Good morning, it seems black is the new green.

In Google’s mobile search results anyway. The “Ad” label for text ads is officially now black with Google’s new look for mobile search which is rolling out over the next few days. In testing since March, the new label appears above the ad headline with the display URL, also in black, appearing alongside it.

Organic listings on mobile are also getting a shake up with favicons. Your brand favicon can show alongside your site name and breadcrumbs in your mobile listings on Google. And as with text ads, the favicon and site name display at the top of the listing card.

The new look is designed to make it easier to scan results, says Google. But get ready for more content formats and actions enabled straight from the results pages.

Meanwhile, more bugs. if you tried to search with the “past hour” filter in Google Search yesterday, you likely saw some seriously wacky search results. Google said “indexing issues” were causing “stale search results” to show in some cases, though many weren’t just stale, they were entirely irrelevant. Google has had several bug issues over the past month or so, including a prior de-indexing issue and snags in Search Console, Google News and an ongoing problem in Google Ads reporting.

Keep reading for your Pro Tip on upper funnel tactics, a celebration of search and more.

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

Don’t get stuck at the bottom

“Not all bottom-funnel search is navigational, but there’s less of this behavior on top and middle funnel searches where it can be safely assumed that the ads had more of an effect on the final conversion,” explains Josh Dreller of Kenshoo. “The only way you’re really going to grow your total business impact from SEM is by investing in upper funnel tactics to drive more consumers into your funnel. Your bottom funnel search will always be there to convert them.”

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Live Webinar: The Top 4 Digital Challenges Facing Consumer Brands And How to Solve Them - May 30

Sponsored by Mapp Digital

Large consumer brands are losing share to more nimble, digitally savvy challengers. Digital disruptors such as Casper and Dollar Shave Club operate with ultra-fast supply chains, using digital channels to create convenient and authentic shopping experiences. How do traditional marketers compete? Join our brand marketing experts as they tackle the biggest challenges facing consumer goods companies – and provide the strategies and tactics that will help you win.

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The Soapbox

Celebrate search!

One of the advertising industry’s venerable publications recently covered the news that digital exceeded $100 billion in ad spend last year for the first time. The editors highlighted increases in digital audio, digital out-of-home and social media advertising spending.

Search ad spending was mentioned after all the other categories were covered. Grudgingly, the report acknowledged search advertising accounted for nearly $50 billion in spend and nearly 50% of all digital. Rodney Dangerfield got more respect.

Our profession deserves better. So it’s with great pride that we’ll be hosting the Search Engine Land Awards June 4 in Seattle, to honor our peers for the excellence they practice every day in SEM and SEO.  Hundreds of agencies, brands and individuals were nominated in 17 categories. You can see all of the categories and finalists here.

Perhaps best of all, Search Engine Land Awards is an inclusive celebration. We produce it in conjunction with SMX Advanced in Seattle, and all 1,500 attendees are invited, along with nominees and VIP industry guests. The SEL Awards & After Party is a casual, fun experience you’ll enjoy. Leave your tux or prom dress at home.

On behalf of the Search Engine Land team, we’re looking forward to celebrating our industry and profession… and giving them the respect they deserve.  And to the finalists, enjoy the spotlight. You’ve earned it!

Chris Elwell,
CEO, Third Door Media

Want your moment on the Soapbox? Email [email protected]

Search Shorts

Google has been triggered…

GoogleBot triggering. The new GoogleBot may be too good at seeing content. Some are seeing it trigger meta data from within ad scripts and widgets that can add more titles and/or canonicals to the page. Google is aware of the issue.

Lead Google spam fighter leaves Google. Brian White, a 16+ year Google veteran has left Google this month. He spent most of his time at Google working with Matt Cutts fighting search spam.

Noindex. John Mueller of Google said that when using noindex it’s critical that you’ve implemented it correctly.

What we're reading

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

The Case For Time Flexible PPC Budgets – PPC Hero

An SEO’s guide to duplicate content – Builtvisible

Google Assistant rolling out in latest Messages update – 9to5Google

Google Has Stored Some Passwords in Plaintext Since 2005 – Wired

How Long Should Your Blog Post Be for SEO? – Portent

Now the Google Assistant can take care of your IOUs – Google Blog

Vue.js And SEO: How To Optimize Reactive Websites For Search Engines And Bots – Smashing Magazine

What can Google’s Updated QRG tell us about quality in 2019? – Marie Haynes Consulting

Google’s Duplex Uses A.I. to Mimic Humans (Sometimes) – New York Times


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