Good morning, greetings from San Francisco!

Greg Sterling and I will be attending and reporting from Google Marketing Live tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Last week, we heard excitement from SEOs across the board about Google’s decision to regularly update its Googlebot crawler to run on the latest version of Chromium. Introduced at I/O last week, Googlebot will now support many more features. This a big deal for JavaScript developers and technical SEOs because it means “there will be fewer critical indexing issues to point out for sites running modern JavaScript,” says our Editor At Large, Detlef Johnson, who detailed more of the pros for developers in his latest column.

Black is making gains, it seems… I heard from Amalia Fowler at Snap Marketing, who’s based in Vancouver, and from Andrea Cruz at Hanapin Marketing, who’s based in Boston, that they have both seen the black “Ads” label that Google has been testing. We first reported on EU sightings of the black “Ads” label in March. A couple of things to note: It’s placed above the ad copy and the display URL appears alongside it, also in black. And it’s very subtle. We’ve catalogued the history of Google ad labeling in search results, if you’re interested in a walk back in time, and we will update our chronology if this black version rolls out. Did you know that the FTC called for search engines to more clearly label ads in 2013?

It’s hard to believe we’re still talking about the Google Ads reporting bug more than a week later, but I don’t recall another time that reporting was incorrect for such a long period. Google did confirm on Friday that some store visits and store sales data has been fixed — for April 28 and 29 and May 3 onward. That leaves a gap of April 30 to the early hours of May 2 PT. The data gap for all other reporting is 12:01 a.m. on May 1 to 4 a.m. May 2 (PDT).

More to read below, including a Pro Tip on query mappings for Shopping campaigns, Soapbox thoughts on Google cache dates and more.

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

How would the seller of a red t-shirt on Google Shopping keep it off the search results for a blue shirt?

“Query-mapping shopping campaign ad groups to relevant searches are how you eliminate the disconnect between what a user searches on Google and what product an advertiser serves on that search,” explains Adam Seybold of DEG Digital during his SMX West session in San Jose. ”If you, the advertiser, sell both blue and red men’s t-shirts then the creation of both a ‘blue men’s t-shirts’ and ‘red men’s t-shirts’ ad group is recommended. From there, negating the keyword ‘blue’ from the ‘red men’s t-shirts’ ad group and vice versa are how to close the loop and direct traffic properly in your account.”

Read More »


Live Webinar: Who’s Minding the Digital Store? How to align teams when technology is in charge - May 16

Sponsored by Commercetools

As technology takes center stage in digital commerce, retailers and brands are trying to rebalance their internal organizations so that the technology, marketing and merchandising teams have an equal share in driving business results. Join our e-commerce experts experts and learn how to choose the right technology to make everyone more nimble, and upgrade your technology without breaking the business.

Read More »

Search Shorts

Algorithm update and catch up on Google I/O...

Google algorithm update rumors. There’s chatter about a possible Google search algorithm update starting around May 9th. There’s been no confirmation by Google.

Google caching logic. Gary Illyes from Google talked a bit about how Google caches specific to crawling and indexing. Check it out on Twitter.

Google I/O videos. Google archived two presentations from I/O — one on the Google Search: State of the Union and the other on Google Search and JavaScript Sites. Both are worth watching.

The Soapbox

It might not matter, but why not fix it?

Even though our community is strong, we keep learning from each other what, ideally, Google should share with us. I’m not even talking about the actual ranking signals, it’s more a case of how some of the technical aspects work.

One such thing is Google’s cache. Many of us used to panic when we saw there was no cached page available, which nowadays is normal. There’s a different thing that catches our eyes now – Google showing the last cache date in early April for tens of thousands of websites.

While caching doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, affect rankings according to Google, it would be really nice to get some reliable-looking data.

– Eli Zheleva, owner of Eli Zheleva agency

SMX Update

Learn from the experts at an SMX workshop

Planning on attending SMX Advanced in Seattle? Extend your experience! Take a deep dive on advanced SEO, SEM and more with an SMX workshop, hosted Monday, June 3 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center. All workshops run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Workshops are small-group sessions conducted by industry experts who share their deep knowledge with attendees with plenty of time for one-on-one interaction. The workshop lineup includes:

Check out the details of SMX Advanced workshops, and register today. And remember: Deep discounts are available for groups of three or more, so bring your team along to take advantage of these elite learning experiences.

What we're reading

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

An SEO’s Guide to Writing Structured Data (JSON-LD) – Moz

A little help from Google to map your election day – Official Google Australia Blog

Ad Copy Must-Haves That Make or Break a PPC Campaign – PPC Hero

Count ‘em up: 100 things we announced at I/O ‘19 – Google Blog

Exclusive: India orders anti-trust probe of Google for alleged Android abuse – sources – Reuters

Google My Business Tests Updated Design – Search Engine Roundtable

Grow with Google provides tools and resources for military spouses – Google Blog

How HomeToGo aligned with SEO to create visibility – SISTRIX

One year later, restaurants are still confused by Google Duplex – The Verge

Visualizing Speed Metrics to Improve SEO, UX, & Revenue – Whiteboard Friday – Moz

What’s technical SEO? 8 technical aspects everyone should know – Yoast