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Tag: Data

LastPass Data Breach: It’s Time to Ditch This Password Manager

December 29, 2022 No Comments

The password manager’s most recent data breach is so concerning, users need to take immediate steps to protect themselves.
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Turning data into results with data-driven attribution

December 24, 2022 No Comments

Showcasing how Mercedes-Benz Germany increased performance with data-driven attribution, and introducing new ways to see success with this model.
Google Analytics Blog


How to use digital PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth

November 23, 2022 No Comments

How to use PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth

30-second summary:

  • With the right strategy, digital PR can help drive both brand awareness and organic performance
  • During an economic downturn, brand visibility is essential to maintain brand advocacy in the long-term
  • Brands that will come out on top are those that take a cross-channel approach to drive more ROI, using data from other channels to inform their approach

Despite being tempted to pull back on spending during a recession, I believe that it is critical that brands stay visible to maintain brand advocacy — and Digital PR is a great, low-cost way to do so.

Future front-runner brands will be those that adopt a cross-channel approach to drive more ROI, utilizing data from other channels to inform their approach and ensure it resonates with target audiences.

With the current economic climate, brands and businesses are understandably scrutinizing every cent, and will likely make cuts to marketing budgets across the globe. 

Businesses need to be realistic about their growth trajectory over the next few months and ensure every marketing dollar they invest is accounted for. While this may naturally lead to greater investment in performance channels, such as paid media, this will result in increased cost per click (CPCs). A way to still stay measurable but reduce costs is to get creative and focus energy on earning attention rather than continuing to pay for every click and impression.

As a result, I would argue that digital PR is one of the most important tools in your marketing toolkit, as, with the right strategy, it can drive both brand awareness and organic performance.

You’re missing a trick if you’re just using Digital PR to drive links

Digital PR is used to build high authority, and relevant links to key category pages to drive search performance through organic growth. A targeted strategy that aligns closely with SEO objectives will enable you to track ROI if you have the right measurement tools in place. This activity feeds into lower funnel marketing activity as it helps to harvest demand, as increased rankings capture better traffic and conversions. 

However, if you’re only using it for this purpose, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity further up the marketing funnel. 

Through securing brand-led, high-impact coverage on authoritative and influential publications, digital PR can also be used to drive search demand and upper-funnel brand awareness. This third-party validation is the perfect way to build salience, credibility, customer advocacy, and trust while simultaneously driving organic performance through high-quality links.

In order to achieve both brand and performance though, you need to be creating relevant and engaging content that your target audience wants to read and share. You shouldn’t be creating content ‘just for a link’ but taking into consideration wider business goals – and making sure you’re actually targeting press that your audience is reading.

In summary, digital PR shouldn’t just be an ‘intent-led’ marketing discipline to increase rankings. It’s a discipline that can both drive demand and awareness, whilst helping to capture intent-led traffic. 

Why brand visibility is even more important during a recession

Recessions are difficult and uncertain times, which is why it’s even more important to continue to build visibility and salience – as with tighter budgets, consumers are likely to become more selective and want to buy from brands that they trust that stay relevant to them.

We have seen in previous economic uncertainty brands that maintain their brand awareness and relevance, retain more market share, and are able to bounce back quicker. Mark Ritson’s marketing recession playbook provides further information and sources on this subject. 

In order to use digital PR to deliver true brand performance, you need to ensure you’re creating it based on as much cross-channel insight as possible.

Sharing cross-channel insight to deliver better ROI

While many marketers say they work ‘cross-channel,’ the reality is that many teams are still working in silos – especially across brand and performance teams.

To drive the best results, it is essential to break down silos and take data insights from each channel to develop one overarching strategy.

For example, to drive organic growth, while it’s critical to start with key SEO insight, search volumes, brand traffic, non-brand traffic, relevance, and the number of backlinks, you should be considering other channels to maximize performance. 

Another example would be that your PPC and paid search teams will have a lot of useful data that you can use to inform your organic strategy. Which are the keywords that are costing the most? You can tailor your efforts to improve organic rankings for these keywords, effectively allowing you to spend less on those terms. 

Your programmatic team will also have access to display placement reports which will provide insight into the publications and websites your in-market audience is visiting. This should then inform your target outreach list. From a paid social perspective, this team will have lots of useful information on what content performs the best providing valuable insight for your PR brainstorms.

Amplifying your Digital PR coverage further

You shouldn’t just be working with other channel teams to define your strategy, you need to work with them throughout the whole process, to amplify results. 

For instance, if you generate a truly fantastic piece of linking digital PR coverage, on a very credible publication. Whilst this will drive SEO performance and some brand awareness, in order to maximize the opportunity, and the valuable third-party validation, make it work even harder by amplifying through paid social.

