Carolyn Lyden – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Wed, 22 Sep 2021 17:01:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 “About this advertiser” initiative now includes Advertisers Pages for Google Ads /about-this-advertiser-initiative-now-includes-advertisers-pages-for-google-ads-374636 Wed, 22 Sep 2021 16:05:45 +0000 /?p=374636 The advertiser page gives PPC experts the opportunity to show the integrity of their advertising to users but also leaves a trail of previous advertisements.

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“To give users of our products even more transparency, we are enhancing ad disclosures with
new advertiser pages. Users can access these disclosures in our new ‘About this ad’ menu to
see the ads a specific verified advertiser has run over the past 30 days,” said Google in an announcement today.

As part of the company’s advertiser transparency initiative, Google Ads introduced their advertiser identity verification program as well as their “About this ad” information this past year. The new Advertiser Page program takes that transparency for searchers to the next level.

Users can learn more about advertisers and report ad policy violations. “This transparency helps users learn more about the company behind a specific ad. It also helps differentiate credible advertisers in the ecosystem, while limiting the ability of bad actors to misrepresent themselves,” according to the announcement blog. Searchers can report any ad policy violations they believe an ad is breaching. From there a Google team member reviews it and takes the ad down if the violations are found to be true.

What type of advertiser info is displayed? “[The advertiser page] will be generated based on the approved ads running and the information in their account. In terms of information about the advertiser, we will continue to show the advertiser’s name and location,” a Google representative told us.

>> Read more: Three strikes, you’re out: Google’s new ad policy violations pilot

YouTube has highest ad control adoption. “Users engage with our ads transparency and control tools on YouTube more than any other Google product,” added the announcement. As such, Google Ads will be rolling out the “About this ad” option for YouTube and Search in the coming months, as well.

Why we care. The advertiser page gives PPC experts the opportunity to show the integrity of their advertising to users but also leaves a trail of previous advertisements. This will hopefully help keep advertisers in compliance with Google’s ad policies and may be thinking about how their ad history affects any current ads. It seems like there might be an opportunity for competitors to report ad violations (how would consumers know what violates Google’s ads policies?), but that seems like a super niche use case for this feature.

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SEOs experiencing delays in data on Search Console performance reports /seos-experiencing-delays-in-data-on-search-console-performance-reports-374571 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 13:10:48 +0000 /?p=374571 If you're missing data, make sure to inform your clients and update your reporting to reflect the glitch.

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“We’re currently experiencing longer than usual delays in the Search Console performance report. This only affects reporting, not crawling, indexing, or ranking of websites,” said the Google Search Central Twitter account on the morning of Tuesday, September 21. “We’ll update here once this issue is resolved. Thanks for your patience!”

Many SEOs have noticed the change in their Search Console reports this morning and have taken to social media to ask if they’re the only ones seeing the issue. “Is there a GSC bug? Apologies if I am late to the party here, but the last day we even have partial data available is the 18th?” asked Tessa Bonacci Nadik, Director of SEO Product at Cox Automotive.

She’s not alone. Other SEOS say September 18 was their last day of data. Aleyda Solis reported that her last day of data was September 17.

“Yes, I’m also seeing delays in the data shown in GSC performance report… last day shown is Friday Sep 17 across all of the accounts I have access to.”

We’ll continue to update this piece as we know more.

Why we care. If your data isn’t updated, don’t worry just yet. The glitch will likely be fixed soon, but make sure to inform your clients and adjust your weekly reporting to ensure no misunderstandings or data mistakes. If you’re using the Search Console API, it’s also likely you will see 404s until the glitch is remedied. Google assured SEOs that the glitch isn’t affecting how sites are seen or indexed, just how the data is being relayed back to them. It’s also a good reminder to go into Search Console regularly to check your data and not just rely solely on tools that may pull the data into automated reports.

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Mozilla tests Bing as the default search engine for 1% of users /mozilla-tests-bing-as-the-default-search-engine-for-1-of-users-374517 Fri, 17 Sep 2021 19:38:26 +0000 /?p=374517 Many SEOs often forego Bing optimization in favor of its higher traffic counterpart, but this is another reason to diversify your target search engines.

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“Mozilla is running an experiment on 1% of the Firefox desktop population currently, which sets the default search engine to Bing in the web browser,” said Martin Brinkmann for ghacks.

Search choice is an ongoing issue. We’ve written about search choice before as it’s been a topic of conversation even beyond the search community:

Google is the usual default. “Like all browsers, Mozilla Firefox automatically configures a browser to a default search engine for performing searches via the address bar,” wrote Lawrence Abrams on BleepingComputer. Chrome obviously defaults to Google, but so do Brave and Firefox.

