Mackerel Media August 2022 Search & Digital Marketing News Roundup

As the summer holidays come to an end and the constant stream of OOOs begins to ease, we’re reflecting on the biggest search and digital marketing trends of August 2022. 

Google launches helpful content update

As Google continues to improve the quality and relevance of its search results, the search engine has rolled out its latest helpful content update. This is designed to reward high-quality content which is genuinely helpful for readers, and target lower quality content which is written for search engines first. 

As copywriters and content teams have become wise to the tools and techniques used to increase the success of copy on search engines, it’s becoming easier to create content that ranks well purely because it was designed that way, regardless of the actual quality of the content or value for the reader. 

This challenge is only elevated by the increase in AI-generated writing tools. While cost-effective and time-saving for companies, Google’s John Mueller publicly referred to the AI-generated content as “spam” and advised against its use if good ranking is the goal.  

This update takes steps to combat the issue of high ranking but poor quality content,  prioritising content which is trustworthy and credible, created for a specific audience and successfully meets the wants and/or needs of the customer. A full list of guidance can be found here

As part of the announcement, Google was careful to specify that this update does not invalidate SEO best practices. SEO should be used to optimise people-first and high quality content, instead of trying to find loopholes to reach top ranking positions (if you need some help, let us know).

TikTok introduces new shopping features

As TikTok continues to expand its ecommerce capabilities, the fastest growing social media app in the world has introduced three new shopping features. These will be part of a newly-introduced ad suite called Shopping Ads. 

Designed to seamlessly integrate with the platform’s organically generated content, these features include Video Shopping Ads, Catalogue Listing Ads and LIVE Shopping Ads. 

Video Shopping Ads

Integrated within the app’s acclaimed For You Page (FYP), Video Shopping Ads allow brands to advertise their products within in-feed video ads. With in-post call to actions (CTAs), customers will be able to tap straight through to a customised landing page, to browse and purchase products within the TikTok app. 

Catalogue Listing Ads

Launching in the U.S initially, Catalogue Listing Ads allow advertisers to promote their products across the entire app, through product selections called Catalogues. These will be shared with relevant users as “recommended” or “related products”, to expand the reach of the brand’s product offering and reach users which have shown interest in similar items. 

LIVE Shopping Ads

LIVE Shopping Ads are designed to attract users from their FYP to a brand’s live event, where they are able to browse and shop products alongside other shoppers. This feature is designed to be interactive, to allow brands a further avenue to engage and build communities with their audiences. 

Often dismissed as a platform due to its popularity with younger demographics, TikTok is an extremely powerful tool for D2C brands. The success of its shoppable features outshine other platforms and provide plenty of opportunities and incentives to encourage customers through to purchase. Add to that the platform’s growing reach with older demographics and this is not a channel to be forgotten. 

Twitter introduces podcasts to engage new listeners 

As the popularity of podcasts continues to soar, Twitter has introduced audio content to its recently created Spaces Tab. In this personalised hub, users can group together their favourite shows by themes such as News, Music and Sports as well as gaining access to the most popular podcasts from around the world. 

It’s hoped that this new integration will give Twitter users more opportunities to engage with other users and listeners, with the option to thumbs up or thumbs down the shows they like or dislike. 

With more platforms available to listen to podcasts, it will be interesting to see the impact this has on listener figures and, in turn, advertisement costs and formats. We look forward to seeing how this upgrade is received over the coming weeks and months.