Mini case study: Maryland cookies use PR to reach 5+ million people

Maryland came to us because they needed to align PR, programmatic, and paid social to drive mass awareness of their new Sugar-Free cookie and deliver an immediate surge in new customer sales. Through an integrated approach of PR, paid social, and programmatic, we reached 5.3 million people across all channels. View the case study here.

We have seen in past campaigns that by utilizing PR content as part of your social ads, not only can they actually perform better than the ad creative, but they can also help to prevent ad fatigue and provide you with additional assets (that you don’t need to pay anything extra for!). 

Immediate steps to help your 2023 marketing plan

In order to be successful, it’s important to create a framework that helps to pull all channels together. 

At Journey Further we use the ‘4Ds’ – Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver. 

Discover

This phase involves asking all the channels to provide insight and data based on their recent campaigns and learnings to date. It is recommended to assign a client lead who can be tasked with pulling together a list of questions and a briefing document to ensure the discovery phase is as useful as possible. This will help identify where the biggest opportunities are across channels. 

Define

Agree on the best objective and goals based on the insight provided by all channels. Create an overarching strategy that will deliver against them and drive maximum ROI. 

Develop

Set a clear roadmap, with roles and responsibilities outlined across each channel. Whilst in the case of an organic growth strategy, SEO and PR will take the leading role, it’s important other channels are clear on the ways they can amplify the activity at each stage, and what learnings they can also gather from the activity to improve their own results in-channel. 

Deliver

Marketing activity is activated. If this is a digital PR campaign then influencer marketing and paid social tactics may be used for example, alongside outreach, to bolster the campaign and drive more buzz and engagement. 

Reporting on the right metrics

Another benefit of working cross-channel is that you will be able to report on many more metrics, giving a more holistic and accurate view of ROI. 

Creating a live, 24/7 reporting dashboard utilizing tools such as Data Studio will allow you and your team members to check in and monitor progress at all times. This will provide you with a continuous cycle of insight to allow you to continuously improve your marketing efforts and deliver one overarching strategy that enables you to remain visible while also driving performance.


Beth Nunnington is the VP of Digital PR and Content Marketing at Journey Further, leading Digital PR strategy for the world’s leading brands. Her work has been featured in The Drum, PR Moment, and Prolific North. Find Beth on Twitter @BethNunnington.

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The post How to use digital PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Introducing two new solutions powered by Ads Data Hub

November 1, 2022 No Comments

Ads Data Hub helps advertisers, agencies and measurement partners do customized analysis of campaigns while protecting user privacy. More than 3,000 brands, agencies, and measurement partners use cloud-based Ads Data Hub to perform analyses for their specific business objectives.

Customers of Ads Data Hub have different needs, so we’ve created more specialized entry points to get started. Marketers require tools to quantify a consumer’s path to purchase and the ability to activate new audiences. At the same time, measurement partners conduct third-party assessment of metrics such as video viewability and audience reach.

To offer a more tailored experience, we are introducing an evolution to the Ads Data Hub core platform by introducing two dedicated solutions: Ads Data Hub for Marketers and Ads Data Hub for Measurement Partners.

New solutions for more catered needs

Ads Data Hub for Marketers offers a new way for advertisers and agencies to analyze their data. With this solution, they can seamlessly access insights to better inform the way they purchase media. This means a simplified experience for marketers running queries and activating their first-party data.

Riot Games, for example, used Ads Data Hub for richer marketing analyses. The company centralized their insights and combined them with Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager 360 data. This let Riot Games attribute credit to various ad touch points, accurately measure return on ad spend (ROAS), and establish a new benchmark showing that for every $ 1 Riot Games spent on Google media, it received $ 2 in revenue. Marketers, like Riot Games, perform these analyses regularly, with hundreds of thousands of queries run in 2022 alone.

Over time, new query templates, automated workflows, and updates to reporting will reduce the need for additional technical resources and decrease time to generate insights – with plans to implement Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation, also known as PAIR. In addition to these improvements, marketers will soon be able to activate their audience segments on new inventory, including YouTube. As privacy expectations evolve, we will continue to build more solutions that enable advertisers and agencies to measure and activate their first-party data with Ads Data Hub for Marketers.

Ads Data Hub for Measurement Partners gives partners a new access point to provide YouTube measurement services on behalf of marketers, advertisers, agencies, or publishers. With this launch, it’ll be easier for partners to offer accurate measurement and deliver near real-time insights. For marketers, this means they can work with independent third-party partners to calculate and report on YouTube ad performance across devices, formats, and metrics.

