Google Core Update Shakes Up Black Friday

Media Loses on Visibility Over Shopping Sites

As it does several times per year, Google launched a new Core Update last week and its effects are rocking the Holiday Shopping Season. We’ve never been given a lot of guidance on this topic, except for the article back in 2019 called What site owners should know about Google’s core updates, that had information about content quality evaluation and E-A-T – or Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

This particular update was launched a week before Black Friday and it shook up the SEO community. Amsive Digital researched this topic and the results are outstanding.

The results of the analysis conducted show – among other things – a decrease in visibility for big news sites, such as reuters.com, while the visibility for shopping and eCommerce sites such as Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etc., seriously increased. And just in time for Holiday shopping!

Another interesting thing to note is the declining visibility of the FDA site, after enjoying much of it last year with Covid-19 in full swing. According to the research, Google is currently giving more room for other health publishers and retailers, letting them rank better.

The update may have come at the right time for eCommerce and Shopping sites, but it’s important to remember this may be a short-term thing since it takes about a week or two for a full rollout.

Don’t delete the bad reviews

Speaking of the Holiday Season and Google, don’t delete bad reviews you might get for your customer service (not because you’re bad, but because – hopefully – you’ll have a lot of work and customers could wait longer for their presents 😉 ).

According to Google, you should value all reviews, for they can come in handy to potential customers when they’re honest and objective, and therefore – trustworthy.

Start with yourself – would you buy something if all the reviews were only good and not a single star was missing? Reply to your reviews, offer help and add more context and show potential customers you care.





How to Optimize Your Responsive Search Ads

Getting Ready for RSA Era

It has become clear that the RSAs will become the only ad format that you will be able to use. Like we mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, from July 2022, you won’t be able to add new ETAs or edit and change the current ones. That is why you have to do everything you can to prepare for the RSA era. In addition to “giving Google everything it needs“, here are some tips and tricks on optimizing your RSAs.

Optimizing Your RSAs

Use all Headlines

The more headline variants you use, the better can Google offer your ad to the right person. For the same reason, adding more headlines also increases the number of impressions.

Analyze the Asset Labels

Google shows you which assets are performing well and which you should replace. These labels are based on actual performance, so it’s a good thing to keep an eye on them and make changes according to the results.

Review Combination Reports

A combination report is a magical place in Google Ads where you can check what combinations of ads are served up most often and if Google is showing any ad combinations you don’t want it to show. Here’s where to find it:

  • From the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions.
  • Click in the bar above the table of results to add a filter.
  • In the drop-down menu that appears, click Attributes, then Ad type.
  • Select the box next to ‘Responsive search ad
  • Click Apply

Smart Bidding Automation

According to Google, Marketers who switched from ETAs to RSAs and used a combination of broad match and smart bidding see about 20 per cent more conversions. So using more RSAs is a great way to take advantage of automation in order to show your ads to more potential customers.

Some might take some time to get over the fact that the way they’re used to doing things is gone. Some might take advantage of the situation and prepare themselves in the best way possible. This transition time could be a perfect time to test your RSAs and learn how to use them in a way that best suits you and your campaigns.

How to Get Viral on TikTok

It matters who you’re speaking to

Remember early March 2020 when no one really knew what TikTok was, and the one who knew thought it was for kids? Little did we know that it would take the world by storm in the middle of a pandemic. There was a lot of discussion on the how-did-TikTok-become-so-popular topic, and most of us were lost with no specific reason to share. Is it because we were desperately craving some human interaction and looking at the users talking to the camera felt like they were talking to us? According to a recent Semrush study – could be.

They analyzed 300 of the most popular TikTok videos – the first three seconds of it and gathered information about their attention getters. It turned out that TikTok is an emotional and inspirational place, where the camera angle matters more than you think.

Do it for the Views

The result of the study came right in time for preparing your content for the Holiday season. Unlike on other social media networks, 83 per cent of viral TikTok videos came from non-verified accounts, so nothing is stopping you from getting the likes and comments you need. Here’s what you should do, according to Semrush’s findings:

  • Trigger positive emotions
  • Start talking within the first three seconds
  • Speak to the camera
  • Include your dog – when it comes to animal content, dogs performed better than cats
  • Humor, Dance and Pets were the three most popular “genres” of viral TikToks
  • Include Music – Pop songs performed better, then hip-hop and rap.

