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Daily Search Forum Recap: March 29, 2019

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.
Search Engine Roundtable Stories:
Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Algorithm Updates, Info Command Gone, Bing Updates, Google Ads, New UIs & MoreThis week in search, we saw a few more algorithm shifts with the Google search results, one around March 26th and one around March 20th…
Google Tests Adding Icons Back To The Search Bar FiltersGoogle is testing showing icons in the search bar filters next to the all, news, maps, images, shopping and other buttons. This takes them back to a user interface they had in 2011, which they shortly dropped a year or so later.
Google Launches Google Ads Editor v.1 Replacing AdWords EditorGoogle has launched the new Google Ads Editor to replace the AdWords Editor. This comes well after Google rebranded AdWords to Google Ads. With that, Google rebranded the AdWords Editor to Google Ads Editor and also added features.
Google: Long Term Plan You Should Switch To Domain Properties & Drop Other FormsGoogle’s John Mueller said on Twitter a good long term plan for those who have verified properties in Google Search Console is to drop the individual property verification methods and just go with the domain properties method, where everything is combined across most canonicals.
Very Few Features Left In The Old Google Search ConsoleThe old Google Search Console seems to be holding on for dear life right now. There are only a handful of features left in the tool that remain, including Data Highlighter, International Targeting, Remove URLs, Crawl Stats, robots.txt Tester and URL Parameters. The rest are gone and replaced or mostly replaced in the new Google Search Console.
Google Gifts Local Guide SocksAre you a local guide? Well, if so, you may have received a new pair of socks from Google. Here are the local guide socks framed by one local guide. I also posted more photos of other local guides sho
Other Great Search Forum Threads:
Calling all business owners in the San Francisco Bay Area! If you own a small business and use Google My Business, we’d like to hear from you. Just sign up, be invited to participate, and get rewarded! Complete this form if, Google My Business on Twitter
Cars.com – Have you looked at your dealers’ SEO rankings since March 12th 2019?, DealerRefresh Automotive Dealer Forums
It’s tricky .. People should be able to monetize their sites somehow, it feels like there’s a lot of short-term thinking out there though.… https://t.co/uBOqFY4zLq, John Mueller on Twitter
Maybe :). I’d instrument the code with some console logging and pick that up from the inspect url tool or the mobile friendly test.… https://t.co/E81Llh41zM, John Mueller on Twitter
We’ve launched a new Google My Business Help Community and hope to see you there! This community is intended to be a place where you can interact with other Google My Business users to ask questions, get help, and discuss a, Google My Business on Twitter
You’re making the assumption that this data is correct?…, John Mueller on Twitter
Almost none. The random ones on Reddit I see are kinda the outliers, and they’re not specifically directed my way.…, John Mueller on Twitter
At this point, I’d strongly recommend moving away from the old #! syntax — some things will continue to work, but you’re making your life so much harder than it needs to be (and if things don’t work, they’re unlikely to be fix, John Mueller on Twitter
Perhaps You’ll Get Fewer Robocalls, WebmasterWorld
Search Engine Land Stories:
Other Great Search Stories:
Analytics
Industry & Business
Links & Promotion Building
Local & Maps
Mobile & Voice
SEO
PPC

Marketing Tips

Facebook Lets Users Search for All Active Ads That Pages Are Running by @MattGSouthern

Facebook is expanding its Ad Library tool to include information about all active ads from any page.
Previously, Ad Library only included information for ads related to politics or issues of national importance.
It was also limited to searching by keywords. Now you can search by page.
In addition to finding all ads a page is running, you can also see details about total impressions, who saw the ad, and how much was spent on it.
Ad Library contains information about ads across all of Facebook’s platforms.
Here’s an example showing what I found when searching for ads that Google is running.

As you can see, there’s a drop-down menu to filter ads by country. Ad Library will also point out when an ad is dynamic and has multiple versions.
Be sure to make your searches count when using Ad Library. Apparently, you can get locked out for conducting too many searches in a short period of time.
More Information About Pages
Ad Library will now display more information about Facebook pages themselves, such as:
Page creation date
Previous Page merges
Name changes
Primary country location of people who manage the Page
All of the above information will be available within a new “Page Transparency” section on Facebook pages.
Previously, you had to click “Info and Ads” to find this information.
Ad Library Report
With this update, Facebook is making improvements to the Ad Library Report as well.

“Starting in mid-May, we’ll update the Ad Library Report for ads related to politics or issues daily, rather than weekly.”

Reports will be downloadable for everyone.

Marketing Tips

Google Expands Travel Searches to Include Vacation Rental Properties by @MattGSouthern

Google is expanding hotel search results to include a greater number of vacation rental properties.
Using Google’s mobile search results, users can see and book vacation rentals from the following travel partners:
Expedia
HomeAway
Hotels.com
NextPax
RedAwning
Rentals United
TripAdvisor
VRBO
and more

“In the hotel search experience, you can surface vacation rental properties—be it a cabin in Lake Tahoe or a beach house in Sydney—by applying the vacation rentals filter or clicking on the vacation rentals tip.”

Search results can be filtered by price and amenities. Just like searching for hotels, users can browse photos of rental properties and read reviews.
After selecting a check-in and check-out date, users can click “Book” to complete the reservation on the travel partner’s website.

This feature is currently only available on mobile but will be brought to desktop search next month.

