Good morning, {{my.NormalizeName:default=edit me}}, happy Monday.

With in-person events on hold well into 2021, virtual gatherings aren’t ending anytime soon. Facebook says it saw live broadcasts from Pages double year-over-year in June. Now, small businesses can start charging for online events they hold via Facebook, the company announced Friday afternoon.

Facebook said it won’t collect fees from online events for at least a year (though you’ll pay for any ad promotion, naturally). On the web and Android, it has rolled out Facebook Pay for SMBs to collect online event payments. Things get more complicated on iOS: Apple declined to waive its 30% in-app purchase fee — SMBs will collect 70% of revenue from iOS Facebook app sales.

It’s a potential new revenue source for creators and businesses and could have a broader effect of normalizing paid virtual event business models.

As the pandemic has hit local businesses especially hard, Local Knowledge Panels have never been more important. Google says local-intent searches have increased during this time as people look to support community businesses, check store hours and more.

In response, Google and Bing have added new features to help businesses inform and market to new and existing customers from Local Knowledge Panels. With this in mind, George Nguyen has written a new guide to optimizing Local Knowledge Panels with feedback from local SEO experts Mike Blumenthal and Joy Hawkins. It’s about much more than just making sure your hours are updated–images, reviews, posts and other features can help you drive business from the search results.

This local look follows on George’s dive into getting a Knowledge Panel for your brand earlier this month.

And speaking of George, he’s going to be taking over this newsletter for a bit while I’m off on vacation, so you’ll be hearing from him starting tomorrow. Enjoy!

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

Wrestling for Q4 marketing budget? Don't look at the competition

“Benchmarking the competition can be great for some strategy formulation, like messaging. Seeing what competitors are doing can help you understand what you need to cover with your own ads, but also what white space might exist for you to stand out right now,” wrote Adam Edwards, chief client officer, at Metric Theory.

“But making decisions based on where and how much others are spending is a surefire path to bad outcomes. Avoid the trap of wondering how they’re doing it, and what that means about how you’re doing. Every business is unique, for everything from cash position to organizational strengths to how diversified it is, and all of those factors will determine what ads, budget, and performance standards they choose.”

Read more »


This week: Ignite Visibility and Google to host free virtual event on paid media

Sponsored by Ignite Visibility

Want to learn more about success metrics, user journey optimization, new Google features and how to win back your remarketing audience? Be sure to join the free, online event – 3 Pillars of Paid Media – on Wednesday, August 19 at 2 PM Eastern/11 AM Pacific.

“We do this advanced event once a year with Google and the data and strategy blows people away,” said John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility. “We work with Google to find the most advanced and highest impact advertising strategies, as well as new advertising features, and we reveal some of our new methodologies which we normally do not share.”


Search Shorts

Canonicalization, how Google improves search and linking out.

Canonicalization. Check out this excellent video with Martin Splitt of Google and Rachel Costello of DeepCrawl on the topic of canonicalization. In short, Google has canonicalization as a method of managing duplication.

How Google improved search. Here is a 3-minute video Google just released on how it makes improvements to search. The video is not detailed but can give a lot of your clients a simple overview of how Google Search works.

Linking out too often. Google’s John Mueller said, “I’m not aware” of anything Google has that looks for a site linking out naturally too often. It may impact your content but outbound links that are natural are fine.”


How to Identify Site Quality for Link Building

How to evaluate a site for “quality” is the most misunderstood concept in SEO. As a result, you may be leaving sites out of your outreach that can drive ranking, or you may be including sites that will provide no value or potentially get you penalized. If you’re interested in scaling up a high-impact link building program while lowering risk, attend this webinar.

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Do you have what it takes to win?

Submit your best campaign to the 2020 Search Engine Land Awards today! This is your chance to showcase company achievements, attract new business, and boost team morale.

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What We're Reading

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

Desktop, Mobile, or Voice? (D) All of the Above – Best of Whiteboard Friday – Moz

Google ends direct cooperation with Hong Kong on data requests over national security law – Washington Post

Google’s advertising platform is blocking articles about racism – Slate

How a WordPress SEO Plugin Can Help You Win at Keyword Optimization – BruceClay

Improve performance and security with Server-Side Tagging – Google Blog

Optimizing Podcasts for The Local Businesses – PPC Hero

The Beginner’s Guide to Google Search Console (GSC) – iPullRank

Update Your Google Ads Tags for CCPA Compliance – Seer Interactive

What Is Crawl Budget? | How to Optimize for Increased Traffic – Botify

Yandex Search Engine Faces $40m Copyright Lawsuit For Indexing Videos – TorrentFreak