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Google Ads Editor Introduces Full Cross-Account Management by @MattGSouthern

Google has officially launched Google Ads Editor version 1, which now offers full cross-account management.
This is the first major update of Editor to be released since Google AdWords was rebranded as Google Ads.
Google has been waiting to announce the Google Ads brand on an Editor release until it was able to incorporate long-standing community requests in a significant update.
Here’s what’s new in Google Ad Editor v1.
New Features in Google Ads Editor
Google has updated Editor with full cross-account management. Previously, campaign managers could only make changes in the Editor UI for a single account.
Editor can now be used seamlessly across your Google Ads accounts from a single window.

“For example, you’ll be able to easily add the same set of keywords across different accounts, update campaign settings across your entire book of business, or download relevant stats across any grouping of your accounts.”

Google has also improved the overall design and usability of Editor with a new interface that will help users execute tasks more quickly.
According to community feedback, users were having a difficult time remembering where each setting was in Google Ads Editor.
Google addressed this problem by creating a right-hand Edit panel to improve users’ ability to scan. There is also a new search function to help people find what they need even faster.
In addition, the following new features are now available in Google Ads Editor:
Streamlined editing
Full support for non-skippable video ads
Custom rules updates
Ad strength indicator
Maximize conversions for TrueView for action campaigns
Maximize conversions for display campaigns
New support for App campaigns
Audience targeting in Smart Display campaigns
Bumper campaigns are now video campaigns
Message extensions

DuckDuckGo Upgrades Search Results for Weather Forecasts by @MattGSouthern

DuckDuckGo has introduced enhanced search results for weather-related queries.
The new weather format in DuckDuckGo provides more detailed information and clearer images. Weather answers are still powered by Dark Sky.
Results for weather searches are also interactive, showing hourly data by clicking on each day of the week, and instant toggling of Fahrenheit and Celsius.
Here is a before and after comparison:

In true DuckDuckGo fashion, the company also emphasizes the privacy benefits it offers compared to other search engines.

“In other words, even something as commonplace as wanting to know if it’ll rain tomorrow risks leaking personal data on your phone to third parties, such as where you are at any time of the day or night… It’s therefore not surprising that people want a reliable alternative that respects your right to privacy.”

DuckDuckGo handles weather searches for each individual user by inferring an approximate location from the information automatically sent by the browser.
Information about a user’s approximate search location is immediately discarded without being stored.

Facebook’s Faulty SMS Two-Factor Authentication is Locking Out An Alarming Number of Users by @MattGSouthern

An issue with Facebook’s SMS two-factor authentication is keeping a significant number of users locked out of their accounts.
The problem is users are not receiving text messages from Facebook which they need to verify ownership of their accounts.
Joe Youngblood, one of many users currently locked out, has been documenting the process of trying to regain access to his account.
He’s going on over 15 days of not being able to log in to Facebook:

Today is day 15 of not being able to access my Facebook account. In today’s world this could cripple a small business and make them close shop.
There is no excuse for not being able to help people locked out by a broken 2-factor process @fb_engineering you NEED to fix this!
— Joe Youngblood (@YoungbloodJoe) March 29, 2019

Despite many attempts of reaching out to Facebook about this issue, he has not received any help.
As mentioned, he’s not alone. With a quick search for “Facebook SMS” on Twitter you can find many other users locked out of their account for the same reason.
The faulty SMS two-factor authentication problem appears to be severely underreported even though it’s impacting users worldwide.
In an effort to raise awareness of the problem, Youngblood created the Twitter account @FacebookSMS2FA which contains a growing collection of retweets from users who are locked out of their accounts.
This problem could be especially detrimental for people who rely on Facebook to run their business.
For what it’s worth, Youngblood has a long-term history of buying Facebook ads, and that has not seemed to make a difference with regaining access to his account.
What’s also notable about this issue is that Facebook was in the news earlier this month for allowing users to be found using the phone number provided for two-factor authentication.
So not only is Facebook misusing users’ phone numbers, but it’s not even living up to its end of the deal by providing secure and reliable two-factor authentication.
With more users speaking up about the problem, will Facebook finally do something to correct it? We’ll have to wait and see.

