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🔍 Welcome to the search portal | Search as awareness indicator

Good morning Refactual, are you looking at the big picture?

Search is undergoing a major change. Google is morphing from search engine to portal, and it will have big repercussions on the customer journey for search — and we’re not just talking about zero-click results from featured snippets. Companies need to get ready for this shift, said Jessica Bowman, CEO of In-house SEO and Search Engine Land editor at large, at SMX Advanced this month. Rather than retreat from SEO, Jessica says companies should ingrain SEO know-how and practices well beyond their SEO team. That includes expanding writing and technical competencies and taking advantage of big data to inform your content strategy and enhance the user experience — particularly from a mobile vantage.  

In line with this is the need to think about SEO as part of a bigger strategy. “As the consumer journey becomes ever more circuitous and complex, marketers need to think and act holistically in their media planning and ROI/ROAS analysis,” said contributing editor Greg Sterling in a look at why search needs to be combined with awareness for maximum impact. Direct-to-consumer brands have excelled at this, understanding that they can, in part, measure the effectiveness of marketing on other channels by changes in search traffic.

Goodbye, preferred domain. Google is no longer supporting the “preferred domain’ setting in Google Search Console that allowed you to choose one or the other. Instead, Google says, it can pick the right one based on various signals and it will ignore your current setting. That means it’s up to you to signal through good site architecture, a sitemap, rel=”canonical” tags and 301 redirects.

In response to lyrics site Genius’ flap over Google showing unlicensed content in search results, the search giant said yesterday it will begin to include attribution to licencing partners in lyrics boxes. Google partner LyricFind seemed to take the blame for mistakenly including the Genius content that showed up on Google in its database.

More to read below, including a Pro Tip from Duane Brown on gaining insights when using automated bidding strategies.

Ginny Marvin


Pro Tip

The goal is to uncover useful data, but testing isn’t always the answer

At SMX Advanced, a session attendee asked this question: “If you work in an environment where frequent testing is the norm, how do you get over the fluctuations you’ll see due to the learning period of an automated bidding strategy and have stable performance quicker?” PPC expert and SMX Advanced speaker, Duane Brown of Take Some Risk. offered some insight into this dilemma.

“You could test less. Sometimes running six tests in a month is better than trying to run ten tests. The other option would be to figure out how you get more data. Most bidding strategies do better with more data to help Google understand what is going on. With any testing, you have to deal with fluctuations and accept that as part of doing business. Even when something fails, you would have learned something from the experiment.”

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8 free keyword research tools for SEO (that beat their paid alternatives)

Sponsored by SEO Powersuite

You don’t need to pay a fortune to find the best SEO and PPC keywords for your business. Here are 8 of the best free keyword tools, that do a great job and fit everybody’s budget.

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Search Shorts

Slow down and speed up.

Reconsideration requests slow? A few SEOs are asking Google if the process for hearing back from the search giant on a reconsideration request is slow or not. Google’s John Mueller said no, it is working as it normally does.

5 seconds until you are out. Google does not have a specific time frame in terms of seconds for when it snapshots rendered pages. But being under 5 seconds is a good idea, Mueller said.

New Google docs. Meanwhile, Google’s Martin Splitt has written up new Google documents on JavaScript and SEO related to the new evergreen GoogleBot.

What we’re reading

We’ve curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each – Online Marketing Blog

5 Ways You Might Mess up When Running SEO Split Tests – Moz

Analyzing Keywords to Prioritize the Right Opportunities – Majestic Blog

Carmen Sandiego is back for a final assignment in Google Earth – Google Blog

Google AMP Stories: Everything You Need To Know (Complete Guide) – Samuel Schmitt

Google’s New Product Features and the Impact on B2B Search – Merkle

Introducing Cloudflare AMP Real URL – The AMP Blog

Meet David Feinberg, head of Google Health – Google Blog

Recent Google User Interface Tests: Refine Layers, Mini-Carousels, Shopping Toggle, Mortgage Calculator & More – Search Engine Roundtable

Turn Your PPC To-Do List Into a Digital Strategy – PPC Hero


Join Us

Unlock actionable SEO & SEM tactics to accelerate your campaign’s success. Attend SMX East in NYC!

Attend the only conference in the East Coast entirely devoted to search marketing: Search Engine Land’s SMX East, November 13-14, 2019. Join us for a deep dive into SEO and SEM tactics, networking, and top amenities including WiFi, delicious meals, and snacks. You’ll come away with at least one tactic that you can immediately put to use… we guarantee it. View rates and register today!



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