My Five #431

In this week’s My Five, Facebook takes away Analytics, Google Search Console gives us regex filters, and we celebrate 16 years of Yahoo! Answers.

You are reading: My Five #431

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 Kerry.

1. The end of Facebook Analytics

Facebook announced it will be closing down Facebook Analytics on June 30 2021, in a rather low-key announcement on its Facebook for Business help centre.

It means marketers have less than three months to adapt to alternatives, with Facebook pointing people in the direction of the following:

  • Facebook Business Suite: this provides detailed insights into audiences, content and trends for Facebook and Instagram business accounts, but is not available to everyone.
  • Ads Manager: here you can make changes to, and see results for, Facebook campaigns and ads.
  • Events Manager: this helps users set up and manage Facebook business tools like the Facebook pixel and Conversions API. 

None of these are a like for like replacement, and Facebook hasn’t given a reason for retiring the feature, however some have speculated on the timing of an update in iOS 14 asking users whether or not they want to be tracked by apps on their phone, and the impact that will have on acquiring data.

Until the end of June, Facebook has advised that users can still “access reports, export charts and tables, and explore insights.”

2. Google confirms that there’s no benefit to an artificially flat URL structure

While the proximity of a page to the root is a signal about how important any given page is, trying to fabricate this with an artificially flat URL structure isn’t fooling anyone, Google has said.

Responding to a query in a Google Search Central SEO hangout, it was confirmed there is no benefit to creating a structure where it looks like pages are just one click away from the home page (where in reality they may be several levels deep). Or as John Mueller put it “Google does not count the number of slashes in your URLs.”

Whilst it won’t help your rankings, it won’t harm them either, but it’s worth bearing in mind that it can be helpful to show users where they are in a site.

That’s that cleared up then!

3. Google Search Console adds regular expression support

Google has included support for regular expressions within the filters of its performance reports in GSC.

Otherwise known as regex, using regular expressions is a way to do advanced search and replace for strings of words or characters.

It could be useful when filtering out branded search terms. For example, if we wanted to do this, we might look at including any abbreviations or variations of our name, so in the filter we would include “Browser Media”, but perhaps also the individual word “Browser”, or “BM”:

Read more about that update in our blog

4. Google expands its continuous audience sharing feature in Ads

The feature, which launched last year, now enables audiences to be shared from sub-accounts. When enabled, existing and future remarketing lists are automatically shared with manager accounts.

Previously this could only be done at the manager account-level, so the update could save PPC professionals time creating new audience lists.

Google has warned however, that it may be worth exercising a little caution before sharing a list with another account, so as not to inadvertently violate a privacy policy. Remember to get permission to share a list from the account that owns it first, and bear in mind that any changes made to a shared list are applied across accounts.

5. The infamous Yahoo! Answers is shutting down

Described by the New York Times as a “haven for the confused”, Yahoo! announced it will be closing Yahoo! Answers on May 4 2021, redirecting users to the home page after this date.

It’s served us with questions and answers (and a good laugh), for 16 years, and for those who can’t bear to go cold turkey, Yahoo! is planning a phased disappearance, entering it into a read-only mode from April 20.

Needless to say, there are already countless round ups of the greatest entries, but here are a few of the classics:

The question is, will we need a Covid-passport for a trip to the sun in winter 2021/22?!

 

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