Wednesday, May 12Digital Transformation
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Some new local search changes you should be aware of; 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, and we hope we got your name right today! 😉 

Let’s get local with today’s newsletter. I mean, with George Nguyen out this week, showing his mom around his local neighborhood, I assume local is the way to go when I take over his newsletter day.

As you will see in the newsletter topics below, there were a lot of local search stories recently, including Google My Business adding a call history report and Yelp adding custom location targeting features. But wait! There’s more: A Google bug from October 2019 through April 2021 showed a service area business address in the local shopping results when it should not have. 

In addition to that call history report you can read about below, Google is testing showing booking data in the performance report in Google My Business. They’re also showing some web analytics data for Google My Business websites.  Finally, if you want to stop Google’s robots (i.e. Google Assistant) from calling you, you can now turn off that setting in Google My Business.

How is the weather where you are this morning?

Barry Schwartz,
Local weather reporter

Yelp announces Custom Location Targeting, budget recommendations and more features to expand reach for local businesses

Yelp has announced a slew of updates aimed at giving business owners more control over their presence and reach on the platform. Custom Location Targeting (CLT) enables businesses to designate a specific location for ads to appear; previously, they could only advertise in a radius around their physical location. They can also use Yelp’s new machine learning-generated budget recommendations to optimize their campaigns.

These recommendations are based on the business’ profile, historical campaign performance and lookalike audience data. And, Yelp Connect’s new feature, Connect Audience Model, expands the publishing tool’s reach from people who’ve bookmarked or followed your Yelp profile to include people who’ve interacted with a similar business or searched a relevant category.

CLT has the potential to help businesses that operate in a geographic area different from their address, like home service providers or real estate businesses that offer virtual home tours. The Connect Audience Model can enable business owners to reach higher-intent audiences and the machine learning-generated recommendations may help advertisers optimize their budgets.

Read more here.

Google event structured data report may show more errors

Google has updated its Google Search Console enhancement report for event structured data/rich results to show more errors. In short, Google is now able to report on more issues with your event structured data. The company changed how it evaluates and reports errors for event structured data in its Search Console enhancement reports. 

Now Search Console is able to detect Event entities at all hierarchy levels, not just at the root level. Plus, Google said errors in recommended properties are now flagged as warnings rather than errors.

There is no reason to be concerned. This is a reporting change. Just review the errors and warnings and make an informed decision if you want to make adjustments to your structured data.
Read more here.

Google My Business call history report now shows call data

After several months of teasing us with a “call history” report that showed no data, Google My Business now shows real caller data in this call history report for some businesses. This is a beta feature so you may not see it for your business yet, but if you do, it will show you caller ID data, the date of the call and if you answered or missed that phone call.

My office is not fully staffed yet. Many of my employees are working from home with no great way to field calls. So answering all the calls is hard and missed calls is a much bigger issue for my company now and during COVID. These reports may help me figure out who to call back sooner or not call back at all.
Read more here.

85% of UK consumers would boycott brands if ads appeared near conspiracies or hate speech content

More than 85% of UK consumers would reduce or stop purchasing products they buy on the regular if they discovered an ad for that product had run next to COVID-19 conspiracy theories or misinformation, according to a survey conducted by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and Brand Safety Institute (BSI). In the survey, four in five consumers said they were more aware of brand safety issues than 12 months ago. An overwhelming majority of respondents (91%) said that it was important for advertisers to make sure their ads are not placed near dangerous, offensive, or inappropriate content. 

Read more about brand safety in advertising:

Trust, gene therapies, PAAs and page experience bugs.

The Trust Project and Google. Despite Google working with The Trust Project back in 2017, Danny Sullivan said on Twitter it does not directly use The Trust Project for ranking purposes or determining E-A-T.  

Google Ads disallows cell and gene therapy ads. Google posted a clarification that it will not allow advertisements for cell or gene therapies, regardless of regulatory approval status. This includes stem cell therapy, cellular (non-stem) therapy, gene therapy and similar forms of regenerative medicine, platelet rich plasma and more.

More Google PAAs. Data from Semrush and RankRanger show that Google has increased how many PAAs, people also ask boxes, it shows in its search results.
Google page experience report bug. There is an ongoing bug with the new page experience report in Search Console where the “Insufficient HTTPS Coverage On Your Site” warning should not show for certain sites, explained John Mueller of Google.

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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