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Instagram opens Stories link sticker to all users

Posted by on Oct 28, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Instagram opens Stories link sticker to all users

Instagram opens Stories link sticker to all users

Instagram has made the link sticker available to all users this week. The feature lets you link out to third-party sites, stories, products, and more via the Stories option in the app.

Source: Instagram blog

Previously only available to select accounts. Instagram began testing the sticker option as a replacement to “Swipe Up” linking in Instagram Stories around August. Plus, the features were only available to verified accounts or those that met a 10,000 follower threshold. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has been emphasizing how the platform is crucial for small, local, and retail businesses — especially as a rallying cry against Apple’s App Tracking Transparency initiative.

However, the social media managers for these types of businesses have always advocated that making the Swipe Up link option, and now the sticker link option, available to everyone and not just select users, would be one of the best ways to support SMBs and commerce businesses.

the fact that you need 10k followers on instagram to get the swipe up feature on your stories really sucks for us small business owners

— artbylitzy (@artbylitzy) June 26, 2019

.@facebook and @instagram,

You know what would make you look like more of a small business advocate?

Offering the swipe up story option for all small businesses regardless of follower count.

— Christina's chaos magic (@ThatChristinaG) December 17, 2020

The Stories link feature opening up to everyone is a huge opportunity for SMBs, retail, social justice orgs, and more. Instagram says that those misusing the Stories link feature to share misinformation or harmful websites will lose access.

How to start using link stickers. To add a link sticker to your Stories:

Capture or upload content to your storySelect the sticker tool from the top navigation barTap the “Link” sticker to add your desired link and tap “Done”Place the sticker on your story — like our other stickers — and tap on the sticker to see color variations

“We’re also working on ways to customize the sticker so it’s clear what someone will see when they tap your link,” according to the announcement.

Why we care. Instagram users have long been lobbying for this functionality as the platform says it supports small businesses, but previously did not allow them to link their products, stores, and services through Stories. The feature is now available to everyone just in time for the holiday shopping season. If your business has a decent following on Instagram, make sure to incorporate it as part of your social strategy to help move those loyal communities down the funnel toward a purchase.

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Google reduces the unique product identifiers enforcement on free product listings

Posted by on Oct 28, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google reduces the unique product identifiers enforcement on free product listings

Google is changing the enforcement policy around unique product identifiers for Google Merchant Center from immediate disapproval to limited performance capabilities for free listings. “Products that are missing such attributes will remain eligible to serve but their performance may be limited,” the company said.

What are unique product identifiers (UPIs). Google said a unique product identifier, also known as UPIs, are considered products that include Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names in the product feed you submit to Google Merchant Center.

Previous enforcement. In September, Google said if a product listing was missing these required attributes, the product was immediately disapproved and no longer shown in free listings. Google said “in order to unify the enforcement of UPIs across programs, specifically the enforcement for multiple different products that use the same GTIN, we’re expanding this enforcement and applying it to products listed in free listings.” Google said then, “beginning September 15, 2021, the following enforcement will apply to products shown in free listings.”

New rules. Now, starting in November 2021, “with the introduction of limited performance enforcements, products that are missing such attributes will remain eligible to serve but their performance may be limited,” the company said.

Why we care. If you are taking advantage of the free Google Merchant Center and you are not using UPIs on your products in those feeds, you previously may have seen those products being rejected and disapproved. Now, instead, those product listings will likely continue to be served but their performance in Google Search may be limited.

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Core Web Vitals: SEOs look back and shrug; Thursday’s daily brief

Posted by on Oct 28, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Core Web Vitals: SEOs look back and shrug; Thursday’s daily brief

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, what if Microsoft hadn’t fumbled so hard with smartphones? 

Today is Bill Gates’ 66th birthday, and regardless of how you feel about him, his successes and failures have helped shape the environment that we market in. Bing is the default for Windows, making the search engine an important consideration for some B2B marketers or for brands with audiences that primarily use desktop devices. I also regularly see PPC experts praise the efficiency that Bing Advertising offers, although they acknowledge the tradeoff in search volume.

Returning to my question at the top, Gates once said that, “The greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is — that is the standard [non-Apple] phone platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win.” Gmail, Google Maps and Search were among the top 20 free apps in Apple’s app store last year, even though iPhones are pre-loaded with Apple’s own mail and map applications (Google pays Apple to be its default search provider on iOS). If Microsoft had succeeded, Google’s ecosystem might not be the powerhouse it is today and perhaps search marketing would look less like a monopoly, or maybe just a different monopoly.

