[Ep100] – Google Announces End Date For Universal Analytics. Now Is the Time To Start Using GA-4

by Mar 21, 2022TWIMshow0 comments

Full Transcription

[Introduction] – 00:00

Hey, everyone. Welcome to Episode 100 of the TWIMshow. This is your host Sajid Islam and today I’ll be going over the notable news and updates from the week of March 14, 2022. And I am so excited that you know this is episode number 100 right? When I first started this show, I did not realize that I would be able to come this far. But you know, one step at a time, one week at a time. I’m here. Thank you for listening. And let’s dive in to the digital marketing updates.

[Update 1 – Sharing Pinterest Idea Pins On Other Platforms] – 00:33

So, first off, we have updates from Pinterest. Pinterest is now allowing you to download your idea pins and share it to other platforms. Notably are most likely to IG stories and FB stories. Now, this is something Pinterest announced idea pins last year, and obviously you were doing it. It’s a multi canvas post, which is basically you can embed up to 20 seconds of video. You can have multiple pages, things like that. It’s like similar to Instagram carousel post. Now, what’s interesting is obviously, you know, back in the day when TikTok first started, the way TikTok got viral is TikTok would allow you to download your TikToks and share it with other platforms. So now I think Pinterest realized, hey, we should allow other people to do that. Maybe that way we will get some more traction because people will hear about, oh, shit, there is this other platform called Pinterest. And all these nice things are happening on Pinterest. And actually, that’s what happened with TikTok. That’s how I found out about TikTok. So talking about it. So when you download your idea pins from Pinterest, obviously it’s going to have the Pinterest logo and then you can upload it to Instagram or FB stories. Now, the thing is, obviously it’s going to have the Pinterest watermark. And I’m pretty sure Instagram at some point is going to come out and say, hey, if there is a Pinterest watermark, we are not going to give you the, we’re going to cap your reach just similar to what Instagram did with TikTok videos. Now, there are two things. Number one is there are platforms that exist that will remove the watermark from your video, from your text, and things like that. You could either use that or number two is you could still do Pinterest. And then what you can do is you can just deal with it. At a minimum, look at it right now, say you are posting on Pinterest and you don’t post on Instagram or you post on Pinterest. And now you have downloaded, uploaded, recreate all these things. You know what? Might as well just post it on Instagram with let Instagram cap your reach. But at a minimum, something is better than nothing. Right? I’m not suggesting that you do a sloppy job, but I’m just saying if you have to choose between nothing and something, I would rather go with something. Right. And the other thing I want to tell you is that the Pinterest, when you download it, it’s going to Resize it according to whichever platform you choose you’re going to publish it to. So that’s great with that, let’s move on to the next update.

[Update 2 – Assigning Moderator During IG Live Streams] – 03:07

The next update is on Instagram with Instagram is that Instagram is now allowing you to assign a moderator during IG livestream. This is something people have been complaining about because say you go to a live and there are people who come in, they heckle you, they harass you, things like that. If you have a moderator, they can kick them out, manage questions and things like that. This is actually a much needed feature. So I’m glad that Instagram has decided to bring it on. And who knows, maybe Instagram is going to follow up interest and allow you to download your IG multi carousel post and allow you to publish it to other platforms. But we’ll see. I won’t hold my breath. But the way Instagram has been copying features that work on other platforms, maybe they will copy this one. Okay, let’s move on to the next update.

[Update 3 – Performance Lab Plugin – The WordPress Official Plugin That Speeds Up Website] – 03:56