Marketing Tips

Google Makes Podcasts Searchable by Automatically Transcribing Them by @MattGSouthern

Google Podcasts is making it possible to search for episodes based on what was discussed in a show.
According to Android Police, Google Podcasts is automatically transcribing dialogue and using it as metadata.
So users can search for specific episodes even if they can’t remember the name of the podcast.
Android Police discovered that transcripts are being logged in the page source of episode web pages on the Google Podcasts web portal.
It has been confirmed you can search for text in the transcript using the Google Podcasts app and find the right episode.
Transcripts cover the entire show, however, they’re not perfect. Since they’re automatically generated there are bound to be some mistakes.
For example, the name “Corbin Davenport” was transcribed as “Corbin dabbing port.”
Android Police also notes that transcripts are not being generated for all episodes. Although when they are generated it greatly improves the discoverability of the episode.
Google has been planning this since last year
Last August, we reported on an interview Zach Reneau-Wedeen of Google’s podcast team in which he announced plans to make audio content more searchable.
It would appear we’re now seeing the first signs of Google’s plan coming to light.
This has the potential to help more podcasts get found by new listeners. It can also help podcasts get found by lapsed listeners.
If a former listener remembers a line of dialogue but doesn’t remember what podcast it was from, they may be able to find the exact episode thanks to these transcripts.
There’s much Google could do with podcasts transcripts in the future, such as publishing them on the web and making them even more searchable.

Marketing Tips

I’m an Ad & You Can, Too! (Or: How to Look Successful When You’re Struggling) by @beanstalkim

I got up from the hotel desk that morning in August of 2006, the WiFi was thankfully working and I’d had a chance to answer my emails.
I’d sat not at a laptop, but at a full PC which I’d packed up, CTR monitor and all, and taken on the flight to the conference for reasons I will get to shortly.
I was hungry and looking forward to the breakfast provided, and so I exited my hotel room.
It was a sweltering 95-degree day in San Jose as I marched toward the McEnery Convention Center. The sun beat down on me in my suit from a clear blue sky for the full 28-minute, 1.3-mile walk, and I’d have to do the same that night.
Thankfully it would be cooler.
It was my last day at the conference though not the last day it was taking place. I’d had to cut my trip short but was looking forward to the sessions ahead and an evening out.
I’d spoken the day before on optimizing for all three major engines. They were Google, MSN, and Yahoo! if you’re wondering.
It was my first time speaking at a conference, and now I could relax.

Speaking at Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2006. I think I was about 8.
I settled in, enjoyed the day, and when lunch rolled around it was delicious and boxed. I took two.
That evening we went to the hotel bar. I nursed a beer and when the opportunity arose, I pulled $20 from my wallet and bought my friend and now Webmaster Radio co-host Jim Hedger a Crown and Coke.
He’d given me some valuable advice on surviving my first session and supported me throughout. It was the least I could do, and I’d been waiting to do it.
Waiting, that is, because I’d held on to that $20 for the duration of my time in San Jose. Not because it was a special bill, but because it was the last that I had.
And that’s my point.
I Was an Ad
I was an ad. A manufactured version of the person I wanted others to see.
The reason I’d brought my computer with me is that I couldn’t afford a laptop. So instead I packed up the computer from “my office”, a beat-up desk at the foot of my bed, and brought it on the plane with me because I needed to keep up with clients.
I walked for 28 minutes through miserable heat in wool suits because the HoJo’s was a couple hundred dollars cheaper than anything around the conference.
I couldn’t spend the money I didn’t have on a cab, and so I walked, immediately ducking into the men’s room on my arrival at the conference to let my body cool off so I wasn’t sweating when I ran into people.
I took two lunches because it would save me having to buy food later. I was almost found out when I was invited to dinner one night with a few folks. I made up a client emergency and then stayed out of sight for a while.
There was no way I was making an extra trip to my hotel.
I’d brought $50 on that trip and it had to last me the full conference. A conference I cut a day short so as not to have to spend anything extra on a cheap hotel because I had nothing extra to spend.
I’d nursed that $50 right to the last evening, and needed to save some for the cab back to the airport. But I was able to treat my friend to a drink. I was able to play the part I was supposed to play as best I could play it.
I was surrounded by success and I was not one of them. But I’d pulled it off. I’d looked like one.
I was the ad I wanted to be. No one knew I was an imposter.
That Was Not the Last Time…
That was not the last time I played that role. In fact, I do it every day.

New and improved!
Yes, I have a laptop now. I sit at a desk I’m happy to sit at, no longer at the foot of my bed.
When I travel, I stay in decent proximity to conferences and I’ll grab a Lyft to get to places more than a few minutes away. And I’ll probably buy myself some food.
But even still, the version of me that is presented to the world is not the real me.
And that’s important to remember because the version of those around me that I see, that I compare myself to, that version is very likely as manufactured as I am.
This is not to say we are fake, it’s to say that back in 2006 I presented the version of me that I thought the world needed to see. I felt I needed to be an ad to earn the respect of my peers, and to hopefully land a client.
This tendency has only been amplified by social media but certainly not created by it, and being in marketing, skilled in the art, we know exactly how to craft messages.
Show just the right wins. Show just enough struggle. Be flawed in just the right way.
Yes, I’m an Ad
And as I see the successes of the people around me and judge myself based on them, I try to remember that they’re all ads too.
We are looking at manicured versions of each other, comparing ourselves to highlight reels that were created by marketers. And we’re trying to live up to them.
I am not what I appear. In some ways, I may be better, but in a great many more I am certainly worse.
And even now, in the example I have chosen to use to illustrate this point, the words I have chosen to convey it, and the way I am closing this piece, I am presenting the version of myself that I wish to be seen as.
Remember this when you’re looking at the folks on a stage rocking it.
When you’re hearing about how successful their companies are.
How amazing they did on a campaign.
How fantastic their dinner was (they made it themselves!).
Remember, as you feel you haven’t accomplished what others have, I’m an ad.
And you can, too!
More Resources:
Image Credits
Picture From SES 2006: Barry Schwartz on FlickrNow With More Factors Image: Adobe Stock (edited by author)

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