Last August, Google and Firefox reached a deal where Google paid Mozilla “between $400 and $450 million per year for the privilege of becoming the Firefox web browser’s default search engine in most regions,” said Brinkmann.

The new test. “The study started on September 6 and it will run until early 2022, likely January 2022. About 1% of Firefox desktop users may notice that the default search engine is changed when the installation of Firefox is picked for the experiment,” explained Brinkmann. Why are they running this test with Bing? Mozilla hasn’t disclosed the reason, but most of their revenue comes from search engine deals.

“Mozilla might want to have a backup plan when the search contract with Google runs out in 2023. Google may be interested in extending the search deal, but if the deal falls through, Microsoft would be one of the few remaining options for Mozilla,” said Brinkmann.

Why we care. Many SEOs often forego Bing optimization in favor of their higher traffic counterpart, but this is another reason to diversify your target search engines. It’s also another reason to potentially invest in Microsoft Advertising. While 1% of users isn’t a lot right now if the Google deal falls through having a Bing/Microsoft strategy may be beneficial if Mozilla makes it the default search engine.

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SEO testing for continuous improvement; Friday’s daily brief /seo-testing-for-continuous-improvement-fridays-daily-brief-374498 Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:00:00 +0000 /?p=374498 Plus why you should pause your ads (for science)

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Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.


Good morning, Marketers, and I’m not going to lie.

Every time I write the Friday newsletter it takes a lot not to type, “It’s Friday. Friday! Gotta get down on Fri-hi-day-hay. Everyone’s looking forward to the weekend, weekend.” I sing it to myself every Friday newsletter. So there. I sincerely hope you sing it to yourself all day long too. 

It makes me think about when this song first came out. It went viral pretty quickly. We all cringe-listened because it wasn’t good but it sure was delightful. If you’ve worked in marketing for a while, there’s a very high chance you’ve been asking how to make some client or company asset “go viral” like this song. 

Of course, we know it’s not that simple. There’s a special combination of factors (often completely out of our control) that make phenomenons take off like Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Search marketing (even PPC) is more about the long game — the testing, the learning period, the slow accumulation of links and content, etc.

But in the end, the slow build is better than the firecracker hit. While the viral song only pops up when I force it on people, what we’re building will continue to serve us, our businesses, and the searchers looking for answers online.

Oh, and I hope your weekend is all partying, partying! Yeah! Fun, fun, fun!

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content


How to test your content site strategy for continued improvement

Assessing the effectiveness of your content strategy is an integral part of growing your organic visibility as well as furthering your skills as an SEO. Techniques like forecasting can help you estimate the value a piece of content or site change may generate for your business, but failing to record the real-life performance associated with those changes and comparing them with your forecasts may mean that you’re overlooking takeaways that can be used to improve future initiatives.

At SMX Convert, Alexis Sanders, SEO director at Merkle, shared the tactics that she uses to analyze site strategies for continued improvement. While the techniques mostly pertain to content, they can also be applied to other aspects of a site, like user experience.

  • Forecasting: Clickthrough rate curve estimates can help you predict incremental traffic lift. “We [calculate] that using the search volume multiplied by the clickthrough rate of our forecasted rank subtracted by our current rank,” Sanders said.
  • Case studies: Maintain a record of your internal case studies and links to relevant articles about case studies for initiatives that you may want to attempt in the future. Accumulating all this information will help you get a better idea of how your proposed content may perform.
  • Competitive research: Competitors’ rankings, estimated traffic and search volume are going to be the most useful metrics for forecasting. You can use this information to estimate whether you’ll outperform a competitor based on what you’re going to do and your level of authority within the space.
  • Pre-reads: Interviewing a small sample of your target audience can help you gather feedback and refine your content, as well as inform you about potential hurdles like readability and accessibility.
  • Split testing: Ensure that search engine bots are receiving the experience you want them to. If there is the potential for search engine bots to find one of your alternative experience URLs, it’s best to 302 redirect to the main URL.

Read more here.


How and why you should pause paid search (for science) 

With the right structure and parameters, pausing paid search can be an invaluable source of data for PPC professionals.

When it comes to demonstrating return, Sr. Paid Search Analyst at Uproer, John Smith wagers most PPC professionals measure some variation of total revenue over total cost: “If it’s high, we’re doing well. If not, we rethink and rework until we hit the ROAS we want.”

