For the month of December,  news  across different  digital  domains brings a wave of innovations and  updates

December Wraps with Spam Battles and Platform Progress Search engines, publishers, and marketers were all busy in December, from Google dealing with spam attacks to new campaign tools from Microsoft and updates on content usage and WordPress performance. It was an active month in the search world as Google combatted widespread spamming, addressed publisher concerns over content handling, and platforms rolled out updated marketing features while WordPress enhanced site speeds.

Google Addresses Content Use Concerns

A publisher accused Google of stealing their content and photos in rich results. Google responded that publisher links are included but agreed direct clicks are preferred. While rich results may have legal standing, fairness concerns remain. Google will share publisher feedback with search teams to ensure creators feel supported by search without losing visitors to on-site content.

Google Ads Campaign Update

Google Ads' Video Reach Campaigns now offer in-feed and Shorts ad formats alongside existing options. This gives advertisers greater flexibility to optimize reach across YouTube. Testing shows multi-format VRC delivered up to 54% more views with 42% lower CPMs versus in-stream only. Marketers can easily set up broad exposure campaigns across YouTube's inventory using Google's reach optimization.

Microsoft Advertising Offers Full-Funnel Solutions To Reach Fans

Microsoft Advertising enables brands to engage sports fans across the full marketing funnel. The platform facilitates multi-channel campaigns including Connected TV, Search and Display, offering segmentation tools like Genre and in-market targeting. Advertisers are encouraged to leverage the integrated ecosystem for cohesive strategies to reach audiences from enthusiasts to casual viewers. Partnerships with Microsoft provide support to optimize campaigns and maximize results in the year ahead.

WordPress Performance Update

WordPress made significant improvements to Core Web Vitals in 2023, with mobile and desktop passing rates increasing by over 8%. Individual metrics like LCP and TTFB showed strong gains. Updates in WordPress versions 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4 helped boost performance. However, the replacement of FID with INP in 2024 may lower scores initially. Developers should start optimizing for interactivity measurement ahead of this change.

Holiday Marketing Insider

Microsoft Advertising has released a helpful Festive Season Marketing Playbook. They provide tips on understanding shopping peaks around Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the rise in deal-seeking. Search is shown to be critical in driving holiday purchases so ensure your campaigns are optimised. Maintain momentum after Cyber-5 and plan your returns strategy.

Google Search Overwhelmed By Massive Spam Attack

Google search results have been hit by a large-scale spam attack for several days. Spam sites are exploiting low competition longtail keywords and local search to rank for hundreds of thousands of keywords each. They are taking advantage of Google's more permissive local algorithm and the short ranking boost new sites receive. One spam site alone was found to rank for over 300,000 phrases. Google is aware of the issue but it remains to be seen if they can curb this type of spam effectively going forward. Keep an eye out in the new year for developments.

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