The Webrepublican Nr. 48, February 2018

04 Feb 2018 / by Natalie Schönbächler / Webrepublic / Comments

Nine new Webrepublicans, much longer meta descriptions, a shop without a checkout register and forecasts for blockchain; 1,697 readers, 42% open rate and 4 minutes 50 seconds of reading time. That’s Webrepublican no. 48.



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  • We were proud to act as an agency sponsor at the D:Pulse in Zurich – where we met the lucky winners of our ticket raffle. Check out our Instagram account to see why the D:Pulse was more than just an event, and what honey and nuts have to do with it.

  • Gergely, our Head of Digital Analytics, spoke about programmatic advertising from the perspective of a data specialist at Superweek in Hungary, rehashing one of the central topics of our customer event.
  • “Entrepreneurial success in the digital word” – that’s the key theme of the 13th Entrepreneur Day in Vaduz, Liechtenstein on April 25. Tom is one of seven speakers at the event.
  • Nine new Webrepublicans hit the ground running in January: a warm welcome to Daniel (Social Media), Sahra (Consulting), Kate (Digital Analytics), Pascal (SEA), Anna (Business Development), Thea (Graphics), Lisa (HR), Lona (SEA) and Karlien (MarCom).

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  • ...and our team is still growing. We currently have six vacancies, including in the SEA team and the SEO team.


Machine learning (ML) is becoming increasingly relevant in searches. In a three-part blog post, Google demonstrates what is possible today for AdWords, display and app campaigns. Columnist Frederick Vallaeys goes a step further and advises marketers to test their ML and AI tools, and develop their own ‘PPC intelligence’.

The announcement that the new Google Search console will be launched for all users should be of interest to both search advertisers and SEOs. The industry is particularly eager to use the new search performance report, which finally enables annual comparisons and trend analyses.


In December, Google announced that meta descriptions will have a new length of up to 320 characters – almost twice as long as before. And we’ve since learned that it’s a long-term change. A study shows that the new ideal length for meta descriptions is between 230 and 300 characters – and we suggest between 230 and 250. In addition to this adjustment, Google has also said that it will take over meta descriptions that do not match search queries and make them more dynamic for the page. So for marketers, it will be all the more important to keep the quality of their meta descriptions high and exploit the full potential of the additional characters – or they might lose the chance to influence meta content.


After a delay of several months, Apple is finally launching its new HomePod. It will be exciting to see how the HomePod market share develops in comparison with Google Home and Alexa. The million-dollar question is whether consumers will prefer an assistant that is sleeker and better looking, in the case of Home Pod, or a highly intelligent one that can accomplish a lot? The market should be big enough for both types of product. Marketers would do well to keep an eye on these developments, since they will have to adapt their search strategies according to users’ changing search behavior.


In addition to its smart assistant business and heavy marketing for Alexa, Amazon made a commotion by opening the very first checkout-free store in the US. Although the store eliminates checkout waiting times, the lines around the door are probably just as annoying for customers. Unsurprisingly, the shopping experience of the future is alarming data protectionists.


YouTube had a rough 2017 in terms of brand safety. To be able to offer advertisers more security, the internet giant is tightening its criteria in terms of monetization on YouTube. Channels now need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and a total of 4,000 hours of video material within the last year. The advertising industry is welcoming the measure, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for new brands or niche channels to earn money via the platform. The question the marketers concerned need to ask themselves in the context of these regulations is: How do I compete for attention for my target group alongside major players? This also applies to brands that rely on Facebook...


Mark Zuckerberg announced that he wanted to display posts from family and friends more prominently in user feeds rather than those of companies, media outlets and political groups. In addition, the fact that Facebook users will be able to classify fake news and personally assess the credibility of news sources is currently a source of controversy in the press. The promise: Facebook wants to help users “have more meaningful social relationships”. But there are a variety of opinions on whether this is feasible. Many question whether Facebook’s update will allow it to develop in the direction Zuckerberg intends. Other, more critical voices, warn that Facebook’s attempt to make the newsfeed relevant again could lead to the domination of fake news on the platform... For marketers, the days of organic reach are definitely over. Not that this necessarily comes as a surprise.


The newest, coolest tech gadgets are presented every year at the CES in Las Vegas. It goes without saying that new products in the areas of 5G technology, virtual reality and augmented reality have been much more than just games for a while now. This could be a huge focus for the digital marketing industry in 2018. If marketers want to keep up with the times and expand their digital expertise, they will need to learn how to serve user demands better than other brands.


Bitcoin is more than just the most-searched keyword in the Ecommerce Fantasy Challenge at our 2017 customer event – warm congratulations to the lucky winner Melinda Steiner. In his essayBeyond the Bitcoin Bubble, Steven Johnson explains how the Bitcoin bubble “may ultimately turn out to be a distraction from the true significance of the blockchain”. The only question is whether the real promise of blockchain to transform the online world into a decentralized and egalitarian system where users win back control of their digital identities will last after the bubble bursts.


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