Episode 155 contains the notable Digital Marketing News and Updates from the week of Apr 3-7, 2023.

1. Microsoft Professional Service Ads Available for Select Verticals Worldwide – Microsoft Advertising has launched Professional Service Ads help consumers connect directly to professionals in a variety of industries such as insurance, real estate, doctor & clinics, tax services and home services. This is great news for agents, advisors, or consultants.

Microsoft is recommending a budget of $100 – $500 per day with a starting bid of $3 – $5. According to internal data from Microsoft, advertisers experienced more conversions at lower costs with Professional Service Ads than text ads. If you need help with getting started then reach out to us. 

2. Google Is Removing 4 Attribution Models – Google is removing four attribution models (first click, linear, time decay, and position-based) in Google Ads and Google Analytics starting May 2023. Existing conversion actions using the removed models will automatically convert to the data-driven attribution (DDA) model, or advertisers can manually change to the ‘last click’ model. Google Ads liaison Ginny Marvin, shared on Twitter that “use of rules-based attribution models has dropped significantly with the introduction of DDA 3 years ago. Fewer than 3% of conversion actions in Google Ads use them now. DDA has the broadest adoption & is available to all businesses, with no data requirements.”  

So, what happens to conversion actions that are already using these models? Google confirmed any conversion action using the near-deprecated models will automatically convert to the data-driven attribution model. Advertisers can choose the existing ‘last click’ attribution model but will have to make this change for each conversion action manually.

While DDA should be used for optimization, viewing data with these other models can provide useful insights.

3. YouTube Launches A Trial Of Audience Interests – To help creators make informed decisions about the formats they publish or experiment with, YouTube is launching a trial of a new card (aka dashboard) that displays the type of content your audience is watching on other channels. The card includes data about the type of videos your viewer viewers watched elsewhere, broken down by videos, shorts, and livestreams. Before this, YouTube Analytics didn’t give creators metrics on their audience’s viewing activity on other channels.

I really like this feature because the data will guide you on what type of content you should be leaning towards.

4. YouTube Now Allows Eligible Creators To Insert Ads To A LiveStream – YouTube has announced that in the coming weeks, eligible creators will see an Ads automation option in the live control room which allows YouTube to determine when to best insert a mid-roll (aka ads) during a stream. Enabling ads automation is optional and creators can still choose to manually insert mid rolls by clicking the “dollar sign” button in the control room. Creators can skil an upcoming mid roll ad break by clicking the skip ads button in the control room. 

5. Google’s Recommendation On How To Prevent An Accidental Indexing Of Staging Sites – Staging sites used for testing and development should ideally not be indexed and the latest episode of Google’s Search Off The Record podcast discusses the challenges of launching websites and preventing staging sites from being indexed by search engines. Here are some of the things you or your marketing team can do to prevent an accidental indexing of staging sites:

  1. Make the staging site password protected
  2. Have a robot.txt file and block search engines from crawling staging sites
  3. Add a “noindex” tag on each page

I prefer option A because it is the easiest. However if you choose to use option B or C then make sure you update the robot.txt or remove the “noindex” tag. Or else your new site will not be crawled.

For more insights from Google’s Search Relations team, listen to the full podcast here.


6. What Google Feels About Using AI To Write Content – While Google’s official stance on using AI to write content is just fine, assuming that content was not written to manipulate the search results. If the content is useful, helpful and quality, it doesn’t matter if a machine wrote it or a human. If you are using AI to write spam, then that is against Google’s guidelines. But Google also added a new section to the people-first content section on “who, how and why” with your content. 

When Sumit Gupta asked if he can use ChatGPT to publish content for his website, Muller wrote back “It’s like food with only 20% toxic chemicals? Sounds tasty.”  

When Vakil Keyfari asked if it is ok to for him to use ChatGPT/AI to write English content which will then be translated into Farsi content before publishing to his website. To that, Muller wrote “If you had an important legal case, would you want your lawyer to use chat gpt and Google translate to make the argument before the judge?

While John Mueller of Google doesn’t seem too positive about the current state of AI writing great content what he is trying to say is that do not think ChatGPT is the silver bullet. You can use it to research, strengthen/polish a page. Don’t just blindly copy-paste what ChatGPT spits out. This was also covered in one of our past episodes.

7. Does Google Ignore Iframes? – An inline frame (iframe) is a HTML element that loads another HTML page within the document. It essentially puts another webpage within the parent page. They are commonly used for advertisements, embedded videos, web analytics and interactive content.

Historically, there was a time when search engines struggled to crawl and index content within iframes. Search engine robots couldn’t access the content inside iframes, and in some cases, they couldn’t exit the iframe to continue crawling the rest of the website. Additionally, the content in iframes was often considered to belong to another website, leading to uncertainty about whether it should be indexed.

Now to debunk old SEO myth, Google’s John Muller wrote that “Google does try to crawl iframed content and include it in the indexed page, if it’s allowed. It’s not always trivial though, and I don’t know how other search engines handle it. If you have something that you absolutely want indexed within the context of a page, I’d work to include it directly rather than relying on iframes. ” Mueller went on to provide further advice for those who use embedded or iframed content on their pages (some of which have already been covered in past episodes of the #TWIMshow):

  1. Use the “x-frame-options” header to block iframing entirely if it’s not desired.
  2. Use “noindex” robots meta tags or “x-robots-tag” if neither the page nor its embedded content should be indexed.
  3. Use “indexifembedded” along with “noindex” if the embedded page itself shouldn’t be indexed, but its content can be included in a page that’s iframing it.

If you’re concerned whether Google can see the content in iFrames, you can use the “mobile-friendly test” in Search Console. Due to the potential for indexing challenges with iFrames, Google recommends refraining from using them as much as possible. Including important content directly on the page or using other embedding techniques can provide better SEO results and ensure that Google can properly index the content. While iframes may be useful for embedding external content, such as videos and interactive elements, consider the limitations when designing a website.

8. Does Pagination Impact Google Crawl Budget? – Pagination is a process which divides content across a series of pages. It is a common and widely used technique for websites to use pagination to divide lists of articles or products into a digestible format.The main issue with pagination in search is that content is divided across multiple pages, rather than loaded on one page. And crawl budget is the number of pages Google will crawl on your site on any given day. This number varies slightly from day to day, but overall, it’s relatively stable.

Now an online marketer asked Google’s John Muller if he should  be concerned about pagination and its impact on craw budget? To that question, John Muller replied with “..pagination usually creates separate URLs, so yes, that’s something I’d see within the scope of “crawl budget

What this means is that how you design your site impact on how many of your web pages will get crawled.