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ICYMI: Digital marketing news update for July 6, 2021

Facebook antitrust lawsuits tossed by federal judge, Twitter doesn't drive revenue for publishers, Google rolls out another core update and more.

ICYMI: Digital marketing news update for July 6, 2021 Blog Feature

Liz Moorehead

Editor-in-Chief, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast

July 6th, 2021 min read

By a show of hands, how many of you have already referred to today as Monday (even though it's Tuesday) at least three times? Just me? Fantastic.

Putting aside my inability to accurately read a calendar, let's talk about the big digital marketing stories you may have missed last week. Yes, it may have been a holiday week here in the States, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few stories you need to know about, so you can make smarter decisions faster ... 

  1. A judge has tossed out Facebook antitrust suits: A judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) did not "plausibly establish" Facebook as a monopoly. As a result, suits pushing to spin out WhatsApp and Instagram into separate companies were denied.
  2. LinkedIn shares new data around gender and racial representation in the marketing field: As always, this new women-in-marketing research from LinkedIn shows gains for some, but not for all. I challenge you all to take a moment to review this data and reflect on how you stack up; there's room for growth for everyone.
  3. Google weighs in on what to do about low-quality content: In a recent "office hours" installment, Google's John Mueller responds to a question on what to do about low-quality content – should low-quality content be deleted, updated or left alone?
  4. Even with all of the new features, Twitter is a dud for publishers: Yup, you heard me. Super follows, Spaces, and other fancy-pants features notwithstanding, Twitter still is failing to deliver real results for businesses publishing content. 
  5. Oh, yeah, and Google rolled out the second part of its core algorithm update:  Last month, Google made a surprising move by splitting up a core algorithm update between June and July. Although the team at Google didn't really go into details, it stated the reason being that some parts of the core algorithm update weren't ready. Well, now they are, as the update was confirmed as having begun last week.

OK, let's get into it ... 

1. Facebook antitrust lawsuits from FTC tossed out by federal judge (via Social Media Today)

Social media giant Facebook has been in serious hot water with regulators and legislators for years. Why? Well, here are a few of the highlights:

More recently, the FTC has been nipping at Facebook's virtual heels (with the help of 40+ state attorneys general) over its perceived monopolistic tendencies. More specifically, claims that Facebook powers-that-be use a simple strategy to maintain its dominance: acquire their competitors or crush them.

All complaints related to this issue sought to push Facebook to divest itself of WhatsApp and Instagram, spinning them off into their own independent companies. 

Unfortunately, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg did not find the case compelling enough to move forward. To the FTC, Boasberg stated in his ruling that the regulating body failed to "plausibly establish" Facebook as a true monopoly power.

The judge also addressed the state attorneys general, saying that too much time had passed to take action against Facebook's acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, the former deal having been completed in 2012 and the latter in 2014. 

🔎 Related resources:

2. LinkedIn's women in marketing research features gender and race insights (via LinkedIn)

Brands and business leaders are leaning into diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in their marketing and advertising more than ever before, which is a good thing. But what about the makeup of our own teams? 

A recent batch of published LinkedIn research showcases fascinating gender and race insights specifically in the marketing industry. Here are a few of the big data points that stood out to me:

  • Women in CMO roles have increased to 52% from 47% in 2019. However, only 13% have "racially diverse" backgrounds, defined as Asian, Latina, and Black women. 
  • Black women, in particular, are underrepresented in leadership roles – for every 100 men who advance into management, 80 white women advance and only 58 Black women advance.
  • Women overall are 15% less likely to apply to jobs, showing greater hesitancy. What's more, they're 8% less likely than men to apply to jobs with higher seniority.
  • Although marketing coordinator, social media manager, brand manager, and marketing manager are all roles that report 68% or more female representation, VP of marketing roles are much lower with only 55% female representation.

🔎 Related resources:

3. Google weighs in on what to do with published low-quality content (via Search Engine Journal)

Ten years ago, everything we were publishing was fresh, right? But now, as more and more companies and publishers are becoming "veterans" of creating memorable, money-making content, we're all running into the same issue:

We have content on our website that reminds us of pictures of ourselves in middle school and high school with "on-trend" hairstyles ... they're an embarrassment, and we don't know what to do.

This was the exact question a website owner asked Google's John Mueller about during a recent "office hours" session. What do you do with content that is woefully out-of-date?

Here's what Mueller had to say:

“I think if that’s something that you think is good content that you want to publish with your website, with your name, then I would keep it. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s bad.

“But if you look at it and you say, 'Oh, this is embarrassing for me now, I don’t want it to be online, it’s like so bad.’ Then that’s something where I’d say either improve it or remove it.” 

🔎 Related resources:

4. Even with all of the hype, Twitter isn't delivering for publishers (via Digiday)

Much like Shakira's hips, numbers do not lie. (I know, I know, 2005 called and wants its joke back.) Even though Twitter has been making headlines with new features, busted acquisition attempts of Clubhouse, and more, it's still not a results-delivery machine for publishers, according to new data from Digiday.

That's right, even though it's one of the most widely used social media platforms, it comes in dead last in terms of value for surveyed publishers:

“Despite being the second most commonly used platform — 94 out of the survey’s 107 publishers had posted content to Twitter in the past 30 days — just one-fifth of the publishers that use Twitter said the platform was at least a 'valuable’ source of revenue.”

The only one that ranked lower than Twitter?

Twitch.

The video game-streaming platform. Yikes.

See, this is why I stand by my (admittedly) lukewarm takes about which social media platforms are not worth your time if you're a digital marketer at a small or medium-sized business. Just because it's news doesn't mean it's news for you.

This is especially true as I continue to see headline after headline of social media platforms rolling out tools for what they call independent creators. For example, Facebook just rolled out the beta of Bulletin, a newsletter solution for independent voices and other creators. 

Yes, some of these tools may prove valuable down the line (or maybe even in the short term). However, that doesn't change the fact that a lot of the social media news you see floating around is mostly noise.

5. Finally, the second of Google's core algorithm updates has rolled out (via IMPACT)

Google implements numerous core algorithm updates each year, each designed to guarantee the best and most relevant search results are being surfaced to the top. This story may not seem like a huge deal, right? Google is saying it carried out part two of a kind of update that happens all the time.

What's more, it said no one should panic about these updates; they're not drastic changes (à la the third-party cookie block for Chrome), but rather they're suites of “updates designed to increase the overall relevancy of our search results.”

So, why am I slightly twitchy over the news of this second core algorithm update from Google? I'm so glad you asked:

This update will take a couple of weeks to complete. And, for those who saw jumps or drops in traffic, you may see reversals back to normal thanks to this update.

Every Monday (except when Monday is a holiday!), you can expect this little weekly dose of digital marketing news. If you have any tips or stories you think we should know about, hit me up at lmoorehead@impactplus.com.

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