Good morning, Marketers, we hope you had a restful homebound weekend.

The eventual impact of coronavirus on the digital advertising ecosystem remains to be seen, but eMarketer lowered its overall ad spend projections for 2020 based on what it’s seen so far in China (the world’s 2nd largest ad market after the U.S.). Meanwhile, many e-commerce businesses have increased ad spend as consumer behavior has shifted online. E-commerce site ad spend doubled across the digital, print and TV channels measured by MediaRadar. 

COVID-19 is impacting the way the platforms handle reviews. Google temporarily disabled reviews, the SterlingSky team noticed on Friday. Yelp announced changes to its guidelines Friday, banning claims in reviews of contracting coronavirus from a business or negative reviews about businesses being closed during what would typically be normal business hours. 

In non-COVID news, Google rolled out its change to move featured snippets into the mainline search results. Here’s what it looks like

A reminder to join us for our live-streamed video meetup today at 2 p.m. EST. Barry Schwartz will lead the discussion with SEOs Pedro Dias, Lily Ray, Alexis Sanders as well as Daniel Waisberg of Google will be chatting SEO, trends — and answering reader questions. Submit your question here

With lowering everyone’s elevated stress levels in mind, we’ve extended the Search Engine Land Awards deadlines. The early bird entry date is now Friday, April 17th. Learn more here.   

Keep reading for a Mindful Moment from reader Jenni Kulp and a Pro Tip from Andy Taylor on match types and more. 

Take care,

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

How Google close variants brought broad match to every match type

“Paid search managers like control, and for years they had access to plenty of it in terms of keeping the search queries that triggered ads tight. Some advertisers chose to forego looser matches altogether by only launching exact match keywords,” explains Andy Taylor of Tinuiti. “But now, essentially all match types can trigger ads for queries that might have once been considered broad matches. As such, the share of traffic that can only be triggered via broad match has declined.”

“There’s still a place for broad and broad match modified keywords to give advertisers a wider net to drag in showing ads for relevant queries which are either low volume or just haven’t been built out as exact match keywords yet. However, much of the traffic that was formerly assigned as broad match now falls under close variants.”

Learn more »

Mindful Moment

We’ll be sharing daily mindfulness exercises to help us all take some time to decompress. If you have a suggestion, please email me at [email protected]

Jenni Kulp, digital marketing strategist/owner at digital advertising agency Digitable, sent us this excellent suggestion: “When you have a moment of negativity or sadness, list (or think of if you don’t have paper) 10 things you are thankful for. The first 3-5 things are usually easy. But the last 5 things usually make you think a little deeper and appreciate more that life isn’t so bad.”


Your 5 biggest Google Ads challenges & how to solve them

Paid search is more competitive than ever. Search marketers need to be proactive and learn how to get the best out of the right tools to stay on top of their PPC ‘A-game’ (A for automation). Adthena created this guide to address the top challenges and offer solutions that will help you get better results and make your life easier.

Get it now »

Search Shorts

Google to continue pushing out algorithm updates

Algorithm updates to continue. John Mueller from Google said it will continue to update its algorithms throughout the coronavirus crisis: “In general, if we can improve the search results, I think we should continue to do that – there are lots of great sites (maybe yours too!) that deserve to be shown where relevant, if we can.” 

Google won’t block paywalled sites. Asked if Google can hide sites that have their content behind paywalls, Google’s Danny Sullivan said, “we wouldn’t do that.” 

Deprecated #! crawling. Just a reminder, Google deprecated #! crawling a while ago. “We’ve deprecated #! crawling for quite some time now, so you’d need to fix that before we switch the rest of the sites over in the fall, if you want that content to be indexed,” said Mueller.

Feedback Wanted

We want to know what’s working and what we can improve to bring you the best search marketing newsletter around. Please take a quick — we promise — minute to take our short reader survey. (All answers are anonymous.)

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"What should I look for in an SEO solution?"

There’s nothing like curling up with a good book — or good Marketing Intelligence Report — when you’re stuck inside. MarTech Today’s Enterprise SEO Tools For Content Marketing, Search Intelligence, UX, And More guide is an insightful and informative read that will help you understand who the leading players are and what capabilities these platforms provide.

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What we're reading

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

3 Ways To Lower Ad Costs With Audience Targeting – DELVE

Bringing more people online and introducing Camera Go – Google Blog

Everything You Need to Know About 404 Errors for SEO – Seer Interactive

Getting Smarter with SERPs – Whiteboard Friday – Moz

Google Exploring Using Location Info to Slow Coronavirus Spread – New York Times

Google Knowledge Panel With A Large Video – Search Engine Roundtable

Google’s Knowledge Graph Explained: How It Influences SEO – Ahrefs

How eCommmerce is Being Impacted by Coronavirus and What SEOs Could Do – Distilled

How to Combine AMP with Dynamic, Personalized Content – The AMP Blog

Microsoft Edge will finally let you ditch Bing for Google – here’s how to do it – TechRadar

Upcoming change to the Google Ad Manager API – Google Ads Developer Blog