What will you find in our Spring 2022 edition?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Google completes desktop page experience rollout
IndexNow integration grows in popularity
Google test their own Buying Guides in the mobile SERPs
Paid Media (PPC & Paid Social)
Performance Max campaigns gain new updates
Meta is adding automation to Facebook Ads
Digital PR, Link Building & Content Marketing
AI generated content is ‘spam’ and against our guidelines, confirms Google
Don’t discount the value of syndicated links from digital PR campaigns, BrightonSEO experiment suggests
How allowing user comments on your blogs could help them perform better in search engines
Google has recently completed the rollout of its ‘Desktop Page Experience’ update, which focuses on the user experience of any desktop version of a web page. A similar update for mobile was rolled out back in June 2021, but now we also have the extension of this algorithm for desktop pages too.
This is very much the same as the current mobile page experience report, in that it includes measures such as Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Cumulative Layout Shift, HTTPS Security and First Input Delay. However, the only difference is that this desktop update does not check for ‘mobile friendliness’ on desktop devices, which makes sense! In laymen’s terms, these metrics are about understanding how users perceive the experience of different web pages and it considers aspects such as page load speed, the presence of intrusive ads and if content jumps around on the page as it loads.
Google have said this update (in most cases) won’t lead to drastic changes, and that page experience remains just one of many ranking factors. So while it’s always wise to improve page experience on your website, there is no need to panic in most cases.
IndexNow is a ping protocol that allows webmasters to instantly inform search engines when a new piece of content goes live on their site. Since its launch in October 2021, there are reported to be millions of websites now taking advantage of this feature. ‘Rank Math’ and ‘All in One WordPress SEO’ are amongst two of the newest plugins with the IndexNow functionality, whilst the ever-growing CMS ‘Duda’ has also jumped on the API indexing bandwagon.
Google are still in the testing stage of this integration, so it’s a smart move by Bing to have the IndexNow functionality set up and integrated before them. This could mean that Bing will show newer, fresher and more up-to-date results in the search results than Google.
Google have started to test their ‘buying guides’ in the mobile search results, which display a summary of the information found across multiple pages in the search results. This information compares key features of a product, such as the various types, brands, sizes and materials.
As Google creates more and more rich snippets to pull information out from websites and onto their search engine results page, eCommerce and affiliate websites are likely to see a reduction in the number of organic clicks through to their buying guides, category pages and product pages as a result. However, there is also an opportunity to show your company name within the ‘brands’ tab. So, for some websites, it could mean more exposure to their products and brand.
Currently, it’s far from perfect – one example provided by George Nguyen shows how the query “Baseball bats” returned information on the anatomy of a bat (the animal). However, the feature is overall useful, engaging and informative for making a purchasing decision.
Performance Max, Google’s most automated campaign type, will get a new optimisation feature geared towards generating new business. This will be in the form of a new customer acquisition goal that will be used to help identify potential new customers that haven’t made a purchase before. Customer match lists such as emails, names, phone numbers can be uploaded and matched to real Google account users for targeting.
Google’s autodetect can automatically create an audience list based on up to the last 540 days of campaign activity and tracked purchases. This is the easiest method for distinguishing new customers from existing customers but may be less comprehensive since users can remove cookies and opt out. Conversion tags for purchases will help identify and exclude previous purchasers providing Google with 1st party signals that you to target prospecting customers.
From our experience, Performance Max campaigns, while automated, have performed extremely well. The more features added to the campaign type, the more opportunity advertisers and digital marketers will have in making the jump.
Google is making it easier to find prospecting customers through automation along with added insight that could help troubleshoot any issues along the way. While the thought of automation was considered intimidating to begin with due to less control, the more features that Google provide, the easier Performance Max campaigns will be to manage as time goes on.
Automated ad products use machine learning to increase the performance of your advertising, for example by identifying the most important audiences or ad placements automatically. They also make campaign optimisation even easier, so you can focus on managing your business instead of worrying about campaigns. With Facebook’s new Meta Advantage, we will see more ads becoming automated via audience expansion, placements, and creatives.
“Meta Advantage products aim to provide advertisers with the following benefits:
• Optimization: Achieve better campaign results and sustain them over time.