George Nguyen,
Editor

Core Web Vitals: SEOs aren’t sold the work was worth it

Image: Google.

Since its announcement in May 2020, the page experience update generated much speculation among SEOs. This was because it made user experience more of a Google ranking factor than it had been before and because it was announced more than a year ahead of its rollout. Before it went live, Google told us that “Page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account. Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes.”

Now that the update has completely rolled out, SEOs are reflecting on how it actually played out for their brands. Although opinions vary, the general consensus seems to be that the page experience update didn’t result in major rankings fluctuations, but ROI isn’t just on the SERP — “Performance optimization may not be a silver bullet for rankings, but we don’t optimize just for that,” said Detlef Johnson, Search Engine Land’s SEO for developers expert. “[Core Web] Vitals, as determined by Google, are the tip of the spear that you can sharpen to cut through the network to load the experience faster, which can lead to more add-to-cart actions because it builds confidence and trust,” he added.

Priority Hints, a new, experimental feature to help site owners and Chrome browsers prioritize which resources to load first, can help you deliver a faster experience to your users. It can be used to boost the priority of the LCP image, causing LCP to happen sooner and thus improve the associated metric — in a test on Google Flights (shown above), Priority Hints improved LCP from 2.6 seconds to 1.9 seconds. Conversely, you can also lower the priority of above-the-fold content that may not be as important, like the second, third or fourth images in a carousel.

Read more here.

Google makes it easier to remove images of kids from the search results

Google is now letting anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, request the removal of their images from the Google Search results. The removal request can lead to the image no longer appearing in the Google Images tab or as thumbnails in any feature in Google Search, the company said.

Why we care. Sometimes teenagers and kids do rash things with their phones. Having these controls in place can help undo some of the harm. On a more professional level, this may give more tools for online reputation management firms to deal with some content removal within Google Search.

Read more here.

In 2022, retailers will lose half of sales on backordered items unless they compensate with experience, according to Forrester

Research company Forrester has released its 2022 consumer and customer experience predictions, highlighting pandemic-related issues and evolving consumer sentiment. Here are the most important predictions for search marketers:

Brands stand to lose 50% of their sales on backordered items unless they compensate with customer support. Brands that can stabilize their supply chains suggest in-house alternatives to products that are out of stock and proactively message customers about shortages and expected availability are in the best position to curb customer churn.Customers will want some pandemic-era services to be part of the new normal. People may have become accustomed to services like remote health appointments, curbside pickup and senior shopping hours; removing them wholesale could be a mistake.One-fifth of retail and consumer goods firms will compromise on customer experience. Over the last few years, consumer demands, like faster fulfillment, have resulted in poor conditions for workers at companies like Amazon. Now, nearly 40% of U.S. consumers say concerns about companies’ labor practices influence their purchasing decisions.Company values will continue to be a differentiator. By July of this year, three-fifths of Fortune 500 companies had committed to climate action, up from 32% the year prior. “Brands that take a stand on more highly charged issues will cater to a small segment of hyper aware consumers with a personal connection to those values,” said Lai et al.

Why we care. These predictions align with what many businesses have been experiencing and how consumer sentiment has changed since the start of the pandemic. While most of the predictions aren’t directly related to SEO or PPC, they may affect reviews, ad campaigns and customer loyalty, which greatly influences strategy for search marketers.

Read more here.

The non-impact of URL length, iOS 14’s effect on ad revenue and morbid Squid Game memes

No, URL length doesn’t matter. “I’m currently only aware of one part of our systems where the URL length plays a role. That part is canonicalization,” Google’s John Mueller said in the latest #AskGooglebot video, adding, “If we find a shorter and cleaner URL, our systems tend to select that one. This does not affect ranking, it’s purely a matter of which URL is shown in Search.”

Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising earnings both up over 40%. Both Google and Microsoft released earnings statements on Tuesday. Year over year, Google Ads grew 43% (from $37,095B to $53,130B) and Microsoft Advertising’s business was up 40%. It seems that YouTube’s earnings weren’t impacted as dramatically as some might have expected by Apple’s app tracking transparency initiative.

Just for fun. The first two are funnier/more disturbing if you’ve seen Squid Game — tip of the hat to Suganthan Mohanadasan and Crystal Carter. And, here’s one I think SEOs that work for publishers will really be able to relate to, courtesy of Izzi Smith.

