Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing News 03/08/2022 – 03/14/2022

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This week on latest digital marketing updates: Microsoft and Google face claims of flooding spam ads to smaller search engine rivals, Interop 2022 aims to solve top browser compatibility issues identified by web developers, TikTok confirms all users will soon be able to upload 10-minute videos in the app, Google tests dropping search results estimate figure, and Google to add AdSense for YouTube section to AdSense console and YouTube Studio.

Here are the latest news, trends, and updates in detail:

Search

Microsoft and Google Accused of Feeding Spam Ads to Smaller Rivals

New claims have come out that Microsoft Ads and Google Ads are gaming the online advertising market by flooding smaller search engines with spam ads. 

According to data shared by POLITICO, it appears that Google and Microsoft are feeding smaller search engine rivals with spam ads to limit the number of higher-value ads that appear on them. 

Ads are considered as spam if they appear in search results where they have little to no relevance to the search terms that a user used. 

Pushing spammy ads puts favor into bigger search engines because it limits how much money smaller search engines can make, and gives Google and Microsoft a greater share of profitable ads. 

POLITICO shares that the findings came from data compiled by adtech researchers who wish to remain anonymous to protect their commercial relationships with Google and Bing.

In its article, POLITICO compares ads shown by DuckDuckGo and Bing or the search term “depression,” with DuckDuckGo showing lower-quality ads in comparison.

When searching for certain generic keywords, there was a marked difference in quality between ads displayed on alternative platforms and those shown on gatekeeper engines, Google and Bing.

A spokesperson from Google told POLITICO that all ads signed up to search engine partners can appear on both Google’s and partner’s search results; however, the company “has certain algorithms in place that put controls on the types of ads shown.”

Alternative search engines reacted differently to the findings. DuckDuckGo said that it’s “constantly working to improve the quality of its results.” Qwant, a search engine that relies on Microsoft’s indexes, has started to study the advertising area in more detail in recent months. Startpage admits to using Google Ad Network for its ads but mentions that the low-quality ads are from less user tracking. POLITICO, however, dispels this as the same ads appear on new machines that never used Bing or Google when they conducted their experiment.

Web

Interop 2022 Aims to Solve Top Browser Compatibility Issues

All major browser vendors and other stakeholders have come together for Interop 2022 and will aim to improve web development in 15 key areas.

Interop 2022 is a benchmark agreed on by three major browsers and developed through a process of public nomination and review. This benchmark focuses on 15 areas identified by developers.

Back in 2019, Google and others started a major effort to understand developers’ pain points through the MDN Developer Needs Assessment survey and the Browser Compatibility Report. These reports gave detailed and actionable insights to address developers’ top challenges, which led to the birth of Compat 2021.

The 15 areas of focus include ten new areas and five carried over from Compat 2021. These new areas of focus are: 

  • Cascade Layers – provides more control to developers over the cascades. It lets you group selectors into layers, so you don’t need to order selectors carefully or create highly specific selectors to overwrite base CSS rules.
  • Color spaces and CSS color functions – Color functions built into  CSS mean that colors can be dynamically updated, and new color spaces remove the restriction to the sRGB gamut and perceptual limitations of HSL. There are two functions defined in CSS Color Level 5, namely color-mix() that takes two colors and returns the result of mixing them in a specified color space by a specified amount, and color-contrast(), which selects from a list of colors the color with the highest contrast to a specified single color.
  • New viewpoint unit – CSS Values and Units Level 4 adds new units for the largest, smallest, and dynamic viewport sizes: lv*, sv*, and dv*. These units will make it easier to create layouts that fill the visible viewport on mobile devices while taking the address bar into account.

  • Scrolling – Focus on scroll snap, scroll behavior, and over-scroll behavior to help scrolling be more consistent and smooth across platforms.
  • Subgrid – The subgrid value of grid-template-columns and grid-template-rows means that a grid item that has display: grid applied can inherit the track definition from the part of the parent grid it is placed over.
  • The contain property
  • The dialog element
  • Form controls
  • Typography and Encodings: including font-variant-alternates, font-variant-position, the ic unit, and CJK text encodings
  • Web Compat, which focuses on differences between browsers that have caused site compatibility issues affecting end-users

For the five areas from Compat 2021 carried over, there are remaining issues that can be addressed:

  • Aspect Ratio
  • Flexbox
  • Grid
  • Sticky Positioning
  • Transforms

The existing web-platform-tests dashboard will be used to track the progress in the 15 focus areas. For each area, a set of tests have been identified. Browsers are then scored against these tests, giving a score for each area and an overall score for all 15 areas.

To follow along the progress, you can check out the Interop 2022 dashboard.

In essence, the goal of Compat 2021, Interop 2022, and so much more is to make the web platform more usable and reliable for developers to spend more time building great web experiences instead of working around browser inconsistencies.

Social

TikTok Confirms All Users Will Soon Be Able to Upload 10-Minute Videos in the app

TikTok to roll out 10-minute videos soon, eight months after releasing news that creators can upload 5-minute videos.

Originally, TikTok’s time limit per clip was 15 seconds, before being extended to 60 seconds, then 3 minutes, the 5 minutes. Now, users will upload much longer clips at 10 minutes.

Posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, many Tiktok users are notified of an expansion in the upload capacity.

TikTok has since confirmed the full roll-out of the option to TechCrunch, “We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience. Last year, we introduced longer videos, giving our community more time to create and be entertained on TikTok. Today, we’re excited to start rolling out the ability to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes, which we hope would unleash even more creative possibilities for our creators around the world.”

Search

Google Tests Dropping Results Estimate

Google Search is testing removing the estimated number of search results figure you typically see under the search bar after conducting a search query. 

Back in 2016, Google tested this same thing, and it seems they are trying it again.

Some Twitter users also noticed this in the past few weeks: 

PPC

Google to Add AdSense for YouTube Section to AdSense Console and YouTube Studio

Starting in March 2022 and rolling over the next few months, YouTube earnings will have a separate homepage and payments account in AdSense. 

Google announced that the new AdSense for YouTube homepage would be available by navigating to AdSense from within YouTube Studio. You will also be able to access this at the top left-hand menu in AdSense.

Google said that “currently the new homepage is only accessible to a small number of creators while it’s being rolled out in 2022. Until rollout completes, finalized YouTube earnings are still visible to YouTube creators in their AdSense payments account.”

What you can do next

  • With consumers’ attention becoming shorter and shorter, start brainstorming ways to keep them engaged with TikTok’s new 10-minute video uploads.
  • If you are a web developer, stay up to date with Interop 2022 to find ways to maximize the new features for your clients.

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