Here are the biggest announcements, product updates, and news stories impacting the digital marketing industry last week:
Google Testing Even Longer Expanded Text Ads
Reports surfaced last week of options to create text ads with up to 80 characters in the second line of text. This would be a complete double on the current 40 character limit. For paid search marketers, this is a major update if it rolls out across all of AdWords. Google believes expanded text ads increase click thru rates and boost conversions - to the point they mandated their use earlier this year. Below is a screenshot of how the testing appears in AdWords. For more on this, click here to read Ginny Marvin's breakdown on search engine land.
Facebook Launches Tool To Fight Fake News
After combating major issues about the proliferation of fake news during the 2016 presidential election, Facebook announced it would be launching a tool to help fight fake news. The tool launched last week and it allows users to flag fake news and be alerted that a post could also potentially be fake news. The tool does not actually flag a post as fake or false news, but labels it as "disputed" using an exclamation point inside a triangle. For more information on this, click here to read Danny Goodwin's breakdown on Search Engine Journal or just checkout this picture that shows how it works:
SEO Community Suspects Major Google Algorithm Update
While Google will not confirm an algorithm update occurred, the SEO community at large suspects a major update took place on March 8th. In response to Google's Gary Illyes joke about calling every algorithm update "Fred", the algorithm has been dubbed the "Fred Update" and is believed to focus on SPAM links. This marks the second algorithm update designed to combat "black hat" SEO and penalize sites rankings for building SPAM backlinks. The news was first reported across multiple message boards and twitter, but is nicely summarized in this article from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land.
Stories Coming To Facebook Messenger
As Facebook continues its assault on Snapchat, it announced last week that "stories" are coming to Facebook Messenger. The feature, called Messenger Day, is nearly identical to Snapchat stories. Users can post using animations and filters. Just like Snapchat stories, a post can be shared with select contacts or your entire network and disappears after 24 hours. For the full announcement from Facebook, click here.