1. Removing Unwanted Mentions In Twitter – With the help of a brand-new feature called unmentioning, Twitter now lets users remove their own tags from messages.

Unmentioning enables individuals to disengage from a conversation they do not wish to be a part of.

It’s an improvement over muting a conversation because it takes away the reference to the specified person’s account and stops others from bringing up the subject again.

Here’s more information on how unmentioning functions and what happens after you do it on Twitter.

  • It removes the link to your Twitter profile from the original tweet and all replies. 
  • It stops people from mentioning you again in the same conversation. 
  • It stops any further notifications about the conversation you were tagged in.

To unmention yourself, tap the three-dot menu at the top right of the tweet and select “leave this conversation.” Confirm your decision, and all tags will be removed.

2. Twitter Now Prompts You To Add Alt Text Descriptions To Images – Hey, are you adding alt text captions to your images? You should be, and now, Twitter’s going to prompt you to do exactly that, with new pop-ups being shown to some users alerting them to the benefits of alternative text summaries within tweets. 

Text descriptions are a key tool for visually impaired users, with screen readers able to communicate these descriptions to add relevant context.

FYI: Facebook introduced a new technology called automatic alternative text (AAT) in 2016, that generates descriptions of photos on demand so that blind or visually impaired individuals can more fully enjoy their News Feed.

3. Netflix Partners With Microsoft For Ad Supported Tier – FYI: On Wednesday, July 13th, 2022 Microsoft announced that they had been selected as the new partner to help bring an ad-supported subscription plan to Netflix. 

Last month the media speculated that Google & NBCUniversal were  frontrunners, but it makes sense for Netflix to partner up with Microsoft – they do not have competing products aka streaming service.  The details of the partnership are scanty and we will bring you additional information as it is released to the public.

4. YouTube Explains The Appeals Process For Community Guidelines Violation – A product manager at YouTube answered commonly asked questions about submitting appeals for community guidelines violation strikes. So what is a community guidelines violation? When a YouTube creator publishes content that violates the website’s community guidelines, they receive a strike against their channel.

We are publishing a blog on Tuesday (7/19/22) that will go in depth on this topic. 

5. Video Index Report Is Now Available In Google Search Console – Google is adding a new report to Search Console that will help you understand how your videos perform in search results. The Video Indexing report makes it easy to identify and fix issues preventing your videos from surfacing in Google Search. 

FYI: If Google detects videos on your site, the Video indexing report will appear on the left navigation bar in the coverage section. If Google has not detected a video on your website, you will not see the report. 

The report will help you answer the following questions:

  • In how many pages has Google identified a video?
  • Which videos were indexed successfully?
  • What are the issues preventing videos from being indexed?

In addition, if you fix an existing issue, you can use the report to validate the fix and track how your fixed video pages are updated in the Google index.

6. Not All Search Queries Show Up In Google Search Console – A couple of weeks ago, Ahrefs released a report showing that on average about 50% of queries in Search Console are hidden, i.e. classified as anonymized. The Ahrefs study looked at 146,741 websites and about nine billion total clicks and it compared the total clicks by URL compared to the clicks by query reported in Google Search Console. It found that Google hid 46.08% of all query data, or as Google calls it, classified them as anonymized queries.

 Now Google has updated their help document from saying “Very rare queries (called anonymized queries) are not shown in these results to protect the privacy of the user making the query” to saying “Some queries (called anonymized queries) are not shown in these results to protect the privacy of the user making the query.”

Google also added a section about “other limits on queries” that says “due to internal limitations, Search Console stores top data rows and not all data rows. As a result, not all queries beyond anonymized queries will be shown. Instead, the focus is on showing you the most important ones for your entire property.”

7. Google Proposes Splitting Ads Business To Prevent Antitrust Suit – Last year, Google’s advertising revenue was more than $209 billion. The US Justice Department has been investigating allegations that Google has abused its power as a digital advertising broker and auctioneer for some time. As recently as October 2020, it sued the company over claims it was illegally using its power to hamstring competitors. 

Now according to the Wall Street Journal, Google has proposed separating parts of its ad-tech business to prevent an antitrust lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department. Google proposes restructuring the company’s division that auctions and places web advertising into a separate company under Alphabet, Inc, the search engine’s parent company.

