Good morning, Marketers, have you heard the news?
Ginny Marvin, former editor-in-chief at Third Door Media (the publisher of Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today) as well as the primary voice behind this newsletter for a number of years, has joined Google as its new Ads Product Liaison. A big, heartfelt congratulations, Ginny!
In her announcement, she said that her aim is to help answer questions about how Google Ads products and policies work, as well as bring marketers’ perspectives to the teams that work on them. Hopefully this new role will facilitate understanding between PPC professionals and Google, similar to how the company’s public search liaison (Danny Sullivan) and search advocates like John Mueller have on the SEO side.
I think my colleague Barry Schwartz summed it quite eloquently: “Ginny has the history, work ethic, smarts and humor to work at Google and in this role. I am sure she will be amazing at it and more importantly, I think she will make for positive changes for the PPC community directly with changes to the Google Ads platform,” he said on Search Engine Roundtable.
Have a happy Wednesday and keep on reading, we’ve got plenty more for you below.
Maryland’s ad tax is here, and advertisers should look to their European counterparts for how to deal with it
Maryland is the first state to pass a digital ads tax, but if the tax holds up to legal challenges, it may be joined by more states looking to rein in big tech companies while bolstering their public funds. The thing is, similar taxes already exist in the UK, Austria, Turkey and other countries. And in some of those countries, even though companies like Google and Amazon are the ones getting taxed, they’ve passed on these taxes directly to their own customers, the advertisers. Feels wrong, doesn’t it? The PPC pros we spoke to in the UK and Germany felt the same way.
Advertisers in those countries have pretty much resigned themselves to paying the 2-5% additional cost passed onto them, explaining that, while some have had to adjust their budgets a bit, these fees didn’t have a considerable impact. In Maryland, though, the platforms will be taxed up to 10%. It’s still unclear whether Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft intend to pass that entire amount down to advertisers, but assessing the implementation of digital ads taxes in Europe, along with how marketers in those regions have adapted to them, can help domestic advertisers prepare should these taxes begin to show up in more states.
First, you’ll want to explicitly communicate the change with your clients so that they know where their money is going and can decide where it’s best spent moving forward. You’ll also want to budget accordingly: “We now have to factor this in when budgeting for advertising, which is another proportion of spend that doesn’t go directly into media,” said digital marketing manager Azeem Ahmad, suggesting that advertisers who’ve already budgeted out their spend for the year shave off a small percentage to see how their forecasted metrics change. And, it may be prudent to assess the overall landscape — the platforms may differ in how they handle the tax (Facebook didn’t pass the UK tax onto advertisers, while Amazon and Google did), but a 2.5–10% tax on all the major platforms may make other channels more viable by comparison.
Semrush plans to go public after posting big 2020 growth
We now know how popular the popular SEO toolset provider Semrush really is. Semrush announced it is going public, to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and it shared some numbers about the business. Those numbers show that the company has over 67,000 paying customers, with $144 million in revenue in 2020. The growth has been impressive, with only about 1,000 customers about 10 years ago.
There are some risks to the IPO, specifically the company said changes in access to third-party data and cookies could really disrupt its business, amongst other risk variables.
Fragment links for images and videos coming to Chrome.
Text fragment links for videos and images. Chrome announced on Twitter that it is working on supporting the scroll to text fragment links for videos and images. That will be fun.
Code stats on Google migration. Remember when Google did their big migration to Google Search Central? Well, Gary Illyes of Google shares some code stats with what was involved with the migration, he said “wrote/added/changed/deleted about 200000 lines of HTML, about 1500 lines of python, and about 400 lines of shell script for the Search Central launch.”
Microsoft Advertising update. Every month, Microsoft Advertising publishes a summary of product announcements from the previous 30-days. You can catch up on what was added and what is new with the ad platform over here.