“Apple Safari to Block Google Analytics From Collecting Data - Search Engine Journal” plus 2 more

“Apple Safari to Block Google Analytics From Collecting Data - Search Engine Journal” plus 2 more

Apple Safari to Block Google Analytics From Collecting Data - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 23 Jun 2020 11:56 AM PDT

Apple's latest version of macOS contains an updated version of the Safari browser that blocks trackers, including Google Analytics, from collecting user data.

The new version of macOS, called "Big Sur," was announced this week at Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). During the announcement Apple previewed Safari's new privacy report feature.

Safari's privacy report will list all trackers blocked by the browser on the website a user is currently visiting.

If you weren't looking closely you may have missed it, but Apple specifically shows Google Analytics being blocked by Safari.

Here's a screenshot from a press release Apple published yesterday:

Apple Safari to Block Google Analytics From Collecting Data

As you can see, the new version of Safari blocks other popular trackers such as DoubleClick, Amazon, and Optimizely.

Apple is touting Safari's privacy features as a major selling point of the new browser.

"Privacy has always been built into Safari, and a new Privacy Report delivers added visibility into how Safari protects browsing activity across the web.

Users can choose when and which websites a Safari extension can work with, and tools like data breach password monitoring never reveal your password information — not even to Apple."

Apple is even going to let users of macOS Big Sur add a privacy report widget to their desktop for easy access at any time.

The privacy report widget contains a comprehensive list of all trackers blocked in the past seven days.

What Does This Mean for Marketers?

This change spells potential bad news for marketers and site owners, especially if a significant amount of their visitors use the Safari browser.

Losing data is never a good thing though, regardless of how much of a site's audience uses Safari.

It's a particularly valuable set of data when it comes to analyzing how Mac users engage with a website compared to users on other operating systems.



The silver lining is this update is only coming to the desktop version of Safari, which holds less that half the market share of mobile Safari.

Related: Safari Announces Full 3rd Party Cookie Blocking

Safari Market Share – Desktop vs. Mobile

As of May 2020, Safari holds 9.4% of desktop browser market share worldwide.

Apple Safari to Block Google Analytics From Collecting Data

That number is slightly higher when looking at United States data where Safari holds 15.6% of the desktop market.

Apple Safari to Block Google Analytics From Collecting Data

Many fewer people use Safari than Chrome, but Safari's market share is not insignificant by any means. It's still the second-most popular desktop web browser.



This update to Safari would have a much greater impact if it were rolled out to the mobile browser, however, as mobile Safari holds 24.4% market share world wide.

That number is over twice as high in the United States, where Safari is currently the most popular mobile web browser with a whopping 55% market share.

Blocking Google Analytics on mobile Safari would be an enormous hit to marketers' data – but let's not worry about that until we have to.

What Does This Mean for Advertising?

Apple has been on a push toward a more private browsing experience well before it's latest announcement.

The company's efforts to block trackers thus far has resulted in a 60% decrease in pricing for targeted Safari ads.

As Apple expands its tracker blocking capabilities in Safari, ads will become even harder to target which will likely drive the price down even further.

While that may benefit ad buyers, lower prices for ads means less money earned by websites publishing those ads.



Not to mention blocking trackers makes it challenging for advertisers to reach their intended audience.

Time will tell to what extent this change affects marketers.

There's no release date set in stone for macOS Big Sur, but Apple's major operating system updates typically roll out in the fall.

Source: Apple

Success Stories Of Marketers Solving Digital Ad Fraud - Forbes

Posted: 24 Jun 2020 02:09 AM PDT

Time for some good news. Marketers can reduce digital ad fraud in their own campaigns without paying for expensive fraud detection technologies that don't work most of the time anyway. This article is not about how to do that yourself. It is to show you that other marketers, including small businesses, were successful in reducing fraud in their campaigns by looking more closely at analytics and business outcomes themselves. 

Small Business "A" Beat Click Fraud Using Google Analytics

Judy had run many Google Adwords campaigns over the years. But one that she just turned on caught her attention, because her Google Analytics showed a 100,000% increase in Android mobile devices hitting her site. These were clicks coming from the campaign she just turned on. Further, the analytics showed that these clicks resulted in no goal completions at all — i.e. none of this additional traffic "converted." But the large influx of traffic completely skewed her metrics. The conversion rates dropped severely because the number of sales (numerator) didn't change, while the number of hits to the site (denominator) increased drastically. This would have been enough to turn off that campaign right away. 

