Monthly Archives: June 2018

Google On GDPR Pop Ups Notices With Search & SEO

Today, implied consent or the ones given just by visiting a site is no longer enough. This same directive goes for your pop ups too. There is now the need to make sure that your pop ups comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation. The result is that there have been tons of emails on GDPR flooded to user’s address over the past few weeks. Now, many fear that the GDPR pop ups will affect search and SEO. However, Google has said that it doesn’t necessarily have to. Websites do not need to use intrusive interstitials to let your visitor know of GDPR changes on your website.

Well, the short account is that Google has no exception for the interstitial penalty for GDPR requirements. This means that you can use them provided they are not intrusive. What it means by this is that it is okay if you have the pop up on top of the content itself. For instance, if you load with an HTML and you are using  JavaScript to show the pop up on it, then that is good. This way, the user can still see the main content behind the pop up.

However, if the user has to click another button to actually get to the content itself, Google will frown upon it. This is the case when you replace the entire content with an interstitial or redirect to an interstitial making Googlebot click a button to access the content. Of course, this way, the content will not pass the mobile-friendly testing tool. Mobile is emphasized since it is most affected by intrusive pop ups.  While checking with the mobile friendly tool, it should show the content alongside the interstitial. In the event that the content does not appear even after double checking in the HTML, then, it can’t work as far as Google is concerned.  Also, Google doesn’t like when a website uses a layout where the above-the-fold part of the page is similar to a standalone interstitial while the main content is beneath the fold.

What is the penalty for those websites who might have breached this policy? Simple, it will significantly affect their search ranking of their site. What this means is that a strict adherence to the Google policy on GDPR is also part of search engine optimization since failing on it will significantly affect your site’s visibility. Therefore, make sure your content is easily accessible to a user right from search results especially on mobile and you would have nothing to worry about.

Facebook No Longer Allows Ads Targeting with Third Party Data

In a continuation of the fallout to the Cambridge Analytic a privacy scandal, Facebook announced the shutting down of its Partner Categories – a section in its advertiser tools that allows third-party data brokers like Experian, Oracle and Acxiom to sell targeting data to businesses and companies.

What this simply means is that these third-party aggregators will no longer be allowed to match their data against Facebook’s audience and then sell the information gleaned – usually purchasing activities- to businesses and companies for improved ads targeting purposes.

There are three available data sources used in ads targeting – From Facebook, from business themselves and from third-party data brokers. These data brokers get their data from Facebook users’ other online (purchasing) activities outside Facebook. This third source is what Facebook is shutting down in the next 6 months as they have decided they are a jink in their privacy security armour as they have less control over how and where these firms get their data.

So what exactly does this change mean for stakeholders -Facebook, Facebook users, third-party data aggregators and businesses that advertise on Facebook?

For Facebook, it means they will jettison the partnership they have with major data brokers. The Social Media giant is hoping that this move, as well as other moves – will go a long way in assuring its users as to their online security. On the flip side, this move may negatively affect Facebook’s earnings from ads as businesses may seek alternative ways of advertising to potential clients. Apparently however, Facebook has decided that the earnings are not worth any potential troubles that may arise.

For Facebook users, it means they will be less targeted with those “too perfect” ads as their online activities outside Facebook will no longer be matched with them on Facebook. That creepy feeling of being watched will be reduced.

For third data aggregators, it means a loss in business revenues. Already, there is a wave of worry among these third party data brokers and agencies about the ban. The impact was seen in Acxiom stocks as it dropped by 30% following the announcement. In fact the company now expects “total revenue and profitability to be negatively impacted by as much as $25 million” in 2019 as a result.

For businesses that purchase these data for improved advertising on Facebook, they will have to rely solely on the data collected by Facebook together with their own data. As most businesses have at best scant data, they will be heavily reliant on whatever data Facebook is able to provide. Bottom line, their advertising efficiency on Facebook will be drastically reduced.

Although Partner Categories was not how Cambridge Analytic a got their data – and the outcome of the ensuing scandal, Facebook has taken this step nevertheless, as a precautionary move. They have responded well to the public backlash and are removing potential frailties from their system.