Digital Marketing Buzz: What Marketers Talked About Most at Pubcon 2019

A swarm of bees returning to the hive to introduce our post Digital Marketing Buzz: What Marketers Talked About Most at Pubcon 2019.

Pubcon Pro Las Vegas 2019 is a wrap. Now it’s time for attendees to dig through their conference cookbooks full of learning and ideas to try to decide what to put on their marketing table for the coming year.

To help, we kept an eye on the #pubcon hashtag during the conference to simmer the soup down to the topics, tips, and thought bombs that seemed to interest the conference the most.

We hope these help get your own digital marketing meal planning set for 2020!

Let’s start with the most engaged tweet of the conference. It comes from Marie Haynes and touches on a recent controversy-storm within the SEO community that came up during the keynote by Gary Illyes of Google Search: a change in how Google treats the nofollow link attribute.

For context, nofollow was originally meant to tell a search engine not to send any ranking signals via a link. It’s intended use was to allow sites to indicate links that Google would not want to give authority, such as paid sponsor links. However, largely due to fears over Google’s spam penalties, many sites began to nofollow all their outbound links. So now Google will decide themselves whether or not a link is worth following.

The Bing Webmaster Team made two big announcements at Pubcon this year. The first reveal was their new “evergreen Bingbot” which makes use of Microsoft Edge to allow smoother indexing of things like JavaScript across all chromium-based browsers.

The second big Bing announcement was captured by Cass Downton. Bing is giving some large sites the ability to publish new and updated pages directly to Bing, with no need to wait for the Bingbot to visit their site to be indexed. Bing Principal Program Manager Fabrice Canel said it would bring indexing in under an hour, and in a matter of minutes in most cases.

Ryan Jones captured these stats about the growth of Bing Search globally, shared by Microsoft’s Fabrice Cannell:

Lily Ray shared Gary Illyes’s insight into why Google started ignoring noindex in robots.txt files on sites. The vast majority of site owners have no idea about such arcane coding matters, so Google is trying to adapt by using other means, such as artificial intelligence, to determine what should and shouldn’t be indexed.

Marie Haynes gave us another reveal from the Gary Illyes Google keynote. According to Gary, Google optimizes what they show in a result snippet, based on what they think is most likely to make users click, which isn’t always the snippet you chose in your metadata.

I shared this tip from Marty Weintraub’s main stage presentation. Marty advises using the kind of creativity and branding you’d use on social ads for display ads, including video where possible.

Patrick Stox recorded the moment when Gary Illyes coined the new favorite SEO phrase: “baby algorithms.” Gary was making the point that Google’s E.A.T. content quality recommendation is not some single “gear” in the algorithm, but rather is the sum total of many tiny algorithms working together. It is likely that a number of higher level ranking concepts Google speaks about work this way.


Candice Lyna captured this moment from our CMO Susan Wenograd‘s keynote on Facebook ads. Susan extolled Instagram Story Ads as something all marketers should be trying out now.

Jake Bohall and Colby Almond urged us all to invest more in our images, as image search is gaining big ground among younger users. You can’t rank with the same images all your competitors have.

We’re nearing the end of this roundup, so let’s commit to something. How about Marty Weintraub‘s Integrated Marketer Pledge?

And finally, just for fun, Katie Lenz in her first tweet ever nailed the most common answer to any digital marketing question.

Pubcon brings together amazing marketers and pros of all skill levels in our industry. Most of those referenced in this post have become good friends to many of us at AIMCLEAR; the few who aren’t yet probably soon will be.

Tracking the sessions, 1:1 conversations in Vegas, and following the twitter interactions shows we are in a period of dynamic evolution in the digital space. We’ll help keep you at the forefront during this exciting time to be a marketer

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