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Google Finishes Rolling Out Local Search Update

author image Written by: Rob May           Categories - In The News

Local Search Update Helps Google Relate Search Terms to Concepts

In the digital age, there’s always a first time for everything. In an unprecedented move, Google officially confirmed an update to its local search algorithm this week which began rolling out globally in early November. So, what exactly is this update and what does it mean? For starters, the update, which is appropriately called the November 2019 Local Search Update, makes use of neural matching when generating local search results. Simply put, neural matching allows Google to better understand how words are related to concepts and understand the meaning behind users’ search queries and provide the most relevant local businesses in results – even if the keywords in the query are not actually included in a business’ name and description. https://twitter.com/searchliaison/status/1201549327144898567 “The use of neural matching means that Google can do a better job going beyond the exact words in business name or description to understand conceptually how it might be related to the words searchers use and their intents,” said Google Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, on Twitter. One of the most significant impacts of this update – which is being launched globally across all countries and languages – is that now, certain business listings will appear in search results that they wouldn’t have previously shown up in.

What Is Neural Matching?

Described by Google as a “super-synonym system,” neural matching is an AI-based system that Google began using in 2018. Its primary function is to help Google understand how words are related to concepts. So, for example, if someone were to search for “Why does my TV look strange?,” neural matching helps Google comprehend that this search query is related to the concept of “the soap opera effect,” and provide search results about the soap opera effect, even though these words weren’t actually used in the search query.

How Will This Affect Businesses?

Google wasn’t clear about how drastically local search results will be affected by this recent update, but indicated on Twitter that the use of neural matching in local search will not require any changes from businesses. Those looking to optimize for local search should continue to follow Google’s tried and true advice, which is to:

  • Use Google My Business
  • Update your business information regularly
  • Enter complete and accurate information about your business
  • Verify your business location
  • Provide accurate, up to date hours of operation
  • Manage and respond to reviews
  • Add photos

Another important thing to note about this update is that although it has already finished rolling out, Google has noted that local search results as they are currently being displayed are not set in stone and just like all searches, can change over time.

Rob May

Google Updated Performance Max Campaigns

04/28/2022

Performance Max campaigns in Google Ads have been updated with three new features, Google announced earlier this week. Among the additions are New customer acquisition goals, new Performance Max insights reports, and a one-click upgrade tool for Smart Shopping. Let’s dig right in and see how these features can help drive your business!

New Customer Acquisition Goals

You can now use your data to help Google identify (and target) new customers with PMax campaigns. This feature should help you identify who’s a new sure, who’s an old one, which will definitely help with the strategy. There are a few options available:

  • Customer Match Lists – When first-party data is uploaded (name, email, phone, country, postal code), Google gives a match rate that shows how many of your customers have a matching Google account that can be used for targeting. Much cooler than third-party cookies, eh?
  • Conversion Tags – using them might help the new feature cut out people that aren’t new
  • Google’s Autodetection Method – Besides the previously seen Google detected purchase conversion tracking in Smart Shopping, Performance Max also has new machine learning models that predict whether a user is a new customer or an existing customer.

Performance Max Insights Reports

Photo source: support.google.com

If you’re looking for more information on campaign performance, you will be pleased with this new feature. There are two new additions to the insights page:

  • Asset Audience Insights – this will tell you how text, images and videos ‘resonate with specific customer segments’. That means you will be able to see what your customers engage more with, with what content.  Using those insights, you can customize your marketing strategy!
  • Diagnostic Insights – these insights will show you all the issues that might prevent your ads from showing. It will also give you some suggestions on how to fix it.

One-click Upgrade Tool For Smart Shopping

This will begin rolling out soon, Google said, and Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will no longer exist. You’ll get notified when the tool becomes available and after you upgrade it, a new Performance Max campaign will be generated and keep the information from previous campaigns.

Here’s how to upgrade:

 

Why Is This Important?

You already know that tracking everything is the key to success. Well, one of the keys. These additional insights will not only help you keep track of your customers’ engagement and preferences, but will help you develop and customize your marketing strategy. Like it or not, Performance Max is alive and kicking and adapting to it sounds like the smartest choice.

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TikTok More Popular Than Google In 2021

12/30/2021

For the first time in the last 20 years, Google wasn’t the most popular web address in a year – the title now belongs to TikTok.

The social video app owned by ByteDance has been a key digital platform for a while now. Gaining popularity during the pandemic, TikTok is now an opinion-maker of its kind and a go-to solution for targeting the younger generation, Gen Z.

According to Cloudfare, TikTok gained (and remained) number one in the global ranking on August 10, 2021. Before that, it was a back and forth battle with Google, but since then, the video app has mostly taken the lead.

Even though Google managed to come first again a few times, it didn’t win for the holidays. On Black Friday, TikTok rose again – a key fact for e-commerce businesses that rely on Google during the holidays shopping spree.

In comparison, TikTok was number seven in ranking after Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Amazon in 2020.

The app now has more than 1 billion monthly active users and doubled down on privacy, ad measurement and commerce, so it isn’t surprising that brands and marketers are getting more comfortable with advertising on it. The fact that the number of consumers exposed to ads nearly doubled, going to 37% this year, also helps.

After managing to surpass the potential ban in the U.S last year, TikTok continued attracting users and gaining more downloads. It became the first non-Facebook mobile app to surpass 3 billion downloads.

While staying in touch with its users and adapting to changes such as the return of longer videos, TikTok might have the potential to become a leader in the advertisement in the future.

The Year’s Winners By Cloudfare

Top 10 — Most popular domains (late) 2021

  1.  TikTok.com
  2. Google.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Microsoft.com
  5. Apple.com
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Netflix.com
  8. YouTube.com
  9. Twitter.com
  10. WhatsApp.com

Top 10 — Most popular social media domains (late) 2021

  1. TikTok.com
  2. Facebook.com
  3. YouTube.com
  4. Twitter.com
  5. Instagram.com
  6. Snapchat.com
  7. Reddit.com
  8. Pinterest.com
  9. LinkedIn.com
  10. Quora.com

 

 

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