Is Apple about to break the Internet? According to advertisers, the answer’s yes (and we’d like you to keep it the way it is, please).
In other news, Facebook is forced to explain how its advertisers can reach more people than census records say actually exist.
Also, Google ends “first click free”, and LinkedIn finally gets an audience network of its own.
This month Apple is limiting the time a browser cookie is active, introducing what it calls Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in the latest version of its Safari web browser.
Advertisers upset about the new 24-hour limit on third-party cookies claim that it will “hurt the user experience and sabotage the economic model for the Internet”.
Why all the fuss? Safari is the default browser for iOS, and Apple says it’s making the change to improve its users’ data privacy. Advertisers say, however, that ITP unfairly impacts remarketing by small ad networks (like Criteo and Adroll).
To comply with ITP, Google is introducing a new Google Analytics cookie and has emailed AdWords advertisers advising a change in the way AdWords conversions are tracked.
The new GA cookie means that Google no longer uses a third party cookie (stored on the Googleadservices.com domain), but instead sets the new (first-party) cookie on the advertiser’s domain.
AdWords advertisers using auto-tagging and Google Analytics (that is, most of them) will not be affected.
Facebook video views have been inflated, and ads shown to bots. Now Facebook’s credibility is again in question: this time, the company is accused of over-estimating market reach.
Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser says that Facebook’s ad manager shows that ads can reach 25 million more people in the US than recorded in the 2016 census.
Facebook’s ad manager says the social network can reach 41 million 18-24 year-olds, 60 million 25-34 year-olds, and 61 million 35-49 year-olds, according to Wieser. But US census data says there are 31 million 18-24 year-olds, 45 million 25-34 year-olds, and 61 million 35-49 year-olds living in the country.
Reacting to the report, Facebook has said that its estimates include travellers, not just US citizens. As regards the 10 million more 18- to 24-year-olds: people self-report their age to Facebook.
If news publishers who have content hidden behind paywalls want visibility in Google’s search results they’ve been required to provide Google searchers with limited free access to this content. Sites that don’t are effectively penalised in Google’s search results.
This has been known as Google’s “first click free” requirement.
Google has long argued that giving search users full access to articles behind paywalls ultimately incentivises subscriptions. This is not necessarily a view shared by news publishers, however. In June, the Wall Street Journal pushed back and stopped allowing Google search visitors to get free access to their paywall content. It came at a price — the Wall Street Journal’s Google traffic dropped 44%.
Lobbying from News Corp and other publishers means this is going to change. Apparently, Google will be ending their “first click free” requirement.
A few weeks back we warned you that Google was adding a question and answer functionality to business listings on Google Maps.
Now Search Engine Land’s Joy Hawkins has some first-hand advice on what businesses need to do when managing responses.
Our favourite? Don’t just answer “yes” (or “no”). It’s best you also restate the question in case the original question is later…ahem…edited.
And did we say earlier that we thought there were issues with this rushed release? Well, yes, you know we did.
You’ve heard of the Facebook Audience Network, of course: now Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has one too.
An overdue move, the new native advertising network means advertisers can show their LinkedIn ads on third party websites, reaching new audiences.
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These search marketing news updates feature articles of interest picked up through the week by the SureFire team.