Top of the morning, is it still “hump day” when you keep forgetting what day of the week it is?

Experimenting with your ads may have just gotten easier on Microsoft’s platform — the company has rolled out cookie-based experimentation, in which customers are shown, and continue to see, ads from either your experiment or the original campaign. When Microsoft first launched its experimentation feature last summer, it was search-based, meaning that the version of the ad customers saw might vary from session to session. This new feature should facilitate more accurate testing of creative and ad copy, but it may also take longer to obtain statistically significant comparison data than if you just ran search-based experiments.

It’s been over six weeks since the pandemic was declared a national emergency, forcing the closure of more than 48,000 shopping establishments, 30,000 restaurants, and 24,000 spas and other beauty businesses, according to a new report from Yelp. The local business review platform likened the impact toseveral hurricanes worth of local economic upheaval across the U.S.” Widespread small business closures are sure to affect agencies, SaaS platforms, and the martech companies that serve them. Let’s try to be cautiously optimistic — as states reopen, hopefully many of these SMBs will be able to reopen as well. Fingers crossed.

Stay-at-home orders also mean that customers aren’t engaging with local businesses as much — requests for driving directions, site clicks, and phone calls via Google My Business have decreased significantly, according to data from However, GMB is poised to emerge from COVID-19 as an even more important platform than it was pre-pandemic, says Search Engine Land Contributing Editor Greg Sterling, who argues that GMB, having been a lifeline for SMBs during COVID, will see wider adoption as we move past the crisis and that Google will introduce more integrations that blur the distinction between online and offline.

Everyone seems to be grappling with marketing priorities during these abnormal times: Should you focus on top-of-funnel awareness, even when it doesn’t feel as measurable as performance-based campaigns? That’s what Dana Tan, senior manager, global SEO for Under Armour, Amy Bishop, owner of Cultivative, and Michelle Morgan, director of client services for Clix Marketing will be discussing this Friday at 2 p.m. ET on Live with Search Engine Land. Greg Sterling returns to moderate the discussion on B2B and B2C content, commerce and which channels are performing best right now. We hope you’ll join us!

We’ve got a Pro Tip for you below – a case study on how robots.txt files are handled by subdomain and protocol.

George Nguyen,
Associate Editor

Search Shorts

A case study about how robots.txt files are handled by subdomain and protocol

Since robots.txt files impact crawling, it’s important for site owners to understand how they are treated by search engines. Glenn Gabe of G-Squared Interactive demonstrates how two cases involving multiple robots.txt files (by subdomain and protocol) are handled by Google and why it’s incredibly important to understand how these files work.

Read the case study »


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 Search Console adds copy URL feature

Copy URLs.  This is a small but powerful feature – Google Search Console added a copy button next to URLs in the reports

Google testing tool. Google’s John Mueller explained it only works with HTML documents. He said, “the testing tool is only valid for HTML / web-search content, for others it might return things like that.”

Lost your site in Google. Sometimes that might mean someone hacked into your Google Search Console account and delisted you. Or… maybe not? John Mueller said, “if it lost all its visibility, that sounds like someone might have used the removal tool in Search Console accidentally. If you’re just seeing changes in search, I’d recommend posting the details in the webmaster help forum (URLs, queries, dates, changes made, etc).”


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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 Simple but Powerful Search Ads Strategies During COVID-19 – BruceClay

During COVID-19, Clear Copy is More Crucial Than Ever – Go Fish Digital

Featured Snippets for Ecommerce Stores: How to Capture Them – HigherVisibility

Google Adds Organizer Property To Event Structured Data – Search Engine Roundtable

Google Ads Guide: Taking Smart Risks on Automated Bidding – Seer Interactive

Introducing the fastest and most user-friendly content encryption – The AMP Blog

New from inLinks: Market Trend Reports – InLinks

When Google Must Not Get the Answer Wrong – Five Blocks

Why Leaders Are Moving Media Dollars to SEO Now – Conductor

Yoast SEO 14.0: Much faster thanks to ‘indexables’ – Yoast

YouTube SEO: How to Create a YouTube Channel and Promote It Successfully – SEM Rush