Posted on 02/08/2023 by Melanie Comerford

Digital Marketing News July 2023

July continues the trend of rapid change in the digital marketing world, fueled by volatility on Google SERPs and the ever growing influence of AI technology. In addition to the Google volatility, there have been other important digital marketing updates from July, such as the launch of Threads by Meta, the rebranding of Twitter by Elon Musk, and the introduction of AI Sandbox by Facebook.

Here are our picks for the biggest developments to keep an eye on within the industry: 

SEO News

Google Algorithms have seen the largest volatility ever in July

July has been a changeable month for SEOs – and that’s putting it lightly. There is no clear consensus on what caused such high volatility, but some possible factors include recent Google algorithm updates,  increased competition for certain keywords and changes in the way Google handles CDNs. 

The volatility has been particularly pronounced for sites that rely on CDNs (content delivery networks). CDNs are used to deliver website content from servers that are closer to the user’s location, which can improve performance. 

Volatility has also been more pronounced for certain types of keywords, such as those related to e-commerce and travel. This suggests that Google may be making changes to its ranking algorithm in order to improve the quality of search results for these types of queries.

Google has confirmed an algorithm update this summer

Google’s John Mueller has said that there will be a confirmed Google search ranking update before the summer is up. Mueller made the confirmation in response to a question on Twitter, in which he said “I’m sure we’ll have some.”

This is the first confirmed Google search ranking update since April 2023, and it is likely to have a significant impact on website rankings. Mueller has not provided any specific details about the update, so it is not clear what factors will be affected or how significant the impact will be, however, we will keep a close eye on things as always and ensure we are doing what is needed.

Google Search rolls out site name updates

Google now allows you to specify your preferred site name, which is the name that will be displayed in Google search results. By specifying your preferred site name, you can ensure that your website is displayed with the correct name in Google search results. This can help to improve your website’s click-through rate (CTR) and brand recognition.

Social News

Meta launches Threads

Threads is a new social networking app designed to be a competitor to Twitter developed by Meta.The app’s feed includes posts from followed users and recommended content, allowing 500-character posts, links, photos, and 5-minute videos. 

Despite its rapid popularity – with 100 million users signing up within just a few days of its launch, making it the fastest app to reach that number – Threads has faced criticism and concerns. 

Privacy experts have raised concerns about the app’s data collection practices, which are shared with Meta’s other apps like Instagram and Facebook. The platform gathers various user information, including sensitive details like health and location. There have also been legal threats due to alleged intellectual property infringement from Twitter

Elon rebrands Twitter

Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter Inc, has rebranded the platform with an “X” logo, signalling a new direction for the company. The rebranding is part of Musk’s vision to transform Twitter into an all-encompassing platform, akin to China’s WeChat. 

The rebranding has been met with mixed reactions: Some experts think the move might alienate the original user base, but it signifies a shift towards a different direction with a new user base. However, the rebranding has also raised concerns among advertisers, leading to a decline in advertiser retention.. Musk’s changes, such as locked verification and limited reading, have led users and advertisers to explore alternatives, impacting Twitter’s advertising revenue and financial stability. 

Musk and Twitter’s new CEO, Linda Yaccarino promise new experiences in audio, video, messaging, payments, and banking to create a global marketplace for ideas and services.

Facebook crosses 3 billion monthly active users

Meta has posted strong Q2 results, with Facebook crossing 3 billion monthly active users for the first time. The majority of Facebook’s user growth is coming from the Asia Pacific region, including developing markets like India and Indonesia. However, growth in the EU and U.S. has largely stalled due to mass adoption in these regions. Despite some attention waning in established markets, Facebook’s 3 billion monthly activities is a significant milestone that no other app has reached at this stage.

PPC News

Google Ads will no longer support similar audiences (also known as ‘similar segments’)

After 1 August, similar segments will be removed from all ad groups and campaigns. You’ll continue to have access to historical reporting for similar segments from past campaigns.

In place of similar segments, different campaign types will offer different solutions to help you leverage your first-party data, reach the right audience and improve campaign performance so that you can optimise directly for your business goals. 

Facebook introduces AI Sandbox

Facebook has introduced the AI Sandbox – a kind of testing playground for preliminary versions of new tools and features, which include generative AI-powered ad tools. Their aim is to discern what is effective for advertisers and to make these features user-friendly in their ad tools. To commence, they are developing tools such as text variation, background generation, and image outcropping to accomplish tasks like making an ad’s text more engaging or improving aspects of its creativity.

Text Variation: This generates numerous versions of text to underscore the significant points of an advertiser’s copy, providing advertisers with the opportunity to experiment with different messages for specific audiences.

Background Generation: This tool creates background images from text inputs, permitting advertisers to experiment with various backgrounds more rapidly and diversify their creative assets.

Image Outcropping: This adjusts creative assets to match different aspect ratios across multiple surfaces, like Stories or Reels, enabling advertisers to expend less time and resources on repurposing creative assets.

Microsoft’s Performance Max is now in open beta

Microsoft’s Performance Max is now in open beta mode and offers new features which aim to simplify marketers’ workloads, give back time to focus on the creative side of things, and help them to reach untapped audiences. Being able to work directly with Microsoft on Performance Max campaigns will also give advertisers more transparency and detail into that asset level of reporting.

What has Microsoft said? Lauren Tallody, Sr. Product Marketing Manager and Automation Lead for Microsoft, told Search Engine Land:

“Since Google launched their Performance Max product in 2021, we took our time to understand if there was a need across advertisers for this kind of product on our side.”

Digital Marketing News

Consumer confidence plummets as ‘reality starts to bite’

After several months of improvement, consumer confidence declined significantly in July as the cost of living crisis continues to take its toll. Inflation fell to 7.9% earlier this month – its lowest level in more than a year. The overall consumer confidence is now back at the same level it was in April according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Barometer. 

Content News

Elon Musk Launches xAI 

AI continues to dominate digital marketing content and Elon Musk is the latest to jump onto the rapidly developing technology. xAI is made up of a team of engineers that feature several individuals that previously worked at Google and OpenAI – the latter of which was backed heavily by Musk. After concerns over political bias he has moved onto creating his own AI tool, although it’s still not fully launched and it’s unclear as to what form it will take. There will likely be more information in the coming months. 

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Mel is our Partner Strategy & Delivery Manager and also a CIM Chartered Marketer, a testament to her commitment to excellence in the field. But Mel’s contributions don’t stop at the office door. Beyond her professional endeavours, she leads an active life as a qualified run leader and dedicated volunteer. Her experience in these roles has streamlined her leadership and teamwork skills, making her an invaluable asset when it comes to collaborating on projects and ensuring their success. Her sharp insights, strategic thinking, and knowledge have made her a backbone in our team’s ability to drive results for clients in this industry. Mel will make sure that we can approach marketing challenges from all angles and deliver outstanding results for our clients.

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