What happened with Australia and Facebook’s face-off? Where did Google Search Features Snippets go? Google Display Ads in Attribution reports? Can visual UGC influence consumers’ shopping journey?

“Mediocre marketers think in terms of campaigns. Great marketers think in terms of growth frameworks. ” – Neil Patel

In this article, we’ll cover the following digital marketing news:

  1. Facebook unfriended Australia
  2. Google Search & Featured snippets recession
  3. Google Display Ads open beta
  4. [Report] A picture’s worth a thousand words: How visual and social content increase online sales

Ready to dive in?

Social Media

A Face-Off: Australia vs Facebook

The social media conglomerate unfriended Australia after the government planned to pass a new law that will require tech companies to pay Australian news publishers for news content used/shared in search results and news feeds. 

Australia’s Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stated the new code will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate.This will potentially set the stage for other countries to follow suit with similar actions and showing people we are entering a new era of technology regulation.

Facebook’s Managing Director for AU & NZ region William Easton covered the matter in a blog post with a “…that hurts YOU more than us” attitude specifying the restrictions Facebook will put in place plus the consequences publishers and platform users will face if they break the rules.

Easton stated that people and news organisations in Australia are now restricted from posting news links and sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on Facebook. Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted.

The conflict is on its way to being resolved. However, Facebook continues to vigorously defend its opposition towards similar far-reaching measures.  

Interesting news: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia Executive Chairman M. Miller announced that due to the face-off, referral traffic from Facebook disappeared on February 18 whilst direct traffic to their website has gone up in double-digits.

Search Engine and SEO News

Google Search Showing Fewer Featured Snippets

Last year, Ahrefs described Google’s intense rollout of Featured Snippets as a featured-snippet-geddon. In fact, a 2020 Ahrefs study stated that approximately 14M out of 112M keywords in its US database had Features Snippets in their SERPs. 

However, all that seems to be changing.

According to Barry Schwartz, starting February 18, SEO experts and tool providers began noticing a significant drop in the number of Featured Snippets showing in Google Search results.

MOZ – 

RankRanger – 

SEMRush – 

Despite all these SEO tools tracking different keywords, all of them are experiencing a decrease in the number of Featured Snippets in SERPs. Currently, the reason for this drop is uncertain. It might be a Google bug in which case things will bounce back. Or, it might be an intentional change at Google’s end.

If the majority of your website traffic comes from Featured Snippets, this issue can potentially impact your website traffic. Thus, make sure you are monitoring your analytics. If Google is not showing any Featured Snippets but you are still ranking okay – you’ve got nothing serious to worry about. However, according to Schwartz, “if you are ranking low, you’d want to ensure the appropriate structured data is added for Google to richen up your results.

PC and Ads News

Google Display Ads In Attribution Reports (Open Beta)

In 2020, Google Ads simplified its attribution reporting (previously called Search attribution) and added YouTube ads – in beta – as well. Now, the company has included Display Ads (as an open beta) to Google Ads Attribution reports allowing advertisers to have a more holistic view of their Google media. 

Marketers eligible for Display Ads can opt-in within the Measurement > Attribution section in Google Ads. Once opted-in, advertisers will see Display Ads analytics in all attribution reports together with Search Ads and, if they’ve also opted-in, YouTube Ads too.

Attribution reports include analytics such as Top Paths, Path metrics, Assisted Conversions and Model Comparison reports. 

The metrics shown in the Attribution report will help advertisers identify the most common paths customers take to complete a conversion based on the ads they have interacted with; and, subsequently, make tweaks (if necessary). Moreover, Display Ads with attribution reporting can help advertisers monitor how ad campaigns across different channels complement each other and ‘push’ customers along their journey.

Digital Marketing News

User-Generated Visual Content Influences Purchases 

A report by Bazaarvoice in collaboration with Savanta shows that, aside from consumer reviews as a key aspect in purchase decisions, user-generated visual content is becoming crucial to influencing consumers’ purchasing journey.

Nearly ⅔rds (62%) of consumers from the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France and Australia state they are more likely to purchase a product if they could see consumer photos or videos. Additionally, 24% of consumers state that extra information can highlight something about the product that was not obvious before; with 21% saying they’d like to see a product ‘in action’ before ultimately deciding to buy it.

Moreover, user-generated content (UGC) appears to be an important factor strongly affecting consumers’ purchasing decisions. According to the report, visual UGC affects consumers across social media platforms differently – 

For purchase | For influencing

a) Facebook4% | 25.3%
b) Instagram4% | 17.3%
c) YouTube8% | 20.6%
d) Pinterest3% | 5%
e) TikTok5% | 4.1%
f) Snapchat5% | 2%
g) Twitter9% | 2.4%

Businesses should definitely take note of this. Why would you spend more time and money on large-scale production when you can utilise influencers and user-generated content as a cheap, easy and quick option to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions?

Final Thoughts

Do you have any suggestions or ideas about which digital marketing news topics you’d 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.

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Adi Angelova

Author Adi Angelova

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