These third-party independent measurement services are available to marketers via our growing partner ecosystem. With Dynata, and other vendors, we have expanded measurement services on Ads Data Hub to enable cross-media solutions for YouTube. Customers will be able to analyze the performance of YouTube campaigns relative to other media channels (including linear TV, streaming TV, or online video sources). Another partner, DoubleVerify, has earned YouTube Video Viewability accreditation by the Media Rating Council (MRC), in addition to Ads Data Hub’s own accreditation announced last year.

In 2023 we plan to integrate with new partners such as iSpot and VideoAmp, joining the list of measurement partners already available with Ads Data Hub.

Commitment to a privacy-centric future

Marketers and measurement partners will benefit from rigorous privacy checks that protect the personal data of users online while still being able to perform comprehensive analytics. These analyses, in addition to insight generation and audience activation, can all be performed with Ads Data Hub users only having access to aggregated data. By investing in privacy-centric solutions that address the specific needs of marketers and measurement partners, we’ve simplified the path to accurate measurement across YouTube and Google campaigns.


Google Analytics Blog


Ireland must ‘swiftly’ investigate legality of Facebook-WhatsApp data sharing, says EDPB

July 17, 2021 No Comments

Facebook’s lead regulator in the European Union must “swiftly” investigate the legality of data sharing related to a controversial WhatsApp policy update, following an order by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB).

We’ve reached out to the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for a response. (Update: See below for their statement.)

Updated terms had been set to be imposed upon users of the Facebook-owned messaging app early this year — but in January Facebook delayed the WhatsApp terms update until May after a major privacy backlash and ongoing confusion over the details of its user data processing.

Despite WhatsApp going ahead with the policy update, the ToS has continued to face scrutiny from regulators and rights organizations around the world.

The Indian government, for example, has repeatedly ordered Facebook to withdraw the new terms. While, in Europe, privacy regulators and consumer protection organizations have raised objections about how opaque terms are being pushed on users — and in May a German data protection authority issued a temporary (national) blocking order.

Today’s development follows that and is significant as it’s the first urgent binding decision adopted by the EDPB under the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Although the Board has not agreed to order the adoption of final measures against Facebook-WhatsApp as the requesting data supervisor, the Hamburg DPA, had asked — saying that “conditions to demonstrate the existence of an infringement and an urgency are not met”.

The Board’s intervention in the confusing mess around the WhatsApp policy update follows the use of GDPR Article 66 powers by Hamburg’s data protection authority.

In May the latter ordered Facebook not to apply the new terms to users in Germany — saying its analysis found the policy granted “far-reaching powers” to WhatsApp to share data with Facebook, without it being clear what legal basis the tech giant was relying upon to be able to process users’ data.

Hamburg also accused the Irish DPC of failing to investigate the Facebook-WhatsApp data sharing when it raised concerns — hence seeking to take matters into its own hands by making an Article 66 intervention.

As part of the process it asked the EDPB to take a binding decision — asking it to take definitive steps to block data-sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook — in a bid to circumvent the Irish regulator’s glacial procedures by getting the Board to order enforcement measures that could be applied stat across the whole bloc.

However, the Board’s assessment found that Hamburg had not met the bar for demonstrating the Irish DPC “failed to provide information in the context of a formal request for mutual assistance under Article 61 GDPR”, as it puts it.

It also decided that the adoption of updated terms by WhatsApp — which it nonetheless says “contain similar problematic elements as the previous version” — cannot “on its own” justify the urgency for the EDPB to order the lead supervisor to adopt final measures under Article 66(2) GDPR.

The upshot — as the Hamburg DPA puts it — is that data exchange between WhatsApp and Facebook remains “unregulated at the European level”.

Article 66 powers

The importance of Article 66 of the GDPR is that it allows EU data protection authorities to derogate from the regulation’s one-stop-shop mechanism — which otherwise funnels cross border complaints (such as those against Big Tech) via a lead data supervisor (oftentimes the Irish DPC), and is thus widely seen as a bottleneck to effective enforcement of data protection (especially against tech giants).

An Article 66 urgency proceeding allows any data supervisor across the EU to immediately adopt provisional measures — provided a situation meets the criteria for this kind of emergency intervention. Which is one way to get around a bottleneck, even if only for a time-limited period.

A number of EU data protection authorities have used (or threatened to use) Article 66 powers in recent years, since GDPR came into application in 2018, and the power is increasingly proving its worth in reconfiguring certain Big Tech practices — with, for example, Italy’s DPA using it recently to force TikTok to remove hundreds of thousands of suspected underage accounts.

Just the threat of Article 66’s use back in 2019 (also by Hamburg) was enough to encourage Google to suspend manual reviews of audio reviews of recordings captured by its voice AI, Google Assistant. (And later led to a number of major policy changes by several tech giants who had similarly been manually reviewing users’ interactions with their voice AIs.)