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20211028 SEL Brief

Posted by on Oct 28, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 20211028 SEL Brief

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Interpretation of complex and foreign topics; Wednesday’s daily brief

Posted by on Oct 27, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Interpretation of complex and foreign topics; Wednesday’s daily brief

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, yesterday my colleague, George Nguyen spoke about how Google’s sterling perception has been tarnished over the years. The question is, is that perception reality?

I’ve been covering search and Google for almost two decades, and I’ve seen the company grow over the years. I’ve been through the pre-IPO days, the numerous antitrust claims, seeing executives come and go over the years and search quality and ad quality evolve. Search, both organic and paid search, is complex and confusing and honestly, is not well understood by even people who work inside Google.

I’ve performed some legal expert witness tasks over the years, and one thing I find clear is that most attorneys, even top attorneys general, representatives from Congress and the Senate simply do not fully understand the complexities of search or any technology platform. I’ve seen lawyers first-hand misinterpret internal documents and emails both written by advertisers and Google, because they are easy to misinterpret.

All I am saying is that just like we question Google’s motives and actions (and we should), we should also question those that question them. Ultimately, we all want the truth, but like former Search Engine Land writer Greg Sterling has told me for almost 20 years, the truth is somewhere in between.

Barry Schwartz,
Inquisitor

Google Ads app campaigns no longer require deep linking

App advertisers are no longer required to implement deep linking to run App campaigns for engagement, Google Ads announced Monday. As a new option, advertisers can select “Set to app homepage” during ad group creation to direct users to the app homepage. 

Why we care. Implementing deep links typically means getting developer support, which may be a limited resource in your organization. This new option enables app advertisers to utilize App campaigns for engagement without having to request that support, which may mean that your campaign can get off the ground faster. Deep linking, however, remains useful as it enables this ad type to take users to a specific part of your app, which may translate to better conversion rates than simply sending them to the app homepage.

Read more here.

FAQ on Google’s podcast knowledge panel update

Contributor Jason Barnard, published a frequently asked question article on the new Google podcasts knowledge panels. Google began showing a specific podcast knowledge panel on October 12, 2021. 

It displays the podcast name, image, and description on the right sidebar. As of October 25, there is no link within the knowledge panel to listen to the podcast. Jason answered a number of questions that us, the SEO community, are asking about these new knowledge panels.

Why we care. If you host a podcast or have a client that does, you will want to check out this article on the new Google podcast knowledge panels and how to get one if you don’t have one yet.

Read more here.

Now it’s working – Google Search Console Search Analytics API gains Discover, News and Regex

I know we reported this yesterday, but it wasn’t live and fully working. Now, these new API features in the Google Search Console Search Analytics API are really live and available. We are gaining data and features that were previously only supported in the web interface, now the API now supports showing data for Google Discover, Google News and also supports Regex commands.

Why we care. Many of you use APIs to help automate and streamline your day-to-day SEO practices and reporting. Having access to these additional data points and adding in Regex controls should make these reporting tasks easier and more automated. This should save you time for other SEO-related tasks, tasks you might have a harder time automating. So if you tried it yesterday and it didn’t work, it now works.

Read more here.

Google E-A-T, Google Ads tools, publisher summit and go bowling

Google E-A-T roundup. Did you know Google does not hard code or strictly define which category of sites fall within the YMYL (your money – your life) category? Also, trust is more than just links, Google added. When it comes to author names, it is probably best not to just “admin” as the name.

Google Ads optimization tools. Google said it has introduced new tools for the upcoming holiday season to help you optimize your ads. This includes new recommendations and shopping campaign tools.

Google Ads bowling. Google has a new Python script that helps you stay on top of violations and the new three-strikes and you’re out rule, it is called bowling – check it out.

Google Black & Latinx Publishers Summit. The 2021 Google Black & Latinx Publishers Summit begins December 7, 2021. This virtual event is open to Black or Latinx-led digital businesses looking to start monetizing their site, grow their monetization business, or network with others in the industry. You can apply here.

