Good morning, transactional Search is here.

Google has kicked off another test for Duplex, its automated virtual concierge product that debuted at I/O last year. This time Duplex comes to Google Assistant in Chrome to facilitate movie ticket purchases. When a user clicks to a Duplex-powered “buy tickets” button in Google Search and gets to a vendor’s website, a Google Assistant overlay automatically fills in payment information from the user’s Google account.

Handling transactions looks to be a key part of Google’s monetization strategy for its virtual assistant, and Duplex could end up playing a significant role. It may also help streamline shopping on Assistant-enabled devices where Google Shopping Actions are already enabled.

E-commerce platform Shopify continues to build out its marketing integrations. Now, Shopify merchants can set up and manage Microsoft Advertising campaigns and track performance alongside their store management dashboards. The integration opens up easy access to the Microsoft Search Network, including Bing, Yahoo and AOL. Shopify already integrates with Google Smart Shopping campaigns, and certain ad formats on Facebook and Snapchat.

It seems most Google Ads managers are ready to move on from average position, which is sunsetting this week. That’s according to the highly scientific “Average position mood poll” I floated on Twitter this week. 60% said they’ve already moved on. Just 29% reported being cranky about the change. FWIW, if that’s you, you can still get your average position fix in Microsoft Advertising — for now at least. 

Read on for a Pro Tip on the kinds of data to wrangle for a content audit and more. 

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

What sort of data do you need for a content audit?

“What you need for a content audit differs from site to site. The data for a million-page e-commerce site is going to be a bit different to an audit for a 100-page site,” explains Aaron Agius of Louder Online. “I have found the following data points to be an excellent place to start: link data, Google indexation, HTTP status, page speed scores, social shares, content quality, SEMrush (or similar) data, Google Analytics data, Google Search Console data, duplicate content issues and mobile-friendliness.”

More on content audits »


12 common questions marketers ask about call tracking

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Search Shorts

A few bad links wont kill you

Bad links. If a site has some bad links, it doesn’t mean Google will keep it out of search, said John Mueller of Google. 

Googlebot. If Googlebot persistently can’t index a page, it is generally not worth spending as much time on crawling it, said Mueller.

RankBrain. Gary Illyes from Google said you optimize your content for users and thus for rankbrain. That hasn’t changed.

M-dot URLs. Google strongly recommends you don’t use m-dot URLs, especially for new domains.

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What we're reading

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

The Free Google Data Studio Performance Analyzer Template has been Updated with New Information – Adalysis

Facebook Targeting: Lookalikes vs. Your Intuition – PPC Hero

7 Tips to Quickly Boost Your PPC Campaigns – Search Engine Guide

Common Mistakes with Technical SEO with Arnout Helleman – Craig Campbell

Google Assistant is now available for most Chromebooks – Engadget

Google Investigating Spike In Impressions & Queries – Search Engine Roundtable

Your Content Marketing Strategy: Using Data to Take it to the Next Level – BrightEdge SEO Blog

Houston SEO