Hello everyone and welcome to March’s instalment of the Digital Marketing Monthly Round-Up! Everyone in the Ricemedia office is full of chocolate, and much like the whole of the UK, we’re all a bit confused about what day it is. March has been a month full of surprises, and the Ricemedia gang had an amazing time at IRX.
Alongside this, we were all super excited to see Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter get transformed into a virtual oasis in Steven Spielberg’s new blockbuster, Ready Player One, and Netflix released the second series of Jessica Jones, alongside season two of The Santa Clarita Diet and A Series of Unfortunate Events. That being said, we didn’t spend the whole of March binge watching TV – Birmingham’s bar scene had some really exciting new additions, with Revolución de Cuba and The Ivy opening on Temple Street. Our new client Honor Gold’s organic traffic is up 146.37% YoY, which meant we had a lot of celebrating to do…
We feel like we say this every month, but March was an incredible month for the ever changing Digital Marketing industry, especially when it comes to the world of Social Media, PPC, Digital PR and all things SEO. So, grab a brew, put your feet up and have a browse through March’s digest of the Digital Marketing Monthly Round-Up.
1. Google is starting to prioritise stories for paying news subscribers
On March 13th BloombergTechnology released an article stating that those who subscribe to newspapers and use Google’s Search Engine will find articles from their subscribed news platform appearing higher in their search results. Google have chosen to do this in a bid to help media companies retain and target paying readers. You can find out more about it here.
2. Google released their Brackets update
In March, news of Google’s “Brackets” update started to emerge from the woodwork. The Brackets update has a heavy focus on content quality, and with so much content being produced for websites across the globe, it’s crucial that Search Engine users are being served the correct content that meets their search intent, whether that be educational or transactional. We’ve definitely seen some great results from this Brackets update, as shown for one of our clients in the graph below! Check out more about the Google Brackets update here.
3. Facebook has removed the ad filter that targets users based on their relationship preferences
Last month Facebook removed the ad filter that allowed advertisers to create campaigns targeting users based on their relationship preferences. This filter was pretty useful for advertisers as they were able to target people based on the information they’d provided under the “interested in” section of their profile. Users had the option to select “women” or “men” — making it possible to build a campaign around a person’s sexual orientation. This move has caused quite the stir in the LGBT community, as the removal of this filter means that it decreases the chance of people spreading malicious messages and behaviours to the community (which is a positive in our eyes), but the chief growth officer for The Trevor Project (a nonprofit organisation for suicidal LGBT youths) stated that that Facebook’s decision to remove the ad filter has made his job more difficult, and has made it much harder to those vulnerable to access the help they need. You can read more about this interesting debate here.
4. We explored linkless link building
It’s no secret that links have long been used to determine a site’s authority, but with so many spammy link building tactics, Google’s Penguin algorithm penalised a number of sites that were utilising black hat link building tactics. There are plenty of ways to implement a good quality link building strategy into your SEO efforts, and one of these ways is via linkless link building. Linkless link building is a mention of your brand or site, without a link back to your site. Find out more about it here.
5. Facebook and Cambridge Analytica were exposed for harvesting millions of Facebook User’s data
Last month Facebook and Cambridge Analytica faced allegations that they had used sensitive data from over 50 million Facebook profiles without permission, so that they could build a system that targeted US voters with personalised political advertisements based on their psychological profile. It was reported that Facebook had known about Cambridge Analytica using people’s data unlawfully since 2015, and despite numerous warnings nothing was done about it. You can read more about it here.
6. Google AdWords will now show ad version history
PPC experts across the globe probably wept with joy in March, after Google AdWords made it much easier for professionals to edit their ads and compare them to older ones. Search Engine Land announced that the new AdWords interface makes it much easier to compare all your old ad variations to new ones. All you need to do is hover next to an ad, click on the pencil icon that appears and select “See version history.” Check out more here.
7. Sprout Social introduced their Asset Library 2.0
In March, social media sharing tool, Sprout Social announced that they had launched their Asset Library 2.0, making it easier for users to store relevant and successful content including videos and text snippets, in addition to images, for more streamlined and collaborative publishing and campaign management. Ensuring your social media channels are full of fresh, relevant and interesting content is crucial, and as a Sprout Social Silver Partner, we welcome this change with open arms! Find out more here.
8. Our Digital PR expert looked at the benefits of both Link Building and Digital PR for SEO
Are Digital PR and link building the same thing? Is there even a difference? The aim of both link building and Digital PR are the same – to build links back to your website in order to enhance your site’s authority and increase your site’s rankings. Whilst both tactics have the same end goal, they are quite different. Find out more from our Digital PR Wizard, Mali here.
9. Google announced a new initiative to help the media industry tackle fake news and misinformation
Last month Google announced that they would be implementing new efforts to support the media industry by fighting misinformation and fake news. The Google News Initiative aims to, “highlight accurate journalism while fighting misinformation, particularly during breaking news events; help news sites continue to grow from a business perspective; and create new tools to help journalists do their jobs. Google is serious about supporting these goals, too, pledging to invest $300 million over the next three years.” Check out more about it here.
10. Amnesty International accused Twitter of not protecting vulnerable women from abuse online
In March, human rights group Amnesty International published a report where they accused Twitter of failing to prevent online violence and abuse against women, therefore creating a toxic environment for them. In the report, Amnesty said that Twitter responded inconsistently when abuse was highlighted, even when it violated its own rules. It’s no secret that Twitter has questionable guidelines when it comes to online abuse, and despite Amnesty’s report, Twitter disagreed with their findings, saying that they “cannot delete hatred and prejudice from society”. Find out more about it here.
This month Ricemedia will be at ManyMinds and BrightonSEO! Be sure to watch out for us.