1. Reddit Launches Reddit for Business Website – Reddit’s launched a Reddit for Business website, which provides a heap of insights, tips, and notes for prospective Reddit ad buyers, which could help them with their paid Reddit marketing. The mini-site includes usage stats, tips, case studies and educational resources to help guide you on your Reddit ads journey. In the announcement, Reddit wrote that:

90% of users trust Reddit to learn about new products and brands. For context, that’s higher than Google, Amazon, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. The communities’ trust turns into action. Redditors tend to be more informed consumers, more valuable buyers, and they go hard for their favorite brands. They’re also more likely to recommend the products they love – which never hurts

If you’re thinking about Reddit ads, it’s definitely worth a look, with the case studies, in particular, acting as a guide book, of sorts, for effective, creative Reddit marketing. Listen to the podcast to hear what I feel about Reddit Ads.

2. Instagram ‘Group Profile’ – This week, Instagram updated its group chat function and are now calling it ‘Group Profiles’. Content inside the group profile will only be visible to group members, and Collaborative Collections. Group Profiles are effectively shared profiles where you can post content for the entertainment of the group (that won’t be shared with your followers), while Collaborative Collections will enable you to save posts to a private collection within your group chat. To me, this is just the beginning of IG Group since Meta (parent company of Facebook) has realized that a lot of IG users do not use Facebook thus need a way to keep them on the platform longer.

3. GA4 Now Has A Built-In Landing Page Report – A landing page is the first page someone lands on when they visit your website. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is rolling out an out of the box functionality that allows users to generate landing reports. Before this update, which is being rolled out to users gradually, landing page reports had to be manually constructed. This was an confusing process, which required multiple clicks. 

Use the report to evaluate the effectiveness of your landing pages. The default, automated report includes metrics for Views, New Users, Average Engagement Time per Session, Conversions, and Total Revenue. However, these fields can be modified and customized to business needs.

4. Google Launches Search Status Dashboard – Google has launched a status dashboard for Google Search at status.search.google.com. The Google Search status dashboard will show you if there is an outage or issue with Google Search. Specifically, Google will confirm if there is an issue with crawling, indexing, or serving in Google Search. Google wrote, “as we head into 2023, we want to introduce another tool for the public to understand the most current status of systems which impact Search—crawling, indexing, and serving… while system disruptions are extremely rare, we want to be transparent when they do happen.”

5. Google Ads Introduces Simulation Tool For Data-Driven Attribution – Before making a purchase or completing another valuable action on your website, people may click or interact with several of your ads. Typically, all credit for the conversion is given to the last ad customers interacted with. But was it really that ad that made them decide to choose your business? Data-driven attribution gives credit for conversions based on how people engage with your various ads and decide to become your customer. It uses data from your account to determine which keywords, ads, and campaigns have the greatest impact on your business goals.

Google has already made it clear that they prefer advertisers use data-driven attribution as their preferred model. To convince Advertisers on the benefits of using Data-Driven Attribution, Google is rolling out a simulation tool for eligible advertisers that will allow them to see how automated bidding would have reacted to data-driven attribution over the last seven days. 

P.S: Google is also working to bring data-driven attribution to more advertisers and more ad types. Historically, data-driven attribution has supported Search, Shopping, Display and YouTube ads. Google is expanding its support to app conversions and will begin supporting Discovery formats (including those in Performance Max) next year.

Google claims that “Advertisers who switch to data-driven attribution from another attribution model typically see a 6% average increase in conversions.” You can read the announcement from Google here.

6. Google Ads Introduces Four New Features To The Insights Page – Google has introduced four new features to the Insights page in Google Ads – search terms insights, asset insights, audience insights, and change history insights. 

  • Search terms insights let you see what your customers are searching for without having to examine every individual search term, Google explained. By grouping these terms into broader, intent-based categories, you can easily identify which themes are most popular with your customers along with metrics like conversion performance, search volume and search volume growth.
  • Asset insights helps you learn about the creative assets that “resonate with your potential customers,” Google wrote. This is an easy way to identify highly-engaged audiences, and can be used to inform the assets and landing pages you create for these groups, or even shift your entire marketing and product strategy. Using our previous sporting goods retailer example, you might see that bicycle-related image and video creative resonates with “Green Living Enthusiasts.” Based on this insight, you can pair these assets with a landing page that prominently features your sustainability efforts, or go one step further and use the insight to build out a completely new product line, Google added.
  • Audience insights, was recently added to the account level on Google Ads. This insights page helps you understand the characteristics of the people who engaged with your business. These insights give you a better idea of what your customers care about, making it easier to tune your creative for their unique interests and traits.
  • Change history insights help you identify how changes you’ve made in your account may impact performance. When there’s a significant shift in your campaign’s key metrics, this insight can help you find out which changes you made that may have caused this shift in performance — and then figure out how to proceed.

