Good morning, when’s your next promotional event?  

I’m back into my routine after a final summer vacation last week, so Google, Twitter and Instagram will see my regular search, scroll and clicking behaviors again, enabling them to figure out what ads would likely resonate best with me. But did my week away throw them off? 

Machine learning algorithms train on historical data, which means they don’t always react as well or as quickly to sudden changes — like a short-term sale or promotion — as we’d like them to. To help give its smart bidding systems a heads up and shorten the reaction time to ramp up and down during a promotion period, Google has rolled out seasonality adjustments for Search and Display campaigns (and should be rolling it out to Shopping campaigns later this year). 

You set the date range of the promotion and the conversion rate change you expect during the time period based on your analysis. “Smart Bidding will consider that adjustment for the date range selected, while trying to hit your target CPA,” Google explained in the announcement. Once the promotion ends, the system will go back to relying on the standard signals “without the need for a ramp down.” Google already takes big seasonal changes — like the holiday season, back to school, etc. — into consideration, so this should be used for your own, short-lived promotional efforts. (It can also be used to signal lower-than-normal conversion rates if you’re expecting a lull in conversion activity for a short period.) One thing to emphasize: it asks for the predicted conversion rate change, not for the percentage change in number of conversions. 

Verifying your domain in Google Search Console could become less of a hassle with the latest option. Google announced auto-DNS verification in partnership with various domain name registrars. If you want to go this route, select the Domain option during the verification process to see if your registrar is participating. Bing recently added a similar option for Bing Webmaster Tools via Domain Connect. And as of last week, you can also import your GSC-verified sites into Bing Webmaster Tools.  

Read on for a Pro Tip on organic product carousels, your daily Search Shorts and our picks from around the web. 

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

Keep an eye on the organic product carousel

“The two organic product carousels to keep an eye on are definitely the Popular Product and Best Product carousels,” explains SEO consultant Brodie Clark. “Both are given considerable visibility in search results for commercial queries on both desktop and mobile.”

“Something else to consider is how Google has the ability to slot these in the carousel wherever they like. Not only are they visible as a distinct feature in web search, I’ve seen them appear in a brand’s standard Knowledge Panel too. This could mean that each of these carousels could be added within other SERP features in the future and not just in standard web search as a distinct result.”

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Search Shorts

Reporting, squatting, indexing and videos.

Possible Google performance report issues. There may be issues with how the Google Search Console performance report consolidates metrics around some canonical URLs, but it is a bit too soon to know for sure.

Competitors in Google for my brand. Imagine if someone searched for your company name and Google displayed competitors above your local knowledge panel. How would you feel?  Well, no need to imagine; it happens.

Bing indexed by Google in Russian. Last week, Bing was serving Russian web pages to Google and it caused Google to show Russian language pages. This problem is now resolved.

More and better Google videos. Google’s John Mueller is asking for feedback on the company’s video efforts on the Google Webmaster YouTube channel. Send him feedback on Twitter.

What we're reading

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

“Impressions” is an Undervalued SEO KPI – Distilled

Amazon vs. Google: Decoding the World’s Largest E-commerce Search Engine – Moz

Google Maps for Android adds dedicated Street View layer – 9to5Google

Google Maps Poised to Be an $11 Billion Business in 4 Years – Skift

Google Testing Capitalizing URLs Of Snippets In Search Results – Search Engine Roundtable

How to Scrape Google Search Features Using XPath – Screaming Frog

How to Use Keyword Match Types in Google Ads – Fang Marketing

Refurbishing Top Content – Best of Whiteboard Friday – Moz

SEO 101: The Top 5 Things You Need to Know – Seer Interactive

The Invisible Attribution Model of Link Acquisition – Blind Five Year Old


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