Good morning, Marketers, don’t roll your eyes just yet,

Yesterday, Google said if you’re using Smart Bidding, it will start surfacing suggestions for setting existing keywords in your account to broad match. I know what you’re thinking: The dreaded, budget-hogging, broad match? And after Google has started black-boxing a good portion of our query data? Not a chance. 

OK, you can roll your eyes, but hear me out. 

This continues to be where paid search is heading and it requires a different frame of mind — one closer to paid social where we are far more accustomed to loosening control and letting the algorithms run and learn. 

The matching isn’t always going to be perfect (and in some cases, will probably be down right terrible), but when coupled with Smart Bidding’s signals and bidding controls, the wider net cast by broad match could yield incremental conversions and stay within your targets.   

If you’re still skeptical, I get it. But you might want to give it a shot and start testing the recommendations. One caveat is I would add broad matches rather than “switching” existing phrase match or broad match modifiers to broad as Google suggests. There is some good discussion about this on Twitter, too.

Social Short

Facebook injects more machine learning in content moderation

Facebook is now using machine learning to power how it prioritizes content slated for human review. Currently, flagged posts are largely reviewed in the order in which they were flagged. “In the future, an amalgam of various machine learning algorithms will be used to sort this queue, prioritizing posts based on three criteria: their virality, their severity, and the likelihood they’re breaking the rules,” The Verge reported.

Why we care. Conspiracy theories, misinformation and extremist content have been able to spread rapidly on Facebook. Leaning on more machine learning to take these three criteria into account cloud help the company respond to harmful content faster. That, in turn, might help improve brand safety on the platform.


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Search Shorts

Google Core update on hold?

No more Google core updates this year? Google’s John Mueller kind of hinted that there may not be another core update this year because Google is sensitive to the fact that these core updates are jarring and it does not necessarily want to shake things up too much before the holidays.

More on Google indexing and releases. Google released another version of its Search Off the Record podcast. In this one, Google went deeper on how it indexes audio, images, video, AMP and more. They also discussed launches and launch freezes during the holiday season.  Listen to it over here.

Bing search themes. Bing seems to be testing “themes” where users can change their search header in Bing search.  Here is a screenshot:



Why empathy is about meeting the customer on their terms

Sponsored by Pegasystems

It may be a hard truth for us best-intentioned marketers to swallow, but two-thirds of customers believe that marketers do not care about their needs.

That’s according to a survey of 5,000 individuals by Pega. And when you look at what marketers face, it is easy to see how that kind of sentiment takes root.

“Think about the scale of your business,” said Andrew LeClair, senior product marketing manager at Pegasystems. “You’re trying to manage literally billions of interactions, with millions of customers, across hundreds and hundreds of programs, on dozens and dozens of channels — and that’s a lot of complexity. And unfortunately, that complexity leaves us exposed. There’s not a lot of chances for us to get it right, but there’s a ton of opportunities for things to go wrong, and it only takes one poor experience and the customer is out the door.”

Read More »


Where will search go from here?

Join 2020 Search Engine Land Award winners Areej AbuAli and Mike King for two forward-thinking keynotes, December 8-9, only at SMX. Reflect on what’s changed — from evolving SERPs to new opportunities with A.I. — and prepare for what comes next!

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What We're Reading

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

6 Ways to Build Brand Authority With Content Marketing – Moz

Marketing Lessons from the 2020 Election | Part I: Identity & Common Enemies – SparkToro

New lawsuit: Why do Android phones mysteriously exchange 260MB a month with Google via cellular data when they’re not even in use? – The Register

New settings for smart features and personalization in Gmail – Google Blog

Popular Pirate Sites ‘Disappear’ From DuckDuckGo’s Top Search Results – TorrentFreak

The opportunity for “Digital Sprinters” – Google Blog

Turkish competition board hits Google with $25m fine – Arab News

Why Some Google Algorithm Updates Are Jarring & Others Roll Out More Smoothly – Search Engine Roundtable