Tom Shurville
Tom Shurville Managing Director

Distinctly monthly news roundup – July 2020

Tom Shurville
Tom Shurville Managing Director

Welcome to your monthly round-up of industry news from Distinctly. Below you’ll find stories on the very latest developments, rollouts and updates in the world of PPC and SEO.

PPC

Google Ads to prohibit spyware, surveillance products and services

In an update that will apply globally from 11 August, Google Ads is set to amend its “Products that enable dishonest behaviour” policy to effectively ban the promotion of surveillance products on the platform. Companies will not be able to advertise any product or service which enables people to “track or monitor another person without authorisation”. Among products covered by the ban are dashcams, security cameras and audio recorders and spyware used for phones or browsing histories.

Hagakure method on Google Ads: How to make the most of smart bidding 

Recently suggested by Google, the Hagakure method presents a brand new approach to structuring and optimizing Google Ads campaigns, by using automated tools to make the most of machine learning algorithms. Taking its name from the historic Japanese tradition of the “warrior’s path”, the method simplifies the structure of the account in order to maximise the amount of data and facilitate data interpretation.

Google gives businesses free ads in Google Maps

Business owners using Smart Campaigns in Google Ads can benefit from an advertising boost as they reopen post-lockdown. Google Ads is rolling out free promoted pins in Maps for customers with a Google My Business account. Until the end of September 2020, Google will not charge for clicks, calls or sales generated through promoted pins, which are used in Maps to make businesses stand out from the competition.

Google makes its Swirl 3D format available globally

All Google Display and Video 360 customers can now use its 3D Swirl ad format after months in the beta phase. Already tested with brands like Adidas and Nissan, the groundbreaking new feature allows products to be showcased in 3D on mobile devices, with users able to rotate and zoom in. For Display and Video 360 users wanting to try it out, it can now be found in the Components panel under Graphics & Effects.

SEO

A new era of Google Search: What it means for SEO

What will Search look like over the coming years? Consumer habits are rapidly shifting with features like Google Discover and Google Assistant continuing to grow in popularity. With the familiar SERP set to evolve recognition, there are many ways to futureproof organic SEO without compromising on high-quality content that prioritises the customers’ needs.

Why (almost) everything you knew about Google CTR is no longer valid

A new study has analysed millions of keywords and billions of search results on Google in order to better understand CTR (click-through rate). The results highlight the sheer discrepancy in CTRs between positions on an SERP (28.5% for first place, 15.7% for second and 2.5% for tenth), as well as the surprising impact of featured snippets and knowledge panels on organic clicks.

How much do keywords in the business name impact ranking?

Many businesses use keywords in their names on a Google My Business listing, despite the fact that it’s prohibited by Google in its terms and conditions. Experiments are showing just how much the inclusion of a target search phrase can affect SERP ranking where businesses do break the rules – in one case lifting a restaurant business from the 50th position to the top five.

The Rich Results Test is out of beta  

Google has announced that its new Rich Results Test is now fully functional and supporting all rich result features in Google Search. Rich results deliver enhanced experiences for Search users that include carousels, images and other non-textual elements, powered by structured data. The Test tool helps to get the most out of these results, by rendering desktop and mobile versions, better aligning with Search Console and showing which enhancement features can be used.

General

Hackers convinced Twitter employee to help them hijack accounts 

A number of high-profile Twitter accounts including Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Barack Obama and Bill Gates were hacked earlier this month, and used to promote cryptocurrency scams. With evidence suggesting that the hacks were conducted using an internal Twitter tool, various sources are saying that an insider at the company was paid to enable the takeover.

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