In advance of the upcoming shopping season, this seems to be the week of bizarre stats, from GenZ & TikTok to more than half of people preferring online and bricks shopping. There are also some important updates for PMax campaigns, Chrome and user privacy, some unhelpful commentary from Google on unhelpful content. Dive in to get fully up to speed with these!

An unbelievable 51% of GenZ Search via TikTok

There’s been some headline grabbing research done that claims some 51% of GenZ start their search journey on TikTok. Well, that’s a stat and a half all right. The trouble is with the sample, the same as with an awful lot of other headline-grabbing stats. The researchers asked 1800 (the whole of GenZ, well nearly) people to fill in and online survey via email and social media… in other words nothing like a random sample, or an adjusted sample. Don’t believe the hype. This stat may be right, but its current basis is rubbish.
Talk to me if you want to know how users intersect on search and social media.

PMAX Launches URL Contains Targeting

Hooray! Whilst Google Ads’ Performance Max campaigns can be a really good way to get reach to multiple URLs on site automagically they have been hobbled because the campaigns they generally can pick from any URL on site. Great if you’re an e-commerce site with thousands of products, not so hot if you’re a non-e-commerce site with (say) 10 services and 100 blog pages.  Chances are, Google may choose to show the blog URLs rather than your products, which is unlikely to be ideal for sales.
Along to the rescue come the concept of “URL Contains” which is essentially a regular expression engine to establish which URLs should be picked from. Brilliant! So if you have a sensible IA, and have identifiable URLs eg “/services/“ you’re sorted, URLs within those parameters can be identified to be sued going forward. Annnnnd if you don’t… good luck, you need a heap of rules to manage what should be relatively simple, and next time, listen to someone like me who tells you Information Architecture and URL structure is important, even in paid search

Online Shopping Bricking It

In the second of today’s confusing stats series, apparently 81% of shoppers prefers shopping in bricks and mortar stores. This compares to the 72% who prefer shopping online.
Confused? Yeah, me too. Still, ignoring the dodgy stats, I’m somewhat surprised that online shopping is not considerably larger than in store shopping, I genuinely rarely go shopping in store, unless the store is a known useless online retailer. Dollar for dollar, I do most of my shopping online.
Anyway, irrespective of my lazy shopping habits, this means that as we roll into the 4th quarter shopping frenzy, the time to strike with your digital marketing is now, as people are already planning / have planned their purchases or else you risk missing out on the shopping season dollar completely. Get in the Awareness / Research / Consideration phase of the user journey.
Talk to me about digital marketing, having a VCMO organise all this for you, or a VCDO to get the digital tech up and running properly and make the digital transformation. Speak soon.

Chrome Targeted Ads Using Browser History

Google has been rolling out Enhanced Ad Privacy to Chrome recently. And somewhat unsurprisingly the definitions of Enhanced and Privacy are perhaps a little rubbery.
Essentially, Google is rapidly moving away from cookies, so websites will now be able query a Chrome user to find out what “topics” they may be interested in and then serving them ads or content based on that.
All well and good, except maybe not that private and not that enhanced.
I’m undecided about this. In moving away from cookies website owners lose out. Google is still able to track users by other less complete means, but websites can’t. Funnily, all the power and the ability to use data is ending up in Google’s hands. I’m not convinced that’s a good thing.
If you want to talk advertising technology, and how it affects digital marketing, reach out and let’s chat!

Typos, EEAT & Self Assessment of Unhelpful Content

There was a bit of a triple-whammy this week from Google’s search team. Firstly they reminded us that typos don’t make much of a difference when it comes to search rankings / quality of a page. Mmmm maybe. I don’t think this means you can interpret it as time to introduce your own version of spelling.
Secondly, they also reiterated the recently added Experience part of EEAT.  Showing experience is perhaps a little nebulous.
The final utterance was that webmasters who think they have unhelpful content should self-assess their content to decide if it’s helpful or not, and trim / remove / leave based on that. That’s great, if you have a properly working definition of helpful content. If you don’t, then you have got Buckley’s Chance of getting it right, and are more likely to overtrim. Spammers on the other hand will have no such qualm. There are times when Google’s liaison team obfuscate matters, intentionally or otherwise.
If you want your content checked for experience, typos or helpfulness, reach out to chat about SEO and content strategy.