First Thing Monday – June 12 2017

There’s always plenty happening in the fast-moving world of online search and advertising. Here’s a summary of key things that caught our eye last week…

1) Meeker Report: 2017 update on internet trends is here

Internet Trends

Another year, another Internet Trends report from Mary Meeker, a partner at the venture capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. There’s always good reason, though, for Internet entrepreneurs and marketers to take note: Meeker has an uncanny knack for seeing the forest where others see trees.

This year’s 355-slide roundup doesn’t disappoint, though habitual readers will note some recurring themes.

What caught our attention?

  • Meeker says images are becoming more important (largely because User Generated Content can have nearly 7 x higher engagement than brand generated content on Facebook).
  • Increasingly, browsing and buying are no longer discrete activities due to new ad functionality (think of “swipe to shop”).
  • And finally — although, we could go on — location-based advertising to get customers heading in-store is on the rise. Examples include Google’s location-tagged ads and Uber’s ad delivery partnership with Foursquare.

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2) Google NZ releases 2016 accounts

Google NZ released their 2016 accounts and – no surprises – they showed minimal tax was paid in NZ. Only $365K in tax got paid on a declared income of just $12.6M. This income is a “service fee” from parent company Alphabet in return for providing marketing services, rather than the actual media charges paid by NZ advertisers. Those media charges instead get collected by Google Singapore and likely exceed $1M a day.

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3) Wall Street Journal’s Google traffic drops 44% but Paid Subscription Conversions increase 400%

In February, The Wall Street Journal stopped participating in a program allowing Google visitors to bypass its paywall. After leaving the “First Click Free” programme, its Google traffic plunged 44 percent but there was a fourfold increase in the rate of visitors converting into paying customers.

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4) Programmatic advertisers urge action to remove fake news

BrightRoll has surveyed over 400 programmatic decision makers: 96% are concerned about ads being shown on fake news sites and web pages. (And, honestly, that has us worrying about the four percent.)

Responses to the survey are neatly bundled in an infographic. Interestingly, 55% want programmatic tech companies to proactively screen for fake news; 43% plan to blacklist fake news publishers; 35% to whitelist legitimate publishers.

But, as with most surveys, this one by Yahoo’s programmatic ad platform is somewhat self-serving: BrightRoll claims to be committed to a “healthy advertising ecosystem…that filters out sites containing hate speech, illegal content, and more”.

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5) Need more AdWords Conversions? Now you can get them — automatically

Google’s latest AdWords Smart Bidding option uses machine learning to maximise conversions. Select this new bidding strategy and Google sets bids automatically to make the most of a campaign’s daily budget.

Google looks at historical campaign performance and auction-time contextual signals (such as time of day, device type, browser and operating system) to deduce the likelihood of a conversion, and set an appropriate bid.

Maximise Conversions differs from other Smart Bidding options (Target ROAS, Target CPA, Enhanced CPC) in that it’s simply designed to get the most conversions from an advertiser’s daily budget. If you’re concerned about cost per conversion, then manual bidding, Target ROAS or Target CPA will be better bidding options.

Our recommendation? Use Campaign Drafts and Experiments to make sure conversions (and not just daily budgets) are being maximised.

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What we’ve been reading this week


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About the Author SureFire

These search marketing news updates feature articles of interest picked up through the week by the SureFire team.

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