Good morning, {{my.NormalizeName:default=edit me}}, I hope you’ll join us.

Today at 1:00 p.m. ET, the Search Engine Land editors are going to talk disruption over the past few months and how marketers should be thinking about the near future. If you’d like to join us live and ask questions, sign up here.

Google has made it easier for local businesses to update their Google My Business listings right from Search and Maps. You can also create posts, reply to reviews, add photos and most other actions that used to only be available via Google My Business. This could have a dramatic impact on the number of GMB profiles claimed and the accuracy and recency of the data.

In GMB itself, the performance page now shows new engagement information.

Hotels that have been holding out on free cancellation policies during the pandemic may have new incentive to cave. Google has added a filter in Hotel search that allows searchers to find only hotels that offer free cancellations. Google is also showing the COVID-19 trends for travel destinations in the travel search results.

Ginny Marvin
Editor-In-Chief

 
 
 
Search Shorts
 

Pipes, spam scores and menus.

Pipes & symbols in titles. John Mueller of Google said, “Putting random symbols, pipes or flowers, in the middle of sentences doesn’t make much sense to me, but my guess is computers don’t care as much about that. Also, usually sites use symbols there to separate “site-title” from “page-title”, which tend to be separate but related.”

Moz spam score. Believe it or not, Google does not use external scores in its ranking algorithm, that includes the fact that Google does not use Moz’s spam score, said Mueller.

External menu notice. Google My Business now shows if your restaurant is displaying menu details from a third party external menu service web site — and you can change it.

 

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Social Snapshot
 

How social platforms stack up by media responsibility

YouTube came out on top in a look at media responsibility across leading social media platforms. IPG Mediabrands, the media planning and buying agency group within the Interpublic Group holding company, released its first media responsibility report — a comparison of the content policies and practices of top social media platforms. Facebook came in fifth and TikTok rounded out the bottom of the nine platforms evaluated, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“It’s important to have an objective assessment and not simply allow the news cycle to dictate how we vet these partners,” Elijah Harris, global head of social at Mediabrands agency Reprise, which led the effort. The report will not just be an evaluation of Facebook, which more than 1,000 advertisers boycotted in July in frustration over the spread of misinformation on the platform. IPG Mediabrands said it will issue the reports quarterly. The report also laid out key findings of the research, including an “urgent need for third-party verification” and the need for consistency in policies and enforcement.

Why we care. The Facebook boycott may be over — and civil rights groups may have few concessions to show for it — but brand safety is going to continue to be a priority issue for marketers. This report indicates a focus on providing an objective that brands and media buyers can use to inform their campaign plans.

 

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What We're Reading
 

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

18 Alternative Search Engines To Google: Which Is Best? – SEM Rush

An update on our 2020 U.S. election efforts – Google Blog

Google, Facebook and Others Broaden Group to Secure U.S. Election – New York Times

Helping people spot the spoofs: a URL experiment – Chromium Blog

Image Extensions for Google Ads: What You Need to Know – Metric Theory

Image Migrations and Lost Signals – How long before images lose signals after a flawed url migration? – GSQI

New toys for the AMP Playground – The AMP Blog

The man Google loves to hate – POLITICO

Google Image Search Highlight Can Now Highlight Text On Your Web Pages – Search Engine Roundtable

US phone shipments rebound following COVID-19 closures, analyst says – CNET

Wasteful Wednesday with Wil Reynolds #11 – Keyword of the Week “PDF” – Seer Interactive

 
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