Welcome to a new week and the end of January. As always, Tom and Kylie have handpicked their top stories in PPC and SEO that you need to know. This week, we have a lot of updates to share, including Google’s best practice for SEO and a potential new ad platform run by Apple Search to compete with Google.
Google has made some changes to its image best practice documentation to clarify that Google parses <img> elements within other enclosed elements, such as <picture> elements. Whereas the document used to state that Google parsed the HTML of pages to index images and not CSS images, the documentation now reads:
“Using semantic HTML markup helps crawlers find and process images. Google parses the HTML <img> elements (even when they’re enclosed in other elements such as <picture> elements) in your pages to index images, but doesn’t index CSS images.”
Performance Max negative keywords are finally here (kind of). A few days ago, Google finally rolled out account-level negative keywords which will allow you to block terms from search and shopping campaigns as well as those portions of Performance Max. Although it’s a step in the right direction, many people require negative keywords for Pmax at a campaign level as usually not all keywords are blocked at every level.
The current release only allows 1,000 keywords to be blocked at this level which many will find restrictive but we may find this increases in future releases.
A reported “leak” from a former employee of Yandex has revealed 1,922 search ranking factors used to determine the ranking positions of sites on the Russian search engine. Whilst it is important to remember that Yandex is not Google, and therefore it does not mean the same factors will stand for Google, there does seem to be a lot of similarity in the way that the search engines work and many of the ranking factors are as you’d expect to see. The leaked list does also contain a number of unused or deprecated factors.
The biggest advertising event in the US is back at Super Bowl LVII as brands will be paying top dollar for 30-second clips during the game. There’s already a handful of celebrities that are set to appear in the ads with the game being seen as one of the most invaluable brand marketing opportunities of the year. Probably one the only occasions where people look forward to the ads as well as some websites rating their performance.
Rumours continue to grow about Apple’s new ad platform as they look to take on Google’s control of the market. Apple Business Connect, Apple Search and the rumoured ad network would look to create competition for Google across three of their key areas. Creating a search engine to take on Google is no easy job but with the volume of iPhones on the market it wouldn’t take much of a swing to start taking market share from Google. Ex-Google Exec Keith Weisburg is also helping them build a privacy-first DSP which again could quickly pull share from Google if found to be effective.
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