At the same time, Article 66 provisional measures can only last three months — and only apply nationally, not across the whole EU. So it’s a bounded power. (Perhaps especially in this WhatsApp-Facebook case, where the target is a ToS update, and Facebook could just wait out the three months and apply the policy anyway in Germany after the suspension order lapses.)

This is why Hamburg wanted the EDPB to make a binding decision. And it’s certainly a blow to privacy watchers eager for GDPR enforcement to fall on tech giants like Facebook that the Board has declined to do so in this case.

Unregulated data sharing

Responding to the Board’s decision not to impose definitive measures to prevent data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook, the Hamburg authority expressed disappointment — see below for its full statement — and also lamented that the EDPB has not set a deadline for the Irish DPC to conduct the investigation into the legal basis of the data sharing.

Ireland’s data protection authority has only issued one final GDPR decision against a tech giant to date (Twitter) — so there is plenty of cause to be concerned that without a concrete deadline the ordered probe could be kicked down the road for years.

Nonetheless, the EDPB’s order to the Irish DPC to “swiftly” investigate the finer-grained detail of the Facebook-WhatsApp data sharing does look like a significant intervention by a pan-EU body — as it very publicly pokes a regulator with a now infamous reputation for reluctance to actually do the job of rigorously investigating privacy concerns. 

Demonstrably it has failed to do so in this WhatsApp case. Despite major concerns being raised about the policy update — within Europe and globally — Facebook’s lead EU data supervisor did not open a formal investigation and has not raised any public objections to the update.

Back in January when we asked about concerns over the update, the DPC told TechCrunch it had obtained a “confirmation” from Facebook-owned WhatsApp that there was no change to data-sharing practices that would affect EU users — reiterating Facebook’s line that the update didn’t change anything, ergo “nothing to see here”. 

“The updates made by WhatsApp last week are about providing clearer, more detailed information to users on how and why they use data. WhatsApp have confirmed to us that there is no change to data-sharing practices either in the European Region or the rest of the world arising from these updates,” the DPC told us then, although it also noted that it had received “numerous queries” from stakeholders who it described as “confused and concerned about these updates”, mirroring Facebook’s own characterization of complaints.

“We engaged with WhatsApp on the matter and they confirmed to us that they will delay the date by which people will be asked to review and accept the terms from February 8th to May 15th,” the DPC went on, referring to a pause in the ToS application deadline which Facebook enacted after a public backlash that saw scores of users signing up to alternative messaging apps, before adding: “In the meantime, WhatsApp will launch information campaigns to provide further clarity about how privacy and security works on the platform. We will continue to engage with WhatsApp on these updates.”

The EDPB’s assessment of the knotty WhatsApp-Facebook data-sharing terms looks rather different — with the Board calling out WhatsApp’s user communications as confusing and simultaneously raising concerns about the legal basis for the data exchange.

In a press release, the EDPB writes that there’s a “high likelihood of infringements” — highlighting purposes contained in the updated ToS in the areas of “safety, security and integrity of WhatsApp IE [Ireland] and the other Facebook Companies, as well as for the purpose of improvement of the products of the Facebook Companies” as being of particular concern.

From the Board’s PR [emphasis its]:

Considering the high likelihood of infringements in particular for the purpose of safety, security and integrity of WhatsApp IE [Ireland] and the other Facebook Companies, as well as for the purpose of improvement of the products of the Facebook Companies, the EDPB considered that this matter requires swift further investigations. In particular to verify if, in practice, Facebook Companies are carrying out processing operations which imply the combination or comparison of WhatsApp IE’s [Ireland] user data with other data sets processed by other Facebook Companies in the context of other apps or services offered by the Facebook Companies, facilitated inter alia by the use of unique identifiers. For this reason, the EDPB requests the IE SA [Irish supervisory authority] to carry out, as a matter of priority, a statutory investigation to determine whether such processing activities are taking place or not, and if this is the case, whether they have a proper legal basis under Article 5(1)(a) and Article 6(1) GDPR.

NB: It’s worth recalling that WhatsApp users were initially told they must accept the updated policy or else the app would stop working. (Although Facebook later changed its approach — after the public backlash.) While WhatsApp users who still haven’t accepted the terms continue to be nagged to do so via regular pop-ups, although the tech giant does not appear to be taking steps to degrade the user experience further as yet (i.e. beyond annoying, recurring pop-ups).

The EDPB’s concerns over the WhatsApp-Facebook data sharing extend to what it says is “a lack of information around how data is processed for marketing purposes, cooperation with the other Facebook Companies and in relation to WhatsApp Business API” — hence its order to Ireland to fully investigate.

