Decline in ad revenue, iOS 14.5 pleads for programmatic SEO


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Apple’s privacy changes in 2021 have changed the marketing landscape. iOS 14.5, released in 2021, was initially supposed to go (relatively) unnoticed by consumers. Experts have predicted a large but manageable 50% drop in app tracking. However, over 90% of users ended up denying access.

While good news for consumers looking to protect their privacy, iOS 14.5 has had a particularly detrimental impact on Facebook. Since the release of the privacy statement, Meta platforms have struggled to target users about whom they no longer have complete information. When iPhone users opt out of tracking, Apple restricts tracking by disabling access to its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), the anonymous but unique code assigned to a user. Instead of receiving a code, advertisers receive a string of zeros.

What is the problem ? This change prevents large companies from fully analyzing the data habits of individual users, making it harder to target ads. Functionally, this disrupts many traditional advertising algorithms.

Earnings declines require new approaches

According to Forbes, App Tracking Transparency (ATT) cost Facebook $12.8 billion in 2022. Generally speaking, other advertisers are also experiencing 15-20% profit declines. Meta/Facebook is experiencing the cutting off of the largest amounts of tracking and targeting data, with ripple effects on how advertisers collect data on desired audiences.


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It’s not just because of Apple’s privacy changes. Advertising, in general, has not been so hot – and the numbers confirm this.

This completely changes the way brands not only approach data privacy, but generate advertising and campaign strategies. Brands and developers are starting to use legacy/owned data more, use proprietary Facebook data sources, use Google Analytics data more creatively, and use the Facebook Conversion API (CAPI).

With advertising on the decline, marketers are scratching their heads for more omnichannel approaches that better target users. Plus, they need cheaper options. One way to do this is through search engine optimization (SEO).

For a while, marketers believed that pre-established brand recognition was a marker of success. However, as purchasing power has shifted to younger generations, this is no longer the case. In fact, 90% of smartphone users are not sure what brand they want to buy from – and many of our online searches lead to online purchases.

When a customer searches for something, your brand might be the answer to their problems. When this happens, the customer has found a reason for the mark loyalty – not just brand recognition.

SEMRush’s 2018 annual study showed that 37% of all traffic to e-commerce sites comes from search engines. This compares to just 6.83% from Google Ads and 4.79% from social media.

Unfortunately, brands that get into the SEO scene can find themselves in the legendary “Google Sandbox” for a while. However, there is also a solution to this. Discover the automated and optimized generation of web properties: programmatic referencing (pSEO).

What is Programmatic SEO?

Programmatic SEO is a combination of content and the ability to deliver it. Put simply, it’s speed more ladder.

pSEO is defined as anything that creates many large-scale web pages. The faster you can do it, the better. The programmatic aspect is defined by its automation features, which use different platforms or tools to increase the speed, scale, or both of SEO content.

Automation-powered SEO can accomplish so much more than traditional methods alone. In fact, SEO benefits that once took at least four to six months to materialize can now be achieved in one or two.

Hubspot’s recent marketing benchmark study has proven that having a lot of web properties (sites, pages, articles) helps increase traffic and leads – almost tenfold, in some cases.

pSEO is a reliable way to appeal to the large number of customer search queries at scale. From phrases that vary by region to chains of businesses operating in hundreds of cities, pSEO can provide landing pages suitable for anything people are looking for – everything.

How is programmatic SEO different from regular SEO?

pSEO achieves the same goals as SEO. It’s not just for e-commerce, but for anything: services, digital goods, even the simple delivery of information. One company may be trying to sell something, another is trying to grow its user base – pSEO can accomplish both.

The case for programmatic SEO can be seen in recent consumer reports of website traffic versus number of website pages. Companies receive 55% more leads by increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.

Companies with Over 1,000 web pages generate 9.5 times more traffic than companies of 50 or less. Not only that, Business Insider reported that 23.6% of e-commerce orders are directly linked to organic traffic.

With this in mind, it is not surprising that SEO generates 20 times more traffic opportunities than pay-per-click advertisements both mobile and desktop.

Does this mean you need 1,000 web pages? Not necessarily – companies with even 51 to 100 web pages generate 48% more traffic than those who have less.

Digital presence goes beyond digital businesses

Programmatic SEO also benefits e-commerce and physical stores.

Physical stores have yet to capture digital attention, knowing that 99% of consumers use the internet to find a local business in 2022. This is especially important in a time when search queries contain “near me” – which increased in frequency by 150% from 2015 to 2017, reports Google. Now almost a third of all mobile searches are related to location.

Ultimately, pSEO is all about increasing web space. Whether for a physical or digital store, pSEO allows business owners to instantly generate content that is easy to edit and delivers faster results. According to 72% of marketers surveyed, practical articles are at the top of traffic, closely followed by comparison pages between different products. However, your marketing team need not worry. Companies that minimally increase blogging from 3-5 times/month to 6-8 times/month almost double their advances.

Generating all of these pages instantly also opens up opportunities for linking strategies – for which 68% of digital marketers specifically use content marketing.

In addition to its incredibly fast effects, pSEO is relatively easy to manage, especially compared to more traditional forms of page generation. You can plug content stored in a table – be it Notion, Airtable or otherwise – into a CMS or automation platform for model-based property generation.

94% of SEO specialists believe that Google will continue to use links as an algorithm ranking signal for at least the next five years. Investing in pSEO is a valid strategy and plays a role in other key ranking signals.

How to implement pSEO?

pSEO can be implemented manually, with any existing CMS. Each page can be duplicated by hand or created. You can set it up with a template, turnkey content, and page-specific content entry system.

There are also less refined methods for implementing pseudo-pSEO. A few website builders allow you to launch up to a few hundred web pages. You can use tools like, Verblio, or Jasper to automatically generate content while you manually create web properties and automate their launch. This is partial automation – using automation tools for parts of the overall content creation.

As technology improves, platforms are also finding ways to automate pSEO from start to finish, so you can generate thousands of web properties with a single click.

With 40–60 billion current searches on Google per month in the US (and the average search session lasts less than a minute), climbing the rankings is key to finding customers where they’re looking for you.

Jeff McKinnon is co-founder of


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