Friday recap: New home page for Google Analytics, advanced Facebook insights announced and the 2016 webspam report
Google AdWords is also reminding users of the benefits of the data-driven attribution model, and Google Webmasters have released a report from 2016 detailing webspam activity and subsequent actions to quash it.
New Google Analytics landing pages
In a bid to make the Analytics tool easier to understand and navigate, Google is adding a ‘home’ landing page with simplified language and clear data sets.
The page will display key points from the Analytics data to give users an overview of their site activity. Snippets will be pulled from other sections of the tool according to each individual set up. If you have goals or Ecommerce set up, this will appear on your home page.
Each piece of data has a question above it to help users translate it into simpler concepts, such as ‘When do your users visit?’ and ‘Where do your users come from?’. This could prove a lot easier for users that are not familiar with some of the more technical language that is used throughout the rest of Google Analytics.
Google is also introducing a ‘Discover’ page that will display various products and other tools that users might find helpful. As developments are made, they will appear on this page.
Both of these new landing pages will start appearing for users over the next few weeks.
Advanced Facebook Insights coming soon
This week, Facebook held its Developer conference known as F8. One of the announcements made at the conference is that changes will be made to the Insights section of Facebook Pages to create more advanced data.
Omni-channel analytics will be extended to include Page interactions and in-store sales. This means that users will be able to user activity beyond Facebook to their website and other channels, to see what Comments or Likes result in a website visit or even a purchase.
Facebook said that the changes will allow users to “measure and understand the interactions people have with your Page alongside their other activity on your website, app, and bot.”
The company is also introducing ‘automated insights’, which will generate relevant data for Page owners about their followers’ activity. The insights will drill down into demographics like age, country and gender.
Another addition involves the introduction of custom dashboards, where Page owners can pin their most used and most relevant reports.
To see other features rolling out for Insights or to learn more, visit the official blog post on the Facebook for Developers site.
Google AdWords posts reminder about data-driven attribution
Google’s data-driven attribution (DDA) model for AdWords was rolled out in May 2016, but the company is reminding users of its value for understanding paths to conversion.
The model works by assigning credit to each click along a buyer’s journey so that it is spread out across their first encounter to that last moment where they convert. The idea is that advertisers get a more comprehensive understand of which ads play a role in the buyer journey and how much weight to assign to each of them.
In a company blog post, Google said that “The model observes what your customers do before converting, and what they do when they don’t convert, to measure what’s important. Using Google’s machine learning, the models continue to improve over time.”
To update your AdWords account to this model, use the drop down in the Attribution Model section and choose ‘Data-driven’. Other features such as the ‘Conversions’ column and Smart Bidding will automatically adjust to the new model.
Google 2016 webspam report
Similar to the 2016 review of the Google #NoHacked campaign that we wrote about, the Google Webmaster blog has published another review post from 2016, but about Webspam.
Some of the Webspam trends from 2016 include deceptive download buttons, dangerous sites and an increase in targeting mobile devices, with scams like page redirects to other sites or pages without the Webmaster’s knowledge.
Google said that to combat spam it updated its algorithms to refine the way sites are ranked, including making Penguin work in real-time. For spam that wasn’t picked up by the algorithms, over 9 million messages were manually sent to site owners about issues on their site. Security notifications in Google Analytics also became more prominent.
Webmasters also played a part in reducing spam with over 180,000 reports about suspicious sites submitted last year, with 52% of those sites being deemed as spam by Google.
Check out the full report here.
Third party sources such as Outlook, Yahoo and Evernote can show your profile to its users as a way of increasing networking opportunities. You can always opt out of this feature if you want to keep your profile private.
LinkedIn will also provide suggestions for professional accomplishments like awards and industry recognition and is now offering an automated system that provides suggested responses and conversation openers for direct messaging.
Another feature to roll out soon will be seeing nearby LinkedIn members that have opted in for the feature and are at a conference, meeting or event.
Overall it doesn’t appear that the changes will have a huge (or negative) impact, and users can always choose to opt out of anything that makes their profile more accessible.