Content Marketing Blog

Friday recap: 8 interesting updates to Google, Facebook and LinkedIn from the last week that you need to know about

What a week it’s been! Google is making announcements left, right and centre and Facebook and LinkedIn are both making some fairly important changes for marketers and business owners alike.

Google’s announcements concern a number of different areas such as AdWords, AMP and webmaster guidelines. Facebook Messenger and LinkedIn updates relate more to purchases and conversions, with payment now available in Messenger and conversion tracking being introduced to LinkedIn.

Check out details of the updates below…

1. AdWords Universal App Campaigns

In an announcement made on the company’s blog this week, Google described its new app and video ad changes designed to target mobile users.

The first part of the update talked about Universal App Campaigns. While Google didn’t specifically use the word ‘conversions’, it appears that this is what they are now optimising for within apps. Advertisers can choose the in-app activity they want to optimise for and define them within AdWords, select a cost-per-install and let Google’s algorithm do the rest.

Google Universal App Campaigns example

Example of the user journey from install to viewing a deal on a hotel room

The algorithm will determine where the highest value is for users and can deliver the ad across Google search, Play, YouTube and the Google Display network, according to the results.

“As people start to engage with your ads, we learn where you’re finding the highest value users. For example, we may learn that the users who tap into the most hotel deals are those who watch travel vlogs on YouTube. So, we’ll show more of your ads on those types of YouTube channels,” Google said.

The idea is to move beyond the install and analyse activity and engagement within the app to drive conversions.

2. AdWords TrueView for Action

The second part of the blog post detailed the roll out of ‘TrueView for action’. Currently, the TrueView format offers advertisers options to promote their brand and encourage shopping within YouTube videos. TrueView for action allows for call-to-action buttons that drive other sorts of conversions, like making bookings or requesting quotes.

Google TrueView for Action example

3. Adwords expanded text ads deadline

In regards to AdWords announcements, Google has also extended the timeframe for upgrading to the expanded text view. Originally, the deadline was set for October 2016, but Google found that many advertisers were still learning how to use them effectively.

As of 31 January 2017, AdWords users can no longer create or edit standard text ads. Only the expanded format will be available for editing, however existing standard text ads will still appear alongside them.

4. Widgets and PageRank

In a post on the Webmaster Central Blog, Google has also reminded website owners about its stance against widget links.

Google explained: “Widgets can help website owners enrich the experience of their site and engage users. However, some widgets add links to a site that a webmaster did not editorially place and contain anchor text that the webmaster does not control.”

Like the examples below, these widgets are considered a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines as they manipulate a site’s PageRank.

Google Widget exampleGoogle Widget example

Google suggests adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute to these widgets so that they are not included in page ranking when the site is crawled.

5. Accelerated Mobile Pages

As we mentioned in early August, Google is testing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) across all search results and offering site owners a preview of what their own pages would look like with the AMP format.

A blog post published by Google this week reiterated previous announcements about AMP, and also introduced a series of AMP related posts popping up over the coming weeks.

“In advance of AMP expanding in Google Search, over the next few weeks we’ll be posting pointers to help you #AMPlify your site. Follow along with the #AMPlify hashtag on G+ and Twitter,” Google said.

A follow up post kicked off the series with a starter guide for AMP.

6. Google Cardboard Camera

On a slightly different note – Google has now made Cardboard Camera available on iOS. It takes VR three-dimensional panorama photos from your iPhone or Android and can include sound as well as images. According to the blog post, Google has enabled sharing within the app so you can now send someone a link to an album of selected photos. The recipient will also need to have Cardboard Camera downloaded to view the images properly.

7. Facebook Messenger payment

Messenger bots were first introduced by Facebook in April 2016. The bots allowed for interaction between consumers and brands through Messenger, allowing them to browse products, ask questions and be guided through to a checkout page.

This week Facebook announced that the platform would now allow for payment within the Messenger app. Provided that users save their credit card details into Messenger products and services can be bought from businesses who have enabled the bots, without having to leave the app.

8. LinkedIn Conversion tracking

A much anticipated update to LinkedIn has been announced this week – users can now track conversions in LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager.

“Today, we are excited to launch conversion tracking, a set of capabilities built directly into LinkedIn Campaign Manager that lets you easily measure how many leads, sign-ups, content downloads, purchases, and other specific results you’re getting from your Sponsored Content and Text Ads campaigns,” LinkedIn said.

Previously, users could only measure metrics within LinkedIn itself, such as clickthrough rates on ads, audience reach and engagement rates.

Now, with conversion tracking, LinkedIn advertisers can see the effect their sponsored content and native ads have on their website activity. This enables users with a greater insight into the impact of their campaigns and what content their audience is converting on.