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. Google to end Expanded Text Ads next year
As of July 2022, we’ll no longer be able to create new ETAs in Google Ads or edit existing ones. They will, however, continue to serve alongside responsive search ads, and can be paused, resumed, or removed if necessary. Reports on performance will continue to be available.
It’s part of Google’s push towards automation, claiming that the changes are “key to keeping pace” with the evolving way in which people search, with 15% of search queries each day being new searches not seen before.
In preparation for next year, Google has recommended that advertisers have “at least one responsive search ad in every ad group” of their Search campaigns by the end of June 2022.
Read the full announcement here.
2. Google confirms title changes don’t impact rankings
The SEO community has been up in arms in recent weeks over rumours Google had changed the way it generates titles. It later confirmed this was true, and that where previously it would often use the query the searcher entered into the search box, but that “generally” it “no longer” uses this query anymore, however still uses HTML tags 80% of the time.
Many were concerned that their efforts to optimise titles were being wasted, but now John Mueller has cleared that up in quite a concise manner:
He later elaborated that “this changes the displayed titles, it doesn’t change ranking or take anything different into account.” So, in short, don’t stop optimising your titles.
3. LinkedIn is removing Stories
In a move that few will be surprised about, LinkedIn is ending Stories, removing the feature at the end of this month.
Despite being committed to expanding its video capabilities, Stories is being taken down entirely, with users not able to create new stories after 30 September, and any advertisers running ads in between stories will have their ads shown in the main feed instead.
LinkedIn says the decision was taken following a realisation that while users liked the idea of more video content, Stories wasn’t the right format, with most of their user base preferring a format that doesn’t automatically disappear.
It’s planning to take the learnings from this venture into a reimagined video experience that embraces mixed media in a “consistent way across our platform, while working to integrate it more tightly with your professional identity.”
4. Google Page Experience update is complete
On 2 September, Google confirmed it had finished rolling out the Page Experience update, which began 15 June. This includes updates to the Top Stories Mobile Carousel, but there’s still about a week to go with the Google News app changes:
The page experience rollout is complete now, including updates to Top Stories mobile carousel. Changes to Google News app have started to rollout as well and will be complete in a week or so.
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) September 2, 2021
Whilst the Page Experience update has been a long time coming, Google itself has said not to expect drastic changes: “While this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account… given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes.”
5. Oh Matt
Obviously missing the limelight, Matt Hancock set up a JustGiving page for his London Marathon run, and, predictably, got publicly ridiculed.
While he has managed to raise money for St Nicholas Hospice Care, which is surely the most important thing, many of those donations come from spoof messages from members of the public claiming to be his ex wife, current girlfriend, children, and – my personal favourite – “Covid-19” who kindly donated £2 and left the message “Thanks for everything mate”.
Here’s a thread with some of the best comments:
Matt Hancock’s trolled justgiving page is worth a little scroll. Makes one proud to be British. https://t.co/LfGfuJkMha
— Patrick Grant (@paddygrant) September 1, 2021