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Good morning, Marketers, and talk to your loved ones about search.
It’s become a running joke that many of our family members have no idea what we do, and while they don’t need to know how to pin headlines in RSAs or perform keyword research, they can appreciate the role of search and advertising both within our culture and in our lives as individuals.
Don’t just tell them about your work life, educate them about the systems that underpin our industry (and search at large) so that they can formulate an informed opinion. If enough people care, that may be enough to influence big tech platforms, as well as regulators, moving forward.
No one disputes that we should provide the user with what they want, but that should extend beyond the content they’re looking for and how their data is used to include fair competition, how platforms treat businesses and so on. Just think about how differently you, as a marketer, feel about major platforms compared to how your friends in unrelated industries feel about those companies. There’s probably a very good reason for your outlook, and if more people knew what you know, that might make for a better industry and economy — one in which more people stand to gain, instead of entrenched interests claiming the lion’s share of profits.
The data is in for the Google July core update
Google launched the July 2021 core update on July 1, and, unlike the June core update, this update touched down in a big way almost immediately. We asked several data providers to share their analysis of the update and while the July core update’s impact was mostly felt on a single day, it was still not as big as the June core update from last month.
In our story, we dug into the data and shared some of the top winners and losers from the July core update. We also showed the differences between the two updates and how they compared to the previous core updates. We hope you saw improvements with this update and had much success with it!
Multimedia Ads are Microsoft Advertising’s new, responsive ad format. This ad type allows advertisers to use their own images, headlines and ad copy in tandem with Microsoft Advertising’s machine learning to display ads that are relevant to the query and the user. One of the biggest distinctions with this new format is that there will only be one Multimedia Ad on a page at a time, offering advertisers that claim Multimedia Ad an exclusive, visually rich element that might draw more eyes to their ads.
The beta for this has already started rolling out globally, and because advertisers may not have assets ready to go (the recommended image aspect ratios are 1.91:1, 1:1, 1:2 and 4:1), Microsoft Advertising is offering the ability to auto-create ads with your existing image and text assets. This capability leverages AI recommendations; if you’re not interested, you’ll have seven days to apply or dismiss recommendations. If you don’t do anything, they’ll be automatically applied, so keep that in mind if you decide to experiment with Multimedia Ads.
If all the recent algorithm updates were packed into one rom-com…
(500) Days of Summer Algorithm Updates. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. I’m not sure if Brian Freiesleben made the movie poster, but his plot summary is amazing.
Googlers play phone tag on Twitter. It’s not often that you get help from three Googlers. A big thank you to Ginny, Danny and John (as well as every member of the search marketing community) for doing their best to aid others and disseminate best practices.
No such thing as “stumbling” across content anymore. “You didn’t stumble, friend! In most cases an SEO somewhere worked with other marketers to make that feel like a stumble,” said Amalia Fowler — I couldn’t agree more.
Returning to the office can be an opportunity to advocate for change
I am mildly obsessed with every aspect of “returning to the office,” especially because, whether or not you permanently work from home, aspects of this shift are bound to affect all of us.
For instance, “Tuesday through Thursday is going to be hell for anybody who’s trying to commute with a car,” Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute, told CNBC’s Abigail Johnson Hess. The reasoning here is that people are more likely to want to WFH on Mondays and Fridays. The impact is multifaceted: City planners and local businesses will have to adjust to the new traffic patterns, and “there’s going to be gridlock in ways that we just haven’t seen before and haven’t anticipated.”
While it would be nice to put it all behind us, the pandemic was an incredibly polarizing time period: Americans argued over individual freedoms and collective safety, we protested over the role of police and even disputed the legitimacy of a presidential election. Those topics, combined with essentially staying inside for 16 months, mean that we have to re-learn how to get along. And, if you thought we could simply institute policies that would limit these conversations, well, that didn’t work out too well for Basecamp.
Additionally, if you’re curious about how allowing employees to pick their WFH days can backfire, the Harvard Business Review has a great 4ish-minute read that I wrote about last month — I highly recommend it. Aside from being fascinated by this unique period in history, I bring all these points to your attention because I believe that we’re all in a position to reshape work life for the better. Think of it as a clean slate and an opportunity to advocate for marginalized groups and positive change. If you’ve got suggestions on how to go about this, email me at [email protected] (Subject line: For all time, always).