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This post was created with help from Simon Poulton.

Significant Change in Safari Browser: ITP 2.1

  • Apple has announced the release of iOS 12.2 beta 6 that includes the next iteration of Intelligent Tracking Prevention. This release will go live following their upcoming media event.
  • What is happening?
    • Cookie Window: ITP 2.1 will limit the way advertising and analytics platforms can collect and unify user data across sessions by reducing the length of 1st party cookie windows from 30 days down to 7 days. 3rd party cookies still have 0 days, meaning they cannot be used to track users across sessions.
    • Platform Changes: Changes rolled out (e.g. gTag, Conversion Linker) to mitigate the impact of ITP 2.0 focused on moving from 3rd party cookies to 1st party cookies to maintain the 30-day tracking window. These solutions are still valuable, but they are still limited to now focusing on a 7-day window.
  • What will be impact be?
    • Ad Platforms: It is likely that the number of conversions counted within your advertising platforms will decrease slightly as anyone who has clicked and not visited the site in longer than 8 days will not be accounted for. This impact will be more pronounced if you have a significant amount of users visiting via Safari.
    • Analytics Platforms: Your total number of conversions will stay the same, but you will lose some insights, including touchpoints to conversion and attribution from visits earlier in the buyer journey.
  • What can we do?
    • Official Statement: At this time there has been no official statement from Google, Facebook, Bing, or Adobe with regards to how they are planning to handle this. It’s unlikely we will hear much from there, as any solution that is publicly discussed will likely be the target of ITP 2.2
    • localStorage: Many in the analytics community have proposed using localStorage to persist a unique ID that can be passed back to the cookie (only for Analytics). Our Digital Intelligence team is currently testing this and will have further insights soon.
  • Synopsis: This new Safari browser update may impact visibility into performance and attribution measurement. The update will make it more difficult for Google- and Facebook-type entities to track users across sessions and devices on their browser. Evaluate your traffic source and determine what percentage of traffic comes from Safari. If your site is going to be impacted by this update, start seeking a solution. Wpromote has identified a temporary solution, and our Digital Intelligence team is currently testing and will have further insights soon.

Google Retires Pagination As An Indexing Symbol

  • Previously, pagination served as an indexing signal to communicate to Google that individual pages are all part of a series, and to help Google consolidate properties of pages in the index rather than split them out.
  • On March 21, 2019, Google announced that they are retiring rel=”next” and rel=”prev” and it is no longer an indexing signal.
  • While this is news to SEO experts, John Mueller stated that Google actually hasn’t been using signals from pagination tags for indexing for a few years. This infers that publishers and SEO experts are already effectively sending the appropriate signals to Google without the rel=prev/next tags.
  • John Mueller stated:

“For the most part, we just index the pages as we find them, so as we’ve recommended for a long time, it’s good to make sure that all pages can stand on their own.”

  • Why does this matter? Even though this isn’t technically a change in Google’s algorithm, it updates SEO approach. It is important to craft your webpages with single-page content that can stand on its own instead of paginated content. For blog articles, this is straightforward: just keep it on one page. However, this gets more complicated for product pages. Try to craft unique metadata and content for each page, if possible. This will likely be an extensive task, so in the meantime target high priority pages or implement a “view all” button to consolidate product pages.
  • Synopsis: Create single-page content so that it can stand alone for both Google and the users.

eMarketer Key Findings For Q1 2019 Video Trends

  • eMarketer reports on its Q1 2019 Digital Video Trends. The overarching takeaway from this article is that the video ecosystem is thriving and continues to outpace projections.
  • Notable YouTube and audience findings:
    • “combined with YouTube’s stat that more than 70% of its watch time happens on mobile devices”
    • There are an estimated 235.1 million video viewers, or 82.8% of internet users.”
    • “Our projected annual growth rates—which are in the range of 1.7% to 2.1%—are typical of a category that represents well over 80% of internet users and over 70% of the general population.
    • A November 2018 study by GfK MRI noted that 48% of the time Americans spend watching TV or video happens in groups. In addition, 49% of adults in the study, and 60% of those in the 18-to-34-year-old group, reported co-viewing more in 2018 than three years earlier.
  • Why does this matter? With 80% of internet users watching videos, video strategy should be a prominent focus. The strategy should incorporate the changes in viewing patterns.

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