This Week In Search & SEO: July 28, 2017

This Week In Search & SEO: July 28, 2017

It’s been another busy week in search and SEO.  I’m going to take a slightly different angle in how I structure things and rather than simply list things in the order they occurred or were covered I’m going to divide up the stories based on what they’re about.  We’re going to generally have 4 different categories each week.  They are:

  • Top SEO News
  • Top PPC News
  • Top Social News
  • Internet Marketing-Related Tech
  • Best Opinion/Strategy Pieces

So without further ado let’s jump right in.

Top SEO News

Google Testing Auto-Play Videos In Search Results
Google confirms testing auto-play videos in the search results

In a move I don’t quite understand Google has confirmed that they’re testing auto-playing videos in the search results.  As Barry Schwartz points out on Search Engine Land, deployed the result above would not have the play button on the video and instead the video and audio would start automatically. This is a horrible idea in my opinion and will likely (hopefully?) die on the table.

Alphabet Reports Big Revenue  Gains BUT …
The $2.7 billion antitrust fine by the EU took a big bite out of net income. The data is covered on Search Engine Land by Greg Sterling including the $26 billion in total revenue (up 21%) and other core metrics.

Vacation Rental Filter Added To SERPs
Google adds vacation rentals filter to hotel search resultsBarry Schwartz also covered for Search Engine Land the discovery that Google has added a filter to hotel results to only display vacation rentals. Google is investing a LOT of energy into the hotel sector over the past few months and I have to wonder if it’s a specific area of interest (travel) or if they’re using it as a testing zone for other products and services.

Google Changes Sitelink Design
Google officially changes Sitelinks design to carousel format

Google has officially changes the way sitelinks are displaying on mobile. The results are now appearing as a carousel as opposed tot he blue links they have been typically.  I’m not quite sure whether this change is designed to make sitelinks conform more to the mobile layout which is rich in carousels or to condition users away from blue links altogether but it’s interesting watching their SERP changes and thinking about such things.

How To Remove AMP Content
Google has added a help document outlining how to remove AMP pages from the search results.  I’ll be honest, I’m not sure why you’d want to unless there is no way to monetize them but the document is there for those who want to. If you’re on that list I welcome you to discuss your scenario in the comments below to help the rest of us understand when you’d want to do this.

Top PPC News

Bing Testing A New Shopping Experience
Don’t miss this opportunity to increase your retail traffic

Bing is testing a new layout to their shopping carousel and more importantly (in my opinion) now have access to a far richer set of filters in the results.  This is done via Bing Shopping Campaigns and is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Call Bid Adjustment Added To AdWords
Google has added the ability to bid-adjust call extensions.  Essentially you can adjust your bid for the extension now increasing it by up to 900%. I suspect this will do extremely well in specific sectors like travel where conversions may be larger on the phone where upsells are easier.  Or GoDaddy of course.

Google Testing new Enhanced Sitelink Layout
Google testing list format for AdWords enhanced sitelinks

Ginny Marvin covered the story for Search Engine Land of the test of a new enhanced sitelink layout in the desktop search results.  Enhanced sitelinks typically appeared in two columns with a couple lines of text  and as you can see, are being tested to appear in a single wider column with only one line of content. As an AdWords manager I love the change for the far better layout of the description that should provide for higher CTR once advertisers have time to adjust them for this change.

Top Social News

Facebook To Allow Publishers To Charge To Read Their Content
Business Insider covered the story that Facebook has confirmed a new subscriptions services is coming, a paywall between you and the content you want to read. On one had it makes sense, publishers need to be paid but on the other hand, if I’m not willing to pay I’ll probably head away from Facebook and over to Google to find the story on another site.  The details are pretty low right now on exactly how it will function but this is a story to watch as it’s coming in the fall.

Internet Marketing-Related Tech

American Love Smart Speakers
NPR survey: Americans love their smart speakers, 42% call them ‘essential’

An NPR survey found that of the 1,600 respondents with smart phone 41% call them ‘essential’. This is an amazingly fast reliance on a technology. Currently 76% of those who responded have Alexa-only devices, 16% Google Home and 8% had both. There is a ton of other interesting information on this rapidly growing area and the article by Gregg Sterling over on Search Engine Land is highly recommended reading.

Best Opinion Pieces

When, where and how to listen to Google
When, Where & How to Listen to Google

Full disclosure, this is my latest article over on Search Engine Journal so I’m probably biased in recommending it. In the piece I outline some of the key locations to use to get advice from Google and how it needs to be listened to. There are limitations and biases across all the sources and understanding them can help tremendously.

Lessons on marketing from history
And speaking of articles I’m biased on – this one is my latest article over on Marketing Land.  In this article I look at 5 of the greats in marketing from history look at how their approach is still applicable today.  After all – if a marketing strategy that worked a century ago still works today it’s probably worth taking a good solid look at when we’re designing campaigns we want to last.

Optimizing Site For Featured Snippets
Nick Van Huis wrote a very good piece for the Moz blog this week.  In his article we discusses strategies for using Q&A content to get featured snippets. He covers in detail the process and results they experienced in traffic and conversions.

How To Sell SEO Services
And speaking of good advice, if you’re an SEO who sells their services to others then Bill Hartzer’s article over on Search Engine Journal is a highly recommended read. In the piece he outlines 72 things you need to know to sell your services from core understandings about SEO itself to the way to approach different scenarios. A great read.

How To Get Links Without Asking
5 Tactics to Earn Links Without Having to Directly Ask - Whiteboard FridayRand Fishkin did another great Whiteboard Friday over on Moz.  In this week’s edition he discusses some strategies to pursue links without asking for them.  A lot of it is subtle changes in the communication as opposed to entirely new tactics but it provides some solid advice and I’ll be testing a bit of the verbiage myself.

And that’s it for the week. If you feel we’ve missed anything don’t hesitate to add it in the comments below. Sharing is caring after all.