What does Facebook Pages redesign entail? Have you heard of Google’s SMITH algorithm? Is Google Ads identity verification finally starting? Is Google My Business getting a new Insights performance report?
“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall
In this article, we’ll cover the following digital marketing news:
- Facebook Pages: New, revamped experience
- Google’s new SMITH algorithm
- Google Ads: Identity Verification Begins
- Google My Business (GMB): New Performance reporting
Ready to dive in?
Redesigned Facebook Pages Experience
Facebook announced Pages are getting a revamp and new features aimed at making the users’ and creators’ experience smoother and simpler.
The most notable redesign to Facebook Page’s layout is the focus on “followers” rather than “likes”. Instead of seeing received “likes”, users will see the total number of “followers”. Furthermore, BIOs of Page Managers will now be more accessible making it easier to determine who is running the Page.
Facebook is also adding the following five new features to Pages –
1) dedicated News Feed that will help discover and join conversations, follow trends, interact with peers and engage with fans;
2) smoother and easier navigation between a personal profile and Pages;
3) improved Page Management tools – updated task-based admin controls aimed at giving trusted Page admins full or partial control of Pages;
4) actionable insights and more relevant notifications; and
5) safety and integrity features aimed at detecting spammy content and impersonator accounts.
For more details on the new Facebook Pages experience, check out the official announcement.
Search Engine and SEO News
What is the Google SMITH algorithm?
Google’s new SMITH algorithm (Siamese Multi-depth Transformer-based Hierarchical) is quite similar to BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) in many ways – just better.
The SMITH model is trained to understand entire documents while BERT is trained to understand words within the context of sentences. Today, search algorithms (like BERT) rely on semantic matching techniques to understand the nuances and context of words. Google, for example, utilises BERT to organise Top Stories and Featured Snippets. However, BERT is far from perfect. Cue, the SMITH algorithm.
Recently, Google published a research paper on the SMITH algorithm claiming this new model outperforms BERT in terms of understanding long queries and long documents. According to Google, “to better capture sentence-level semantic relations within a document, we pre-train the model with a novel masked sentence block language modelling task in addition to the masked word language modelling task used by BERT.”
Furthermore, Google states that compared to BERT based baselines, the SMITH algorithm can increase maximum input text length from 512 to 2,048 tokens.
Google has not specified which algorithm is being used. However, it’s quite unlikely that the new algorithm will replace the old one. Instead, Google might use SMITH alongside BERT for optimal effectiveness in understanding both long and short queries and documents.
PPC and Ads News
Google Ads Notifying Advertisers About Identity Verification
Back in April 2020, as part of a significant expansion of its ad transparency requirements, Google Ads required all advertisers to provide official documentation to confirm their identity.
A month later, in May 2020, Google Ads updated its policy and shortened the timeframe in which advertisers were required to submit the verification documents. The verification process was said to be done in phases, starting in the U.S. and spreading globally.
Now, it seems advertisers are finally getting email notifications informing them they have been selected to complete identity verification by February 6, 2021.
This is going to be an interesting adventure, PPC friends #ppcchat. As an agency who runs accounts for my clients this will be fun.
Also, look at the bottom. pic.twitter.com/3PL4EXAxie
— Amalia Fowler (@amaliaefowler) January 7, 2021
The advertisers are asked to submit their legal name and legal address to verify their identity and once confirmed, the information will appear in an ad disclosure generated by Google. Moreover, if an advertiser does not complete the Google Ads’ identity verification process, their account will be paused.
As much as Google states this process is needed to ensure a safe, trustworthy ad experience for users, ad consultants managing ads for clients don’t feel comfortable attaching their data to ad accounts they’ve been hired to run –
I’ve run into it with two different clients now. I don’t really feel comfortable attaching my personal information to accounts I’m hired to run.
— Harrison J Hepp (@HarrisonJHepp) January 7, 2021
Currently, we can’t be certain what information will be shown. I suspect it would show the advertisers not the consultants, however, we’ll have to wait and see.
Google My Business (GMB) Insights Are Moving
Back in September 2020, Google teased Google My Business (GMB) users with new performance insight metrics. Then, in December 2020, the company rolled out more performance insight metrics. Now, with all these new performance reports available, Google My Business is rolling out a new performance report within the GMB Insight section.
If you log in to your GMB profile and go to Insights you will see a message at the top saying “Your metrics will move to a new-look report. Search queries are visible and more metrics will be added in a few months.”
In the new performance report, you will see two sections – 1) how people interact with you and 2) how people discovered you.
The metrics in the interaction report will show you the total number of interactions as well as two subsections reporting on the number of calls and messages you have received within your selected timeframe (currently showing from August 2020 to January 2021). Below the first performance report, you will see a report on the search terms used to discover your GMB listing in both Search and Maps.
Unfortunately, the new Insights report is not inclusive of metrics like website clicks or driving directions. Neither does it show if people discovered your listing through Google Search or Google Maps nor does it display the photo views or other metrics available in the old (current) version of the Insights reporting. However, the message does indicate more metrics will be added to the new reporting.
The benefit of this new-look reporting is that it gives Google My Business users six months of data which is twice as long from the three months previously recorded. Though it is currently missing some key data points, the new reporting is still at its early release stage and when the time comes for it to roll out I hope Google will ensure all metrics are migrated accordingly.
For more on the new insights data, you can take a look at Google My Business’s Help Center article.
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.
EmailOut offers the most generous email marketing software freemium product for professional micro-businesses and SMEs across the globe coupled with the very best rates for large volume corporate senders. Take a look now.