Digital Marketing News: Millennial Pops’ Pinterest Passion, Facebook’s Housecleaning, Closing Klout, & Google’s Latest

Facebook Housecleaning Graph May 2018

Facebook has disabled almost 1.3 billion fake accounts over the past six months
Facebook has stopped nearly 1.3 billion fake user accounts over the last six months, one of numerous statistics the company has revealed for the first time in a preliminary report announced this week. Recode

Pinterest proves popular with dads, pointing to shifting parental role
Pinterest has increased its popularity among millennial dads, with 42 percent of U.S. fathers in that demographic reporting that they find new products on the site, while nearly half of overall U.S. dads with a household income of $100K or more use Pinterest, according to new analysis data. Marketing Dive

Out of Klout: The social media scoring service is shutting down
Klout will shut down on May 25, ending a 10-year run by the firm that was among the first to use social media analytics to gauge influencer reach, the San Francisco-based company announced recently. AdAge

Google to Notify Users When Businesses Respond to Reviews
Google has rolled out automatic e-mail notifications to users when businesses reply to reviews posted on Google My Business, the company announced recently, in a move aimed at helping firms communicate with those leaving reviews. Search Engine Journal

Google Search CPCs Decline for B2B Advertisers
Google’s average business-to-business search ad cost-per-click fell slightly during the first quarter of 2018, while mobile search’s share rose, according to new report data from Marin Software. MarketingCharts

New AMP features announced for geotargeting content, as well as some GDPR support
Google has added geo-targeting features to its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework, plus new tools to help businesses comply with upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements, the Internet giant recently announced. Search Engine Land

May 18, 2018 Pinterest Statistic

Google: Search Snippets Are Now Shorter on Average
Google has shortened the average length its dynamically-generated search result snippet function pulls from meta description tags, the company noted this week. Search Engine Journal

‘National Geographic’ Ranks As Top Brand On Social Media
National Geographic was ranked the top brand on social media for the fourth consecutive year, with over 1.6 billion social-related actions during 2017, according to new report data from Shareablee. MediaPost

Are Brands Using Email and Marketing Automation Effectively?
Only eight percent of marketers rate their e-mail and marketing automation efforts as highly effective, according to new research data from GetResponse and SmartInsights. MarketingProfs

Google Updates Image Search Guidelines For SEOs & Publishers
Google has updated its image search guidelines relating to user experience, how Google Image uses structured data, and other best-practices for SEOs and publishers, the firm recently announced. SEO Roundtable


Brand Standing Marketoonist Cartoon

A lighthearted look at brand-standing, by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist Announces Sweeping Privacy Changes After Improperly Sharing The T-Shirt Sizes Of Millions Of Americans — The Onion

It’s Not You, It’s Yanni… Wait, Laurel — Mad Magazine


  • Lee Odden — Top 100 Digital Marketers 2018 — Brand24
  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: What Should Guide Your Marketing Decisions? — LinkedIn (client)
  • (TopRank) — Top 50 B2B Marketing Agency Blogs for Inspiring and Actionable Content — Jumplead
  • (TopRank) — 5 successful women in digital marketing — We Are Marketing
  • (Lee Odden) — That Valuable Space Where Content and Influencer Marketing Meet — Versa Marketing

Please gather with us once again next week, when we’ll share a new round-up of the very latest marketing news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

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Digital Marketing News: Millennial Pops’ Pinterest Passion, Facebook’s Housecleaning, Closing Klout, & Google’s Latest |

Digital Marketing News: Millennial Pops’ Pinterest Passion, Facebook’s Housecleaning, Closing Klout, & Google’s Latest was posted via Internet Marketing


Is “Near Me” SEO Moving Farther Away?

Near Me Local SEO

Local SEO Twitter was slightly a flutter yesterday after my bud John Mueller apparently mentioned you should avoid placing “Near Me” in titles if you want to rank for “Near Me” searches:

Back in the day when Google reps were a bit less vocal, we crazy SEO types had to come up with ideas based on what we were seeing on Google and test them. Sometimes, to our surprise, they worked wonders. For example, I discovered that putting phone numbers of local businesses in the title tags of their yellow page profile pages would reliably generate an extra 2-3% traffic lift as it would help that page rank for phone number queries. That one worked for years. I probably put my kids through college with it and got some of our clients nice end of year bonuses to boot.

So a few years ago when we noticed that Google was basically forcing people to search “near me” by making it a top suggested search for almost any query that had local intent, what did it expect us to do?

Near Me Local SEO Ranking Factors

So we rolled out “near me” strategies to any client that targeted local queries and it worked. A few % lift every time. And it was easy. We always used to show Trip Advisor’s very subtle Restaurants Near Me page as the canonical example:

Restaurants Near Me

I get why Google wouldn’t want to reward sites that use this tactic as a “near me” query is basically just a geographic search that should show results near the searcher v. documents that use the phrase “near me”, but Google created this by forcing users into “near me” searches and showing documents that use the phrase “near me” at the top of the results for years.

