Episode 167 contains the notable Digital Marketing News and Updates from the week of June 26 – 30, 2023. And the show notes for this episode was generated using generative AI. And like always, I curated the articles for the show.
1. Time’s Up for Universal Analytics (UA): Embrace Google Analytics 4(GA4) Now – The transition from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has officially started, marking a significant shift in the digital marketing landscape. With the discontinuation of UA, marketers have to migrate to GA4 to continue measuring their websites and campaigns, unless they opt for an analytics alternative outside of Google.
The phasing out process is happening in stages; despite UA still processing some data, a message now greets users stating: “This property is scheduled to stop processing data very soon. Once this goes into effect, you’ll need a Google Analytics 4 property to measure website performance.” All functioning UA properties are queued for deletion on a rolling basis.
Google has repeatedly advised marketers about this transition, reiterating that GA4 is the company’s next-generation measurement solution. In a statement, Google stressed the urgency for users to switch to GA4, adding that those who use UA data in their Google Ads accounts should migrate their UA property’s Google Ads links to their GA4 property.
The timeline for the UA shutdown is as follows:
- March 2023: Google auto-created a GA4 property for marketers who didn’t opt out of the automatic property creation option.
- July 2023: UA ceased processing hits, but marketers could access previously processed data in their UA property until July 2024.
- July 2024: All access to the UA user interface and API will be terminated.
For guidance on transitioning to GA4, Google has provided a comprehensive ‘Learn how to make the switch‘ guide. Make the switch as soon as possible to avoid interruptions in your web analytics services.
2. Boost Your Campaigns: Import GA4 Conversions to Google Ads Now – Google is actively encouraging marketers to import their web and app conversions from Google Analytics 4 (GA4) into Google Ads. Those with a linked Google Ads account may have already seen a new recommendation to import conversions. Notifications of this feature will appear at the top of the Advertising snapshot page, on the Home page, or the Insights Hub page.
This streamlined process is a boon for marketers, allowing them to access their web and app conversions directly in Google Ads without needing to switch back to GA4. It paves the way for better bid optimization, which could potentially enhance campaign performance.
Conversions, which indicate the instances when ads lead to sales, are crucial in understanding the success of marketing strategies. Having immediate access to this data empowers marketers to make necessary adjustments to their campaigns – from tweaking keywords to budget allocations and bidding strategies. This can result in improved profitability and reduced costs in Google Ads.
To maximize the benefits and gain accurate insights, marketers should check out Google’s GA4 Recommendations guide. This simple act of importing GA4 conversion data into Google Ads promises to be a game-changer in campaign optimization.
3. New Boundaries: YouTube Revamps Impersonation Policy for Fan Channels – In response to escalating concerns about misrepresentation and impersonation, YouTube is refining its impersonation policy. This change primarily targets “fan channels,” requiring them to clearly state their non-affiliation with the entities they support.
YouTube’s policy update is straightforward: fan channels need to explicitly mention their status in their channel name or handle. The platform aims to ensure viewers can easily discern that such channels do not represent the original creator, artist, or entity they celebrate. The objective is to thwart users who repost others’ content and claim it as their own.
For example, channels self-proclaiming as “fan accounts” while imitating other channels and re-uploading their content will no longer be tolerated. Similarly, channels that copy the name, avatar, or banner of another channel, with only minor changes such as an added space or altered character, will be prohibited under the new rules.
Interestingly, the revised policy stipulates that any violations may lead to immediate account termination. This represents a departure from the previous three-strike penalty system.
The backdrop to this change is a surge in channels re-uploading content from popular creators, masquerading as the original poster to garner a monetizable audience. This trend isn’t exclusive to YouTube; platforms like TikTok and Instagram also see users re-posting popular TV show clips and trending content to maximize audience reach.
With these revamped rules, YouTube aims to clamp down on this behavior, potentially discouraging users from exploiting others’ work. The specifics of how YouTube plans to enforce this change and its subsequent impact on the content ecosystem remain to be seen.
The updated rules are slated to take effect from August 21, 2023. For a more detailed understanding of YouTube’s impersonation policy update, you can refer to their official statement. As content creators or avid followers, let’s be sure to adapt to these changes and continue to support original content!
4. Stepping Up the Game: Microsoft Advertising Overhauls Policies for Better Compliance and User Safety – Microsoft Advertising has undertaken a series of updates to enhance the clarity of its policies, improve enforcement mechanisms, and ensure user protection.
From July 1, 2023, Microsoft will put into action a defined structure for penalties, targeting advertisers who do not adhere to its guidelines. Sanctions will range from disapproval of ad components to immediate suspension of services for severe violations. The new policy aims to better outline the constraints already in place against persistent or egregious breaches.
Among the recent modifications to their regulations, Microsoft will now accept advertisements for vitamins and supplements within their network, provided they refrain from making extravagant health claims. It’s also a mandate that these ads link directly to a product page, rather than an advertorial article or video. In addition, gambling advertisements will be permitted in jurisdictions where such promotion is legal, contingent upon advertisers having the necessary operating licenses.
Changes in gambling ad regulations are slated for Belgium and the Netherlands from July 1, 2023. While Belgium will entirely prohibit gambling advertisements, the Netherlands will restrict ad campaigns to users aged 24 or older.
From August 1, 2023, a series of further restrictions will take effect. Ireland will require gambling advertisements to adopt time-based targeting to avoid visibility between 5:30 AM and 9:00 PM. Meanwhile, advertisements for clinical trials and experimental medical treatments will be globally banned, and adult-oriented advertising will no longer be accepted in Hungary or Poland.
For a more user-friendly approach, Microsoft Advertising is reshuffling its policy pages, grouping similar content and adding explicit examples for better understanding. Information related to MSN, Outlook, and Xbox will now be relocated to a separate help document linked from the policy pages. You can visit the Microsoft Advertising policies website for the most up-to-date information.
Be sure to note that some of these policy changes will only be implemented after July 1, 2023.
5. Unlocking Web Potential: The Power of Semantic HTML in SEO & Accessibility – Google’s John Mueller recently offered valuable insights into the role of semantic HTML in enhancing website content comprehension for search engines. Mueller clarified its influence on SEO, accessibility, and, indirectly, search rankings.
Semantic HTML can be described as the backbone of web content, giving it structure and purpose. Its elements like headings, paragraphs, lists, tables, links, images, articles, sections, asides, and figures help search engines and browsers interpret the page content and its context effectively. Examples of non-semantic elements: