Microsoft Advertising will deprecate ETAs too; Wednesday’s daily brief

Plus, October 8 is the Diversity Award nomination deadline

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Good morning, Marketers, where does diversity start in marketing?

My friend Chima Mmeje, an SEO content writer and strategist for SaaS and tech, tweeted this week asking why there were no Black in-house marketers. “What’s the barrier to entry?” she asked.

We’ve written about the issue on Search Engine Land and MarTech. Here’s what we’ve found: When we talk about the career pipeline that leads to more diverse and inclusive leadership, it starts at the very beginning. The National Association of Colleges and Employers found that Black students are more likely to be in unpaid internships than their white peers – and that has a direct effect on diversity in the workforce. 

“Many organizations use their internship programs to feed full-time hiring; consequently, looking at how they source and select interns is critical for those that are committed to diversifying their workforces,” said Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director. If you can’t afford to take an unpaid internship, then you’re already at a disadvantage in your career.

Not only is it harder for Black marketers to break into their careers of choice, but they are less likely to be promoted. Mercer, a human resources consulting firm, released data that showed only 12% of support and operations staff are Black (versus 64% white), and that number continually decreases as Black employees are not promoted to higher levels within companies. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in a 2020 report found that only 6% of its total members and 3% of the members who are CMOs are Black. 

So what can we do? SearchPilot recently posted the results of their diversity and inclusion transparency report, which they commit to publishing each year. Dr. Lauren Tucker, founder of Do What Matters, told MarTech that inclusion comes first, “I call it ‘inclusion, equity and diversity.’ Diversity is the outcome of inclusion and equity.” Dr. Tucker says that while Chief Diversity Officers are great, they have to be funded and supported, and employee resources groups are often a great way to get started if your company isn’t big enough for a CDO.

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content

ETA deprecation, auto-generated remarketing lists and Audience Network updates in Microsoft Advertising

Beginning June 30, 2022, responsive search ads (RSAs) will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in standard search campaigns, Microsoft Advertising announced in its October product updates on Tuesday.

The announcements also included reporting improvements for Microsoft Audience Ads with view-through conversions, In-market Audiences expansions, an open beta for auto-generated remarketing lists, several Microsoft Audience Network updates and expansions and more.

Why we care. The deprecation of ETAs aligns Microsoft Advertising with Google Ads, making it easier for advertisers to work across both platforms without having to account for any differences in available search ad types. As we stated when Google first made this announcement, this move means that advertisers will have less direct control over their accounts and will have to get accustomed to working with Google and Microsoft’s machine learning, if they haven’t already. We recommend testing your ETAs and RSAs to figure out what works best well before the June 30, 2022 deadline.

Read more details on the updates here.

We asked, you answered: Should Google add noindex support to robots.txt? Poll results

In September, Eric Enge ran a poll on Search Engine Land to see if readers would like to have an instruction in robots.txt to mark pages for No Indexation. The results are in:

In total 84% of the 87 respondents said “yes,” they would like this feature. Some of the reasons offered for wanting this feature were:

  • There are no situations where I want to block crawling but have pages indexed.
  • Noindexing a large number of pages takes a lot of time because Google has to crawl the page to see the noindex. When we had the noindex directive we could achieve quicker results for clients with over-indexation problems.
  • Adding new instructions to an .txt file is much quicker than getting Dev resources
  • Quicker, less problematic site indexing blocking :)

Reasons for saying no included:

  • Noindex tag is good enough
  • New directives in robots.txt file are not necessary
  • I don’t need it and don’t see it working
  • Don’t bother
  • Do not change

Read more here.

October 8 is the deadline to nominate for the Search Engine Land Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are ongoing efforts and something we need to commit to every day. This is why we’re excited to announce the second annual Search Engine Land Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing to celebrate those individuals or organizations who are affecting real change.

The deadline for nominations is October 8, 2021.

You may nominate as many organizations or individuals as you feel deserve the recognition. We ask that you highlight specific initiatives conducted by the nominee and that in the nomination form you include the contact of someone who can “second” that nomination.

Nominate a person or organization now.

Search Shorts: All the SMX expert goodness you might have missed this year

With SMX Next coming up (check out the agenda and register here!), we wanted to recap some of the awesome coverage from our other events this year. Check out the how-tos, myths, and mistakes to avoid:

What We’re Reading: Search Engine Land’s Guide to Bing SEO

Bing accounts for 26.5% of all desktop searches in the U.S., according to Comscore (April 2021). With the recent prevalence of working from home, people are spending more time on their desktop computers, which might also mean that more people are now using Bing.

Bing’s ranking algorithm is dynamic. “The ranking algorithm is a gigantic machine learning model and it’s evolving constantly,” said Frédéric Dubut, principal project PM manager, core search & AI at Microsoft. Before you integrate the following advice into your SEO strategy, keep in mind that better rankings aren’t guaranteed just because you optimize for the specific factors highlighted in the Bing Webmaster Guidelines.

This potentially means that, if everyone starts prioritizing one ranking criteria, then that signal may become less indicative of relevance and Bing’s algorithm may assign less weight to it. Instead of cherry-picking ranking factors to optimize for, we recommend that you cover all the bases to the best of your ability while keeping in mind how Bing treats the following elements of search.

Quality and credibility. To determine the quality and credibility of a site, Bing looks at factors like the site’s reputation, the author’s reputation, transparency of authorship, completeness of content and the level of discourse.

In terms of site reputation, “It is really about mapping and understanding that this website is an authority for this specific domain,” Fabrice Canel, principal program manager at Bing, said during an edition of Live with Search Engine Land.

Want to keep reading? Check out the full guide here.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Carolyn Lyden
Carolyn Lyden served as the Director of Search Content for Search Engine Land and SMX. With expertise in SEO, content marketing, local search, and analytics, she focuses on making marketers' jobs easier with important news and educational content.

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