• Personalization: Match the right people with the right ad at the right time, to create and forge a deeper connection with audiences.
• Efficiency: Save time and effort on campaigns—freeing you up for strategic, big-picture work. Automation seeks to create an easy path for advertisers to simplify decision-making, ad creation and optimization, ultimately leading to better performance for businesses of all sizes.”
Adding automation to paid advertising isn’t new but we tend to see this more on Google than we do on Facebook. Having the opportunity to automate ads will help save time; however, the best feature about this is having the option to select the areas you would like automation to take place giving you more control in the areas you need.
For example, if you would only like the audience to be automated for you then you can select that within a manual campaign. With Advantage+, you will be able to automate entire campaign flows or a certain aspect depending on what you would like automated. This is great at speeding up the process of ad creation and hopefully we will see enhanced options and features in the future.
Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that content that has been generated automatically via digital AI writing tools is considered spam and as such is against the search engine’s Webmaster Guidelines. In response to a question about AI tools, Mueller highlighted that content produced this way falls under the category of ‘auto-generated’ content, meaning it could result in a penalty against any website caught doing it.
However, it is not yet clear whether Google’s algorithms are currently able to distinguish between content written by a human and content written via AI software. Content that is part written by AI, but edited and improved upon by humans, may also be harder yet to detect. However, Google’s Webmaster team is able to take action on any content that they see as being automatically generated, meaning there’s a very real risk to your website’s SEO performance if you decide to go down this route.
This month heralded the return of BrightonSEO, the leading search marketing conference, where some of the brightest minds in marketing meet to collaborate and share ideas. One interesting talk on ‘The True Value of Syndicated Links’ included an experiment which suggests that digital PR campaigns with lots of syndicated links may actually be more beneficial for SEO.
Syndicated links are when publishers include links in content across a number of their online platforms. For example, regional publications are often owned by the same publisher, and it is common for those publishers to release the same article across several its news websites. If that article contains a link, then that link is usually carried across all of the websites that featured the article. However, there has been debate in the SEO community for years about the value of these links, with many believing that a group of syndicated links are no more valuable for SEO than a single link on an equivalent website due to how Google’s algorithms work.
However, this study suggests possible additional value in syndicated links. It analysed similar PR campaigns – some of which achieved lots of syndicated links, and others which achieved none. It then looked at the results and found that campaigns with syndicated links had more ranking keywords and a better average keyword position. This indicates that campaigns with syndicated links could support strong SEO performance, and highlights the importance of considering this SEO value when evaluating the success of PR.
Many content creators could be missing a trick if they’re publishing blogs or content assets on their website with user comments disabled, suggests a recent intervention from Google. A spokesperson for the leading search engine said that moderated user comments can add SEO value to a webpage and assist with search rankings – but only if they’re relevant to the subject matter of that page. This is because subject relevant user comments can help Google to better understand the context of the content and decide which keywords it should rank for in the SERPs.
However, subject irrelevant user comments and comment spam could have the opposite impact, by confusing Google’s crawler’s interpretation of what the page is about. As a site owner, you are responsible for the content on your site, even if it has been posted by a third party as a user comment. For these reasons, it is normally best to only enable user comments on your content where you are also able to monitor and moderate it.
We’ve always got some new blog content to cast your eyes over. Our Koozians have been busy putting blog content together, so you have a great source of information for any SEO, Paid, Content or PR queries and questions. We’ve recently published the following:
Here at Koozai HQ we are very excited to announce that we are teaming up with UK Construction Week next month to offer a free, exclusive SEO webinar for construction industry professionals.
Delivered by our SEO and digital marketing experts, the webinar will be live at 11am on Wednesday 18th May and is designed to provide takeaway tips that you can implement yourself. It will cover what SEO is, how it works, where to start with keyword research, important technical SEO fundamentals and how to optimise content for search engines.
Our lovely Owner & Director, Sophie Roberts, and Senior Organic Data Specialist, Gary Hainsworth, will be leading the webinar titled “SEO Fundamentals: How to be found on Google”, alongside the rest of the team. It’s a must-see for anyone in the construction industry looking to gain more relevant traffic and leads online and to find out how to get started with SEO.
Interested in attending? Click here to find out more and book a slot so that you don’t miss out!