30 Days In Search: SEO & SEM News-Recap of May 2019
May was a month full of events and conferences, of new features and changes, of exciting updates and announcements - but also, full of Google bugs and issues. With so much happening in just 30 days time, it seems impossible to keep up - that’s why for you, we’ve prepared a snappy summary to keep you going.
Google Updates For Search: News & Podcast Index, How-To's & FAQs, Google Trips, Favicons, & Ordering Food
May 7, 2019
At Google I/O 2019 (Google’s annual developer conference) the plan for bringing Google News’ ‘full coverage’ overviews to the search results later this year was announced. Full coverage means that when a certain story is covered by multiple publishers on Google News, these and other relevant stories are collected and shown on an additional page, including a timeline of the events. Now when searching for a topic on Google Search, the full coverage feature can show up, where you will find a news-group, related to your query.
Besides that, Google also stated that podcasts are now being indexed in the Google search results, and can be listened to directly from the result page as well.
May 8, 2019
Google is now supporting structured data for How-To and FAQ pages on Google Search, as well as brand new reports on Search Console to monitor any errors and warnings for those new rich results. The ‘how-to’ results walk you to a series of steps without the need to open the site first, and the FAQ snippets display questions and their answers directly in the organic result.
May 14, 2019
Google trips is coming to desktop. Google Trips is Google’s own travel planning service, and everything, from finding hotels, flights, and travel packages, to destination information, to-do’s, and booking the actual trip, can be done right there. With launching the service on desktop, Google wants to integrate your search behavior with your (upcoming) trips; it will show news articles about the destination you’re planning to visit, your trip will be accessible on Google Maps, and when searching for a restaurant in another city eg., Google will remember this and add it to your Google Trips desktop service.
May 22, 2019
On mobile, Google Search has a new look; it now shows favicons in the SERPs, and the site name appears at the top of a search result. If it’s an organic listing, the favicon of your website shows up first with your site name and possible breadcrumbs, and when it’s an ad, the favicon is replaced by the word ‘Ad’ (this is different in other languages; in Turkish this would be ‘Reklam’) followed by your site’s URL and paths (if given).
With this new look, Google wants to make it easier for searchers to identify the search ads. Google says: “As we continue to make new content formats and useful actions available—from buying movie tickets to playing podcasts—this new design allows us to add more action buttons and helpful previews to search results cards.”
May 23, 2019
There comes a time that we will never leave the search results page anymore because right now, you are also able to order food from local restaurants right from Google Search, Google Maps, and Assistant. After finding your favorite restaurant on Search or Maps, all you have to do is clicking ‘Order now’, make your food selection and pay with Google Pay - or simply tell your home assistant: ‘Hey Google, order food from [restaurant]'.
Google Marketing Live: The New Google Ads Features
May 14, 2019
Google Marketing Live is THE most exciting event advertisers from all over the world are looking forward to each year; it’s where Google reveals its newest products. There are a lot of full and detailed recaps of the 2-day event online already (and we won’t bother you with another one), so we’re just quickly running over to give you an idea of what you (may have) missed.
- Google came up with a new mobile search ad format to create giant gallery ads. With giant gallery ads, you can now add up to 8 images in your search ad, turning your ad into a large swipeable carousel of images. For now, they will only show up at the top spot on Google search.
- There will be ads shown on Google’s mobile homepage; called ‘discovery ads’. Besides on the mobile homepage, these ads are also shown on YouTube’s home feed and on the promotions tab in Gmail.
- [only for USA] Soon you can optimize your Google Ads Smart Shopping Campaigns for in-store visits with local inventory ads - referred to as ‘buy-online, pick-up in-store’ service. Besides that, Google also allows you to shop directly from Google Search (along comes a brand-new personalized Google Shopping homepage), from Images and from YouTube. When searching for a product online, you might see a blue ‘Add to cart’ button that allows you to buy the item straight away - you will find this same button on YouTube when watching a video about the product, or on Images when viewing its photos.
- YouTube created a tool called Bumper Machine. Through machine learning, YouTube cuts longer ads into 6-second ads and creates 4 different versions to choose from.
- Google updated and fine-tuned its bidding strategies, including (1) conversions at campaign level, (2) seasonality adjustment, (3) maximize conversion value, and 4) conversion value rules.