And while Google definitely seems to be tamping down on these results, I am still seeing plenty of “near me” documents showing up:

And if “near me” really is the same as a geographic search, why would Google show different results for this query?
chase atm pleasanton

The problem is Rank Brain still doesn’t think these are exactly the same queries. And I don’t think it’s because “near me” suggests a different radius than “pleasanton”. I think it’s because Google’s algorithm isn’t always sure if you want something near you or a document.

Of course you could take the position that these pages are ranking for “near me” queries despite their titles because they are on strong domains like Thumbtack and Angieslist but,

No offense HomeGuide, but you need get going on the linkbuilding…your welcome.

And how much do you want to bet that Savior Plumbing would move up this SERP if it added “near me” to its homepage title tag?

As long as Google leaves gaps like this, SEOs are going to step in and fill them. Why wouldn’t they?

You can rant all you want about how it feels icky,  but your feelings probably aren’t a ranking factor. Oh, and here’s a search you might want to check out.




Is “Near Me” SEO Moving Farther Away? was posted via Internet Marketing

A Tasty, Strategic Addition to the Content Marketing Table: ‘Repurposed Content Cobbler’

Ingredients for Content Marketing Cobbler

Ingredients for Content Marketing CobblerIf you didn’t know, tomorrow, May 17, is home to a very special holiday: National Cherry Cobbler Day.

I know, I know—every day seems to be home to some strange, random, or innocuous holiday these days, but this one has a special place in my heart.


While my palate generally prefers more savory options, fruit cobbler is my jam. (Does that count as a pun? No? OK.) And as it turns out, not only is cobbler of all varieties deliciously satisfying to eat—but it also serves up a tasty slice of content marketing inspiration.

You see, cobbler was an innovation in both sweet and savory cooking, originating in the British American colonies. Settlers didn’t have access to suitable ingredients or equipment to make their traditional puddings and pies, so using a little creativity with what they did have, the cobbler was born.

Like America’s early settlers, content marketers need to adapt to their new, challenge-filled surroundings. From information overload to the death of organic social reach to age-old challenges such as the lack of time, budget, and internal resources, consistently creating new quality, engaging, and inspiring content is an ever-present challenge.

The good news? You likely already have a lot of the ingredients you need to create a tasty, strategic content cobbler. And the baking tactic is repurposing those ingredients into something your audience can’t resist.

Ingredient #1 – Your pantry of existing content.

If there’s one thing that every content marketer has in spades, it’s a fully stocked content pantry. From white papers and eBooks to blog posts and original or third-party research, all of that robust and niche content has the potential to be sliced, diced, and repurposed into something new and fresh.

For TopRank Marketing’s CEO Lee Odden, microcontent is one tasty repurposing ingredient.

“Snackable content can often be managed and repurposed like ingredients to create a main course,” Lee says. “On their own, short form content like quotes, tips, and statistics are useful for social network shares and as added credibility to blog posts, ebooks, and articles.”

And I have a very fitting example of both microcontent and more robust content pieces being repurposed into a tasty dish: the Mastering the Perfect Content Marketing Recipe: 30 Essential Savory & Sweet Content Ingredients eBook.

Mastering the Perfect Content Marketing Recipe eBookIn our quest to be the best answer for our audience, the TopRank Marketing team had created individual, robust blog posts on 30 unique content marketing tactics, all featuring definitions, quotes, examples, and best practices.

And as an integrated digital marketing agency, we wanted to bring all of those tactics together under one roof to give our audience a little strategic food for thought.

We plucked and tweaked the best practices content from each of the blog posts to form the meat of the asset. Then we seasoned it with microcontent—namely original and curated quotes from internal and external experts—to add additional insight and authority. Finally, we topped it off with some new, original content to add a little extra flavor.

Content Marketing Recipe for Inner Chef

[bctt tweet=”Snackable content can often be managed & repurposed like ingredients to create a main course. – @leeodden #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Ingredient #2 – Your spice cabinet of flavorful data and insights.

Herbs and spices often hold the key to unlocking the full potential of any dish or desert—and any good cook has the essentials on hand. So, when it comes to making sure your repurposed content cobbler tastes just right for your audience, it needs to be seasoned with the right data and insight.

“We live in the age of big data. Every marketer has data. Every marketer knows data holds power,” TopRank Marketing’s Annie Leuman stated in her post 5 Reasons Why B2B Content Marketing Works & 5 Reasons It Doesn’t. “And the most forward-thinking marketers are leveraging data and their practical knowledge to draw insights that can be acted upon in their marketing strategy.”

Dig into the data to draw insight on what is resonating most with your audience—as well as what’s leaving a bad taste in their mouth. Then take action on those insights as you repurpose to help improve reach, engagement, completed calls to action, and more.

[bctt tweet=”When it comes to making sure your “content cobbler” tastes just right for your audience, it needs to be seasoned with the right data & insight. – @CaitlinMBurgess #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Ingredient #3 – A drizzle of creativity and experimentation.

