What We Learned in July 2017: The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute

July has been a month greater than the sum of its parts. While perhaps no one story has dominated the web, the long-term implications of many of this month’s stories should be given great consideration. From Facebook putting more and more effort into becoming a news publishers, to Sundar Pichai’s continued ascent up the Alphabet ladder, these developments will only continue to grow in importance in the digital marketing world. But this is your chance to get ahead of the game.

Industry news

Sundar Pichai Joins Alphabet Board

In a career that has already seen Pichai help create and launch Google Drive, Chrome and, of course, became CEO of Google when it came under the umbrella of parent group Alphabet, the search engine chief has taken yet another step up the ladder. He has joined the Alphabet board, reflecting the confidence other board members have in him.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Facebook is actually going paid (sort of)

While Facebook isn’t going to start charging to see your feed, it is planning to launch a subscription-based news service. Facebook will start testing a paywall to charge users in October of this year. To start with, readers will be able to read a certain amount of articles in a given timeframe, before being prompted to subscribe.

Read the full story (The Independent)

Facebook to let advertisers target individual households

Continuing on the theme of Facebook and advertising, the social media giant is introducing a new household audience feature. Brands will upload a custom audience that best represents their customers based on an email list, and then convert that into a household audience to reach not only their target audience, but the people they share a house with.

Read the full story (AdWeek)

Google homepage may get major redesign

To align the homepage with its mobile app experience, Google is reportedly planning a large redesign to add a machine-learning powered news feed below the search bar. This would represent a huge shift away from the minimalist style of the current home screen, which simply shows the logo and search bar.

Read the full story (The Guardian)

Goodbye Google Instant

Launched back in 2010, Google Instant has been a key feature of the search experience, displaying results as you type out your query. However, since it has launched the shift to searching on mobile, as well as voice search, meaning that Instant has become less important. It also places extra constraints on mobile devices, so removing it will make the Google experience faster and more fluid.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Amazon Prime on course to become more popular than Cable TV

Within just a few short years, US households with subscriptions to Amazon Prime will outnumber households who pay for traditional cable or satellite services. It is estimated that 79million households already subscribe to Amazon Prime, and that number is growing dramatically, while just over 90million have cable or satellite.

Read the full story (ReCode)

Publishers and the pursuit of the past

It’s strange that we exist in a world where both the clamour for digital news has never been greater, and that Google and Facebook dominate news traffic on the web. However,  Google nor Facebook employ reporters. So, how do we get to a world where publishers can build viable business models, yet journalists are still rewarded for ‘good reporting’?

Read the full story (Stratechery)

Google SERP CTR improves after removing right-hand ads

It’s been over a year since Google removed ads from the right-hand side of the SERPs, and it’s been found that the change has resulted in a significantly better. Accuracast analysed 2 million searches in the 12 months before the change and 2 million in the 12 months after. CTRs for the top fours search slots increased by 49%.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Distilled News

On the Distilled blog, Principal Consultant Benjamin Estes has been busy writing about Google Data Studio, showing us how to both use Google Sheets as a data source and how to configure sharing settings. London analyst Robin Lord has given his argument for why we all need to be building for digital personal assistants. Additionally, Consultant Sam Nemzer has been thinking about a better hierarchy for digital marketing testing, and fellow Consultant Tom Capper walks you through how to do a 30-minute information Architecture Audit.

In other news, we have announced the first 12 speakers for SearchLove London, taking place at the Brewery on 16th and 17th October. You can take a look at the lineup so far, and grab your early bird tickets while they’re still available, as you’ll save £200 on every ticket.

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