Good morning, sometimes you just want a yes or no answer.

Bing can now respond to searches with “Yes” or “No” answers for certain queries. It uses Natural Language Representation (NLR) modeling to infer responses. Users will see the direct answer along with a carousel of related excerpts.

Bing also announced at SMX London yesterday that it has migrated the Submit URL, Block URL and Crawl Control features to the new Bing Webmaster Tools portal. SEOs will be able to use the current and new pages simultaneously for a brief period before Bing deprecates the current pages in a few weeks.

Goodbye, Jet.com. Walmart U.S. announced it is going to “discontinue” Jet.com, the e-commerce start-up it acquired in 2016 for $3.3 billion. Despite steep investment and several operational and strategic shifts, Jet.com never materialized as a force in e-commerce. Walmart put a good face on it, saying Jet helped the company accelerate its “omni strategy.” And omni-channel is how Walmart is thinking about growing its e-commerce business, with a mix of offerings, including buy-online-pickup-in-store, delivery, ship from store and marketplace sales. 

Hello, YouTube Select. YouTube is revamping its premium advertising program, formerly known as Google Preferred. While Google Preferred was only available in a handful of markets, the new YouTube Select will be available globally, wherever YouTube advertising is available. Advertisers will be able to target “lineups,” packages of popular content around topics such as beauty & fashion, comedy, and technology, that are tailored to each market. Some lineups will be available via Google Ads and Display & Video 360. It will also offer advertisers the ability to target connected TV viewers for the first time. YouTube and YouTube TV have seen a surge in TV screen viewing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On Friday, I’ll chat with Shopping ads experts Kirk Williams of ZATO and Mike Ryan of Smarter Ecommerce about all things Shopping on Live with Search Engine Land. Sign up to join us live

Read on for a Pro Tip about what the automotive sector might indicate about GMB performance across verticals and more.

Ginny Marvin,
Editor-In-Chief

 
 
 
Pro Tip
 

Is automotive a bellwether for GMB trends during COVID-19?

“Over the past few months, COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the performance of Google My Business listings across every industry. Businesses have scrambled to keep their GMB listings up to date and relevant with Google suspending customer reviews and scaling back support. So how has GMB performance been affected?” ponders Adam Dorfman of Reputation.com.

“In examining GMB performance across all verticals, automotive appears to be not only a bellwether for the U.S. economy, but also as an industry to see what is likely going to happen on GMB for other industries. Performance metrics on GMB listings provide a useful predictor of consumer purchase behavior so we examined performance from the perspective of GMB views, clicks, and customer reviews across 100,000 GMB listings and compared the automotive results with all other results. Here is what we found out.”

  • If automotive GMB performance is any indication, customers are actively interested in supporting businesses, and we can expect GMB usage across all industries to increase as more states relax shelter-in-place mandates and people start going out to shop.
  • Customers continue to give feedback to businesses, and they’ll respond positively to those that demonstrate responsiveness and attention to managing customer service with proper social distancing in place.

Read More »

 

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Search Shorts
 

Hit by a core update? Take a look at your site

Hit by a core update. John Mueller of Google said look at the keywords that you lost and see if there are now better sites outranking you for those words. “Sometimes sites get a lot of irrelevant traffic, so absolute numbers can be misleading,” he added.

Retrying 410s. There is no set duration for when Google will reprocess a page that returns a status code of 410, said Mueller.

Link spam. Gary Illyes from Google wants you to stop forwarding him the link spam you get. “Please do send me all the link selling offers,” he quipped on Twitter.

 

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What we're reading
 

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

Google is testing an ‘easier’ smart display interface for the less-savvy – Engadget

Google Search Tests Topic Related To Jobs Box – Search Engine Roundtable

Navigating the road ahead: How consumers are adjusting to COVID-19 – Google Blog

New automated bidding solutions in Display & Video 360 – Google Blog

Redefining SEO Agency Expectations in a Changing World – Seer Interactive

Reminder about sunset, creation of target spend field for Maximize Clicks strategies in Ads APIs 

– Google Ads Developer Blog

Schema.org: Useful tips & takeaways for more success with structured data – Search Metrics

SEO Jobs | Companies Hiring for SEO Roles During COVID-19 – Botify

The 3-Step SEO Process That Grew Organic Traffic 200% – SEM Rush

Why Top-Funnel SEO Content is More Valuable Than You Think – Siege Media