This Week In Search: June 23, 2017

This Week In Search: June 23, 2017

Here are the top stories in search and SEO for the week of June 23, 2017.

Facebook Becoming A Local Search Player
Wesley Young wrote a piece for Search Engine Land that takes an interesting look at Facebook and seven moves they’re making that position them to be a major player in local search. From the very search results they provide to some beta testing they’re performing it’s an interesting read to anyone who works in the local market.

Google Tackling Extremist Content
Matt Southern covered the announcement of four new measures Google is introducing to tackle extremist content on YouTube. Apart from the expected advancements in machine learning they’re adding in more trusted experts, taking a harsher stand on videos that don’t directly violate Google’s policies but definitely ride the line and working with Jigsaw to redirect potential ISIS recruits to anti-terrorist videos – a beta that has some very solid numbers to back it’s success.

Redirect ISIS recruits success numbers.

Cortana Invading Android
Greg Sterling over on Search Engine Land covered the latest update from Microsoft that allows users to set Cortana as the default assistant as opposed to the Google Assistant. The problem currently is that it won’t turn on from voice like “Ok Cortana” and requires a longpress of the home button.

Google Fact Extraction
In another great post by patent analysis guru Bill Slawski over on SEO By The Sea he discusses a recently granted patent that explains systems and methods for extracting fasts from web page content. A very interesting read and a big thanks to Bill for doing the hard work on this one and reading the patent so we can just take the easy road and gain the knowledge.

JavaScript SEO
Alexis Sanders wrote a useful piece over on the Moz blog on JavaScript site SEO. Having had to work on one of these AJAX  gems I can speak from experience when I say it’s not at all straight-forward and if you haven’t yet had to this is a great read to get you prepped and ready for an experience that’s likely in your future.

Google Jobs
Google’s job listings search is now open to all job search sites & developers

Covered by Barry Schwartz over on Search Engine Land was the announcement by Google that the new jobs structured data and RSS or Atom sitemaps. Basically it allows site owners to inform Google specifically of job openings in a structure that Google can easily understand.

Time To Switch To Responsive Google Says
Word from Google is to switch your m dot mobile sites to responsive prior to the mobile-first index rollout in 2018 if you’re planning on doing it. I’d recommend reading the article to understand why if you’re in an m dot environment. The advice isn’t to switch necessarily, it’s to switch now if you’re going to.

Google & The Human Phyche
There’s an interesting article over on CBC Radio by Kristin Nelson on what Google search volumes tell us about the human psyche.  From what we can predict during elections to how we approach sex we can learn a lot about our collective nature. Why do the majority lie about watching pornography when there are more people searching for it than the weather? It’s an interesting article with the audio of the interview with former Google data-scientist Set Stephens-Davidowitz.

Stats On The Power Of Reviews
Reviews & other UGC more influential for consumers than search engines & ads [Study]

Greg Sterling over on Search Engine Land covered a recent study on the power of reviews.  They may be important from an SEO standpoint but they’re doubly so for users. It’s an interesting study that looks at the influence that reviews and user-generated content have on people purchasing decisions. It comes in #1 if you’re wondering. An interesting read to be sure.

SEO And It’s Positive Influence on PPC Budgets
How SEO can create budget efficiencies in paid search campaigns

Thomas Stern wrote an interesting piece over on Search Engine Land that I’m sure to reference often. In it he looks at data that ties the impact ranking organically for a query can have on your click-costs for the same terms.  He found significant reductions in PPC costs and what’s more – there was a notable increase in organic clicks making those PPC dollars even more valuable considering they’re increasing the “free clicks”.

Bing Ads Multi-Select To Their Ads Editor
Bing Ads Editor: Bulk-edit campaigns and ad groups with multi-select, device targeting improvements, and more

Over on the Bing Ads blog they announced the launch of a new and very handy feature. Using their ads editor users can now select multiple campaigns or ad ground, filter and make bulk edits. A long-overdue and useful feature to be sure. They’ve also made a lot of headway in their targeting enhancements making management far easier and thus more affordable.  If you advertise on Bing this is a must-read.

Close Variant Update
We all remember the shift Google made to AdWords expanding close variants (or at least what they saw as them) to “help advertisers get more traffic”. Andy Taylor wrote for Search Engine Land on the impact that’s having on conversion rates. In some cases it’s up a little and in some it’s down a lot. Something to keep you eyes on and a highly recommended read.

The Impact Of AMP For Ecom
Again on Search Engine Land Ginny Marvin covered an interesting tid-bit of data on how Event Ticket Centers is using AMP to increase conversions. The short of it is: the AMP experience converted 20 to 30% higher which I’m sure I don’t have to tell you is enormous. In a world where we’re fighting for single-digit conversion increases this is very interesting and making me at least reconsider some of my previous biases against AMP outside publishing.

Google Posts For Google My Business

Getting content into Google Posts

Google announced on their Small Business blog the addition of posts to Google My Business. The system allows users to add crawlable posts which is one things but what’s more important from a local and brand ranking perspective is that in maps and the knowledge graph these posts are appearing with the other company info. You can see an example above of how Beanstalk appears for branded search just from adding this very post.

And that’s it for the week.  If you think we missed any big news please don’t hesitate to add it in the comments below.