January 2020 Digital Roundup
Let’s get straight to the point here: we’re making some changes. Don’t worry, because the digital roundup will still include the biggest and most interesting news stories from the worlds of SEO and paid media. But starting with this instalment, we’re adding analytics to the mix as well as some of our very own items. That’s more news, handpicked by us, delivered to you.
Speaking of news, January kicked off 2020 in a big way in the world of digital marketing. Google made some serious changes, Facebook backed off on an advertising plan, and Digital Analytics Power Hour started the year with a great podcast. You’ll get all that and much more as you keep reading this month’s digital roundup.
Google rolls out January 2020 core update
To kick things off this year, Google confirmed the deployment of the January 2020 core update in the middle of the month. While the rollout is in full effect, the search giant says it’s mostly done but “may take two weeks to fully complete.” The update is global, which means it will have an impact on all regions and languages.
According to reports from Search Engine Land, sites within the “Your Money, Your Life” category (namely travel, health, finance, and retail) have experienced the most volatility so far. And as with most core updates, there are winners and losers in the rankings. If your (or a client’s) site is in the latter category, Google recommends reviewing their guide on core updates to see what you can do to improve performance.
Google announces changes to featured snippet rankings
As if the core update news wasn’t enough, Google also introduced a notable update related to featured snippets. With this change, if a site currently ranks as a featured snippet - also known as position 0 - then that specific URL won't also appear in the standard organic listings anymore. The featured snippet will effectively be treated as position 1.
But what happens if that URL is no longer a featured snippet? Will the URL appear in the organic listings again as normal? Yes, it should. That’s according to Google’s Danny Sullivan, who says he “would expect” things to resolve themselves given that the deduplication only applied to sites within the featured snippet.
Paid media stories
Facebook halts plans for WhatsApp ads
Way back in May 2019, we wrote that Facebook had plans to bring ads to the uber-popular messaging app, WhatsApp, in the year 2020. Well, it’s 2020 and the ads aren’t here. And according to the Wall Street Journal, the plans officially fell through.
As the story says, WhatsApp recently disbanded a team that was working specifically on how ads could be integrated into the platform. It now appears that the focus is shifting toward other ways for “businesses [to] communicate with customers,” though it remains to be seen how that will shake out. For more on this story and how things may develop for WhatsApp, head over to Social Media Today.
Spotify launches new podcast advertising measurement tool
Now that Spotify is fully invested in the podcast game, the streaming service wants to make it easier for marketers looking to place ads in its original and exclusive content. Last month, the company launched an ad measuring tool called Streaming Ad Insertion, and it aims to provide marketers with a “full digital suite of planning, reporting and measurement capabilities.”
The truly important thing here is, of course, the data that Spotify can provide. According to the press release, the tool provides actual ad impressions, reach, and frequency for ad delivery, as well as anonymous audience insights on age, gender, device, and listening behaviour.
Digital analytics stories
The great debate: reporting vs analysis
To kick off their 2020, the Digital Analytics Power Hour podcast crew jumped right into the meaty topic of “reporting vs. analysis” on their 14th January show. It’s a recommended listen for anyone even remotely interested in analytics, whether you’re an analyst yourself, a stakeholder, or your role falls somewhere in between. So go ahead and free up the next hour and tune into this episode of DAPH (or at least read through the transcript).
How to set up an app and web property in Google Analytics
If you’re looking to set up an app and web property in Google Analytics but aren’t exactly sure how, this guide from Digital Debrief has got you covered. Their three-step process is straightforward and outlined with photos, so you can follow closely and get it right the first time. Note that this is an updated version of a prior guide because now you can do the initial steps directly in GA.
As promised, we’re now bringing you some of our own news, including our most recent blog posts, past and future speaking events, and upcoming training workshops. We hope this gives you more insight into everything we do here at Ayima, including opportunities to learn from our team of experts.
We published three articles this past month that covered the following:
- An Introduction to HTTP/2 & Page Speed: A guide for SEOs who want to implement HTTP/2 in their initiatives for page speed optimisation.
- Introducing the Ayima Data Studio Funnel Chart: A walkthrough of our simple funnel visualisation that you can add to your dashboard in four clicks.
- Digital Analytics solutions designed for non-analysts: An explanation of how to avoid a “clever” Digital Analytics solution which can actually be a barrier to the rest of the organisation.
We’re also staying plenty busy with speaking engagements, both in the past month and at least one upcoming:
- ObservePoint: Director of Analytics Peter O’Neill discussed “identifying and resolving transaction discrepancies” at this event, and you can watch his lecture now.
- SUPERWEEK 2020: Peter also attended this five-day conference in Hungary, arguably the best gathering of Digital Analytics professionals at a single event, where he tackled a variety of topics including his current frustrations, what he hopes to learn this year, and his thoughts on attribution
- BrightonSEO: SEO Director Sam Gipson will take part in one of the biggest SEO conferences on the planet on 17th April when he talks about what he learned from “analysing thousands of robots.txt files.” Learn more about his chat at BrightonSEO.
Ayima Insights training
February brings three unique Ayima Insights training sessions for those interested in learning more about different facets of digital marketing. They’re all free to attend and take place at our London offices. They start with breakfast at 9 a.m. and then run from 9:30 a.m to 1 p.m.
The workshops are as follows:
- Wed, 12th February: SEO for Beginners. Aims to help marketers better understand SEO, its impact on a business’s digital strategy, and how it affects other channels.
- Wed, 19th February: Google Analytics Fundamentals. Outlines the concepts behind Google Analytics, the changes you can make to the set-up, how to find key insights, and more.
- Wed, 26th February: Paid Media for Branding Campaigns. Provides insights into how Ayima have managed successful branding campaigns and includes a wealth of tips on how to target your core audiences.