Episode 169 contains the notable Digital Marketing News and Updates from the week of July 10 – 14, 2023.

1. ByteDance’s CapCut Plugin Uses AI to Automate Video Creation – ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has released a new plugin for ChatGPT that allows users to create videos with AI. The new plugin leverages generative AI to create everything you need for publishing video content on TikTok and other social channels. It only takes a one-sentence prompt to describe the video’s theme, topic, or purpose. But for higher-quality results, the more specific and detailed your prompt is, the better.

2. Microsoft Advertising Announces New Features and Updates to Help Advertisers Get More Results –

  • Microsoft Advertising has announced a number of new features and updates in July, including:
  • Predictive Targeting – Microsoft Advertising introduced Predictive Targeting, an AI-based advertising tool that uses machine learning to automatically identify and target new audiences for increased conversions, which could save advertisers’ time and boost campaign efficiency. While it offers flexible application with existing strategies, potential downsides include losing control over target audiences and possibly wasted ad spend or brand damage if incorrect audiences are exposed to ads.
  • Generative AI And RSA – Microsoft integrated generative AI into creating and editing responsive search ads (RSA), providing AI-generated headlines and descriptions based on the advertiser’s final URL. The updated experience reportedly offers neatly categorized, high-quality, and diverse recommendations in 35 detected languages, enabling advertisers to select multiple suggestions in a single click. You can also opt-in to auto-generation of assets, which dynamically creates assets when serving ads, enabling greater scalability and relevancy.
  • RSA IF Functions – IF functions for RSAs could offer sophisticated targeting and ad customization based on device and audience. This would reduce the need for separate campaigns and enables customized messages for specific user devices or audience segments.
  • Automated multimedia ads within Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) groups will reportedly utilize AI to automatically generate rich, visually engaging ads optimized for performance using your website’s content. Combining users’ assets with machine learning technology, these ads will be displayed on the right side of the search results page and exclusive, with only one multimedia ad appearing per page per advertiser.
  • Property Promotion Ads For Vacation Rentals Microsoft extended its Property Promotion Ads, which are highly visual ads designed to inspire potential travelers, including vacation rentals and hotels. It allows travel advertisers to display more property offerings on Microsoft platforms. Offering a rich, engaging experience with complete control over images and callouts, these ads could drive increased bookings with premium placements and automated management via familiar ad management workflows in the Microsoft Hotel Center, saving advertisers’ time.
  • Enhancements To Universal Event Tracking Microsoft Advertising has enhanced its Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag dashboard, troubleshooting and monitoring UET events in real-time for more efficient testing and quality assurance. Additionally, the UET overview tab now provides an expanded lookback period to review the performance of your tag across various dimensions, such as events, parameters, and event types.
  • Data-driven attribution (DDA) reporting became generally available, using advanced machine learning to calculate the actual contribution of each ad interaction on conversion, differing from the traditional Last Click Attribution (LCA) model. This model comparison report, accessible through Reports > Default Reports > Performance > Conversion Model Compare, should allow for thorough analysis with a wide range of metrics at the ‘Keyword’ grain.

  • Deprecation Of Keyword Planner Legacy Features Microsoft Advertising is deprecating several legacy features in Keyword Planner, including various service operations and the Product Category feature, due to their outdated nature and incompatibility with the system, effective August 21, 2023.

3. YouTube’s New Video Title Suggestions: A Must-Try for Creators – YouTube is rolling out a new feature that will suggest video titles for creators based on the video’s transcript and description. This new feature is designed to help creators create more effective titles that will attract more viewers.

The title suggestions are generated by an AI model that analyzes the video’s transcript and description. The model takes into account factors such as the most common words and phrases in the video, as well as the keywords that are likely to be searched for by viewers.

The title suggestions are optional, but creators can choose to use them if they want. The suggestions are also updated over time as the AI model learns more about the video.

4. Google Ads Policy Update: Repeated Violations Could Result in Account Suspension – Google Ads is updating its Circumventing Systems policy this month to clarify that the policy prohibits repeated and simultaneous policy violations across any of your accounts, including using two or more accounts to post ads that violate any Google Ads policy.

The update also clarifies that the policy applies to both manual and automated violations. This means that if you are caught using automated software to circumvent Google’s systems, your account could be suspended.

