Good morning, this won’t stop the debating,

Debates about what is and is not a ranking factor are part of the fun of SEO. That said, getting hung up on hypothetical ranking factors can distract newcomers, in particular, from their business goals. Barry Schwartz has compiled a list of signals that Google has said are not in fact ranking factors in Search. That doesn’t mean they don’t have value in other ways. Having a listing that your target audience wants to click through to is still valuable regardless of whether CTR is a ranking factor. 

In ads news, Google’s lead form ad extension is still technically in beta, but you can now use them to gather leads from YouTube and Discovery campaigns. They’ll also be available for Display campaigns by the end of the year, Google said yesterday. 

Lead form extensions have evolved since Google first started testing them in Search campaigns last fall. There are now more contact fields available — including work contact info and you can add pre-set questions depending on your vertical to your lead forms.

Mark your calendar for 1:00 p.m. ET tomorrow: I’ll be speaking with Simon Poulton of WPromote, who is a wealth of information about all things analytics, tracking and attribution, and Akvile DeFazio of AKvertise, who specializes in paid social for big and small brands, about what Facebook advertisers need to do to stay CCPA compliant and the implications CCPA is having on campaign performance.  Be sure to sign up to join us live and get your questions answered.  

Ginny Marvin,

Search Shorts

Some of Google’s manual actions may not be used anymore.

Manual actions automated. Google’s John Mueller said in a webmaster video hangout that many manual actions are no longer used these days, that Google tries to automate most of them with algorithms.

Negative reviews can hurt. Revert that, Google is now saying that if you have a lot of negative reviews about your company or brand, it can ultimately lead to poorer rankings in Google search.

Direct or indirect. So the other day Google posted about how it uses their search quality raters to rate the search results. Google said in that post “ratings are not used directly for search ranking” but it doesn’t stop people from misunderstanding what that means. Look at how many times Danny Sullivan from Google had to explain it on Twitter.


5 critical elements for local marketing success

This guide from MarTech Today examines the market for local marketing solutions and the 5 critical elements for local marketing success: Listing Management, Local SEO, Local Landing Pages, Reputation Management, and Paid Search and Social Media. Also included are profiles of 17 leading local marketing solution vendors and capabilities comparisons.

Read more »

Social Shorts

Instagram’s TikTok remake ‘Reels’ goes live

Instagram Reels started rolling out in 50 countries on Wednesday..

It’s essentially impossible to talk about Instagram Reels without words like “clone” or “copycat” — of TikTok, of course.

Like TikTok, users can record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects and creative tools. There’s even a green-screen effect, just like you-know-what.

Reels is accessible from the Instagram camera. Users with public accounts can share Reels in a new space in the apps’ Explore section. Reels from private accounts are shared only with their followers.

Why we care. It’s easy to be flippant about Facebook’s knock-off of TikTok — and at a time when the ByteDance-owned app is experiencing considerable uncertainty. But unlike Facebook’s short-lived Lasso app which also took aim at short-form video, building Reels into Instagram’s camera makes it instantaneously accessible to millions of people — and could help it attract more and new creators to the app. Ads in Reels aren’t planned … yet.


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What We're Reading

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

August update to Display & Video 360 API v1 – Google Ads Developer Blog

Google Doodle Now Live: Wear a Mask. Save Lives. – Search Engine Roundtable

Grow your audience faster with Maximize conversions bidding in App campaigns – Google Ads Help

Grow your games business with new ads solutions – Google Blog

How Link-Begging Became the Most Annoying Search Engine Tactic – VICE

How Many Sites Pass the Core Web Vitals Assessment? – Screaming Frog

John Mueller’s Take on Conversing with the Search Industry: SEO Podcast – RankRanger

Just the Facts: The rise of auto-generated profile sites, and what that means about the direction of search – Five Blocks

Menu Misery for GMB Restaurants & Singleplatform Feed – Online Ownership

Simplifying image requirements for App campaigns – Google Ads Help

Updates to Misrepresentation policy (August 2020) – Google Advertising Policies Help