• Digital Marketing News: What Caught Our Attention This Month Dec 17, 2018
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    “Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.” – Beth Comstock

    Your businesses exist in a digitally-driven world. Hence, if you want to stay afloat, it’s imperative to keep up-to-date with the most recent and relevant updates in spam algorithms, PPC and advertising, digital marketing trends, social media and, of course, email marketing.


    We know it’s not easy to keep track of all the digital marketing news roaming around the Internet. Therefore, we decided to take on the burden and deliver you a news roundup which covers the most essential changes that can affect your businesses.

    In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news on the following topics:
    1. Social Media
    2. Search Engines and SEO
    3. PPC and Advertising
    4. Email
    5. Other stuff we found interesting
    Let’s dig in into this month’s digital marketing news, shall we?

    SOCIAL MEDIA
    “Put your energy into making things that are likeable, not some douchey social media strategy.” – Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal


    The notoriously infamous social network we all love to hate – Facebook – will be changing its News Feed algorithm in order to demote content which comes close to violating their policies. According to them, the content demotion is only in effect in limited instances. However, the company will continue to repurpose its AI technology for proactively taking down content in violation of their policies.

    On another note, Facebook is testing a new element in its evolving eCommerce tools – Facebook Live mode. The feature will enable Pages to showcase products in a live stream, which viewers can then purchase easily via screenshots. The downside, it’s not yet available to everyone. Nonetheless, if you’re impatient, you can join the waitlist.

    Moving on to the second most used and favoured social media, Instagram. We heard they’ve become even more cliquey by adding a new feature called “close friends”. What it does, basically, is allowing you to post Stories limited to a selected group of your followers. What could possibly go wrong, right?

    You don’t think we’ve forgotten about LinkedIn, do you? If you are a business, a recruiter or, basically, anyone and you expect to be able to export the email addresses of your connections well, you’d be unpleasantly surprised. It seems the professional network quietly introduced a new privacy setting which defaults to blocking other users from exporting your email address.

    Last, but certainly not least, YouTube will be removing both annotations and video credits come January 2019. Annotations were retired in May 2017 but, existing annotations were shown to desktop viewers. Now they’ll be gone starting January 15, 2019. As for video credits, YouTube will be discontinuing them after January 31, 2019.

    SEARCH ENGINES AND SEO
    “Your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.” – Google


    Google released an update to Google My Business API. The new version – 4.3 – brings the addition of Q&A APIs so you can retrieve questions, post answers and provide FAQs. However, that’s not all. It’ll also allow you to read reviews in bulk, report location issues, identify unclaimed locations and much more.

    We’ve also found out, Google has made two changes in Search Console. Firstly, and most significantly, the index coverage report now uses mobile-first indexing data (when available). Secondly, some of the old reports will be going away. No worries though; they will only be removing reports that have replacements in the new version of the Google Search Console.

    Furthermore, Google is changing the way they show some of the issues within Google Search Console for the AMP enhancement report. By the looks of it, they’ll be combining some over-specific issue types into fewer generalised ones – within the report – in order to simplify issue types into more manageable groups.

    PPC AND ADVERTISING
    “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” – Mark Twain


    Google announced that calls from Google Ads location extensions can now be counted as conversions. That is, once you’ve enabled account-level call reporting. By default, calls will be counted as a conversion after 60 seconds. Nevertheless, users have the option to change the default setting to any length of time, according to their business needs. Hence, in theory, a conversion should be counted as soon as the call is answered simply by changing the default value to one second.

    What’s more, Google is also rolling out a series of updates to responsive search ads which include more languages and new reporting tools.

    Ah, if you are a marketer using Bing Ads, we have some exciting news for you. Microsoft is strategically partnering up with Intent Lab to add a deeper AI-powered insight to search. The partnership is aimed at providing a better insight into what customers are thinking at each stage of their online journey. Sounds … insightful.

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    EMAIL
    “A bad email reputation is like a hangover: hard to get rid of and it makes everything else hurt.” – Christ Marriott


    In our recent digital marketing news roundup, we’ve covered topics such as malware, ISPs, TLDs, migration from G Suite to Office 365 and more. This month, we’ll talk about how to prevent ransomware emails, recent cyber attacks and the world’s worst spammers.

    Fake ransomware emails have been a worrying trend in recent weeks. The hoaxers are sending emails telling people all over the world they’ve been hacked and demanding a payment in order to release user’s private details. Our friends at UKFast take cybersecurity incredibly serious hence, they’ve pointed out what users can do to prevent being exploited by those tricksters.

    Troubling news we’ve heard through the grapevine concerns cyber attacks. It seems a hacker group – widely believed to be working for the Russian state – is using Brexit as a lure for cyber attacks. The hacking group Fancy Bear, also known as APT28, Sofacy and a variety of other names, is targeting government departments by sending an email with an attachment named Brexit 15.11.2018.docx. Our advice, be very careful of the emails you’re opening. You might not be a government department but that doesn’t mean you’re safe from attacks.

    Lastly, up to 80% of spam targeted at internet users across the globe is generated by a hard-core group of around 100 known persistent spam gangs. According to Spamhaus, stats are in (as of 11 December 2018) and the Top 5 Worst Spammers are Canadian Pharmacy (Ukraine), Blaze Media Solutions (United States), PredictLabs (United States), Guangzhou-Seoul Information Technology Co., Ltd. (China) and RR Media (United States). It appears the US has one too many spammers.

    OTHER DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS WE FOUND INTERESTING
    “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin


    As hard as Facebook tries, can they really be absolved from their recent sins? Considering we’ve learnt, they’ve been pondering around the idea of selling users data forgiveness is not something we are thinking about right now.

    On another note, Reuters reported that Russia has initiated a civil action against Google over the search engine’s failure to censor certain search results in the country. The potential penalty is trivial: 700,000 roubles (approximately $10,450). That penalty will bankrupt Google for sure.

    Ah, if you’ re a traveller – be it for business or leisure – you will definitely find the next piece of news … interesting. TechCrunch reported Marriott’s Starwood Hotels guest reservation database have been hacked, exposing the data on up to 500 million guests. The data breached includes details such as name, email address, postal address, phone number, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account info, DOB, gender, arrival and departure info, reservation date and communication preferences. We’ve only got one thing to say: Change your passwords NOW!

    Do you use WordPress? Have you seen the WordPress 5.0 release notification on your dashboard? If you have, be careful with the install. It seems that the community’s responses were not entirely positive. Especially considering the release date was in limbo for quite some time.

    FINAL THOUGHTS
    Let us know what digital marketing news topics and areas you would like us to look out for in the future. Write your requests below, we’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our blog for more digital marketing news, social media marketing, business growth tips and tricks plus, of course, all things email marketing.

    Open your free email marketing account now and we’ll give you 12,500 sends each and every month free, forever. For up to 2,500 email contacts you’ll never pay us a penny.
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