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Latest impacts for Australian Digital Advertisers.

Google is still undecided if they are going to pack a suitcase and leave our shores. Personally I don’t think they will. All parties, even the opposition, appear to be in agreement with the proposed media bargaining code, but I feel many are still keeping their cards close to their chests. I’m hosting a webinar on Feb 25 at 11am where I’ll be covering wasted advertising money for one thing. Spots are limited!

  • Will Google really leave Australia?
  • How tracking pixel changes affect you.
  • The difference between Google and FB ads.
  • Why most businesses waste money on ads.
  • Why you need to attend our new webinar.


Hey, welcome back Rankers. Do you ever have those days you feel like you are living in a novel written by Aldous Leonard Huxley and George Orwell? It kind of feels that way, doesn’t it at the moment? I just want to touch on the ACCC and the media bargaining code saga and whether Google’s going to leave Australia or not. I don’t think they will. The US government has written to our government saying we don’t like your code.

Everyone’s in agreement?

And a lot of people seem to think this is very politicised. And they’re saying, “This is all Rupert Murdoch.” It’s like, oh well. I don’t know. Maybe he’s the brainchild behind it. But the ABC isn’t complaining. The Guardian is a signatory to it. And you would say those publications are poles apart, but they all agree. And certainly, our federal opposition agrees with our federal government. So everyone’s on board with it.

So it’s not just the big, bad old boogeyman of Rupert Murdoch. In fact, the ABC published an article saying that Microsoft backs the media bargaining code. Well, yeah, they do. They go, “That’s great. We’re not paying anything though.” They go, “Okay. That’s fine.” But do you like it? “Oh yeah, no, it’s wonderful. We’re going to make our search engine better and yeah, yeah. It’s great, but we’re not going to pay anything.”

But according to the ABC, they back it. And right at the end of the last paragraph, they’ve said, “Google and Facebook continue to argue that media organisations benefit from referrals and clicks through to their website.” Of course they do. It’s just insane. All right.

And the US government said that you can’t ask Google to reveal its algorithm. That’s ridiculous. I agree with that. I also think though, that both Facebook and Google are certainly being disingenuous. And certainly Facebook came out a few weeks back, full page ads in some US papers because Apple is bringing out a new version of iOS, which I’ve just updated to. And when you open up the Facebook app on that new iOS, it will prompt you to say, “Do you want to be tracked up the wazoo?” I’ve paraphrased it, but it’s essentially that.

And if you say no, then Facebook can’t track you with a tracking pixel. Now tracking pixels are used for a lot of things, for Facebook. Primarily, a primary one would be remarketing or retargeting. But also things like your attribution model, which I think is a very dodgy one on Facebook anyway, I’ve already said that. And a few other things. So if you are doing Facebook ads, make sure you go and check all those things. If you want to have a quick overview of it, go and check out Susan Wenograd’s article on Search Engine Journal. She’s done a lot of good work on that.

And advertising, you can waste a lot of money on, and I’ve seen a lot of people do it on Facebook specifically. Certainly for us, for our retailers, the Google products are more instant sales, than say what Facebook is.

Facebook tends to be, because it’s an interruptive form of advertising. Meaning I’ve got to interrupt your feed, your goofing off time on Facebook, with an ad. You’re less likely to be inclined to click on that. But on Google, of course, you’re actually looking for that thing. You’re searching for it. So the actions and the intent are different on those two mediums.

Don’t miss our webinar!

So that brings me to a really, really nice segue actually. We’re doing a webinar on the 25th of February at 11:00 AM. And one of the things I’ll be talking about is how people do actually waste a lot of money on advertising. And I would say one in three clients we immediately save thousands on spend or reallocate the spend because it’s being spent really, really, really badly. And it’s just simple stuff.

Sometimes it’s like targeting the wrong audience, or other times it could be optimising for the wrong things. And Google Ads might think this campaign is a great success at the algorithm level, but you’re not seeing the results. And that’s because it’s optimising for the wrong things. So we’ll be going into some of that.

