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The July core update is “effectively complete”; Tuesday'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, let’s discuss misinformation and search.

Living in times as polarizing as the last few years has been difficult, and so is running a business in this climate. I believe that the least we can do is to share our knowledge of how search and digital marketing works to help remove the information gap from this equation, and hopefully, that will make it easier to connect with audiences, colleagues and loved ones *knock on wood*.

Last week I made my case for why it’s important to educate your friends and family about search. I’d like to take a slightly different angle today: understanding how search works can help people identify misinformation, which will help us come together as a society.

Remember last summer, when social media posts falsely claimed that Google search results provided evidence that the pandemic wasn’t real? “That’s just how search algorithms work and the pandemic is that widespread,” I thought to myself when I first read this story. But, people have told me that they know others who believe the misinformation, and when you’re told that no one can be trusted and the media is lying to you, that can lead to very dangerous things.

Don’t wait for polarizing events to occur to share what you know about search — by then, it might be too late. Instead, look for a convenient time and ask your conversation partners, “Can I share a bit about my work with you?” and don’t forget to make it relevant for your listeners. Marketing is all about connecting with people who are open to connecting with you, and this is no different.

George Nguyen,

It’s done — the Google July 2021 core update is “effectively complete”

Yesterday, Google announced that the July 2021 core update that started 12 days ago, on July 1, 2021, is now “effectively complete” and done rolling out. The update was announced on July 1st but was mostly felt both on July 2nd and July 9th, also there were additional signs of this update on July 12th.

The sister update, the June 2021 core update started on June 2, 2021 and lasted 10 days, completing on June 12, 2021. The June core update seemed to be felt in a bigger way than its July counterpart. Hope you all did well with this latest update!

Read more over here.

Video Extensions in Microsoft Advertising give search marketers opportunity to test video ads in SERPs

Microsoft Advertising has been doubling down on visual ads in search this year, and the company’s latest ad offering is no exception. Video Extensions are now available globally on the platform, although mobile Video Extensions are currently only available for U.S. advertisers.

When triggered, a preview with a play button will show up in SERPs (as seen above). When users click the video, it will open in an overlay with an action link that takes searchers to the landing page of your choice. This is an interesting ad extension that might prove useful in certain industries and, since most video ads are on platforms like YouTube, this gives advertisers the opportunity to test video ads directly in the search results.

Read more here.

tROAS bidding is coming to App campaigns for engagement on Android

At Google’s Games Developer Summit on Monday, the company announced that it will launch target return on ad spend (tROAS) bidding for App campaigns for engagement as a closed beta. App campaigns for engagement (ACe), which are aimed at bringing users back to an app and fostering loyalty and engagement, were first introduced in March 2019 and rolled out globally late last year.

Why we care. If you’re already using ACe, tROAS bidding allows you to adjust bids based on the value returning users are creating, which can vary when they take in-app actions, like buying premium features. This can help you re-engage your most valuable users and potentially grow revenue.

Q&A isn’t the only way to create relevant content

“I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘why read a book… I can just read an FAQ?’” Is the question-answering mindset holding back SEOs? In his Twitter thread, Mordy Oberstein argues that, while answering questions is a key part of the process, “It’s about offering INFORMATION and those are, again, two very different things because information is a corpus – it goes beyond merely answering a question in a direct sense but includes the ‘information periphery.’”

“You’ll start to see positive effects once you get out of the ‘poor’ area in core web vitals.” Google’s John Mueller clarified that scoring 100 on your CWV isn’t necessary for gains — they start once you’re out of the red. “It’s not a magic bullet, we use lots of factors for ranking, and relevance is still very important,” he added.

Should we base our marketing plan on getting back to business as usual? “The idea of returning to business as usual is a comforting thought,” Marketoonist creator Tom Fishburne said, “But when has business as usual ever been usual? Instead of going back to work, we’re always going forward to work.”

“Not many people in history could say they’ve created a trillion dollars of value as CEO.”

When it comes to big tech CEOs, I feel like there are two camps: the outspoken Zuckerberg/Musk/Bezos-types who build rocket ships and ride electric surfboards and the Pichai/Nadella/Cook-types who like to keep a lower profile. Both types can be unpredictable, but for very different reasons. The former seems to be fond of surprising the public (sometimes for no obvious reason, like when Elon Musk sold “Not-a-Flamethrowers”), while the latter is simply more enigmatic because they like to keep to themselves.

The BBC’s Amol Rajan interviewed Google’s Sundar Pichai, and while I found the title of the article, “Google boss Sundar Pichai warns of threats to internet freedom,” to be pretty misleading, it concisely summarizes a lot of Pichai’s past, his influences and his character.

“From the old rotary phone that they were on a waiting list for, to the scooter they all piled on to for a monthly dinner,” — in interviews, Pichai often discusses the impact that technology has had on his own life. That seems to go hand-in-hand with many of Google’s initiatives to tackle humanity’s biggest issues, but those initiatives seem to have become fewer and further between as of late: “With the biggest concentration of computer science PhDs in the world in one tiny strip of land south of San Francisco, goes this argument, shouldn’t Google be reversing climate change, or solving cancer?” Rajan wrote.

Regardless of how you feel about Google, it’s an enlightening read and can help you appreciate the monumental task of running one of the most important, impactful companies of all time.

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