February 15, 2019


Amazon releases free analytics worth $30k

Amazon has quietly released a free analytics dashboard – Amazon Brand Analytics.

For now, this free dashboard is only available to third-party marketplace sellers who are Brand Registered on Amazon.

Features of the free analytics platform:

  • Look up keywords searched by Amazon customers.
  • Compare keyword popularity.
  • View the top “most clicked” ASINs (Amazon product identifier) for a given search term.
  • View the percentage of clicks that the “most clicked” ASINs received for a given search term.

Similar data points available to vendors using Amazon Retail Analytics (ARA) in Vendor Central are only available through purchasing an annual subscription starting at $30k.

However, the paid subscription includes more data points such as:

  • Top-selling items.
  • Sales data by category.
  • Sales data by location.
  • Cross-selling suggestions.

Why is Amazon making this data available for free?

  • The most widely believed reason is also the most obvious one. Getting sellers to increase their advertising spend on Amazon. Having access to this data will only prompt them to increase their advertising bids and budgets for those keywords.
  • Amazon is also known to be secretive about its shoppers’ data. Sellers have not been very satisfied with the basic data points previously available to them. With this release, Amazon is partly looking to soften its anti-competitive image.
  • Another reason is that some sellers accused Amazon of manipulating product reviews to gain traction for their own private label brands. Hence, this is a small effort towards more transparency with its data.

Zoom In

Whatever the reasons, having access to Amazon’s shoppers’ data is almost like entering the Forty Thieves cave.

If tools like Google Trends, Google Analytics and Google Ads Keywords Planning Tool helped us marketers with market researches, we might not yet realise the power of accessing Amazon’s data. Shoppers’ data only!

Yet, it’s unlikely that Amazon is as kind as Google and will let everybody access their users’ data.


Fighting Click Fraud with Google

Click fraud is one of the advertisers’ biggest fears. And according to ClickGuardian, between 2016 and 2018, $7.2B was lost to click fraud.

But what is click fraud? According to Google, it is an illegitimate action such as an unintentional click or a click resulting from malicious software.

Before discussing the ways to avoid losing money on fake clicks, let’s first see what are the different types of illegitimate clicks:

1) Manual clicks intended to increase your advertising costs

This is when your competitors intentionally click on your ads to drive up your costs. Whatever keyword you’re bidding on, there are other businesses putting money on that keyword. And this turns into a clicks battle!

The reason for this kind of fraud is to make you run out of funds. So that you are taken out of the game!

2) Manual clicks intended to increase revenue for website owners hosting your ads

This type of click fraud is experienced by advertisers buying traffic on Google Display Network.

For every click webmasters get through the Google AdSense program, they earn 68% of the amount paid to Google. This is what causes webmasters to use illegitimate tactics to gain fake clicks. The more clicks, the more commissions!

Obviously, Google has strict policies against these tactics. And they ban whoever uses them. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

3) Clicks by automated clicking tools and robots

These are automated programs that run on internet servers or hijacked computers used for click fraud. They are programmed to appear like real users to generate a large number of invalid clicks. Google has a dedicated team of specialists to fight these tools and bots.

4) Legitimate clicks that look like fraud

It’s also important to be aware of cases where legitimate clicks might look fraudulent. Here are some of the examples:

  • Competitors doing competitor research: Competitors inevitably click on your ads. And you know the reasons… So there is little you can do here.
  • Multiple clicks from the same IP address: If your reports show many clicks from the same IP address, it’s likely that this is because of ISP allocation. ISPs often provide the same IP address in similar locations to a large number of users.
  • Returning visitors: Many searchers click ads multiple times while researching about different products and services.

What can you do when you suspect click fraud?

  • First, you have to optimize your ads and keywords to ensure you target only relevant searches. Your conversion rate is one of the best indicators.
  • Use Google Analytics. It provides powerful reporting and helps you to track the performance of your keywords and assess any suspicious clicks.
  • Check your Google Ads account for any invalid interactions that you have been credited for.
  • Monitor invalid interactions. You can quickly see the number and percentage of invalid clicks by adding the invalid interactions data column in the GA data reporting.

Report it to Google

If you suspect invalid activities, report them to Google.

Share as much information as possible. Send a description of the invalid activity and details of why you suspect the activity to malicious and what you’ve done to counteract it.

The Google team of specialists will review your reports to identify any invalid activity. And if they catch any such invalid activity, you’ll get credit in your Google Ads Account.

While it might be impossible to avoid click fraud, there are some ways to spot it and recover from the damage.


Old stories, new fines

It seems this week will end with a record broken by Facebook: the company and the Federal Trade Commission are negotiating a multibillion-dollar fine related to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Both sides are still negotiating. However, this settlement penalty would be the largest ever paid by any big tech company in the US.

