There’s never a shortage of news when it comes to digital marketing, which is why we include a news roundup segment in each episode of the EDGE. The latest features host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest JD Prater, Head of Product Marketing of Quora, but everyone calls him the Quora Evangelist. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 347 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Google Ads, Google My Business Support Delays and Unavailability

From Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Roundtable we learn that Google Ads & Google My Business Support May Be Delayed Or Unavailable. Google has been posting notices in the Google Ads and Google My Business (as well as other products) help areas that phone and other support areas may be slow or unavailable. Google said this is “in light of COVID-19” challenges.JD Prater on EDGE of the Web

  • Erin Sparks: Businesses everywhere are dealing with staffing issues during the new coronavirus and COVID-19 global pandemic, so it should come as no surprise that supports functions at some companies, including Google, will be impacted. 
  • JD Prater: Yes, it’s only a matter of time for just about every company, and if you don’t have the mechanisms in place for remote work, it’s even more of a challenge. Everyone’s figuring out how to work remotely and it’s taking some time for everyone to work it out. 
  • Erin Sparks: And cut these support folks a little slack, show a little grace, your specific support need may not be the most important thing at this moment in time.
  • JD Prater: Good point. A little more empathy is a good thing. Everyone is trying to figure this out, and we’ll all get there. We’re all in the same boat.


Coronavirus disrupts search, digital ad budgets

According to Ginny Marvin on Search Engine Land, Coronavirus disrupts search, digital ad budgets. With ad spend expected to fall in many sectors, media buyers are seeing on changes.

  • Erin Sparks: Ad spends are falling. Areas hardest hit include travel, retail, consumer packaged goods and entertainment, which together make up something like 30-45% of Facebook’s ad revenue stream. Consumer needs and behaviors are shifting. Meanwhile, some companies aren’t changing their ad spends, some are cutting back sharply, others are actually increasing. What any specific company does depends on a variety of factors.
  • JD Prater: It’s going to vary widely by industry and company. I just got an email from a company saying “Hey, buy blue jeans from us.” Well, I’m not really going to be buying blue jeans right now. So there are going to missteps with companies that don’t adjust to the current crisis conditions. It’s not surprising, then, that performance has tanked on a lot of campaigns. It might make sense for some companies to hit pause. Then again, maybe for some, it’s a good time to hit the gas and snatch up some ad inventory at cheap prices. 
  • Erin Sparks: Yes, for some companies that do a lot of trade shows, those have all been canceled and so some of them are looking to make up for that by increasing their digital ad spends. If the physical ways you reach customers are constrained, go digital.
  • JD Prater: I heard about a company that gets a ton of leads by attending and presenting at Gartner conferences, but those are all canceled, so they’re taking their slide decks and turning them into webinars, doing more partner marketing and so on.


COVID-19 and corporate social responsibility in search engine marketing

On Search Engine Land, Kimberly Dutcher reports on COVID-19 and corporate social responsibility in search engine marketing. In an age when marketing success can hinge on a business’s ability to quickly react to and pivot strategy around trends in real-time, the COVID-19 outbreak has marketing teams preparing for changes

  • Erin Sparks: The pandemic is causing marketers to look more at whether or not they need to shift strategies at this time of crisis. And you have to pay attention to what you can and cannot do. You can’t just assume you can “capitalize” on search terms like “coronavirus” or “COVID-19” because platforms are watching very carefully to make sure ads aren’t leading to exploitation or price gouging or things like that. But you have to know what’s happening with these different search terms.
  • JD Prater: Yes, you have to be in there and looking at this on a day-by-day basis. Revisit your keywords and just make sure you’re using the right ones, and being thoughtful about all of it in this time of crisis. And this is especially important around placement because you really don’t want your ad appearing with or next to content that’s related to the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic. And also realize it probably will to some extent. It’s going to be hard to avoid it entirely because it’s the primary thing on everyone’s mind and every social media platform, but do what you can to minimize it because those coronavirus conversations aren’t going to lead to a sale for you unless you’re price-gouging on surgical masks, which you shouldn’t be doing!
  • Erin Sparks: The brand effect is important. You don’t want to get swept up into the coronavirus content…unless maybe you want to be because you’re helping in some way. I saw a credit card ad where the company said it is wiping out all interest until 2021. Or other offers that help, like free delivery from a restaurant.
  • JD Prater: And maybe there are things every company can do to help, whether it’s extended free trials of service or Asana, for example, which is giving out free one-year licenses to non-profit organizations helping during the crisis. That’s showing social and corporate responsibility if it’s genuine and not just a gimmick. Be helpful!

Connect with JD Prater and Quora

Twitter: @jdprater (



Quora Twitter: @Quora (

Quora website: 

EDGE Newsletter: Digital Marketing News You Can Use

Go to and you’ll see the subscribe box at the very top of the page. It’s free-of-charge, and we never use your email for anything else. You can also sign up by texting the word “EDGETalk” to 22828, but not while you’re driving! Enjoy these digital nuggets of gold from the EDGE – your source for digital marketing news.