1. Wix Site Inspection Tool Integrates Google Search Console – Knowing whether your pages have been crawled (discovered by Google) or indexed (stored in Google’s index), or whether your structured data markup is valid, for example, can help you fine-tune your online presence and make large leaps in search visibility. 

Google has always provided this information via Search Console, its platform for measuring search traffic and performance. To make those insights and tools more accessible to all business owners and SEO professionals, Wix now offers an approachable way to monitor and understand your site’s issues and indexing status at scale. 

The Wix Site Inspection tool enables you to keep an eye on your site’s technical health, mobile usability, rich result eligibility, and more, without having to pull the data manually or leave the Wix dashboard.

The tool will report any index status that Google is reporting, sometimes with easier language to understand. For example, it could be “crawled but not indexed” or “blocked by robots.txt” etc. Each index status detail will have a “learn more” link to an article explaining it and mentioning the common reasons why it could happen, with links to more relevant explanations. We also tell the users exactly what app and type of page each URL is so they can easily know where they need to take action.

With this tool, users can debug any issue that they would get if they manually used Search Console’s inspect URL tool. Users can understand the index status of their pages in Google and the specific reason for it. For each issue, we have additional resources to help guide users. These articles provide in depth explanations about each response, the possible reasons for it and how to fix it. Users will also be able to debug their mobile readiness and their structure data status.

The value of Wix is that it enables businesses to focus on doing business without having to deal with the underlying technology.

Click here to learn more on how to get started with Wix Site Inspection tool.

2. Google: Duplicate Content In Business Profile Posts Is Spam – Google added a line to its Business Profile posts content policy section cautioning users to avoid posting duplicate content.

According to the update, duplicate content in posts published by Google Business Profiles is now considered spam. Google is sending a clear message that it wants businesses to post unique content.

In addition, it sounds like Google wants businesses to limit their use of logos. Putting a logo on every photo, for example, may get you in trouble. The best way to stay within the new guidelines is to ensure every post published by your Google Business Profile is unique.

Click here to read the complete content policy.

3. LinkedIn Lets You Add Clickable Links To Photo Posts – LinkedIn rolled out a new feature that allows users to add external links to photos shared in posts as stickers. You can add link stickers to your photos and videos via the post creation tools in the LinkedIn mobile app. You cannot add link stickers through the desktop interface. However, users on any platform can see and click on the links when they see the posts in their feed. 

Link stickers are rolling out to users in phases, which means some people will have access to it before others. When you’re eligible to use it, you’ll see a chain link icon button when creating a post in the LinkedIn mobile app.

4. IndexNow attributed for 7% URL Clicks On Bing – Fabrice Canel, Principal Product Manager at Microsoft Bing  told Search Engine Land that 7-percent of all the new URLs clicked in Bing Search in the past month were sourced from the IndexNow protocol. And more than 16 million websites are using IndexNow, publishing over 1.2 billion URLs per day to the IndexNow API.

IndexNow provides a method for website owners to instantly inform the supported search engines about the latest content changes on their website. 

The IndexNow plugin was released by Microsoft back on Jan 5, 2022 and was covered in Episode#90. It was also covered in Episode#91 when it added support for Yandex – the russian search engine. It is unclear if IndexNow still sends data to Yandex now that there is a sanction on Russia since the Ukraine invasion.

5. Google: Clicking On Your Site In Google Search Won’t Change Your Rankings – One of the oldest myths in the Google SEO-verse is that clicking on your search results in Google Search will help you rank better. However, Google does not and has never used click data for ranking purposes. So someone asked John Mueller of Google the other day if clicking on my own link doesn’t help but does it hurt? What if I get an army of people clicking on your site in Google Search daily, will that lead to some Google penalty?

The answer is no, it does not hurt either. It does not hurt or help to have people clicking on your site in Google Search to try to manipulate Google’s rankings in a positive or negative manner for that site. Google has said it countless times, CTR does not impact rankings and bot clicks don’t either.

6. Google Now Officially Supports GTIN12 Property – Even though the GTIN12 property was always supported but Google, it was not clearly mentioned in the documentation until now. Google also clarified that you can also use the generic gtin property for all GTINs, but they recommend that you use the most specific one if possible.

So what is GTIN? GTIN, or a Global Trade Item Number, is an internationally recognized system for identifying products. It brought together several systems to ensure they all adhere to a common structure. GTINs can be 8, 12, 13, or 14 digits long. They are a numerical representation of the product’s barcode. Different types of GTIN exist depending on where in the world the product comes from and the type of product.  The four different types of GTIN in use are:

  • GTIN-8 – used mostly for EAN-8 barcodes
  • GTIN-12 – used mostly for UPC barcodes
  • GTIN-13 – used mostly for ISBN, JAN, and EAN-13 barcodes
  • GTIN-14 – this is for wholesale or multipack products

All GTINs, regardless of the number of digits, have a similar structure. The structure is Company Prefix, Item Reference, and a Check Digit. In GTIN-14 there is an additional packaging level indicator to indicate whether the product is an item or a case.

Where GTIN-8, GTIN-12, and GTIN-13 numbers are represented as GTIN-14 (the main data structure), left-justified zeros pad out the number.

For example, the GTIN-12 number 012345678905 becomes 00012345678905 in GTIN-14 format. Two additional zeros are added to the left of the number to bring it from 12 characters up to 14.