That’s not inherently bad. It’s a quickfire estimate of efficacy, and Smith says he finds himself doing the same thing, but “the problem is that number doesn’t tell us much. It doesn’t tell us if we actually lost money buying users who would have converted anyway. And it doesn’t show what might have happened if we simply didn’t spend.”

Read more here.


Search Shorts: A title tag case study, why no one cares about your content and limiting PPC waste

  • Tackling 8,000 title tag rewrites: A case study. Dr. Pete recently dug in to over 50,000 Moz title tags to understand the impact of Google’s rewrite update.
  • You want to know the truth about content marketing? Nobody cares about your product or service. 
  • A new way to approach your PPC personas. Learning from the sales process to limit waste and accelerate ROI.

What We’re Reading: UN says we should cool it on AI that could potentially affect human rights

“The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday called for a moratorium on the sale and use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems that threaten human rights until adequate safeguards are in place to ensure the technology will not be abused,” according to Al Jazeera.

The AI in question refers to those that affect “who gets public services and decide who has a chance to be recruited for a job” with the idea that data collection isn’t totally private and can risk discrimination against those online.

But there could be even wider implications for search engines and search marketers if the moratorium were to actually take effect. Bachelet released a report detailing “the risks of AI technologies, and emphasising that while AI can serve as a force for good, it can also cause catastrophic effects if used irresponsibly.”

“The complexity of the data environment, algorithms and models underlying the development and operation of AI systems, as well as intentional secrecy of government and private actors are factors undermining meaningful ways for the public to understand the effects of AI systems on human rights and society,” said the report.

Yes, AI does help search marketers, but Google’s unfettered and undisclosed use of it could potentially be contributing to this discrimination. We’ve seen it before when Google Ads settings allowed advertisers to discriminate against people multiple times.

Will a moratorium actually take effect? Probably not. AI is so ingrained in our technology now. But we could benefit from more transparency around how big tech is using it.

Hat tip to Doug Thomas for the heads up on this news.

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More Google Ads campaign changes this month; Thursday’s daily brief /more-google-ads-campaign-changes-this-month-thursdays-daily-brief-374460 Thu, 16 Sep 2021 14:00:00 +0000 /?p=374460 Plus, Reddit makes good on its advertising features promise

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Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.


Good morning, Marketers, and the coworking space saga continues.

Once a month my coworking space has a catered lunch. It wasn’t the reason I signed up for this spot (the proximity to daycare was the driving factor), but it is a nice benefit. The other cool part is that it’s not just a Chipotle buffet. Don’t get me wrong. I am the least snobby food person. I will gladly eat Chipotle and enjoy it.

But the catered lunches are gourmet. Yesterday there were quail egg Croque Madames, spicy pesto avocado toasts, and cream of celery root soup with beet puree and fresh grapes. As a non-fancy eater, this menu was a hit or miss for me (who puts cold grapes in hot soup?). But what I love most is that it makes me try new foods that I would never have tasted before.

I recently asked on Twitter how search marketers level up their careers (stay with me here), and a lot of people said TRY NEW THINGS. Oftentimes we get caught up in what we have to do and what we’re good at doing, but trying new things (that you probably never would have tried before) can be a big key in taking the next steps in your career. 

New things can be anything: taking Python classes, learning the basics of design in Canva, negotiating a raise if you never have before, taking the lead on a project you normally wouldn’t have.

So today I’m encouraging you to try new things! Whether it’s on a menu or in your job. Take the risk. Try the thing. Advance your career! Just do it. 

P.S. Want to learn more about leveling up your search marketing career? That’s what my SMX Next keynote is all about. Plus we’ll have a whole track dedicated to what’s next for our profession.

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content


Google Ads will combine Smart and standard Display campaigns

Beginning this month, Google Ads will combine standard Display campaigns and Smart Display campaigns into a single option. In addition, Google Ads will also be introducing optimized targeting to Display campaigns.

When advertisers create a new campaign, they’ll see the new Display campaign type. During the setup process, advertisers can choose what to automate or control manually, and they can change their automation choices at any time without having to create a new campaign.

Why we care. Soon, there will be just one option to create Display campaigns. The new Display campaign type will have the same controls for bidding, ads and audiences that standard Display campaigns currently offer. And, “Existing Smart & standard Display campaigns aren’t affected by this change at this time,” Ginny Marvin, Google’s ads product liaison stated on Twitter.

“It’s hard to tell from the announcement, but hopefully there won’t be a major near-term impact,” Greg Finn, partner at Cypress North, told Search Engine Land. “Additionally, some advertisers will be able to test the power of Smart Display automation without having to create a one-off ‘Smart’ campaign.”

Read more here.


Reddit invests in advertising features (as promised)

With its latest round of funding, Reddit promised to expand advertising options to help businesses drive more qualified leads. Well, it didn’t take long, from what we can see. The latest announcement indicates that ad features are where the platform’s headed. What’s new?

  • Bid Recommendation: Leverage the bid recommendation tool in the ad group build page for guidance on what to bid to reach your target audience.
  • Improved Bulk Edit Tool: Save time optimizing campaigns by updating bids and budgets across multiple ad groups simultaneously.
  • Updated look w/ Better Performance: Loading times with the updated dashboard are also now 2x faster than before.

Why we care. As an avid Redditor, one thing I love is that the communities (called subs) are so niche and specific to certain groups and interests. While they are generally wary of advertising, there’s an opportunity there to really hone in your targeting and find the exact people who would want your product or service. These upgraded advertising options will help marketers do that even more effectively now.


Search Shorts: Writing and stages of the funnel for both SEO and PPC

SEO: How to plan SEO content that actually ranks. Learn how to identify metrics for content goals, perform keyword research that drives SEO value and build your content calendar from Hubspot’s head of English SEO, Aja Frost.

PPC: How to write ad copy that actually converts (and 3 major mistakes to avoid). When testing copy, make it worth testing. Use power words or emotional calls-to-action to really analyze what messaging has a stronger appeal and why, from Alyssa Altman, Vice President at WORX.

PPC: Three PPC targeting tactics that power every stage of the funnel. “You can make any channel work for you depending on who your prospects are and which channels they use and which targeting options are available across all channels,” said Amy Bishop, Owner and Marketing Consultant at Cultivative.

SEO: How to drive the funnel through content marketing and link building. “It isn’t so much about what you want to tell your audience, it’s what you understand they want to learn and what’s going to be helpful for them,” suggested Eve Sangenito, director at Perficient.


Joke of the day

“I don’t kill spiders. Why? Because I can’t harm a fellow web developer,” tweeted Florin Pop.

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New automation in Facebook Ads?; Monday’s daily brief /new-automation-in-facebook-ads-mondays-daily-brief-374388 Mon, 13 Sep 2021 14:00:00 +0000 /?p=374388 Plus, how to drive the funnel through content marketing and link building

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Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.


Good morning, Marketers, and are you thinking about 2022 yet?

As we’re inching closer to Q4, it only makes me realize how close we are to next year. Gulp. I saw a post on StreetFight about how digital advertising has seen a robust recovery from the dips of the initial pandemic panic. 

Most industries, including gaming, e-commerce, health and wellness, fintech, travel, and more, are seeing growth (though some slower than others). “Much of this recovery can be attributed to a general shift from the physical to the digital world as a result of global shutdowns,” wrote Jane Handel. 

But it makes me wonder what sort of fluctuations we’ll see in 2022. More people are venturing back out into public places, though often warily, and some have decided to remain mostly digital until pandemic outlooks are less dangerous to them.

How are you prepping for 2022? What predictions do you have? I’d love to know your thoughts, search marketers. Email me at clyden@thirddoormedia.com.

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content


Facebook is testing a new marketing tool called Ad Strategies

“Ad Strategies uses automation to help you build complete customer pipelines,” according to an email to advertisers. We first saw this in a tweet from Matt Navarra. The idea is to provide an easier-to-use advertising setup that doesn’t require as much effort for advertisers.

In the thread, Navarra shows screenshots of the step-by-step that social media managers would go through to set up Ad Strategies. It’s a five-step process that includes answering questions about your chosen ad strategy including what you’re selling, your sales cycle, whether you want to prioritize sales or leads, and what your budget is. From there, you can set locations, add creative and review the campaign before launch.

Why we care. Facebook has been saying it cares about small businesses for a while now, and this seems to be a step toward demonstrating that. Ad Strategies would make it a lot easier for SMBs to set up social media campaigns. But just like with Google and Microsoft Advertising’s automated tools, there’s potential for humans to lose the control that many advertisers like to maintain. The most common complaint about automation in ad tools is that it prioritizes impressions over conversions, and we’re interested to see if the Facebook Ad Strategies tool follows the same pattern.


Nominate a search marketer for the Search Engine Land Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing

Search marketing has a diversity problem. Older data from the American Marketing Association shows that most marketing leadership is still majority white and male. It’s a topic we’ve covered multiple times at Search Engine Land:

But it’s not one and done. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are ongoing efforts and something we need to commit to every day. This is why we’re excited to announce the second annual Search Engine Land Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing to celebrate those individuals or organizations who are affecting real change. This year’s awards will include a guest judge, last year’s winner Areej AbuAli, a pillar in the SEO community and the founder of Women in Tech SEO.