Cobbler was born thanks to the creativity of America’s early settlers. And the truth is, marketers, we all have unique creative insights that can be added to the repurposed content cobbler mix to create something different and relevant for our target audiences.

As I heard Jay Acunzo say during his 2016 MarketingProfs B2B Forum presentation on content marketing creativity:

“You’re the key to your creativity. You’re the starter.”

We often feel like we don’t have the tools, technology, the team, or the talent to be highly creative. But we marketers are scrappy in the content kitchen. We’re innovative. We can and have made the absolute most out of whatever resources we’re given. But the key to success here isn’t luck. You have to tinker. You have to experiment. You have to practice. This will not only help you refine your recipe, but also find opportunities to use your resources in new ways.

[bctt tweet=”We #contentmarketers are scrappy in the content kitchen. We’re innovative. We can and have made the absolute most out of whatever resources we’re given. But you have to tinker.” username=”toprank”]

Cook Up Your Own Content Cobbler Recipe

Like early settlers, content marketers need to adapt and innovate in the ever-changing marketing landscape using the resources they have to consistently create quality, engaging, inspiring content.

So, it’s time to get to the kitchen, throw open your content pantry, data and insight spice cupboard, and add a dash of creativity and experimentation to find unique ways to repurpose content that resonates and drives value.

To get the creative juices flowing, check out our Mastering the Perfect Content Marketing Recipe: 30 Essential Savory & Sweet Content Ingredients eBook mentioned above to beef up your content marketing strategy and inspire your own recipe for repurposed content cobbler.

A Tasty, Strategic Addition to the Content Marketing Table: ‘Repurposed Content Cobbler’ was posted via Internet Marketing

The Insider’s Guide: SearchLove Boston 2018

With just under four weeks until SearchLove returns to our favourite east coast city of Boston, we thought it was time to give you a low-down on what to expect and some insider tips, including:

  • What to expect during the conference
  • Suggestions of where to stay
  • Our speakers recommendation on the best places to eat
  • Recommendations from our local speakers on the best things to do with your spare time while in Boston

Wednesday Night – Pre Conference

The two-day conference has four main parts to it; If you were lucky enough to grab one of our exclusive VIP passes your SearchLove journey commences on Wednesday evening where you’ll be joining some of our speakers for an intimate and relaxed dinner. Here you’ll have the chance to ask your most important questions before the conference has even begun. For those not holding VIP passes, do not despair; the Wednesday evening is still a great opportunity to mingle with the Distilled team, just drop @Distilled a tweet and the team will let you know where they are enjoying a beer.

Thursday – Conference Day One

Next up, registration and breakfast on the June 7th. The Distilled team will be there from 8am on Thursday morning along with our sponsor’s STAT, Moz and DistilledODN, and we’ll be ready with your name badges and some delicious continental breakfast. Sessions commence on stage at 9am, so plan your travel to arrive in good time! Driving in? Then you’ll be pleased to hear you can park right on site at Revere for around $30 per day.

After a full day of sessions, we’ll be heading up to one of the highest rooftops in downtown Boston to enjoy some local beers, pizza and good conversation. The free bar will run from 5.30pm-8.30pm in case you want to plan a dinner reservation off-site at one of Boston’s excellent restaurants. (Wait for the recommendations below!)

Friday – Conference Day Two

Set the alarm for a hot breakfast from 8am before day two sessions kick off at 9.15am. We’ll have another jam-packed day of keynote speakers plus our breaking news panel. Then we’ll close out with some relaxed drinks in the hotel lobby bar for those of you not having to jump straight on a plane home.

It’s going to be an intense couple of days but as Rob our emcee always says: ‘lean-in, take notes, engage with your fellow attendees and try to stay off the day-to-day email so that you can soak up all the incredible knowledge that our speakers are excited to share’.

Where to stay

If all of the above sounds right up your street then you’ll want to book your ticket, arrange your travel and that all-important accommodation. You’ll be pleased to hear that the Revere have given us a mini extension on our preferential rate. You have until Thursday 17th May at 5pm EDT to book your stay on site and make the most of every moment of the conference.

Alternatively, if you are working to a smaller budget or just fancy staying somewhere else, why not check out our HotelMap which shows the rates at all the hotels in the area around the Revere. Or you peruse the local Airbnb offerings for a place that fits right within your budget.

Places our Boston based speakers recommend checking out

So, you’re all booked in for the conference and now you are ready to look at what to do when you are there? Well, you are in luck, as here are a few of our speakers who are Boston locals and have lined up some great suggestions for you to check out:

Casie Gillette – KoMarketing

Casie will be speaking on the power of data on day one of SearchLove, and will also be a member of our breaking news panel. She is the Senior Director of Digital Marketing at KoMarketing in Boston. Here are her favourite spots:

Things to do

Duck Boat Tour

If you’ve never seen the city, I am a HUGE fan of the duck boat tour. It’s obviously a very touristy thing to do but it’s a great way to see the city and the drivers are hilarious. It’s 90 minutes and you can pick it up in a couple different spots, one which is very close to the Revere Hotel.

