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Safari Browser Changes vs. Advertisers: What You Need to Know

Safari users who upgrade to 12.0 version will be happy to learn that the version also includes an update to their Intelligent Tracking Protection (ITP). ITP version 1.0 launched summer 2017 with Safari 11.0.

ITP makes it difficult for advertisers to track Safari users’ behavior from website to website. It’s a feature to make users feel more secure. Safari updated to 12.0 in September 2018, strengthening that privacy feature with ITP 2.0.

However, if you’re an advertiser, these changes don’t make you happy at all.

ITP 2.0 makes it even harder for advertisers to collect data about Safari browser users and their surfing habits and interactions with websites after clicking through ads.

Is Bounce Rate Still Important?

Now, I know those words will sound pretty blasphemous in digital-marketing and analytics circles because we’re all taught that bounce rate is one of the most important indicators of website performance.

But is that still true? Is bounce rate as relevant to website performance as it was only a few years ago?

Well, let’s back up and talk about the definition of bounce rate: Google says bounce rate is “the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page.)”

That’s actually two definitions in one. The first part, “percentage of single-page sessions,” means the percentage of visits where the user visited only one page on the site and then left the site. But that second part, about...

Your New Enemy: Referral Spam, In All Its Many and Annoying Forms

There’s a new villain in town for site owners and analysts: Referral Spam. It’s not even really that “new:” Referral spam, including ghost referrer spam, began showing up in analytics platforms last fall.

Back then, you may have seen this in your site’s Google Analytics account as referral traffic from or This traffic went to your homepage and had horrific engagement metrics: high or non-existent bounce rate, 0:00 average time on site, less than 1 page viewed per visit.

No problem. Just add a new filter to your Google Analytics view to exclude these couple of referrals, and you’re all set, right?

Unfortunately, no....

Goodbye, Google Webmaster Tools. Hello, Google Search Console!

Google announced on May 20 that it is rebranding Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console. The rebranding is a part of a series of changes Google had been making to Webmaster Tools during the past several months.

In the announcement, Google said the term “webmaster” doesn’t apply to all of those who use Webmaster Tools to monitor, maintain and improve the presence of their websites in Google search engine results. It wanted the service’s name to welcome all website owners, SEOs, marketers and more.

With the new name comes new search tools, such as the Search Analytics report. This report will eventually replace the Search Queries report in Webmaster Tools … err Search Console. (So hard to break old habits!)

The Search Queries report became invaluable after Google...

Google Analytics Rolls Out Benchmarking Reports

Google Analytics is in the process of introducing a new feature that will allow marketers and analysts to see how their site matches up against others in their industry. Google announced the Benchmarking reports last week, making them available to accounts that agreed to share their data anonymously in their account settings.

Benchmarking reports aren't really "new" to Google Analytics: They were part of the analytics interface from 2008 to 2011 before being phased out. Now they're back and promising to show site owners how they stack up against their competition. According to Google, "Analytics users can now compare their results to peers in their...