 The next update is on WordPress. Usually we do not cover in depth on WordPress. However, because a lot of businesses out there have websites on WordPress. I thought this is a Prudent thing to cover WordPress core team, which is basically the company or the team that makes WordPress. WordPress is open source, so basically we don’t get charged for it, but there is a company behind it that kind of. And it’s called Automatic. And they actually put together programmers, they contribute the resources and they maintain the WordPress repository, things like that. So they have this plugin called they’ve released this plugin called a Performance Lab plugin. And what this is going to do is it’s going to give you the I wouldn’t call it a better future, but it’s going to give you the cutting edge, leading edge features that will help you speed up your website, identify things that could be slowing down your website and things like that. And then through this plugin, you’d be able to tweak your website, make it much more faster. And then eventually WordPress core team is going to take these features within the plug in and implement it into the core product. So it’s somewhat of those bleeding edge features that you’re going to get through this Performance Lab plugin, would you use it? I would say yes. However, start using it with your staging site first. And if you are going to use on your production site, then definitely make sure that you take a backup just in case you have to roll back again. This is something that I would say nontechnical business owner should do it. If you’re a small business owner and if your website is on WordPress, you should have someone who knows a little bit of WordPress and talk to them about it. But definitely this is a step in the right direction. It gives you functionality that will especially the one thing that does is it provides an audit of your CSS and JavaScript files to say what scripts are Cascading style sheet, which is what CSS stands for and what JavaScript files are actually slowing down your website and what can you do to remove them and speed up your website? So this is great, especially this day and age when Google is focused on page experience and page speed. And if your page loads more than it takes more than 3 seconds, it kind of you lose visitors, things like that. Okay, enough on this WordPress thing. I think it’s time for us to move on to the next topic,

[Update 4 – Free Web Application Firewall For Websites From Cloudflare] – 06:21

which is again similar to websites along the lines, which is Cloudflare. Cloudflare is a company, they are not in marketing, they’re a technology company. And they have announced a free web application firewall for website, specially for people who are on WordPress. But if you’re in Drupal, if you’re on Zoomla, you could still use them. But I think their free offering is geared towards WordPress users because that’s how it is. Now. How does web application firewall works is that they intercept all the requests before it hits your server that will serve the request. So firewalls are basically this buffer zone. They see the request and obviously there are known exploits out there on WordPress websites, whether it’s scanning your side, things like that. And Cloudflare will kind of know that signature pattern, the attack pattern, and they will kind of filter it out. So if a bad actor is sending bad requests to your website or malicious request to your website, Cloudflare is going to intercept and it’s going to kind of not allow that thing go through. It’s like having a security guard in front of your building where the security guard scans and says, oh, are you an authorized user? Are you a bad user? Are you coming in with all these things, things like that? That’s what a web application firewall is at a core level and it’s free, obviously. I’m sure there is a paid version as well. So why am I covering it? Again, our listeners are small business owners who have websites and now there are paid options as well. You don’t have to go from Cloudflare, you can go to Sucuri, They have three or four different vendors. They have it. But folks, if you don’t want to pay for it, this is a good option, right? Absolutely. Use it again, you will be glad you did. If there are people who are trying to inject virus into our websites and inject things like that, you’ll be somewhat protected. Some protection is better than zero protection. So with that, let’s move on to the next update.

[Update 5 – Google’s Free Hotel Listing Now Shows Results On Google Map] – 08:23

The next update is Google has this product called Google’s free hotel listing. This was covered last year in our show. So now Google is coming out and they say, you know what hey, Google free hotel listing now shows results on Google Maps. So if you look for hotels, you’re going to get hotel listings on your Google Maps as well. And of course, you could pay for Google Ads so that your hotel listings show up. Plus, if you have a free hotel listing, that will also show up similar to what Google Merchant Center does, right? You can have a Google free Google Merchant Center account. Your products are going to show up where someone searches for the product that you sell as well as paid ads. So that’s what Google is going Google is creating inventory. Google is kind of compartmentalizing. It things like that. I would say definitely, if you are hotel, a small hotel or a large chain, it doesn’t matter. Or if you’re serving a customer who is on who has a hotel, absolutely. Get them on this thing. This is definitely helpful. Hey, you want to get as many traffic as you can. And the other thing is right now, looking at my notes, there is a way for you to see how many people clicked on your link. And also they’re expanding the report to say other insights, such as people who clicked on the free booking link, impressions, booking value, things like that. So absolutely, if you’re a hotel or you know someone who has a hotel or if you’re working with the hotel owner, this is something for you. Okay with that? Let’s go to the next update, which is from Snap.

