June 27, 2019

GOOGLE

Natural health websites hit hard by Google

The recent Google algorithm update caused huge problems to many publishers globally.

We already talked about the 71% overnight drop in traffic that forced CCN to shut down.

CCN certainly weren’t the only ones to take the brunt. Many other websites were also hit hard by Google’s June 2019 Core Update. In this case, it was an entire niche that took the hit.

According to an alarming post shared by GreenMedInfothe June update penalized all top sites in the natural health and health freedom niches. Their ranking pages were replaced in the search results by pages that actually go against the queries.

Other similar websites like DrAxe, Kellybroganmd, Naturalnews also saw most of their traffic vanish overnight.

The article is very critical of Google, going so far as to say that Google manipulates search results to favor companies that Alphabet has investments or partnerships with.

Some heavy allegations indeed, but we don’t take their side.

Our goal here is to share information about the traffic drop issue, and to make you aware that Google is penalizing some types of content.

Talking from an affiliate marketing point of view, this is far from ideal.

Why? Because many nutra products fall under the health niche that GreenMedInfo claim Google is penalizing.

Therefore, if you’re pushing these nutra offers and get most of your traffic through SEO, you could feel the force of Google’s wrath. Maybe it’s worth considering some alternatives.

Have you already experienced a drop in traffic? You’re not the only one.


FACEBOOK

FB takes a step back on CBD

CBD products and ingestible hemp aren’t specifically mentioned in the banned or restricted categories to advertise as per FB policies. However, if you try to advertise these products on social media you’ll be on your way to a banned account.

Until now, that is. Finally, it looks like FB is relaxing their policy on these… erm… relaxing products.

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We’re not saying that Mark has joined the green side, but brands are now allowed to promote some CBD products on FB.

Businesses are allowed to run ads that direct to landing pages featuring ingestible hemp and topical CBD, but the ads themselves cannot feature those products.

However, despite this update from Digiday, FB policy still isn’t clear on the matter. So, even with their terms becoming less strict, you could still see your ads or ad accounts getting flagged for promoting these goods.

Unfortunately, just like FB, email spam filters prefer to be hush hush about these products.

So, we won’t be able to go much deeper into this topic. However, you can read the full story here.


INSTAGRAM

Ads, ads everywhere

We’re guessing that Mark Zuckerberg suddenly woke up a few days ago in the middle of the night, drenched in a cold sweat. A troubling question was gnawing away at him: How can I make more benjis?

Eventually, he drifted back into a fitful sleep. However, when he woke up the next morning, he had his answer to this burning question: Let’s put ads in the Explore tab.

The plan is a smooth one. Users will not see ads directly in the Explore Tab. First, they have to tap into a post and starts scrolling through similar pics and videos.

This new slot isn’t available just yet, but IG are doing initial tests on its ailing IGTV platform. After that, they will extend it to a handful of brands before making it available globally.

This is good news for brands that have tried to game the IG algorithm to appear in the Explore Tab: Now you can just pay to get there.

Easy, uh?

Moreover, this placement could turn out to be a very well performing one. It hits the user right when they’re looking to explore something new, so they have a more open mind than when simply browsing through their friends’ stories.

So, this could be a great way to catch users’ attention.


SPONSORED

Enjoy past and future episodes on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Yeah, it’s been some time in the making. We had to iron out some kinks before but now our Stacked Marketing Show is available on both Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Unfortunately, we cannot add it to Google Podcasts because they don’t like Austrians. No seriously, Austria is not a supported country!

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts/iTunes here.

Subscribe on Spotify here.

Subscribe on YouTube here.

Missed our latest episode? We had Erik Gyepes on to talk about everything push traffic media buying!

An STM Forum moderator and an Affiliate World Europe 2019 speaker, Erik was the perfect fit to talk push media buying after we dissected this traffic type as a push list owner with Andrew Payne in our very first episode.

We talk with Erik about:

  • How and why he switched to push traffic?
  • Is it too late to run push traffic?
  • How does push media buying compare to building your own subscriber list?
  • How to prioritize optimization factors for push traffic?
  • What are the best and worst verticals for push traffic?
  • What’s the good and the bad about push traffic in 2019?
  • The state of the affiliate industry in 2019 in Erik’s opinion.

Check it out on YouTube and give it a like.


BOT MARKETING

Remove people from your custom audience

A small yet very helpful new feature has been spotted in the ManyChat interface by Rutger Thole.

It allows you to remove users from your websites’ custom audiences. The ability to add people to custom audiences was previously available.

How is this helpful?

As recommended by Rutger, you can create website custom audiences of unsubscribers and exclude this audience from your campaigns.

Also, you might have created multiple custom audiences based on specific actions, so it’s highly likely that some subscribers are part of more than one custom audience.

So, you can use this feature to set up an automated rule to remove people from your more generic custom audiences.


SEO

Mobile-first indexing updates for Search Console

Google has announced a few updates to the Search Console to help you understand how your site is being crawled and indexed.