7. Google Rolls-out December 2022 Link Spam Update – Google has rolled out a December 2022 link spam update. In the announcement, Google wrote, “Our launch today, which we refer to as the December 2022 link spam update, will take about two weeks to fully roll out. Ranking may change as spammy links are neutralized and any credit passed by these unnatural links are lost. This launch will affect all languages.

This update is leveraging Google’s SpamBrain – Google’s AI-based spam prevention system that the search company launched in 2018. SpamBrain is credited by Google for catching about six times more spam sites in 2021 than it did in 2020, reducing hacked spam by 70% and reducing gibberish spam on hosted platforms by 75%.

In the announcement, Google wrote that SpamBrain can not only “detect spam directly, it can now detect both sites buying links, and sites used for the purpose of passing outgoing links.”

To avoid getting into trouble, follow the advice from July 2021 : “Site owners should make sure that they are following the best practices on links, both incoming and outgoing. Focusing on producing high quality content and improving user experience always wins out compared to manipulating links. Promote awareness of your site using appropriately tagged links, and monetize it with properly tagged affiliate links.

8. Google Recommends You To Stop Chasing Expired & Repurpose Domains – In the SEO world, expired domains are a big thing. So much so that there are forums and secondary marketplace to buy and sell expired domains with good Domain Authority (DA). Google’s John Mueller said that using expired domains, and repurposed domains are “SEO-flotsam, index-cruft.” John went on to add that search engines have had a lot of practice with dealing with that appropriately. John went on to add that you can “build a new site if you want,” but he said, “don’t assume there’s old & tasty SEO-juice to lick up just by placing a site on an old domain.”

Back in Jan 2021, Aaseesh from the Google Webmaster Trends Analysts team said in a Google Webmaster Help thread that “Google understands when domains change ownership so it won’t necessarily rank for the queries it used to rank pre change of ownership. So if the sole purpose of buying a domain is to get search traffic from the old domain, I would suggest against doing so since there’s no benefit.”

There you go, another SEO myth busted. 

9. Google: Diverse Content Can Also Rank If You Just Write For Your Readers – Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, said on Mastodon that your content does not need to be on one topic, one niche topic, for it to rank well. You can write about diverse topics on your site. The main thing, Danny said, was that you should write content however you want for your people and not for search engines.

10. Google On Why Your Page Pops On/Off From The Search Index – When @seowolf asked John Muller what could be the reason for his page to shown in search results at a low position and then not showing up at all in search results. John responded “That can happen, and probably isn’t particularly uncommon. Things can pop into the index for a bit, and then pop out again. When things are on the edge and the system has to make a yes/no decision, sometimes it goes one way for a while, and then the other way again. The web is noisy, I think that’s fine.

Last year, John talked about “edge of indexing” – your pages are on the threshold of having enough quality to be in the Google index and not enough quality to be in the Google index. If you’re teetering on the edge of indexing, there’s always fluctuation.It basically means you need to convince Google that it’s worthwhile to index more.

What John is sharing aligns with Gary Illyes of Google shared about being on the edge of quality – if your pages disappear from Google Search and then reappear when you manually submit them to Google, that means you’re on that edge. In fact, John Mueller of Google also said that if you need to submit pages to Google manually, it is likely a sign of a quality issue with those pages.

11. Google Adds ‘Experience’ To Search Quality Raters Guidelines. EAT Becomes EEAT. – In addition to AI based ranking, Google also leverages third-party Search Quality Raters (spread out around the world and highly trained using the Search Quality Raters Guidelines) to evaluate and rate a website. So Search Quality Raters Guidelines is considered as the Google Search Bible. If you want to rank higher and better then you have to read through the guidelines and make sure you are following it.

Now. Google has updated the Google search quality raters guidelines and added a new E to E-A-T. Google is adding experience on top of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google said that trust is the most important of all four elements here. 

What is Google looking for with experience? Google said when you write the content, does that “content also demonstrate that it was produced with some degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person experienced?” Google explained that there are “some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has first-hand, life experience on the topic at hand.” 

Google shared this example, “if you’re looking for information on how to correctly fill out your tax returns, that’s probably a situation where you want to see content produced by an expert in the field of accounting. But if you’re looking for reviews of a tax preparation software, you might be looking for a different kind of information—maybe it’s a forum discussion from people who have experience with different services.”

Google said in the updated guidelines that Experience, Expertise and Authoritativeness are important concepts that can support your assessment of trust, with trust being the most important member of E-E-A-T. Google said, “trust is the most important member of the E-E-A-T family because untrustworthy pages have low E-E-A-T no matter how Experienced, Expert, or Authoritative they may seem.”

But how does “experience” differ from “expertise?” Google said, “pages that share first-hand life experience on clear “Your Money or Your Life” (YMML – pages or topics that could potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.)  topics may be considered to have high E-E-A-T as long as the content is trustworthy, safe, and consistent with well-established expert consensus. In contrast, some types of YMYL information and advice must come from experts.”

The latest (Dec 15, 2022) version of search quality raters guidelines is 176 pages long and can be found here. If reading this update is making you nauseated then reach out to us for a complimentary consultation.