Good morning, credits are coming for some, 

As we reported first yesterday, Google released some additional details about the $340 million ad credit program for SMBs announced last month. The program is global and part of Google’s broader response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • To be eligible, SMBs must have advertised in 10 of 12 months in 2019 and in January and/or February of 2020. 
  • Credits will start rolling out in phases at the end of May. Eligible advertisers will be alerted automatically in their accounts when the credits become available. 
  • The credit amount will vary based on spend history and the country/currency in which the account is based.
  • The credits are meant to be used for future advertising this year and are available through December 31, 2020.

Someone asked me why this is taking a couple of months to get off the ground. It’s because Google is building a new system to handle this specialized ad credit. 

Bing has launched an integration with GoFundMe for local businesses to be able to solicit donations right from the local search listings. Businesses can add a “Donate” button to their listings within their Bing Places for Business accounts. It’s available now for new campaigns and will be available for existing fundraisers in the coming weeks. Note, there are payment processing fees involved.

We know Bing has embraced a push-oriented approach to indexing and crawling, with site owners able to submit up to 10,000 URLs per day to the engine. Google hasn’t adopted this approach, yet, but on a recent Live with Search Engine Land, Pedro Dias, managing partner at APIs3 and former Google search quality analyst, said “Everything is migrating more towards push than towards requests.” If Google goes this route, too, “you might have more control over what gets indexed, and you might be able to save more resources and do a better job,” said Dias. 

Keep reading, Mordy Oberstein has an interesting take on the potential long-term impact of Google’s COVID-19 results page (see the evolution here) on the search results and more. 

Ginny Marvin,
Editor-In-Chief

 
 
 
Search Shorts
 

Google ranking update, hreflang and headers.

Google ranking update. There may have been a smaller, not confirmed, Google search ranking update on April 16th.  There is more on this over here.

Hreflang for unique content. Google’s John Mueller said making 140 regions of content with hreflang pairs is a bit too much, he said focus on limiting yourself to the number of regions you have unique, human-written, high-quality content for. “Less is more,” he added.

Too many headers. In a Reddit thread, Mueller said having too many headers is probably a waste of time when it comes to SEO.  He said, “having this many sections is almost never going to make sense, and changing anything in the last level is never going to change anything with regards to SEO. This is a waste of time when it comes to SEO.”

 

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Soapbox
 

The multi-faceted SERP is coming (I think)

The SERP features Google uses to handle COVID-19 queries have gone from mere panels and alerts to being the most prolific set of direct information the Google SERP has ever seen. The features and functionality Google uses to cover the spread of The Coronavirus highlight just how much of a direct data source beast the search engine can be at times…. It’s also a peek at what could be coming to the SERP permanently!

The SERP as we know it was designed for a different time. Our entire way of consuming digital content has changed since its advent. With that, Google has also evolved. One of the most notable ways Google has adjusted to user demands is via personalization. But as Google gets better at offering us highly-targeted results it puts itself in a bit of a precarious position. To head these unique problems off the search engine is going to need some very creative solutions. It’s going to need something along the lines of the functionality the “COVID-19 SERP” presents. 

While I certainly can’t predict the future, I do know that in order for Google to truly personalize the SERP, it’s going to have to allow for some sort of user input. To balance the call for personalization and the need to simultaneously offer a diverse set of results it’s going to need a multi-faceted SERP. As such, and as I have outlined in my latest article, the implementation of the type of SERP we’re seeing for COVID-19 queries is all but inevitable to me.  

– Mordy Oberstein is the head of marketing for Rank Ranger

 

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What we're reading
 

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

After France, Australia wants Google and Facebook to pay for news – The Next Web

Choose the Right Paid Search Attribution Model – Seer Interactive

Chrome 83 Beta: Cross-site Scripting Protection, Improved Form Controls, and Safe Cross-origin Resource Sharing – Chromium Blog

Google is now listing COVID-19 testing centers in search results – The Verge

Google Testing Too Many Searches Related To – Search Engine Roundtable

How to Start Your SEO Career in 4 Steps – Seer Interactive

Pitching During a Pandemic – Go Fish Digital

SEO Agency vs. Full Time Employee: Pros and Cons – iPullRank

Two weeks of Doodles to thank essential workers – Google Blog

Why Site Speed Still Matters (Revisited) – Moz

Your Guide to COVID-19 Structured Data – Schema App Tools

 
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