Good morning, it is indeed a test.

Turns out the issue that some Google advertisers are seeing — where the option to create a text ad is gone from the main dropdown is missing — is not a bug. It’s a test, Google confirmed with us. To be clear, you can still create text ads by clicking what amounts to an “abort” link in the RSA ad screen. 

But clearly, RSAs are starting to get preferential treatment. They’re easy! They’re automated! Set ‘em up and watch the impressions and clicks climb! If only it were that simplistic. RSAs aren’t that simple. ETAs aren’t that dead. Stay tuned for more.  

In other news, to help photographers get credit — and payment — for their images that users discover in Image search results, Google has rolled out the “licensable” image label it’s been testing since February. The label is powered by structured data that photographers, publishers and news organizations can add to their images. The Usage Rights filter in Image search now features two options to find licensed images. 

Ginny Marvin

Search Shorts

Google indexing links? Nope.

Index pages, not links. Google’s John Mueller clarified on Twitter that Google does not index links, it indexes the pages between the links.

Google on Word count.  Google has said for years that word count is not a ranking signal the company uses for rankings. Mueller answered numerous questions around this statement and I complied those responses over here.

Title elements matter. While word count might not matter for rankings, title elements (aka title tags) do. Mueller cited a study that backs it up.


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Social Shorts

Rethinking work: Pinterest cancels new office lease

Pinterest is paying a $89.5 million termination fee to not move forward with a big new office lease in San Francisco. “As we analyze how our workplace will change in a post-Covid world, we are specifically rethinking where future employees could be based,” Todd Morgenfeld, Pinterest’s chief financial officer and head of business operations told Bloomberg Friday. 

Why we care. Pinterest isn’t giving up offices altogether — it’s keeping its SF HQ, but it’s a sign of big tech’s moves to branch out beyond to source and support talent beyond Silicon Valley. Slack, Twitter and other firms are also embracing remote and distributed workforces. It “will give us the opportunity to hire people from a wider range of backgrounds and experiences,” Morgenfeld added. This shift will have ripple effects throughout tech and digital marketing. We discussed what the potential effects of this trend for marketers on our most recent Live with Search Engine Land


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What We're Reading

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

A Search Performance Per Device Dashboard to Analyze Mobile vs. Desktop Website Search Behavior – Aleyda Solis

Combating Aggressive Competition on Your Brand Terms – Metric Theory

Filter options update to Display & Video 360 API v1 – Google Ads Developer Blog

How to Write Content to Win Featured Snippets – iPullRank

Introducing Publisher Ads Audits for Lighthouse v1.2.0 – Google Ads Developer Blog

Is Google Down Autocomplete Google Search Suggestion – Search Engine Roundtable

Local Search And Citations Have Evolved – BrightEdge

New tools on the Microsoft Audience Network – Microsoft Advertising

Should Google’s Ad Market Be Regulated Like the Stock Market? – Wired

Title Tags SEO: When to Include Your Brand and/or Boilerplate – Moz

What Are Meta Tags? Why Are They Important? How Do You Use Them? – BruceClay