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The Monday Briefing ? 18 April 16

Something exciting happens in the marketing world every week. From all of those interesting pieces of information, we have yet again compiled the top headlines for you.

If you remember, a couple of weeks back, Google had rolled out some new features for AdWords. This week it was Google Analytics? turn to undergo changes. Though the changes were not as big as those of AdWords, there were quite a few useful features added.

Google also carried out a couple of changes to its search engine results: (1) It will now warn you if?you try entering?websites which have potentially deceiving download buttons and (2) it is testing green ?Ad? icons in text adds in SERPs.

Top social media news this week include Facebook opening its Instant Articles platform to everyone and a study that reveals the change in user interaction on Facebook which led to the increase in post sharing and the decrease in liking and commenting in 2015.

Further to the constant enhancements Google is carrying out, over the next few weeks the search giant will be rolling out some new Google Analytics features to its users. Here are some changes that you will see in Analytics:

  1. [Attribution 360] Data Studio Integration
  2. [Analytics 360] Custom Tables: Align regex Interpretation
  3. Deeplinking into AdWords from the AdWords Reporting Section in GA
  4. Flexible Auto-tagging Override for GA-AdWords Linking
  5. Move Traffic to SSL
  6. AdWords Final URL Dimension
  7. New Sitelinks report in AdWords reporting section in GA
  8. [Analytics 360] Add Experiment Fields to GA’s BigQuery Export
  9. User Explorer Reporting
  10. Google Analytics Reporting API V4


Check out Google?s Analytics Release Notes for more details.


Along with all of these improvements, Google also scared many web masters last week when a message from the company hinted that it will penalize websites practising unnatural outbound linking. But this turned out to be a small penalty affecting only one type of link.

Read more about these below:

Google?s manual penalties for ?unnatural outbound links? create panic


Last week Google?s manual actions team started penalizing sites, in which they found ?a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links?, by deciding not to trust any links on these websites. Google sent out a message to the affected web masters regarding this and also gave them instructions on how to fix the issues. This news created some panic among web masters who took it to the “street”, and Google support forums were abuzz with related discussions.

However, this was a bit of hype news that freaked everyone out, and not many web masters we know actually saw any negative impacts.

John Mueller from Google later clarified that this was directly related to the warning Google had issued some weeks ago for bloggers who were posting “reviews in exchange for free products” to disclose free product reviews as such and nofollow any links in their blog posts related to?these product reviews.

Read more at: SearchEngineLand



Google testing green ?Ad? icons in the UK SERPS (and beyond)


There are reports coming in from many users that the colour of the ?Ad? label on text ads in Google SERPs has been changed from yellow to green,?and is now matching the colour of display URLs in the ads. This change was first reported in the UK, but soon users from Germany, Hungary and the United States confirmed that they were also noticing the change. A Google spokesperson later confirmed that ?This is a small test, and we?re always exploring ways to label ads clearly on Google across mobile and desktop?.?

We wonder if Google is matching the colour with that of the link in order to make the icon less noticeable.

Yellow Label:
Yellow Google Ad Label

Green Label:
Green Google Ad Label

Read more at: SearchEngineLand


Facebook Instant Articles made available to everyone


Facebook, at its F8 conference, announced that it is opening its publishing platform, Instant Articles, to anyone who publishes content on Facebook, regardless of the type or size. Facebook shared some data regarding how these articles, that are meant to load content instantly on mobile, have fared so far.

According to statistics, Instant Articles have led to:

  1. 20% more clicks on links to content
  2. 70% reduced probability of abandoning content after clicking on it
  3. 30% more shares when compared with the average mobile web articles

Facebook also said that about 1000 publishers worldwide have already joined the program.

They are also partnering with online publishing tool providers such as WordPress, Drupal, Atavist, Medium, Perk Distributed, RebelMouse, ShareThis, Sovrn, Steller, and Tempest and are partnering with analytics tools providers such as Adobe Analytics, Chartbeat, comScore, Nielsen, Parsely, and SimpleReach to improve the usability and familiarity of Instant Articles.

Even though Facebook seems to be making Instant Articles accessible to more people, it actually is harder than what it looks at first sight?to get your content approved, considering requirements?such as needing to have at least 50 posts ready for Facebook to even consider you.


Read more at: SearchEngineJournal?or visit Facebook Instant Articles – Here


Google will warn you against websites with potentially harmful and deceptive download buttons


There are many websites out there with links, download buttons, and deceptive ads that look genuine but may download harmful software, spyware, bloatware or malware to your computer if clicked. Google?s latest security upgrade will warn users?not just before using the suspicious download link but also before entering a website that contains such links.

According to Google, these misleading links are as those that:

  • Pretend to act, or look and feel, like a trusted entity ? like your own device or browser, or the website itself
  • Try to trick you into doing something you?d only do for a trusted entity ? like sharing a password or calling tech support

Now, that?s a great feature added considering how often people fall into the trap of downloading stuff that may compromise their security, on the other hand its bad news for a huge part of the Pay Per Install niche and a few others.

Deceptive Site Warning


Read more at: SearchEngineLand


Facebook post sharing increases; liking and commenting decreases


From a study of post engagement metrics conducted by analytics firm Rival IQ, it has been revealed that the only form of engagement that has increased on Facebook in 2015 is post sharing. On the other hand, likes and comments, the engagement types that many businesses still rely upon for conversions, saw a year-over-year decrease.

Rival IQ analysed a humongous amount of data on Facebook which came from more than 9,000 brands, 8.1 million posts and 11.5 billion associated engagements?to conclude?these results.

The change in user interaction is speculated to be the result of Facebook trying to tweak its algorithms for the last?two years to reduce spam and “like-baiting” and cleaning up news feeds.? So what is being revealed might be the clearer, and more accurate engagement metrics. Whatever it may be, it?s time for businesses to take note of the change in user interaction on Facebook and tailor their strategies accordingly.

Rival HQ Statistics Image

Read more at: MarketingLand

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