Issue #5: Early January 2022

Issue #5: Early January 2022

Happy new year! It's 2022 and I am back again with more essential news for  web publishers.  

This issue can also be found online at , which is also a convenient URL to share on LinkedIn/Twitter/Wherever should you feel so inclined.  Thanks to the suggestion of reader Alex, you can also now easily access past issues and summaries of stories covered there.

With only a few "industry working days" having passed since Issue #4, there are only a few important stories to cover this issue. Rather than wasting your time with padding and fluff, I'll keep this one short and punchy.

In this issue...

(just scroll down and read the bits that interest you)

  • Don't panic! It's just January
  • News closer to home
  • Instant search engine listing just got easier
  • The pandemic "probably won‘t impact the advertising market"
  • No dumb questions
  • Wrapping up - 2022 predictions

Don't panic! It's just January

Let's kick off this month with some reassurance for any newer publishers who may be experiencing heart palpitations looking at their January revenue. Don't panic... this is normal.

Outside of a few seasonal sectors, January can be painful. Quarterly campaigns end, as do all the annual ones. Advertisers blew budgets at the end of Q4 and everyone has been eating chocolate rather than working to get new campaigns agreed and set-up. Rates will return, but it always takes longer than we want. Assume things will look bad until mid/late February.

News closer to home

On a personal note, I (and therefore Powered by Ads) is now completely independent. Having sold my interest in OKO last year I have now stepped back into an advisory only role and am pursuing new projects... including this one.

This gives me a little more freedom and independence with this newsletter. It also means that I have capacity to take on a few advisory/consulting projects this year. If you have a project that might benefit from an old ad nerd, Let me know .

Instant search engine listing just got easier

IndexNow is an new open protocol that allows site owners to have their content instantly indexed by search engines. The protocol is currently supported by Bing and Yandex, but it also being tested by Google. Site owners can use the protocol to notify participating search engines of new content, changes and priority content.

Publishers who use Cloudflare can enabled IndexNow in under 10 seconds by turning on "Crawler hints" under Caching>Configuration. Even without Google currently participating, this is an easy win with no real downside, so worth doing.

The pandemic "probably won‘t impact the advertising market"

The 2022 GroupM Ad Revenue report has stated that digital advertising has enjoyed "surprising growth" through the pandemic and will not have been negatively impacted by it. In fact they have upwardly revised their estimates for the year by nearly 10%, predicting a 30% annual growth in digital advertising.

What these headlines don't reflect though is a further consolidation of that revenue. As more detailed numbers come out I would anticipate the big platforms to be the real winners over independent content producers. Access the report here

No dumb questions

Have a question relating to Ads or Web Publishing and don't know who to ask? Ask it here without judgement. I'll pick out some interesting ones and either answer them myself or find someone else who can.

Click to answer

Wrapping up - 2022 predictions

If there is one thing that the last two years have taught us it is not to make predictions. I'd hate to deprive anyone of the opportunity to @me in December with some amazing hindsight though, so here are a few predictions from me for the year ahead:

  • There will be more talk around first party data, but still a gap in practical ways for small/medium publishers to leverage it. 3rd party Ad Management companies (the likes of Mediavine, Publift, OKO etc) will announce product changes that use their scale to fill that gap for non-large publishers.  
  • Apple will continue to quietly ramp up it's existing $3bn ad business whilst still pretending not to be in advertising.
  • We'll all be complaining about changes to Cookie Consent. The TCF solution is looking shaky. Hopefully it will just require an update with the consent platforms, but I suspect not.
  • Proponents for Web3 and Blockchain will become noisier in their declarations that advertising is dead, whilst failing to come up with a workable alternative... for now.
  • Microsoft could start to become relevant in the ad space again (yes, really). Their odd mish-mash network is currently made up of Bing, LinkedIn, Xbox, Outlook and a number of legacy products. Buying AppNexus at the end of 2021 now gives them a much wider footprint to capitalise on.
  • We're all going to get bored of hearing the words "Metaverse" , "NFT" and "Creator economy", but shouldn't assume that all mentions of them is hype. There is wheat amongst the chaff.

That's it for this issue. I'll be back in around two weeks with another update.