Despite the increasing pressure many shoppers are feeling from inflation, the latest data from this year’s Black Friday shopping shows that consumers are still taking the shopping event seriously.

Brick-and-mortar store visits grew by an estimated 2.9% compared to 2021, according to a report from Sensormatic Solutions. Meanwhile, Adobe Analytics found that online sales rose by 2.3% to $9.12 billion.

This increase in in-person shopping likely reflects the easing of Covid-19 restrictions across the country and the increasing comfort shoppers are showing about going to brick-and-mortar locations. Stats from Thanksgiving Day itself back this up, with a whopping 19.7% increase compared to 2021. 

Bloomberg had similar findings, with data showing that increased mall traffic rise by approximately 1.2%, and traffic to other types of shopping locations (such as strip centers or standalone stores) climbed 4.7% compared to the past year. 

Notable Stats from Shopify

Shopify also released its data from this year’s Black Friday Shopping, accounting for a record-setting $3.6 billion across the platform from the start of Black Friday in New Zealand to the end of Black Friday in California. 

At the height of the day’s sales, Shopify saw $3.5 million per minute.

The report also included some other interesting highlights:

  • Top selling countries and cities where shoppers made purchases from: United States, United Kingdom and Canada, with the top-selling cities on Black Friday including London, New York, and Los Angeles
  • Top product categories: Apparel & accessories, followed by health & beauty, and home & garden, with trending products including Snocks GmbH (Boxershorts), rhode (peptide glazing fluid), and Brooklinen (Luxe Core Sheet Set)**
  • Average cart price: $102.31 USD or $105.10 USD on a constant currency basis  
  • 15%: Cross-border orders worldwide on Black Friday as a percentage of total orders 
  • 27%: Growth in POS sales made by Shopify merchants globally over last year’s Black Friday

What We Can Learn From This

Despite challenges, Black Friday and the surrounding weekend remain major events for consumers and retailers. With the end of Covid restrictions, consumers use a renewed sense of flexibility to find the best deals online and in-store.

For retailers, it is more important than ever to ensure your customers can easily find you and compare your prices and products. The online shopping space is increasingly crowded and it is up to you to stand out with great offers, well-crafted sales messages, top-level service, and high-quality products.

Google has quietly revealed it will be discontinuing store visits reports from Google Analytics at the end of October.

While historical data will still be viewable on the reporting platform for the indefinite future, however, data will stop being generated by the end of the month.

The news was revealed in an update added without fanfare to the Google Analytics help page.

The update reads:

“On 10/31/2022, Store Visits reporting will be discontinued. As of this date, new Store Visits reporting will not be generated. Historical Store Visits reporting will remain available. Please reach out to your account manager if you have any questions.”

As the name suggests, Store Visits data estimates how many people have visited your physical store or business location after visiting its website.

This is done by correlating data saved from a user when they visit the website with data from phones with location history data if that device ever comes into close proximity to your store location.

This of course means the data does not track users who have location history disabled on their account.

Brands that rely on this data will be able to access it instead in Google Ads, where new data will continue to be gathered and reported. However, brands only have access to this feature if your Google Analytics account is linked to a Google Ads account. 

Other than having to switch which platform you use to access your data, store visits reporting will be otherwise uninterrupted during this switchover.

At the start of 2022, LinkedIn Chief Product Officer, Tomer Cohen put out a call for suggestions on how to improve the platform for professionals and the brands they represent.

Just over a month later, the company says it is already working to integrate these suggestions with a slew of updates to how users can share content, manage their feed, and track their content’s performance.

We’ve collected the highlights below:

LinkedIn’s Updates Based On Your Feedback

Giving You More Control Over Your Feed

LinkedIn is making it easier to signal the types of content you want to see and to flag content that isn’t relevant to you.

Not only can you more easily follow and unfollow connections, but the company has also introduced quick ways to remove content by clicking the 3-dot icon in the top right corner of posts and selecting “I don’t want to see this.”

Lastly, LinkedIn is making it easier to find the content, pages, and conversations most relevant to your goals with improved search tools.

Connect With Industry Authorities To Build Your Career

LinkedIn has always positioned its platform as a tool for those starting out or looking to grow further to connect with the established experts and leaders in their markets. 

To further this goal, the company is working to create new opportunities for career advancement through live events, live courses, and even the chance to speak with industry-leading content creators like Jonathan Fields and Mita Mallick.

Better Measure Your Content Performance

Lastly, LinkedIn is introducing new ways to track how your posts are performing and refine your content strategy.

In addition to broad metrics like the number of people who view your posts, the company says it is going to be soon adding more granular details about your audience including their job titles, engagement patterns, and helpful demographic information.


Obviously, many of these features were already in progress before LinkedIn surveyed users. Still, they show how the company is looking to expand its capabilities in the exact areas users are also most interested in using to build their careers.

For years upon years, those working in search engine optimization could consistently agree on just one thing – links were the most important ranking signal around. They were the lynchpin that could decide whether you were on the top of page 1 of the search results or deep into page 5. 

Over the past few years, though, that has changed significantly. Google’s search engine algorithms have gotten increasingly complex, relying on hundreds of different search signals contextually based on a user’s intent with their search. With this, the perceived importance of links has steadily decreased.

These days, it is easy to find experts who will earnestly tell you that links are dead or don’t matter anymore. Typically they will point to the recent prevalence of social media and the importance of quality content as proof that you don’t need to invest money or energy into establishing an authoritative link profile for your website.

Well, Patrick Stox from Ahrefs recently decided to settle this debate once and for all. He simply chose three pages on the Ahrefs website – which receives thousands of visitors a day – and convinced the team to remove and disavow all links to those pages for a month.

After seeing the results from a month without links, the Ahrefs team then restored every link pointing to these pages and shared the results.

Ahrefs Links Chart

If you’re interested in the details from this experiment, you’ll definitely want to check out Stox’s recent article detailing what happened when he disavowed links to just three pages. It’s a revealing look at how a seemingly small SEO tweak can have a significant impact on the traffic your business receives online. Spoilers: links still matter quite a bit for SEO.

YouTube recently revealed new ways to see what search queries are leading viewers to videos, including both videos on your own channel and across the wider YouTube audience through an experimental new feature called Search Insights.

Additionally, Search Insights can help creators identify content gaps where users aren’t finding content ideal for their searches, to plan your future content around.

What Is YouTube Search Insights?

As detailed on the YouTube Creator’s Insider channel last week, YouTube Search Insights allows users to explore search data across the platform from the past 28 days, provided there is enough data.

The feature is split across two tabs. The first tab focuses on your channel and how users find your content, while the second shows keyword data from thousands of topics on the platform.

Along with the expected query data, such as search volume and high volume search topics, YouTube is also experimenting with identifying “content gaps”. This is when a viewer can’t find the content they were looking for with a query.

Do You Have Access?

As an ongoing test, YouTube has not opened these new features to all users. 

To see if you have access to Search Insights, first, log into YouTube Studio and select “Analytics” from the menu on the left.

Within the Analytics tab, look for a section called “Research”. If you have access to Search Insights, you will then see three tabs: “Your viewers’ searches”, “searchers across YouTube”, and “saved searches.”

While the new feature is in its early stages, YouTube says it will have more information in the future when it expands access to more users or you can watch the full announcement below: