1. Auto-Generated Remarketing Lists Now Available In Microsoft Ads – Microsoft wrote in their announcement that Auto-generated remarketing lists is now available and there are 3 types of lists available:

a.) All visitors – A list of users who visited your website in the past 30 days.
b.)All converters – A list of users who converted within the past 180 days.
c.)Smart remarketing list – A list of users that are likely to convert, similar to users who have already converted, powered by Microsoft Audience Intelligence.

Microsoft claims that “Smart remarketing lists have been proven to drive increased performance across the Microsoft Search and Audience Networks. Advertisers who leveraged these lists see a 92% increase in click-through rate (CTR) and a 45% reduction in cost-per-acquisition (CPA) when they use these lists on the Microsoft Search Network. On the Microsoft Audience Network, we see a 67% improvement in CTR and an 11% reduction in CPA.”

2. ‘Flyer Extension’ Attaches Your Flyers To Your Microsoft Ads – According to the December Product Announcement, Flyer Extensions are now available globally within Microsoft Advertising. Flyer Extensions allows the advertiser to showcase their image flyers next to text ads. Advertisers are able to create up to five Flyer Extensions per account, and the system will uniformly keep them in the rotation.

Currently, Flyer Extensions are only available for Text Ads, but they’re working on enabling support for sponsored ads within your Shopping Campaigns. For more information, check out their help page.


3. LinkedIn Analytics Gives Deep Insight Into Followers & Top Posts – On December 6th, LinkedIn announced new features that gives users more insights plus actionable data into their followers and top-performing posts. The new features expand on the creator analytics introduced earlier this year.

The Follower Growth Over Time feature Tracks your follower growth over time. Per LinkedIn, you can use this data to determine what is sparking growth in followers. For example, you may find your LinkedIn followers spike every time you have on stage.

Then there is the Demographics details underneath the Follower Growth section in the audience tab. The Demographics section summarizes your follower base, listing job titles, locations, industries, seniority, company size, and company names. This data can provide a deeper understanding of the audience you’re creating content for, which can help with creating more successful posts. Alternatively, you may find you’re not attracting the intended audience, which is a sign to adjust your content strategy.

Lastly, the Top Performing Post feature allows you to see up to three of your top-performing posts in the Posts tab. Top posts are ranked by either impressions or interaction over a selected date range. This data will offer insight into what content resonates with your audience, so you can identify and share more of what’s working.

4. LinkedIn Ads Claim That ‘Group Identity’ Will Help You To Reach B2B Decision Makers – LinkedIn has announced the general availability of “Group Identity.” Group Identity leverages LinkedIn’s first- and zero-party data, such as title, seniority, industry, interests, etc., to help the advertiser reach buying committees, measure their campaign performance, and optimize towards the objectives that matter to their business. Group Identity was launched last year as a test and during the testing phase Advertisers observed a 37% higher average click-through rate on group-delivered campaigns across channels, like the LinkedIn Audience Network, compared to campaigns targeted at individual profile characteristics.

In my opinion, LinkedIn is suggesting that you put more trust in LinkedIn’s system (algorithm?) to get your ads in front of the right people, based on first-party attributes, as opposed to honing in your audience targeting through more specific, manually selected qualifiers.

5. Google Rolls Out Dec ‘22 Helpful Content System Update – On Dec 5th Google announced via Twitter that the December 2022 Helpful Content System Update has begun and will take about two weeks to complete. This is a global update, impacting all languages and not just the English language. 

This will help Google’s systems detect more forms of low-quality content created for search engines and primarily not for people. Google said this is an “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in search.”

As covered in Episode#136, a ranking “system” refers to a Google algorithm that is always running in the background. An “update” means the ranking “system” was improved.

6. Per Google, Avoid HTML Sitemaps – What Is an HTML Sitemap? An HTML sitemap is a file that lists every page on your website. This is designed to make navigation easier for your visitors. You’ll normally find this sitemap in a website’s footer, where everyone can access it. Each item in the sitemap links to the relevant page. Therefore, if a user is looking for a particular page or category on your site, they can use the sitemap to locate and access it quickly. It’s worth noting that an HTML sitemap is different from an XML sitemap. The latter is less human-friendly, and designed to enable search engines like Google and Bing to crawl and index your content.

This week, John Mueller of Google wrote in a Mastodon social post that HTML sitemap should never be used. Sites small & large should always have a clear navigational structure. If you feel the need for a HTML sitemap, spend the time improving your site’s architecture instead.

Remember back in 2019 and 2016, John said that HTML sitemaps are a drain on resources for SEO purposes. At that time he wrote “When it comes to SEO … for small sites, your site should be crawlable anyway (and if you’re using a common CMS, it’ll almost always be fine) & for large sites, they’re not going to be useful anyway (use sitemaps, use normal cross-linking, check with a crawler of your choice).

Now back in September 2005, Google in their Search Central blog post  encouraged site owners to create HTML sitemaps. Then in 2009 Matt Curtis from Google, shared that he prefers HTML sitemaps over XML sitemaps.

So a lot of old school SEOs have stuck to that and continues to push HTML sitemaps as an important part for SEO. Technology, search algorithms have dramatically changed since 2009. So I prefer to stick with John’s advice.

In my opinion, if Google cannot crawl your small web site through your normal navigation, then you got bigger issues.