time applied to events. If you've got Search Console open as you're watching Canonical Chronicle, which I highly, highly advise that you do, just go to Search Appearance and then Filter, and then you'll see a new checkbox for rich results. Jump in there and start seeing all those event listings. This has been the Canonical Chronicle. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you'd like to follow us on social media, all of the links are in the description box. And until then, we'll see you next week.