March 18, 2019

GOOGLE

2.3B ads, 1M ad accounts, and 734K publisher sites taken down by Google

As per the annual report released by Google, around 2.3B ads were taken down in 2018 due to policy violations on its platform.

Do you think that’s a huge number? Well, that’s actually 1B less than it removed in 2017. However, the number of advertiser accounts terminated due to policy violations have almost doubled in 2018. WHAT The AFF?

Were there any specific verticals that topped the list? Yes. The majority of this cleanup involved advertisers from bail bond services, addiction treatment services, 3rd-party tech support, ticket resellers and cryptocurrency.

However, even some local services such as garage door repair topped the list of verticals that caught Google’s attention the most in 2018.

Bail bond ads have been completely banned on Google Ads since July 2018. While addiction treatment service ads have been added to a restricted category and only allowed if certified by LegitScript. 31 new policies have also been added to try and address ad abuse.

On the publisher side, 734k publisher sites and apps were removed from its ad network. Additionally, ads were removed entirely from other 1.5M apps.

Google had previously added the ability to identify and remove ads from specific web pages that violate its publisher policies, rather than removing ads from an entire site. That update, along with manual reviews helped Google remove ads from more than 27M web pages in the last year.

Apart from ad abuse, fake news and misinformation has been another area of focus for Google over the last couple of years. Around 1.2M web pages, 22k apps and 15k websites were removed due to misrepresentative, hateful, or low-quality content.

Zoom In

Bad actors affect the digital ecosystem adversely. However, for genuine advertisers, this is great news as it can only lead to better performance for your ad campaigns and it helps to ensure brand safety.

As far as YouTube is concerned, Google still has a lot of work to do in its own backyard.

However, it is constantly updating its ad policies and tools. The launch of the new Policy Manager tool will further help advertisers navigate policy decisions and other restrictions in their accounts.


E-COMMERCE

If you want your online store to go big this year, we’ve got a great eBook for you. Released by Search Engine Journal, this 191-page extensive eBook covers various aspects of e-commerce, from SEO to PPC to social media marketing to digital marketing trends. It brings you some of the best practices for growing an online business.

Here’s what the eBook covers:

  • 15 e-commerce must-haves.
  • Effective keyword research methods for e-commerce.
  • Site Navigation: Navigate your website to success.
  • Learn to optimize technical SEO for e-commerce.
  • A guide to on-page SEO for e-commerce.
  • Hidden strategies for e-commerce websites in Google Images.
  • How to create a content strategy for e-commerce.
  • How to capture featured snippets for e-commerce.
  • How to run effective Google Shopping campaigns.
  • Advanced PPC strategies for e-commerce.
  • 4 effective e-commerce link building strategies.
  • 11 Social media marketing strategies for e-commerce.

Each of the above chapters is written by an industry expert and includes some great insights coming from renowned experts in their field. It’s totally worth a read if you are looking to boost your e-commerce revenues this year. Download the eBook here.


FACEBOOK

Mark, let’s monetize this new placement. Facebook helps with statistical significance

Facebook introduced a new tab to help the gamers to connect with one another and find more gaming related content. It helps them to explore more games as well, of course.

Plus, Facebook wants us to run tests in a better manner with: Estimated Test Power feature. Finally, if you use URL parameters, watch your campaigns. You’ll find out why below.

Facebook launches the Gaming Tab:

Last week, Facebook launched a new way to explore gaming content on its platform: The Facebook Gaming tab.

Gaming is huge on Facebook. Huge to the tune of 700M people, to be exact. With this new update, users will be able to play games, watch gaming videos, connect with gaming groups, and discover new things to engage with.

All in one place.

Evidently, Facebook is aiming to build a thriving gaming hub.

The tab appears at the bottom of the screen on mobile devices, along with Marketplace and Notification icons.

The Crew’s Take

Clearly, Facebook wants to build communities around gaming, and this new tab gives gamers a unified space to network with other like-minded people. This move could also be seen as trying to lure younger users back to FB.

