Google “auto apply recommendations” Warning

Warning. Do not accept Google’s “auto apply recommendations”. Advertisers will receive emails from Google with subject lines “For your approval | Turn on auto apply recommendations to help improve marketing objectives”. Copy of email below in Screenshot #1.

Here’s why. Google will auto populate audiences and then they are attached to advertising campaigns “automatically”. Most advertisers don’t know they are giving Google approval for new keywords to be automatically assigned to Ad Campaigns and new audiences (often which are not relevant) to be attached to existing campaigns. See Screenshot #2.

Be diligent and do not allow Google to automatically apply recommendations to your advertising account. Would you let an algorithm invest your own money? No. So be sure to keep manually setting audiences, locations, bid prices and choose keywords to bid on.

The old saying “Keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road” applies!

Screenshot #1

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Screenshot #2

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Google Data Studio Provides Insight into 100+ Retail Stores

Google Data Studio is a powerful tool and connecting multiple Google Analytics accounts to aggregate data is one way to create insights. Our team is constantly completing data projects using Google Data Studio to improve insights for our clients.

In addition to being listed on, each First National Member office operates their own individual local website. SearchForecast aggregated data from 100+ Google Analytics accounts of FNRE member local URLs into a customized Google Data Studio dashboard. Now, it is possible to show aggregate analytics, benchmark various locations (Australia Vs New Zealand) and compate real estate offices by state or individual suburbs and regions.

Screen Shot 2021-12-06 at 5.30.21 PM Scores “Game Changer” Accolade in SEMRush Growth Quadrant

Last year SearchForecast built a 2 sided marketplace platform for Australian website which you can read about here. We are excited to announce SEMRush recently included as a ‘Game Changer’ in their Competitive Quadrant. A “Game Changer” is defined by SEMRush as an “emerging website with a high growth potential.” In less than 18 months, 400+ wineries are now drop-shipping over 3,500 wine on their platform. 100% of the traffic is organic courtesy of our search engine optimization techniques.

Growth Quadrant (October 2021, AU,


Each year we donate to a charity and our team collectively decides on which charity. We like to support organizations who have helped advance the world and deliver on the change for good promise the Internet has and will continue to bring to the world.

Every person on the planet deserves the chance to educate themselves. Wikipedia offers free access to knowledge and wisdom. We cannot think of a better organization to donate to that embodies the power the Internet and makes for a brigther future for mankind.

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LinkedIn’s Member Group Targeting Is a One-Two Punch to Facebook & Twitter

LinkedIn provides unprecedented targeting for businesses. The ability to create audiences by industry, job description, company size are all terrific yet the hidden gem is the ability to be able to target by Member Group.

What is a LinkedIn Member Group? LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share their insights and experiences, ask for guidance, and build valuable connections. You can find a list of LinkedIN member groups here.

For an outdoor equipment e-commerce merchant, we can find ‘rockclimbing’ member group and target video or single image ads to these people. That’s very focused targeting. LinkedIn allows you to then target those who have seen say 75% or 100% of a video you showed them or engaged by clicking with an ad to recieve an ‘In Mail Message Ads’ (think email marketing campaign). We are seeing 30%+ click through rates on LinkedIn Message Ads to audiences that have previously engaged.


That playbook is a one two punch to Facebook and Twitter who don’t offer businesses the return on investment when finding new customers.

Practical AI for Content Optimization

Artificial intelligence (AI) is for most people a mind bending concept. It’s easy to get wowwed by Amazon’s sensor rich ‘Go’ stores (video below) despite only 29 of them in the USA. Or Elon Musk’s Neuralink demo where 3 litlte pigs are running around with a implant to their skull/ cortext the size of a nickel.

Yet what business owners really want is practical AI they can use to improve sales activity, reduce costs and increase profits. Bear in mind that IBM Watson sees Strong AI as a 50 year timeline!

On that note, perhaps the best use of AI we have seen is which allows for video / audio transcription to text be done which allows simple content optimization at scale. For retailers or businesses sourcing customers from within local areas, automating content production using AI is critical.

While we wait for autonomous vehicles to arrive, perhaps the most pervasive AI is the applications like Calendly which help streamline appointment settings, allowing us all to spend time on more important work than back and forth emails to confirm meeting times.



How 4 Lines of Code Can Change Online Advertising

With third party cookies being blocked by most browsers and Chrome set to follow with Google rolling out FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) to uphold people’s privacy, WordPress have for the first time since we can remember exercised some of their might.

40% of the worlds websites run on WordPress. Crazy right! And, WordPress just announced plans to disable FLoC using the following four lines of code, which will cause the blogging platform to issue a HTTP request header tells the browser that FLoC should be disabled for the site.

function disable_floc($headers) {
 $headers['Permissions-Policy'] = 'interest-cohort=()';
 return $headers;
 add_filter('wp_headers', 'disable_floc');

Just 4 lines of code is going to severely change online advertising.


LinkedIn Optimization & Lead Generation

Since LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion in June 2016, we have not seen a great deal of upgrades to the functionality of how the interface for lead generation works. Summarized below are observations from our team members who are working to increase lead generation from Linkedin for multiple clients on a daily basis.

So what is it really like to optimize content on a platform like LinkedIn? We speak regularly with our LinkedIn Account Managers and as many individual LinkedIn Advertisers do not, we wanted to share some of the insights.

1. Single Static Ads that are 300×250 work better more times that a “Sponsored Post”

2. LinkedIn is expensive and doesn’t always convert as well as Google on a cost per lead basis.

3. LinkedIn Matched Audiences are best when they have a database of 100,000. These are audience custom audience segments you can use as targeting selections in your advertising campaigns. Within Matched Audiences, you can upload a list of companies or email contacts via a csv file and then target advertising to them. You can also create a ‘Lookalike’ audience which will target similar people to those in your Audience List.

4. Lead Gen Forms may be created if your Ads account is associated with a LinkedIn Page. You can create Lead Gen Forms by following these steps @

Here’s a screenshot of a client lead gen campaign so you can see the reporting of the leads and here’s a useful on-demand webinar on lead generation strategies and best practices. 

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We hope this helps as not everyone gets this information if you’re located outside the United States of America.

Let There Be Light at

Today is the official launch of inspired by the words from the Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie ‘Let There Be Light’. I quote from words of Andrew Carnegie:

“I spoke again at Dunfermline, July 27, 1881, when my mother laid the foundation stone there of the first free library building I ever gave. My father was one of five weavers who founded the earliest library in the town by opening their own books to their neighbors. Dunfermline named the building I gave “Carnegie Library.” The architect asked for my coat of arms. I informed him I had none, but suggested that above the door there might be carved arising sun shedding its rays with the motto: “Let there be light.” This he adopted.

From working in a mining pit without light as a kid after emigrating from Scotland at age 12, he built the Pittsburgh Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J. P. Morgan in 1901 for $303 million. It became the U.S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed John D. Rockefeller as the richest American for the next several years.

He became a leading philanthropist in the USA and  British Empire, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education, and scientific research giving away 90 percent of his fortune.

How Andrew Carnegie Went From $1.20 a Week to $309 Billion ... Then Gave It All Away