You may nominate as many organizations or individuals as you feel deserve the recognition. We ask that you highlight specific initiatives conducted by the nominee and that in the nomination form you include the contact of someone who can “second” that nomination.

Nominate a person or organization now.


Consumers think brands should be responsible for removing fake goods from marketplaces

New data from brand protection company Red Points finds that holiday shoppers plan to start early (think now) and these same consumers believe online retailers should “fix it” if they mistakenly buy fake goods. “With a larger pool of online shoppers to prey on, scammers have even more reasons to take advantage of online shoppers and fool them into believing their discounts on fake items are part of legitimate sellers’ sale events,” said the report. 

“In fact, 56% of U.S. consumers acknowledge having been victims of purchasing a fake or counterfeit item online during previous holiday shopping seasons. It takes only minutes for a scammer to set up an illegitimate site, but the ramifications can be long-lasting for the brand they steal from.”

So who should fix it when consumers are tricked into buying fake stuff? 40% say the brand should be primarily responsible for removing fake items from online channels.

Why we care. With supply chain issues still a problem for many retailers, there’s a high chance that fake goods could infiltrate the e-commerce market. This can be a problem or an opportunity for advertisers. If your brand falls prey to scammers taking advantage of an online marketplace, your customers will feel like it’s your fault and your responsibility to fix it. However, if you’re advertising genuine and authentic products, there’s an opportunity to include that in your ad copy to ensure that customers know what they’re getting is real.


On the hunt for something new? Check out the latest jobs in search marketing

Senior Paid Search Specialist @ d50 Media (Boston or USA remote)

  • Salary: $95k-105k/year
  • Perform daily account management of pay per click accounts on Google Ads and Microsoft Ads
  • Manage and optimize display platforms like Verizon Media, GDN, and MSAN

Paid Search Account Manager @ Croud (New York City)

  • Salary: $70k-80k/year
  • Focus on Google Ads with Search and Shopping, with some focus on YouTube, Discovery and Display 
  • Own paid campaign processes from start to finish, including researching, planning, trafficking, troubleshooting, optimizing and reporting

Senior Manager, Content Strategy @ Cox Communications (Atlanta, GA)

  • Salary: $125k-140k/yr
  • Collaborate on the creative and optimization process for content and website pages working with our product, legal and web production teams to build messaging and imagery that resonate with our customers and drive our digital and company KPI’s
  • Lead the strategy and execution for SEO digital content across digital platforms

Organic Search Manager @ GroupM (USA remote)

  • Salary: $90k/yr
  • Review and analyze competitor sites and understand their organic search approach
  • Optimize campaigns accordingly to maximize client investment and to resolve performance issues

Want a chance to include your job listing in the Search Engine Land newsletter? Send along the details here.


Businesses turn to content marketing because it can be an effective method for building brand awareness and guiding customers through their sales funnel. Yet, many have been unable to capitalize on their content marketing initiatives because they haven’t covered all aspects of the customer journey, didn’t keep track of their assets and wasted resources on duplicate content, failed to create unique content or were simply unsuccessful with their outreach efforts.

In her session at SMX Convert, Eve Sangenito, director at Perficient, shared her comprehensive content strategy to engage potential customers at every point in their journey and generate backlinks for greater discoverability and higher rankings.

Your content should exist to serve your brand by serving your audience — that should always be at the center of your planning and execution. “It isn’t so much about what you want to tell your audience; it’s what you understand they want to learn and what’s going to be helpful for them to learn more about your solutions and/or about your industry as a whole,” Sangenito said, adding “Just knowing where they’re coming from is one of the key elements you should be focused on.” Check out the full session coverage here.

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Second annual Search Engine Land Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing: Nominations open /second-annual-search-engine-land-award-for-advancing-diversity-and-inclusion-in-search-marketing-nominations-open-374340 Fri, 10 Sep 2021 15:59:05 +0000 /?p=374340 We're elated to announce that this year’s awards will include a guest judge, last year’s winner Areej AbuAli.

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Search marketing has a diversity problem. Older data from the American Marketing Association shows that most marketing leadership is still majority white, hetero, and male. Meanwhile, the audiences we’re marketing to are more diverse and inclusive than ever. It’s a topic we’ve covered multiple times at Search Engine Land:

But it’s not one and done. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are ongoing efforts and something we need to commit to every day. This is why we’re excited to announce the second annual Search Engine Land Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing to celebrate those individuals or organizations who are affecting real change.

