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GOOGLE

Individual tracking? Forget about it

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Google made headlines yesterday with some important news on ads privacy and tracking.

To set the stage: The company has already announced that cookies will be completely phased out on Google Chrome by 2022. Considering Chrome holds nearly 70% of browser share, this was – and still is – big news.

Since Google’s initial announcement, marketers have been speculating that Google could still use other tracking methods, like tracking linked to email accounts.

But in yesterday’s blog post, Google clarified that it will not be using any type of tracking that identifies specific individual behavior on the internet.

Instead, Google is planning to use Federated Learning of Cohors (FLoC) technology to group users by interests. FLoC technology anonymously puts people into cohorts. So while there isn’t ever an individual ‘file’ on a specific person’s interests, marketers can still target people based on interests and behavior.

What this means: When cookies are gone, Google won’t be building another system to track individuals. We’re entering a new era of advertising – but remember, just because cookies are going away doesn’t mean web-based advertising is doomed.

Read more in Google’s blog post here.


INSTAGRAM

With arms (not) wide open

Over the past year, Instagram has been in a full-on sprint to integrate more e-commerce features into their platform.

The company even allows people to buy products directly from brands on Instagram. It sounds good on the surface, but there are still reasons why brands and marketers shouldn’t open their arms *too* wide to welcome Instagram’s e-commerce push just yet.

You can check out Digiday’s full piece for all the context, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Many of the initial Instagram Checkout partners (Prada, Dior, and others) don’t use it anymore. Instead, they’re linking out to their brand websites. Let’s talk about why…
  • The customer relationship isn’t the same. When a customer doesn’t get to view your website, they’re not getting the full experience. Plus, brands sometimes miss collecting valuable customer information.

That’s not all: Matt Navarra wrote a short Twitter thread comparing some of Instagram’s shopping features back when Facebook launched Instant Articles. In that case, publishers lost the benefit of having people browse other content and explore their sites.

Instagram Checkout, and some of its other shopping features, pose a similar problem for some brands. In any case, it’s a good reminder to absorb social media updates with caution. Before making any changes, ask if it’s something that lines up with your brand’s goals!


SPONSORED BY THE DAILY UPSIDE

Former investment banker starts a newsletter. What happens next will shock you!

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Is that a familiar headline format? Well, that’s what you can get rid of if you subscribe to The Daily Upside.

A free newsletter that covers the most important business stories in a style that’s engaging, insightful, and fun, without the clickbait and sensationalism.

Written by a former investment banker (yep, that part is true), it’s the easiest way to get actual insights, not just the headlines. Learn about everything from what’s driving coffee futures to Disney’s streaming ambitions.

Sign up for free here.


SEO

Why is your traffic declining?

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Sometimes, even veteran SEOs have trouble diagnosing why a page starts to lose significant rankings or traffic.

There are literally thousands of reasons why a website’s rank and traffic decline. And Tony Wright from Search Engine Journal shares some steps to identify the causes.

Let’s check them out.

+ Look at the big picture: If your homepage is seeing declines, but your interior pages are seeing increases, it might not be too big of a deal. If overall leads and traffic are increasing, that’s a good sign.

That’s why you should start from your general SEO goals before getting lost trying to fix small issues.

+ What are the losses? Even though you can’t identify the cause, you should be able to understand where the loss is coming from:

  • Are your keywords experiencing ranking declines? You should be able to check it out in the analytics dashboard.
  • Look at the type of traffic that is declining. It might be a technical issue in your pages.
  • There could be a decline in the search volume of the keywords you’re targeting.

+ Check your links: It might happen that specific pages of your website gained more links than the homepage. And, this brings the page to outrank the homepage. This isn’t necessarily an issue, though, if the path to the conversion on the new top page is clear.

Work to make those pages relevant for new visitors and easy for them to convert.

The point here: A decline in traffic to certain pages isn’t always an issue you have to fix. Just don’t panic, and keep the big picture in mind.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

SNAPCHAT: Gil David just shared a look at how the app is dealing with the Apple privacy update.

EMAIL MARKETING: Marketers on Twitter just chimed in with some of their favorite Klaviyo flows, thanks to a thread from Conor Lewis.

FACEBOOK: Starting today, political ads can resume on Facebook. This marks a big change, after a months-long ban.

NETFLIX: Of all the platforms to develop a TikTok-style feature, Netflix wasn’t necessarily the company we were expecting next. But the feature is called Fast Laughs, and it seems like an interesting way to discover new shows.

TWITTER: Ned Segal, Twitter’s CFO, isn’t worried about Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 update. He thinks it’ll level the playing field for Twitter Ads to compete.


BRAIN TEASER

You go on red, but stop at green. What am I?

You can find the solution here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Why are random videos selling for millions?

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If you’ve been keeping track of viral trends lately, you’ve probably heard of NFTs.

At least, you’ve likely heard of NFTs even if you didn’t realize it.

Like, you may have heard of this Gucci Ghost animation selling for $3.6k. Or, maybe you watched the strange Beeple video that sold for $6.6M.

Put simply: An NFT is a unique digital token, or item. That can be a video, an animation, or anything, really. Think of an NFT as a rare baseball card or collector’s item.

But why buy one? The videos and animations that are selling can be downloaded by anyone. In effect, the copy of the NFT that you buy is no different than what anyone can download, for free.

But, when you buy one, you get ownership of the item. So although your copy isn’t different from anyone else’s, you technically own the original.

As Mitchell Clark in The Verge puts it, it’s like wanting to buy the original copy of a painting, rather than its reproductions.

If you want to learn more, check out this article. The world of NFTs is a wild, but interesting, one.

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