Google’s march to complete SMB advertising automation continues to be under-appreciated by industry analysts — and especially by Adwords (sorry, “Ads”) resellers.

That was my top takeaway from a busy week of announcements and data releases in the world of digital marketing.

Automated Google Ads Won’t Solve the Challenge of Ad Creative


Long-time readers probably won’t be surprised, but I have a 180-degree take from the LSA’s Joe Morsello.

Most of the new ad units Google is releasing (Local Packs, Local Service Ads, and potentially even Display) won’t require ANY creative on the part of the business owner.

From where I sit, the opportunity for resellers to add value continues to shrink at an alarming rate.

Google search will now highlight useful data journalism from news stories


As my friend Matt Brown tweeted, “They Don’t Care if You Have a Website – Vol. 658.”

Increasingly, informational searches as well as local ones are likely to be zero-click SERPs.

The Future of SEO Has Never Been Clearer (nor more ignored)


Partly due to the Google News announcement, even my friend and sometime skeptic Rand Fishkin seems to be coming around to the point of view I’ve espoused for the last several years: “SEO in the future will be harder to invest in, harder to win at, with decreasing ROI.”

Data: 70% of Emails Opened on Smartphones, Tablets


This number, from a recent Movable Ink study, squares more closely with my anecdotal experience than the 50% typically reported by Litmus.

Sad to see so many businesses of all sizes, but particularly smaller ones, still using pinch-and-scroll desktop-focused templates suggested by their Email Service Provider. (It’s the reason we’ve designed our Tidings template to be responsive from the get-go.)

Square Announces SDK, Opening Its Platform Directly to Developers for First Time


Rather than going upmarket into Enterprise, Square (intelligently) seems to be going deeper into the channel route.

In what I see as a related story, Stripe formalized its Partner Program last week as well.

It’s hard for me to envision a future in which these two companies don’t combine for a majority of the SMB payment processing market.

(Disclosure: I own a minuscule number of $SQ shares.)

That’s it for this issue.

Our Chief Happiness Officer (Olive) hopes you are enjoying the Dog Days of summer!

Have a great week,

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