Good morning Refactual, happy first Monday of the summer!
A new test from Google caught PPCers’ attention Friday. It features a carousel of text ads on mobile search results. The carousel popped up on a brand search caught by the team at SEMRush, appearing below the brand’s ad in the absolute top position. The ads in the carousel have two headlines (not three), truncated descriptions (as in one truncated line) and no ad extensions. Of course, we’ve grown accustomed to carousels for Shopping ads and even some ad extensions, but seeing text ads in a carousel with very little text to show is not sitting well with some. (Average position sunsetting makes even more sense now.) Google isn’t talking other than to confirm it is indeed a test. Let me know what you think firstname.lastname@example.org or @ginnymarvin.
Anyone who’s done any work with local businesses is probably familiar with Google Maps spam propagated by fake Google My Business listings. Turns out there are literally millions of fake listings on Google Maps, according to a WSJ report last week. Associate editor George Ngueyen spoke to several digital marketers and SEOs about the real business implications of fake listings on Maps. “The underlying concept of this is that there doesn’t seem to be consequences for keyword stuffing in GMB listings,” UK-based digital marketer Itamar Blauer said. And the fake listings don’t just show on Google Maps, they get picked up in the knowledge graph, too.
“Right now the name of the business has a huge impact and fake listings just use target keywords leading to massive gains,” SEO and digital strategist Joe Youngblood explained. Google says it is working on new ways to fight scammers and that it took down three million fake business profiles, of which more than 90% were removed before they could be seen by users.
In her SMX Advanced speaking debut this month, 3Q Digital regional directory Ashley Mo shared tips for improving YouTube video ad performance and mastering targeting and automated bidding. Have a listen to her Insights session. Ashley is off to Singapore to open a 3Q Digital office there. Good luck, Ashley!
More to read below, including a Pro Tip from Frederick Vallaeys on layering automation, the first in our Ask The Editors series and more.