Currently, it doesn’t feature any ads spaces there. However, knowing how FB operates the Gaming Tab will probably become a new ad placement sooner rather than later.

Estimated Test Power. What’s all this about?

When you’re in the testing phase, one of the first things to consider is the statistical significance: Do I have enough data to jump to a conclusion?

So far, you’ve probably used math and calculators to answer this question, or you’ve gone with your intuition and experience. Now, it looks like Facebook doesn’t want you to play the guessing game anymore.

Going by the image shared by Manuel Alonzo in the Facebook Ad Hacks group, it seems that the ad platform gives you suggestions on the right budget you should set for an effective test power.

While we didn’t find official announcements about this feature, it looks like it shows up when you are performing an A/B test. Based on the data from the test, the ad platform will suggest to you the right budget to gather enough data for your test.

Did you already know about this feature? It definitely looks helpful – You will find out just how much budget you need to conduct a proper A/B test, and this information will be provided by Facebook without any need for any trial and error or guesswork.

Remember though, it’s only helpful as long it’s correct.

URL parameters broken

Are your URL parameters functioning correctly? You might wanna have a look at them, because many marketers have reported an issue with their URL parameters over the last few days.

If you’ve experienced it too, know that it’s not just you. It’s an issue at Facebook’s end.

But what exactly is happening? The parameters are showing incorrect values for some marketers. For others, they’re not showing any values at all.

Currently, we don’t know if the problem has been fixed by Facebook or not. However, a discussion regarding this topic is ongoing on a post shared by Paul Jey in the Facebook Ad Buyers group.

If you want to follow along, head here.


SPONSORED

Audio podcast is live! Give us your questions for Episode 2 – All About Amazon

OK, ladies and gents, first order of business is Episode 1 of the Stacked Marketing Show, where we had Andrew Payne as a guest. In case you missed it, you can see it here. We talked all about push notifications, especially the pros and cons of building your own push subscriber base.

Some of you asked for an audio version too so we’ve put one online right here on SoundCloud. We’ll try to setup better podcast feeds later, it takes more time to properly set it up and get approved. We hope this is good for those of you who prefer audio only for now!

Second order of business is Episode 2. We’re going to have someone featured in The Wall Street Journal share the insider info for building a business on Amazon.

We’re going to ask some of your most burning questions. You can submit them anonymously here. Or you can just reply to this email, either way is fine for us. Send them before 22:00 GMT to make sure we see them before recording.

Don’t forget! If you want the early-release of it, tell 5 friends to start reading WHAT THE AFF and we’ll add you to the Insiders group where every episode gets posted first! Check out the bottom of the email for your link!


AFFILIATE MARKETING

Affiliate Marketing in 2019 Awin Report

One question that plagues the mind of many affiliates is this: What can I expect from the future?

Adapting to changes is a vital skill for affiliates. So, it’s obvious that knowing the trends will help you massively when it comes to decision making.

Buuuut… nobody really knows what exactly is going to happen, right?

However, the affiliate network Awin are trying to help you out here and have tried to dig into the likely trends in the affiliate industry for 2019.

Let’s see what their report is about. It’s a 117-page document, so we’ll just summarize the key points here.

Predictions for the affiliate industry

  • Private tech companies will lead to the revolution of online tracking. Whilst the GDPR dominated the headlines in 2018, there have been more impactful changes coming from private companies. Like the iterations of Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention initiative. What does it mean? That private firms will start to moderate data tracking themselves more in the future. When these firms are as big as Apple, the impact can be significant.
  • Amazon will represent a bigger threat ever than before: Amazon sits upon a trove of hugely valuable first-party consumer data. Increasingly, online shoppers are heading over to Amazon first when searching for products. What does this mean for affiliates? Certainly, this is not positive. Amazon offers brands a space to advertise to consumers directly within it, and for consumers to research and buy products without recourse to the wider web, leaving little space to affiliates.
  • International trade disagreements may hinder cross-border e-commerce growth.
  • More emphasis on customers’ value rather than just customer acquisition: Online shoppers have become accustomed to finding competitive deals at almost any time. Retailers need to start fixating on their loyal high-value customers to avoid losing them. Don’t turn them into discount-loyal customers.
  • Affiliates’ proximity to consumers will insulate them from ‘digital deadheading’: There are many benefits of a Direct To Consumer business model. A prime example is Dollar Shave Club, that went from launch to $1B acquisition in just 5 years. A direct relationship with the consumer was one of their key competitive advantages.

