[Ep82/08Nov21] - YouTube Removes Dislike Counts & Other Digital Marketing Updates from the Week of Nov 08, 2021
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1. Twitter Adds New Option to Let Non-Twitter Users Tune into Spaces - Twitter continues to build out its audio Spaces offering, this time with the addition of a new way to expand your Spaces audience, even among people who don’t have a Twitter profile. As Twitter explains, now, when you share a link to a Spaces broadcast, non-Twitter users will also be able to tune in, which will give you more ways to showcase your audio broadcasts to a wider audience, both inside and outside the app.
Non-Twitter users can’t actually participate in the Spaces chat – they can’t be invited on as guests and they can’t react to the discussion. But it may provide more utility, with your shared Spaces links now having value beyond the app itself, which means that you can share them with all of your contacts and invite them to listen to your Spaces chats.
2. The Microsoft Audience Network Now Prohibits Four Types of Ads - The Microsoft Audience Network now prohibits gambling, lawsuit, health supplement, and end-of-life ads The updated policy aligns the Microsoft Audience Network with other advertising platforms. Here is the list of categories that are no longer allowed on the Microsoft Audience Network as well as on native advertising served on Microsoft-owned and operated properties, like MSN and Outlook:
- Lawsuit advertising and invitations to participate in a lawsuit.
- End-of-life products and services, including but not limited to cremation services, funeral flowers, urns, coffins, and obituaries.
- Health supplements and vitamins (however enforcement for supplement and vitamin ads that are currently running on the network will not begin until January).
- Gambling (which is already prohibited on the Microsoft Audience Network but will now also be prohibited on native advertising served on Microsoft-owned and operated properties).
3. Facebook Launches 'Creative App Platform' & Expands Stories Functionality - Facebook has announced a new ‘Creative App Platform’ for Facebook Stories, which will enable developers to create and promote Stories-related apps direct within the Stories ecosystem.
Through Facebook’s new platform, app developers participating in the program will be able to get their tools listed within the Stories composer flow, which will enable users to access more creative apps for their Stories, without having to go find them off-platform.
The concept is a lot like Snapchat’s 'Minis' offering, which enables developers to share micro-versions of their full apps within Snapchat. That expands on the creative potential of Snaps, by providing even more tools and add-on options that you can share, via your private Snaps, Stories, etc.
Facebook’s variation is focused on Stories specifically, and creative add-ons, as the name would suggest, with various developers signing up for the first phase.
4. Instagram Adds New Text-to-Speech and Voice Effect Options in Reels - Instagram is once again adding more TikTok-inspired features into its app, with the addition of a new ‘Text to Speech' option in Reels clips, which provides an artificial voice to read any text overlays you add to your clips, and new voice changer options to alter your vocal tones.
First off, text-to-speech will give Reels creators two voice options to choose from, with the auto voice, then reading out any text that you’ve added to your clip. To add the new text to speech option, once you’ve added text to your clip, you’ll need to tap on the text bubble at the bottom of the composer screen, then select ‘Text-to-speech’ from the three dots menu (which is very small, so good luck if you’ve got larger fingers).
Instagram’s also added new ‘Voice Effects’, which provides another option to add a different creative element to your Reels clips. You can now change your recorded voice to make it sound like you’ve been sucking on helium, or you’re a robot, or a giant, among various others, which could be an interesting way to change up your clips.
If Instagram is always copying, then it’s inevitably always a step behind, which means it’s never going to be the trend leader and the cool place to engage younger audiences. Users know that it’s simply copying TikTok, which really just further solidifies TikTok’s leadership. If Meta/Instagram really wants to win over these groups. It’ll need to come out with more new, original ideas for its tools – which, as we’ve seen over the past decade, Meta is not exactly great at.
5. Shopify, Google & Pinterest Shares What’s Trending This Holiday Season - So what can you do with these guides? Well in addition to making decisions on what to buy for your loved ones this holiday season you can actually use this guide to plan for your marketing campaign and/or stock up on sought-after products. You can view the guides here:
6. Google: Legal Interstitials / Banners Does Not Affect SEO - Google has clarified that legal interstitials are fine and you don't really have to worry about any penalty or ding for those types of legal banners. even with the new rules coming to desktop pages (see episode 81). Google clearly understands that some sites require these intrusive interstitials for legal reasons and has to make an exception for it there.
