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Search Updates September 2021


Blog Article

Find the September 2021 Search Updates below, in both slider and blog formats.

The future of attribution is data-driven

Google has announced they’re moving away from last-click to data-driven attribution (DDA) for new Google Ads conversion actions.

What does this mean?

Currently, when a user buys via a Google ad and purchases, by default 100% of that sale gets attributed to the last click.

However, with the move to DDA, Google is using data to determine how much of each touch-point deserves attribution to the sale.

For example, if a user was to search ‘trainers’ and clicked on a JD Sports ad but didn’t buy, but then later searched ‘JD Sports’, clicked on an ad and purchased, with last-click, 100% on the sale would be attributed to ‘JD Sports’. However, with DDA it may be split trainers: 0.6% and JD Sports: 0.4%.

What’s the impact of this?

Data-driven attribution will overall be more accurate by taking into account the touchpoints in the build-up to the conversion.

It may also show advertisers that some keywords are actually playing a bigger role in the journey than you ever realised in the path to purchase and will be able to optimise accordingly with the data that DDA is providing.

Say goodbye to expanded text ads

From 30th June 2022, you will only be able to create Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) with Google. This is their latest move to introduce automation into search.

What does our expert team say on this? 👇

“This doesn’t really come as a surprise. ETAs have been hidden in new accounts for some time now in favour of RSAs – it’s just another step towards automation from Google. So unless you’re not already using RSAs then it’s unlikely it’ll have a huge impact on the way you manage campaigns.

You can still pin headlines in RSAs for anyone who wants to retain more control over what ad copy is being shown. But otherwise, we see strong performance from them and they’ve been receiving the bulk of impressions over ETAs for quite some time – so phasing ETAs out has been expected.”

GOOGLE ADS: Phrase and broad match keywords UPDATE

Google has announced that it will prioritise identical keyword results to search queries.

Before this update, Google would find the best results based upon keywords and broad match eligible keywords, however, as long as a match is eligible, Google will prioritise exact matches.

Google Example:

Let’s say someone searches for “sushi delivery near me”, and you have the broad match keywords sushi delivery and sushi delivery near me.

Before this update, both of these keywords would be eligible to serve. Now, the keyword “sushi delivery near me” is preferred because it is identical to the search term.

Google now using ‘as is’ title tags 87% of the time

Back in August Google announced it was using a new system for generating titles in SERPs.

Back in August Google announced it was using a new system for generating titles in SERPs. 

What followed was some negative feedback in the SEO community with an HMRC example of where this could go wrong being widely shared on social media.

Google have now given an update stating that “Title elements are now used around 87% of the time, rather than around 80% before,” 

The company listed the following as common reasons why it won’t use your HTML title tag:

  • Non-complete titles 
  • Missing titles 
  • Inaccurate titles 
  • Micro-boilerplate titles 
  • Too long
  • Stuffed with keywords 

Google is giving searchers greater visibility of their results

Google is now giving searchers greater visibility of their results by providing information on why the URL is displaying, when the site was first indexed, how secure your connection to the site is plus why the page ranked.

We’re getting massive insights here with Google sharing this information and is just another step to reinforce trust with users.

In some results that we’ve come across, Google has explained that links to other sites in different languages have helped a page rank.

Want to find this information? Just click the three dots next to the site URL in the SERPs. 

Google Page experience update fully rolled out

Google page experience has been fully rolled out as of the 2nd September and this is definitely something to pay attention to. 

Page experience ranking signals: 

⚡️ Core Web Vitals 

⚡️ Mobile-Friendly 

⚡️ HTTPS

⚡️ No intrusive interstitials

It is important for your brand and SEO purposes to work on making sure all four factors rank in your favour.

Google search console now provides more granularity in error reporting

From September 29th, Google search console is now providing more granularity in reporting for product structured data items. 

This change is important as it provides us with more actionable errors and areas to improve upon. 

