This week in search marketing [17/06/2019]

Jun 17th, 2019

Google rolls out more SERP features, and Yoda-like advice as we welcome a new week in search marketing – yes, it’s Monday already


Google Ads

The Search Engine Journal site features a story on Google Ads app update that will allow users to create and edit responsive search ads.


Google My Business

Just as I finished up an eBook on Google My Business, they’ve added a new feature – consumer’s can now follow you from their mobiles to stay up to date with your offering, says the documentation on the new feature. The feature is only available on the mobile app, however. Now I just need to see what it’s about.

Burger King

While not strictly digital, it will not have passed many marketers by that BK’s marketing has been on fire the last few years. Following a Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lion event, there’s a nice interview with their CMO featured on Marketing Land today which is well worth a read.


SERoundtable features a story that covers the imminent move to the latest version of the googlebot for Google’s testing tools here. While it offers no definitive date, it does lead one to infer that the change is coming sooner rather than later.



Google is set to allow advertisers to run YouTube live-streams in display ads – which can be expanded to full screen as they could be on YouTube itself – reports SEJournal.

Diversity update a damp squib?

Moz’s Dr Pete reported on the diversity update which is, as I’ve come to expect from Moz’s tame data scientist, as thorough a dissection as you’re likely to find. The long and short of the (well worth a read) report being that: it did something, but not a lot of it.



Another Google heavy day sees our first story from Search Engine Land cover the removal of support for ‘preferred domain’ in Search Console. While it shouldn’t make a difference if you’re correctly implementing your rel=”canonical” tag on your page, if you have been depending on the preferred domain selection, you’ll need to keep an eye on the SERPs to make sure nothing changes.

Next up is the observation, in the wild, of Google Duplex’s assistant enabled booking. While we’ve covered its announcement and various demos (most recently in the I/O ’19 keynote review), it’s interesting to see some screenshots of the function in use.

Then, again in SERoundtable, is coverage of some more of the features rolled out in SERPs this week and mentioned yesterday – including a mortgage calculator that’s likely to annoy a fair few SEOs in the industry.

John Mueller features again – this time in Search Engine Journal, which covers some interesting information on how new, unlinked to, sites are discovered by Google. While there’s nothing exceptionally surprising, it’s nice to have another thing to add to the, albeit thin, ‘things Google have actually said about search’ file.

The final piece of Google news for the day is that Google Calendar went 404 on us and so many people were posting on Twitter that it trended and became a Twitter. It’s all fine now, but there was quite a worry for a time there.



There are a few Google stories in my feed for the last few days, so here we go:

  1. It’s not like Panda! Stop saying it’s like Panda and just follow the rules for Panda, read the official Twitter response to questions on the recent core update (between the lines, anyway). I’ve made my feelings known on the race to name and describe updates, but the ‘it’s the same, only more so’ responses from Google sum up my general advice – the weighting of various factors changes from industry to industry, so we need to tailor approaches – but they essentially revolve around quality and authority.
  2. SERoundtable features a story on the introduction of ‘related posts’ to SERPs – the feature, which appear from the shared screenshot to be in the ‘card’ style mobile users will be used to and shows ‘Google Posts’ related to the search.
  3. The new icons have rolled out in search (see below) with the search determining which of the options display and which are restricted to the ‘more’ tab. There’s been some push back at the increased prominence of Google’s flight, hotel and other comparison products as a result – but whether or not this is their big push to kill off comparison competition is likely to be something we only see in hindsight.
  4. Google were caught stealing lyrics from a site that doesn’t pay for lyrics, or pay contributors to their platform. While Google has since stated that the lyrics in search are provided by a third party, and therefore someone else did the stealing, and while Genius’ method to catch them at it was fantastic, I find little to be outraged by – the search giant’s failure to provide a profit sharing model to news sites is far more egregious.

Google icon update
Google icon update 2

P&G say spend less important than reach

In news all agencies will be keen to communicate to paid search clients, the FMCG mega-corporation is looking to channel spend it felt was ‘wasted’ on frequency (the number of times they reach a person) in to reach (the number of people).

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