The Board also essentially confirms the view that WhatsApp users themselves have no hope of understanding what Facebook is doing with their data by reading the comms material it has provided them with — with the Board writing [emphasis ours]:

Based on the evidence provided, the EDPB concluded that there is a high likelihood that Facebook IE [Ireland] already processes WhatsApp IE [Ireland] user data as a (joint) controller for the common purpose of safety, security and integrity of WhatsApp IE [Ireland] and the other Facebook Companies, and for the common purpose of improvement of the products of the Facebook Companies. However, in the face of the various contradictions, ambiguities and uncertainties noted in WhatsApp’s user-facing information, some written commitments adopted by Facebook IE [Ireland] and WhatsApp IE’s [Ireland] written submissions, the EDPB concluded that it is not in a position to determine with certainty which processing operations are actually being carried out and in which capacity.

We contacted Facebook for a response to the EDPB’s order, and the company sent us this statement — attributed to a WhatsApp spokesperson:

We welcome the EDPB’s decision not to extend the Hamburg DPA’s order, which was based on fundamental misunderstandings as to the purpose and effect of the update to our terms of service. We remain fully committed to delivering secure and private communications for everyone and will work with the Irish Data Protection Commission as our lead regulator in the region in order to fully address the questions raised by the EDPB.

Facebook also claimed it has controls in place for “controller to processor data sharing” (i.e. between WhatsApp and Facebook) — which it said prohibit it (Facebook) from using WhatsApp user data for its own purposes.

The tech giant went on to reiterate its line that the update does not expand WhatsApp’s ability to share data with Facebook.

GDPR enforcement stalemate

A further vital component to this saga is the fact the Irish DPC has, for years, been investigating long-standing complaints against WhatsApp’s compliance with GDPR’s transparency requirements — and still hasn’t issued a final decision.

So when the EDPB says it’s highly likely that some of the WhatsApp-Facebook data-processing being objected to is already going on it doesn’t mean Facebook gets a pass for that — because the DPC hasn’t issued a verdict on whether or not WhatsApp has been up front enough with users.

tl;dr: The regulatory oversight process is still ongoing.

The DPC provisionally concluded its WhatsApp transparency investigation last year — saying in January that it sent a draft decision to the other EU data protection authorities for review (and the chance to object) on December 24, 2020; a step that’s required under the GDPR’s co-decision-making process.

In January, when it said it was still waiting to receive comments on the draft decision, it also said: “When the process is completed and a final decision issues, it will make clear the standard of transparency to which WhatsApp is expected to adhere as articulated by EU Data Protection Authorities.”

Over a half a year later and WhatsApp users in the EU are still waiting to find out whether the company’s comms lives up to the required legal standard of transparency or not — with their data continuing to pass between Facebook and WhatsApp in the meanwhile.

The Irish DPC was contacted for comment on the EDPB’s order today and with questions on the current status of the WhatsApp transparency investigation.

It told us it would have a response later today — we’ll update this report when we get it.

Update: The DPC’s deputy commissioner Graham Doyle said [emphasis his]:

This Article 66 procedure was about whether the EDPB on request from Hamburg would take final measures confirming the provisional measures applied by the Hamburg SA against Facebook. The EDPB decision decided not to take measures as insufficient evidence to ground such measures was presented by the Hamburg SA.

Measures, had they been decided by the Board, would not in any case be measures that would be adopted by the Irish DPC. They would be measures adopted by the EDPB. This is a decision of the Board based on a request from Hamburg SA under a provision that is a derogation to the cooperation and consistency mechanism.

The DPC, of course, has already carried out an in-depth inquiry into WhatsApp’s privacy policy user facing material in the context of its transparency inquiry. That inquiry reached the Article 60 (co-decision making) stage in December 2020 and is now progressing through the dispute resolution procedure. The Hamburg SA has been actively involved in the decision-making process since December 2020 and the dispute resolution process (which commenced in June) is an EDPB-led initiative, involving all other supervisory authorities.

The DPC notes the request of the Board and will give consideration to any appropriate regulatory follow-up where it identifies matters canvassed in the EDPB decision have not already been addressed in the Article 60 draft decision transmitted by the DPC (and now currently with the Board under Article 65).

The DPC also has a separate, complaint-based inquiry ongoing that considers the legal basis that WhatsApp relies upon for processing. That inquiry is also at an advanced stage.

Back in November the Irish Times reported that WhatsApp Ireland had set aside €77.5 million for “possible administrative fines arising from regulatory compliance matters presently under investigation”. No fines against Facebook have yet been forthcoming, though.

Indeed, the DPC has yet to issue a single final GDPR decision against Facebook (or a Facebook-owned company) — despite more than three years having passed since the regulation started being applied.

