Posted on 29/09/2023 by Melanie Comerford

Loop Digital September Industry Update

In the month that saw Google turn a quarter of a century, the search giant showed no sign of slowing down and there was plenty to keep up to date with in the digital marketing world. Perhaps most notably, Google released the September 2023 helpful content update that triggered mass fluctuations industry-wide. There were also substantial developments in the social media and PPC worlds – so let’s dive right in. 

SEO News

Google Turns 25 Years Old

In the span of 25 years, Google has become an integral part of our lives. It has significantly influenced the SEO industry, which has evolved alongside Google’s algorithms and updates. SEO has shifted from a focus on keywords and link building to a more user-centred approach.

Notable moments in SEO history include Google’s Penguin update in 2012, which drastically changed link-building strategies, and the Medic update in 2018, which affected health-related sites. The Diversity update in 2019 aimed to provide more equitable search results.

Various SEO tactics and strategies have come and gone, such as the use of exact match domains, backlink profile manipulation, hidden text, and content scraping. Google’s featured snippets introduced quick answers to search queries, but sometimes got the answers hilariously wrong.

Other highlights include the deprecation of rel=prev/next for pagination and the rise and fall of Google+. The adoption of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) faced initial resistance but eventually led to new career opportunities for SEO professionals.

Looking ahead, the future of SEO may be shaped by AI and Search Generative Experience (SGE), promising more personalised and immersive search experiences. SEO will continue to evolve, focusing on enhancing user experiences and adapting to Google’s ever-changing landscape.

Google August 2023 Core Algorithm Update

Google has confirmed the completion of its August 2023 Core Update, marking the second core update of the year. This update began on August 22 and concluded on September 7, spanning 16 days. For businesses and organisations, staying informed about these Google algorithm updates is crucial, as they can significantly impact a website’s search performance, affecting organic traffic, conversions, and revenue. Monitoring these updates helps identify whether changes in website performance are due to internal adjustments or alterations in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Now that the update has concluded, it’s advisable to delve into your website analytics to assess potential improvements to your content and pages. Google has confirmed the update’s completion through its status dashboard.

Core updates by Google are substantial algorithm alterations, and industry discussions suggest that this August 2023 update has had a notable impact compared to previous core updates. Detailed reports on the update’s effects are expected to emerge in the coming days.

Social News

The world of social media consistently changes, brings new features and faces challenges, influencing both users and businesses. Staying updated is crucial to effectively navigate these changes. A standout trend this month is the increasing presence of AI chatbots on multiple platforms.

Meta’s User-Centric Innovations: Expanding Verification, Multi-Profile Features, and Threads Engagement Insights

Meta, has been actively rolling out new features and updates to try to improve its user experience. They have started the expansion of its paid verification program, now available to business accounts. In addition, Facebook has introduced a feature allowing users to create multiple profiles, enabling them to separate varied interests without any overlap. However, on the downside, Meta’s Threads engagement has not met the anticipated levels. Despite this, the company remains committed to its development, indicating its belief in the app’s potential.

YouTube’s Advanced Creator Tools

YouTube  is continually adapting to provide a balanced environment for both creators and advertisers. In a recent update to its monetization policies, YouTube has made a progressive move by permitting ad revenue sharing on select sensitive topics, aiming to provide creators with more avenues for income. However, in a bid to ensure the well-being of its audience, the platform has imposed stricter limitations on advertisements associated with content related to eating disorders. 

Complementing these changes, YouTube has also unveiled a suite of innovative creator tools, notably incorporating generative AI options, empowering creators to produce more engaging and dynamic content.

TikTok’s E-commerce Endeavours: Navigating Regulatory Challenges and Exploring Partnerships with Google

TikTok is currently navigating some challenges in the realm of e-commerce. As the app ventures into social shopping, it, along with other social apps, is encountering regulatory hurdles that impact the seamless integration of shopping features. These challenges underscore the complexities of blending social media with e-commerce in a rapidly changing digital landscape. 