Google also shared that this update could be the cause of a spike or decline in errors and affect your report data. We recommend you address the revised errors asap. 

Google to share more search term data with advertisers

Google plans to start sharing more query data with advertisers moving forward for Search and Dynamic Search Ad Campaigns, including historical data for queries that received impressions but no clicks.

To ensure privacy is maintained, advertisers will not receive all data however we do know that more data will be shown and in some cases up to 6.5%. This will help you identify relevant keyword themes making optimising your website easier and data-driven. 

Be warned though, as much as this is great for advertisers, Google is removing all search term data pre-September 1, 2020, so make sure you’ve downloaded your data. 

Plus, in the coming months, Google also plans to give you even more resources to help advertisers understand the search query terms that drive performance. 

Google is working on indexing Instagram and TikTok videos

According to a new report, Google is negotiating deals with Instagram and TikTok to index their content in search results. 

If this was to go ahead, content from both platforms would become available in search results similar to how tweets are shown in search results. 

What does this mean? 

This would provide your brand with more opportunities to be discovered from the masses of content you’ve supplied on both channels. 

Google introduces about this advertiser pages on ads 

Google has introduced ‘about this advertiser’ pages on Google ads to give more transparency to users. 

Users will be able to see who the advertiser is, links to their website and see all ads shown in the past 30 days. 

The information on these pages comes from information within their Google accounts. 

Users will also be able to report ad policy violations. 

Google ads launches new reports to help understand campaign spend

Budget behaviour in Google Ads can be hard to understand, especially daily budgets. 

Google have now launched a new report that highlights the following: 

DAILY SPEND

This could be up to twice your average daily budget on days where ads are more likely to get clicks and conversions. 

MONTHLY SPENDING LIMIT:

Your account won’t be charged more than your average daily budget multiplied by the number of days in a month. 

MONTHLY FORECAST:

Includes cost to date and any budget changes you may have made in between. 

Google search redesign using MUM algorithm 

Google announced MUM update back in June 2021 with the aim of delivering improved search results. 

The latest features released include: 

Larger visual browsing

Google has rolled out a new, more “visually browsable” interface for some search results pages. You can see them for some searches that contain a keyword plus the term “idea” after it (e.g. garden ideas)

Varied media results

MUM will be able to deliver search results in the form of images, videos and podcasts. 

Shoppable search

For apparel-related queries, Google is providing users with an easy to use shopping experience, powered by Google Shopping Graph. 

You’ll be able to scroll through items and purchase seamlessly. 

In-Person at Home Shopping

Google has added a new feature to shopping which easily lets you check to see if nearby stores have the product you want on the shelves so you can quickly pop to the shops without fear of the item being unavailable. 

Html title tag updates

Google announced recently that it is using as-is title tags 87% of the time now, up 7% than before, and the reasons it doesn’t use them are as follows:

  • Non-complete titles 
  • Missing titles 
  • Inaccurate titles 
  • Micro-boilerplate titles 
  • Too long

  • Stuffed with keywords 

Google previously displayed titles relating to the search query, however, with the update this is no longer the case and Google will use as much data from the webpage as possible to provide relevant titles. 

Google simplifies display campaigns

To simplify ads, Google has combined the flexibility of standard display campaigns and the automation of smart display campaigns into one easy to use single display campaign. 

With the new display campaign experience, you’ll be able to:

  • Choose the level of automation 
  • Include optimised targeting 
  • Use manual audience-finding 

P.s. Existing smart and standard display campaigns aren’t affected by this new feature.

Google introduces its shopping graph

Google wants to be the middleman between shoppers and retailers and to do so, has introduced its shopping graph. 

In an attempt to help people discover, learn about and shop, shopping graph is a dynamic, AI-enhanced, comprehensive real-time dataset on products across the world. 

People shop more than a billion times per day on Google and this is another feature to connect sellers and shoppers. 

Google has also eliminated commission fees and has made it free for sellers on Google. 

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