Scores of GDPR complaints against the Facebook’s data-processing empire — such as this May 2018 complaint against Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp’s use of so-called “forced consent” — continue to languish without regulatory enforcement in the EU because there’s been no decisions from Ireland (and sometimes no investigations either).

The situation is a huge black mark against the EU’s flagship data protection regulation. So the Board’s failure to step in more firmly now — to course-correct — does look like a missed opportunity to tackle a problematic GDPR enforcement bottleneck.

That said, any failure to follow the procedural letter of the law could invite a legal challenge that unpicked any progress. So it’s hard to see any quick wins in the glacial game of GDPR enforcement.

In the meanwhile, the winners of the stalemate are of course the tech giants who get to continue processing people’s data how they choose, with plenty of time to work on reconfiguring their legal, business and system structures to route around any enforcement damage that does eventually come.

Hamburg’s deputy commissioner for data protection, Ulrich Kühn, essentially warns as much in a statement responding to the EDPB’s decision in a statement — in which he writes:

The decision of the European Data Protection Board is disappointing. The body, which was created to ensure the uniform application of the GDPR throughout the European Union, is missing the opportunity to clearly stand up for the protection of the rights and freedoms of millions of data subjects in Europe. It continues to leave this solely to the Irish supervisory authority. Despite our repeated requests over more than two years to investigate and, if necessary, sanction the matter of data exchanges between WhatsApp and Facebook, the IDPC has not taken action in this regard. It is a success of our efforts over many years that IDPC is now being urged to conduct an investigation. Nonetheless, this non-binding measure does not do justice to the importance of the issue. It is hard to imagine a case in which, against the background of the risks for the rights and freedoms of a very large number of data subjects and their de facto powerlessness vis-à-vis monopoly-like providers, the urgent need for concrete action is more obvious. The EDPB is thus depriving itself of a crucial instrument for enforcing the GDPR throughout Europe. This is no good news for data subjects and data protection in Europe as a whole.

In further remarks the Hamburg authority emphasizes that the Board noted “considerable inconsistencies between the information with which WhatsApp users are informed about the extensive use of their data by Facebook on the one hand, and on the other the commitments made by the company to data protection authorities not (yet) to do so”; and also that it “expressed considerable doubts about the legal basis on which Facebook intends to rely when using WhatsApp data for its own or joint processing” — arguing that the Board therefore agrees with the “essential parts” of its arguments against WhatsApp-Facebook data sharing.

Despite carrying that weight of argument, the call for action is once again back in Ireland’s court.

 


Social – TechCrunch


Think Big About Cross-Channel Data!

June 2, 2021 No Comments

Set up your agency’s own PPC data warehouse for cross-channel reporting and push optimization changes back to the ad networks.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


Using SEO data analytics to identify business gaps

May 25, 2021 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Are your leads slipping through the cracks in these business gaps?
  • SEOs have a great vantage point in the form of data that actively helps identify business opportunities and gaps
  • SEO pioneer, serial entrepreneur, and best selling author, Kris Jones identifies three critical aspects that can be fixed to create the foundation of a successful SEO strategy in 2021

One of the strangest things to try to explain to someone who isn’t so familiar with digital marketing is how business owners can start targeting business opportunities that aren’t currently on their radars. After all–if we consider the problem semi-philosophically–how can we know what we don’t know? Relying on human logic alone would make that task quite difficult.

Thankfully, as SEOs, we have plenty of tools available that can help us identify business opportunities and gaps. That means keywords we aren’t targeting, audiences we aren’t going after, backlinks we aren’t getting, and content topics we aren’t covering on our websites. In other words, these are the foundations of a successful SEO strategy in 2021, and you could be missing out on leveraging them for yourself. Here are three pointers for using SEO analytics to identify your business gaps, in the area of keywords, content, and backlinks.

Find your keyword gaps

Digital marketers know the fluctuation in the importance of keywords since the late 1990s. But no matter how much that has changed, you still need to be ranking for the right keywords, or else you won’t be showing up for anything.

But have you ever done a few searches for keywords you want to rank for and not even been able to find your website in the SERPs? Doesn’t it frustrate you to see your competitors on page one?

You can be as good as they are. The way to do it is to run a keyword gap analysis in a tool such as Semrush or Google Search Console (GSC).

Semrush is better and more user-friendly for this, but if you don’t have access to that, let me cover GSC first.

You first have to link your Google Analytics and GSC together. After that, go to Analytics and navigate to Acquisition>Search Console>Queries.

SEO data analytics and identifying missed keyword targeting opportunities

You’ll see the search terms people have used to get to you, as well as those queries’ clicks, impressions, and click-through rates (CTRs).