Many comparison shopping engines, including Google and Amazon, use GTINs. They keep large databases containing almost all the GTINs that exist in the world.

When you upload a product to one of these platforms through your data feed, the product must have a GTIN.

If you don’t include a GTIN or you include the wrong one, the platform is likely to reject the product.

Shopping platforms like Google Shopping and Amazon Marketplace benefit from GTINs in several ways:

  • GTINs help make more relevant matches between a user’s search and the products available
  • GTIN’s also help search engines and shopping comparison platforms to compare products
  • They can also offer the user a more feature rich shopping experience, as GTINs enable them to use product data in ad visuals

Consumers also benefit when vendors, search engines, and comparison shopping engines use GTINs:

  • They get better product comparisons to help them find the right product, the right seller, and the right price
  • They see more relevant results when searching for a product
  • They see more relevant ads in non-shopping environments like Facebook (Facebook and other platforms use the browsing habits of users to determine the best products to display in ads)

As a seller, you also get benefits from using GTINs. Finding the right GTINs can sometimes be tricky, but it is worth the effort. The reasons for this include:

  • You will be able to submit your product feed to a higher number of platforms
  • You should see conversions increase because your products will appear in more relevant search results and ads
  • You can compete more effectively as your products will be in the comparison mix

In some cases, you may have a product that does not have a GTIN. Examples include one-off products like artwork, handicrafts, or vintage products. Most platforms have procedures in place to deal with these situations. On Google Shopping, for example, there is an Identifier Exists field. You can set this to false if there is no GTIN.

7. TikTok Launches New Ad Targeting Transparency Tools – TikTok is giving users more understanding of how their personal data is being used for ad targeting in the app through the ‘About this Ad’ info panel. This info panel lists all of the different targeting factors that TikTok has used to display each ad to each user.  You’ll also be able to switch off ad personalization based on third-party data – though whether it’s on or off, TikTok will still be able to use your in-app activity in its ad targeting process.

This update moves TikTok more into line with other social apps, which offer similar ad transparency features – though it’s also worth noting that TikTok has been working to continue utilizing personalized ad tracking, in various ways, despite regulations and restrictions around such getting tighter in certain regions.

Last month, TikTok was forced to suspend a planned change to its privacy policy relating to the use of user insights for targeted advertising, amid questions over whether the change is actually legal under the latest EU provisions for data protection and control.

The planned update would have seen the app do away with asking users for their consent to run personalized ads, with TikTok seeking to process such data under what’s essentially a legal loophole in this respect, via the provision for ‘legitimate interest’. By implying that personalized ads fall under legitimate interest grounds, TikTok was seeking to circumvent the EU ePrivacy Directive, but authorities called for a review of the process before it could go into effect.

In other words, while on one hand TikTok’s looking to be more upfront about how your personal information is being used for ad targeting, on the other, it’s seeking to avoid restrictions on such, through questionable means.

8. TikTok Is Rolling Out ‘Order Center’ eCommerce Tracking Hub – TikTok is a bigger push on in-app shopping, with some users now seeing a new ‘Order Center’ panel in the app, which tracks any products that you’ve purchased, looked at, or even, potentially, may be interested in, in the app.

The new ‘Order Center’ is now appearing for some users alongside their ‘Edit Profile’ option in the app. Tap on it and you’ll be taken through to a dedicated eCommerce display, where you can track all aspects of your TikTok shopping experience, including payment details, items you’ve tagged, recommendations, order status, etc.

TikTok continues to find ways to make their user experience better, Facebook on the other hand had to kill their live shopping experience last week since it never took off. 

9. Instagram Is Adding A Native Post Scheduling Option Within The App – Instagram is developing a native post scheduling process within the app, which will eventually enable users to schedule all of their posts, including Reels and Stories, to go out at set times. 

Up until now, the ability to schedule a post in Instagram was available via the Creator Studio, and now Instagram is slowly rolling out this feature natively on the app. This means, you no longer need to jump hoops (create a post and then send it to your desktop, login to Creator Studio and schedule posts).

10. Instagram Shared “How Instagram Suggests New Content” – So how does Instagram select which additional content to show you in your Home feed? Instagram’s post recommendations fall into two categories – ‘Connected’ and ‘Unconnected’, with the latter being the posts that Instagram’s systems find and highlight, based on your interests.

In both cases, Instagram is looking at the engagement data (Like & Save) for ranking. 

While this is not anything new, however it is good to see that Instagram is officially admitting that they use engagement data for ranking.

If you want to geek out on all the other technical details then click here.

11. Meta Advantage Ad Suite Now Supports All Businesses & Launches Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns  – As per the announcement posted on Meta’s website, Small businesses can now use Advantage+ creative and Advantage audience to create ads through their Facebook page. When using Advantage+ creative, ads will automatically adjust for each person who views them. Meta will show individual users the version of the ad they’re most likely to respond to. Advantage audience allows businesses to target ads to relevant people more effectively. Meta will create personalized audiences for serving ads using details on the business’s Facebook page.

Meta also announced the launch of Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns. Per Meta “Advantage+ shopping campaigns help advertisers get smarter, faster on which campaigns are converting. It eliminates the manual steps of ad creation and automates up to 150 creative combinations at once. This helps advertisers more quickly learn what ads are working, while making the most of their advertising budget.

Click here if you are not familiar with “Meta Advantage.” The rollout of Meta Advantage was covered in Episode#101.