One other thing they investigated was the use of popular hashtags like “FYP”, “trending” and “viral”. Turns out they performed worse than other keywords – with almost 2 million median plays less.

Main point: focus on creating original content and keywords, trigger happy emotions and talk to your customer. That’s a formula that would never disappoint.




Two things that can hurt your sales this Holiday Season

What to pay attention to

With the Holiday season approaching, many small business owners ask themselves the same question: “How can I improve my sales numbers?” And while there are things you can do – that will improve your chances – like getting on the Shopping results, keeping track of your campaigns and customers, or refreshing your evergreen content – there are also things that can hurt your visibility. To prevent that, make sure your website is working as it’s supposed to and keep on reading this article and find out what to look out for.

Check for errors

Are there any important pages blocked from being crawled or indexed? Are there any slow-loading pages or broken categories? Did you add alt text in all images so the bots can process them easier? Are there any duplicate pages? Makes sure you’ve done your part when it comes to honest Google’s work of getting your website on that first page. Check out these most common errors and tips on fixing them.

How’s your User Experience?

You don’t want your potential customers to get to your page and then leave it as soon as it loads. And we hope it loads fast. Unless your product is a God-given and can’t be bought somewhere else – you need a good user experience. Scratch that – you need a great UE. Make your website easy to use, make it fun and social. Don’t let your users wander around your website and keep them on the right path – you published a blog post? Why not add some related products underneath the post – just to make it easier for your potential customers? Or maybe adding a special Holiday page with all your Black Friday sales? The moral of the story is – think about your consumer.


Expanded text ads drive off in the sunset

What can you do to stay relevant?

You may have already heard about how Google is keeping up with trends and introducing automation. You have around eight months to doll up your Google Ads accounts. Google is phasing out ETAs and introducing Responsive search ads as a default for your ad strategy. What does it mean? Don’t panic, we got you.

From July 2022, you won’t be able to add new ETAs. However, you can keep the current ones – meaning you will be able to run them or test them, but you won’t be able to edit them anymore. This means that more of your attention should be brought to creating a bunch of headlines and texts for your RSA which Google will be automatically running and testing for you. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but the discrepancy in the control you have now and will have in the future is more than obvious. However, Google’s algorithm should take care of you and offer ads that perform the best. Also, you have the option of pinning the titles you want Google to use more for the RSAs.

How to prepare?

Give Google everything it needs

Use all fifteen headlines and the four descriptions. It will give you the most effective combinations. Use a variation of copies to prevent Google from using repetitive combinations – and you don’t want that, do you?

Know your audience

When writing a copy, customize it for your audience. You can also use Dynamic Location Insertion and Dynamic Keyword Insertion in your headlines which help you by using the location and the keywords that triggered an ad.

In conclusion, there is not much you can do except prepare. Keep your ad accounts organized and updated, check your ETAs before July 2022, do your research –  and hope for the best.

Google is renaming Google My Business

Switches to Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile will be the new name of what we knew as Google My Business. The reason for this, according to Google, is to “keep things simple”. We will, however, need to wait for simplicity for a couple of months until Google My Business is out of business.

Google says that businesses with single listings should be using this new place while letting the bigger businesses deal with Google My Business  – which is also getting a makeover and is to be called “Business Profile Manager”.

For a while now, Google was letting business manage their individual listings in the actual search results or Google maps, but now would like businesses with single listings to use Search or Maps for their management, and not the Google my Business. Why you might ask? Well, because the new and improved “Business Profile Manager” will be primarily supporting those businesses with multiple locations.

What’s new?

In the upcoming months, we will be introduced to new changes in the old Google My Business – hint: it’s not only getting a new name. You will have the possibility to claim and verify your Google Business Profile directly in Google Search and Google Maps, Call History will now be available in US and Canada, and you will have the option of Messaging being done from Google search – along with controlling message receipts. Google Ads will also let you plan your Local campaign budgets using Performance Planner with which you can see forecasts for your campaign, explore outcomes, manage budgets, and more.









