Good morning, the September 2019 Core Update is now live.

Yesterday morning, Google announced a broad core algorithm update hours ahead of launch. This is the second time they’ve announced a core update in advance and many of us are thankful for the heads-up. If, however, this is the first you’re hearing of it, now’s a good time to check how your listings are doing in the wake of the update — you’ll want to continue to monitor them over the next few days as it might take some time for the update to fully roll out. If you’re already noticing some changes, let me know how your pages are being impacted by emailing [email protected] or DMing @geochingu.

In a landmark decision, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the Right To Be Forgotten and any corresponding delisting requests do not apply globally, and that European data protection entities don’t have the authority to regulate what the rest of the world sees on search engines. The ruling was made in Google’s favor, against French privacy regulator CNIL, which argued that the EU’s Right To Be Forgotten applied not just to EU countries, but to the entire index. Had the decision gone the other way, it may have set a dangerous precedent: “Not all countries are equally interested in the freedom of information,” Search Engine Land Contributing Editor Greg Sterling wrote, “Imagine, for example, China asking Google to globally remove content about the Tiananmen Square massacre (because it’s ‘unfair’ to Chinese citizens).”

For those of us looking to build a base in technical SEO, the latest installment of our Programming for SEO series familiarizes you with the terminal emulator and walks you through accessing command line utilities. These skills will eventually enable you to construct more complex tasks like SEO hacking on remote machines and utilizing programs to automate work. The goal of this series is to cut through all the disparate information and provide a beginner-friendly roadmap for developing technical SEO skills — if you missed the launch, you can read about it in our Programming for SEO series kickoff.

There’s more to catch up on — keep on reading for a Pro Tip on setting up triggers and variables in Google Tag Manager, as well as your daily Search Shorts and more.

George Nguyen,
Associate Editor

Pro Tip

Back to Basics: Setting up triggers and variables in Google Tag Manager

“Google Tag Manager saves marketers and developers alike by allowing you to set up tracking codes for analytics and ad platforms through one simple interface,” explains SMX East speaker Tim Jensen of Clix Marketing. “Once you set up tags to fire tracking codes on your site, you can choose a trigger that will cause your tag to work. Triggers can be based on a number of actions such as pageviews, clicks, element visibility, form submissions, time on site, custom events and more. Choose the trigger you want, and then use the fields to specify criteria. For instance, a pageview trigger can fire when a URL is viewed. You can also add multiple conditions, all of which will need to be true before the trigger fires.”

“There are a limited amount of variables that appear in your options by default when setting up triggers in Google Tag Manager. If you want to delve into more precise customization, be sure to enable additional variables in the interface. For instance, you might want to target clicks for buttons that all have the same CSS class. You can check the box next to ‘Click Classes’ and you’ll now see this variable as an option.”

Getting started with GTM »


5 critical elements for local marketing success

This guide from MarTech Today examines the market for local marketing solutions and the 5 critical elements for local marketing success: Listing Management, Local SEO, Local Landing Pages, Reputation Management, and Paid Search and Social Media. Also included are profiles of 17 leading local marketing solution vendors and capabilities comparisons.

Read More »

Search Shorts

Nofollow, meta keywords, words and average position.

Follow nofollow links. Gary Illyes from Google implied that Google may decide to possibly count nofollowed links from publishers that routinely nofollow all outbound links.

Google Ads average position. Don’t forget, the average position metric is going away this coming Monday

Meta keywords. Yep, Google still ignores meta keywords completely. Nothing has changed with that, said John Mueller of Google.

Counting words. John Mueller said on Twitter: Nobody at Google counts the words on a page. Write for your users.

What we're reading

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

Google’s Knowledge Panels Are Magnifying Disinformation – The Atlantic

Ecommerce SEO: Best Practices & Common Mistakes When Redesigning – Pure Visibility

Evergreen GoogleBot Now Running Chrome 77 – Search Engine Roundtable

Google tweaks Search definitions to elevate synonyms – 9to5Google

How to Work with the Latest Google Ads Match Type Changes – Adalysis

Is Your Google Display Remarketing Campaign Struggling Lately? This Sneaky Setting Is Why. – 

ZATO Marketing

Our commitment to ensure a sustainable future for all – Google Blog

Score big and try Google News for the Rugby World Cup – Google Blog

User feedback for the first half of 2019 – Microsoft Advertising

Join Us

SMX East: Bigger & Better Than Ever!

Join us for the largest gathering of search marketers on the East Coast – Search Engine Land’s SMX East, November 13-14, 2019. You’ll unlock an absolute firehose of content: 90+ unique sessions covering the topics that matter most – SEO, SEM, voice search, attribution, analytics, content, video, mobile, local, and beyond – plus exclusive community networking, delicious meals, free WiFi, and more. We guarantee it. View rates and register today!

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