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

Google Does Not Classify Sites By Technology Platform Or Infrastructure – Search Engine RoundtableMachine-Learned Disambiguation of Searcher Action Data – Go Fish DigitalThe Impact of the Great Resignation on the SEO Industry, and the Key to Retention – Adam AudetteWhat Kind of Content Appears in Google Discover – SemrushHow Many Leads Does Google My Business (GMB) Drive? – Sterling Sky

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Google makes it easier to remove images of kids from the search results

Posted by on Oct 27, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google makes it easier to remove images of kids from the search results

Google is now letting anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from the Google Search results. The removal request can lead to the image no longer appearing in the Google Images tab or as thumbnails in any feature in Google Search, the company said.

Reputation management. This may make the process of removing images from Google Search easier and online reputation management companies may benefit from this. Having more and faster methods to remove content from Google Search is likely welcomed by SEO firms, especially those that focus on reputation management.

How it works. Here are the steps to remove these images, assuming you are under 18 and there’s an image of yourself that you want removed from Google results. Now, you or your parent/guardian or authorized representative (maybe an online reputation management firm) can follow these steps.

Visit the help page for this new policy to understand the information you’ll need to provide when using the request form.Start your removal request using the form at this support link. Fill out the form to report the imagery that is appearing in results. In the form, include information like: Image URLs of any images that you want removedURLs of any search results pages that contain the imagesSearch query terms that surface the images.After you submit the request, our teams will review it and reach out for any additional information we might need to verify it meets the requirements for removal. And we’ll notify you once we’ve taken down the image, if it meets the requirements.

Why we care. Sometimes teenagers and kids do mindless and dumb things with their phones. Having these controls in place can help undo some of the harm. On a more professional level, this may give more tools for online reputation management firms to deal with some content removal within Google Search.

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YouTube ads are the breakout star of Google’s Q3 earnings report

Posted by on Oct 27, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on YouTube ads are the breakout star of Google’s Q3 earnings report

Another quarter’s earnings report shows that Google is among the winners when it comes to the shifting pandemic landscape. It makes sense that their investment in e-commerce and multi-channel advertising options continues to pay dividends as many people are still hesitant to participate in in-person shopping, dining, and more. That, plus many have just come to prefer the convenience of pick-up, delivery, and online ordering options.

41% year-over-year growth. Revenues for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, went up a whopping 41% YoY according to the report, with ad revenues driving $51.3 out of the $65.1 billion. Google attributed the continued increases to its big push for commerce in Q3 (and before) in the earnings call. Along with the investment in commerce, Google is offering even more options for advertisers who are seeing a return to in-person shopping, especially as the holiday season nears.

YouTube is the breakout star. “YouTube advertising revenues reached $7.2bn, an increase of 43% from the previous quarter thanks to both direct response and brand advertising,” reported John Glenday for The Drum. This is the result of YouTube’s CTV (connected TV) advertising increases and its competitive product Shorts, which competes with the likes of TikTok and Snap. This increase is a big deal since Apple’s App Tracking Transparency had the potential to affect YouTube similarly to other video social media apps.

Google revenues not affected by legal troubles. Recent lawsuits and controversy with documents being unsealed in those cases don’t seem to be harming the company’s revenues or usage of their products. These controversies include the allegations that the company throttled non-AMP pages, which it “claimed would ‘dramatically improve’ mobile web performance when it launched in 2015, was in fact a scheme to coerce publishers into using the format in order to limit advertising dollars not spent on its own ad exchanges.” Plus, there is a history of alleged collusion with Facebook to “kill header bidding” and essentially rig the ad market in the tech giants’ favor.

Why we care. “Google chief business officer Philipp Schindler explained on the call that while shoppers are returning to physical stores, the company’s also seeing ‘strong growth in local shopping queries’ at the same time,” said Sean Hollister for The Verge. Advertisers can expect to see the continued shift in local and omnichannel search marketing strategies, so if you’re not preparing yet, it’s something to consider for your 2022 strategy.

On the power dynamics side, Search Engine Land has written multiple times before about the juggernaut that Google has become. Many search marketers are aware of (and not surprised by) the moves the company has allegedly made, and many believe we just have to operate in this environment since we lack the control to change it. However, we can still exercise our power to do good in the industry via constant feedback and

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In 2022, retailers will lose half of sales on backordered items unless they compensate with experience, according to Forrester

Posted by on Oct 27, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on In 2022, retailers will lose half of sales on backordered items unless they compensate with experience, according to Forrester

Brands stand to lose 50% of their sales on backordered items unless they compensate with customer support, Forrester said in its Predictions 2022: Customer Experience report. The report also forecasted trends for pandemic era services as well as labor practices that may affect customer experience. The research company also published its 2022 consumer predictions as well, suggesting that brand values will continue to be a factor for customers.

