“Make your marketing so useful, people will pay you for it.” – Jay Baer

The tricky thing about news is … it is constantly changing. Sometimes, that’s of no consequence to your businesses but, more often than not, it may well affect your ventures in the long run.

Keeping track of all the recent and relevant updates in search algorithms, PPC and advertising, marketing trends, spam algorithms, digital marketing news, social media and, of course, email marketing is not easy. Therefore, we’ve decided to take on the mantle of delivering a news roundup which covers the most essential updates and changes which can (and probably will) affect your businesses. Make a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy.

In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news on the following topics:

  1. Email
  2. Social Media
  3. Search Engines and SEO
  4. PPC and Advertising
  5. Other stuff we found interesting

Let’s dig in!

EMAIL

“An email without clarity is like an annoying mime: Just say what you want or get out of the way!” – Jordie van Rijn

In our recent digital marketing news roundup, we’ve covered topics such as fake ransomware emails, cyber attacks, the world’s worst spammers and more. This month, we’ll talk about bypassing Gmail’s 2FA security, Office 365 phishing emails and the new malware popping up pretty much every minute.

As incredibly useful as email is, it still remains one of the most common routes for hackers to attack. Hence, a new wave of attackers started targeting Google and Yahoo accounts in order to bypass the two-factor authentication by sending well-crafted phishing security alert messages aiming to lure victims to malicious domains masquerading as legitimate websites belonging to Google and/or Yahoo.

Furthermore, there is a wave of phishing emails closely resembling legitimate Office 365 non-delivery notifications (branding and all!) that aims to obtain users’ Office 365 passwords. As is known, official non-delivery notifications are alerting the users that messages have not been delivered and they are told further action are required. With phishing emails so closely resembling the real thing, there are only a few signs to look out for to recognise which emails are real and which are phishing ones.

The security firm McAfee reported 480 new malware variants are popping up every minute. In its Threat Report, the company also mentioned they’ve observed a ‘sharp increase’ in malware that is targeting Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Their most brilliant move (if you ask us) was infiltrating hacker forums in order to track what types of conversation are going on there. It seems hackers mostly ask for email user credentials. The whole thing is a bit Men In Black meets Mission Impossible meets James Bond, don’t you think?

SOCIAL MEDIA

“Build it and they’ll come” only works in the movies. Social media is “build it, nurture it, engage them and they may come and stay.” – Seth Godin

Nine months ago, Instagram was first spotted testing voice messaging in Direct; and now, the company announced they are finally rolling out their walkie-talkie feature globally. The voice messages can be up to a minute long and remain permanently available to listen to instead of disappearing. However, since both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger already have such a feature available, how popular do you think it’ll be on Instagram?

We also heard Instagram has rolled out a series of new features designed to form stronger connections with followers. These new features can be used with channels-stories and live videos. Let’s see how it goes before giving an opinion, shall we?

We’ve mentioned Google’s decision to pull the plug on Google+ back in October; and now, they are expediting the shut down due to a second data breach. The first one affected 500,000 users; however, the second was significantly larger, impacting 52.5 million users. Who knew that many people were still using Google+?

Ah, for all you Redditors, we’ve got some news coming straight from the source. Reddit just released their 2018 Year in Review report revealing the rapid growth of video content since introducing native uploads last year. Here’s a quick summary:

  • 153 million posts to Reddit
  • 1.2 billion comments (and counting!)
  • 27 billion votes
  • More than 330 million monthly active users
  • Nearly 150K active communities
  • 14 billion views per month

Pretty impressive, right?

Do you remember Twitter’s timeline being reverse-chronological for years? Well, now they’ve finally rolled out ‘See latest Tweets’ allowing users to toggle between latest and top tweets. But, it seems it’ll only be available for iOS.

SEARCH ENGINES AND SEO

“Google is the new corporate homepage.” – Jeremiah Owyang

If you are using Google My Business (GMB) – which as a business owner you should – we’ve got some news. Apparently, GMB is upgrading the ‘communications manager’ role to ‘site manager’ as well as adding several new permissions. If you have multiple users managing your GMB listing you should be aware of what those new permissions are.

Once upon a time – in January, users noticed Google Search Console Performace reports are a day off. Now, eleven months later, it seems this issue has not yet been resolved. When comparing the new Google Search Console Performace report with the old Search Analytics report, the data in both is the same however, the day they plot the data is still a day off. Furthermore, with Google shutting down the old Search Analytics report, this is a concern.

Ah, we’ve got some news for all of you Chrome users out there. We heard through the grapevine, Google has announced that Chrome 71 has left beta and is publicly rolling out for Windows, Mac and Linux. The new version will contain a number of fixes and improvements such as fighting against abusive ads experience and showing billing warning screens.

Earlier this month, we’ve mentioned Google has made some changes in the Search Console; the most significant one being to the index coverage report that now uses mobile-first indexing. Now, Google has announced that over half of Google’s search results are powered by that same mobile-first indexing. So, are you sure the mobile version of your page is Google-worthy?

PPC AND ADVERTISING

“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s an ad.” – Howard Gossage

In an attempt to simplify its interactivity features across video ad formats, Google Ads is sunsetting the YouTube call-to-action overlay ( January 2019) and introducing a new call-to-action extension. The new CTA extension can be applied to TrueView in-stream ads and, later on, to Bumper ads and TrueView video discovery ads. There are still not a lot of details about this new extension but we expect more will be revealed in the upcoming days. After all, how long can they keep it a secret considering the launch is happening in January, right?

Have you ever dreamt of unifying campaigns, analytics and sales data in one dashboard? Well, you can certainly stop dreaming now because AdStage has launched Join. Its purpose is to give customers full-funnel visibility into how their search and social campaigns are driving sales outcomes. It, basically, maps sales and campaign data together – automatically – without the need for URL rewrites. Finally, a frictionless way of saving marketers buckets of analysis time and increasing the efficiency of the sales and marketing teams.

OTHER DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS WE FOUND INTERESTING

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.” – Benjamin Franklin

Are Google and Twitter having a lover’s quarrel? On December 6, Google mysteriously started showing the wrong result for Twitter in Google Search Results. As you can imagine, theories as to why started flying around immediately. However, the real reason turned out to be quite a surprise; and, the worst of it, it led to even more questions. To sum it up, this whole mystery is clear as mud.

A recent massive fake review attack impacted a lot of small businesses on a global scale. A collection of 37 profiles left over 3 million fake 4-star ratings; however, by the time Google removed them (five days later!), the average profile had left over 81,000 ratings for various businesses. Due to the fact that the profiles chose to have their reviews hidden, Google and the business owners themselves couldn’t pinpoint all the ventures who were affected. We have to say, as happy as we are that Google removed all those fake reviews, this entire situation certainly sheds light on the fastly growing trend that leaving fake reviews online is way, way too easy.

An India-based bug hunter – Sahad Nk – discovered a series of vulnerabilities that left Microsoft users’ accounts – from Office docs to Outlook emails – susceptible to hacking. According to Nk, Microsoft’s subdomain “success.office.com” had not been properly configured which allowed him to easily take over. He used a CNAME record to point the unconfigured subdomain to his own Azure instance and voila; he controlled the subdomain and any data sent to it.

And last, but certainly not least, we heard the Russian internet company Yandex is releasing its first smartphone called – drumrolls, please – Yandex Phone. Creative, eh?

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

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