eMarketer Releases Ad Spending Report

eMarketer Releases Ad Spending Report

Late last month, eMarketer released its 2019 Digital Ad Spending – Global report which identified key trends and made predictions for the coming year. The report highlights the robust state of digital marketing, especially in China, North America, and Europe.

Once again, worldwide advertising spend will rise in 2019, led by growth in digital marketing. While growth rates are expected to decline year-over-year, experts believe the change is attributable to strategic adjustments rather than budget cuts.

“The advertising market is underperforming the economy, but we don’t think that’s because advertisers have stopped investing,” Zenith head of forecasting Jonathan Barnard told eMarketer. “Instead, we think they’re investing in other areas like advertising technology, data and ecommerce.”

Total digital ad spending is expected to reach $333.25-billion, up 17.6 per cent from 2018. In several countries – China, the United Kingdom, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Canada – digital advertising will generate more than 50 per cent of total advertising dollars. It will account for roughly half of total ad spend worldwide.

To no one’s surprise, Google will remain the world’s top ad seller in 2019, raking in $103.73-billion in sales, or roughly 31.1 per cent of total ad spend. Facebook will generate the second-most advertising revenue ($67.37-billion), and China’s Alibaba the third ($29.20-billion).

In addition to steady growth in digital ad spending, eMarketer predicts that brands and agencies will look for opportunities to integrate digital and traditional advertising strategies in 2019 and beyond. Expect fewer siloed marketing experiences (i.e. digital video campaigns, social media campaigns, etc.) and more multi-platform approaches in the coming years.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with unique insights on Google’s preferred practices, we at GrowthEngine Media make it our business to stay on top of the latest trends in the digital marketing industry.

Ahrefs Announces Plans for Google Alternative

Ahrefs Announces Plans for Google Alternative

Last week, Dmitry Gerasimenko, Founder and CEO of popular SEO agency toolset provider Ahrefs, announced on Twitter that his company is developing a “general purpose search engine to compete with Google.” The idea, in Gerasimenko’s own words, “sounds crazy.” But does it hint at things to come?

Today, pay-per-click advertising on Google is among the most effective and efficient forms of marketing available. Google’s robust and sophisticated set of advertising tools allows ad managers to tweak campaigns, target audiences, and ensure maximum ROI for clients.

But tech titans like Google and Facebook are facing unprecedented scrutiny due to their inability to protect user information. Companies that aimed to change the world for the better are now accused of harming it, which presents opportunities to upstart competitors. Ahrefs’ plan combines the privacy focus of DuckDuckGo with a democratic profit-sharing model that would see 90 per cent of advertising revenues go to publishers.

“Google is making $100B from its search service. Imagine they suddenly implement 90/10 profit share model sending $90B per year to publishers who create content,” Gerasimenko tweeted. “We are talking about hundreds of thousands of people who can making [a] living by organizing knowledge.”

Ahrefs’ plan is, frankly, unlikely to succeed. As Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz wrote on Wednesday, “we have seen search engine start up after search engine start up fail and go out of business.” But the company’s challenge to the Google-dominated status quo is a reminder to every SEO agency that the digital world is constantly changing. Google will almost certainly remain the world’s largest search engine and most effective online advertising platform in ten years’ time, but it won’t be for lack of effort from tech mavericks.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and SEO agency with unique insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is committed to keeping you up-to-date with the latest trends and news from the high-tech world. Our team prides itself on adopting and perfecting cutting-edge digital marketing tactics to ensure you remain one step ahead of your competition.

Australia targets unsavoury SEO agencies

Australia targets unsavoury SEO agencies

The office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), Kate Carnell, is taking aim at the country’s SEO service providers. It believes digital marketing consultants are over-promising and under-delivering to small- and medium-sized businesses in the country, according to a SmartCompany interview with Carnell.

The ASBFEO received roughly 100 reports of unsavory practices by SEO agencies last year, but it believes the true scope of the issue is much larger. Carnell is pushing for more regulation to improve what SmartCompany calls “a minefield of dodgy practitioners who business owners claim are being intentionally deceptive.”

