1. YouTube #golivetogether Feature Update – YouTube has announced that it’s opening up its ‘Go Live Together (#golivetogether)’ option to more users from next week, which will provide more creative considerations for your live-streams in the app.

Go Live Together enables you to invite another YouTube user to your stream, with the video then displayed in vertical split-screen, providing new engagement and interaction options during a YouTube live broadcast. That could open up new opportunities for brands to run live interviews or internal spotlight sessions on their YouTube channel, while also facilitating Q and A sessions and other options to build engagement among your YouTube community. Hosts will be able to rotate the guest on their live-stream, but only one guest at a time will be able to take part in the broadcast.

YouTube will also allow pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads on Go Live Together streams, which will be attributed to the host channel of the broadcast. YouTube says that all channels with at least 50 subscribers will soon be able to launch Live Together streams, with the roll-out beginning next week – though YouTube does note that it may take a few weeks to become available to all users.

2. Instagram Subscriptions – Launched as a limited test back in January, subscriptions on Instagram are now available to all eligible US creators. Subscriptions allow creators to offer exclusive content in exchange for a recurring monthly payment from their followers. To see if you’re eligible for Instagram Subscriptions, open the Instagram app and go to your professional dashboard. If you’re eligible, you’ll see an option to set up subscriptions for your account. With this feature activated, you can start posting subscriber-only:

  • Live Streams 
  • Stories 
  • Badges 
  • Posts 
  • Reels 
  • Group chats 
  • Broadcast channels

You can promote subscriptions in your Instagram stories with a dedicated sticker. When users tap on the sticker, they’re taken to the subscription page. In addition to exclusive content, subscribers also get a special badge next to their name when commenting on posts.

3. Facebook Professional Profile Is Now Available To All Users – Facebook’s professional profile mode is now available to users worldwide, allowing everyone to showcase their skills and abilities. Facebook’s “Professional Mode” is a profile setting that removes the need to create a Facebook Page to get your content in front of a larger audience. 

Also, you can now earn money from your Reels, or by enabling ads before, during, and after longer videos. Lastly, you can allow your fans to increase their support for you with a monthly subscription and share subscriber-only content. To learn more about Professional profile, click here.

4. New UET Tag Dashboard In Microsoft Clarity – Understanding both user behavior and customer journey is crucial for successful marketing. To empower you with richer insights in a seamless experience, Microsoft launched Microsoft Clarity offering insights for Microsoft Advertising on Oct 18, 2021.  In hindsight, this is something I should have covered in Episode#79 and now regret skipping over the launch announcement.

Anyways, Microsoft Clarity helps you better understand post-click user behavior and engagement on your landing pages because it’s powered by the Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag that you place across your website. 

Now there’s also a new UET tag dashboard which can help you monitor tag data and fix any issues that arise. This is a one-stop shop for all things UET, including real-time insights into the data that gets sent via UET tags and troubleshooting action recommendations.

5. Microsoft Rolls Out Import Tool For Google Ads Performance Max – To simplify duplicating your efforts across platforms when using Google Ad’s Performance Max campaigns, Microsoft Advertising has rolled out an update in their Google Import tool that allows advertisers to duplicate their Google Ads Performance Max campaigns.  

Currently they only support Performance Max campaigns that use a Merchant center and will import the campaigns as Smart Shopping Campaigns and Local Inventory Ads. 

They have also started a pilot solution for importing your other Performance Max campaigns that aren’t using the Merchant Center, starting with an experience that will import these campaigns as Search campaigns and create Dynamic Search Ads (DSA).

Click here to learn more about on how to import your Performance Max campaigns in to Microsoft.

6. Microsoft Ads Expands Availability Of ‘Similar Audiences’ – If you’re looking to expand your reach and find new potential customers, Similar Audiences automatically find new customers for you by looking for people who are similar to those in your remarketing lists. These audiences are generated automatically by Microsoft Advertising once you have a remarketing list in place. Similar Audiences can be used in the US and Canada, and the great news is that they’re now generally available in more markets
 

7. Similar Audiences Is Going Away In Google Ads – Starting May 1, 2023, Google Ads will no longer generate similar audiences (also referred to as “similar segments”) for targeting and reporting. If you have active campaigns with similar segments, those will remain with your campaigns until August 1, 2023. After August 1, similar segments will be removed from all ad groups and campaigns. You’ll continue to have access to historical reporting for similar segments from past campaigns. 

According to Google, In place of similar segments, different campaign types will offer different solutions to help you leverage your first-party data, reach the right audience, and improve campaign performance so that you can optimize directly for your business goals.

If you have been using similar segments on Display, Discovery, or Video Action campaigns, and haven’t yet turned on optimized targeting, you should turn on optimized targeting to reach additional relevant and expanded audiences and optimize for your conversion goals.

If you have been using similar segments on Awareness and Reach video or Consideration video campaigns, you should include your first-party data segments in your ad groups, and turn on audience expansion to reach people similar to those in your first-party data.

If you have been using similar segments on Search or Shopping campaigns and are not using Smart Bidding, you should use Smart Bidding with your campaigns. If you’re using Smart Bidding already, or running Performance Max campaigns, you don’t need to take any action, since Performance Max campaigns automatically leverage signals from your first-party data.