Google Bugs & Indexing Issues
May 2 & 22, 2019
Google had a difficult month with lots of bugs and indexing issues - and all those bugs and indexing issues made reporting and optimizing for us marketers, a lot harder. Here’s what was going on:
On the 2nd of May, a bug was discovered in the Google Ads interface; the metrics displayed between April 30 and May 1 was giving incorrect and missing information. It turned out that that same bug, also impacted the store visits and store sales data, as well as portrayed the data on Google Search Console wrong. Google corrected the data for April 30th, and most of the metrics for May 1st and 2nd on Google Ads - on Search Console, however, the data for most of April is false.
Later on in May there was another bug found that prevented new content from being indexed on Google. After fixing it, the bug returned - but right now, that issue is resolved. The reason for the bug: human error.
Four New Google Search Console Reports
May 2 & 9, 2019
In May, Google announced that there are 4 new reports coming to Google Search Console. Three of them concern the structured data on your website; of which two will show the performance and the errors of the markup on ‘logo enhancement’, and ‘sitelinks searchbox enhancement’. The third one is the ‘unparsable structured data report’ that groups the structured data syntax errors. Here you will find out whether Google was unable to parse any of the structured data that you tried adding to your website.
The fourth report is the ‘speed report’, where you can find an overview of whether your pages are slow, average or fast speed pages. With speed being an important ranking factor, this report helps you to understand what helps or harms page speed based on the certain changes that you are making.
In May there were three events that we’ve followed: OMR Festival Hamburg, SMX London, and the London Megathread Meetup.
OMR, which stands for Online Marketing Rockstars, is one of the world’s largest digital marketing & tech events, taking place yearly in Hamburg since 2011. With over 5,000 brands, 1,000 influencers, 1,500 CMOs, and 400 exhibitors, the stars and the hidden gems of the industry all came together.
With search marketing being the biggest area of digital marketing, you just want to do it right. SMX London covered everything you need to know about SEO, SEM, and online marketing, with sessions being given to a diverse search marketing audience; from beginners to masters.
Actually; before the SMX London took place, the usual suspects of the SEO/SEM community were joking around on Twitter, and wondered how nice it would be to finally meet up for dinner and drinks around that time; to have an informal spontaneous get-together. Halide & Pınar are also part of the so-called ‘Megathread’ (that became impossible to follow any longer), and somehow this event initiated by them, turned into an actual event; it went from a dozen in the beginning, to nearly 200 participants.
Editor’s Choice: Crawling Mondays YouTube Series
Aleyda Solis, a well-known SEO consultant (and crowned ‘European Search Personality Of The Year 2018’ at the European Search Awards) tunes every Monday in on YouTube, to give SEO advice, tutorials, reviews, and interviews - calling it Crawling Mondays.
News From The Kubixers
Our May was rainy but hot, it was busy but productive, and it was fast but very, very good; here’s what was up, the last 30 days at Kubix:
- [TRAINING + WORKSHOPS] We love to invest in the next generation - and what’s better than educating the ‘online marketers’ of the future. That’s why on the 30th of April, Cicek and Jolien emptied their schedules and visited Yeditepe University to give a lecture on Google Ads optimization and social media content creation to the students.
- [BLOG] We use ad extensions whenever and wherever we think works. To give you a hand, we created a list of all Google ad extension types including our best practices, tips, specifications and more, and we highlighted some examples of when and how to use each extension.
- [BLOG + PODCAST] 2018 was a pretty tough year for us as an agency and our Turkish clients; Turkey wasn’t doing well economically and politically. In our blog post and our podcast, we share how we are surviving and overcoming these economic downtimes, plus give you some winning SEO & SEM strategy tips on how you can, too.
- [PODCAST] Combining App Store Optimization with Google App Marketing campaigns can be a smart move when you want to increase your ranking on the app store’s search results and boost your downloads. In our podcast episode, we walk you through our ASO steps and UAC best practices.
- [BLOG] Being locally reachable is now (more than ever) important. When on-the-go, users are looking for immediate answers to their questions - and when your business shows up when these searches happen, you have a pretty high chance to gain these searchers as customers. Here our local search strategy tips for SEO & SEM.
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