We have some exciting updates about our preparations for the future of digital advertising, including the rollout of AdThrive Email Identity and welcoming Don Marti, our newest team member hired specifically to represent independent publishers in the World Wide Web Consortium.
In addition, Google has expanded their use of BERT to improve search queries, and we’ve put together a holiday content SEO checklist for you to “make your own content plan and check it twice” for maximum Q4 earnings!
Ad spending trends
Q4 is heating up from a revenue perspective and we’re starting to see early signs of the holiday bump. As we forecasted a few weeks ago, Q4 is shaping up to be the best ever. There’s still much uncertainty in the world, so we’re not counting our proverbial chickens just yet, but we’re still cautiously optimistic for a very strong end-of-year finish.
The future of digital advertising
This was a big week as we prepared for the “death of the cookie” on a number of different fronts. First, we released AdThrive Email Identity, our new platform that works behind the scenes on publisher websites to turn email addresses — entered on newsletter signup forms, comment submissions, and other areas — into privacy-conscious identity tokens that can provide information to advertisers and increase the value of those users.
This is one of several ways we’re branching into new areas to ensure that AdThrive publishers’ revenue is minimally affected by future industry changes. If you haven’t already signed up for AdThrive Email Identity, you can opt in right here!
Our new team member will represent AdThrive publishers in the W3C
The other main set of updates this week revolve around efforts in the World Wide Web Consortium. This is the trade group responsible for setting all of the standards for the web, and it’s where Google is discussing their forthcoming changes with the rest of the industry. We’ve already been very involved in the process, and this week we stepped it up to another level by welcoming Don Marti to our team.
Don has tremendous experience within the W3C, open sources communities, and other relevant areas, and will be our main representative within that group. He previously worked at Mozilla, Consumer Reports, and even ran an ad-supported website, LinuxWorld. Don will be a huge part of AdThrive’s industry efforts, advocating for our publishers and ensuring the absolute best outcome as digital advertising transforms in the future.
We’re leading the charge to support independent publishers
This was also the second week of the W3C’s annual conference, this year being held entirely online. We participated in eight hours of meetings about the new digital advertising standards and made sure that the interests of our publishers were part of those discussions. The only other publisher representatives at the event were Hearst, IBM Watson (Weather.com), Axel Springer (a large European publisher), and The Washington Post.
There are a number of other meetings next week and we’ll make sure that AdThrive publishers are represented and that the standards are supportive of independent creators and publishers on the open web.
We’ve also been very active in sharing and discussing our specific evaluations of these new proposals with the press. Since we’ve been at the forefront of these efforts, many of the very large publishers are looking to us (and to AdThrive publishers!) to help them navigate the future. Read some of the articles we’ve written or where we’ve been quoted: here, here, here, here, and here!
Google BERT offers higher-quality search results
Introduced back in 2018, BERT is a technique used by Google to understand content through contextual clues. While initially only used on about 10% of searches, this month Google announced that BERT is now being used on almost 100% of English search queries.
By looking at small but important words like “for” and “to”, BERT can better understand the intent of a search query and return results that, ideally, best apply to the searcher’s needs.
What does this mean for publishers? As always, Google is invested in providing the most relevant, highest quality content for searchers, so your commitment to producing specific, comprehensive information that serves readers is always the best plan of action.
Additionally, as searchers begin to realize the benefits of being more specific and using natural language in their queries, this will help the whole system become more efficient in returning relevant results.
‘Tis the season to prep your holiday content
Your readers have been anticipating and planning for this year’s holiday season since way back in April! With Halloween kicking off the holiday season next week, now is the time to get your popular holiday content freshened up.
We’ve taken the SEO suggestions from Hank Azarian, our VP of Audience Development, and turned them into a Holiday Content Audit Checklist, so you have a game plan to get your content into tip-top shape and ready to share!
If you need inspiration for publishing new holiday content, be sure to check out this post on 2020’s trending holiday topics so you can meet the unique needs of your readers this year.