[Update 6 – Snap Launches AR Certification to Snap Focus Educational Portal] – 10:00

Snap has basically launched their first augmented reality certification program, which is Strategies for Advertisers. It’s a five part learning route that provides hands on training, real world examples to help you get better grasp how augmented reality may help you achieve your business and marketing goals. Should you do it? I think you should. Here’s why. This week, Adobe Summit was there, and Adobe Summit also touted this product called augmented reality product that allows you to see objects as in pieces of furniture or pieces of equipment. How will they look and feel in your house, in your environment? So one great example, say you were looking at a toaster and the toaster. If you’re on a two dimensional website, you look at a toaster. The toaster looks great. But you want to know, how will this toaster look in my home, in my kitchen? Up until now, you have to close your eyes and kind of think about it. Now Pinterest has this feature where you can place objects in your room and see how it is. Adobe took a leaf out of that and out of that success story, and they’re creating this augmented reality solution where you can take the toaster and put it in your kitchen and see how that toaster will look in relation to your own space, size wise, things like that. Now. So that’s why I say augmented reality is something for here to stay. Augmented reality will grow big over time. It’s still in its early days. But where I’m going with this is that if you are looking to get a next certification, then maybe this is an area where you can look and see what can we do now or what can you learn? Again, if you are not in the Snapchat, this is not for you. Okay with that, let’s go to the last update of this week. This was a short week, but this is definitely the largest and biggest update for this week as well as maybe for this year, who knows? But I’m thinking this is the largest update,

 

[Update 7 – Google Announces End Date For Universal Analytics. Now Is the Time To Start Using GA-4] – 12:02

which is like Google announced the end date for Universal Analytics, which is Google Analytics version three, also often known as GA3. Now Google is saying the last date for support for GA3 is July 1, 2023. After that, it’s not going to report any more counts in GA3 accounts. So it’s time for you to move to GA4. So you have roughly about 15 months to move to GA4. And you should move to GA4 right away. Why is that? Well, because number one is GA4 is quite different from GA3. GA3 was based on IP address, based on tracking you cookies and things like that. GA4 is cookie-less. Right. It works in a very different way. And obviously, the other thing is, after what Google says that you will have access to GA3 data for six months. After that, you lose it. So you want to create historical data starting now so that you can compare and say your GA3 and GA4 are performing or GA4 is performing the way GA3 is performing. You haven’t missed anything. And you want to have that historical data. Right. Historical data so that you can compare do a lot of different things. So with that, folks, I definitely ask you to please start using GA4 for us, our own business. We have a GA3 property as well as a GA4 property. Since we set up, I set up marketandgrow.com and I’ve been tracking it. So it’s been for at least a year that we have GA4 on our website. Obviously, it’s through Tag Manager. You don’t see it, it’s behind the scenes. But I’ve been collecting data.
We’ve been filtering it, things like that. But in about, I would say middle of summer, we are going to start using GA4 for reporting purpose and move away from GA3

[Closing] – 13:48

 With that folks, that’s it for This Week In Marketing. Now you know everything you need to know by the way, check out the show notes page if you wanna get the link to the certification course from Snapchat or you wanna see the announcements from Google on GA3 going end of life and GA4 coming into the picture. With that take care until next time. Bye bye.

Thank you for tuning in this week, it was a pleasure to serve you all. Hit the subscribe button so that you remember to sign on next week. Same place, same time for another round of This Week In Marketing.

1. Sharing Pinterest Idea Pins On Other Platforms (00:33) – If you want to improve your Pinterest presence, this could be a useful update. Pinterest has made it possible to download your Idea Pins for sharing to other apps, replete with a Pinterest watermark, as of this week. You can easily share your Idea Pins to other social apps by selecting the “FBStories” or “IG Stories” option in the sharing menu, which will start a download tailored to each app, and then open either with the video ready to go in the upload flow, or you may download the clip and upload to TikTok. The issue, in my opinion, is that Instagram already penalizes Reels uploads with a TikTok watermark in order to prevent users from simply copying and pasting TikTok content. So should you leverage this feature? Listen to the podcast and find my viewpoint.

Source: https://newsroom.pinterest.com/en/post/idea-pin-sharing-available

 

2. Assigning Moderator During IG Live Streams (03:07) – With a new live-stream moderator option, IG creators will be able to assign a moderator within a Livestream. Instagram is adding greater ability to control your live broadcasts in the app. The feature will give users another way to manage the flow of material inside a stream, as well as address concerns about inappropriate behavior during IG Live sessions. It’s also worth mentioning that TikTok debuted a similar feature in July of last year.

The menu icon on the comment area allows creators to add a moderator. Within here, you can either search for a specific individual or choose from a list of Instagram’s recommended users.

