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Do you follow the Google guidelines?; Wednesday's daily brief

Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

Good morning, Marketers, so what do you all think of guidelines?

Over the years, in the SEO world, we have been given more and more guidelines from Google and also Bing. Often these guidelines are high level dos and don’ts around SEO practices. Don’t buy links, don’t cloak, don’t spam, etc. Google warns if you break their guidelines your website can be demoted in the Google Search results. In fact, over the past few months, as we’ve been reporting, Google has been pushing out new help documents and guidelines.

At the same time, sometimes you may see a competitor ranking highly in Google Search for competitive keywords. You do some digging and notice that the site is doing things that are specifically against Google’s guidelines. Do you now decide to try those tactics? Do you report them to Google? Do you risk it on your site? Heck, we don’t even know if those tactics are helping the site or Google is ignoring those signals completely. So what do you do?

Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @rustybrick.

Barry Schwartz,
Risk assessment specialist

Microsoft Advertising gains target impression share bidding and more

Microsoft Advertising announced its August feature review and launched target impression share bidding in the platform. “With this strategy, you set your budget, where you want your ads to appear, and your Target Impression Share, and Microsoft Advertising automatically sets your bids,” wrote Kevin Salat, Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft Advertising.

Other features launched in the past month include product conversion goals, new automated extensions including dynamic locations, dynamic multimedia ads and syndication decorations. Microsoft also improved the account organization and unified account changes in the platform.

Read more here.

Recognize your team for their hard work in SEO and PPC

The Search Engine Land Awards celebrate individuals, agencies, and internal marketing teams within the digital marketing community who have demonstrated excellence in executing organic and paid search marketing campaigns and research initiatives.

New this year are three additional categories catering specifically to boutique agencies and freelancers, as well as an easier-than-ever submission process. Don’t miss your chance to recognize the hard work and achievements of your employees, increase credibility, attract new business, and earn the right to call yourself an award-winning search marketer.

Apply here.

Google Merchant Center enforcement of Manufacturer Part Number (MPN)

Google will begin warning Google Merchant Center merchants of issues with their Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPN). Then in September, some merchants may be disapproved if they continue to not resolve the MPN warnings. Google said that the Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) is a unique product identifier that is used to identify a specific product among all of the products produced by a manufacturer. Customers may search for a product using a specific MPN, so providing the MPN can help ensure that your product is shown in relevant situations.

Starting in August 2021, the item-level warnings for “Incorrect product identifier [mpn]” will be issued on the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account. These warnings are intended to notify you that you’ve submitted an incorrect value for the MPN [mpn] attribute for one or more of the products listed in your product data. Then beginning in September 2021, the products for which you received warnings will be disapproved. You should review your Diagnostics page to see if your products are affected, and either provide a valid MPN value or clear the current incorrect value in your product data.

Learn more here.

SEOs and the rel sponsored link attribute

When Google announced the new link spam update the other week, many in the SEO community were confused about Google’s messaging around if you need to replace the nofollow links for affiliate and sponsored links with rel=”sponsored” links.  The answer is no, by the way.

Aleyda Solis posted a Twitter poll asking what SEOs will do with their sponsored affiliate links.  And ask expected, most SEOs are split down the middle.  33% will keep the l links with no attribute at all, just have them followed. 33% will keep using the nofollow attribute.  And the other 33% will switch the links to rel sponsored.

Downtime and rankings, stolen images and Discover data

Downtime and Google Search. John Mueller of Google responded to a bunch of questions around how site downtime can impact your site in Google Search on Reddit. One of the things he said was that “coming back [in the Google Search results] after downtime tends to go faster than the dropping out because of downtime.”

Discover data and Search Console API. Did you ever wonder why Google Search Console’s API does not contain performance data on Google Discover traffic? John Mueller of Google said it is partly because there is no query for Discover traffic.

Stolen images and SEO. Gary Illyes from Google was asked if there is any way Google can benefit a site that has its images stolen. Gary Illyes responded on Reddit “surprisingly hard to answer. In short, you do get some benefit from an image syndicated on other sites if your HTML landing page can become canonical.”

We’ve curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.

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