Friday, May 21Digital Transformation
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Google I/O announcements, what you need to know; Friday’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, we saw a lot of announcements from Google out of the Google I/O event this week. Knowing what is real and what is not is hard so be skeptical when you read about a specific announcement having a direct impact on your rankings or site traffic.

While there is a lot of MUM (Multitask Unified Model) talk in the SEO world right now. Google said it won’t be live for “months and years.” So if you see colleagues attributing a change to a client’s ranking because of MUM, tell them to take a step back and consider that it might not be MUM, not yet at least. LaMDA is also not yet baked into Google Search. It may come in the future, but your site was not hit by a LaMDA penalty – not yet at least. 

Same with the page experience update. No, it is not live yet. It will be in about a month. But when it does go live, it won’t be based on your desktop pages yet, that will come later. If you are into commerce, you will want to see the changes Google announced around the Shopping Graph, Shopify integration and Google Lens at I/O. Oh, and if you produce a lot of video, check out the new supported markups available for you to start playing with (one is in beta).

Want more I/O? Check out the 9-minute keynote abridged version on YouTube.

Barry Schwartz,
I/O reporter

More Google search ranking algorithm updates

It seems as if Google has been making more and more ranking and search algorithm updates in the past month than it has generally done over the past year.  We just saw an update on Wednesday and Thursday, over the last weekend, on May 13th, also May 7th through 9th, and on May 1st. Danny Sullivan of Google said there has been no confirmed update and often when we report these unconfirmed updates, Googlers are “scratching our heads” about what is going on. But Google does small updates all the time and sites are always updating, so rankings do change, Danny Sullivan said.

So was there an update? Well, look at your analytics and see if your organic Google traffic changed without you making any changes to your website.

Why we care. Often when it comes to Google updates, having a confirmed update does not matter. It is more about asking did you change something on your end or did Google change something on its end. If you see a lot of site owners complaining about ranking changes in Google Search, then you are likely not alone and it likely is something Google did on its end.

Read more here.

New smart bidding features for Google Ads

Google Ads announced several new smart bidding features the other day. These include top signals in the bid strategy report, seasonality adjustments at the manager account level, Maximize conversion value bidding with recommendations, and new Target Impression Share simulations.

The goal is to help make automation more intuitive to search marketers’ needs and better cater to changes in each advertiser’s individual market.

Why we care. These feature improvements are part of the incremental advancements Google is working on to make Ads automation more intuitive and user-friendly. They can also be useful for advertisers in different industries — like seasonality adjustments for retail, etc.

Read more here.

Google announced two new structured data options for videos at Google I/O this week, including Clip markup and Seek markup. Both of these work with Google’s key moments for videos in the Google search results listings, but Seek markup is still coming soon.

Clip markup is a way to manually tell Google about your timestamps in your videos. While Seek markup is more of an automated way to communicate that to Google Search.

Why we care. With more videos showing in Google Search, you will want to take efforts to make your videos stand out from the rest. Using Clip or Seek markup can help richen up your video results in Google Search to help improve click-through rates from Google Search to your videos.

Read more here.

Google has put a name to something e-commerce brands and advertisers may have suspected already existed: the Shopping Graph. During the official announcement at Google I/O, the company revealed that the Shopping Graph builds on Google’s Knowledge Graph and brings together information from sites, prices, reviews, videos and product data that brands and manufacturers submit either through Merchant Center or Manufacturer Center.

For shoppers, the company also announced Lens search for screenshots in the Photos app, cart reminders in Chrome tabs, and the ability to link loyalty programs to their Google accounts. For Shopify merchants, an expanded integration enables retailers to get their product listings to appear organically across Google Search, Shopping, Image search and YouTube in just a few clicks.
Read more here.

Search tidbits from Google I/O

HTTP/2 crawling. In John Mueller’s Google I/O presentation, he announced that Google is now crawling over 50% of its URLs over HTTP/2, which makes things more efficient for everyone.  This is a huge increase from when Google announced this effort less than a year ago.

Good metrics for core web vitals. Google said at I/O that they wanted to clarify that you do not need to pass all three core web vital metrics to get the small ranking boost for the page experience update.  Google really never said you had to do this but there was confusion around this and Glenn Gabe summed up this news on Twitter.

Catch up on I/O. If you missed Google I/O’s keynote, you can watch the 9 minute abridged version over here or the full version if you want on YouTube.

AdSense policy updates and best practices. While not at Google I/O, Google has scheduled a webinar on the topic of the digital advertising ecosystem and policy updates with Google’s Chris Jones and Aurora Morales on Trust & Safety at Google.  The webinar is on May 25th and you can sign up here.

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


About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

 

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