Fenway Tour

If there’s no game or there is a later game, Fenway offers tours – even if you aren’t into baseball, it’s pretty cool to see the park. Fenway is a registered historical landmark, so it’s still pretty small and has a ton of history.

Food & Bars

North End

I always recommend a meal in the North End, a small neighborhood located near the TD Garden. The streets are small, the buildings are brick, and there are ~40 Italian restaurants which are all good – want pizza? The original Regina pizzeria in the north end is delicious. Their other locations, not so much.

Also…cannolis. Everyone will tell you to go to Mike’s, I prefer Modern.

Top of the Hub

The food is so-so and it can be a bit pretentious at night, but if it’s a beautiful day, head up to the bar and have a drink. Amazing views of the city.

Bell in Hand

Close to the North End and near Faneuil Hall is the Bell in Hand, which claims to be the oldest Tavern in America. There is nothing special about it but if you want to say you drank a pint where some of the founding fathers sat, this is the place.

Flour Bakery

Located around the corner from the Revere hotel, Flour is a cute little bakery with some delicious pastries, coffee, and sandwiches. Good for breakfast.


There aren’t many dives left in downtown Boston but Bukowskis is one of the best. Located on the other side of the Hynes Convention Center (not too far from the hotel), it’s dark, somewhat dirty, but the food is good as is the beer selection.


Somewhat new to Boston but founded in Portland, ME, Eventide is located near Fenway and has some amazing seafood. Oysters, chowder, and most importantly, a hot lobster roll. Highly recommended.

Chris Savage – Wistia

Chris is on the SearchLove stage at 11:50 on day two speaking about the future of video. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Wistia a video platform based in Cambridge, Boston. Here are Chris’ top 4:

  • Eventide Oyster Co is amazing. Originally from Portland, ME. Their oysters and lobster rolls are incredible.
  • Neptune Oyster. This is a tiny spot in the North End. You will love everything about this if you can get a table. They are crazy busy.
  • Thinking Cup has great coffee.
  • Sweetgreen has great salads.

Justine Jordan – Litmus

Justine will be presenting on the state of email at 2:10pm on Friday 8th June. She is the VP Marketing at Litmus. Here are Justine’s favorite spots:



  • Duck Tour is always fun, and a classic
  • Public Garden
  • North End (Little Italy – take a food tour)
  • Harpoon Beer Hall (get a pretzel)
  • Bowling at Sacco’s in Somerville
  • Taza Chocolate Factory tour

Well that all sounds good, right? Don’t forget to follow along on our conference hashtag: #SearchLove and why not engage with your fellow attendees before you arrive and find out where they’ll be eating and hanging out before and after the conference.

See you in Boston!

The Insider’s Guide: SearchLove Boston 2018 was posted via Internet Marketing

What We Learned in April 2018: The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute

John Giannandrea, chief of search at Google hired by Apple

In a move that is being seen as a victory for Apple, the tech giant has appointed John Giannandrea, the now former chief of search and artificial intelligence at Google, to lead its AI efforts. Apple has made the move in a bid to close the gap between Siri and digital assistants from both Google and Amazon, an area where Apple is considered to be lagging behind their competitors.

Giannandrea will be heading up machine learning and A.I. strategy at Apple and will be reporting directly to chief executive, Tim Cook.  He joined Google back in 2010 following the purchase of Metaweb where he had been working as chief technology officer. Metaweb was described as a “database of the worlds knowledge” and has been a building block for Google in providing direct answers to user queries in search results such as “How tall is Beyonce?”

Read the full story (New York Times)

Additional reading

Ben Gomes to take over search at Google

Following on from the news that head of search, John Giannandrea, is set to leave Google, the move was made to announce that he will be replaced by two members of the team. Jeff Dean will be heading up Google’s AI efforts, while Ben Gomes will become VP of search.

Ben Gomes has been with Google since 1999 and is one of the early Google employees. Having previously run core search at Google, he will now be running all of search.

Read the full story (

Broad core search algorithm update rolled out

Not a day, week or month goes by without Google making tweaks to its algorithms. However, the past couple of months have seen more public announcements regarding updates than we are used to. Towards the end of April, Google confirmed that a search algorithm update took place.

Google stated it had released “a broad core algorithm update”, which was a routine update aimed at improving search quality. Google then went on to state that there is nothing specific a site can do to take advantage of these changes other than continue to focus on improving overall site quality.

Read the full story (SearchEngineLand)

How Mobile-First Indexing Disrupts the Link Graph

Over on Moz this month Russ Jones, Principal Search Scientist at Moz, gifted us some research into what happens to the link structure of the web as Google push for a mobile-first index. In many instances, this is causing developers and designers to sacrifice internal and external links, as they combat limited screen space and user experience over traditional SEO requirements.

Read the full story (Moz)

Further reading

Russ also wrote a couple of great posts. We also recommend checking out his article on Backlink Index Comparisons.

