Hear me out: FLoC, but as a matchmaking service; Tuesday’s daily brief
And, how to maintain organic performance when merging multiple websites.
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Good morning, Marketers, here’s a fun (and perhaps creepy) idea that my friends had over the weekend.
I was explaining Google’s FLoC proposal, as one traditionally does over board games with friends. Then, one friend said, “I’d be interested in meeting the other people in my cohort.” “What about a FLoC-based dating service?” another friend chimed in.
Since FLoC groups users with similar browsing behavior into cohorts, it stands to reason that you might share a lot of interests with others in your cohort. That could be a nice way to make friends, meet people in your industry or even establish a support network for those who are looking for support. On the other hand, it might be another echo chamber that insulates us from interacting with people of different lifestyles, viewpoints and backgrounds (although fresh cohorts are assigned on a weekly basis).
It’s highly unlikely Google would ever pivot its ad tech to play some sort of social matchmaker, but it’s fun to think of new ways existing technology can be expanded. I’d want to try it out for two reasons: 1) to see whether the cohorts are actually an accurate way to group audiences, and 2) I want to see where the commonalities end (i.e., do we also share personality traits or does it end with browsing behavior?).
How to maintain organic performance when merging multiple websites
When performing a site migration or merger, creating a sitemap that draws on the strengths of the existing websites can help give your new brand the initial visibility it needs to succeed. To help marketers make the most out of this opportunity, Tom Crewe, head of SEO at UK-based digital marketing agency Adido, advised that SEOs prioritize the following:
- Traffic drivers. Pages that drive relevant traffic are going to continue to be important, but even if the high traffic pages are slightly less relevant (but not completely irrelevant) to the new business’s offering, it might be worth keeping them to help build brand awareness in the early days.
- Convertors. These pages can keep the sales, inquiries, etc., rolling in while the site builds its rankings/visibility up in other areas.
- Ranking pages. Finding pages that rank for valuable keywords, whether they have high search volumes or not (maybe they don’t drive a lot of traffic, but they attract the RIGHT traffic that converts) and whether they have high rankings or not (if a page ranks position 36 for a target keyword, it can be developed and improved to rank better, rather than trying to start completely from scratch) will be an important part of the strategy.
- Pages with backlinks. If you don’t bring across pages that have backlinks, then the new site will be missing out on all of that potential authority-building goodness.
- Priority page supporters. Some pages may appear to have no value as they get no traffic, conversions, rankings or backlinks, but they might be the supporting architecture helping to hold up the rankings of other pages.
- New business offering/priorities. The sitemap needs to look to the future, not just to the past, so any new offerings or priorities for the newly formed business will need to be considered within the sitemap, and pages will need to be built out within the proposed architecture to cater for these new offerings.
Jobs in advertising, PR and related services slowed down in July after a big jump in June
Employment in advertising, PR and related services increased by 1,200 jobs last month (bringing the total figure to 446,400 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), a relatively small gain after a big jump (4,800 jobs) in June. This follows six months of growth since ad jobs hit a pandemic-period low of 432,100 jobs in January.
Zooming in on just ad agency jobs, which account for about 43% of the figures stated above, domestic agencies added 2,500 jobs in June, up from just 900 in May. Stats for July aren’t available yet because the BLS reports ad agency employment with a one-month lag, but the overall July increase of 1,200 jobs suggests a small gain in ad agency employment last month.
Why we care. “U.S. ad agency employment tends to peak earlier than the overall U.S. job market in the waning days of a business cycle’s economic expansion before a recession,” Bradley Johnson wrote for Ad Age, “On the flip side, agencies generally are cautious about adding employees as the economy recovers, resulting in a lag in staffing growth.” The slowdown in ad job growth could indicate the “waning days” of the current economic expansion, or it could just be that agencies are opting to play it safe. Unfortunately, with so much uncertainty about the Delta variant, we’ll have to wait and see which one it is, if it’s even either of those.
Tag it, cook it, climb it
How to tag all the things in GMB. Clair Carlile has published her process for tagging links, posts and more in GMB. She even included a link to her Google Sheet auto generator.
Concise recipe content that ranks. Dan Shure tweeted some data for a recipe that has only two sentences of content, but boasts an avg. position of 4.9 and over 700,000 lifetime visits. Checkout the replies for some fascinating discussions as well.
Some Amazon sellers are pressuring customers to revise or delete negative reviews
“Product doesn’t work and company will bother you till you change review.” “Seller offers $20-$30 to delete negative reviews.” These are two of the Amazon reviews Nicole Nguyen came across during her investigation for the Wall Street Journal. In the course of her research, Nguyen discovered a number of sellers that have broken with Amazon’s policies to reach out to customers, sometimes offering them more than they paid for the product to revise or erase their negative reviews.
The idea here is to appease disgruntled customers and boost the overall star rating, which can bolster sales velocity. The thing is, sellers whose fulfilment is handled by Amazon aren’t supposed to contact customers outside of Amazon’s official channel — it’s actually a violation of the terms of service.
So, how are they obtaining customers’ contact information? One way is via third-party email extraction services available for Amazon sellers (which are also in violation of Amazon’s policies).
“No matter the method a seller or brand might use to obtain customers’ information, the result is the same,” Nguyen wrote, “It’s hard to trust the authenticity of reviews, and you might be less inclined to leave your own negative review of a product, out of fear of seller retaliation.” Not only does this impact consumer trust, it also hurts merchants that are playing by the rules.
And, as a quick plug, I’ve written a guide to Amazon’s A9 product ranking algorithm. Check it out to learn how reviews, sales velocity and keywords factor into product rankings.