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News from Episode 318

By Site Strategics
July 2, 2019

There’s never a shortage of news when it comes to digital marketing, which is why we include a news roundup segment in each episode of the EDGE. The latest features Site Strategics CEO Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest Traci Reuter, Founder and CEO of Divine Social. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 318 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Fake Google Maps Listings Weaponized to Kill Real Businesses and Confuse You

From Jules Wang on Android Police we learn that fake Google Maps listings are weaponized to kill real businesses and confuse you. Strategies include everything “from fake competitors near your real locations, to attacks on your business by overwhelming the system with fake locations, all with the same phone number in an attempt to get all google listings taken down.”

  • Erin Sparks: We have talked about the spam side of Google Maps and Google My Business for a number of shows and I’m very disconcerted that there’s still not enough filtering, not enough verification of these listings. There are so many hoops you have to jump through to get these listings and yet they’re still being faked.
  • Traci Reuter: I’m disgusted whenever I hear marketers using their powers for evil. Google has the technology to stop black hatters, as we’ve seen with both the Penguin and Panda updates, right? So why can’t they get a handle on this? And who is suffering the most? Local businesses who aren’t savvy on the digital side of things. It’s very sad what some business owners are going through. And then you’ve got Yelp that essentially forces businesses to “buy” back their reviews. It’s like blackmail. I stopped using Yelp and moved over to Google Local and now it’s a mess too! Google can and should fix this. 
  • Erin Sparks: So then I wonder if somehow Google is going to monetize the fix and make businesses pay to have spam-free listings. If so, I would call that extortion.


Bipartisan Senators Want Big Tech to Put a Price on Your Data

According to Kim Hart on AXIOS, bipartisan senators want Big Tech to put a price on your data. “Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will introduce legislation on Monday to require Facebook, Google, Amazon and other major platforms to disclose the value of their users’ data, as first reported Sunday evening on Axios on HBO.” The story says “The bill would require companies that generate material revenue from data collection or processing, and to provide an assessment of the value of that data once every 90 days.”

  • Erin Sparks: Okay, who’s taking bets on this that big tech is actually going to be able to show the value of their consumer data to the public?
  • Traci Reuter: Before starting my agency I did brief stint at Dun & Bradstreet. When you think about companies like that, or Nielsen, you realize we’ve been collecting consumer data for decades. We act all offended by this, but it’s always been there. And in many cases the data is used to improve the user experience. You have to think of Facebook not as a social network or Google as a search company – they’re both DATA companies. As a marketer, that’s fine with me when it’s done right. And make no mistake, Facebook has made some big mistakes around this. But how in the world are they going to come up with a way of valuing the data? It’s a ridiculous idea. You know what it sounds like? It sounds like an opportunity to create a tax, to tax them on the value of the data.
  • Erin Sparks: The bill is called the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data Act, which means it gets the acronym DASHBOARD. They clearly put more time into creating what they think is a clever acronym than crafting good legislation. It feels like a PR stunt to put a few politicians into the limelight.
  • Traci Reuter: And it’s probably written by legislators who don’t even know how to send a text message. 
  • Jacob Mann: I don’t think they’ll ever want to show it either because I’m thinking back to when I first subscribed to Hulu, and I was tired of those ads, and I found out for just a few dollars a month I could not have those ads, if Facebook comes back and says that my data is only worth 20 bucks a month, I’m going to say, “All right, so where do I pay 20 bucks a month to never see another ad on social media?” And Facebook knows that people might want to do that. And I think they definitely want to get away from having that number attached to them.


The State of Social Advertising: Pretty on the Outside, Ugly on the Inside

On Forrester, Jessica Liu reports on the state of social advertising: pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside. The global advertising spend is expected to hit $110 billion by 2022, but 44% of consumers avoid ads on social networks. Younger people use utilize social media in more difficult-to-monetize ways. “Social ads will move away from hypertargeting and towards traditional model.”

  • Erin Sparks: Facebook, by the way, will account for 75% of that $110 billion spend. Also consumers rank social networks third lowest in trustworthiness to keep their data safe. In fact, when it comes to digital ads, consumers really want to avoid them. 54% want to avoid ads on websites, 51% want to avoid ads on search engine results, and 51% want to avoid ads in mobile apps. But only 39% want to avoid ads on regular television. 
  • Traci Reuter: This is a very important point, and I should note I’ve been doing digital ads before Facebook even existed (yes, I was doing digital ads on MySpace). Marketers have gone overboard with digital ads, just like direct marketers went overboard with junk mail back in the day. The result is that consumers just tune out. If brands and advertisers don’t change what they’re doing, they’re literally going to ruin the whole digital marketing effort not just for themselves but for everyone else as well. And you’ve got all these people who have jumped into the ring as “Facebook advertisers” when they really have no business being there because they have no business acumen or understanding of the consumer experience. They’re contributing to the problem. Billboards catch your subconscious without interrupting you. Social and digital ads are interruptions, and consumers are sick of it. Advertisers have to figure out how to make consumers want to be interrupted. It has to be done tactfully. Then you’ve got Facebook’s user data issues in recent years and no wonder consumers are tuning out.

Special Landing Page for EDGE Fans on Divine Social

If you enjoyed Episode 318 of the EDGE with special guest Traci Reuter, she has created a special landing page where you can take a deeper dive with Divine Social. Just visit https://divinesocial.com/edge and see what’s there for you!

Connect with Traci Reuter and Divine Social

Twitter: @tracireuter (https://twitter.com/tracireuter)

Facebook: @TraciReuterSocial (https://www.facebook.com/TraciReuterSocial/

Instagram: @tracireuter (https://www.instagram.com/tracireuter/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracireuter/ 

Divine Social website: http://divinesocial.com

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