Google Confirms Chrome Usage Data Used to Measure Site Speed

After speaking at SMX Munich, our very own Tom Anthony took the chance to catch up with Jon Mueller from Google, to gain a better insight into how Google is currently evaluating site speed. Off the back of that conversation, Tom headed over to Moz to write up his notes, confirming that Google is now using performance aggregated data from Chrome to evaluate site speed rather than relying on data from GoogleBot during its visits.

Read the full story (Moz)

SEMrush raises $40 million in VC funding

Search analytics company, SEMrush has successfully raised  $40 million of VC funding. The tool which is popular among the Distilled consulting team, plans to use the funding to expand beyond US-based search engines, into platforms that are owned by and Baidu. It also plans to buy companies that are already producing software which can be integrated into the SEMrush suite.

Read the full story (Wall Street Journal)

Upcoming Distilled meetup

If you want to find out more about SEMrush, they are visiting our London office on 21st May for a meetup, along with talks on coding for SEO, and analytics and measurement from Distilled consulting team members Robin Lord and Tom Capper. Tickets are completely free and available via Eventbrite.


Celebrity right to be forgotten likely to be denied

Google CEO, Larry Page has said the celebrities using the ‘right to be forgotten’ to remove embarrassing or outdated information are likely to be disappointed. Since the European Court ruled that individuals have the right to request information to be removed from the index, Google has received thousands of applications.

A large number of those requests have come from public figures. However, the ‘right to be forgotten’ is more applicable to “everyday people” rather than public figures, where there may be public interest in knowing such information.

Read the full story (Telegraph)

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica saga continues

While looking back it seems the dust has somewhat settled, April saw the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica saga continue, with images and videos of Mark Zuckerberg being interviewed by over 40 members of the US Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees spread across the press and social media.

MarketingLand took the opportunity to investigate what exactly Facebook did and didn’t know and where that leaves us as users moving forward

Read the full story (Marketing Land)

TSB failed system migration to new IT system impacting 1.9 million customers

A botched system migration by TSB left many of its customers unable to access their online banking account and unable to withdraw money from their account for over six days. Issues of varying levels continue to be reported three weeks after the initial issues were identified.

The migration was a part of a move from legacy technology which had been used by former owners Lloyds. Concerns had been raised in 2015 by consultants that not enough budget had been allocated to allow the complex project to transition smoothly.

Read the full story (The Guardian)

Additional Reading

Distilled News

We kick-started April with a review of SearchLove San Diego 2018, gathering all the speaker’s slides and key points from each session. It turned out to be a fantastic conference attended by over 200 people in the San Diego sunshine. If you have a DistilledU membership, you can now view all of this year’s videos.

While we are on the topic of conferences, Lynsey Little joined us on the Distilled blog to tell us all the reasons she is excited about SearchLove Boston this year including a brand new venue and some of the highest rated speakers that have ever graced the SearchLove stage. Tickets are still available for the conference which takes place on June 7th & 8th.


Also over on the blog, we were joined by senior designer, Leonie Wharton, as she shared with us her quarterly creative round up, covering all the content that has inspired her throughout spring.

Making her first appearance, Distilled analyst Siena Sara covered commonly seen CRO mistakes, alongside some useful tips on how to avoid them.

Lydia Gilbertson revisited her post answering the question, should you use Medium for your company’s content? Medium attracts 30 million users to its content platform each month, and with good user experience as a CMS, easy Google Analytics integration, and highly engaged users, perhaps this is the platform for you.

Many of you may have seen Larry Kim has recently created a new start-up allowing users to easily create chatbots. Consultant Robin Lord took the opportunity to catch up with Larry over a webinar to discuss chatbot marketing tactics and how to build your first chatbot

Last but not least, Dominic Woodman headed over to Moz this month to discuss creating effective marketing reports and dashboards.

What We Learned in April 2018: The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute was posted via Internet Marketing

Digital Marketing News: Facebook Teases Ad-Free Subscriptions, Google Tests SERP Questions, & Online Ad Spend Jumps

Digital Ad Spending Graph eMarketer

Digital Ad Spending Graph eMarketerFacebook Weighs Ad-Free Subscription Option
Facebook is considering an ad-free paid subscription option for users, and has recently conducted market research on how such an plan would go over at the company, which brought in the vast majority of last year’s revenue of $41 billion from ad sales. Bloomberg

Instagram quietly launches payments for commerce
Instagram has been testing its own direct payment system among certain app users and partners, in a move that could increase the firm’s native payment footprint. TechCrunch

Google Tests Submitting Question Directly In Search Results
Google has recently tested question forms within search results that allow users to submit questions directly by text or voice to the Internet giant and its various publisher partners. SEO Roundtable

eMarketer Releases New Global Media Ad Spending Estimates
Digital advertising totals could surpass spending on all other media types by 2020 or 2021, according to new report data from eMarketer, rising from this year’s predicted 43.5 percent to 49.9 percent in 2020 and 52.1 percent in 2021. eMarketer

