News and insights • Posted on 31 August 2022

Insights from below deck: September 2022

Google’s Core Web Vitals report, a cookie phase-out and changes to Google’s content algorithm are just some of the topics that have got the team talking this month. Here, we discuss the latest news from the digital marketing landscape and how we expect brands to be leveraging updates throughout September and beyond.

Improvements to Google’s Core Web Vitals report

Google Search has made improvements to its Core Web Vitals report. Alongside surfacing URL-level data in the example URLs and making textual changes to the report to make it clearer, Google has also added a new tab for viewing videos on sites that are now indexed. Only time will tell what effects these changes will bring, but we predict they might allow digital marketers to become more granular about data and more specific in approach, potentially helping to achieve better results with less use of time and budget.

Ewan Burkinshaw, SEO manager

Content for the people, by the people

When it comes to content, your primary focus should be creating satisfying content that readers can learn from – especially on the back of Google’s latest update to Search algorithms. The ‘helpful content’ update will downrank unoriginal or low-quality content, including pages whose primary purpose is SEO performance. Brands must prioritise creating people-first content while utilising SEO best practices (which are for the most part about writing naturally, so we’ve come full circle). Avoid trending topics if they have no real meaning for your existing audience, and avoid ‘clickbait’ style headlines simply for the sake of vanity metrics. Focus instead on genuinely helpful content that demonstrates your expertise and experience, and provides answers to searchers’ queries and pain points. 

Carrie Webb, head of content

Third-party cookies to be phased out

Don’t panic – it’s not happening yet – but in the second half of 2024, Google will phase out third-party cookies in favour of a topics-based approach. While the cookie-tracking phase-out was initially planned for 2022, it was concluded that marketers need more time to evaluate and test new technologies before the new APIs are generally available. 

When third-party cookies are eventually phased out, you’ll be targeting ads based on general topics that your audience is interested in rather than hyper-personalised targeting based on user behaviour. Going forward, CRM databases will be crucial – giving marketers valuable first-party data on ad audiences.

Vlad Nikolov, web developer

Pinterest at the ready: the festive season is coming!

This year, users of Pinterest (Pinners) are planning to make the festive season one to remember. In a recent blog post, we explored why – according to Pinterest’s insights – Pinterest users are more open-minded to inspiration and new ideas compared to users of other platforms and delve into how your brand can be the solution to your audience’s festive queries.

Need a quick summary? ‘Mini moments’ are a big deal, with Pinners looking to celebrate the small stuff alongside the bigger occasions, providing more opportunities for brands to win. Our advice: don’t focus your advertising efforts solely on big events – focus on smaller, more niche ones too that will truly make the season special.

Alice MacLaverty, content writer

Move over, TikTok - there's a new app in town

Have you noticed that ‘social’ media really isn’t that social anymore? While the likes of Facebook and Instagram may have initially been set up to facilitate connection between people, many social media apps have strayed far from their initial purpose, instead becoming platforms that host the battle for the best content creators.  

Enter: an influx of social media companies keen to take the marketing channel right back to its roots. The likes of BeReal, Locket Widget and Poparazzi are on a mission to keep things personal and more relevant to each user. BeReal in particular offers “a new and unique way to discover who your friends are in real life”, nudging users to take a picture using both the front-facing and back-facing camera within two minutes of each other. The aim? To encourage friends to share unglamorous activities and unkempt selfies, to connect more authentically with one another.

Grace Lenihan, senior account manager & social strategist

GA4 makes waves in data

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is not simply a new reporting platform but rather, it represents a seismic shift in data, reporting and the wider digital marketing sphere. From better tracking in a world of increasing digital privacy, to bringing together cross-device data and creating custom reports, we’ve already discovered several features we like about the new platform. And, with the end of UA in sight, we’ll be diving as deep into GA4 as we can to find more tools and reporting to help us stay abreast of the ever-evolving world of the web. 

Liam Hayward, digital marketing executive

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Written by Alice MacLaverty

Resident wordsmith Alice is dedicated to creating top-quality content that turns heads, builds audiences, gets clicks, and makes money.

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