1. TikTok Publishes Holiday Marketing Guide – TikTok has published a new, 17-page 2022 holiday marketing guide, which provides an overview of key engagement stats around seasonal events, insights into when critical engagement points occur within each relevant period, checklists for planning, explainers on TikTok’s various ad options, and more.

You can download TikTok’s full 2022 holiday guide here.

2. TikTok Launches ‘TikTok Academy’ Marketing Education Platform – TikTok has launched a new education program for marketers called “TikTok Academy”, which will provide free video courses on how to make best use of TikTok for marketing, along with research data and other information to expand your understanding of the app.

This is similar to Meta’s Blueprint courses, and Twitter’s Flight School, TikTok Academy aims to provide marketers with key lessons to help them optimize their campaigns, while also providing more in-depth notes on usage trends and behavioral shifts that are important to understand in a TikTok context.

3.  Pinterest Q3’22 Earnings: Increase In Users And Revenue – Pinterest has released its Q3’22 earnings report. They are reporting increases in both users and revenue (earned $685 million in Q3’22, up 8% YoY. ). 

During Q3’22 Pinterest added 12 million more users, taking it back up to 445 million monthly active users, which is exactly where it was at this time last year. Pinterest saw the most growth in the ‘Rest of World’ category, though it also added 3 million users in both the US and Europe as well. That’s still below the 98 million North American users it had last year, but any growth is a positive, after three periods of decline in its most lucrative market. 

Pinterest credits its rising usage to increased video engagement, with video content supply in the app increasing 3x YoY. Idea Pins, its Stories-like option, has been a big winner in this respect, while Pinterest is also looking to latch onto the live-stream commerce trend, which hasn’t taken hold in western markets yet, but could develop into a key opportunity for the commerce-focused app.

4. Microsoft Q1’23 Earnings: LinkedIn Up 17%, Search And News Revenue Up 16% – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reported that YoY LinkedIn’s revenue grew 17% and search and news advertising revenues grew 16% for the Q1’23. There are now more than 150 million subscriptions to newsletters on LinkedIn.

5. Google Q3’22 Earnings: YouTube Revenue Down & Slow Growth For Ads – Google released their Q3’22 earnings ( slowest revenue growth in nearly 10 years despite earning $69.1 billion revenue, up 6% YoY) and YouTube earnings were down about 2% to $7.07 billion from $7.21 billion. This is the first-ever decrease since Google began reporting. Search ad revenue grew 4% to $39.5 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $41 billion. Google CFO Ruth Porat said that the modest growth was because of difficult comparisons to an unusually strong quarter a year earlier, a trend she said would continue in the fourth quarter. Google also saw advertising pullbacks in the mortgage, loan, and crypto categories, says Philipp Schindler, CBO, Google.

6. Meta Q3’22 Earnings: Increase In Daily Active Users While Revenue Declined 4% – Meta shared its Q3’22 today and their advertising revenue came in at $27.2 billion, down roughly 4% YoY. Overall ad impressions were up 17%, while the cost per ad decreased 18% YoY. Monthly active users on the platform increased 2% to 2.96 billion YoY.

Looks like Meta is still dealing with the after effects of Apple’s ATT as well as growing competition from TikTok. Internal company documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, indicate that Instagram users cumulatively are spending 17.6 million hours a day watching Reels, less than one-tenth of the 197.8 million hours TikTok users spend each day on that platform.

You can review the Meta Investor Relations site with slides and a Webcast replay here.

7. Instagram Announces New Live Events Series to Assist With Holiday Campaigns – Instagram has announced a new series of live events, in which it will share tips and tricks to help businesses boost their sales and marketing results in the app. The live events will feature a range of speakers, including SMB owners who’ve found success in the app, members of Instagram’s Business team, and experts in Instagram shopping. All of the events will be live-streamed and hosted on the @instagramforbusiness account.  

In addition to this, Instagram will also publish a new holiday checklist for businesses to help get their Instagram Shops ready ‘to drive discovery of their products’. The new checklist will be published on the Instagram for Business blog next week (we’ll also share it here).

8. Trim Videos – Google’s Bumper Ad Creation Tool – After several years of testing, Google finally released its bumper ad creation tool called “ Trim Video”  to all advertisers. Google’s bumper ad tool, which shortens longer videos to six-second bumper ads, is now generally available. 

I tested the tool, and I can say that it’s easy to operate. All you have to do is paste a link to one of your YouTube videos or grab one from your Google Ads library, and the tool will generate four different six-second ads. You can compare the auto-generated videos, save the ones you like, or edit them by selecting different clips.