Microsoft and Amazon Show Alexa and Cortana Becoming Friends
Marketers in the Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa voice-controlled personal assistant arena will soon find it easier to work with both platforms, as the firms recently demonstrated a mashup combining the two competing systems. Bloomberg

Facebook is using Instagram photos and hashtags to improve its computer vision
Facebook has utilized Instagram photos and hashtags to make a better image recognition system, which could ultimately help marketers save time and reach wider audiences through so-called weakly supervised learning. VentureBeat

eMarketer Global Ad Spend StatMay 2018 Google Webmaster Report
Google made a multitude of changes in recent weeks, from mobile search prominence and algorithm adjustments to local search and SEO changes, and many are compiled and covered here. SEO Roundtable

For all the hype about VR, advertisers are more excited by AR (for now)
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) at companies including Facebook and Snapchat have competed for advertising spend, with brands favoring AR recently. DigiDay

What Marketers Should Know About Personality-Based Marketing
Harvard Business Review has taken a close look at personality-based marketing and the research behind the evolving field. Harvard Business Review

Podcasts: Who’s Listening, and What It Means for Marketers (Infographic)
The number of podcast listeners and related advertising spending were both up and trending towards sizable growth, according to a variety of new study data from IAB, Rakuten Marketing, and podcast ranking firm Podtrac. eMarketer


Influencer Fatigue Marketoonist Cartoon

A lighthearted look at influencer fatigue, by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Here Are The Most Amazing Flying Car Designs Featured At Uber’s Elevate Conference — Fast Company

Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK — The Register


  • Lee Odden — Looking to Reach Prospects? Consider Going Micro — Chief Marketer
  • Lee Odden — Lee Odden to speak at Indian Digital Marketing Awards (video) — exchange4media

We hope you’ll join us again next week, when we’ll share a new batch of the latest marketing news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

Digital Marketing News: Facebook Teases Ad-Free Subscriptions, Google Tests SERP Questions, & Online Ad Spend Jumps was posted via Internet Marketing

Groupon Ads Now Appearing In Google My Business Knowledge Panels

Michael Cody of ReviewTree pinged me asking if I knew why Groupon ads were showing up on on the GMB Knowledge Panel of his client, a Kennebunk dog groomer:

I did not know but when I checked the Knowledge Panels of some Bay Area businesses that are running Groupons, they all had Groupon Ads:


This seems like a logical deal for both parties – Groupon gets more exposure for its deals and it likely cuts Google a rev share – or perhaps Groupon is even paying per click. But what about the local business?

According to Michael, his client was not aware that the Groupon ad would be appearing like this. I haven’t seen their GMB dashboard so I have no idea whether or not they were notified by Google or Groupon about this, or if the business has any control over this display, which as you can see appears above the contact info for the business.

My first reaction was that this feels like Google and Groupon are standing in the middle of the business’ store and charging them to get access to business’ customers who are walking in the front door.

An optimist might say that the Groupon ad could help pull the customer in, but these Knowledge Panels typically appear for brand queries, so there’s a good chance the business will be buying a lot of customers it already has. I suppose in some industries, this is a strategy that pays off – for example, the place that changes my oil sends coupons all the time. But it still feels like G & G are taking advantage of these businesses.

So go ahead and optimize the crap out of your GMB page. You just might start to get more traffic to your Groupon page.

Groupon Ads Now Appearing In Google My Business Knowledge Panels was posted via Internet Marketing

Google Duplex

At college, after getting demolished in squash against, Mike, a hyper-competitive pre-med, he asked me what I planned to do for a career. I told him I wanted to get into television. He sneeringly countered how he was going to become a surgeon and extend his patients’ lives by many years. The implication being I was wasting my life with something as trivial as TV. “That’s awesome Mike,” I responded enthusiastically, “You know what your patients are going to do with all that extra time on Earth you so generously bestowed them? Watch fucking TV.”

Google Duplex is rightly the talk of the tech town at the moment. It’s pretty amazing.

Sundar Pinchai closed his talk on Duplex with the following (emphasis mine):

“A common theme across all this is we are working hard to give users back time. We’ve always been obsessed about that at Google. Search is obsessed about getting users to answers quickly and giving them what they want.”

We all want more time to do the things we really want to do, but as I watched that video in bed on my phone shortly after I woke up yesterday morning, I couldn’t help but think that all most of us really want to do is the Internet equivalent of watch fucking TV.

The Jerky Boys are going to have a field day with this technology.

Google Duplex was posted via Internet Marketing

GMB? More Like DGAF!

Since local spam is a hot topic around the Local SEO Sphere these days, I figured it would be fun to look at brands that are violating the Google My Business guidelines for representing your business and getting away with it. Because I mean, what’s the point of guidelines if large advertisers and brands can get away with obvious and blatant violations, amirite?

So, speaking of obvious and blatant, let’s get this one out of the way up front. It’s good for a laugh.

