My Five #391

When sponsored content becomes editorial coordination and social media advertising becomes transparent, plus; a cat in a box – what a week.

You are reading: My Five #391

Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Libby.

1. SEMRush’s guest blogging service is LIVE

– oh wait, no it isn’t.

One of the most popular SEO tools in the industry, SEMrush, launched its new guest posting service this week:


And then promptly un-launched it. Because it appears to breach Google’s guidelines:

Kinda weird that such a big, prolific player in the industry would make such a faux pas, but seems they’ve paused the service as a result of the backlash volume of orders received. SEMRush’s CEO did respond with a statement over at Search Engine Land, which states that this service isn’t about buying/selling links, but is about “content development, outreach, and editorial coordination”.

Probably just nip into Search Console if you’ve been using this service, or one like it, juuust to make sure you’ve not got yourself a manual penalty.

2. Google attacks Ctrl F

Click a featured snippet, get taken to the relevant text on the page – NOW ON HTML.

Just like for AMP, Google will now take users to the relevant text on a web page when they click on featured snippets results… but not all featured snippets. It’ll only do it if it’s confident it can do so accurately.

So now when you Google something, and get served long form content, you may well land half way down the page, going straight to the bit you actually want to read. I’m sure the person who wrote that long form content will be delighted.

Search Engine Journal notes that Google adds extra parameters to the url to highlight the relevant text, and so it might be possible to track the visits that come via a featured snippet, which actually would be interesting.

3. Snapshop… Shopchat… something about buying stuff through Snapchat

Facebook gave us Facebook Shops, Google gave us free Shopping Ads, and now Snapchat is giving us the Dynamic Product Ads it announced back in October last year:


As of this week, retailers can create Snap Ads, Story Ads, and Collection Ads, hundreds of products strong, to serve to the world across multiple markets. For free.

Online shopping saw a ten year high last month with the highstreet pretty much closed at the moment. And with this, Snapchat hopes to offer brands an easy to use platform that enables professional, customised advertising, and measurable ROI. It also hopes to offer a young audience a(nother) way to shop online.

4. A cure for the bad ads

Working with influencers can be so beneficial for your brand… but also, quite terrible. In fact, according to The Advertising Standards Authority’s Annual Report 2019, it counts for about a quarter of the terrible when it comes to online ads.

There is a clean up attempt going on: Sponsored posts where payment or freebies are given in exchange for promotion are supposed to be tagged with #ad to combat the lack of transparency in influencer marketing. Irresponsible health claims are also being removed, and the use of bots to monitor children’s exposure to (bad) ads is being stepped up. And there’s more innovation to come;

…we have some exciting plans ahead, including investment in data science and machine learning.  All of which is enabling us to be more proactive and fleet of foot in delivering our ambition to make UK ads responsible, wherever they appear.

ASA chief executive, Guy Parker

… fleet of foot.

5. To confirm: Everyone’s lost it in lockdown

I have been delighted and horrified in equal measure at some of the stuff the people I follow on social media have been getting up to in an attempt to combat the boredom and loneliness of lockdown; drawing tutorials from people who absolutely can’t draw, cooking tutorials from people who are known for only eating crisps, and yoga tutorials from people who just don’t bend that way… but this is really quite something:

Just good, clean fun.

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