Facebook’s black-hat, scam-busting service is Live: Thanks, Martin Lewis (and BH affiliates)! Ex-Googler Jonathan Tang reveals Google replaced PageRank in 2006. 7-hidden features for Google & Microsoft ads you might not know about.


Facebook fighting misleading ads and some updates on CBO

There’s some actual news that you might care about from FB today. The big one being that there’s a new, supposedly better way to report misleading ads. This new development comes with more consequences for the guilty advertiser, and it could totally clean up the platform…

Just kidding! We’ll move past the headlines and tell you what we think the reality will be.

The new Ads Manager interface is rolling out globally. Don’t be shocked though, many people have been using it in beta already.

Finally, CBO is edging closer. From September, that will be the only budget option available to you, so we’ve brought you a nice collection of CBO tips.

Let’s start with the big news first…

Anti-black-hat feature to rule them all, thanks to Martin Lewis!

We know what you’re thinking… Who’s Martin Lewis?

Well, if you’re from the UK, you probably know him already. If you aren’t… He’s the founder of MoneySavingExpert and a rather popular figure when it comes to money-related advice in the UK.

+ Rewind! How did we get here?

  • Some advertisers use fake-celeb endorsements
  • Bizopp offers are popular
  • Martin Lewis is a UK celebrity when it comes to money advice
  • Some advertisers pissed him off by falsely claiming endorsement from him, like the ones below
  • Martin Lewis sues FB, so they shake hands and become a crime fighting duo and stars of a new Marvel movie. Okay, we made that up, but they agreed to fight scams together.
  • … and you’re all caught up!


+ What’s the feature?

It’s an extension of FB’s existing “Report Ad” feature. Once you report the ad as “Misleading or scam” you can then “Send a detailed scam report”.

When a user does this, a new, dedicated and specially trained team will be notified to deal with taking down the ads. Well, that doesn’t actually sound that different from their previous approach.

+ What’s really new then?

An organization called Citizens Advice is also in on the act, and will help people who have been affected by those ads.

A byproduct of all this is the massive exposure that the ability to report misleading ads has gotten because of this Martin Lewis vs Facebook debacle.

+ The Crew’s thoughts:

We expected more to be honest. This is just a promise from Facebook that their internal team will do better. Plus, it’s for the UK only.

Oh, and they donated to Citizens Advice.

But really, that’s about it.

To us, it looks like a PR stunt that won’t even cause a ripple in the huge FB Ads ocean.

Brace yourselves, CBO is coming! Here’s how to use it

We’ve already featured some of these tips before, but it’s a good reminder for us all. Thanks to Depesh Mandalia.

As you know, CBO will become the sole budget option for FB Ads in a little over 6 weeks.

Some advertisers have gotten used to it already, but most of us don’t like drastic changes, right?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a choice in the matter. We have to adapt to what Facebook wants, so this set of posts in Facebook Ads Experts Academy is something to bookmark and return to in the future as CBO takes over.


Mock-up your videos ads for perfection

Here’s a challenge: Try to count how many different screen sizes are out there…

You failed, right?

So how can you ensure that your ads look exactly as you intend on every device?

YouTube, as one of the biggest ad platforms out there, has a solution.

It’s simply called YouTube Mockup Tool, and it shows you how video ads you upload will look on YouTube, whether in full screen, on desktop or mobile formats. You can also choose the ad type like TrueView, non-skippable or six-second bumper.

This is useful especially when working in a team or as an agency for a client.

You can export all these previews before putting the ad live. This means that you can get approval from someone else on your team, send them over to your client, use them in a presentation, or whatever else you fancy.


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7 PPC features you might not know about

All ad platforms have those little tidbits that fly under the radar. Some of them end up totally hidden from most advertisers.

These are the features that won’t necessarily make or break your campaign, but they can give your campaigns that extra boost to get them over the finish line.

Here are some of the features from Google Ads, Microsoft Ads and other complementary products that you might have missed:

+ Product Audiences for Search

“Not everyone has this feature yet. If you don’t, don’t worry — it’s coming soon!”

This is a relatively new feature found under Microsoft Ads which allows you to target searchers based on the exact product IDs they interacted with. It’s pretty similar to Google’s dynamic remarketing.

What do you need to use this?

  • A Microsoft Merchant Center catalog feed.
  • Implementation of UET tag on every page of your website.

