The Week In Search & SEO: August 31, 2018

The Week In Search & SEO: August 31, 2018

It was another big week in the SERPs with major features and layout changes rolling out by both Bing and Google, new enhancements to Google Ads and some great thought pieces.

Top Global Search News

Google: It’s OK To Ask For Links

This SEO nerd says its OK to ask for links

In a fairly surprising statement, Google’s Danny Sullivan came out stating that it’s OK to ask for links, especially as it relates to publishing your content on third party sites.  Don’t go hog wild with it obviously, but think about your intent, he says. I worry about the message this sends to website owners but then – some of those owners might be competing with our clients.

Google Testing Grouping Results

Google Tests Grouping Two Search Results In One Box

Google is testing showing two results from a single domain in a rounded box in some SERPs.  Veterans in the crowd will remember the indented second listing on desktop that was phased out a while back. This may be some type of replacement, a visual queue of the same site which would increase CTR I’m sure but also let the searcher know that if they didn’t find what they wanted at one link, they may not at the second.

Stop … Collaborate And Manage

Google has added user management and collaboration features to the Search Console. This is reportedly in advance of more functions coming in the near future.

Also pushed into Search Console this week is the tracking of changes.  Users making changes will now be logged to more easily know who did what.

Bing Enhances News SERPs

Bing Enhances Search Results for News Stories

Bing has just rolled out Spotlight in their news feed.  The feature is meant to give searchers a snapshot of the core information, social posts and different perspectives in a carousel. Personally I like it.

Google Testing Sticky Header

Google confirms testing new search results design with sticky header, rounded search bar

One change I don’t understand fully is the testing of a sticky header in the Google search results.  In the test, users are seeing a sticky logo and search bar docking to the top of the results. I do think it’s not a bad idea but it’s a separation of the desktop and mobile which I find interesting.

Top Local Search News

Google Adds Price Insights To Travel SERPs

Google Adds Price Insights to Hotel & Flights Searches

Well, it wouldn’t be a week in search without Google making more moves in travel. Google this week added more functionality to their  travel search by including trend data, tips and pricing information to various locations if travel plans are flexible as they may be during the holidays. Personally I still prefer the search system through Expedia BUT Google is fast catching up.

Top PPC News

Measure The Effectiveness Of Your Ads

Google Measures Effectiveness of Ads With New ‘Ad Strength’ Indicator

Google has introduced a new tool that rates the likely effectiveness of an ad you’re creating, while you’re creating it.  They also provide direct recommendations. They’re currently rolling out ad strength meters for responsive ads which should be available to everyone sometime in September.

Top Social Media News

Verified By Instagram

Instagram Lets Users Apply to Become Verified

I’m not a huge Instagram user by any stretch but I hear good things. 🙂

Instagram has made it easier for their users to become verified. So not you’ll know that when your favorite celebrity posts a pic of their favorite avocado on toast it REALLY is YOUR favorite celebrity’s avocado on toast and not just some random person with the same taste in food.

Internet Marketing-Related Tech

No news in this category this week.

Best Opinion Pieces

Internal Link Structure Case Study

Case study: The tale of two internal link tweaks

My latest article was published over on Search Engine Land this week. In the article I discuss the impact on rankings and traffic of a link audit we performed for a client. A couple fairly simple changes, it seems, can yield big effects.

Let Google Manage Your Bids

PPC expert Frederick Vallaeys took to Search Engine Land to remind us that the machines are better than we are. He makes a compelling case for letting Google’s AI manage your bids and that we should focus on ads, landing pages and other aspects of paid search that machines can’t do as well … yet.