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🔍 Digital assistants face off, reach “critical mass”

Good morning Refactual, guess which is better at commerce queries, Amazon or Google? 

Voice assistant use continues to grow and has now reached “critical mass,” according to new data from eMarketer. There are nearly 112 million people in the U.S. using digital assistants at least monthly — roughly 40% of U.S. internet users. That number is expected to increase to nearly 123 million over the next two years. 

A comparison study of virtual assistants by Loop Ventures, released last week, found Google Assistant to be the most accurate in understanding and answering questions. Interestingly, Google Assistant outscored Amazon Alexa on commerce queries. Google Assistant answered 92% of commerce-related requests correctly while Alexa completed just 71% correctly, just 2% better than Siri which had 68% accuracy. With Google Assistant embedded in a growing number of platforms and devices — it’s on more than a billion devices, is replacing Google voice search on Android home screens, and it seems only a matter of time before it’s integrated into the Google app for iOS — brands and marketers should be thinking about potential advertising and transactional implications.

We all know reviews are important to businesses, but it’s not worth trying to keep customers from posting negative reviews. In fact, it’s illegal in the U.S. to try to prevent or retaliate against negative customer reviews with so-called non-disparagement clauses. Five businesses have learned that the hard way. The FTC announced it has settled administrative complaints with the firms for using illegal clauses around reviews in their customer contracts. Be sure you’ve implemented best practices when it comes to treating and responding to reviews. 

Read on for a Pro Tip. While it’s tailored to local businesses, data cleanliness and accuracy should be priorities for all of us.  

Ginny Marvin


Pro Tip

Manage data cleanliness and accuracy with single source of truth

“Brands need a single source of truth for location data – one platform in which all location data is gathered, cleansed, formatted and activated,” explains Brian Smith of Rio SEO. “1) Simplify and improve the efficacy of local listings management by using technology to push bulk updates, claim listings, resolve duplication errors and otherwise improve and protect the validity of your local listings data at scale. 2) Map out your most common customer journeys. 3) Manage all reviews within a single platform for access to competitive benchmarking, alerts and assignments, local responses and qualitative/quantitative data that can help inform brand decisions and identify both top performers and locations where opportunities exist to improve.”

“Data cleanliness and accuracy must be priority number one for brands looking to improve marketing performance at the local level. The impact of poor data on your local visibility and customers’ journey cannot be ignored.”

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[Webinar] AI and Digital Paid Media: Are PPC Managers Being Replaced?

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Gone are the days when a PPC Manager could only focus on Google and Bing search ads. In today’s complex paid media landscape, you’ve got to manage and optimize multiple search engine, display and paid social channels. Many tools now feature artificial intelligence to make paid advertising faster and more effective…. but does it? Is AI an opportunity or a threat? Join our paid media experts as we answer these questions and more.

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Search Shorts

Dates, links and brief rankings.

Brief rankings. Google’s John Mueller said a site can rank well for a short period of time for a specific query.

Date that content. It makes it easier to recognize high-quality evergreen content, so put dates on your content said John Mueller of Google.

Non-English links. Just because a website is not in English doesn’t mean it’s spam, or that links from it are bad, said Google’s John Mueller.

What we’re reading

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

Amazon Wants to Put Alexa in Cars. Google and Apple Are There Already – Bloomberg

Close Variants Dilute Match Types – What To Know – PPC Hero

Google Recommends You Specify If A Doctor Reviewed Your Medical Content – Search Engine Roundtable

Inverted what? Searches for obscure financial term spike on Google – Reuters nabs $30M more to help enterprises manage their profiles online – TechCrunch

Setting up Google Shopping Custom Labels using a supplemental feed – Hallam

Yoast SEO 11.9: More fixes and enhancements – Yoast

Digital Marketing Leader REQ Acquires Performance Marketing Agency IMI – REQ


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