Export that data into an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet, and then compare the number of actual site visits that those keywords got you to the number of impressions you got for those keywords. The percentage of difference between them will give you a measurable idea of where you need to improve.

However, I prefer Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool for this. You simply input your URL and those of a few competitors, and it compares your keyword numbers against your competitors. The tool shows you a keyword overlap diagram as well as your top opportunities for getting new rankings.

Find your content gaps

You likely know that no serious SEO today writes content for keywords alone. Keywords have their place as subject identifiers for Google, but we need to focus content around actual topics. We need our content to address questions people are asking.

And maybe your top competitors are doing that much better than you are.

As a result, they rank well for this or that query, and you don’t. So, how do we use SEO data to find content gaps?

Well, we are going to build on the previous point and use our competitors’ keywords to find this out. I mentioned earlier that we write content for topics over keywords, but keywords are still how the public finds your content.

In Semrush or your spreadsheet from before, you can filter your keyword gap analysis to show the keywords you’re ranking for in positions 11 through 100 or any number you like. If your competitors are doing well for this or that term, while you are languishing in position 18 or 22, then it’s time to take a look at the content you’ve built around those terms.

What’s wrong with it from user experience and SEO perspectives? Is the information outdated? Is the content thin? Does it not address a certain issue within the buyer’s journey?

For instance, are you writing blog posts about making an appointment with a doctor when you haven’t even covered why you might need to see a doctor? Not everyone who’s browsing a medical center’s website is ready to take action.

Analyzing your content this way (as well as the content of your competitors, by mining the SERPs, for instance) tends to be more of a manual approach, but the keyword gap analysis you did should really come in handy.

You can also use what you’ve learned from that data to generate new ideas for content marketing if you need to. Tools such as BuzzSumo, Answer the Public, and Semrush’s Topic Research tool aggregate user analytics to show you the currently trending topics around certain keywords.

Find your backlink gaps

When we’re discussing using SEO data to identify your business gaps, then the icing on the cake is a good, thorough backlink gap.

Where keywords get you found and content earns customer trust, backlinks flex your site’s authority for Google. A backlink is a vote of confidence. It’s the equivalent of someone standing up in a crowd and saying, “Yes, I believe in what you’re doing.”

The way to a strong backlink profile is through your content marketing, reaching out to influencers to see if they would like to link to your useful and authoritative content.

But then, your competitors are doing the same thing, and possibly to much greater effect.

Here again, we can use SEO analytics to find where you’re falling behind.

You can certainly use everything already mentioned here to analyze your competitors’ content, but in the end, you’ll likely need a paid tool to perform a full-fledged backlink gap analysis.

You can use Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz’s Link Explorer, or something else. You can check out how each works with a free trial, but to stay on top of your backlink gaps, you would need a paid subscription.

From your research, input your site and a few of your competitors’ sites. Whichever tool you use, you will need to view the total number of backlinks and referring domains.

Now, note that it is quite common to have more backlinks than domains. That just means that some domains are linking to you more than once. That doesn’t sound so bad, but if you want a large and varied backlink profile, you will want to ramp up the number of domains that link to you.

SEO data analytics and identifying backlinking opportunities

At this point, though, it’s all about sifting through the data to see where you’re missing the mark. Check out your top competitors’ backlinks. What kind of content gets the most links? Is it long-form blog posts? White papers? Or is it some other content format that’s winning those links?

Find out what your competitors are doing well, and then create better content! If these domains linked to that type of content for someone else, they can certainly do it for you.

Similarly, if you’ve filtered to see your top pages for backlinks and notice you’ve gotten a ton to a certain type of post, then make more of those in the future!

In conclusion

In the end, whether it’s keywords, content, or backlinks, the best overall presentation wins in SEO. You have to be useful and authoritative to human users and Google.

As SEOs, we’re used to sorting through data. The everyday business owner might not be, though. In that case, I hope readers have learned a lot from this about how analytics data is your friend when you’re looking to identify gaps in your business’s SEO strategies.

When you start to get this right, you’re going to share in those wins, too.

Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

The post Using SEO data analytics to identify business gaps appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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How To Merge Your Adobe & Google Data For Making Audience Bid Adjustments

May 21, 2021 No Comments

This article outlines the process to attribute Adobe’s post-click data to Google’s pre-click data for optimizing audience bid adjustments.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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“Up and to the right” with Data Studio

May 18, 2021 No Comments

Millions of people from global enterprises, small businesses, governments and educational institutions are choosing Data Studio to make data-driven decisions. Over the last year, people used Data Studio to monitor ad performance, track brand performance, visualize student progress, and build machine learning models. 

Google Ads monitoring report by Search Foresight

In 2019, we launched more than 80 new features and over 50 new connectors to data. A heartfelt thanks to our users and developers who made 2019 a year to remember. Here are a few highlights. 