The deadline for nominations is October 8, 2021.

We’re elated to announce that this year’s awards will include a guest judge, last year’s winner Areej AbuAli, a pillar in the SEO community and the founder of Women in Tech SEO.

You may nominate as many organizations or individuals as you feel deserve the recognition. We ask that you highlight specific initiatives conducted by the nominee and that in the nomination form you include the contact of someone who can “second” that nomination.

Nominate a person or organization now.

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Advertisers will now get more data in Google Ads… sort of; Friday’s daily brief /advertisers-will-now-get-more-data-in-google-ads-sort-of-fridays-daily-brief-374332 Fri, 10 Sep 2021 14:00:00 +0000 /?p=374332 Plus, the conundrum of in-house career progression

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Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.


Good morning, Marketers, and do you remember office life?

By now you probably know I work from a coworking space. They’ve recently started construction to expand it, which is great because there will be more room! But it’s also awful because the construction noise is atrocious. To remedy this and to save the ears of the poor people I spend all day on calls with, I booked a conference room for the afternoon.

Just like at the office (remember those?), I arrived at the room for my booked time, and it was occupied. I waited until exactly noon (my reservation hour) and then politely knocked and waved. The squatters acted surprised but still took their sweet time to gather their things and leave.

I rushed in, late for my first call, and got settled. But once I got a chance to take a breath between calls I remembered that this is how it used to be all. the. time. when we actually went places to work around other people at our jobs. We did the conference room dance and awkward wave all the time!

Many businesses are saying they will stay remote or at least introduce hybrid options. I’m interested to see what new customs we come up with in these remote or partial in-office environments. I, personally, am a big fan of the “goodbye Zoom wave” myself.

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content


Google search terms report adds historical query data for impressions without clicks

As of yesterday, Google Ads will show advertisers historical data for queries that received impressions but no clicks in the search terms report for Search and Dynamic Search Ads campaigns, the company announced

“Historically, the report only ever showed queries that resulted in a click,” Pallavi Naresh, senior product manager at Google, told Search Engine Land. “We knew that advertisers wanted more data and we had to make investments in our tech stack to show this magnitude of data in Google Ads.”

And, on February 1, 2022, the company will remove historical query data collected before September 1, 2020 (the day before the company initially limited search terms reporting) that doesn’t meet its privacy thresholds.

Why we care. Advertisers are gaining access to some new data, but this update is not a reversal of the September 2020 change that initially limited search terms reporting. The additional data is for queries that received impressions but no clicks and the data is still only for “terms that were searched by a significant number of users.”

Nevertheless, this new information could be quite useful for many advertisers. The additional query data could reveal what’s failing to attract the right audience. Advertisers can use this information to build out their negative keyword lists to improve their campaign efficiency.

Read more here.


Why you shouldn’t overlook site search optimization

We all know that listening to the wants and needs of our customers is essential to delivering satisfying experiences that drive conversions.

Steve Zakur, CEO at SoloSegment, will explore the process of improving your onsite search, which in turn will help improve your business results, next week at MarTech.

Get your free pass


ICYMI: Missed the news this week? Don’t worry. We gotchu, fam.

Video and vertical-based product ads pilots arrive on Microsoft Audience Network. Disclaimers in ads, third-party integrations with Universal Event Tracking, flexible insertion orders and inline appeals for rejected product offers were also among Microsoft Advertising’s September announcements.

Google News app will display non-AMP content and send readers to publisher pages. Tracking and performance reports in Google Search Console won’t be affected.

Microsoft Ads announces optimization score. The availability of Optimization Score in Microsoft Ads now means advertisers have the option to ensure they understand all of the recommendations and consider options they may not have before.

Bing content submission API now available to all. Now you can push your content and HTML directly to Bing Search without the need for crawling.


Search Shorts: Movin’ on up (while in-house), ranking in Google Discover, prepping your holiday PPC strategy, and site manager role leaves GMB

Career progression within in-house SEO – the conundrum. Land of Rugs SEO expert, Billie Geena, runs through the top three issues in-house SEOs see in their day-to-day work.

What does it take to rank in Google Discover? With Google Discover, the user does not need to search for anything. The product is a form of queryless search: the feed of content is displayed based on the user’s interests alone and without any query being entered. So how do you show up? 

Yep, it’s already that time. Prepping your holiday paid media strategy. This post breaks down the steps your B2B business needs to refine your paid media strategy, stay competitive, and drive results during a holiday season typically dominated by B2C retailers.

