Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.
Good morning, Marketers, here’s what I learned from last week’s #SEOchat that I had the honor of hosting.
There wasn’t a consensus on the validity of SimilarWeb’s stat that nearly 65% of Google searches were zero-click: some thought it was an outlier, some didn’t and others won’t believe it until they see the data. There was, however, consensus that the stat does not affect how SEOs actually do their jobs, and that’s the big takeaway here: This figure may be interesting from a “big picture” perspective, but it seems like most of the participants understood that the statistic is far less relevant than the features and rich results that appear on the SERPs that actually affect their business or their clients’ businesses, and that’s what we should all be focusing on.
I also asked whether we needed to clean up the tone and language we use in SEO Twitter after the heated discussions of the past weeks. While most agreed that a level of decorum wouldn’t hurt, the vibe was also that we should be able to express ourselves freely. It’s hard to argue with that, and ultimately, the decision to believe studies or get heated on Twitter is up to you, so make choices you’re proud of.
Keep on reading, we’ve got lots of news to share with you, as well as a new section at the end just for funsies.
Yelp introduces a searchable Asian-owned business profile attribute
A new profile attribute allows businesses on Yelp to self-identify as Asian-owned. The attribute is free, searchable, opt-in only and joins Yelp’s existing women-owned, Black-owned and Latinx-owned diversity attributes.
These attributes can help you distinguish your business and enable audiences that want to support diverse businesses to more easily discover you on Yelp. As of late, there’s been increased demand for such businesses, according to Yelp’s Local Economic Impact Report: In February, overall searches for women, Asian, Black and Latinx-owned businesses were up 2,930% compared to February 2020. Searches for Asian-owned businesses, in particular, on Yelp were up by 130% YoY for the same period.
Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s head of search appoints new leads
Google has made a few leadership changes within the organization, specifically within the search team. Elizabeth Reid is to lead core search experiences, Cathy Edwards will lead Apps, News Discover and Ecosystem efforts and Sissie Hsiao will lead Assistant.
With this, three women have taken high-level leadership roles within Google. Also, Scott Huffman will be seeking new opportunities after leading engineering in the Google Assistant team for many years. Google’s Vice President of Search, Pandu Nayak is still leading Search Quality. Jen Fitzpatrick is still leading the central engineering team at the company. And Jerry Dischler is still the head of Google Ads.
Coming soon to Microsoft Advertising
Every month, Microsoft publishes a roundup of recent product announcements and updates, and this month, it has also given us a preview of things to come.
The company has teased flyer extensions (shown above) as a way to display more product promotions in your ads. This feature will only be available to advertisers in the U.S.
Customer match, which will be rolling out in the coming months, enables advertisers to use the email addresses customers have given them to remarket to them on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network.
And, the platform will also be extending dynamic remarketing capabilities to more industries, including retail, entertainment, travel and automotive.
Amazon now accounts for more than 10% of the U.S. digital ad market revenue
The pandemic has been a totally different experience depending on which vertical you’re in. In Amazon’s case, it helped the company grow its ad business by 52.5% last year, according to eMarketer, further bolstering its position as the third-largest ad publisher in the United States. The growth was propelled by sponsored products and brands, as well as video ad revenue from Twitch, IMDb TV and Amazon Fire TV.
Is this the competition we all wanted? With consumer shopping preferences moving online during COVID (a trend that may be here to stay), Amazon has been able, and will continue, to attract a larger slice of advertisers’ budgets. It has also invested heavily in ad-supported video, and inked an 11-year deal with the NFL to be its exclusive partner for Thursday Night Football, which will almost certainly attract more users to Amazon Prime Video.
As Amazon continues to grow its share of overall domestic digital ad revenue, Google’s share will shrink from 28.9% in 2020 to 26.6% by 2023, eMarketer says. Google has made a lot of changes to its e-commerce offerings over the years, even introducing free shopping listings last year, but that just hasn’t seemed to affect Amazon’s growth.
These developments mean that advertisers may have to think more deeply about where to spend their budgets: Sure, more consumers are beginning their shopping on Amazon, but you’ll also have to pay fees for every item you sell. Then there are the distinct branding opportunities, like remarketing or more freedom to build a relationship with your customers, that traffic to your site, from ads on Facebook or Google, to consider.
A walk down memory lane…
Happy 10th anniversary, #PPCchat. On this week, ten years ago, #PPCchat was founded by Matthew Umbro. Since then, it’s become a weekly town hall of sorts where passionate PPC professionals voice their opinions and share knowledge. If you haven’t yet, give it a try — I, myself, have gotten some questions answered using the hashtag. Check out the thread that started it all, you might just recognize a few names!
Microsoft turns 46. That’s almost a half-century — the company even predates the founding of the internet by about 7.5 years. In honor of the occasion, Microsoft updated its Twitter profile and banner image with an homage to its OG logo from 1975.
PPC memes should be more of a thing. You know that feeling when irrelevant searches trigger your ads? Tip of the hat to Kim Doughty for this meme that perfectly captures the moment.
Maybe this will be nostalgic one day. But, probably not. If you’ve got a fashion sense, click at your own risk: I spotted these Google all-terrain slippers on Twitter. A reverse image search reveals that they were created by a customizer named Nicole McLaughlin; so, no, you can’t buy them.