4 Reasons Why Website Migrations Fail & How to Overcome Them by @Stevenvvessum

I’m sure you know by now that website migrations can be really tricky. They cause sweaty palms for many an SEO.
I’ve managed 50+ website migrations myself, and I’ve been involved in some capacity in hundreds of them.
I try to learn from every website migration to see how the next one can be done even better. I zoom in on:
What went wrong.
What happened to make it go wrong.
How to prevent that from happening the next time.
In aviation there’s this golden rule that every plane crash should lead to a change to keep it from happening again. When we’re talking about changes, think about changes to the way that planes are constructed or to maintenance processes.
While this may seem extreme, it’s the right mindset.
That’s why I’ve adopted the same paradigm for website migrations. Lives may not be at risk, but businesses certainly are.
I went through my notes on website migrations and discovered that most website migrations fail for four reasons. This post will walk you through those mistakes and describe how you can overcome them.
This article is written for the people who manage website migrations, be that SEO professionals, digital marketers, or project managers.
1. Poor Planning
Successful website migrations are planned well and executed with military precision.
Planning starts as early as possible, ideally when the idea of migrating the website is first entertained.
You’re going to need all the time you can get to:
Scope the migration and put together an action plan and a website migration team.
Educate them on website migrations (more on that later).
Request a budget.
Prepare migration checklists, redirect plans, and so on.
Scoping the website migration and identifying the goals for the migration is really important too, because otherwise how are you going to evaluate how it went?
One of the most common problems happening in website migrations is SEO professionals getting involved in the process way too late. When that happens, pull the handbrake.
Your odds of making the website migration a success aren’t looking good; if you don’t take the time to properly plan the migration, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
Make sure that you, and perhaps a few of your colleagues who are part of the core website migration team, have the final say in whether you decide to proceed with the migration, or instead postpone it because you need more time.
Choosing to move ahead with the migration should not be an executive decision.
2. A Lack of Awareness of the Risks Involved in Website Migrations
It’s essential that everyone involved in the website migration is acutely aware of the risks involved.
In SEO, there are no guarantees. If you rock the boat with a migration, there’s always a chance things will go wrong and you won’t regain your old rankings.
Search engines don’t owe you anything – not even an explanation.
Address this by holding a training session wherein you explain the website migration’s risks to everyone involved. Make it visual and bring the inherent risks to life by presenting website migration case studies.
Include visibility charts, and show them the good, the bad, and the ugly. And then some more ugly to make sure your message is received.
I say “involve everyone,” but who’s that? Consider people in the following roles (but potentially also others):
SEO team
Copywriters
Front-end and back-end developers
DevOps
Project managers
Legal
Management
3. A Lack of Knowledge by the Parties Involved
So now that you’ve ensured everyone involved is aware of the risks, schedule SEO training sessions for everyone who’s going to be directly involved in the website migration.
Explain the basics of SEO and highlight particular aspects that are especially important when it comes to website migrations, such as:
301 redirects.
Properly setting up separate test environments.
The impact of changing content.
Website migrations that went sour should definitely be included in these training sessions, including charts showing the drop in visibility.
Schedule a separate, more high-level, training session for the decision makers involved.
They don’t need to hear about the nuts and bolts of website migrations, but they do need to know:
What risks are involved.
What they can expect.
What you need from them to be able to successfully pull off the website migration.
4. A Weak Migration Checklist
Even if you’ve planned and educated everyone on the risks involved in website migrations well, you can still fail at them horribly.
You may have a weak migration checklist.
Essential checks may be missing, or your checklist may be insufficiently thorough.
Your migration checklist needs to contain both pre-launch and post-launch checks.
Plan enough time to draft a complete and thorough migration checklist.
Things to pay special attention to are:
Content: Is it all in place, and if it’s different from the old site, is it as expected? This goes beyond body content, as it also includes meta information such as titles and meta descriptions. It can even go as far as schema, Open Graph, and Twitter Cards markup.
Redirect plan: Are URLs mapped correctly? And are the redirects implemented and working correctly?
Technical checks: Among others, these are checks to ensure that your robots.txt, robots directives, canonical URLs, hreflang attributes, XML sitemaps, and page speed are all correctly set up.
There are many more checks to think of. For more inspiration, check out these migration guides:
A Note on Laying Blame When Website Migrations Fail
It’s popular among SEO professionals to complain about other people involved in the website migration not having done their part or lived up to expectations when a migration fails.
But in cases like this, there’s never just one person to blame.
If a developer thought it was fine to start the migration process early without a redirect plan in place, whose fault is that, really?
Isn’t it your job to educate him or her about the importance of redirect plans and the SEO risks involved in website migrations?
If the management team wants to go through with the website migration even though you’re 100 percent sure it’ll crash and burn, who’s really at fault here?
Did you do enough to convince the management team of the risks involved?
Better yet, think about these “education risks” rights away and avoid the failure!
Your Next Website Migration
You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
Hopefully, this article helps you do better on your next website migration.
More Resources:

Google Ads Brings Cross-Device Activity Data to All Attribution Reports by @MattGSouthern

All attribution reports in Google Ads will soon include information about cross-device activity and conversions.
This will provide marketers with insight into how people interact with ads on multiple devices.
Previously, only the Devices, Assisting Devices, and Device Paths attribution reports included cross-device activity.
Cross-device activity is being added to all reports to address an issue with inconsistent conversion counts across different reports.
When this update rolls out, Users should expect to see more consistent conversion counts. However, the existing data will not be changed.
This update is coming into effect on May 1, 2019. As mentioned, the reports will not include cross-device data prior to that date.
That means reports will contain data using different calculation methods.

“If your active date range extends before and after May 1, 2019, your conversion metrics will be based on two different calculations — one calculation for the days prior to May 1, 2019, and another calculation for subsequent days beginning with May 1, 2019.”

For a complete list of metrics that will be updated to include cross-device activity, see this Google Ads help article.

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