This isn’t the first time SEO companies have been accused of malpractice. In 2017, regulators in the United Kingdom shuttered a company called Movette that “used fraudulent tactics to sell a Google My Business listings management service,” according to Search Engine Land. Earlier this year, Google sued Supreme Marketing Group for claiming it was affiliated with the search giant, effectively putting it out of business.

Google has also sought to fight unscrupulous digital advertising agencies by launching a complaint center where business owners can report fraudulent services.

The digital marketing industry is a fruitful breeding ground for deceptive practices. Small- and medium-sized business owners realize, rightly, that digital marketing is a necessity in today’s marketplace. Unfortunately, few have the technical expertise or capacity to manage their own campaigns. That’s where digital marketing agencies come in: business owners hand over significant parts of their advertising budgets and rely on agencies’ unique expertise to deliver results.

At GrowthEngine Media, we take this responsibility extremely seriously. Our SEO and SEM services are built on a foundation of transparency, consistent reporting, and open communication. We’re proud to offer prompt, thorough customer service whenever and however necessary.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to unique insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media has established itself has a trustworthy, reputable provider of online advertising services. Feel free to contact us today with any concerns regarding campaign performance or brand safety.


Image credit: Phil Whitehouse/Wikimedia Commons

Google launches major algorithm update

Google launches major algorithm update

It’s hard to overstate the value of high-visibility search rankings, especially for small and local businesses. When your business appears in the top one or two spots on Google, you immediately become an authoritative source of information for users. It’s why companies hire an SEO agency – and why sudden ranking changes caused by algorithm changes cause so much distress.

Last week, Google took the rare step of acknowledging – and even naming – a ranking algorithm update. The March 2019 Core Update, or Florida 2 as it is colloquially known (more on that in a moment), is by all accounts a fairly major play. It has generated significant chatter on SEO agency message boards and been covered by every reputable digital marketing publication.

Algorithm updates in and of themselves are not uncommon. Google releases algorithm updates throughout the year, most often to address specific signals such as content quality. Core algorithm updates are a little bit different: these do not target particular ranking signals, niches, or websites. Rather, they suggest that Google has incorporated a new ranking factor; last year, it was Neural Matching.

Though core updates may affect search rankings, there’s very little businesses can do to “fix” their positioning. If your rankings fall, get back to basics: review Google’s best practices and ensure your websites adhere to them. Most core updates are intended to improve user experiences, so focus on providing great UX.

Now the important part: why was this update labeled “Florida 2” by industry professionals? According to Search Engine Journal, the original Florida update was launched in the early 2000s at the same time as the Pubcon Florida SEO conference. Rumours of the latest update first emerged at the same conference this year.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and SEO agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is uniquely positioned to help you weather ranking update storms and maintain favourable search engine visibility year-round.

Google announces new complaint form for My Business listings

Google announces new complaint form for My Business listings

Every local search agency understands the value of Google Maps listings – and nearly as many have encountered malicious, damaging activity involving those listings. At the end of February, Google My Business Community Manager Marissa Nordahl announced a new way to report fraudulent activity around businesses’ Google Maps listings. Complaints, which will be reviewed in accordance with Google’s existing guidelines, can now be submitted via the Business Redressal Complaint Form in the Google My Business help section.

Google My Business (GMB) profiles are an important tool for businesses seeking to establish online visibility. They help small businesses and franchises provide basic information (business hours, location, contact info, and more) to prospective customers. Unfortunately, GMB listings have also become targets for malicious activity from competitors.

“Google has had a history of issues with spam and worse within their Google Maps and local results,” explained Search Engine Land News Editor Barry Schwartz in a February 28 article. “We see case after case where people, competitors, bad actors, etc. are changing the local data of business to hurt them. They would mark the business as closed, change their hours, change photos or descriptions or worse. Hopefully this new form will help reduce this going forward.”

Unfortunately for every local search agency, the update will not address the issue of fake reviews. Business owners who believe their listing has been unfairly targeted by fake reviews should submit their complaints to Google’s social support team via Twitter (@googlemybiz) of Facebook (@GoogleMyBusiness).

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and local search agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is happy to see action being taken to address malicious activity around GMB listings. Both customers and businesses suffer when Maps listings are sabotaged; better regulations will lead to improved user experiences and limit damage to businesses.