Source: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-launches-new-moderator-option-for-ig-live-streams/620284/

 

3. Performance Lab Plugin – The WordPress Official Plugin That Speeds Up Website (03:56) – WordPress has announced the availability of the Performance Lab plugin. It was created by the WordPress performance team to aid in the speeding up of WordPress sites. The plugin allows website owners to make use of new features before they are integrated into the core of WordPress.

The Performance Lab plugin gives website owners access to WordPress enhancements that are aimed to help them speed up their sites and address issues that may be holding them down. The plugin is modular in design, allowing website owners to pick and choose the enhancements they want to make.

The new Performance Lab plugin has four modules.

  • WebP Uploads – Converts newly uploaded JPEG files to the faster WebP format. The functionality is dependent on server support for WebP.
  • WebP Support – This is a site health module that checks to see if the server supports WebP and shows a warning if WebP is not supported.
  • Persistent Object Cache Health Check – A site health check module that may suggest the use of object caching. Object caching is a way to speed up the amount of time it takes for the site to respond, helps reduce the database load, and speeds up the website for site visitors.
  • Audit Enqueued Assets (experimental) Provides an audit of CSS and JavaScript files enqueued on the home page. This helps to identify unnecessary CSS and JavaScript files that might slow down a website. The developers chose to label it as experimental because the module itself will be improved.

Source:  https://make.wordpress.org/core/2022/03/07/the-performance-lab-plugin-has-been-released/

 

4. Free Web Application Firewall For Websites From Cloudflare (06:21) – Cloudflare has announced the availability of a free Web Application Firewall (WAF). The Cloudflare WAF is a website application firewall that analyzes incoming web traffic from the Internet and automatically blocks any content it deems harmful.

To identify malicious traffic and filter it out, the firewall uses a ruleset, which is a set of patterns and signals that it searches for.

The free managed ruleset has been tested against the Cloudflare network and allows free users to immediately activate their firewall and start reaping the benefits of a firewall.

Free users will benefit from updates that will defend their sites from new wide-ranging security risks because the ruleset is a managed ruleset.

Source: https://developers.cloudflare.com/waf/managed-rulesets/

 

5. Google’s Free Hotel Listing Now Shows Results On Google Map (08:23) – Free hotel booking links will now appear on the Search Results Page and Google Maps, allowing hotels to reach a wider audience and providing travelers with additional options. Travelers can finalize their booking directly on the hotel’s website after clicking on these links.

Hotels of all sizes, from small boutique hotels to huge online travel agencies, have reaped the benefits of greater user interaction since the introduction of free booking links. For example, during the summer of 2021, the booking engine myhotelshop employed free booking links to drive 30 percent more bookings for their hotel clients.

In addition, Hotel Center’s new click reporting reveals hotels how many individuals clicked on their free booking links.

Google plans to expand the report to include other insights, such as free booking link impressions and booking value, in the coming weeks.

Source:  https://blog.google/products/ads-commerce/new-tools-hotels-reconnect-travelers/

 

6. Snap Launches AR Certification to Snap Focus Educational Portal (10:00) – Snap has published its first Snap AR certification on Snap Focus: Augmented Reality Strategies for Advertisers, as the pioneer in Augmented Reality (AR). This five-part learning route provides hands-on training and real-world examples to help you better grasp how AR may help you achieve your business and marketing goals. To get certified, visit :

Source: https://forbusiness.snapchat.com/blog/introducing-our-first-snap-focus-ar-certification

 

7. Google Announces End Date For Universal Analytics. Now Is the Time To Start Using GA-4 (12:02) – Universal Analytics will be phased down by Google next year, the company stated on Wednesday. On July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits. After the deprecation dates stated above, previously processed data in Universal Analytics will be kept for at least six months.

“Universal Analytics was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions and more easily observable data from cookies,” Russell Ketchum, director, product management at Google, said in the announcement. “This measurement methodology is quickly becoming obsolete.”

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is different from its predecessor in that it works across platforms, doesn’t require cookies, and measures data using an event-based data model. It also does not keep IP addresses, which can assist brands in complying with privacy laws.

When it comes to GA4, organizations have been dragging their feet. That will be no longer be an option in just over 15 months.

We are also publishing a blog on this topic this Tuesday (3/22/22).

Source: https://blog.google/products/marketingplatform/analytics/prepare-for-future-with-google-analytics-4/