In parallel to these developments, TikTok is also reportedly in talks with Google. This potential partnership aims to bolster search traffic, indicating TikTok’s ambition to further expand its digital footprint and enhance user discoverability on the platform.

Snapchat’s Evolution: New Features, Gaming Innovations, and the Rise of Snapchat+ Membership

Snapchat has recently unveiled a series of exciting features and milestones. Leading the charge is their introduction of a 16-bit game designed to guide users through the pitching process, adding an educational yet engaging twist to their platform. In the realm of advertising, Snapchat is experimenting with sponsored links within its “My AI” chatbot responses, opening a fresh avenue for marketers to reach their audience.

Furthermore, the platform’s premium service, Snapchat+, has achieved a significant milestone by amassing 5 million paying members. This success not only underscores the app’s growing appeal but also presents a viable subscription model that other platforms might consider emulating.

X’s(Twitter) Evolution: Job Listings, Enhanced DMs, and Creator Email Features

X has launched a job listings feature for Verified Organizations, marking its entry into the professional recruitment space. On the communication front, X has refined its DM system with a swipe-to-reply function, and there’s buzz about upcoming audio and video call capabilities. For creators, a new test feature is on the horizon, allowing subscribers to share email contacts, enhancing off-platform engagement. These updates reflect X’s drive to diversify and enhance its platform offerings.

PPC News

Google Increased Ad prices by 10%

Google has admitted to raising prices on its ad auctions by 5% to 10% without notifying advertisers. This revelation came during the second week of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Google for alleged anticompetitive actions.

Google ad exec Jerry Dischler testified that hikes of 15% would be “dangerous” and cause advertisers to turn to competitors, but that Google revenues should still climb and that “we tend not to tell advertisers about pricing changes.”

Dischler also admitted that he and employees were “shaking the cushion” to hit Wall Street revenue targets.

This testimony could help the DOJ strengthen its claim that Google’s search ad dominance allows it to raise prices with little consequence. Advertisers have said that the rate of ad inflation is much higher than Google is letting on, with some observing increases as high as 100% in some cases without a higher return on investment.

Overall, this news indicates that advertisers are concerned about Google’s lack of transparency and its willingness to raise prices without offering more in return.

Microsoft Advertising Introduces 3 New Generative AI Solutions

Microsoft Advertising has introduced 3 new generative AI solutions, designed to redefine how we interact with search engines and online ads. They are Compare & Decide Ads, Ads for Chat API, and Copilot. Some of the important points from this article are that generative AI is being used to create more engaging and effective advertising experiences, and that Microsoft is at the forefront of this innovation.

These updates are still in development, but they have the potential to significantly transform the advertising and search industries. By offering more effective targeting and enhanced user experiences, generative AI can help businesses reach their target audience more effectively and efficiently.

Content News

Helpful Content System Update

Google has rolled out its September 2023 update for helpful content. This update includes an improved classifier and new guidance on hosting third-party content and handling post-update actions. Google also removed the term “written by people” from its description, possibly implying AI-generated content is acceptable if helpful.

This update aims to enhance the understanding of content from personal or expert perspectives and prioritise unique expertise and experience in search results. However, it’s not related to broader ranking improvements Google is working on.

Google’s helpful content update focuses on promoting high-quality content created for people while downgrading content designed solely for search engine ranking. The goal is to improve search quality by reducing low-quality and promoting authentic, useful content.

The Helpful Content Update has hit a lot of sites worldwide, many of which had seen gains in the previous update. Google’s John Mueller has said that it is highly unlikely that they will roll back the update, but rather perform ongoing tweaks and corrections over time.

Stay Up to Date With Digital Marketing News With Loop Digital

The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with all of the latest trends and developments. That’s where Loop Digital comes in.

By joining the Loop Digital mailing list, you can stay up to date with all of the key developments in the digital marketing world, including PPC, SEO, content marketing, social media, and more. You’ll receive the latest updates and insights directly into your inbox, so you can always be sure that your marketing strategies are aligned with the latest trends and best practices.

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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