Good morning, congratulations are in order!

The Search Engine Land Award finalists were announced yesterday. All of the finalists deserve a hand for their work and the results their SEO and SEM campaigns delivered. As a judge over the past several years, it’s always energizing to see how top search marketers and teams shift, experiment and the push boundaries as search evolves. This year was next-level as marketers were faced with the challenges of a pandemic. The levels of ingenuity and agility displayed in many of the entries will be inspiring case studies for years to come. Stay tuned… campaign winners will be announced on Monday. 

Microsoft introduced a brand new Bing Site Explorer yesterday. It’s been completely rebuilt to run faster for sites of all sizes and make it easier for SEOs to analyze and act on the findings. It shows impressions, clicks, backlink counts as well as alerts about indexing issues and more. You’ll find it in the new Bing Webmaster Tools — it’s worth your time. 

The latest Google quality raters guidelines update includes a new section on Rating Dictionary and Encyclopedia Results for Different Queries. It asks raters to pay special attention to user intent when evaluating dictionary and encyclopedia results. As an example, Google says, users aren’t likely to find a definition result helpful when searching a common word like “rainbow”. Quality rater evaluations don’t have a direct impact on rankings, but the document is useful for understanding how Google thinks about quality in specific search contexts. 

Ginny Marvin,


YouTube’s video carousel domination

Should we just call it the YouTube video carousel? To see just how dominant YouTube results are in Google Search video carousels, Moz’s Pete Meyers looked over 250,000 desktop results with video carousels on page one. YouTube showed in each of the first three positions in the carousel 94% of the time. YouTube’s share of top spots was followed by either Facebook and Kahn Academy, each of which never showed in the top spots in more than 2% of the results analyzed. 

Google says YouTube gets no algorithmic preference in Search, so why the dominance? There are several factors. For one, consider the massive (and always growing) volume of videos on YouTube compared to other platforms and sites. You can dig into more results and methodology on the Moz blog.


5 critical elements for local marketing success

This guide from MarTech Today examines the market for local marketing solutions and the 5 critical elements for local marketing success: Listing Management, Local SEO, Local Landing Pages, Reputation Management, and Paid Search and Social Media. Also included are profiles of 17 leading local marketing solution vendors and capabilities comparisons.

Read more »

Search Shorts

Style your fragments, news indexing and data anomalies

Style your text fragments. You know when you click from the Google search results and sometimes you are anchored down and the text on the web site is highlighted? Soon you will be able to style that highlighted text as you see fit, said Google’s Thomas Steiner.

Getting into Google News issues. John Mueller of Google said in a video hangout that he heard there are issues with new sites getting into Google News, but that seems confusing to me since new sites do not need to submit to get into Google News.

Search Console data anomalies. Google updated the Search Console data anomalies page to say the search performance reports may have issues around Web Stories and Google Discover.


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What we're reading

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

Free holiday tools and resources for retailers from Google – Google Blog

Google Mobile First Indexing Should Be Google Mobile Only Indexing – Search Engine Roundtable

How To Optimize Offline Conversion Tracking – PPC Hero

Image archive, analysis, and report generation with Google APIs – Google Developers Blog

Image Packs in Google Web Search – A reason you might be seeing high rankings but insanely low click-through rate in GSC – GSQI

Journalist Studio premieres with two new tools for reporters – Google Blog

Mitigating SEO Disasters – An Interview with Kaspar Szymanski – Botify

Rankable – Getting Your SEO Back on Track in the wake of COVID-19 – iPullRank

Weighted Answer Terms for Scoring Answer Passages – Go Fish Digital