The most important SEO and PPC updates from September 2021.
Key headlines include:
- The future of attribution is data-driven
- Say goodbye to expanded text ads
- Google Search redesign using MUM algorithm
2. THE FUTURE OF ATTRIBUTION
Google has announced they’re moving away from last-click to data-driven
attribution (DDA) for new Google Ads conversion actions.
What does this mean?
Currently, when a user buys via a Google ad and purchases, by default
100% of that sale gets attributed to the last-click.
However, with the move to DDA, Google is using data to determine how
much of each touch-point deserves attribution to the sale.
For example, if a user was to search ‘trainers’ and clicked on a JD Sports
ad but didn’t buy, but then later searched ‘JD Sports’, clicked on an ad and
purchased, with last-click, 100% on the sale would be attributed to ‘JD
Sports’. However, with DDA it may be split trainers: 0.6% and JD Sports:
What's the impact of this?
Data-driven attribution will overall be more accurate by taking into
account the touchpoints in the build up to the conversion.
It may also show advertisers that some keywords are actually playing a
bigger role in the journey that you ever realised in the path to purchase
and will be able to optimise accordingly with the data that a data-driven
attribution is providing.
3. SAY GOODBYE TO EXPANDED
From 30th June 2022, you will only be able to create
Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) with Google. This is their latest
move to introduce automation into search.
What does our expert team say on this? 👇
“This doesn’t really come as a surprise. ETAs have been hidden in new
accounts for some time now in favour of RSAs - it’s just another step
towards automation from Google. So unless you’re not already using
RSAs then it’s unlikely it’ll have a huge impact on the way you manage
You can still pin headlines in RSAs for anyone who wants to retain more
control over what ad copy is being shown. But otherwise, we see strong
performance from them and they’ve been receiving the bulk of
impressions over ETAs for quite some time - so phasing ETAs out has
4. GOOGLE ADS: PHRASE AND BROAD
MATCH KEYWORDS UPDATE
Google has announced that it
will prioritise identical keyword
results to search queries.
Before this update, Google would
find the best results based upon
keywords and broad match
eligible keywords, however, as
long as a match is eligible, Google
will prioritise exact matches.
Let’s say someone searches for “sushi delivery near me”, and you have the broad match
keywords sushi delivery and sushi delivery near me.
Before this update, both of these keywords would be eligible to serve. Now, the
keyword “sushi delivery near me” is preferred because it is identical to the search term.
5. GOOGLE NOW USING ‘AS IS’ TITLE
TAGS 87% OF THE TIME
Back in August Google announced it was using a new
system for generating titles in SERPs.
What followed was some negative feedback in the SEO
community with an HMRC example of where this could
go wrong being widely shared on social media.
Google have now given an update stating that “Title
elements are now used around 87% of the time, rather
than around 80% before,”
The company listed the following as common reasons
why it won’t use your HTML title tag:
• Non-complete titles
• Missing titles
• Inaccurate titles
• Micro-boilerplate titles
• Too long
• Stuffed with keywords
6. GOOGLE IS GIVING SEARCHERS
GREATER VISIBILITY OF THEIR RESULTS
Google is now giving searchers greater visibility of
their results by providing information on why the
URL is displaying, when the site was first indexed,
how secure your connection to the site is plus why
the page ranked.
We’re getting massive insights here with Google
sharing this information and is just another step to
reinforce trust with users.
In some results that we've come across, Google has
explained that links to other sites in different
languages have helped a page rank.
Want to find this information? Just click the three
dots next to the site URL in the SERPs.
7. GOOGLE PAGE EXPERIENCE
UPDATE FULLY ROLLED OUT
Google page experience has been fully
rolled out as of the 2nd September and
this is definitely something to pay
Page experience ranking signals:
⚡ Core Web Vitals
⚡ No intrusive interstitials
It is important for your brand and SEO
purposes to work on making sure all
four factors rank in your favour.
8. GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE NOW
PROVIDES MORE GRANULARITY IN
From September 29th, Google search
console is now providing more granularity in
reporting for product structured data items.
This change is important as it provides us
with more actionable errors and areas to
Google also shared that this update could be
the cause of a spike or decline in errors and
affect your report data. We recommend you
address the revised errors asap.
9. GOOGLE TO SHARE MORE SEARCH
TERM DATA WITH ADVERTISERS
Google plans to start sharing more query data with
advertisers moving forward for Search and Dynamic
Search Ad Campaigns, including historical data for
queries that received impressions but no clicks.
To ensure privacy is maintained, advertisers will not
receive all data however we do know that more data will
be shown and in some cases up to 6.5%. This will help you
identify relevant keyword themes making optimising your
website easier and data-driven.
Be warned though, as much as this is great for advertisers,
Google is removing all search term data pre-September 1,
2020, so make sure you’ve downloaded your data.
Plus, in the coming months, Google also plans to give you
even more resources to help advertisers understand the
search query terms that drive performance.
10. GOOGLE IS WORKING ON INDEXING
INSTAGRAM AND TIKTOK VIDEOS
According to a new report, Google is
negotiating deals with Instagram and
TikTok to index their content in search
If this was to go ahead, content from
both platforms would become available
in search results similar to how tweets
are shown in search results.
What does this mean?
This would provide your brand with more
opportunities to be discovered from the
masses of content you’ve supplied on
11. GOOGLE INTRODUCES ABOUT THIS
ADVERTISER PAGES ON ADS
Google has introduced ‘about this advertiser’
pages on Google ads to give more
transparency to users.
Users will be able to see who the advertiser is,
links to their website and see all ads shown in
the past 30 days.
The information on these pages comes from
information within their Google accounts.
Users will also be able to report ad policy
12. GOOGLE ADS LAUNCHES NEW
REPORTS TO HELP UNDERSTAND
Budget behaviour in Google Ads can be hard to
understand, especially daily budgets.
Google have now launched a new report that
highlights the following:
This could be up to twice your average daily budget on
days where ads are more likely to get clicks and
MONTHLY SPENDING LIMIT:
Your account won’t be charged more than your
average daily budget multiplied by the number of days
in a month.
Includes cost to date and any budget changes you may
have made in between.
13. GOOGLE SEARCH REDESIGN
USING MUM ALGORITHM
Google announced MUM update back in June 2021 with the aim of
delivering improved search results. The latest features released
Larger visual browsing
Google has rolled out a new, more “visually browsable” interface for
some search results pages. You can see them for some searches that
contain a keyword plus the term “idea” after it (e.g. garden ideas)
Varied media results
MUM will be able to deliver search results in the form of images,
videos and podcasts.
For apparel-related queries, Google is providing users with an easy to
use shopping experience, powered by Google Shopping Graph. You’ll
be able to scroll through items and purchase seamlessly.
In-Person at Home Shopping
Google has added a new feature to shopping which easily lets you
check to see if nearby stores have the product you want on the
shelves so you can quickly pop to the shops without fear of the item
14. GOOGLE SIMPLIFIES DISPLAY
To simplify ads, Google has combined the
flexibility of standard display campaigns and the
automation of smart display campaigns into one
easy to use single display campaign.
With the new display campaign experience, you’ll
be able to:
• Choose the level of automation
• Include optimised targeting
• Use manual audience-finding
P.s. Existing smart and standard display
campaigns aren’t affected by this new feature.
15. GOOGLE INTRODUCES ITS SHOPPING
Google wants to be the middle man
between shoppers and retailers and to do
so, has introduced its shopping graph.
In an attempt to help people discover, learn
about and shop, shopping graph is a
dynamic, AI-enhanced, comprehensive real-
time dataset on products across the world.
People shop more than a billion times per
day on Google and this is another feature
to connect sellers and shoppers.
Google has also eliminated commission
fees and has made it free for sellers on
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