What We Learned in January 2017 - The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute

This month is dominated by stories from Google, including everything from new product announcements to the search engine giant competing with its own customers for the best paid ad spots. There’s also a detailed analysis of the media industry in the age of the ‘great unbundling’ from Stratechery. In Distilled news, SearchLove San Diego tickets are about to sell out and DistilledODN is celebrating its first birthday.

Industry news

Google competing with own customers for top ad spots

Google has the title of the world’s biggest advertiser, and it appears that the search engine giant is using this status to compete with its own customers for the top ad spots. SEMrush found that ads for Google’s own products appeared in the top spot 91 percent of the time for related searches.

Read the full story (Wired)

Android Instant Apps incoming

Android’s Instant Apps were first unveiled at the Google I/O conference in 2016, and they are now being rolled out to a limited amount of Android users as part of an initial test. The feature caused considerable excitement at the conference, as it allows users to use a bitesize version of an app without the need to download anything.

Read the full story (The Verge)

The great unbundling

The internet has changed the media business beyond all recognition; that much is true. However, the media industry, being so massive in scope, has so many different categories and formats. Stratechery looks at each one in turn, and how they each combine with the  internet to give us wildly different media businesses models of the future.

Read the full story (Stratechery)

Google banned 1.7billion ads in 2016

In an attempt to crackdown on bad ads, Google banned over 1.7billion ads throughout 2016, in comparison to 780 million in 2015. A large portion of the ads that were banned included those containing malware, self-clicking ads, payday loan ads and ads that were designed to shock or deceive users.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Google Voice getting more and more features

Google Voice has just been updated with a number of new and improved capabilities. In addition to a significant visual refresh, Voice has group texting, MMS photo functionality and an inbox that now has separate tabs for text messages, calls and voicemails.

Read the full story (The Verge)

Google mobile-friendly testing tool given API access

Google has released a new API that allows developers to build their own mobile testing capabilities using the Google mobile-friendly testing tool API. With Google’s recent announcement of a mobile-first index, it’s more important than ever to be able to easily and reliably test how mobile friendly pages are, especially in the eyes of Google.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Matt Cutts officially resigns from Google

While he has officially been on leave since 2014, Matt Cutts had announced in mid-2015 he was still working for Google. He has, however, now announced his permanent departure from the search engine giant, and is now working with the US Digital Service. He was one of the first 100 Google employees.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Distilled news

For the first time, we’re very likely to sell out of tickets for SearchLove San Diego. With only two weeks until the conference, all VIP tickets have been sold and a handful of other tickets remain. It’s also been one year since we first launched DistilledODN. Head of R&D Tom Anthony looks at the numbers behind the growth, including how one test resulted in over $100,000-per-month extra revenue for the client. Also on the Distilled blog, Benjamin Estes has made a great resource for carrying out useful SEO analyses without expensive tools.

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