Google I/O is next week; expect a lot of new search goodies; Friday’s daily brief
Also an unconfirmed, Google algorithm update, local search features and video SEO.
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Good morning, Marketers, are you excited about the upcoming Google I/O event?
This year, Google is holding Google I/O virtually, it is 100% free to attend and you can register over here if you want to check it out. I’ve only been to one I/O event in person, and truth is, I prefer them to be online – there is just so much going on that running from place to place is super complicated and you often get lost trying to find the right location for the right session – even with the neat mobile apps Google provides for navigation purposes.
You won’t have to worry about getting lost at Google I/O when it is virtual. Google has posted on Twitter about three sessions the Search Console team is managing, in fact, those are already listed on the YouTube channel where you can watch it when it goes live from the comfort of your home or office (or both). So there will be a bunch of SEO related topics.
You can expect a lot of sessions on AI and ML but maybe some hints about ad features. Generally, Google will save the ad stuff for the Google Marketing Live event that is also free and where Google announces a bunch of new Google Ads features and tools. You can register for that over here but that is not until May 27th, so you got time for that.
I’ll be watching both and we will keep you up-to-date on the most important news for marketers at Search Engine Land.
Live search event critic
Google Ads announces privacy-focused changes for Analytics, Tag Manager and enhanced conversions
Google’s VP of Engineering for Google ads announced three new previews for Google Marketing Livestream:
- Google is extending their advanced machine learning to behavioral analytics reporting in GA to help fill gaps in data left by privacy changes.
- To make it easier for websites in Europe and the UK to integrate with Consent Mode, Google will soon allow access directly from Tag Manager accounts to modify and customize tag behavior in response to users’ consent preferences.
- Enhanced conversions allow tags to use consented, first-party data and give a more accurate view of how users convert after engaging with ads.
Unconfirmed Google Search algorithm update
The past several unconfirmed Google Search algorithm updates have been on weekends. But on Thursday morning it seemed like Google released one during the middle of the work week. Google has not confirmed this update but there is definitely a lot of chatter about ranking changes in the organic search results.
At the time of writing this, not all of the tools that track the fluctuations in the Google Search results have been updated but Semrush and some other tools are showing big changes. That is on top of the spike in SEO chatter within the industry.
I hope your site did well with this possible Google update.
Update: Google, YouTube add user controls to limit alcohol, gambling ads
Google let us know yesterday that the user control update to limit alcohol and gambling ads is now live: “The controls that we launched in November in the US for YouTube are now global. We plan to extend it to Display and Google ads globally in Q3 this year,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land.
Why we care. It’s unclear what the overall impact will be — users will need to know about and proactively seek out these controls. But this is a good move for users, Google, and the alcohol and gambling industries. For marketers in these sectors, the business impact is likely to be minimal and may even improve performance by limiting exposure to users who expressly opt out.
Google shares video SEO tips for e-commerce sites
Alan Kent from Google posted an excellent best practices blog post on the Google Search Central blog aimed at helping e-commerce businesses with video SEO. “By surfacing your video content on Google, you can open up additional paths of discovery to drive awareness of your business and engagement on your site,” Alan Kent explained.
In this blog post, Alan Kent explained where your videos can appear in the Google Search results, such as the key moments section as illustrated above with the GIF. It explains that you can use videos on your e-commerce site for product pages, articles or blog posts and for live stream events with your customers. The blog post then explains how to use video structured markup, how you should think about how to style videos for your customers, the availability of the indexing API for live streams (and the red live badge in the search results), video sitemap files and much more.
More data coming to the Google My Business performance report
Google has been slowly upgrading the Google My Business performance report, which is replacing the old Insights report at some point. Google updated its help document to say that soon the performance report will gain direction requests and website clicks data. This is something the Insights report has but not something the new performance report contains, yet.
It is important to note that the same help document noted that the direction requests will remove some requests if Google notices that those clicks are not unique direction requests. Specifically, Google will filter out requests that are multi-tapping, direction request cancellation, and spam.
Google did recently added booking data to this report, although it has been part of the help docs for a long time now.
Google Ads video, SEO navigation, editor filters and more
How Google Ads work video. This is cute, Google posted a video on how Google Ads work in search and specifically noting that the ads are labeled. The funny part is, Google seemed to have done this in reaction to Rachel Maddow’s possible malware issue.
Navigation in code. Google’s John Mueller said that moving your site navigation in your code from the top to the bottom shouldn’t be a problem for your SEO or rankings.
Google Ads Editor filters moved. Some SEMs were looking for the quick select filters option in the Google Ads Editor. Ginny Marvin from Google noted they have been moved but are still available. She said “you’ll find them by clicking the three dots to the right of the Search bar.”
We’ve curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.
- Google hit with $123M antitrust fine in Italy over Android Auto – TechCrunch
- Google Search Screen Saver – Search Engine Roundtable
- Inclusive imagery made easy: People filters – Microsoft Advertising
- Natural Language Queries in Spreadsheets at Google – Go Fish Digital
- WebPageTest Brings Core Web Vitals Stats to Results – tl;dr Marketing