8. Google Introduces New Search Labels For Coupons & Promos – According to a recent survey by Google, among Americans planning to shop for the holidays, 43% are planning to look for deals and sales more than last year. And Google is a central part of the shopping experience for US customers. On average, 60% say they’ve used Google properties for shopping in the past two days. 

To help searchers find the items they want at the best available prices, Google is updating shopping search results with new labels highlighting coupons and promotions and the ability to compare prices from multiple retailers.

The promotion badge in search results on items that offer a discount using a coupon code, such as “15% off with coupon code HOLIDAYS.” Furthermore, a new coupon clipping feature lets searchers save promo codes for when they’re ready to buy. This is similar to what Bing already has in-place for a while. 

A new deal comparison tool in Google search results makes it easier to view deals across retailers. For example, if you search for “women’s puffer coat,” Google will display a side-by-side comparison of available deals in the SERPs.

Lastly, Google’s price insights feature is coming to search results to help shoppers make more informed buying decisions. Price insights allow you to see prices across merchants and whether the price is low or high based on historical values.

If you are looking to tap into all the good things mentioned above then you need to make sure you are using structured data and Google Merchant Center. And don’t forget you can always see how your deals are performing and review your business’ promotions as well through Google Merchant Center. 

9. Google: Search Console Verified Sites Do Not Get Crawled More – Google’s John Mueller was asked if sites that are verified with Google Search Console get crawled more often or at a higher priority. The answer is no, “crawling is independent of Search Console,” John said.

Yes, you can use the URL Inspection tool to manually push URLs to be crawled faster but that is on a URL by URL basis and must be done mostly manually. Otherwise, just having a Search Console account won’t lead to expedited crawling.

10. Google: Don’t Rely Only On Backlinks For Rankings – Backlinks (also known as “inbound links”, “incoming links” or “one way links”) are links from one website to a page on another website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page. Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings. And back in March 2016 during a Q&A session, Google’s Andrey Lipattsev revealed that backlinks, content and RankBrain are the top three ranking signals in Google’s search algorithm. 

Now Google’s John Mueller says that in the future he can see a Google Search ranking algorithm where links are not as important in the overall algorithm as they are today. He also hinted that links are not weighted as much as they were in the history of the Google ranking algorithm. Here is what he had to say when asked about backlinks:

Well, it’s something where I imagine, over time, the weight on the links. At some point, will drop off a little bit as we can’t figure out a little bit better how the content fits in within the context of the whole web. And to some extent, links will always be something that we care about because we have to find pages somehow. It’s like how do you find a page on the web without some reference to it? 

But my guess is over time, it won’t be such a big factor as sometimes it is today. I think already, that’s something that’s been changing quite a bit

This is a similar message to what Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, said in a 2014 video that backlinks, over time, will become a little less important.

My advice is that focus on writing better content and do not just rely on backlinks or else you will be in for a big surprise down the road.

11. Google: Header Fonts Size Is Irrelevant For SEO – Google’s John Mueller was asked “would google deem huge heading font size as a sign of “overdoing it”, thus lower quality?” He said that the size of your header tags, i.e. H1s, H2s, etc, does not matter for SEO or ranking purposes. John said it might matter for users and conversions but for SEO, nope. Another SEO myth busted.

12. Google: Stop Focusing On Writing Content Solely Based On Search Volume – Google’s John Mueller said that if you make your content creation decisions based off of keyword search volume lists, then those pieces of content will be mediocre, at best. 

What John is saying is that if you are looking for content ideas and use base them on a list of keywords that show high search volume, then the content likely won’t be good enough to rank well in Google Search. In short, write content that you can write something awesome about, and do not force your writing based on what people are searching for – especially if you don’t know the topic super well.

John added, “seeing a list like that as a target for content makes me worry that you’re not going to get a lot out of your work, or that your work is going to be quite superficial.” He said “I’d look for topics that match your expertise & passion. Where can you contribute that isn’t already covered by lots of others, and do so in ways that provide something new & useful? Don’t focus on keywords & “search volume” lists like this, they’ll lead you into mediocracy.”

In my opinion, writing content solely on keyword volume is ridiculous. You should be writing your content on what your product, subject, or the market needs are and make it superior to your competitors.

Also, if you peruse the Search Essentials document, you will find that Google advices you to: “Use words that people would use to look for your content, and place those words in prominent locations on the page, such as the title and main heading of a page, and other descriptive locations such as alt text and link text.” 

To an untrained eye, it may come across as an implicit advice that you need to write content using keyword lists or research. However, what this means is that instead of creating content on those highly searched keywords, make content about topics you are an expert in and then sprinkle those highly searched keywords.

Great Educational and Informative content — not keywords — always wins.

13. Google: Your Website Doesn’t Need 200k+Words To Be Authoritative – A Twitter user @natmiletic claimed that “You need around 200,000 words on your website to be considered authoritative by Google.” John replied, “I don’t know who made up that 200,000-word number, it’s definitely not from Google.”

I’m including the screenshots just in case the user deletes his tweets.

Remember that in 2019, John said word count is not a ranking factor and in 2018 John said word count is not indicative of quality. Google won’t penalize you for short articles and Google said short articles can rank well and then again in 2014 said short articles are not low quality. Google has been recently advocating to avoid fluff . In addition, word count is not a sign of thin or how helpful content is or is not. In fact, Google even removed the reference to word count in the Search Console document recently.

This goes to show that how much crap & myth is out there. Aren’t you glad that you follow the #TWiMshow?