Google search title changes causing distress; Daily Wednesday brief

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Hello Marketers, over the past week Google made a small change that impacted some of the clickable headlines in search result snippets, and some SEOs and marketers are struggling with the change.

For over a decade, Google often failed to display the title tag in your page’s metadata as a clickable link in Google search results. But something changed last week with how and when Google displays the title tag versus headers or other page content or links. And with this change, it’s causing a lot of unrest within the SEO community.

The two Brodie clark and Lily ray covered this in great detail, and I covered when it happened, who was the August 17, and how is it unconnected in the classification by passage. But rest assured, Google has heard the comments and is collecting examples of where these headlines don’t make sense. In fact, Danny Sullivan even said it could lead to more controls in Google Search Console so that we can better manage our titles in Google search results. Who knows if this will eventually happen? Andrew Charlton is out with a nice tool to show you how Google changes your title tags – keep in mind that many title tag changes are query dependent.

My advice: this doesn’t seem like a huge change. We’ve seen Google not use our title tags before and as SEOs we’re great at handling change. We will adapt and use this to our advantage in the future.

Barry Schwartz,
My title changes a lot

Last Friday, Google Ads appeared to have a bug with Google Shopping in some areas, such as the UK, where shopping lists were not showing. Some advertisers claimed that their ads had drops of over 90%, yes, 90% drops in impressions for Google Shopping campaigns.

Impressions and spend fell in smart shopping for many UK advertisers from August 20, 2021. “A high proportion of UK-based advertisers have seen a drop in impressions, costs and revenue from their campaigns PLA since Friday 20, “PPCer Liam tweeted. Wade. Emmanuel Flossie, Google Ads Platinum product expert, has indicated in the forums that this is a known issue.

Why we care “Assuming this is corrected, keep in mind that bidding strategies will likely be affected and may re-enter the learning stages,” Wade tweeted in the initial thread. If your accounts or campaigns have been affected by this issue, communicating to customers and stakeholders that this change is an issue in their metrics and does not indicate other issues. It would also be beneficial to annotate this change in Google Analytics so that all KPIs can be cautioned in future reports. The bug also causes advertisers to question the machine learning and automation that happens behind the scenes of ads. Please note this was fixed late Tuesday afternoon so you should be fine now.

Read more here.

Google link spam update is finally complete

A full month after Google started rolling out the link spam update, the company finally confirmed that the update was complete. Google initially announced that this update would only take two weeks. A month after his announcement, Google’s Danny Sullivan said via the Search Liaison account “the link spam update is now complete.”

Why we care This can be difficult for you or your customers to pin down as the full rollout took a month. But if you see any changes in your rankings, perhaps significantly, over the past month, it could be related to this new link spam update. Make sure your links are natural and comply with Google’s guidelines for webmasters. Work on improving your site so that it can naturally attract new links over time.

Read more here.

Google Ads rolls out a new campaign setup screen

Google Ads is rolling out a new ad campaign setup screen that shows the steps for setting up your campaigns on the left rail of the screen, as opposed to the top of the screen. This seems to be generalizing now and may surprise some advertisers accustomed to the old version of this screen.

Some advertisers, as you can imagine, are not fans of this change. This has caused many industry veterans to redouble their efforts and it has slowed down their process of setting up new campaigns in Google Ads. We suspect that advertisers will quickly adapt to this new screen, over time.

Why we care Don’t be surprised when you see this new Google Ads campaign setup screen. You may have the same reaction as many of your coworkers when it takes longer to set up campaigns now because you are not used to where things have gone. But you’ll quickly learn the change and be able to launch new campaigns in no time.

New Google AdSense automatic optimization options

Google AdSense has added three new settings to automatically optimize the functionality of your tests. These new methods include selecting traffic, blocking a style, and blocking an experience.

  • Select traffic: Select the percentage of users to whom you want to view optimization tests.
  • Block a style: Remove an ad style that you don’t want automatic optimization tests to run on. (AdSense for searches only)
  • Block a test: Remove the types of optimization tests that you do not want on your site, for example:
    • Thumbnail ads and anchor ads (AdSense for content)
    • Standard models, purchase models and search keywords (AdSense for searches).

Why we care Publishers, it’s probably worth testing some of these new auto-optimization options for your Google AdSense ads and see if they impact your earnings. You can learn more about how to configure them this way.

Custom metrics in Google Ads, did COVID change SEO and Crunchbase crashed

Google Ads Custom Statistics. Google has announced the addition of four new metrics, these statistics include Search Network Impression Rate, Impression Per Click Rate, Display Network Impression Rate, and all phone call statistics.

Poll: Has COVID changed SEO? J. Turnbull asked on Twitter: “Has COVID changed the way we do SEO?“52.5% said no, COVID hasn’t changed the way we do SEO. 216% said yes, COVID has changed the way we do SEO. And 22% said “it depends”.

Google crunches Crunchbase. FiveBlocks data indicates that Google displays Crunchbase results much less often since last Thursday August 19. Why? We’re not sure, but that’s what the data shows.

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About the Author

Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land Contributing Editor and member of the SMX Events Programming Team. He owns Rusty Brick, a New York-based web consulting company. He also runs Roundtable on search engines, a popular research blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is called Barry cartoon and he can be followed on Twitter here.


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