Today we look back at some of the key changes and innovations across all aspects of digital in May. We give you a snapshot of what the update is, why it is important and what action should you take.
This month we can see the landscape is dominated by Google and Facebook, with Amazon no doubt focussing hard on overcoming their own retail challenges.
There are less updates in this issue than we have historically seen. However, with four launches in the second half of the month, things seem to be getting back to some normality in the world of digital.
What is it?: The most significant Google algorithm changes, which affects rankings within the search results page. The update usually happens 3 to 4 times per year (the last occurred in January) and takes up to 2 weeks to roll out globally. It appears Google has held off releasing due to Covid-19.
Why is it important?: Google do not disclose the exact changes. Content is however a key factor. Dependent on the health of your current site and content relative to your competitors, your rankings could have been positively or adversely affected.
What action should you take?: Check your rankings using your SEO ranking tracking solutions to detect whether you have had any significant fluctuations, following the launch (two weeks) and to what extent this has continued over the rest of May.
What is it?: As part of YouTube’s rebranding of their premium channel to YouTube Select, brand advertisers will be able to target TV viewers through Google ad platforms.
Why is it important?: Due to Covid-19, there has been an increase in TV viewing and streaming (see the Statista statistics). Using digital options to buy TV advertising provides more flexibility to the brand buying the media and enables a faster buying experience.
What action should you take?: This is only available to advertisers in the US. However if there is successful take up, we would expect this to be rolled out later this year.
Google Discovery Ads
What is it?: Page experience is already a ranking factor e.g. mobile friendly, page speed, secure site, no interstitials (intrusive pop-ups). Specific ‘Core Web Vitals’ will be taken into account from 2021, focusing on speed metrics (time for browsers to react after a user click a link and the render time of the largest content element) and whether the site is stable upon loading.
Why is it important?: Google rarely gives algorithm changes this far in advance and do not update the diagnostics in Google Search Console in advance of such change. Due to this, we believe that this will be a major change, which could either positively or negatively impact on brands rankings.
What action should you take?: Although it is due to become a factor in 2021, we would recommend optimising for these factors over the remainder of 2020, using diagnostic data now available in Search Console to get you ahead of the curve of your competition
When did it launch?: 28th May
Core Update SERP volatility
What is it?: Facebook have launched the opportunity for retailers to publish their catalogue of products to sell via Shops. You are able to apply basic customisation to the shop, including cover image e.g. logo and brand colours.
Why is it important?: It provides a fast and cost effective alternative route to market for small business’ looking to sell online rather than develop their own site. This is extremely timely, with the amount of traditional business’ needing to move online, due to Covid-19. It also enables larger brands to carry out proof of concepts for new brand or product launches.
What action should you take?: This is currently being rolled out by Facebook. It should however be considered as part of your future eCommerce strategy.
When did it launch?: 19th May
Statista - Covid19 Media Consumption
What is it?: After more than a year in beta, Google have finally rolled out the opportunity to use discovery ads. These ad formats can run across YouTube, Gmail and feeds. This format competes directly with Facebook’s offering.
Why is it important?: This format allows you to build awareness and tell a story about your brand or the products / services which you offer. This ad format can help activate a new customer, move an existing customer to a new offering (increase customer value), or activate a lapsed customer. It should not be expected that discovery ads work to the same Return on Investment as search.
What action should you take?: If you are wanting to run an awareness campaign for a new brand, product or service offering and inspire your audience, these formats would be recommended to be tested alongside your usual awareness tactics.
When did it launch?: 27th May
Google Page Experience Ranking Factors
In summary, we believe that no matter what sector or size of business you are, the Google Core Update is an area affecting every business and will need further review, to ensure you have not been negatively impacted.
If you would like further information on any of the above updates or your like to access your free no obligation consultation, please contact us today.
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