Good morning, Marketers, BERT is everywhere. 

Google made a big splash with BERT last month. But turns out, BERT has been baked into Bing’s search systems since April, Microsoft said this week. The company says these models are now applied to every Bing search query globally

Google has started testing an interactive ad widget for car rental offers. Spotted by SEMrush, the latest travel services search advertising initiative allows users to select dates to see rental car offers from specific locations such as airports from right within the search results. It’s just a test at this point, but stands to shake up the ads landscape in the travel vertical. 

If you’re looking for a fun break in your day, take a moment to watch Barry Schwartz’s interview with Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller and get to know a bit more about the man behind the answers to your Google SEO questions. 

Read on for a reader Soapbox on what the WSJ’s piece reflects about the challenges for digital brands balancing UX and revenue. 

Ginny Marvin


The compromise between UX and revenue is not so simple

I think the WSJ’s piece is indicative of the type of criticism that most digital brands receive. Are you for your users or your own revenue? The answer isn’t simple. 

Similarly to other brands that put user experience on their banner (Amazon, Apple), digital brands have to constantly negotiate user experience and revenue. These brands are constantly trying to find the sweet spot where revenue and user experience live in harmony and keep both users and stockholders happy.

There are times when the compromise to revenue is too steep. There are times when the compromise to UX is too steep. Overall, when you examine Google’s progression over time, has the user experience constantly improved? I would say yes. Sure there are hiccups along the way and there will be times when Google will favor revenue over their users (privacy is one example) but overall they are merely trying to consistently find that balance in an ever-shifting market and are not part of a deep net corporate conspiracy.

Eyal Katz is CEO of mvpGrow.

Soapbox is a special feature for marketers in our community to share a specific tactic others can use to elevate their performance. You can submit your own here.


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Search Shorts

A weak Google confirmation

Weak confirmation.  We have Google giving us a weak confirmation of those rumored search algorithm updates from over the weekend. You decide if this is a confirmation or not.

Old school HTML. Google’s John Mueller said Google does not penalize for old-school HTML or invalid HTML.

Bogged down. John Mueller from Google said it’s easy to get bogged down in this one aspect, our systems are pretty adaptive. It’s possible this is more of a theoretical problem than an actual one.


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What We're Reading

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

34 Ways the Wall Street Journal Got Google Wrong – Warschawski

A new home for Japan’s startups – Google Blog

Does Google Want You To Make Poor Decisions? – Blind Five Year Old

Google BERT Update: What Is It and Why Does It Matter? – BrightEdge

Google Policy Ad Disapprovals: A Story of False Flags – PPC Hero

GoogleBot Won’t Request Google Analytics & Many Other Ad Scripts When Crawling – Search Engine Roundtable

It’s Content and It’s Links – Are We Making SEO Too Complicated? – Moz

Houston SEO