Google takes violations of this policy very seriously and considers them egregious. If they find violations of this policy, they will suspend your Google Ads accounts upon detection and without prior warning, and you will not be allowed to advertise with Google Ads again.

To avoid violating the Circumventing Systems policy, it is important to understand what is considered a violation.

  • Cloaking (showing different content to certain users, including Google, than to other users) that aims at or results in interference with Google’s review systems, or hides or attempts to hide non-compliance with Google Ads policies, such as:
    • Redirection to non-compliant content
    • Using dynamic DNS to switch page or ad content
    • Manipulating site content or restricting access to so many of your landing pages that it makes it difficult to meaningfully review your ad, site, or account
    • Using click trackers to redirect users to malicious sites
  • Whether repeated or simultaneous, policy violations across any of your accounts, including using 2 or more accounts to post ads that violate this or any other Google Ads policy. For example, creating new domains or accounts to post ads that are similar to ads that have been disapproved for this or any other Google Ads policy.
  • Bypassing enforcement mechanisms and detection by creating variations of ads, domains or content that have been disapproved (for this or any Google Ads policy) or using techniques in text, images, or videos to obfuscate sexually explicit content
  • After a previous suspension decision, attempting to use the Google Ads system again by creating new accounts in order to re enter the system
  • Abusing Google Ads product features in order to show policy non-compliant content to users and/or gain additional traffic
  • Submitting false information as part of our verification programs

As an FYI, Google Search (organic results, not paid) also has a circumvention spam policy.

5. Building Trust and Increasing Sales with Google Merchant Center – Google Merchant Center is a free service that allows you to submit your business and product information to Google so that it can be displayed in Google results. This can be a great way to increase visibility for your products and drive traffic to your website.  Google has posted a new document in the Google Merchant Center area on how to build trust with your customers. The document goes through your business identity, your transparency, your online reputation, and your professional design.

Google explained, that it wants “Google to be a safe and trustworthy place for both our customers and retailers. Customers should feel confident about the offers they are browsing and the businesses they are purchasing from. Sometimes it can take some time before a sufficient level of trust is established and before we consider it safe to display your offers to customers. This assessment is an ongoing process and since we know that customers are likely to do research about your products and business, we may review multiple signals from across the web. The more we know about your business, the better we are able to represent you.”

Here is that list of what Google said customers value in building trust with your business:

  • Business Identity:
    • Provide the official business name that you use across the web and avoid any mismatches in your registered business name and domain name.
    • Include an “about us” page on your website to show your authenticity and tell customers your unique story.
    • Let customers know that they can follow you on social media profiles and link to those pages from your website.
  • Transparency:
    • Be clear and provide detailed information about your policies including shipping, returns and privacy policies.
    • Be transparent about your business model and how you operate.
  • Online reputation:
    • Help potential customers understand how to use your products or how other customers have used them. Show reviews and testimonials about your products and business.
    • If you’ve received any badges or seals of approval from official third-party sources, make sure that you mention these.
    • Clearly communicate how customers can interact with you by making sure they know how to get in touch with you and how your customer support is set-up.
    • If you publish a blog post or if your business was mentioned in an article, make sure your customers know about this.
  • Professional design:
    • Install an SSL certificate so customers know that their sensitive data is retrieved and stored securely without being intercepted by hackers.
    • Your website should be accessible for all customers, easy to navigate, and shouldn’t contain any unnecessary redirects or redirects to broken links.
    • Avoid placeholders for text and images; this gives the feeling that the website is unfinished.

So there you have it, your blueprint from Google on how you can get your customers to trust you. 🙂

But how does Google know if your customers trust you? Google put down this list of how you can help Google learn more about your business:

Match your product data in your product feed with your website to ensure customers see the same information, such as prices, across both.

6.  Don’t Let Your Syndicated Content Hurt Your SEO! – Syndicated content is content that is published on multiple websites. This can be a problem for SEO, as it can lead to duplicate content issues. Google recommends that publishers use the noindex tag on syndicated content to prevent it from being indexed by search engines.

The noindex tag is a meta tag that tells search engines not to index a particular page. This can be useful for a variety of reasons, including preventing duplicate content issues, preventing spam, and improving page load times.

To use the noindex tag, simply add the following code to the head section of your page:

This will tell search engines not to index the page. Google recommends publishers push syndication partners to use noindex to prevent syndicated content from outranking original news sources.