I will be touching on something that I touched on last webinar because a lot of people got a lot out of that. And that was just really a simple change. This is one we did a couple of years ago. I think it’s 2019. Yeah. But it works really, really well. It’ll depend on the site. But these are things that you don’t need to be doing and when you remove them, you get results.
Like this. Head over to the webinar page. That’s at because we’re also going to be talking about store greeters. Really important. And most retailers actually have them. They just don’t know. And so they don’t treat them properly like a store greeter. In case you don’t know what a store greeter is, if you’ve ever been to a large department store and you walk in and the person at the front door, you can ask them where things are and they’ll direct you straight to them. Which is just fantastic.

So you can do that on your website as well. So we’re talking through that and the results that we’re seeing from that. And the revenue share that you get from that, when you utilise that store greeter technique. We’ll also be going on talking about the way that retailers hide things on their website, which really just kill sales. There’s a lot of information asking, “Hey, do you do that?” “Oh yeah, no, we do that. Look, it’s over there, buried under that page and through that thing and up that hoop. And under that pop-up.”

There’s a lot of that sort of stuff that goes on on retail websites. So we’ll be talking about some of those things that you need to stop hiding, let people know about because they want to know. And it will increase sales quickly. And we’ll have some fun. Now it is a limited audience, as it was last time. Sold out pretty quick. Well, didn’t sell because we’re not selling. It’s free.

But retailers only, no agency mates. I’m looking at you. You know who you are. We had to bump a few last time. I know it’s flattering, but no, this is retailers only. Sorry. So, we’ll be doing that. And on the 25th of February 11 AM, anyway, register because we do fill out. And it was great. Last time, we were able to have a bit of back and forth questions because we don’t want a massive group. We will cut it off at a smaller number than what you might think, because that’s what we want. We’re very targeted about who we speak to, and we’re not after a shotgun approach.

But come along because it will be fun. Oh, I’ve just got to show you this one last thing. So, Facebook and Google talk about the media bargaining code and the iOS 14 update as something that is making the internet, not an open internet anymore. Well, the internet hasn’t been an open internet for a little while now because of the censorship, and that’s what it is, that Facebook and Google are doing. They’ve got euphemisms for these things that they do. But if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.

So I’ll give you an example of this. So this was trending during the week, and I’m not going to mention any names here. I’m just finding this fascinating at the moment, because I’ve never seen this in the history of the US where we’ve had this. Usually, one of these, after a certain date… I’m very careful about not to mention certain words, because I don’t want to get censored on YouTube. You would see this blue line normally just drop away, nothing. But, of course, there’s just as much interest as there was before.

But this one was interesting. It just came up into my feed and I hadn’t heard anything about it. So I just started to Google it. And you can see there, I don’t have any search suggestions for that phrase. Right? This auto-complete here is because I’ve typed it before. Right. And this is a previous search.

So none of these things are search suggestions. Whereas in DuckDuckGo, I got search suggestions out the wazoo. Not so much now because they’re search suggestions, I think, and I’ve just been checking a variety of phrases, only relevant to trending so we can get it there. But the other day it was just the first letter. And I got all of that, but we’re not getting the Super Bowl, which is what we were getting the other day.

And we got nothing in… Here’s another one. I’ll show you this one too. You can play this one at home yourself. Okay. You can see that, dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk, all of those. Let’s go across to Google. Nothing. These are the search suggestions. Nothing. Okay. So, Facebook complains that Apple, by securing the user’s privacy, is somehow harming an open internet. And Google’s saying them paying to have the content displayed on their site is somehow harming the open internet.

That one doesn’t fly well, because you’re already doing these sorts of things. You’re already censoring the internet. And I showed it last year as well. And it happens all the time. It’s just what they want you to see. Okay. So they’ve got euphemisms for these tools, but anyway, you can go and play this game all day. Go into Google Trends, type their names in, like I’ve done. Watch what’s trending at the hour level. Then go and type it into DuckDuckGo and Google and see which one has the search suggestions for things that might be negative for one person or the other. You’ll find that one turns up, the other doesn’t.

Hopefully that’s helpful. We’re in for a weird time I think. The Google News showcase launched. I haven’t seen it anywhere. So, it’s not a very good showcase. Apparently… I think it’s on Android phones or something. But because I don’t watch the news, I don’t go looking for it. Hopefully that’s helpful. See you next week. Don’t forget to book for the webinar, Thanks very much. Bye.

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