It’s official. Google My Business is getting rid of the site manager role. That’s what Joy Hawkins tweeted yesterday along with a screenshot of the email from GMB.


Quote of the Day: Keep asking questions (even if they’re obvious to everyone else)

“I’m the most annoying person on the call. Every. Single. Time. Why? Because I can’t write about what I don’t understand,” explains Cain Lewis, Freelance Copywriter and Founder at Kraken. “I can’t be an expert in everything, so I’m always asking questions. They’re mostly stupid questions to everyone else on the call, but they’re necessary for me to do my job to the best of my ability – so I’ll never shy away from asking them.”

The post Advertisers will now get more data in Google Ads… sort of; Friday’s daily brief appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Microsoft Ads announces optimization score /microsoft-ads-announces-optimization-score-374289 Wed, 08 Sep 2021 14:30:11 +0000 /?p=374289 The availability of Optimization Score in Microsoft Ads now means advertisers have the option to ensure they understand all of the recommendations and consider options they may not have before.

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Optimization Score is now available on the Recommendations tab in Microsoft Ads, according to the latest announcement from the company. The new scoring system is meant to help improve advertisers’ account optimization status and potential, help advertisers spend their time more efficiently and to prioritize the optimization actions with higher impact, and track their optimization efforts over time.

“Along with the overall Optimization Score, you’ll see a list of recommendations tailored specifically for your account, to help you optimize each campaign. Each recommendation displays a score uplift percentage, showing how much your optimization score will be impacted when you apply or dismiss that recommendation. Optimization Score is available at Account and Campaign level, and is shown for active Search, Shopping and Audience campaigns,” said Jessica Cui, Principal Program Manager and Cristiano Ventura Sr. Product Marketing Manager.

How to check Optimization Score in Microsoft Ads. Visit the Recommendations page in Microsoft Advertising. “You’ll see a percentage score in blue (see below). Each category of recommendations is shown with an aggregated score uplift from the recommendations belonging to it, and each recommendation is indicated with a score uplift in an ellipse on the top right of the card with a value from 0.1% to 100%, representing its estimated impact on your account or campaign performance,” wrote Cui and Ventura. If you apply or dismiss a recommendation, your score will adjust accordingly.

How is Optimization Score calculated? Microsoft Advertising looks at multiple aspects of a campaign: bidding and budgets, keywords and targeting, and ads and extensions. From there it determines if these features are fully optimized and displays recommendations for full optimization. “The recommendation is evaluated by its impact to your performance: the more performance impact from the recommendation, the greater effect on your overall score,” according to the announcement.

How to improve your scores. Any recommendation can be applied or dismissed. “You can see the total score achieved from the dismissed recommendations, showing as the light blue portion of the percentage bar. For example, if you apply or dismiss a recommendation that has a score uplift of 10%, your account’s optimization score increases by 10%. Applying or dismissing all recommendations can get you to 100% for your account,” said Microsoft Ads.

Why we care. Google has had optimization scores and the ability to apply or dismiss for a while now. This means Microsoft Advertisers will have a similar experience in the competitor platform. The availability of Optimization Score in Microsoft Ads now means advertisers have the option to ensure they understand all of the recommendations and consider options they may not have before.

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New pilots from Microsoft Ads and the secret to happiness at work; Wednesday’s daily brief /new-pilots-from-microsoft-ads-and-the-secret-to-happiness-at-work-wednesdays-daily-brief-374280 Wed, 08 Sep 2021 14:00:00 +0000 /?p=374280 Plus, B2B tech finally sees the SEO light

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Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.


Good morning, Marketers, are we doing the work or going through the motions?

My friend and I were taking a walk around our coworking space just to get some fresh air and reset our brains before afternoon calls. We both park in a deck down the road because the parking lot right outside the office is 3-hours only. However, the handicapped spaces directly outside the space are all-day parking. At first, I thought that was pretty cool. Good for this space for being accessible, I thought, and for not making people who use wheelchairs park in the parking deck far away. 

And then I looked at the entrances right outside these parking spots and noticed the ramp was nowhere close. Then I thought about the actual space and how I think I’ve only ever seen one elevator — which is on the other side of the building to the parking spaces.

Just like in life, accessibility on our sites can’t be an afterthought. We’ve been working on an accessibility audit of Search Engine Land, and we encourage you to think about doing the same as you plan your 2022 goals. It can’t just be an afterthought. We have to do the actual work. With the increased focus on user experience in SEO, we need to make sure our sites have a positive experience for all users.

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content


3 sessions search marketers will want to see at MarTech

How are we handling the data challenge?
MarTech Editorial Director Kim Davis’s keynote explores the importance of data to modern marketing with experts from major brands like HBO Max and El Camino Health.