Google releases November 2021 spam update

The rollout for this Google search algorithm update will take about a week

Google has released a new algorithm update, targeted specifically to search spam and it should take about a week for a full rollout. The announcement was made via Twitter saying it is a part of their regular work to improve results, but there wasn’t much more information. Google wasn’t so specific in explaining if this is connected to links, content, or other forms of spam, so they took the opportunity to link to the high-level Google webmaster guidelines.

Why is this important?

Spam updates target specific guideline violations which could affect your ranking or traffic. They are usually designed to cherry-pick low-quality websites that are violating Google’s best practice guidelines  – so, actually listening to their advice and going through the guidelines does sound like a good idea. However, if you noticed some changes with your website traffic – you may have been impacted with the new November 2021 update, but give it some time and wait until the update finishes rolling out, and then check if there are changes you need to make. If you need help – you can always contact us here.

Google’s Policy Center Update Makes It Easier For Publishers to Review and Monitor Policy Violations

This week, Google introduced us to their new update on the Policy center – the centralized hub to review and monitor policy violations and appeals which helps ensure publishers have the information they need to monetize their inventory and remain policy compliant.

With the new update, users are being introduced to the ability to report the number of ad requests affected by policy issues, as well as to the advanced filters for better understanding, prioritizing, and resolving issues.

What’s New?

The new update came with improved health summary and robust filtering among other things. The improved account health summary provides a quick overview of the total number of sites and apps with issues, highlighting the issues that are a “Must Fix” – which will come in handy when prioritizing the issues that need attention. You can also see the impact on ads serving for any page where ads have been disabled or restricted.

With the new Robust filtering option, you can now filter the tables using single or multiple columns – like all issues reported that are a “must Fix”. You can also download a list of issues as a CSV file. Issues across sites and apps are now a part of a single issue table and there is a new aggregate column introduced – “Ad requests – last 7 days” – that helps publishers understand the impact of each issue and prioritize them accordingly.

What’s Next?

Google says more changes are on the way, which means more ways to solve issues faster. One of them should be the ability to take screenshots of issues in the Policy center –  that should help you exactly where the issue is and give you the context to fix it quickly.

Instagram Opens Stories Link Sticker To All Users

Good things happen to those who wait! Last week, Instagram introduced an option called “Sticker link” that can be used by anyone – even users with less than 10,000 followers – which is a huge boost for small business owners, retail businesses, or social justice organizations, for example. This feature lets you link out to third- party sites, stories, products and a whole lot more via the Stories option in the app.

Up until recently, the “Swipe up” option on Instagram has only been available to verified users and those who met the 10,000 followers threshold. Finally, after years of lobbying and feeling left out, small business owners can use their social media to its full potential – and just in time for the holiday season!

How to use the Sticker link option on Instagram:

After you have uploaded content to your story, select the sticker tool from the top navigation bar. Then, tap the “Link” sticker to add your desired link and tap “Done.” Just like with the other stickers, you can place this one wherever you want on your story and choose color variations.

Why is this important?

If you use it wisely, a social media strategy can bring more clients and ultimately increase your profit – and the “Sticker link” can help you do just that. So, be sure to incorporate it as a part of your content strategy.

Facebook Announces Re-Brand Under the Name ‘Meta’

Facebook has experienced its fair share of scrutiny over the past year, and now, the social media giant is looking to move past the controversy by announcing some pretty major news – the company is rebranding and changing its name to Meta.

For those wondering, “why Meta?,” according to founder Mark Zuckerberg’s official founder’s letter posted to Facebook, the new name represents “an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build.”

A press release added that “Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.”

“The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.”

For marketing professionals panicking about what this means for their Facebook and Instagram ads, don’t worry. The name change will not apply to individual platforms owned by Meta (previously known as Facebook), only the parent company that owns them. Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp will all keep their names and branding.

How Google Reacted

Once the news dropped yesterday, Google reacted pretty quickly, with the search engine ranking news and content for Meta almost immediately.

Even Google staff like John Mueller and Danny Sullivan commented about it over on Twitter:

That’s pretty much all we know right now about this big re-brand. You can learn more about the new direction the company is taking at https://about.facebook.com/meta.