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Digital Marketing News 03/22/2022 – 03/28/2022

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This week on latest digital marketing updates: Chrome adds new side search panel and will roll out to everyone by later in the year, nearly 50% of Twitter users from the United States are lurkers, Pinterest now lets users share idea pins on other social media platforms, Google experiments showing more short-form videos on search results, WordPress released new Performance Lab plugin aimed to make websites faster, and Google launches new Related Search for Content to improve on-site engagement.

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


Chrome Adds New Side Search Panel for Windows, Mac, and Linux Devices

Google makes it easier to search with the new Chrome feature, Side Search.

When searching with Google in Chrome, you have to hit the "back" button to return to results or stick with opening results in a new tab. 

In the latest build of Chrome Canary, there are three new flags in chrome://flags in relation to the new feature, Side Search. All three flags expand features on the "side panel" to the right side of the browser, letting you access your bookmarks, reading list, and side search. The last feature is what you want to enable to get the feature. 

Once enabled, you'll see a newly added button with Google's "G" logo when you search on Google. Clicking this button opens a panel to the left of your current tab. 

Google has enabled this feature to Windows, Mac, and Linux devices and will be available to everyone using Chrome 100 or Chrome 101 later this year.


49% of Twitter Users from the United States are Lurkers

New research finds nearly 50% of US adults on Twitter are more likely to lurk than post their own content.

As defined by Pew Research Center, Lurkers are infrequent Twitter users who post less than five tweets per month since they first opened their account. When lurkers tweet, they are also likely to reply to someone else's tweet than post their own. These most infrequent tweeters are adults from the United States.


Infrequent tweeters are 59% of users between 30 and 49, and only 18% of users between 18 and 29. The latter being more frequent tweeters. 

Lurkers are more interested in discovering other points of view rather than sharing their own.

The study notes, "When asked whether they use the site to express their own opinions or to see what others are saying, 76% of lurkers say they use the platform primarily to see what others are saying. Only 6% use the platform primarily to express their own opinions."

Among infrequent tweeters, 13% say discovering other points of view is their primary reason for visiting the site, compared to only 5% of more active tweeters sharing the same feedback. 

Replies also make up 51% of lurkers' tweets, compared to 30% of more active tweeters, though retweets are at a smaller percentage in comparison.

See the full study for more insights.


Pinterest Now Allows Users to Share Idea Pins on Other Platforms

Pinterest released a new update giving users the option to download and share their Idea Pins on other social media channels.

This new feature lets Pinterest creator repurpose their Story-like content with multiple communities by sharing their creations across platforms.

"Idea Pins are Pinterest's native publishing format that was first introduced to creators in 2020 and rolled out globally in 2021. Idea Pins are a multi-page canvas to share unique ideas, tutorials, passions with others. They last forever, and are a way for creators to grow an audience on Pinterest. In Pinterest's "Watch" tab Pinners find a full-screen feed of Idea Pins to scroll through and engage with fresh content from brands and creators, so Idea Pins continue to be discoverable by everyone... Now, with the new Idea Pin sharing option, a creator's original Pinterest content can go even further reaching new audiences on and off Pinterest."

Since the release of idea pins last year, Pinterest continued to improve the tool with the new video and photo editing options. 

To share your Idea Pin, click the share icon and choose between FB Stories or IG Stories icon in the share menu. This will automatically initiate download and send users to the Facebook and Instagram app to easily edit and upload the content. 


Google Experiments Showing More Short-Form Videos in Search Results

Google may surface more short-form videos in search results more often.

This update comes from the latest Search Off the Record podcast episode by Danielle Marshak, Google's Product Manager, who oversees videos in search results. Marshak was joined by two members of the Google's Search Relation team, Gary Illyes and Lizzi Sassman. 

Marshak states, "And this format, it's really cool because as I mentioned, it is very concise. You can get a lot of information in a short period of time, and you can also get a loot of different views and perspectives…

So we think this kind of content could be useful for a lot of different types of search queries, and we've been experimenting with how to show it to users more often."

Google will surface short-form videos more by crawling and indexing them like any other piece of content. 

 Listen to the full discussion on videos in Google Search through the podcast below.


WordPress Introduces a New Performance Plugin

Publishers can test new beta features and offer feedback for WordPress' new official plugin that helps speed up websites.

WordPress announced the release of the new plugin called Performance Lab, designed to help WordPress sites speed up. The plugin lets publishers test it out and provide feedback before they are included in the core WordPress itself.

Performance Lab plugin aims to help publishers speed up their website and diagnose issues that may be causing their sites to slow down. Features are created as modules so users can select which ones they want to explore.

The four plugin modules are:

  • WebP Uploads - Converts newly uploaded JPEG files to the faster WebP format. The functionality is dependent on server support for WebP.

  • WebP Support - Checks to see if the server supports WebP and shows a warning if WebP is not supported.

  • Persistent Object Cache Health Check - Adds a persistent object cache check for sites with non-trivial amounts of data in Site Health status

  • Audit Enqueued Assets (experimental) - Adds a CSS and JS resource check in Site Health status. This helps to identify unnecessary CSS and JavaScrip files that might slow down a website. This module is experimental but developers clarified that there is nothing wrong with the module, noting in on a discussion in the

    official Github page

    , "Indeed this wouldn't break anyone's site, but IMO the main point for marking this as experimental is that it's still in an earlier stage of development compared to the other modules. …e.g. we haven't fully defined what the thresholds should be, and the approach to gathering the assets is known to be not yet reliable for certain environments."

The new features are intended to make it to a future release of WordPress eventually. Releasing them early through a plugin can help them gain insights prior to that future plan. You can download the plugin here.


Google Launches New Related Search for Content Ads to Improve On-Site Engagement

AdSense added a new unit to help drive users to more relatable elements on your site.

Google added a new feature to its AdSense suite, Related Search for Content


This new ad unit works as a suggested content type prompt on your website, redirecting users to more relevant pages within your site based on the content they are viewing. 

As explained by Google, "Related search for content is a contextual navigation unit that shows users search terms related to the page they're viewing on a publisher's website. When they click a search term, they're taken to a search results page on the publisher's site where they can explore other relevant topics, including search ads. As a result, Related search for content can help publishers increase site engagement – including site traffic, pageviews and ad impressions – and drive incremental revenue."

Interested advertisers can contact their account manager to activate Related Search for Content feature for their AdSense account.

What you can do next

  • Create shareable content that even lurkers would want to engage.  

  • If you aren't using Idea Pins yet, now is the chance to maximize its features. Consider creating instructional content, using videos, and maximizing profile highlights.

  • Test out the new Performance Lab plugin if your site is hosted in WordPress to find out more about how it can make your site faster.

  • Reach out to your account manager to activate AdSense for Search feature and increase on-site engagement of your website.

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