But she dug a bit deeper to check her own findings. Her Google Analytics further revealed that these visitors stayed on the site less than 2 seconds, bounce rate was in the high 90s, and looked at only the page they landed on. These visitors could not have been humans who were genuinely interested in her product, and clicked on the ad, intending to come to her site to learn more and possibly make a purchase. With these confirming details, she turned off the campaign within days and reported her findings to Google. Happily, she got a refund for the entire amount that she had already spent. 

Her campaign was a paid search campaign, run through Google Adwords. What she didn't know at the time was that by leaving the "Include Google search partners" checkbox checked, her ads were being shown on sites outside of google.com. These sites run paid search ads using Google technology and they get a cut of the ad revenue. This creates the opportunity for click fraud, where they use bot traffic to click on the ads so they can inflate their own ad revenues. The Android bots Judy saw were doing exactly this - clicking on her ads and coming to her site. They drained her budget, but were not real customers, or human for that matter. 

Marketers can learn from Judy's success story and consider carefully whether to leave search partners turned on or Google display network turned on, for these reasons. 

Small Business "B" Improved Outcomes in His Facebook Campaign

Matt is a small business owner and musician. He sold music and merchandise through his own website. Matt had been running Facebook ads for five years, but he ran into a severe problem that he could see with his own eyes, in his analytics. He observed that Facebook would report X number of clicks on his ads, but his own site analytics would only show 1/10 that number — i.e. a 90% discrepancy. This was not always the case. At the beginning of the 5 year period, the clicks on his Facebook ads were converting relatively well — they bought his music and merchandise when they arrived on his website. But over the course of the 5 years, he got more and more impressions and more and more clicks. But the rate of sales (# of sales to # of clicks) kept going down and the discrepancy between his site analytics and Facebook's reported clicks kept going up, until it reached the 90% discrepancy mentioned above. 

Turns out, over the course of the 5 years, the number of ads that appeared on Facebook versus the number of ads showing on sites outside of Facebook (Facebook Audience Network) completely flipped. By the end, about 90% of his ad impressions were shown on outside sites. He got tons of impressions and tons of clicks, but much lower conversions to sales. When he unchecked the checkbox for Audience Network and limited his ads to only Facebook and its main apps like Instagram and Messenger, his sales started coming back. Of course, he got far fewer impressions and clicks, but most of those were wasted (likely fraudulent) anyway. 

Marketers can learn from Matt's success story and consider carefully whether to leave Audience Network turned on, for these reasons. 

How you can reduce ad fraud in your own campaigns by using common sense and analytics. 


MORE FROM FORBESCan You Optimize Digital Ads With A Pinch Of Common Sense?

Google's New App Keen A Source For Referral Traffic, Search Interests 06/23/2020 - MediaPost Communications

Posted: 23 Jun 2020 11:40 AM PDT

Android co-founder CJ Adams might owe his latest project to one paraphrased line from a Mary Oliver Poem, "this is our one precious life," a line that became a shorthand clue for his wife and him to spend more time on things they love to do.

That week they began collecting things across the web that brought them "joy" to share them. She sent him links to resources on bird identification, migration patterns and good binoculars. He found other content to share.

Those efforts and the line from the poem led to the project, developed in the incubator Area 120, a team within Google where engineers create experimental apps and services. Along with Google's People and AI Research team for Android devices, the two teams launched the new project, called Keen.



Although media has portrayed this new project as a Pinterest competitor,  Adams clearly states that the app is a tool to collaborate with others by curating content from across the web. It's about sharing a person's passion with the world, which provides Google with clues about people's interests that prompt searches. 

"Keen lets you curate the content you love, share your collection with others and find new content based on what you have saved, writes Adams in a post.

The similarity might be the ability to curate and share things, similar to Pinterest Pins, but Roger Montti, CEO at Martinibuster.com, identified the difference — "Keen represents a new opportunity to grow popularity and traffic [because] the most powerful recommendation a website can receive is a recommendation from one friend to another."

It's also different from a Google search. "A search engine is passive," Montti wrote. "It waits for someone to ask it a question. … Instead of passively suggesting content in response to search queries, Keen actively recommends content that people will enjoy."

The curation of content also lets Google know what a person's specific interests are, collecting additional clues as the company drops the support for third-party cookies in Chrome.


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