Episode 165 contains the notable Digital Marketing News and Updates from the week of June 12 – 16, 2023. And the show notes for this episode was generated using generative AI. And like always, I curated the articles for the show.

1. LinkedIn Removes Carousel Posts, Profile Videos, and In-Image Links – LinkedIn is removing native carousel posts, profile videos, and the ability to embed clickable links within the image or video of your posts. These changes will take effect on June 26, 2023.

Carousel posts were introduced in July 2022, but they never really caught on with users. Profile videos were added in 2021, but they also failed to gain traction. The ability to embed clickable links in images and videos was a more popular feature, but LinkedIn says that it is being removed because it is not being used as much as other features.

LinkedIn says that it is making these changes in order to “focus on the features that our members use the most.” The company says that it will continue to evaluate its features and make changes as needed.

2. Instagram Broadcast Channels Are Here!: A New Way to Connect with Your Audience – Instagram Broadcast Channels are now available worldwide. Creators can use Broadcast Channels to send one-way messages to their followers with text, photos, videos, polls, and voice messages. Broadcast Channels are only available in the Instagram app. Instagram is testing experimental features for Broadcast Channels, including question prompts, a dedicated tab in the inbox, collaborators, expiration dates and times, content moderators, and preview links.

3. TikTok Launches AI Ad Script Generator: How to Use It and What to Watch Out For –  TikTok has launched a new AI tool that can create scripts for ads in a matter of seconds. The Script Generator is available to all TikTok Creative Center users with a desktop TikTok for Business account. Advertisers simply have to enter in some basic information about the services or products they’re offering, and the tool will generate various video scripts with hooks, scenes, calls to action, and visual/audio cues.

The Script Generator is a free tool, and advertisers can run their enquiry as many times as they like. However, it’s important to note that there is a risk of inaccurate information being published when using AI-generated content. TikTok has warned digital marketers that they shouldn’t rely solely on AI-generated scripts, and that they are solely responsible for ensuring that the content is accurate and complies with applicable laws and regulations.

4. Google’s New Search Spam Report Form: How to Help Keep Search Results Clean – Google has updated its search spam report form to include more types of feedback, such as spam, paid links, malicious behavior, low quality, and other search quality issues. 

To submit a spam report, simply visit the Google Search spam report form and fill out the required information. You can also submit feedback in bulk by clicking the “Bulk Submission” button.  

This new form is a great way to help Google keep its search results spam-free. If you see any spam on Google, please take a moment to submit a report.

5. Google Sues Scammers for Creating Fake Businesses and Reviews – Google has filed a lawsuit against a group of scammers who created fake businesses and fake reviews on Google Maps and Business Profiles. The scammers allegedly created over 350 fraudulent Business Profiles and over 14,000 fake reviews. Google is seeking to stop the scammers from continuing their illegal activities and to recover damages.

6. Google Merchant Center Updates: What You Need to Know –  Google has updated its Merchant Center product data specification, with some changes taking effect immediately and others rolling out over the next few months. The most notable changes include:

  • Expanding the list of countries where shipping cost is required using the shipping [shipping] attribute or through account shipping settings and enforced to additional countries. Offers without shipping cost will now be disapproved. Per Google, Shipping cost is one of the most common reasons for customers to abandon their shopping choices, so offering accurate information can help the performance of your ads and free listings. Shipping cost is recommended in all countries, but only required for certain countries. This policy is in effect as of June 15, 2023.
  • Introducing a new certification attribute to describe product certifications, such as energy efficiency ratings. The certification [certification] attribute is used to describe certifications like energy efficiency ratings, and will allow for compliance with updated EU energy efficiency labeling regulation for products covered by rescaled EU energy labels. Learn more about the certification certification [certification]. This policy is in effect as of June 15, 2023.
  • Previously, the quantity [quantity] attribute was required and the availability [availability] attribute was optional for local inventory feeds.  To simplify setup, they’re making the availability [availability] attribute required and quantity [quantity] optional. Google will begin warning merchants who don’t use the availability [availability] attribute in their local inventory feeds. Availability required instead of the quantity for local inventory ads and free local listings. This policy is in effect as of June 15, 2023.
  • Clarifying the guidance for unique product identifiers. If your landing page has multiple prices, such as price for other variants, original currency, or promotional prices, they require the additional prices to be clearly differentiable from the advertised base price. For example, if you show the base price and a members-only price on your landing page, then it should be clear to the user which price is the advertised base price and which price is for members-only. This policy is in effect as of June 15, 2023.
  • Expiration date [expiration_date] : Starting July 18, 2023, you can use the expiration date [expiration_date] attribute to stop showing a product on a specific date. For example, you can use this attribute for limited stock or seasonal products
  • Beginning September 1, 2023, products that misuse out_of_stock availability will be disapproved. The availability [availability] attribute tells users whether or not a product you’ve listed is in stock, and should accurately represent the state of your product. Previously, the availability [availability] attribute could be used to pause and unpause ads from showing on Google. Instead, you should now use the pause [pause] attribute, which was introduced last year, to temporarily stop products from showing.

If you are listing your products on Google Shopping then you  should review your product data feeds to ensure that they are compliant with the new specifications. Failure to comply could result in product disapprovals or other penalties. If you need help then reach out to us.