7. Google Explains How Google Discover Works – Google’s Martin Splitt answered a question on the July 2023 Office Hours session about what to do after traffic from Google Discover traffic dries up. Martin offers quick insights into what Google Discover focuses on.

Google Discover is a personalized feed of articles that match user interests. It is a great way to drive traffic to your website.

Google Discover uses a variety of factors to determine which articles to show users, including the user’s search history, the websites they have visited, and the topics they have clicked on. This means that the best way to optimize your content for Google Discover is to create high-quality content (while Google shows relevant evergreen content, the system is also looking for fresh content on particular topics that tend to need freshness.) that is relevant to your target audience. According to Martin, “Generally, content that is indexed and meets our content guidelines can be included in Discover. But …Discover traffic is hard to predict and will ebb and flow. The content in Discover is automatically refreshed as new content is published, however Discover is designed to show all types of helpful content from across the web, not just newly published content. A common mistake I see in the SEO industry is focusing too hard on keywords or the semantics of words and not enough on topics. In my experience, focusing on the semantics of words is a waste of time. Focus on topics of interest. Topics are about what’s going on in the industry and understanding what are people interested in right now.”

Here are some specific tips for optimizing your content for Google Discover:

  • Use clear and concise titles that accurately reflect the content of your article.
  • Use relevant keywords throughout your article.
  • Include a well-written meta description that summarizes the content of your article.
  • Use high-quality images and videos.
  • Promote your articles on social media.

8. Your Page is Discovered, but Not Indexed! Here’s How to Fix It – Google’s John Mueller answered whether removing pages from a large site helps to solve the problem of pages that are discovered by Google but not crawled.

The “Discovered – Currently Not Indexed” status in Google Search Console means that Google has found your page, but it has not yet crawled or indexed it. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as technical errors on your site, duplicate content, or low-quality content, although Google’s official documentation only lists one reason. “Discovered – currently not indexed The page was found by Google, but not crawled yet. 

Typically, Google wanted to crawl the URL but this was expected to overload the site; therefore Google rescheduled the crawl. This is why the last crawl date is empty on the report.” 

If you see the “Discovered – Currently Not Indexed” status for one of your pages, there are a few things you can do to try to fix it:

  • Check for technical errors on your site.
  • Make sure your content is unique and high-quality.
  • Submit your page to Google Search Console.

9. Google’s SEO Advice Has Not Changed in 20 Years. Here’s What You Need to Know – Google’s core SEO advice has not changed in two decades. That’s right, the same advice that Google gave in 2002 still applies today.

In a recent post, Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, shared a screenshot of Google’s advice from 2002. The advice reads: “Make pages for users, not for search engines.”

Sullivan went on to say that Google’s core SEO advice has not changed because it is still the best way to create high-quality content that people will want to read.

So, what does it mean to “make pages for users, not for search engines”? It means that you should focus on creating content that is informative, helpful, and engaging. You should also use keywords throughout your content, but you should not stuff your content with keywords.

If you follow Google’s core SEO advice, you will be well on your way to ranking well in search results.

Here are some additional tips for following Google’s core SEO advice:

  • Write clear and concise titles that accurately reflect the content of your page.
  • Use relevant keywords throughout your content, but don’t overdo it.
  • Create high-quality images and videos.

10. LLMs for SEO: A Recipe for Disaster? –  Large language models (LLMs) are a powerful tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, including generating text, translating languages, and writing different kinds of creative content. However, LLMs can also be used for SEO purposes, and this can lead to disaster if not done correctly.

One of the main problems with using LLMs for SEO is that they can generate content that is not relevant to the user’s search intent. This can lead to a decrease in organic traffic, as users will be less likely to click on links to pages that are not relevant to their search.

Another problem with using LLMs for SEO is that they can generate content that is plagiarized or duplicate. This can lead to a site being penalized by Google, which can result in a decrease in search rankings.

If you are considering using LLMs for SEO, it is important to be aware of the risks involved. You should also make sure that you are using a reputable LLM provider that has a good track record of generating high-quality content.

Sources: https://twitter.com/rustybrick/status/1671848255792054272 and https://flower-nutria-41d.notion.site/No-GPT4-can-t-ace-MIT-b27e6796ab5a48368127a98216c76864