This is the official tweet where they clarify this.
7. Google Publishes The List of Googlebot IP Addresses - Google has published the full list of IP addresses it uses for crawling and accessing your website under the Googlebot user agents. Google said if you do not want to use reverse DNS other than those types of methods for verifying Googlebot, you “can identify Googlebot by IP address by matching the crawler’s IP address to the list of Googlebot IP addresses.”
If you believe someone is crawling your site, pretending to be Googlebot, and you want to verify that blocking this fake Googlebot crawler is not really Google, then you can use either the command line method or automated IP list method.
Knowing which bot is really Google and which is not can help you decide which rogue bots to block from your site. You can access the full list of Googlebot IP addresses over here, note that Google may update this list, so you should check the file probably daily. You can also access all other Google crawlers that match the crawler’s IP address against the complete list of Google IP addresses. Again, these IP addresses may change over time, so you should build into your mechanisms a way to update the IP addresses on your end.
8. Google Logo Structured Data Supports ImageObject Type - Google logo schema now supports ImageObject type, in addition to the URL type, according to updated information on the help document. Google said this provides “new flexibility” to specify an organization logo using this schema markup. ImageObject type gives you the ability to add additional data to an image, such as width and height, or the author or a caption. Whereas the URL type did not give you these added values.
9. How To Enable Key Moments Snippets In Google Search - Google explained how to use schema markup to enable key moments snippets for video content in search results. So what Are Video Key Moments? Key moments are a way for users to jump directly to the point within a video that’s most relevant to their query. In Google Search, key moments can appear alongside a video result as seen in the featured image for this article.
- A timestamp indicates where that moment starts.
- A label describes what happens at that moment.
- A thumbnail from that moment in the video.
When you click a key moment and land on the video page, that video will begin playing from the specific moment you selected.
However, key moments will only appear for results where a video is the main content on the page. They won’t appear for pages that mix videos with other content, like a news article or an eCommerce product page.
There are two ways to enable key moments:
- SeekToAction markup: Allows Google to identify key moments in your videos automatically.
- Clip markup: This allows you to identify key moments in your videos manually.
Note that Google will prioritize key moments that are identified manually. If you don’t want key moments at all you can opt out by using the NOSNIPPET tag. In order to support key moments, video page URLs must support a parameter that begins playback from a specific number of seconds into the video.
10. Google Keyword Planner Tool Has 3 New Columns - Google is making more data available that you can use to make informed decisions about your search campaigns. The new columns are:
- YoY Change – The year-over-year change compares the monthly search volume of the latest month with the same month the previous year.
- Three-month change – The three-month change shows a three-month change in search trends by comparing the latest month’s data, with the data from two months prior. For example, if the latest month is July, the July data would be compared to May to show a change in search volume over three months.
- Three-month trending type – This shows you if the trend is going up or down or remaining flat for the keyword. I no longer see this but Google was testing this.
11. YouTube Removes Dislike Counts - YouTube has announced that it’s making a change to the way dislikes are displayed on videos, with the dislike count to be made private, in order to limit misuse of the option. The change comes as a result of attacks on users, where the dislike option has been used to harm a video’s performance.
As explained by YouTube’s Creator Liaison Matt Koval:
“Groups of viewers are targeting a video’s dislike button to drive up the count, turning it into something like a game with a visible scoreboard, and it’s usually just because they don’t like the creator or what they stand for. That’s a big problem when half of YouTube’s mission is to give everyone a voice.”
As a result, YouTube ran an experiment earlier in the year where it made dislike counts private, in order to examine whether that might have an impact on coordinated dislike attacks. And it did.
“As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button, but because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior.”
YouTube says that it also heard from smaller creators and those just starting out that they are often the subject of these brigade attacks, which its examination found to be true.
As such, YouTube has made the decision to hide dislike counts across the board, with a view to limiting the damage and impact, and encouraging more participation from more users.