Opticomm digital

Digital Bitesize – September

The biggest digital marketing stories of the last 30 days that you need to know about.


  1. Overestimated key video metric leaves Facebook red-faced
  2. After a two year wait, Google’s spam-fighting Penguin goes real-time
  3. Twitter opens its ‘Moments’ story-telling feature to all
  4. How Google’s Possum update can now work in your favour
  5. Changes to Google’s PPC Quality Score – what does it mean for your campaign?

1. Overestimated key video metric leaves Facebook red-faced
Facebook have been forced to apologise after it transpired that the social network has miscalculated the average time users spent watching video on its platform for several years. The impact for agencies has been significant as vastly overestimated results may have been inflated by as much as 80%. The metric was supposed to reflect the total time spent watching a video divided by the total number of people who played the video but clearly this hasn’t been the case.This is a major blow for Facebook who, in recent years, have been touting the rapid acceleration and growth of video consumption on its platform. Previously Facebook only counted video views in excess of three seconds to calculate its metric, “Average Duration of View Viewed.” Any video viewed under three seconds was disregarded hence inflating the average. Facebook’s new metric, “Average Watch Time” will include video views of any duration but there is a twist. Facebook wants to factor in the possibility that some viewers watch certain videos more than once meaning the highest ranking videos may conceivably have “an average time watched” greater than the length of the video itself.

2. After a two-year wait, Google’s spam-fighting Penguin goes real-time
Back in 2012, Google introduced Penguin, a filter designed to capture sites that were deemed ‘spammy’ in Google’s search results that regular spamming systems might not detect. These sites would remain penalised even if improvements and changes were implemented until the periodic filter was run again which could mean months of isolation. With the last update occurring in late 2014, those sites affected have had a two year wait to be free. With the Penguin algorithm now designed to run in real-time these penalties will be easier to recover from and overcome as the process will be executed swiftly.

3. Twitter opens its Moments story-telling feature to all
Previously limited to paid-for curation teams, Twitter’s Moments was a step in the right direction but met with limited success. Now available to everyone, Twitter has finally caught up with Instagram and Snapchat meaning anyone to tell a story with a collection of tweets allowing brands and individuals to customise and show off experiences. You can even aggregate your brand’s tweets and mix in content from influencers/fans but is this a creative opportunity to exploit or might it result in brand hijacking? Time will tel

4. How Google’s Possum update can now work in your favour
Google’s latest algorithm update coined as ‘Possum’ by the SEO community is great news for consumers and businesses. With this update comes an increased emphasis on the searcher’s location meaning more accurate results for the user. This is particularly welcome news for results that share the same address. Previously, if three local competing businesses shared an address such as a shopping centre, Google Local would only list one of them – bad news for the other two. This is no longer the case and will widen the gap between local and organic filters making physical location predominantly more important when it comes to local searches. Businesses should now be thinking about whether they are targeting people outside or inside a locality and consider variations between keywords including abbreviations much more carefully

5. Changes to Google’s PPC Quality Score – what does it mean for your campaign?

When it comes to PPC, all digital advertisers know the importance of Quality Score as a means of ranking the quality and relevance of a campaign’s keywords and ads. News that Google is making some minor tweaks is significant; after all, the Quality Score plays as much a part in determining where an ad shows as bid price. From now on, where there is insufficient ad data to calculate a specific Quality Score, instead of a default ‘6’ it will now display ‘-‘. Therefore some bid management scripts may need to be refactored. Also of note is the fact that where previously Quality Scores were amalgamated across all devices keywords now associated with different devices will have independent Quality Scores.

Photo credit: startbloggingonline.com

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Sanjeev Patel

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