No surprise, it was another big week in the world of search and SEO. We saw some very big changes in AdWords and Bing, the mobile first index being spotted in the wild and some new Google personal assistant products launching.
Google released a number of new features to AMP. AMP now supports scrolling animations, a responsive sidebar, better non-AMP to AMP ID recognition and more. Clearly they’re putting a lot into AMP so if you haven’t deployed it yet it just might be something to think about.
Google Express kicked off a new ad campaign this week and Greg Sterling covered the story for Search Engine Land. Google is clearly gathering those who are challenged by Amazon and is putting up a united front with companies like Walmart and Target joining forces in an effort to counter Amazon with next day delivery and omnichannel capabilities.
Brian Wood wrote an excellent piece for Moz covering the shift in clicks from organic to paid. He illustrates with changes to the SERP layout and closes with what you can do about it. It’s an excellent piece and highly recommended reading.
Barry Schwartz covered the discovery that Google is testing a new layout being tested by Google and allows users to refine their search quickly and easily. The change allows the user to stay on the results page they’re on while adjusting the results based on their refinements.
Mobile First Index In The Wild
Google has confirmed that it is now testing the mobile-first index in the wild. This is absolutely huge news and indicates that the mobile-first index launch may be coming soon. I’m hoping it doesn’t roll out until after the holidays lest we face another Florida Update
Bing NOT Reducing The Importance Of Links
After stating in mid-September that links may decrease in value Bing has stated now that they’re as important as ever. It needs to be noted – this is not a contradiction. The statement by James Murray was that links may decrease – future tense and the current statement is simply a confirmation that they haven’t yet.
Bing has made dynamic search ads available to all advertisers in the US and UK. Basically the ads auto-generate based on your site content being matched to a user’s query. With the selected landing page chose by Bing they’ll then craft your ad copy based on location, intent, etc. (though you have to write a short description to use across all queries) and away you go.
In their infinite wisdom (in ways to take more of your money) Google has decided to grant themselves the ability to double your daily AdWords budget provided that over a month it would work out to the same value. The article links above was written by yours truly discussing just a couple of the reasons this is horrible for advertisers.
Polls In Instagram Stories
Instagram has recently added a new feature to Stories that allows users to add polls like the one above. Methinks this will be a fairly significant hit among popular Instagrammers who can use it to create a kind of Choose Your Own Adventure.
Shopify For Instagram
Just in time for the holidays Shopify is rolling out it’s Instagram integration to more merchants. This feature does exactly what you’d think – allows merchants to tag products in their images and adding an option to buy.
Google Smart Screen
To compete with Amazon’s Echo Show Google is launching their own smart screen competitor that will sport a 7″ screen. it’s interesting to watch Google chase a competitor and hopefully they do it more successfully than their various forays into social media.
Google has just announced the Insta360 Pro camera that will allow users to add to street view. It retails at $4k and Matt Southern did a great job in his write-up (links above) in covering some of the possible uses including realtors and others who don’t want outdated or off-season views of their properties.
Non-SEO Tools For The SEO
Yours truly published his latest piece on Search Engine Journal this week. In the piece I list off a number of the non-SEO tools that I use everyday to do my job better and faster.
And my latest article was published on Search Engine Land as well this week. In that piece I discussed the method for getting a visual representation of your internal link structure using Screaming Frog and Gephi (a free tool). Very neat process and results.
Capitalize On Google Tag Manager
Stela Yordanova wrote a great piece for Search Engine Land on using Google Tag Manager. She’s got some nifty tips that can help enhance your understanding of users or just do better SEO. A recommended read – especially for those who haven’t use GTM for more than the basics.
Links For Google vs Bing
Aleh Barysevich wrote a solid piece for Search Engine Journal on link building for Google vs Bing. Obviously each engine views and factors links differently and Aleh does a good job of isolating some of the differences and describing what you need to do to cater to each.