8. Google AdsBot Mobile Web Crawler Gets New ID – Google has updated the Google crawler documentation stating that user agent string for the AdsBot Mobile Web crawler has changed.

The new user agent string for Google AdsBot Mobile Web is:

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 14_7_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/14.1.2 Mobile/15E148 Safari/604.1 (compatible; AdsBot-Google-Mobile; +http://www.google.com/mobile/adsbot.html)

The old user agent string for Google AdsBot Mobile Web was:

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 9_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/601.1.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/9.0 Mobile/13B143 Safari/601.1 (compatible; AdsBot-Google-Mobile; +http://www.google.com/mobile/adsbot.html)

You need to update the user string if the user agent string is hard-coded anywhere on your site.

9. Now You Can Hide Your Address In Google Business Profile – There is now a toggle to “show business address to customers” in Google Business Profile. So if you are a small business and you use your home address, you can toggle that off to hide your address from showing in Google Maps or Google Search.

10. Hey Google! Is CMS A Ranking Factor? – It’s common to hear that WordPress is the best CMS for SEO, which may lead a person to believe they’re at a disadvantage if they choose anything else. However, John Mueller confirms there’s no difference from one CMS to another when it comes to ranking signals. Google isn’t concerned with what’s going on in the back end of a website. What matters is the final result shown to visitors.

Read his complete response below:

As far as I know, our search systems don’t look for any particular content management system to treat it differently. For us, a CMS is just one way of creating webpages. Google systems don’t focus on how the page was created. Instead, they focus on the final result. Hand-created web pages can be just as good as those generated by WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or similar. 

As far as I can tell, all mainstream CMS systems can create pages that work well in search. For the most part, SEO is not magic. It’s well documented, and there are many testing tools so all providers can include SEO elements if they choose to do so. There are slight differences across systems, just like all webpages are slightly different. For the average site owner, they either all work well for search out of the box, or can easily be tuned to do so with a few settings or plugins.

11. Hey Google! Is It Bad to Link to HTTP Pages? – HTTP is the  protocol for transferring data from a server to a browser. And HTTPS is a secure version that verifies and encrypts the communication between the server and browser. Furthermore, Google announced in 2014 that HTTPS is a ranking signal. And when someone asked John Muller if there will be any side effects from linking to an external insecure website, he said the following:

“And from our point of view, it’s perfectly fine. If these pages are on HTTP, then that’s what you would link to. That’s kind of what users would expect to find. There’s nothing against linking to sites like that. There is no kind of downside for your website to kind of like avoid linking to HTTP pages because they’re kind of old or crusty and not as cool as on HTTPS. I would not worry about that.”

12. Hey Google! Is It OK To Delete The Disavow File? – The disavow tool was introduced in 2012 by Google in response to the overwhelming demand of the SEO community, who wanted an easier way to deal with the thousands of sites suffering from the Penguin algorithm. The disavow tool provided SEOs an easy way to deal with links they couldn’t remove.

When asked if there are any risks, upside or downside to just deleting the disavow file, Google’s John Mueller stated it’s okay to stop disavowing random links and to delete the disavow list if it wasn’t done to deal with manipulative links, especially ones that caused a manual action penalty. 

So this is a good question, it comes up every now and then. And disavowing links is always kind of one of those tricky topics because it feels like Google is probably not telling you the full information. But from our point of view, it’s actually like, we do work really hard to avoid taking these kinds of links into account. And we do that because we know that the disavow links tool is somewhat a niche tool. …SEOs know about it, but the average person who runs a website has no idea about it. And all of those links that you mentioned there are kind of links that any websites gets over the years. And our systems understand that these are not things that you’re trying to do to kind of like game our algorithms.

…our systems understand that these are not things that you’re trying to do to kind of like game our algorithms.

So from that point of view, if you’re really sure that there’s nothing around like a manual action that you had to resolve with regards to these links, I would just delete the disavow file and move on with life and kind of leave all of that aside. One thing I would personally do is just download it and make a copy so that you have kind of a record of what you deleted. But otherwise, if you’re sure these are just kind of the normal crufty things from the Internet, I would just delete it and move on. There’s much more to spend your time on when it comes to websites than just disavowing these random things that happen to any website on the web.

