Good morning, Marketers, did you notice anything?

Google’s BERT update rolled out throughout last week, but most SEOs, site owners and tracking tools did not notice any big changes. Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz reached out to a number of tool providers and looked at their results over the past week. Unlike past big algorithm updates, BERT barely looked like a hiccup.

Why would that be when Google said this new algorithm impacts one in 10 queries, you might wonder. Most tools and SEOs are looking at shorter head terms — the ones that drive the most search volume — rather than the typically-longer conversational queries that BERT is designed for. BERT’s function is to help Google better understand searchers’ intent when they search using natural language. There’s no action for SEOs and content creators to take in response to BERT — other than to focus on writing for your audiences, real people.

If you’re running Google App campaigns, note that it will be rolling out an update to campaign modeling that’s aimed at improving app ad asset attribution and the way assets are combined and served. The update comes as App campaigns now extend to Discover and YouTube search results.

Read on for a Soapbox on Google Maps incognito mode and more.

Ginny Marvin


What does Google Maps incognito mode mean for businesses?

For people wanting to protect their privacy in Google Maps, the new incognito mode released on Oct. 2 should prove to be useful. Once the incognito mode is activated, Google won’t be able to offer personalized recommendations.
I’d suggest we not see incognito mode as a threat but more of a “cover the bases” response to a post-GDPR heightened interest in privacy.
What is likely happening is that Google is priming the market for more ambitious advertising products in Google Maps. Why? Because Google needs to defend its advertising business from the surging Amazon Advertising threat and ongoing competition from Facebook. Incognito mode feels like a safe harbor move so Google’s PR team will be able to counter negative reactions from media with statements about taking user’s privacy very seriously and regularly releasing features that enable users to opt-out of advertising.

My advice to businesses is to keep an eye on how Google strikes the delicate balance between consumer privacy and ad personalization. Don’t let features such as incognito mode throw you. Let consumer behavior speak for itself.

Adam Dorfman is the director of product at


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Sitemap submissions and old domain names

Submitting Sitemaps. You don’t really submit sitemap files, so submitting them often is fine, said Google.

Old domains. If you specifically look for old redirected domain names, Google will show them to you, said John Mueller of Google.


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