Visual Analysis

Throughout the year, we invested in visual analysis allowing faster data exploration and insights discovery. We made it possible to turn a chart into a filter using chart interaction controls. We also launched cross-chart interactions and drill downs. These investments, alongside updates like optional metrics, give users the tools they need to explore and interact with their data.

Drill Down GIF

Fast performance through In-Memory BI Engine

Having the right tools to interact with and analyze data is critical but if report performance is slow, analyzing and visualizing large data sets can be frustrating. In collaboration with the Google Cloud BigQuery team, we launched BI Engine to bring sub second performance to Data Studio. BI Engine is an in-memory analysis service that integrates with your BigQuery data to return blazingly fast results in Data Studio. No more waiting for the page to load!

BI Engine

Scheduled PDF export

Listening to what our users need has always been a priority for the Data Studio team. Two of the top requests we heard from our users was the need to create PDFs and schedule emails of reports. Users can now do both. We’re happy to let you know that as of last week you can now set a custom schedule for scheduled emails. Learn more.

Email Delivery

Conditional formatting

We recently launched conditional formatting, which allows users to apply formatting based on a set of rules, making it easier to tell a story with your data. We’re continuing to invest in conditional formatting and recently added  AND and OR conditions to support compound conditions. Learn more.

Conditional formatting

In 2020 the Data Studio team is committed to delivering a great product that helps our users make better decisions with data. To stay in the loop on what’s happening in Data Studio, subscribe to email updates under Settings > Marketing Preferences or check our Help Center each week to learn “What’s new.”


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Do more with Data Studio Community Visualizations

May 11, 2021 No Comments

Data Studio Community Visualizations, currently in beta, allow you to create and integrate custom JavaScript components into your dashboards. You can use Community Visualizations to expand your chart selection, customize your report styling, or create custom components that perform advanced analysis or even in-browser machine learning.

New galleries for Data Studio Community Visualizations

Showcase gallery for Community Visualization reports

The Data Studio team recently launched the Community Visualization Report Gallery.

There, you can explore how others in the community have leveraged Community Visualizations to make the most of their data and dashboards.

Reports featuring Community Visualizations

Reports featuring Community Visualizations

Public Partner Visualization Gallery

Additionally, we’ve added a new gallery of Partner Community Visualizations that we’ve made available. Browse them in the new Data Studio Visualizations gallery.

The Data Studio Visualizations Gallery

The Data Studio Visualizations Gallery

Click-to-add Partner Visualizations

To add these Partner Visualizations to a report, click “Explore more” in the Community Visualizations drop down. There, you can browse and install a variety of partner-built charts, including funnel visualizations and Gantt charts.

The new in-product Partner Visualization gallery

The new in-product Partner Visualization gallery

Community Visualizations can add to a Data Studio dashboard in different ways – from providing custom charts and styling to integrating calculations with reporting.

Statistical analysis with Community Visualizations

Anvil Analytics + Insights works to bring data-driven decision making to all of their work, including optimized paid media campaigns. They used Community Visualizations to build their own Chi-Square statistical analyzer.

Several Anvil customers noticed that channels in Google Ads and Analytics converted at different rates, and wanted to know if the variance in conversion rates was statistically significant. 

Prior to using Community Visualizations, the Anvil Insights team manually exported the data out of Google Analytics into a separate tool, then ran the statistical analysis. Depending on where Anvil ran the analysis, the results were either stored separately from their reports, or not stored at all. Every time they wanted to test a different hypothesis or run a different variation of the test, they had to repeat the same time-intensive process.

In order to speed up hypothesis testing and integrate the tests and results into Data Studio reports, Anvil used Data Studio Community Visualizations and built a Chi-Square calculator within a week. 

Anvil’s calculator takes in data, just like any Data Studio chart. Once the calculation is complete, the analyzer presents the statistical significance, and either calls the viewer’s attention to a relationship in the data, or comments that there was nothing of note in the data. Now, all it takes to test new hypotheses is switching out the data for the component, just like you would for any other Data Studio chart. See it live.

Anvil Analytics + Insights Community Visualization Chi-Square Calculator

Anvil Analytics + Insights Community Visualization Chi-Square Calculator

“This has been a much faster way to find statistical significance in our campaigns and in other hypotheses we want to test. Anvil’s Director of Analytics and Decision Science, Brett Lohmeyer says, “The best part is that it gives us an easy way for our team to better communicate the value of using statistical significance to our clients.”

Try it yourself

Check out the new in-product Partner Visualizations Gallery to browse and add new partner-built Community Visualizations to your reports. To build your own Community Visualizations, check out the developer documentation.


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