13. Google Adds 3 New Metrics To GA-4 – Google Analytics 4 is introducing three new metrics to the platform this week. The metrics will be available to view across explorations, segments, audience, reports, and the Google Analytics data API. The new metrics added are:

  1. Bounce rate – Bounce rate is the percentage of sessions that were not completed due to a user exiting the landing page. These sessions are the opposite of the engagement rate. The Bounce rate metric is available in the Explorations and Reporting Customization. In GA4, the Bounce rate is calculated differently than in Universal Analytics. You can learn how the new metric is calculated in the help doc.
  2. UTM term and UTM ad content – These metrics are available in the Explorations, Reporting, and Audience Builder. Google has added both a user scope and a session scope dimension. For the UTM content parameter, you’ll be able to see the value assigned to first user manual ad content as well as session manual ad content. For the UTM term parameter, you’ll be able to view the first user manual term and session manual term.
  3. Conversion rate – GA4 is now reporting on the conversion rate for any event. This includes both the user conversion as well as the session conversion rate.

You can review the release announcement from Google here.

14. Google Ads & GA-4 Integration Is Now Available In Ads Manager – Google announced that web data reporting will be supported within the Ad Manager publisher networks. Now when you link a Google Analytics 4 property to your Google ads account, data from that property is available to view in your Ad Manager reports. 

To view the technical requirements for linking Google Analytics 4 to Ad Manager, you can read the help doc here.

15. 4 New Features In Google Ads Performance Max Campaigns – Last week Google announced two new features ( advanced location targeting controls and diagnostic insights) to Performance Max campaigns and this week Google added four new features to Performance Max campaign. They are:

  1. Seasonality adjustments are intended to allow advertisers to adjust the bid strategy based on anticipated changes in conversion rates for events such as holiday sales. Because Smart Bidding already exists for predicted seasonal events, advertisers should only use the adjustments for changes that are otherwise atypical. The adjustments should be used for long weekend promos or sales that typically last between 1-7 days.
  2. Data exclusions will tell Smart Bidding to ignore data from dates where you may have encountered issues with conversion tracking which may have impacted the accuracy of your data. An example of this would be website outages, bugs or tagging issues.
  3. Explanations will make it easier for advertisers to identify performance fluctuations and diagnose issues. The feature will also provide recommendations to help improve performance. If you have a product feed, the explanations will analyze the product status as well as top moving products, groups and types. This will become available for PMax campaigns in the coming weeks.
  4. Optimization Score allows advertisers to see where the campaign has room for improvement and finds recommendations to help you take action to try and drive better results.

You can understand more about Performance Max campaigns here.

16. Did You Know There Is An Asset Library In Google Ads? – The asset library works as a gallery for all of your assets that you’ll need to create an ad for your campaign. Initially, the asset library will support images, with more asset types to follow in the future. 

The asset library is an account-level feature in Google Ads that allows you to access all your assets, which are required to create an ad, in one place. This feature lets you search and select assets in your account more efficiently while creating ads. Benefits of the asset library are:

  • All assets in one place
  • Easily find all your assets within the asset library by using their name, type, content, etc
  • Organize, name, and sort all your assets according to your preference in folders and sub-folders
  • Upload your assets for current or future campaigns with a single click
  • Reuse your assets for as many ads as you want without uploading them every time

17. Google Launches Ad Creative Studio (ACS) – The Ads Creative Studio is now available globally. In the ACS, advertisers or creators can create multiple versions of a single display or video ad. The ads can be customized for different audiences, locations, languages, or contexts. To make the changes, creators select the changes they want to make and provide the different versions of that particular element based on the rules you set. 

The feature is now available for video and will soon be launched for display as well.

Google is now allowing advertisers to export images from the ACS asset library to the Google Ads asset library of any linked account. This means that when you’re assembling creatives for display or Performance Max campaigns, you’ll be able to easily find the images you want to use.

ACS will be an interesting feature for advertisers to test. If you’re running campaigns aimed at multiple audiences, the ACS seems like a helpful tool to quickly manage and make dynamic changes to video ads when you’re trying to reach multiple demographics, without creating additional campaigns or ad types. While we haven’t tried ACS ourselves, we’ll be interested to see how this works in comparison to just creating new ad sets

You can learn more about Ads Creative Studio here.