Good morning, are you waiting on data?

Google’s been experiencing some reporting delays and indexing snags. The coverage report in Search Console is still delayed, with some data lagging as many as 14 days rather than the typical two to three days. Hopefully that will be fixed soon. Google also said it had an indexing problem with new articles not appearing in the Top Stories carousel for several hours last Friday evening.

On the ads side, the merging of custom affinity audiences and custom intent audiences that Google announced last year has finally arrived. Google has combined the two offerings into an option that is now simply called custom audiences for Display, YouTube and Discovery campaigns. Any existing custom intent or custom affinity audiences you have will be migrated into custom audiences automatically. 

The replay of our discussion on Closing the Gender Gap in SEO is now available for viewing, complete with timestamps to make it easy to hop around. Thanks again to Nicole DeLeon, Amanda Jordan and Aleyda Solis for sharing their experiences.

A reminder about our inaugural Search Engine Land Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing. Nominate as many deserving organizations and individuals as you wish by October 9. 

Keep reading to learn about YouTube Shorts and more.  

Ginny Marvin,


Google Ads on air

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Social Shorts

YouTube launches Shorts

YouTube announced the beta launch of Shorts yesterday. Creators can record and edit short (15-sec. max) videos on their mobile phones with a multi-segment camera, the ability to add music from a library, speed controls and a timer. The beta version of Shorts is rolling out in India to start. YouTube is encouraging creators to upload their existing short videos to the platform now. To help shorts gain traction, YouTube has been displaying a carousel of short videos on the homepage.

Why we care. Everyone wants their slice of TikTok’s magic that has made it a magnet for prolific creators, highly engaged audiences — and brands that want in. (Instagram launched Reels earlier this summer.) Yesterday, YouTube also introduced the ability to swipe vertically to keep watching shorts once they click on that carousel — yep, just like TikTok. 


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Search Shorts

Site command feedback and toxic scores.

Site command feedback. Do you know of a case where the Google site command is “wildly” off? Let Google know about it on Twitter.

Toxicity score. John Mueller from Google said, “Google has no concept of anything like a “toxicity” level or score. When using tools, I recommend working to understand what they do before taking their recommendations to heart. You know your site best, most of these tools won’t tell you what you really need to do.”

Black ad label on Google Discover. Glenn Gabe spotted the black ad label on Google Discover ads.


How to add connected TV to your holiday ad strategy

Sponsored by SteelHouse

Connected TV is great at getting your brand in front of new audiences. That’s because it uses audience-first targeting, just like a digital ad channel like social or display. For example, SteelHouse Performance TV leverages the Oracle Date Cloud (the world’s largest CTV audience provider) to give advertisers access to tens of thousands of audience segments. 

Shoppers tend to seek out brands they’re already familiar with when it’s time to buy, so reaching them early in the shopping season is key. Sort your targeting by demographic data, interests, or even geography to find your ideal audience, then pair those audiences with “in-market” segments to ensure you’re targeting shoppers who are looking to buy. 

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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.

Covid-19, Virus Symptoms: Google Search Results Reveals Coronavirus Hot Spots – Bloomberg

Google Featured Snippets With How-To Schema – Structured Data & Featured Snippets – Search Engine Roundtable

Google’s Sundar Pichai Is a Really Nice Guy. Is That Enough? – Wall Street Journal

How To Focus Your SEO Strategy: A Quick Guide for Businesses New to Online Optimization – Moz

How to Work With Freelance Writers to Produce Quality Content – SEM Rush

Say Goodbye to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, and Hello to the Alternatives – Schema App Tools

Scholar Button browser extension update – Google Scholar Blog

The Best SEO Chrome Browser Plugins For 2020 – Koozai

U.S. Google Antitrust Case Set to Expand With GOP States Joining – Bloomberg

Your one-stop-shop for holiday insights – Microsoft Advertising