Customer churn due to supply chain issues. Product availability is one of the most common reasons why U.S. consumers purchase from a retailer other than the one they originally planned on, according to Forrester. These unaddressed product shortages can lead to frustration, which negatively impacts customer loyalty. Brands that can stabilize their supply chains, suggest in-house alternatives to products that are out of stock and proactively message customers about shortages and expected availability are in the best position to curb customer churn, Forrester predicted.

Customers will want some pandemic-era services to be part of the new normal. Since the outset of the pandemic, companies have introduced new ways of doing business, like curbside pickup, senior shopping hours, easier and more flexible flight changes and virtual alternatives to traditionally in-person services or experiences. “Brands that successfully navigate the transition to the new normal will avoid a wholesale reversion and analyze current customer insights and research to evaluate which services to keep, adjust, or toss,“ Forrester said.

One-fifth of retail and consumer goods firms will compromise on customer experience. Typically, customer expectations only grow stronger, but those demands may be straining employees. The last year and a half or so has highlighted the human cost of these conveniences. Nearly 40% of U.S. consumers say concerns about companies’ labor practices influence their purchasing decisions, according to Forrester. The research company predicts that, next year, more businesses will consider their responsibility to their employees as they plan their customer experience and product offerings.

Company values will continue to be a differentiator. Brand values took center stage last summer and that will continue to be the case, but Forrester predicts that the focus will shift to environmental sustainability. By July of this year, three-fifths of Fortune 500 companies had committed to climate action, up from 32% the year prior; and just today, Microsoft announced that it aims to reduce data center water consumption by 95% by 2024.

“Brands that take a stand on more highly charged issues will cater to a small segment of hyperaware consumers with a personal connection to those values,” said Lai et al.

Why we care. Predictions can be hit or miss, and Forrester’s are no different. However, these predictions align with what many businesses have been experiencing and how consumer sentiment has changed since the start of the pandemic. While most of the predictions aren’t directly related to SEO or PPC, they may affect reviews, ad campaigns and customer loyalty, which greatly influences strategy for search marketers.

Supply chain issues have become a major factor for retailers, which may affect inventory decisions as well as ad campaigns ahead of Cyber Week. It’s no surprise that more support and transparency might prevent customers from canceling orders or going to a competitor.

Approximately 60% of U.S. and UK consumers agreed that the pandemic changed the way they shop. Having had over a year to become accustomed to services and features that convenience them while maximizing safety, it may be a shock to find that some businesses are no longer offering those services now that the pandemic is more under control. This unpleasant surprise might be reflected in reviews or churn rates as customers seek out businesses that still cater to those needs.

Whether your brand’s values and ethics are a selling point for your particular audience should be considered before making those values part of your marketing. Consumers may resonate with this kind of messaging, which might boost loyalty, but they’ll ultimately hold you accountable for your values and living up to that is almost certain to take up resources that could have been allotted elsewhere.

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Press Release: Bounteous Recognized as Acquia Global Partner and One of the First Acquia Practice Certified Partners

Posted by on Oct 27, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Press Release: Bounteous Recognized as Acquia Global Partner and One of the First Acquia Practice Certified Partners

Bounteous announces its elevated status as an Acquia Global Partner and recognition as one of Acquia’s first Practice Certified Partners.

What Is Going On With The SEO Market?

Posted by on Oct 27, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on What Is Going On With The SEO Market?

Over the past year there has been an absolute explosion in the demand for SEO, and for digital marketing services in general. Here’s what I think is going on.

When COVID hit around March 2020, many businesses shut down their paid acquisition and suddenly realized how over-reliant/exposed they were on paid. Most businesses had either ignored or under-invested in SEO, so suddenly a lot of people got the SEO religion.

That combined with the accelerated online demand from COVID created some kind of perfect storm that has not abated.

And to put the cherry on top of the SEO cupcake, Apple’s roll out of its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) starting with iOS 14.5 appears to have seriously decreased the effectiveness of social media advertising – sorry Facebook. So perhaps this trend is forcing marketers to invest in other “non-paid” channels. So thank you Tim Cook!

Now it seems like more businesses have a baseline SEO budget, or at least the expectations of one, and that is causing the equivalent of what is going on with the rest of the supply chain across the globe.

via GIPHY

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