Good morning, will Google sell off its DoubleClick tech? 

The Justice Department is focusing on Google Ad Manager in its probe into whether Google has too much control “over the monetization of digital content,” according to a WSJ report. Ad Manager encompasses the ad server and ad exchange that were formerly under the DoubleClick brand. The article said Google executives have discussed selling the technology, though a company spokesperson said it’s not a consideration. 

Google’s ability to dominate the display ad market with its acquisition of DoubleClick in 2007 has rankled many media buyers and sellers alike. Google counters that having a server and ad exchange under one roof makes things more efficient for everyone. Still, Google’s focus on its Network business has waned in recent years. Ad revenue for that segment grew by just 8% year-over-year in 2019, compared to 17% growth for its own properties.

Local reviews management is becoming a critical, and often cumbersome, aspect of customer service and digital marketing. To help streamline management and responding to reviews, TripAdvisor has launched a new tool that allows restaurateurs to manage reviews across multiple vendors from one dashboard. 

Ginny Marvin,

Pro Tip

Leverage the Apriori with BERT embeddings to find semantically related categories

“One of the biggest challenges an SEO faces is one of focus. We have data coming out of our eyeballs, but we need to refine large data to something meaningful,” explains JR Oakes of Locomotive. “But we can mix the new with the old to create a tool that has value for something we do all the time — keyword grouping and change review. We can leverage a little known algorithm, called the Apriori Algorithm, along with BERT, to produce a useful workflow for understanding your organic visibility at thirty thousand feet.”

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Protect your keywords from ad hijacking

Ad Hijacking can be very damaging to your paid search programs. It happens when an affiliate impersonates a brand by running ads that look identical to a brand’s ads by using similar headlines, descriptions, and display URL, to increase the odds that users will click on their ads instead of the brand’s. Read this white paper from BrandVerity to learn the most common indicators of ad hijacking and get tips on how to stop it.

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Search Shorts

URLs, affiliate links and Googlebot.

URL length. John Mueller from Google said URL length is not a ranking factor.

rel=sponsored. Definitely use rel=sponsored for affiliate links, if you can, Google’s John Mueller said.

Googlebot new name live. Martin Splitt from Google said the new user agent name is 100% live, but maybe it isn’t?

Windows search outage. Windows’ Bing-powered search went down for more than three hours yesterday morning. Search results appeared blank, The Verge first reported, before an apparent network disruption was fixed at 11:35AM ET.


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What we're reading

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

Approaching SEO in a Queryless World – State of Digital

Conversions Increased +101% and +644% YoY When We Restructured Our Paid Campaigns – Seer Interactive

Glass Enterprise Edition 2 now available for developers – Google Developers Blog

Google Top Stories With Descriptions In Snippets – Search Engine Roundtable

How to Optimize for Google’s Position Zero – Portent

January 2020 Winners and Losers: Google Updates Shake the SEO Industry – Tyson Stockton – Searchmetrics

Meta Tags for SEO: A Simple Guide for Beginners – Ahrefs

Pay Attention to These SEO Trends in 2020 and Beyond – Moz

Position Zero Is Dead; Long Live Position Zero – Moz

Top marketers and the customer journey – Microsoft Advertising

Yoast SEO 13.0: Behind the scenes improvements – Yoast