Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.
Good morning, Marketers, not gonna lie. My bet was on OASIS, but I suppose Meta is just as close.
If you’re a Ready Player One fan, you know The OASIS was a MMOSG (massively multiplayer online simulation game) where people go to escape reality and “live” online. It’s what I thought of when Facebook announced last week that it was planning on rebranding to highlight its role as a “metaverse.”
“The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world,” said the announcement. One of the recent indications we were headed this way was their introduction of Horizon Workrooms where you can meet in-person, online via your avatar.
How well people accept things like Horizon Workrooms and Meta’s new direction is still up for discussion, but, spoiler alert, Ready Player One ends with everyone deciding to leave The OASIS and go live their real lives in the real world.
Director of Search Content
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the tech company is renaming itself to “Meta” to encompass its expanding technology and role in what it calls, “the metaverse.” The company owns multiple technologies and apps including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus VR. In July, Zuckerberg told The Verge that over the next several years, Facebook would “effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
Why we care. The rebrand comes right as whistleblower revelations have Facebook under fire for its practices, morals, and social impact. It also begs the question if the metaverse will become a new frontier for advertising (especially as the Oculus has been testing ads in VR). But also, as marketers, we can’t look away from a branding fail and “Meta” just feels like one.
YouTube ads are the breakout star of Google’s Q3 earnings report
Another quarter’s earnings report shows that Google is among the winners when it comes to the shifting pandemic landscape. Revenues for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, went up a whopping 41% YoY according to the report, with ad revenues driving $51.3 out of the $65.1 billion. Google attributed the continued increases to its big push for commerce in Q3 (and before) in the earnings call. Along with the investment in commerce, Google is offering even more options for advertisers who are seeing a return to in-person shopping, especially as the holiday season nears.
YouTube is the breakout star. “YouTube advertising revenues reached $7.2bn, an increase of 43% from the previous quarter thanks to both direct response and brand advertising,” reported John Glenday for The Drum. This is the result of YouTube’s CTV (connected TV) advertising increases and its competitive product Shorts, which competes with the likes of TikTok and Snap. This increase is a big deal since Apple’s App Tracking Transparency had the potential to affect YouTube similarly to other video social media apps.
Why we care. “Google chief business officer Philipp Schindler explained on the call that while shoppers are returning to physical stores, the company’s also seeing ‘strong growth in local shopping queries’ at the same time,” said Sean Hollister for The Verge. Advertisers can expect to see the continued shift in local and omnichannel search marketing strategies, so if you’re not preparing yet, it’s something to consider for your 2022 strategy.
Google reduces the unique product identifiers enforcement on free product listings
In September, Google said if a product listing was missing required attributes such as GTIN [gtin], MPN [mpn], and brand [brand], the product was immediately disapproved and no longer shown in free listings. Now, starting in November 2021, “with the introduction of limited performance enforcements, products that are missing such attributes will remain eligible to serve but their performance may be limited,” the company said.
Why we care. If you are taking advantage of the free Google Merchant Center and you are not using UPIs on your products in those feeds, you previously may have seen those products being rejected and disapproved. Now, instead, those product listings will likely continue to be served but their performance in Google Search may be limited.
“Instagram’s link stickers, which let you include hyperlinks in Stories in the form of stickers, will now be available to everyone on the platform, the Facebook-owned social media network has announced,” wrote Jon Porter for The Verge. Instagram began testing the sticker option as a replacement to the “Swipe Up” linking in Instagram Stories around August. Plus, the features were only available to verified accounts or those that met a 10,000 follower threshold.
Why we care. Instagram users have long been lobbying for this functionality as the platform says it supports small businesses, but previously did not allow them to link their products, stores, and services through Stories. The feature is now available to everyone just in time for the holiday shopping season. If your business has a decent following on Instagram, make sure to incorporate it as part of your social strategy to help move those loyal communities down the funnel toward a purchase.
Microsoft previews new first-party feedback system. You can submit new feedback, vote and comment on existing feedback, and track responses from the Microsoft engineering teams.
Google Ads Video reach campaigns are now available globally. Video reach campaigns give you the option to use automation to serve the best combination of skippable and bumper ads to maximize your reach and efficiency.
Holiday online shopping trends for luxury goods. Research shows that 78% of luxury shoppers on Microsoft Advertising properties use their mobile phone as a second screen device when watching TV – so search is at their fingertips
Link your Zapier account in the Google Ads UI. Google Ads announced an integration with Zapier, an automation solution, that helps you work with your first-party data across tools like lead form extensions, offline conversion imports, and Customer Match.
What We’re Reading: The secret to people management? Less managing, more peopling
Oftentimes when we’re good at our jobs, the next level up in promotion is “manager.” You go from doing the tasks to managing others who are doing the tasks. And while some people excel in these roles, for others, people management takes intentional work. In this piece for Atlassian, Pranav Shahi gives 10 strategies for becoming a successful people manager:
- Teams work well when you invite them to shape a decision, not when you make a decision for them.
- Hold others accountable.
- Prioritize people over tasks aka listen to hear not to respond.
- Help your team understand why any project didn’t make it to production.
- Say no when you have to, but make sure to share the why behind the no.
- Everything “I” is “we” now.
- Being natural can help you be vulnerable, which is an important leadership trait.
- Hire for what a candidate can become.
- People are going to quit. Accept it early.
- Embrace failure. It’s a learning opportunity.
“To scale and become a high performing team, you not only need caring and sharing, you need daring. And all dares come with a huge chance of failure. Get comfortable with that,” recommends Shahi.