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Privacy & Security Trends: Impact on Data Intelligence & Identity Graphs

  • At the start of the new year, we reflect on the past year: what worked, what didn’t, and most importantly, what we need to do in 2019. 2019 has just begun and there are some clear topics on every digital marketer’s mind: privacy, security, fraud, and transparency.
  • 2018 incurred its fair share of data breaches. As a result, companies are forced to implement stricter regulations, and the balance of power has shifted into the hands of the consumer. Privacy and security of user data are no longer nice-to-have features of a website, but rather essential pieces in acquiring and maintaining customers.
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act goes into effect 2020; however, companies are required to show a full year’s worth of data, effectively meaning that companies need to be in compliance starting January 2019.
  • Despite the growing frustrations and security complaints, the infamous duopoly (Facebook and Google) will dominate US digital display advertisers ad dollars again in 2019.
  • The rise in privacy and security concerns coupled with an increase in trends towards ad blocking will complicate marketers’ ability to create identity graphs.
    • “Next year, we predict more than one-quarter of all US internet users will continue to block ads on one or more devices, thereby wiping out tracking and measurement information on many internet users’ online actions.”
    • “Combined, these two factors (Apple’s ITP 2.0) alone will make more than 100 million internet users in the US either inaccessible or unaccounted for in digital environments.”
  • Why does this matter? Technology today allows digital marketers to provide a full-funnel approach and guide the buyer’s journey. Specifically, identity graphs have allowed digital marketers to piece together an individual users journey across devices and sessions. The increase of ad blocker and other technologies focused on data safety will create obstacles for the data insights technology that marketers rely on. Digital intelligence is key to a full-funnel marketing strategy. Plan ahead and have the resources to adapt to the changing landscape of data security.

Google Opens Access of 15-second Non-skippable Video Ads to All Advertisers

  • Previously, only select advertisers were able to run 15-second non-skippable ads through YouTube reservation. As of January 24, however, Google started granting access to this feature to all advertisers and anticipates full availability in the coming weeks.
  • Advertisers can access this feature by setting up a new campaign in Google Ads or Display and Video 360.
  • Google claims that they will continue to monitor the number of ads a user is subject to and that the rollout of this feature should not affect the overall user experience.

Log Files & The Hidden SEO Opportunities

  • When you first look at a log file it can be daunting. However, when done correctly, dissecting a log file can provide you with key insights and help you pinpoint technical errors before they become a pervasive problem.
  • A log file is essentially a “ledger of requests made by crawlers and real users”, or simply, “a recording of everything that goes in and out of a server.” There are two main types of tools to help you analyze log files: static and real-time. A static file only analyzes a fixed time frame and cannot be extended. On the other hand, a real-time tool allows users the ability to change the time frame on their own.
  • Once you have your log file, it is important to analyze the data and consider the following questions:
    • Which search engines crawl my website?
    • Which URLs are crawled most often?
    • Which content types are crawled most often?
    • Which status codes are returned?
  • In connection with evaluating your data, segment the data. Grouping the URLs into segments allows visibility into the overarching trends.
    • “For instance, discovering that almost 70 percent of Googlebot requests are for pages that are not indexable is an insight you can act on.”
  • Going forward, it is recommended to continue to monitor a log file over time. Assess a log file throughout the year and also following any major changes to a site.
  • If you are looking for more advanced ways to evaluate a log file, merge the data with Google Analytics, Tableau, or BI.


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