So far, in the US the record is held by Google: $22.5M penalty due to lapses in its privacy practices. That was in 2012.

Back to the Blue Giant, the FTC agreement demanded that Facebook had to be more transparent and notify users in a clearer way before it shares their personal data with third parties.

Moreover, there is a collection of consumer advocates pressing Washington to go hard on Facebook. Asking substantial fines for FB, exceeding $2B. Along with an order that limits how and when Facebook collects data about its users.

Facebook can choose to fight the FTC in a federal court. Or accept the fines, plus stricter regulations regarding its methods of collecting data.

Yet, to keep their reputation intact, the best choice for Facebook would be to admit their lapses and pay the dues.

We hope that Mark will do the right thing!


Video Advertising Specifications: Cheatsheet

Each ad platform is constantly changing. And trying to keep with the trends can be quite intimidating – especially when it comes to videos.

Whether you want to run a video organically or using paid ads, knowing the right dimensions for each platform is key. It might still be manageable to edit the sizes and dimensions of images, video editing can be a daunting task.

To save you from that last moment hassle, Lemonlight has got a complete cheat sheet for you!

It covers some of the most commonly used video ad formats and their dimensions such as:

  • Min and Max Size
  • Supported aspect ratios
  • Specifications
  • Placements
  • Length
  • Do’s and Don’ts

Platforms included: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon and YouTube.

Download the cheat sheet here to keep this information at your fingertips.


Adobe Experience Manager releases tools for video marketers

Lately, every marketing platform is releasing new features left, right and centre to attract marketers’ attention. Adobe is the latest one to join the race. On Wednesday, it released some new updates and features on its Adobe Experience Manager.

Here are the new updates:

  • Smart Crop for videos: The Smart Crop function will automatically identify how a video is being viewed on a device and crop it for an improved viewing experience, regardless of how the viewer is holding their phone.
  • Smart Tags: Intelligent tags that correspond to various actions, attributes and objects featured in the video. Gone are the days of manually sorting through hundreds of relevant clips.
  • Visual Search tool to make it easier to locate similar images within a brands’ library of assets.
  • New asset management features for managing brand assets across multiple teams.
  • A new “drag and drop” feature for content creation. Allowing marketers to embed interactive content in customer newsletters, statements are other business communications.

Zoom In

Adobe had recently conducted a survey which found that 51 percent consumers were more likely to make a purchase if brand content was personalized.

These latest updates do exactly that. By catering directly to the need for brands to deliver more optimized, personalized content.

Will you be giving it a shot?


Bing Ads multiple language targeting

Bing Ads introduced multi-language targeting at the campaign level a few months ago. This week, they announced some key guidance for being successful with campaign language targeting.

So if you are a search marketer catering to multilingual audiences, here are some of the important things to keep in mind. To make things simpler, let’s use the following example:

You want to target ads to English speaking users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Language targeting determines country targeting: Bing maps languages to countries. Those three countries are mapped to the German language setting. Selecting just German will target those countries, but your ads and keywords would need to be in German.

To target English speakers in those countries, you would need to select both German and English languages.

The German language targeting ensures you’re targeting the countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The English language targeting ensures you’re reaching users in those countries who are searching in English.

If you only selected English as the language, your ads would only show in Germany, which is among the countries mapped to English, but you’d miss Austria and Switzerland.

Pairing language and location targeting: Now, continuing from the above example, using English language targeting might mean your ads could be targeted to countries mapped to English such as US, UK, CA, NZ etc. Hence, you need to add a location targeting to narrow your audience.

Ad group settings override campaign settings: Targeting set at ad group level will override campaign level targeting. If you want all your ad groups to use the same geo-targeting, make sure to use the Campaign setting option at the ad group level.

Language match and translation: Make sure your keywords and ads are written in one language. Ads may otherwise be penalized as they would be irrelevant for the user. Also, Bing doesn’t translate ads on its own. You will need to manually write ads in both languages.

Common language words: There are many words and business names that are the same in multiple languages. Use such words under a different campaign to make sure there is no crossover.

For more info on location targeting, you can find more help here. For more info on language-to-country mapping, you can find more help here.


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

A PNG image is enough to hack an Android phone

Apple phones might let strangers eavesdrop on your conversations. But simply downloading an image on your Android phone might be enough to get your phone hacked.

It might be a cute innocent looking image of your favourite cat. But that’s all is needed for an arbitrary code to run on the vulnerable Android devices.

All thanks to three newly-discovered critical vulnerabilities running on Android 7.0 Nougat to its current Android 9.0 Pie.

And depending on your handset manufacturer, you might or might not even receive security patches for this anytime soon…

Well, all you can do is to stay away from downloading images on your Android phones, if it’s not really related to work or isn’t your airport ticket.

And no, don’t even try to download the memes from this email. We will hack you. You have been warned! Mwahahaha! That was sarcasm by the way…


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