Bigger brands like Procter & Gamble are adopting the DTC model, and affiliates have an advantage as they can provide exactly this kind of direct relationship with the consumers.

Global Markets

Let’s look at some places where we can expect more growth.

  • Brazil: Online sales and digital ad investment in Brazil hit 17% growth in 2018. Whereas the economy is still facing a recession, e-commerce sales are skyrocketing. Brazilian shoppers are price-driven and affiliate marketing is playing a significant part in the development of Brazil’s e-commerce industry.

There will be new horizons beyond the already established travel and retail sector. Looking forward, Awin expects more from the telecommunications industry as well as within fintech and other similar verticals. In doing so, affiliate marketing will continue to add value between advertisers, publishers and users.

  • Eastern Europe: E-commerce in Eastern Europe is on an upward curve and 2019 will see greater growth as online shopping becomes increasingly popular. Performance marketing is also seeing growth in the region right now.

AliExpress has been particularly popular and, interestingly, Awin saw a 270% increase in revenue via the platform during Singles’ Day.

What to expect from the future? Awin says that Chatbots, blockchain and voice search are all technologies that will soon start to affect the Eastern Europe economy.

These are the main points we picked from the report. Do you want to know more about these ones, or discover more from this report? Predictions for Australia, how 5G can influence digital advertising, and much more is included, so check out the report here.


TWITTER

Twitter launches Snapchat style camera tools

What’s that one feature that almost all social media sites have adopted from each other? Stories!

Which is the only social media site which doesn’t have this feature yet? Twitter!

What is Twitter going to do about it? Give it a twist! We think it might be a great update for marketers.

Twitter is rolling out a new camera tool which will allow users to capture Stories-like images.

All you gotta do is swipe left on your Twitter timeline and you’ll be taken straight to the new camera app where you can capture an image, a video or even go Live straight from Twitter.

You’ll also be able to add in details such as hashtags about the image/video and those details will be overlaid in a new chyron format. This will provide more immediate context for the visual, while also appearing larger in user timelines. Something like this!

Twitter will also scan the region for happening events and recommend tags.

So, this is not exactly like Stories, and there is no dedicated Stories tab for it. However, content created via this process will be displayed in the ‘What’s Happening’ section under the Explore tab.

The Crew’s Take

Twitter is already the go-to place for checking out real-time news and events. And this new camera app will no doubt get the attention of brands looking to maximize their exposure in trending streams.

So, if you are running an event or promotion, you could encourage users to share a Tweet using the relevant hashtag, which may help push your event/promo higher in Twitter’s own showcase listings.


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POOLSIDE CHAT

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

Vienna tops Mercer’s 21st Quality of Living ranking

How are we able to bring this great daily briefing to you all so consistently?

Because we choose everything very carefully, including the location of our headquarters where all the heavy lifting is done. It has to do with the quality of living as well!

What do we mean by this?

According to the new Mercer report, Vienna has topped the global Quality of Living Index (QoLI). This isn’t a new thing either. The Austrian capital has had the world’s highest quality of living for a decade now.

So, if you want to experience what it feels like living in a city which tops the QoLI every year, pay us a visit. If you make it during the summer time, we might even have a Poolside chat together!

Want an all expenses paid trip to Vienna? You know what you have to do!

Refer as many people as you can and if you hit that sweet number, you might soon be on your way to the top of the QoLI too!

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