Good morning, let’s take a second to recognize how far the industry has come.

On this day in 2004, Microsoft announced the launch of MSN Search, the company’s first real attempt at its own search engine. Prior to this, Microsoft’s search engine used results from Inktomi and then later AltaVista; MSN Search was different in that it introduced the company’s own web crawler.

MSN Search eventually led to Bing in 2009. And, although optimizing for Bing still isn’t a thing, it has made noteworthy contributions to the industry, being the first to introduce the disavow tool, applying BERT to its search results six months ahead of Google, and more recently, revamping its Site Explorer tool. While it didn’t topple Google, I think most marketers would agree that an underdog in the search sector provides us with some degree of choice and keeps a bit of pressure on Google.

If you’ve been attempting to automate your reporting, you may be familiar with running a script (or bugging someone else to) and formatting the output data. Contributor Richard Fergie of Forecast Forge shows us how to streamline that workflow using machine learning and Google Sheets. His example returns Lighthouse scores for a given URL, but the method can work for anything that can be wrapped in a Docker container — a nifty, timesaving trick for the aspiring Google Sheets gurus among us.

Keep reading to learn about WhatsApp’s new disappearing messages, your daily Search Shorts and more.

George Nguyen,
Editor

 
 
 
Social Short
 

WhatsApp’s disappearing messages option rolls out

WhatsApp announced the launch of a new disappearing messages option last week. It’s been in testing for some time. Snapchat, of course, pioneered ephemeral messaging. When enabled, messages will disappear after seven days. In one-on-one chats, either user can enable the option. Admins have control in group chats. “We’re starting with seven days because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about,” the company said in the announcement.

Why we care. The feature is aimed at giving users a feeling of chatting “as close to in-person as possible” when using the messaging platform. WhatsApp has also been building out its customer service and shopping features for businesses, integrating more deeply with Facebook. More than 175 million people every day message a WhatsApp Business account, the company said last month.  

 

SEO's: Optimize your landing pages and convert more users with less traffic

With so much riding on your landing pages, and only seconds to capture a visitor’s attention, it makes sense to optimize those pages for customer conversion. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. In this white paper from 97th Floor, you’ll learn the methodology of multivariate testing and why it might be the SEO tool to beat.

Download now »

 
Search Shorts
 

Request indexing tool survey.

Survey on request indexing tool. Remember, the request indexing tool has not been working for the past few weeks. Google said it is temporary, but now Google is asking why you need it. Respond via this survey.

Original content in Google. There have been a number of recent complaints that original content is not ranking above those who steal that content in Google Search. Danny Sullivan of Google is collecting examples on Twitter.

Site migration frustrations. Nik Ranger posted her funny slide of what SEOs have to deal with when it comes to managing site migrations.

 

Secure your All Access pass by Saturday & save

Forward-thinking keynotes from Areej AbuAli and Mike King, 45+ tactic-rich SEO and SEM sessions, 1:1 community networking, and more. Book your SMX pass by November 14 for just $199!

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Connected TV strategies to capture New Year’s resolution shoppers

Sponsored by SteelHouse

Hey marketers, it’s time to start planning your New Year’s ad campaigns. Especially if you’re in an industry like fitness, wellness, sports or subscription services — essentially anything that ties into the “New Year, New You” mindset. Traditionally 12% of gym-goers sign up in January, but with this year’s brick-and-mortar health restrictions in place, chances are that energy (and spend) will be going toward other self-improvement sources. And you’ll want to be ready to capture your piece. 

Obviously, you’re going to launch paid search and social. Those two are reliable performance channels that will generate a solid return on investment. But there’s a third reliable performance channel you may be missing out on: Connected TV. Let’s take a look at how effective CTV can be for advertisers and why it’s an essential channel to tap into for your New Year campaigns. 

Read More »

 
 
 
What we're reading
 

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

Does Website UX Matter for SEO? – Wellspring Digital

Google Images vs Bing Images For Loser – Search Engine Roundtable

Google Passage Ranking and BERT: How To Make Sure Your Content Keeps Google Happy – Know Agency

Google says it will not file motion to dismiss U.S. lawsuit – Reuters

Hijacked Google My Business Listings On The Rise – Local University

How to Apply SparkToro’s Data and Get Better Marketing Results – SparkToro

How We Became Digital Marketers in Just One Summer – Moz

Marketing that our collective future depends on – Microsoft Advertising

New in Web Stories: Discover, WordPress and quizzes – Google Blog

Still Debating Subfolder vs Subdomain? (And More) – Tidings