My Five #442

Google treats us to a frenzy of algo updates, we wave goodbye to broad match modifier, and we might need our eyes checked, but it looks like football’s coming home.

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Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Kerry.

1. Algorithms upon algorithms

As of yesterday (1 July), Google began rolling out the second part of its core update. As with the first part of this update, it’s aimed at making general improvements to the search result listings and it’s expected to take a week or two to roll out fully:

If you’re starting to get confused, it’s with good reason. In between these two core updates, we also had the long awaited Page Experience update in mid-June, which saw Core Web Vitals finally become ranking factors.

On top of this, Google also confirmed a few days ago (28 June), that it had begun rolling out the second part of its spam update, which impacts both web and image results.
It’s natural that some search positions might shift around a bit at the moment, but if you’re doing the right things, there should be no need to panic and change tactics.

2. Farewell broad match modifier

Google giveth and it taketh away. As of late July, we will no longer be able to create new BMM keywords with the +keyword notation.

Google made the reminder announcement earlier this week, having already officially announced it a while back, when revealing that it was expanding phrase match to include BMM traffic.

However, existing BMM keywords will keep serving under the updated phrase match behaviour. Advertisers will still have the ability to edit attributes of their BMM keywords, like status or bid, but editing keyword text will require changing the keyword to phrase match.

3. Looks do matter

According to Google anyway. In the recent Search Central SEO hangout, Google’s John Mueller suggested that a site’s appearance can affect rankings.

He claims the visual presentation of a website can impact its search visibility if it’s not meeting certain expectations around quality, adding that “sometimes those small differences do play a role in regards to how people perceive your website.”

It came in response to a question around a general reduction in traffic that isn’t as a result of a penalty or any specific algorithm. In these instances, Mueller believes it could indicate that there’s an issue with the website’s quality, and one of those factors could be how you’re visually presenting information to your visitors.

Read the full write up here.

4. Brewdog continues to embarrass itself

In the latest instalment of how not to run a company, the Scottish beer firm has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons again after a winner of one of its “solid gold” beer cans had their prize evaluated at just £500 rather than the £15,000 advertised.

Other winners have also complained after discovering the cans a gold plated rather than solid gold and one has even asked the advertising watchdog, ASA to investigate whether any rules have been broken.

Interestingly, Brewdog stands by its claim, but admits the use of the term “solid gold” was a mistake, which in itself feels quite contradictory,

It comes after a very public letter from ex-workers exposed the toxic work culture they had experienced, and the negative impact it had on their mental health. Brewdog was then accused of pressuring current staff to sign a letter to the contrary. All in all, a bit of a PR disaster.

It also serves as an important reminder of watertight terms and conditions of competitions, whether that be the prize itself, the entry rules, or selecting the winner. They aren’t the first and they won’t be the last to slip up here.

5. It’s coming home

Whisper it quietly, but it might be coming home. Specsavers seems to think so, its social media team and creative agency coming up with this masterpiece earlier in the week:

It seems only fitting that since this is My Five number 442, that we should end with a football tweet.

It could all be over in little more than 24 hours, but until then we’ll still believe…

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