+ Profile Targeting

It’s one of the best new features released by Microsoft Ads, but it’s pretty difficult to find.

This feature allows you to target LinkedIn audiences based on industry, company and job function using Microsoft Ads. You can even apply bid modifiers for them. Plus, these audiences are “bid only”, so they won’t affect your available traffic.

+ Multi-Image Extensions

It’s an ad extension in Microsoft Ads that allows your text ads to visually stand out by enhancing them with multiple images. Up to 5 images can be displayed if your ad is in the top spot.

Again, it’s a newly released feature so it might not be available to all advertisers right now, but it’s definitely one to keep an eye out for.

+ Data Studio

This isn’t exactly uncharted territory for most, but it’s not that commonly used either.

It’s a free Google reporting tool to help you visualize your data in an interactive way. Plus, it always uses live data. You can link data sources from Google Ads, Analytics and 141 other partner connectors.

PS: Partner connectors charge you for this.

+ Game Placements

This is the perpetrator responsible for those sudden traffic surges in your Display campaigns. This could be great for you if you’re marketing an app or game. However, for everyone else, it’s recommended to turn it off as it can be a huge budget burner.

You can turn it off under Account Settings and direct your ad serving to more relevant placements.

+ Account Notes Panel

A simple Google Ads feature which allows you to add notes to the account, helping you monitor performance observations, budget changes, etc.

Yup, you can always use “Change History”, but these notes are more of free-form writing and viewing area compared to the more technical change history.

+ Search Partners

Not exactly a hidden or secret feature, right? Most, if not all, of us are aware of this feature. But are you using it? Maybe you prefer not to, and that’s alright. It’s debatable and we will leave that for another day.

However, there are some good quality search sites out there that serve ads powered by Google or Microsoft. Microsoft now exclusively serves ads to Yahoo search traffic.

You can even monitor the performance at the campaign, ad group or keyword level by using the “segment” button to break up the performance and then optimize it accordingly.


Google replaced PageRank in 2006?

Apparently, Google no longer uses its original PageRank algorithm.

In a Hacker News discussion about how Google works, an ex-Google engineer dropped by and revealed this.

“The comments here that PageRank is Google’s secret sauce also aren’t really true – Google hasn’t used PageRank since 2006. The ones about the search & click through data being important are closer…

They replaced it in 2006 with an algorithm that gives approximately-similar results but is significantly faster to compute.

The replacement algorithm is the number that’s been reported in the toolbar, and what Google claims as PageRank (it even has a similar name, and so Google’s claim isn’t technically incorrect).”

Hamlet Batista took the revelation to Twitter. Google’s John Mueller defended this by saying that Google engineers haven’t made changes in Search in the past 20 years.

But hang on, what’s this? Search patent expert Bill Slawski responded by tweeting:

“Google’s newer version of PageRank was granted as a patent in 2006. Coincidence?”

What a coincidence!

Bottom Line: If this software engineer is to be believed, the original PageRank algorithm is no longer in use. It may have been replaced by a more efficient algorithm with a similar name, as Bill Slawski suggested.

Is he really an ex-Google employee? According to his Hacker News profile, his name is Jonathan Tang and here’s his LinkedIn profile, which clearly suggests he’s telling the truth.

Were there any more revelations? Well, yes. Jonathan goes on to reveal more about Google.

He talks about:

  • If New PageRank is the Link Distance Ranking Algorithm?
  • Why Google SERPs may be unsatisfactory to some.
  • How Google is playing for the mainstream audience as most of the revenue comes from there.
  • How Google’s retrieval document works for every query.

Check out the juicy Hacker News discussion here.


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We noticed there are a lot more types of marketers than just affiliates reading this. We’re flattered!

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

Cloning celebrities – it’s not what you think


This is definitely a bit SciFi, but not in the way you may be thinking.

As lives move ever deeper into the digital world, the folks at Genies thought some people (aka celebrities) might want a way to carefully manage their digital “clones”.

You could call them avatars or, well… maybe “genies”?

What’s the practical use of this?

Simpler than the words “clone” or “avatar” imply. It basically has to do with carefully creating and managing digital likenesses. Cartoons, 3D renders and all that stuff.

Think the digital-only band Gorillaz, but for real people.

The interesting thing is that the Genie co-founder and CEO said that “the genies actually outperform the humans themselves, based on likes, comments and views.”

There you have it. Humans are confirmed boring.

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