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Digital news to watch: Google rebrands Webmaster Guidelines to Google Search Essentials

Welcome to the start of a brand new week. Kylie and Tom have been trawling the PPC and SEO headlines to bring you this week’s top five digital news stories to watch. This week, we catch up on Google rebranding Webmaster Guidelines to Google Search Essentials, TikTok announces new ad tools and insights and Very go early with their festive campaign this year.

Google officially rebrand their Webmaster Guidelines to Google Search Essentials

Having gradually removed ‘webmaster’ from its branding recently, Google have officially rebranded their ‘Google Webmaster Guidelines’ page to ‘Google Search Essentials’. The simplified set of guidelines on this page are inclusive for any content creators who want their content to rank in organic search results and are split into 3 sections:

  • Technical requirements – to ensure content is published in a format that Google can access and index.
  • Key best practices – additional things to consider when creating content to ensure its easy for users to find in search results such as making sure content is helpful, contains keywords users search for and is well linked.
  • Spam policies – this section covers tactics that can lead to sites declining in rankings or even not being indexed at all, such as keyword stuffing, hidden content, link spam and more.

The most important thing to note, however, is that nothing fundamentally has changed and that the actual guidelines are nothing new, Google are just trying to make these easier for everyone to understand.

Google’s paid listings now labelled as ‘Sponsored’ rather than ‘Ad’

Google is regularly updating how its ads look and we got another change last week, with the ‘Ad’ label being removed and replaced with ‘Sponsored’. Google claim this is to differentiate paid listings from organic but the cynic would argue that ‘Sponsored’ comes with fewer negative connotations than ads. Either way it may be worth monitoring the click through rates on your ads as this could go either way when it comes to performance.

Google replaces title tags with site names for home page results

Google have started to replace title tags for home pages in their mobile search results with just the site name in an attempt to make SERPs more simple for users. In Google’s official announcement they explained, “Search is introducing site names on mobile search results to make it easier to identify the website that’s associated with each result.”

Google is recommending the use of WebSite structured data, previously thought by many to be pointless, to specifically name your website so that they pull through the correct site name when replacing your home page title. In the WebSite structured data, specifying the “name” property will ensure they understand this. If you want to add an alternate site name (e.g. an acronym or shorter name), you should use the “alternateName” property within the WebSite structured data to do this.

TikTok announce new ad tools and insights for advertisers

TikTok are set to offer new ad tools and insights into their platform after their second world event which detailed their roadmap for the platform.

Amongst the announcements were new ad types for cinemas, a focused views objective (targeted on how engaged a user is) and new lead generation forms which will allow variable questions. TikTok have taken an interesting approach to ads on their platform, seemingly keen to offer ads that specific to certain industries rather than the more broad brush approach of Google and Facebook. It’s definitely going to be a welcome change for some advertisers.

Very are the first retailer to launch their Christmas campaign

With Halloween and Black Friday still to come, Very has gone early with their Christmas campaign, launching 4 days ago on October 13th.  Whilst it might seem excessive, the theory seems to be that UK households currently struggling with the cost of living crisis will need to spread spending out across the next few months. Winning customers early has likely never been more important so it will be interesting to see how this gamble pays off for Very.

If you need support with your digital marketing strategy, in SEO, PPC, Meta for paid social or any other services, send us an email to and we’ll be more than happy to discuss what you need.

Kylie Moody - Modo25
Kylie Moody
Kylie Moody - Modo25
Kylie Moody

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