Good morning, Marketers, all marketing is local….

OK, not exactly, but even if you’re not working in local, Google’s latest changes are something to pay attention to. 

Google has been pouring in a lot of investment in features for local advertisers as online-to-offline use cases like curbside pickup and buy online, pickup in-store take off. Yesterday, Google introduced more ad features for small and large businesses with physical locations

• Smart Bidding for in-store sales (building on Smart Bidding optimization for store visits).
• “Pick up later” for Local Inventory ads that use rules for local inventory feeds in Merchant Center to indicate when an item can be sent from another store and be available for pickup in a few days (e.g. “pick up by Saturday”).
• Local service attributes in Local campaigns enable attributes like online classes, curbside pickup, contactless delivery, appear in Local campaign ads.

Expect to see more happening in this realm. Jason Spero, Google VP of performance and programmatic, said during a briefing on these updates that Local and omni-channel campaigns (e-commerce + offline commerce) “are places you will see big innovation for us.” 

More broadly, Local campaigns are indicative of where Google’s attention is focused, with advertisers providing a few inputs and machine learning taking over to optimize ads, budgets and bids across multiple channels such as Search, Maps, Display and YouTube. 

If you’re interested in how Google’s automated campaigns have been evolving and where we’re headed, check out these articles from the SEL archives:

• Google positioned to dominate the ‘O2O economy’
• Welcome to the Predictive Marketing Era
• The big picture: With multi-channel campaigns, Google aims to own the funnel
• Here come fully automated ads & campaigns for Local, Shopping & more

On a personal note, after seven incredible years, I will be stepping down from my role as editor-in-chief and leaving Third Door Media after our virtual SMX event in December. I won’t say goodbye, yet, but know that it has been an honor to be a part of this community. If you or someone you know is interested in working with the amazing team here, check out the new content role here

Ginny Marvin,


Stay alert, stay prepared

So how can marketers stay prepared in case of a second major wave of COVID-19?

Here are three recommendations from Jeff Pickett, head of search at Omnicom Media Group. 

• “First, spend less time gazing into that crystal ball trying to divine what’s going to happen next. And instead, spend more time trying to plan for every possible contingency that you can come up with.”
• “Number two, meet consumers where they are geographically, contextually, and emotionally.
• “And then, third, hone your adaptation skills and integrate flexibility into as much of your business as possible.”

Learn more. Check out “The Download”, brought to you by Microsoft Advertising. 

Social Shorts

So long, 20% text limit in Facebook ad images

Facebook’s rule that images in ads not have text on more than 20% of their real estate, has evolved into a mere suggestion: “We’ve found that images with less than 20% text perform better. With this in mind, we recommend keeping your text short, clear and concise in order to get your message across effectively,” the help page now states.   

Why we care. Facebook relaxed its 20% text limit several years ago, but still throttled ad impressions when images had a high proportion of text. Removing the limits altogether reflects how ads on the platform have changed. It seems quite quaint to think back on the days when ads with text were a jarring enough experience that Facebook would just disapprove them outright.


Compare 13 top marketing automation platforms

MarTech Today’s “B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for B2B marketing automation software platforms. This report includes profiles of 13 leading B2B marketing automation vendors, capabilities comparisons, pricing information, and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.

Get it now »

Search Shorts

Google search ranking fluctuations

More Google search ranking fluctuations. We are seeing some community chatter and rank checking tools picking up on an unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm update.

Google Cloud ranking benefit. John Mueller of Google said that hosting on Google Cloud does not give you a ranking benefit.

Rankings are not constant. Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that your rankings won’t always be in the same position. He said “Just because a page is ranking first at some point in time doesn’t mean it’ll rank first forever. That’s both a challenge, and an opportunity.”


Are you ready for "the new normal" of 2021?

Attend SMX online, Dec. 8-9, to prepare for the coming changes to search. $149 gets you all sessions, keynotes, and networking. Add on a 2-day workshop for maximum training!

Register now »

What we're reading

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

10 SEO Myths You Should Ignore – Ahrefs

Doodle for Google 2020 – US Winner – Google Doodle

Google beta launches Tables in the U.S. – Google Blog

Google Slightly Updates Document On How Reviews Impact Local Rankings – Search Engine Roundtable

How Do I Make a Mobile-Friendly Site? – BruceClay

How To Find The Crawl Path Report In Screaming Frog – Koozai

Mastering the Microsoft Audience Network – Microsoft Advertising

What Causes Rank Volatility and How to Deal With it (3 Case Studies) – RankRanger