🚯 You'll Never Delete a YouTube Video Again

PLUS: Half of the ads on Google search results page are being pushed down by a new content block which is designed to keep people from visiting your brand’s web site.

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You'll Never Delete a YouTube Video Again

PLUS: Half of the ads on Google search results page are being pushed down by a new content block which is designed to keep people from visiting your brand’s web site.

Today's News:

YOUTUBE • “Don’t Delete Your Old Videos”

There’s a kind of black magic when it comes to trying to read the tea leaves of a platform’s algorithm, and there are hundreds of best practices — some of which come from the platforms themselves, many, from clickbaity blog post headlines that aren’t factual at all.

Remember the mythology around Facebook and third-party content posting tools? For the longest time, people believed that using a tool like that would reduce your reach. Facebook has said for years and years now that’s not true, but people still believe it.

Well YouTube has given us some official advice about their content discovery algorithm, and it’s one I had not heard before. That advice: Don’t delete videos from your brand’s YouTube channel.

YouTube Product Lead Todd Beaupre says doing so removes more than the video.

This is advice I don’t think I’d heard prior to this, and it makes me wonder how much of this might apply to other content platforms as well. After all, if the only thing the platforms have to understand what a user is interested in are the posts that we put up on the platform, it does seem to suggest that removing posts on other algorithmic-heavy platforms (like Facebook or Instagram) might also remove some of that audience signal data.

Either way, algorithmic advice direct from the platforms doesn’t usually come often — and when it does, it’s usually so vague as to be unhelpful — so this note is a welcome change.

SEARCH • Google’s SGE is Pushing 50% of Ads Down

Five words a marketer does not want to hear from Google: “Erosion of current traffic levels” — shorthand for “we’ll be sending fewer people to your web site from now on.”

And you can blame Google’s apparent obsession with replacing their entire business model with AI.

The company this week announced it is rolling out SGE to almost all people who use its search engine.

SGE stands for “Search Generative Experience” — essentially, when people search for, say, “ideas for kid’s birthday party,” rather than showing your carefully manicured SEO-friendly web page promoting party products, users will see some AI-generated text about birthday parties.

Don’t get me wrong — this is probably great for users; not so much for marketers.

This isn’t new. For years, Google has focused on giving users what the industry calls a “zero-click” experience — meaning if people search for “Tod Maffin,” they get a knowledge box ripped from my page on Wikipedia, rather than my web site in the top spot.

Until now, this SGE was only shown to users who manually opted into the beta test. Now, it’s going almost everywhere.

The SEO platform Authoritas has an analysis out that found Google was showing SGE to nearly 92% of all search queries.

And where is SGE getting its information from? All over the web, of course, but Quora finished in the top 20 performing generative domains in 11 of 15 categories, according to to their study.

Wikipedia was the top or second-best performing domain in 11 categories.

This isn’t to say links to web sites have disappeared — they’re still there, underneath SGE… and let’s not forget that SGE’s answers have links to regular web sites too: An average of almost 11 links appear in SGE answers, according to the Authoritas study, though only 4.3 of those on average were from unique domains.

As for your ads and where they’ll show up, it seems like Google is doing one massive split test right now. Authoritas found that half of the time ads appeared above the SGE output, and half of the time below.

Here’s a chart showing a more nuanced breakdown by industry:

When you look at different types of ad formats, through, Shopping Ads appeared below SGE more than two out of three times, on average.

LINKEDIN • Dynamic UTM Tracking is Here (Finally)

LinkedIn will soon add dynamic UTM parameters to help marketers track the effectiveness of their campaigns.

UTM parameters, of course, are those keywords embedded into URLs that ride along with clicks, helping web sites learn what ad campaign the click came from, or what ad variant was used, and so on.

Marketers – only one time per campaign – will add a dynamic UTM parameter to their campaign and then we’ll automatically pull in the account, campaign and/or creative name into the destination URL so it can be picked up by analytics tools, allowing marketers to more easily analyze results.

LinkedIn

UTM tracking is a fairly simple model, and doesn’t use third-party cookies or fingerprinting, so it’s a little more privacy friendly. It’s also not perfect… many ad blockers and privacy extensions will strip UTM parameters when clicked on. So don’t rely on it for a perfect reading of your campaign.

I’m actually a little surprised that LinkedIn hadn’t added this before, as UTM parameters were one of the OG tracking methods.

They actually announced this a couple of months ago, but now say dynamic UTMs will be available around the world by the end of the weekend.

One of the top-performing post types on Instagram is the carousel — that block of images that users swipe right to see more of.

But that format has always had one problem, at least as it comes to engagement — when people comment on that post, they’re commenting on the unit as a whole. There’s no way for them to comment on a specific image within that block.

That might be changing soon. Sort of.

Instagram is now testing a way for users to comment on specific images within a post, though it’s a little more awkward than you might think.

A screenshot of this test in the wild shows that users will need to @mention the number of the specific media within that post, rather than tapping on it. So if you wanted to comment on the fourth image in the carousel, you’d write @4, then your comment.

And that comment won’t appear under or near that tagged image. Rather, it’ll still show up in the regular comment section, but with a thumbnail of the tagged media below the comment.

Carousel posts have become a key focus for IG as it looks to encourage more personal sharing in the app. Last October, it began testing collaborative carousel posts, which enables other users to contribute to carousel feed updates, while more recently, it also began testing expanded carousels, with up to 20 images available within a single update.

With both options, having a simple way to specifically comment on each frame within a carousel could be of value, and could enable more engagement and interaction within the main IG feed.

This is, as I said, only a test that’s been seen out there. No word on when this will make it to all users.

YouTube is rolling out a new feature that might change the way we watch videos. Imagine being able to jump straight to the most interesting parts of a video without having to scrub through it.

The way it works is, if a viewer is double tapping to skip ahead on an eligible segment, we’ll show a Jump Ahead button that will take them to the next point in the video that we think they’re aiming for.

Initially, this is a limited experiment available to Premium subscribers in the U.S. only.

YouTube

YouTube also announced its expanding its Remix options within Shorts, giving creators the ability to remix already remixed clips.

TOOLS • Canva Buys Affinity Design Suite

Years ago, Adobe made the decision to switch to a subscription model for its popular design tools. I don’t think anyone liked it — some marketers swore off Adobe permanently and looked around for alternatives.

And some great alternatives emerged. I bought Pixelmator for the Mac like five years ago for $25 and haven’t had to pay them anything else — and Pixelmator does almost everything Photoshop does. Sometimes, it does it better.

There was another set of independent tools by Affinity which had a photo editing app, a vector editing app, and other software that competed with Adobe. Affinity, too, is a one-time purchase.

Today, the web-based design platform Canva announced it has bought the Affinity suite, which also includes publishing software that competes with Adobe’s InDesign tool.

Canva says more than three million people use Affinity’s apps. As for future plans:

Our product teams have already started chatting and we have some immediate plans for lightweight integration, but we think the products themselves will always be separate.

Canva co-founder Cameron Adams

That said, if you’re familiar with the concept of enshittification, we might soon see Affinity’s apps folded into a monthly subscription. So this might be a good time to buy the suite, if you were sitting on the fence, and hedge your bets.

THREADS • Search/Add GIFs from Desktop Now

Finally, a small update to Threads — it now supports native GIF search and posting via desktop, bringing it one step closer to being the Twitter replacement that Zuckerberg is dreaming of.

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