Good morning, GSC testing tools just got more useful.

The new evergreen Googlebot is now being used in many of the testing tools in Google Search Console and Google developer portal. The new Googlebot, which launched three months ago, uses the latest version of Chromium, the rendering engine that’s also used by Chrome. The update to the testing tools means that the results you see in Chrome and what Googlebot sees will match what shows up in the testing tools. If you want to catch up on the Googlebot changes, see our initial coverage and then get the deeper dive from Editor at Large Detlef Johnson.

If you’re not familiar with local SEO veteran Mary Bowling, yet, now’s your chance to get to know her a bit and hear her insights on helping small businesses succeed with SEO. Search Engine Land’s News Editor Barry Schwartz sat down with Mary in the latest installment of his interview series. “I think the more effort you put into feeding that [business information] knowledge to Google, the more reward you’re going to see from Google for that.” She cites the example of an HVAC client. Her team added his brand product line to Google, and said, “We could see within a month that he was starting to get more and more searches, more and more clicks from brand searches.” She also discussed how measurement in local search has evolved. Watch the full interview here

Read on for more. If you’ve got video assets, be sure to read Joe Martinez’ Pro Tip below on creating custom lightbox ads for YouTube campaigns. 

Lastly, before you head off to start your day, I’d like to ask for just five minutes of your time to take our annual reader survey. It helps us get to know you and your marketing interests better. Rest assured, your responses will remain anonymous and confidential — even if you enter the Amazon gift card giveaway. Click here to take the survey. Thanks in advance!

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

Use your video content on YouTube to enhance lightbox ads

“When creating a display campaign with the goal of ‘product and brand consideration,’ you can create custom lightbox ads which are actually pretty fun to build,” explains Joe Martinez of Clix Marketing. “You can customize these lightbox ads with a variety of elements such as images, a retail feed from your merchant center, messages, call-to-action buttons, stylization and videos.

“With a lightbox ad, you pay on a cost-per-engagement bidding strategy. When the ad is visible to the user, they will only see a thumbnail image. The user has to hover their mouse over the ad for a couple of seconds to see the content on the inside. Once the ad opens, then the advertiser will be charged. Any actions that a user takes after they are engaging with your ad are free. In addition to images, having a user engage with my videos and sending them back to my website to me is a more qualified user. They didn’t accidentally click on my display ad. They hovered over it, explored the ad, possibly watched my video content, then clicked to my website. I’d rather remarket to an engaged user first over a page visit audience, and videos can help keep users engaged.”

Read More »


Live Webinar: AI and Digital Paid Media: Are PPC Managers Being Replaced?

Sponsored by Adzooma

Gone are the days when a PPC Manager could only focus on Google and Bing search ads. In today’s complex paid media landscape, you’ve got to manage and optimize multiple search engine, display and paid social channels. Many tools now feature artificial intelligence to make paid advertising faster and more effective…. but does it? Is AI an opportunity or a threat? Join our paid media experts as we answer these questions and more.

Register today >>

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Search Shorts

Which ranking factors are the most important?

Search ranking survey.  Rand Fishkin is asking for those in the SEO community to fill out his search ranking factors survey. Please help him and the industry out by filling it out.

Google Twitter carousel gone.  Sometimes your Twitter carousel in Google search can go away. John Mueller from Google said this is normal. 

Exporting links.  Some folks are having issues exporting links from within Google Search Console — you are not alone.

What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

‘Reclaim a seat at the table’: Microsoft is diversifying its advertising business – Digiday

A Guide to Custom Affinity Audiences for the Google Display Network – Metric Theory

Google Dropped The Magnifying Glass In Search Bar For Text Search Button – Search Engine Roundtable

Google France changes algorithm for ‘lesbian’ search term to show less porn – Pink News

Google Local Shows Photos to Match the User Query – And what it Means to You – Mike Blumenthal

Google My Business Launches Messaging Insights, Site Manager Sign-Up & Status Changes – Search Engine Roundtable

How to Screen and Recruit the Best SEO Content Writers – Moz

How to Use Remarketing Lists for Search Ads | RLSA Ads – Hallam

Keyword Research Guide by SEMrush – SEM Rush

Thin Content & SEO | How to Avoid a Google Thin Content Penalty – Cognitive SEO

We’ve Doubled the Sensitivity of our SEO Split-Testing Platform – Distilled


Houston SEO