Here is what Google has to say about typography:

No registered trademark signs and no full caps. Makes sense right? Well apparently no-one at SUBWAY® RESTAURANTS got the memo,

So clearly I had to get the one where the brand is in violation of the guidelines in a way that is called out using them as an example. Because that is a thing. At least they are in some good  company,

So Sephora lacks a unified Local SEO strategy (call me, maybe?), but they are also violating another piece of the guidelines. Specifically the part about how you co-locate inside of a larger business. Per the guidelines

We have all been there, Sephora. Besides, Topanga is doing great now!

This next one is a favorite. Location descriptors have been a back and forth thing in the guidelines for a hot minute, and everyone is getting in on it from regional brands like Mattress Firm

To large national chains like Ace Hardware

To me, this one is just a cynical SEO play and look it works!

Ace Hardware isn’t the only one winning by guidelines abuse at scale. Here is US Bank adding extra descriptor information to their GMB listings

Curious if this is working for them?

Apparently ‘bank branch’ is just a synonym for U.S. Bank, thanks Google!  If anybody from any major commercial financial institution that advertises on Google (or their agency) is reading this, you might want to have a chat with the GMB folks…

And hey, look at this often enforced guideline (there are four examples in my post)

I know I have discussed this in a relatively lackadaisical way, but honestly, it’s not a joke. These companies are getting away with violating GMB guidelines in a way that most likely increases their profits at the expense of others. And look, I get it, there is no way to tell how much having the geo-locator in the name field is helping, but do you really think it has zero impact? At the same time, why should any of us tell our brand clients to bother to adhere to the guidelines if they can win by breaking them? If you are a brand of a particular caliber, you clearly have a different rule book to play by so let’s play by it. And if you are an SMB, well, Google cares about brands more then you and by the way, good luck getting Google to remove any of the pervasive fake reviews or deal with repeat offenders.

So here are my two cents on what Google should do, and sit down, it’s a radical suggestion:

The Google My Business team should suspend these listings and make whoever manages the accounts provide visual proof that these brands are correctly representing themselves via the guidelines. That means sending in storefront photos and dealing with offshore support like the rest of us (other brands included).

GMB? More Like DGAF! was posted via Internet Marketing

5 Reasons Why B2B Content Marketing Works & 5 Reasons It Doesn’t

Why Content Marketing Works & Why It Doesn't

Why Content Marketing Works & Why It Doesn'tIt’s no secret that content marketing is a widely adopted tactic. In fact, over 90% of B2B Marketers say they’re using it to reach their larger business goals, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Content Marketing Report. However, just 24% of B2B marketers rate their content marketing as extremely or very successful.

Why is content marketing working extremely well for some marketers, but not for others? What makes content marketing so effective, and what holds (your content marketing efforts) back?

Well, let’s talk all about it. Content is at the center of everything we do here at TopRank Marketing. And below we dive into some of the key reasons why content marketing efforts succeed or fall short. Hopefully, this insight can help you level up your own content marketing strategy in a way that amplifies your results.

5 Reasons Why Content Marketing Works

#1 – You’re solving a problem.

While this is a fundamental marketing concept, it needs mentioning. Simply put, content marketing works when you’re able to create and deliver content that solves a specific, relevant problem for your audience.

Buyers are increasingly self-directed in their research and purchasing decisions, taking their questions to search engines to find answers. That’s why it’s no surprise that many searches start with question words like how, what, where, when, and why. Your audience is looking for content that can provide them with the best answer, tutorial, guide, checklist, or another resource that can help solve their problems.

So, when your content delivers exactly what your audience is looking for and where they’re looking for it, you can gain traffic, foster engagement, and nurture them to action.

[bctt tweet=”Simply put, #ContentMarketing works when you’re able to create and deliver content that solves a specific, relevant problem for your audience. – @aleuman4″ username=”toprank”]

#2 – You’re targeting your ideal audience.

Successful marketing is rooted in being able to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time and on the right platform. The “spray and pray” method, where you’re blasting out content and hoping that your message sticks, can’t help you do this. But when done right, content marketing allows brands to target specific buyer personas and reach their ideal audience.

When content is personalized to address buyer pain points and common questions, you can capture more qualified traffic and leads, which increases the overall value of your content marketing efforts. In our experience, successful content marketers start by defining buyer personas, identifying their relevant pain points, and mapping them to content they might find helpful based on SEO opportunities and where they are in the sales funnel (e.g. checklists, definitions, infographics, etc.).

#3 – When you leverage customer data and insights.

We live in the age of big data. Every marketer has data. Every marketer knows data holds power. And the most forward-thinking marketers are leveraging data and their practical knowledge to draw insights that can be acted upon in their marketing strategy.

With data pouring into services like Google Analytics, you can see where your audience is dropping off, how they spend their time on your site, or what content has the best conversion rate. In addition, there are many public, third-party data providers that can be paired with your own data to gain more insight. Armed with this information, you can optimize your content marketing strategy based on your analysis to generate better results.

#4 – You’re climbing the rankings.

We all know that search engines help audiences find content. But without content, a brand has little SEO value.

As a result, successful content marketers don’t rely only on their brand’s main website pages to draw in organic traffic. Brands that are baking SEO in from the start are able to create strategic content in many forms across their owned digital channels to expand their footprint, greatly increasing their chance of attracting more organic traffic to drive results.

#5 – You’re showing credibility, not telling.

How do customers know that you’re an authority in your industry? Or that you’re a credible source of information?

When done well, content marketing allows you to become the best answer for your audience, showing them over and over again that you have the goods. This builds trust between you and your audience as they start to see you as an expert on the subjects you discuss. And because trust is strong, you can more effectively influence customers on their purchasing decisions.

Creating expert content that is seen as authoritative has other benefits as well. In fact, a study from inPowered found that expert content lifted awareness by 88% more than branded content, and increased purchase consideration by 38% more.

Building trust through credible content comes in many forms. Of course, capitalizing on SEO is an important piece of the puzzle. But successful marketers understand that tactical integration of a variety of content types is key. Among some of those different credibility-boosting tactics are influencer content, employee interviews, and original research and studies.

[bctt tweet=”#ContentMarketing allows you to become the best answer for your audience, showing them over and over again that you have the goods. ” username=”toprank”]

Read: 8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing

5 Reasons Why Content Marketing Doesn’t Work

#1 – You don’t have the resources.

Content marketing is not a “one and done” marketing tactic. Brands who start publishing and can’t stick to a schedule may find that their audience becomes disinterested, causing traffic to dip and search engines to notice the lack of publishing. 

But maintaining consistency is easier said than done for most marketers. Each piece of content can take hours to research, edit, beef up with keywords, and crosslink to other pieces of content. All of this time quickly adds up, consuming additional resources and adding on to your content marketing costs.

Whether you decide on a daily, weekly, or monthly posting cadence, the key is to stick with it.

[bctt tweet=”#ContentMarketing is not a “one and done” marketing tactic. – @aleuman4″ username=”toprank”]

#2 – You’re putting out quantity, not quality.

Another key to content marketing success is quality. Why? Your audience and search engines demand high-quality, authoritative content. Brands that don’t dedicate enough time or effort to their content, and making sure that it truly serves a purpose, likely find their audiences don’t want to listen to what they have to say.

With your audience tuned out, search engines could also see your content as less valuable, decreasing your rankings and impressions. And then you’re left asking:


Read: The Content Marketing Juggling Act: How to Consistently Create Quality, Engaging Content

#3 – Your competition is growing.

Everywhere you look today, you’re confronted with content. Content lives in our social media news feeds, email inbox, text messages, and more. Brands and media outlets alike are all competing for an individual’s attention through content, creating a very saturated market that is ripe with competition. And if you’re executing content marketing, you could quickly start competing with yourself.

For example, brands who post too frequently could decrease their overall engagement with their audience. Or, they could start creating content that’s similar to things they’ve published in the past, cannibalizing from their own work. CoSchedule experienced this dip in engagement when increasing their blog posts from two to three each week. The increase in blog posts per week resulted in a decrease of 236 social shares per post, and a decrease in page views per blog post.

#4 – The impact of your content is hard to see.

With metrics that don’t directly translate to revenue, proving the value of content marketing can be difficult. CMOs want to hear about the business you’ve been able to generate, not the page views you’ve garnered or your average session duration. While those things are valuable, they don’t prove that you’ve grown the business, supported your sales team, or produced new leads.

As an example, it’s challenging to prove that just because someone read your latest eBook that they felt motivated enough to purchase your software or use your services. Because the impact of content is so difficult to measure, brands struggle with determining if their content is working or not. In fact, this is likely what contributes to only 35% of B2B marketers reporting that they measure content marketing ROI.

#5 – You’re impatient.

Generally speaking, content marketing does not produce immediate, short-term results like a traditional promotion or sale would. Content marketing strategies are designed to reach your audience at multiple touch points during their journey.

Of course short-term wins are often achieved with a strategic content marketing plan, but at the end of the day, content marketing really is a long-term play. It’s about producing long-term value and strengthening your client relationships.

As a result, this means you need time to really grow their content ROI into something that’s worth raving about and produces a positive return. So, if you aren’t in it for the long-haul, success will elude you.

[bctt tweet=”If you aren’t in it for the long-haul, #ContentMarketing success will elude you. – @aleuman4″ username=”toprank”]

A Tailor-Made Content Strategy

From SEO value to thought leadership, there are a lot of reasons why B2B content marketing works for brands. But there are plenty of reasons it fails. Content is hard to tie into your pipeline and there are a lot of competitors vying for your audience’s attention.

But if you can create a content marketing strategy that overcomes those challenges and takes advantage of those benefits, you could see amazing results from your campaigns.

Not sure how you should start altering your strategy? Try starting by using these six questions you should use to guide your content marketing strategy.

5 Reasons Why B2B Content Marketing Works & 5 Reasons It Doesn’t was posted via Internet Marketing