You will also be able to find out:

  • Which version of Googlebot is primarily crawling your site.
  • The primary crawler used for specific reports.
  • See the exact date when your site was switched to mobile-first indexing.

If the primary crawler shown is “Googlebot Smartphone”, this means your site has been moved to mobile-first indexing.

You will see new chart annotations showing when your site was moved from desktop to mobile-first indexing.

How is this helpful?

  • This data will help you understand if and when your site was moved from desktop to mobile-first indexing.
  • Identify any indexing or crawling issues for your websites.
  • Monitor any changes to ranking after the switchover, due to being able to see the exact date that Google made the switch.

Check out the official Google announcement here.


LINKEDIN

New CTA buttons, mobile editing capabilities for Pages

New features are being rolled out for LinkedIn pages to help them make more use of the platform.

Five new CTA buttons: New CTA buttons are now available for LinkedIn Pages with these 5 options:

Contact us, Learn more, Register, Sign up and Visit website.

These CTA buttons come with click-through analytics so, as a Page admin, you will be able to track engagement.

You can find this on the left-hand side of your Page Dashboard or at the top of the Visitor Analytics tab. These buttons are only available on desktop for the moment.

Mobile editing: Page admins will now be able to edit key details of their Pages from a mobile device. They will also be able to edit posts that have already been published.

Community Hashtags: This feature lets marketers connect their Page with relevant hashtags. This will particularly help smaller businesses to get noticed in larger conversations.

These hashtags are also available only on desktop.


SECUIRTY

Ransomware targeting WordPress websites

Every 40 seconds, a business gets locked out of their websites due to hack attacks. It costs a company around $133k to mitigate and restore their websites from one of these attacks.

Some businesses can afford that kind of loss, but can you?

Even if you can, it’s something you would want to avoid if possible, right?

There have been around 212 ransomware variants identified since 2015. They usually enter into the system through malicious code inserted into an email or video content as an attachment.

Once the attachment is opened, the code locks the computer’s files, keeping the rightful owner and other authorized users out.

Traditionally, email has been a malware coder’s focus when it comes to ransomware. However, a lot of attention is being drawn to the massively popular video format at the moment.

Most media players are poorly protected, and users who are unaware of this ransomware threat face an ominous problem.

These kinds of attacks already cost businesses around $75B per year, not to mention the damaged reputation and falling consumer confidence that stems from these attacks.

Could your website be at risk?

Maybe, maybe not. But if you are using WordPress, the most-used blogging and e-commerce platform around, the risk is greater than before. The popularity of the platform makes it an attractive target.

Here are some steps for securing your WordPress websites against ransomware:

Download only from official platforms: Need to install new plugins? Make sure you download them from a reputable source, such as the WordPress Plugin Directory.

They check their software and apps for vulnerabilities before release and include user reviews about the software.

Check your sources: We often receive unsolicited emails from strangers or email forwards by people we know. Never open an email or attachment that looks suspicious.

Here’s a tip: Around 20% of all suspected domains are less than a week old. Check out the Whois details of the domain before opening their emails.

Make updates and backups part of everyday maintenance: Backups, updates, and maintenance should be second nature to you. Reputable vendors and app developers always keep their products updated with new security patches and updates as soon as a problem is brought to their attention, protecting you from newly-discovered vulnerabilities.

Use secure email from trusted providers: Gmail and Microsoft both provide basic email services which are relatively secure, but they aren’t unbreachable or anonymous. Check out some third-party options which use AES, RSA, or OpenPGP protocols, such as ProtonMail or Mailfence.

For them, email is not an upsell or an addon. It’s their business. You might want to consider avoiding malware like ransomware.

Use a virtual private network (VPN): If possible, mandate your clients to do so as well. VPNs are useful in ways other than bypassing geo-restrictions to watch Netflix and Hulu.

They are an excellent security tool offering end-to-end encryption, DNS leak protection, SSL authentication, secure email addresses, regular updates and backups.


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

Life is a vicious circle

Couple life is great: it’s sweet, romantic and adventurous. But it can also be stressful and sad at the same time.

The beauty comes from its variety, right?

Right!

Well, not so much for this Kansas man. In fact, this story shows just how much he hates couple life!

He hates it so much that he would rather spend his life in a cage.

And that’s exactly what he did.

Yes. You read that correctly.

Lawrence’s wife was sentenced to six months in home confinement after pleading guilty, but Lawrence wasn’t looking forward to some quality time with his soulmate. No, in fact, he was willing to go to extreme lengths to avoid spending any time with her.

So, he robbed a bank in the hope that he would get caught and sent to prison. All to escape his wife!

Wooow! That’s pure craziness!

If you prefer a cold cage over your wife, maybe her personality is even more awful than this heat wave sitting over Europe right now. Or maybe he is just out of his mind.

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Well, we hope that Lawrence meets some new friends in prison and enjoys the food.

Maybe, with all that time to think, he will realize that he could’ve just divorced his wife instead.

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