Good morning, {FirstName}, happy Monday.

I’m in New York for Advertising Week and will be reporting from there for the next couple of days. Send me a tweet if you’re in the area @ginnymarvin.

Are you capturing store visit conversions in your Google Ads campaigns? Now, foot traffic data can be used in smart bidding strategies for Search and Shopping campaigns. Until now, smart bidding strategies could only optimize with and for online conversions. Store visits can be enabled for smart bidding at the account level across Search and Shopping campaigns, but you can also test it at the campaign level for Search campaigns. To activate it on individual Shopping campaigns, you’ll need to contact your rep. 

Whether you sell products or a service, you have felt the pressure to have good reviews, and plenty of them, across a host of digital platforms. In TripAdvisor’s first transparency report on reviews on the platform, the company reported just over 2% of submitted reviews were fake in 2018. Of that, most were blocked before being published. 

TripAdvisor said 91% of inauthentic reviews were biased positive reviews, while 6% were biased negative reviews. Just 3% were paid reviews.

Fraudulent reviews erode consumer trust and hurt businesses. Will other platforms such as Google and Amazon follow TripAdvisor’s lead in shining a spotlight on their own review spam tactics?

Read on for a Pro Tip from Andy Taylor on managing the proliferation of close variants. 

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

Advertisers need to understand how to manage close variants

“Close variant performance can vary by advertiser, campaign, keyword and specific close variant match. While most advertisers see these matches convert at meaningfully lower rates than true exact matches for non-brand keywords, some actually see higher conversion rate from close variants looking at this comparison account-wide,” explains Andy Taylor of Tinuiti after his analysis of the trends since Google changed the definition of close variants last year. “However, there’s likely no account where close variants are so relevant and tightly related to all the keywords being triggered that advertisers should simply allow them to take their course.”

“As such, advertisers must continue to regularly evaluate search query reports to find close variants that should be weeded out via keyword negatives to minimize wasted spend from any inappropriate matches. Google reiterated as much in their most recent announcement that same-meaning close variants will now be applied to phrase match and broad match modifier keywords.”

More On Close Variants »


How to track traffic quality and boost conversions

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Traffic quality is paramount when it comes to driving conversions. And that’s where a conversion rate optimization (CRO) tool that helps you analyze traffic can help by revealing the best- to worst-performing leads.

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Search Shorts

Google News search video series.

New video series. Google is launching yet another video series for webmasters and SEOs. This one is on Google News and Search. Google said on Twitter: “COMING SOON: Google Search News, a news series dedicated to webmasters, SEOs, publishers, and web creators worldwide!” 

What we're reading

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

3 Quick-Win Google Data Studio Tips for SEO Reporting – Seer Interactive

Get more done with a little help from Google Chrome – Google Blog

Google ‘Phoebe Buffay’ and she’ll sing Smelly Cat to celebrate 25 years of Friends – The Verge

Google Maps and Waze add Siri integration – 9to5Mac

How May Google Incorporate User Habits Into Search? – Go Fish Digital – Go Fish Digital

How to Create an XML Sitemap (and Submit It to Google) – Ahrefs

How to Onboard Clients with Immersion Workshops – Whiteboard Friday – Moz

International SEO FAQ: Multi-Lingual and/or Multi-Regional Optimization – Internet Marketing Ninjas

Nofollow, Sponsored, And UGC Links Explained – Botify

Old Content On New Domains Is Okay Says Google – Search Engine Roundtable


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