The rise of customer review amplifiers

Back in 2016, I introduced the concept of data amplifiers in this column. I defined them as consisting of publishers (such as Apple and Google) and data aggregators (such as Infogroup) that together make sure an enterprise’s location data is made available to all the places where people conduct near me searches. Since then, a few of the data amplifiers have become something else: Customer review amplifiers. Review amplifiers wield an inordinate impact on a business’s online perception. They not only amplify a company’s presence via search – but they also get more attention for a business through customer reviews. In 2020, Google and Facebook have emerged as the two […]

Google signals stricter enforcement of GMB image guidelines

Google signals stricter enforcement of GMB image guidelines

Earlier this month, Google called attention to changes in its Google My Business photo and video guidelines, announced last year. The company is letting local marketers know that all images or videos will now be reviewed before being published. We’ve made changes to our photo and video content policy. All photos and videos are now reviewed before publication. If you’re having issues adding photos, check out our photo criteria: https://t.co/XR21n7uM9Z — Google My Business (@GoogleMyBiz) March 5, 2020 Manual and machine moderation. Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz asked Google whether this was a manual or machine-based review process. The company responded that both humans and machines are involved, although wouldn’t […]

Video: Detlef Johnson on SEO for developers

Video: Detlef Johnson on SEO for developers

At SMX East, I sat down with Detlef Johnson, one of the earliest pioneers in SEO, to discuss his new efforts with Search Marketing Expo and Search Engine Land. But I had to first ask him about the past, since he was one the pioneers in the SEO industry, even before it was named SEO. Detlef ran a very popular newsletter discussion forum in the 1990s where a lot of SEOs got their information around how search engines worked. This was prior to Google even being founded. He also helped run Search Engine Strategies for several years, starting in 1999 in San Francisco, California. Detlef is now working on bringing […]

Google’s ‘Interesting finds’ SERP feature: The ‘interesting’ reason why mobile organic search traffic remained strong while desktop dropped

Google’s ‘Interesting finds’ SERP feature: The ‘interesting’ reason why mobile organic search traffic remained strong while desktop dropped

While helping a company that dropped during the January 2019 core update, I came across an interesting situation, pun intended. The site dropped by about 30% overall and I began digging into the drop to learn more about what was going on. One thing I noticed pretty quickly was that desktop traffic from Google organic dropped more than mobile, and sometimes much more than mobile for the queries I was checking. For example, I noticed clicks from Google for some queries dropped 30%+ on desktop, while clicks on mobile-only dropped by 5-10%. I saw this trend a number of times for this specific site. Well, it didn’t take long to […]

Google bans face mask ads globally due to misleading coronavirus claims

Google bans face mask ads globally due to misleading coronavirus claims

Google is cracking down on advertising for face masks during the coronavirus epidemic. The company began banning ads for face masks on Monday. Applies to all face mask advertising. The ban applies to all advertisers, including those who may have had long-running campaigns promoting “dust masks,” for example. Advertisers will see a message in their accounts stating, “This candidate is not permitted to show ads in your target location,” as shown in the tweet above from Lane Rissardini of Dallas-based Marion Relationship Marketing. It falls under the “sensitive events” section of Google’s guidelines around suitable advertising content. It typically takes a few days for this type of change to fully […]

Yelp to Congress: Don’t investigate Google without looking at search

Yelp to Congress: Don’t investigate Google without looking at search

Testifying on Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Yelp’s SVP of Public Policy Luther Lowe made the case to open (or re-open) an investigation into Google’s treatment of third-party content in search results. The hearing was formally called “Self-Preferencing by Dominant Internet Platforms.” Here, the subject of “self-preferencing” was the local SERP. Arguing to widen the investigation. Yelp is seeking to broaden the scope of the Justice Department and Congressional inquiries into Google. Lowe testified, “There have been concerning reports that the state attorneys general and the DOJ are pursuing incredibly narrow theories of harm in their respective Google investigations, only looking at advertising technology. I believe […]

Coronavirus disrupts search, digital ad budgets

Analysts expect Google and Facebook will experience ad revenue declines in travel and other industries most affected by global efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus. On the ground, marketers and media buyers have been re-evaluating their near-term advertising strategies. Loop Capital Markets analyst Rob Sanderson expects Google will see a 15% year-over-year decline in travel ad revenue in the first quarter and a 20% drop in the second quarter due to the coronavirus outbreak. Last week, Needham analysts Laura Martin and Dan Medina said there is evidence of lower spending in travel, retail, consumer packaged goods and entertainment, which together, they estimate, represent 30% to 45% of Facebook’s total […]

Building top-funnel content to influence bottom-funnel pages (with real example)

Building top-funnel content to influence bottom-funnel pages (with real example)

Wouldn’t it be great if every page on your site led directly to a sale or conversion? Or if all it took to convince someone to purchase from you was to have them land on your website? Or if money grew on trees? We all know these scenarios are ridiculous…but I still see site owners and marketers focusing solely on converting pages. Every page has a unique purpose and not all pages should be converting pages. Some examples of other goals your pages might serve include: Presenting key employees and leaders Defining your brand, culture and beliefs Explaining your company’s unique systems and processes Attracting large, top-funnel audiences through organic […]

Google showing ‘key moments’ feature on multiple videos in search results

Google showing ‘key moments’ feature on multiple videos in search results

Google’s “key moments” feature, also known as “in this video,” is now showing on more than one video in mobile search results. Users can also now hide and expand the feature. Previously the feature, which lets users skip to “key moments” in a video, appeared only on the first video listing. Australian SEO consultant Brodie Clark spotted the change Tuesday. Wowsers, Key Moments (AKA “in this video”) on steroids in this test. Previously, this feature would only show in position #1 in a video carousel on mobile. Now being triggered in all sorts of areas, but now with the ability to hide/expand results. cc YT SEO guru @aleyda pic.twitter.com/LVOsAEafSW — […]

Improve your SEO with new technical training at SMX Advanced

Improve your SEO with new technical training at SMX Advanced

As algorithm updates continue to make old-school optimization less impactful, and CMS plugins and SEO platforms handle an increasing number of technical aspects, more and more SEOs need to learn about the technical aspects of optimization. At the same time, developers continue to build innovative apps and interactive experiences, creating a need for them to know how to do their jobs in ways that doesn’t negatively impact SEO (or, indeed, in ways that can help enhance it). Whether you’re an SEO eager to expand your technical horizons or a developer craving a deeper understanding of SEO, SMX Advanced has all-new, tactic-rich training designed specifically for you. Join us June 8-10 […]