Episode 158 contains the notable Digital Marketing News and Updates from the week of Apr 24-28, 2023.

1. Snapchat Reports Lower Revenue In Q1’23 – Snapchat has released it Q1’23 earnings report. First off, on active users – Snap added 8 million more total daily actives in Q1, taking it to 383 million daily users. Their growth is essentially flat in the US, its most lucrative market, and EU while they continue to gain momentum in the ‘Rest of World’ category, with Indian users, in particular, warming to the app. 

Snap brought in $989 million in total for the quarter. They wrote, “Q1 revenue was particularly challenged, as we implemented significant changes to our ad platform that were disruptive to demand. While the macroeconomic environment has shown signs of stabilization, it continues to be a headwind to growth. Our brand-oriented business was down 12% year-over-year and our direct-response (DR) business was down 9% year-over-year.

2. Pinterest Reports Lower Revenue Even Though They Added Users In Q1’23 – Pinterest in the Q1’23 earnings report shared that they added 13 million more users in the quarter (463 million DAU). Pinterest also says that it’s seeing more engagement, with sessions, impressions, and time spent growing faster than MAUs. And interestingly, Pinterest also notes that Gen Z is now its fastest growing demographic, another good sign for its future potential as a key discovery element.

On the revenue front, Pinterest earned in $603 million revenue for the period. In Q1’22 they earned $575 million. This is a $28million increase from last year. 

Like other platforms, Pinterest too  is dealing with the broader economic downturn, which has impacted ad spend, but the expanded usage does bode well for its future potential.

Also this week Pinterest has also announced a new partnership with Amazon, which will enable Amazon advertisers to expand their campaigns to Pinterest, via an integrated presentation and purchase flow process. Here is what Pinterest had to say about this partnership: “As user engagement with shoppable content on Pinterest continues to grow, we’re pleased to have selected Amazon as our first partner for third-party ads. The partnership with Amazon will bring more brands and relevant products to the platform combined with a seamless on-Amazon buying experience for consumers and offer advertisers strong performance.

3. Meta’s Ad Revenue & Usage Up 4% In Q1’23 – Meta’s ad revenue increased by about 4.1% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the year-earlier period. Advertising revenue was for Q1 2023 was $28.1 billion, an increase of 4.1% compared to the same period in 2022 ($27.0 billion). Total Meta revenue for Q1 2023 was $28.6 billion, an increase of 2.6% compared to the same period in 2022 ($27.9 billion). Other key metrics you should be aware of are:

  • Facebook’s daily active user count increased by 4% to reach 2.04 billion.
  • The number of monthly active users was 2.99 billion, an increase of 2% year-over-year.

Meta’s low-single-digit increase matches Google and Microsoft. And is further confirmation of the ill health of the advertising market.

4. Microsoft Search & Advertising Revenue In Q1’23 – Microsoft announced their results for the quarter ended March 31, 2023.  Advertising and search revenue increased 3.4% to just over $3 billion during the period, including traffic acquisition costs that Microsoft pays to publishers. The company attributed the increase to higher search volume and its acquisition of Xandr, an ad buying platform it acquired from AT&T. LinkedIn revenue was up 7.6%. Microsoft attributed the increase to its Talent Solutions products. The company also said the number of sessions logged on LinkedIn grew 15%. 

Since Microsoft Advertising does not have a platform like YouTube, so what I really care about is their Search Advertising results. For Search Ads they earned $3.05Billion an increase of $100 million from the same same period last year. Does this mean that the demand for advertising is slumping?

5. Google Q1’23 Result: Search Revenue Slightly Up & YouTube Down – Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, reported lower advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the year-earlier period. In Q1’2023 they earned $54.55B in revenue which is $113 million less than Q1’2022. Search Ads generated $40.359Billion while  YouTube generated $6.693Billion in revenue. A 2% gain in search revenue was offset by declining revenue for YouTube ads (-2.6%) and Google’s advertising network (-8.3%).

To me, this means that Search is still going strong despite the popularity of chatGPT and other generative AI tools. And YouTube is probably facing fierce competition from TikTok and Facebook/Instagram.

6. Bing Webmaster Tools To  Show Chat Impressions And Clicks – Microsoft will include Bing Chat data in Bing Webmaster Tools in May, Fabrice Canel, Principal Product Manager at Microsoft Bing, said on Twitter.

7. Google Will Keep UA Historical Data Until Jul’24 – Google Analytics has finally put a date (1st July 2024) on the loss of historical data in Universal Analytics (UA) after they transitioned us to GA4 on 1st July 2023.

After sunset and until platform turndown, users will have Viewer access to historical data and reports in the user interface but not Editor access.

Additionally, you can export your data, as outlined in the available solutions. However, no new data will be processed after the property turndown, and there will be no updated reports or metrics with post-sunset data.

Bidding, audience, or conversion data will not be sent to Google Ads or third-party integrations.

You can read more about other important UA, and GA4 milestones on the Google Analytics Help page.

8. Google Ads Updating Dangerous Products And Services Policy – From July 3, 2023, Google will enforce the updated Dangerous Products and Services Policy. The policy now covers ads for products which carry an imminent, proven and unresolved risk of death or grievous bodily harm, that have been the subject of a consumer advisory or product recalls.

Violations of this policy will not lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued at least seven days before suspending your account.

Google advises everyone to review the policy to determine whether or not any of your ads fall in the scope of the policy, and if so, remove those ads before July 3, 2023.

This is one of the 28 policies that Google want advertisers to follow. This is why you need to work with a reputable resource who stays on top of these stuff for you. 

9. Google Ads Will Not Allow URL’s As Account Names – Beginning in June 2023, new Google Ads accounts will no longer be able to include a URL in their account names. You can read more about the change on the Google Ads Developer Blog.

10. Show Your YouTube Ads Next To Popular Music – YouTube has announced two new ad options that will better enable advertisers to tap into emerging music trends. 

a.) Gen Z Music – enable advertisers to show their ads alongside the latest trending music clips. So the next time someone makes a TikTok clip to a Fleetwood Mac song, which drives people to go searching for the track on YouTube, you’d be able to tap into that rising popularity, and get your brand aligned with that clip.

b.)Trending Music on Shorts – essentially provide the same placement opportunity within Shorts clips.

It looks like YouTube is cashing in on the latest music trends via ad placement options, which will likely come at some cost, given the views and engagement such content sees. But it could be an effective way to build brand awareness and maximize reach and resonance by association. YouTube says it now has over 100 million songs in its Music catalog, with global and localized versions of trending tracks in over 100 countries and 80 languages. That presents a significant opportunity and could be a suitable means to maximize your branding and promotional efforts if you can afford it.

11. Page Experience Matters Even Though It Is Not A Ranking Signal – A week ago, Google removed page experience system, the mobile-friendly system, page speed system and the secure site system from its ranking systems page. Google also wrote, “The page experience update was a concept to describe a set of key page experience aspects for site owners to focus on.” 

Now Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison wrote that Google page experience was never a ranking “system” but is still considered a ranking “signal.” Just because page experience was removed as a ranking system, it does not mean it does not reward pages that have a good page experience.

Google made an update to their ranking system page last week because ranking *systems* are different than ranking *signals* and people were confusing between the two. 

The big takeaway? “Google’s core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience.”

12. What’s The Ideal Number Of Products On A Page For It To Rank Well? – Every wondered what’s the ideal number of products to feature on a page so that you maximize product  exposures and rank well? Well now Google’s John Mueller clarified that Google really doesn’t have a preference. He advises you to focus more on usability of the page to better understand the ideal number of products to use on a webpage.