It’s not a bug; it’s a feature! The Google search term report glitch actually may have been a test; Monday’s daily brief
Plus, Facebook bans researchers looking into political ads
Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.
Good morning, Marketers, and I dropped off my kid at a new daycare this week.
At the new place, you just drive up, and they come fetch your child from your car. I’m sure veteran parents are used to this, but I was not prepared and neither was my baby. She cried. I almost cried, and then I had to drive away to let the next parent do the same thing. It was a clean break, though. There was no mulling around with me potentially making it worse by being wishy washy and sappy.
Where am I going with this? It’s almost like switching jobs (if you’re in-house) or getting a new client (if you’re agency-side). My friend Amalia once asked Twitter if they’d meet with a new client’s former agency — and the feedback was mixed (but most said they would!). Sometimes the extra info can be helpful, but other times it’s just a bunch of mulling around, making things worse. There’s a reason there’s a transition happening and a clean break can be a good thing for everyone involved.
Just like dropping off your kid for the first day of school, it may be uncomfortable at first. There may be frustration and confusion, but everyone’s probably better off taking what they have and starting fresh. Plus, new beginnings with new jobs or new clients can be fun. You might discover something awesome along the way.
Director of Search Content
Google rep says search term report glitch was a potential test
In a response to Barry’s tweet about the search term report glitch in Google Ads, ads product liaison Ginny Marvin tweeted: “The team is exploring ways to share more data in Search Terms Reports while remaining privacy safe. I’ll have more to share in the coming weeks.” If the changes stay permanent (or even some version of it does), it’ll help PPC advertisers improve their campaigns and strategies.
In response, Paid Search Manager at MerkleB2B Melissa Mackey tweeted, “That is excellent news! I hope this comes true – we are really struggling with some of our B2B advertisers seeing 75%+ of search queries hidden.”
“Would definitely be great to get as many queries that could be made available to help better segment and funnel our campaign set up for optimal control and performance,” added Marc Weisinger.
Core Web Vitals is about providing the best user experience — but it’s also a ranking factor
“Anyone else not buying Core Web Vitals? I just find it hard to believe that this actually becomes a greater part of the ranking algo. Has anyone seen dramatic gains or decreases based on it so far?” asked one Redditor in the r/SEO sub.
There’s been quite a bit of confusion around the topic especially as Google has released multiple core algorithm updates this summer and other spam and product review updates. Many people believe they absolutely have to shore up their CWV while others think it’s more of a nice to have after everything else on your site is figured out.
John Mueller weighed in on Reddit offering some clarification, but also not a ton: “It is a ranking factor, and it’s more than a tie-breaker, but it also doesn’t replace relevance.” The key, he emphasizes, is that it’s less about meeting a certain number of recommendations in an SEO tool, but providing a positive user experience for searchers who land on your site. Your content can answer their queries, but if your site is a pain to deal with — it won’t be the best result.
FLoC and the future of audiences: Understanding the limits and capabilities of FLoC, FLEDGE and TURTLEDOVE
Apple, Firefox, and others without a stake in online advertising have already started to block 3rd party cookies. Google, with its interests in online advertising, is taking a more measured approach and proposing solutions like FLoC before they also turn off 3rd party cookie support in their browser.
What FLoC proposes is a way to anonymize users by adding them into cohorts using a federated learning methodology. This grouping of users into cohorts happens in the browser so no personal data leaves the device. Then the cohort is made available for publishers who wish to continue showing targeted ads to their users.
From the ads perspective, the best we can do is continue monitoring FLoC or its new replacement and experiment with it so that we are ready to make the most of it the day 3rd party cookies stop working.
On the hunt for something new in 2021? Here are the latest career opportunities in search
You may notice a new addition to our job postings. From today onward, we’re going to try to include jobs with listed salary ranges. We hope this helps with pay equity and ensuring search marketers are compensated for their experience.
Paid Search Manager @ Square (USA remote)
- Salary: $95k-125k/yr
- Manage a $XXM budget for SEM campaigns to bring in new sellers across all of Square’s products in international markets
- Own the strategy for Paid Search and Shopping campaigns and manage an agency to align on campaign build and optimization
Technical Content Marketing Manager @ Sonrai Security (USA remote)
- Salary: $90k-110k/yr
- Ideate, develop, execute, and distribute compelling B2B cloud security content on technical topics
- Own the development of content for all of Sonrai’s marketing channels, including website, blog, featured content, and social media
SEO Specialist @ JurisPage (Remote Canada or Minnesota)
- Salary: $50k-65k/yr
- Perform ongoing keyword discovery, expansion and optimization.
- Research and implement search engine optimization recommendations.
- Develop and implement link-building strategies.
Social Media Manager @ Parker and Lynch (USA Remote)
- Salary: $50k-70k/yr
- Help meet Company’s yearly goals and objectives by assisting in the execution of a Marketing plan that is strategic, forward-thinking, results-driven, optimized on an ongoing basis, and delivers sales, an increasing customer base, and deeper engagement with existing customers.
- Help to ensure customer communication strategies and Brand messaging and Brand imagery is consistent across all platforms.
Search Shorts: Stuff marketers say, getting buy-in from devs and how does SEO even work?
Give us marketing jargon in a crossword puzzle and we’re there. Want to test your knowledge of the latest marketing buzzwords? Check out this deliverable you can leverage for some content later. (wink wink)
“Take a gander if you’re trying to get buy-in from engineering and dev teams. At the end of the day, it’s all about framing and being open to collaboration,” tweeted Sam Torres, Managing Partner at The Gray Dot Company, about her AMA with Women in Tech SEO. Check out the details here.
How does SEO work? Onboarding an SEO newbie? Check out our comprehensive guide to search engine optimization. It covers topics like site architecture, content, and HTML.
What We’re Reading: In totally not sketchy news: Researchers looking into Facebook’s misinformation problem got banned
“Facebook has banned the personal accounts of academics who researched ad transparency and the spread of misinformation on the social network,” wrote James Vincent for The Verge last week. The social media platform claims the researchers violated its terms of service by not getting permission to use scrapers to gather user data.
The NYU Ad Observatory researchers scraped the data to gather info on political ads, who pays for them, and how they spread. To do so, they created a plugin called Ad Observer: “Ad Observer is a tool you add to your Web browser. It copies the ads you see on Facebook and YouTube, so anyone can see them in our public database,” according to the plugin website. “We’ll never ask for information that could identify you… [The browser extension] doesn’t collect your personal information.”
Facebook discloses some ad information in its Ad Library, but not all the data the plugin collects for research purposes. The researchers believe that the bans on their personal accounts are Facebook’s way of silencing them on the project.
To me, this is another example of the convergence of all the things advertisers are dealing with right now: privacy, transparency, need for data, user confusion around it all, and tech company resistance.