Good morning, Marketers, and 1000 people applied to take part in the inaugural Search Engine Land mentorship program!
We went through every. single. entry. to look at everything from areas of expertise, interests, search marketing backgrounds, time zones and more to make the best matches we could. And I’m not gonna lie — it was tough. Narrowing down 1000 entries to six mentoring partnerships meant we, unfortunately, weren’t able to match every qualified mentor entry with every deserving mentee application.
However, we’re elated to announce the six mentors and mentees accepted into the first-ever Search Engine Land Mentorship Program. You can read more about them and their interests here. If you didn’t make it this time, please don’t despair. The number of applications was fierce. We hope you’ll apply again in the next cohort when we can expand the program even more!
Director of Search Content
Google’s Pandu Nayak shares his roadmap for MUM and how it can help the company handle more complex queries
Google’s Multitask Unified Model (MUM) has the potential to enable users to conduct far more complex searches than they can right now, but how these capabilities will be implemented and how businesses should adapt remains to be seen. In a chat with Search Engine Land, Pandu Nayak, VP of search at Google, discusses MUM’s most important characteristics (training across dozens of languages, multimodal inputs and multitasking) and lays out the company’s plans to integrate it into search.
In the short term (where we are now), the company is focusing on knowledge transfer across languages, as evidenced by MUM’s first public application, in which it identified 800 variations of vaccine names across 50 languages in a matter of seconds. Looking ahead, Google is hoping to pioneer multimodal search by, for example, connecting a user’s uploaded image with their text search query. And, in the long term, Google wants to break down complex queries into simpler ones and connect the dots for users — something that many users are already doing by conducting several different searches to piece together the information they’re looking for.
Glitch in soft 404 reporting in Search Console leads to confusion for search marketers
Soft 404s are when a page returns a 200 status code (all good!), but doesn’t actually load like it should (AKA it should be a 404). When this happens, Google will flag those pages as soft 404s and treat the URL as a real 404 and not index the page.
Recently, Google changed how it classifies soft 404s, and now looks at these errors by device type. This means that it can potentially return a soft 404 for desktop and not mobile. The glitch is that SEOs are noticing Google is not indexing pages or they’re seeing spikes in soft 404s in Search Console but NOT seeing an issue in actual search results.
Why we care. This may cause traffic issues for your site if you are impacted by this change. Google’s working on a fix, but if you have any examples, they’re asking you to send them along.
On the hunt for something new in 2021? Here are the latest career opportunities in search
Senior Online Advertising Specialist @ CHG Healthcare (Salt Lake City, remote)
- Oversee the day-to-day execution of the Display program which includes retargeting, programmatic ad buys, direct publisher placements, paid social media and other promoted content
- Partner with the Strategic Marketing and Creative teams as an online media expert to make recommendations on creative messaging across multiple ad platforms
SEO Lead @ Harley Davidson Motor Company (remote)
- Support ongoing site-wide SEO efforts which include content, on-page, off-page, and technical optimizations
- Conduct keyword and topic research in coordination with internal stakeholders to optimize existing content and uncover new content opportunities
Digital Marketing Manager @ Twitter (USA remote)
- Lead creative brief development with in-house Creative Studio and/or an external agency
- Oversee creative production of all GTM assets, including copywriting, design, and image selects
Manager, Social Media Strategy @ TIME (NYC, remote)
- Work closely with the Senior Manager of Social Media Strategy to execute multi-platform social media strategies for our clients and the TIME brand to increase digital reach, drive conversation and grow overall awareness.
- Partner with creative strategists and marketers to collaborate on social-first pitches and RFPs bringing strategic value to the table on how social media can come to life through branded and partnership content.
Biden vs Big Tech, changes to permissions in Analytics and Facebook lost a policy
Biden administration to sign executive order calling on FTC to implement new rules on Big Tech’s data collection. “The order could provide some relief to small and medium-sized businesses that have complained of the allegedly crippling grip of tech firms such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google over digital markets,” wrote Kevin Breuninger and Lauren Feiner for CNBC. We’re interested to see what this means for the timeline on third-party cookie deprecation.
Google Analytics updates User Management settings. In an email sent to account admins, Google announced that they’re deprecating the “Manage Users” permission. “All Users with the “Manage Users” permission will be converted to the Administrator role. Administrators have full control of the product,” said Google. So if you don’t want your Manage Users accounts becoming full admins, change their permissions now.
Facebook lost some of it’s moderation policy — for three years. How does a huge tech entity lose its own policies? Apparently, it was a tech migration issue, but they didn’t even notice until a user appealed a removal decision.
TikTok is wide open for brands
- 73% of TikTok influencers dedicate 1-5 hours to TikTok each day, and 65% post content daily. An overwhelming majority (almost 90%) report using it more since the pandemic hit.
- But only 17% are sharing brand or product-related content weekly, 6% daily.
Why we care. It seems a lifetime ago that the Trump administration was threatening to shut TikTok down. Instead, the platform is thriving, and some brands, like Chipotle and e.l.f. Beauty are noticing.
But it looks like plenty of scope remains for brands to get involved, with influencers — so far — little involved in promoting products and services. Two questions: Are TikTok influencers less susceptible to the temptation of paid promotion work than influencers on other platforms? Is this a TikTok bubble, which will burst when the next great social idea comes along?