 
9. Google Added 5 Features To Performance Max Campaigns – Performance Planner is a tool that lets you create plans for your advertising spend and assess how changes to campaigns might affect key metrics and overall performance. Advertisers can now use the new Performance Planner to create Performance Max campaign plans and understand how to invest their budgets while maximizing ROI. 

With Asset group scheduling, you can add automated rules which allow you to schedule asset groups so they can be paused and enabled as needed. With scheduling, you can run ads at specific times of the day, or create and run different asset groups ahead of time.

Performance Max asset groups will now allow to add up to 15 headlines. Previously it used to be 5.. Google says that by adding more headlines “you can take advantage of machine learning’s ability to create and test even more combinations to find the best-performing variations.”

Performance explanations can help you identify what’s driving performance fluctuations, diagnose issues, and view recommendations. You can see these in the explanations panels and they are available for all Performance max campaigns.

The Insights page helps you identify trends in your market and understand your performance. You can soon see your first-party data segments added as audience signals in audience insights on the Insights page. These insights may help you understand the value of your first-party data and see which of your customer lists may be converting best.

You can read the announcement from Google here.

10. Music Genres As Placement Option For YouTube Ads – Google, YouTube’s parent company is rolling out a new placement option for video ads that allow advertisers to target specific types of music on YouTube. The new “Music Mood Lineups” placement is designed to help advertisers reach users when they’re in a positive mood. The following five types of Music Mood Lineups in 20 countries:

  • Romantic 
  • Happy & Uplifting 
  • Chill 
  • Downbeat 
  • Funky Moods

When placing ads by Music Mood Lineup, ads will be served alongside videos pulled from the same mood signals that YouTube uses as part of YouTube Music playlists.

11. Google’s Official Stance On Stock Photography – Lizzi Sassman, who curates Googles Search Central documentation and John Mueller recently discussed the merits of using stock photography and the impact on web and image search. 

Per John, if you wanted to use stock photos as a decorative element on a page, then it’s perfectly fine. After all, it adds a little bit flavor, a little bit more color to the post, or to whatever content we have on the page. However, don’t expect stock photography to rank on image search.

12. Google’s October 2022 Spam Algorithm Update Completed – Last week, in episode#131 I mentioned about the October 2022 Spam Algorithm update was launched by Google. Now I’m happy to share that the update finished rolling out on October 21, 2022, at around 5 am ET. If you missed Episode#131, here is what a Spam Algorithm update is all about:

While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work. When we do, we refer to this as a spam update and share when they happen on our list of Google Search ranking updates. For example, SpamBrain is our AI-based spam-prevention system. From time-to-time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam. Sites that see a change after a spam update should review our spam policies to ensure they are complying with those. Sites that violate our policies may rank lower in results or not appear in results at all. Making changes may help a site improve if our automated systems learn over a period of months that the site complies with our spam policies

 

13. Google: Human Written Content Doesn’t Automatically Make The Content Useful Or Helpful – Google’s John Muller said, “Just because something is human-written doesn’t make it helpful & good content.” Instead, John suggested that you “focus on making things awesome, unique, compelling, that people recommend to friends – not just something that’s technically ok.”

14. Google No Longer Uses The Page Speed Algorithms – Google’s John Mueller confirmed that Google no longer uses the old Google page speed algorithms from 2010 or 2018. Instead, he said, Google only uses the page experience update, looking at the core web vital metrics.

15. Link Wheels Are Against Google’s Guidelines – Link wheels are a  SEO technique that is against Google’s guidelines where one creates several sites and link them to each other in a round-robin fashion. They are purposefully and solely built to manipulate the rankings of a website, to manipulate Google into thinking those links are natural. 

Now John Muller said that link wheels are against Google’s search essentials (previously known as webmaster) guidelines,and Google would consider them link schemes and thus spam.

16. GA4 : Two New Features You Should Know About – Google announced new features and reporting for Google Analytics 4 including behavioral modeling in real-time reporting and custom channel reporting for data-driven attribution.

Behavior modeling with real time reporting will give advertisers a complete picture of user behavior as it happens, in a privacy-centric way. Behavior modeling uses machine learning to fill in the gaps of your understanding of customer behavior when cookies and other identifiers aren’t available. Real-time updates will be available in the near future to give advertisers a complete view of the customer journey as it’s happening.

Data-driven attribution (DDA) was introduced into GA4 earlier this year, after becoming the default for all ads conversions last fall. Soon, Google will launch custom channel grouping, a feature that lets advertisers combine different channels to compare cost-per-acquisition and return-on-ad-spend based on data-driven attribution. For example, businesses will be able to compare the performance of their paid search brand with their non-brand campaigns.