Guiding company influencers and evangelists to successfully engage on LinkedIn
Join Darryl Praill, CRO at VanillaSoft, as he explains how he interacts on LinkedIn, who he responds to, who he completely ignores and why.

Is your brand ready for the search-first age?
Deepcrawl shows why CMOs need to shift from being search-shy marketers to become search-first CMOs.

Get your free pass now.


Video and vertical-based product ads pilots arrive on Microsoft Audience Network

Video ads and vertical-based product ads are now being piloted on the Microsoft Audience Network, Microsoft announced yesterday. In the announcement, the company also revealed disclaimers in ads, new third-party integrations with Universal Event Tracking, flexible insertion orders and inline appeals for rejected offers in Microsoft Merchant Center.

Why we care. While unlikely to be game-changing, Microsoft Advertising’s September announcements offer a variety of quality-of-life improvements for paid search marketers:

  • Microsoft Audience Network’s new video format may help brands increase awareness as well as engagement with their ads.
  • Disclaimers in ads may help advertisers in regulated industries stay compliant.
  • Inline appeals may help decrease the amount of time your team spends reaching out to Microsoft Advertising’s support team. This can be especially useful for resolving rejections during the holiday shopping season, a crucial time of the year for many merchants.
  • The new UET integrations may mean a simpler setup process for event tracking.
  • Flexible insertion orders may provide advertisers with a more versatile way to manage their budgets.

Read more here.


81% of B2B tech marketers believe the importance of SEO has increased in the last 12 months

SEO budgets in B2B have reflected this increase in importance as over a quarter of B2B tech companies have increased their investment in SEO in the past year, according to data from FINITE, the global B2B technology marketing community.

However, with the increased emphasis on SEO and budgets related to it, only half of B2B tech has an SEO strategy. The report also found that most of the SEO efforts in this industry are being performed in-house: “Only 28% of B2B tech marketers rely on third parties to help with their SEO strategies.”

Attribution is a challenge even outside this industry, but FINITE’s data found that nearly half of all B2B tech marketers struggle to measure the impact of organic search. What were the other big challenges for the respondents?

  • technical SEO (38%),
  • link building (21%) and 
  • content creation (21%)

Why we care. This information could help agency and in-house marketers looking to make the move to B2B tech/SaaS. Even more companies are seeing the value in organic search optimization, but are missing out on strategy and implementation best practices. Knowing this can help search marketers craft proposals and help these companies hone in on the best ways to improve their SEO.


Search Shorts: End of ETAs #PPCChat, reducing churn, and stats in content

#PPCChat on RSAs and ETAs. Check out the advice, thoughts, and reactions from the experts in yesterday’s #PPCChat about the end of ETAs.

3 ways to reduce customer churn with content marketing. No matter how large they are, even multinational corporations aren’t immune to customer churn. But there’s a way to retain customers – and it all starts with content marketing.

Truth or Dare: How to use statistics in your content. Statistics actually have the power to make your content more engaging and compelling. When you use them the right way, statistics can help you tell an even better story than you could with words alone.


What We’re Reading: The secret to happiness at work

Job satisfaction is up, according to this piece in The Atlantic by Arthur C. Brooks. “In 2020, despite the fact that millions of Americans had shifted to remote work, 89 percent said they were either ‘completely’ or ‘somewhat’ satisfied,” he wrote. Brooks teaches graduate classes and says his students often assume that, in order to love your job, it has to be your “dream” job: “one where your skills meet your passions, you make good money, and you are excited to get to work each day.” 

But, says Brooks, that’s not what drives satisfaction at work. “After all, how many kids say, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to be a quality-assurance analyst’?” And, how many of us knew we wanted to be search marketers when we were asked our future career aspirations as children? I think mine shifted from marine biologist to broadway star to writer as I got older. And here I am in search.

To really be satisfied with work, Brooks says your job needs two things:

  1. Earned success. Earned success gives you a sense of accomplishment and professional efficacy. Employers who give clear guidance and feedback, reward merit, and encourage their employees to develop new skills are the most likely to give you those feelings.
  2. Service to others. This is the sense that your job is making the world a better place. That doesn’t mean you need to volunteer or work for a charity to be happy, but that you’re helping make the world a better place for someone or making their life easier.

So what’s the secret to happiness at work? “Rather than relentlessly pursuing a ‘perfect match’ career that they’re sure will make them happy, a better approach is to remain flexible on the exact job, while searching for the values and culture that fit with theirs,” said Brooks.

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