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The keys to ranking well on YouTube and your thoughts on the new Ads policies; Monday'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, and I’m moving this week.

I read somewhere once that moving is one of the top three most stressful life events, and I believe it. Everything is chaotic, and I don’t know where anything is. I thought having movers would make it a lot easier, but it’s actually made it harder for me, personally. There’s an element of releasing control that I don’t quite have a handle on. I don’t have control over my control issue.

Barry kindly reminded me that this is exactly what a site migration can feel like for SEOs too. Sometimes it’s out of your hands, with developers doing the work, and you just orchestrating. When you’re in the middle of it, even the best-planned migrations can feel chaotic and like you don’t know where anything is or goes.

But the idea is that, with months of planning and structuring, when you get to the other side, things will be simple and work as you intended. If you’re navigating a site move, I hope you feel more settled than I do with my house move, right now. Either way, we’ll get to the other side.

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content

Google’s three-strikes ad policy isn’t the problem, it’s policy application that worries advertisers

Google Ads’ new three-strikes program, which begins in September 2021, applies to violations of its Enabling Dishonest Behavior, Unapproved Substances and Dangerous Products or Services policies. If an advertiser is found to be in violation of Google’s policies, they’ll receive a warning for the first infraction. After that, penalties become increasingly strict with each violation, leading up to account suspension after the third strike.

The PPC professionals that spoke to us for this article were largely in favor of the three-strikes system. However, Google’s enforcement, which can be haphazard, has them concerned. “I’ve had ‘false flags’ come up specifically in these categories a handful of times over the past year (including display ads for a cybersecurity company being disapproved for promoting drug use!),” said Tim Jensen, campaign manager at Clix Marketing.

Communicating the change with stakeholders and clients ahead of time can help you frame their expectations once the new policies come into effect. Eventually, more advertisers may potentially run afoul of the system, so it’s best to get ahead of it now instead of allowing that first warning or strike to be issued.

Read more here.

Search Engine Land’s Guide to Bing SEO

Bing accounts for 26.5% of all desktop searches in the U.S., according to Comscore (April 2021). With the recent prevalence of working from home, people are spending more time on their desktop computers, which might also mean that more people are now using Bing.

Bing’s ranking algorithm is dynamic. “The ranking algorithm is a gigantic machine learning model and it’s evolving constantly,” said Frédéric Dubut, principal project PM manager, core search & AI at Microsoft.

This potentially means that, if everyone starts prioritizing one ranking criteria, then that signal may become less indicative of relevance and Bing’s algorithm may assign less weight to it. Instead of cherry-picking ranking factors to optimize for, we recommend that you cover all the bases to the best of your ability while keeping in mind how Bing treats the following elements of search.

Read how to optimize for Bing here.

Search Shorts: Click maps, CRO and new tools for media planners

Collect user data with click maps. You have probably heard that to be successful you need to be data-driven, only if it was that simple. Collecting data is the easy part; figuring out what matters and how to use this information to your advantage is a lot more difficult. Here to save the day are click maps – a simple yet powerful heatmap tool that makes it easy for you to collect, visualize and understand your website’s analytics data.

How to build user trust with CRO & UX tweaks. A user’s trust of your site isn’t always the most pressing issue a site can have, from an SEO perspective. Often, you’re too busy putting out technical fires or building a brand from scratch, one backlink at a time. But when the technical foundations are there, your content marketing/PR is on point, and yet the graphs start to plateau; this can be a great time to take stock of a site and really dig into whether it’s as strong as it can be from a trust perspective.

Plan for business growth with Display & Video 360. To help media planners adjust to this new way of working, Google Ads is introducing two Display & Video 360 tools that will help you estimate the reach of your campaigns in real-time across any inventory type – including traditional TV, connected TV (CTV) and even audio.

What We’re Reading: Using keywords in YouTube videos: How to get more views

Video has been the “next big thing” for a while. Over 75% of GenZers age 15-25 watch YouTube. “Their most used platform is YouTube closely followed by Instagram – so video is clearly a priority for them,” wrote Sorilbran Stone. So it only makes sense that more search marketers are using Google’s video platform for both paid and organic reach.

This guide demonstrates how YouTube’s algorithm works and how you can optimize your video content to show up in those results. The key is to plan for your audience and work backward from there. Important metrics include things like watch time, retention rate, and engagement, but your keywords are also critical.

YouTube assesses keywords not just from titles, tags, and descriptions, but also from the audio of the video — which means it’s critical to actually say them in your audio script and transcription. How do you choose the keywords? Well, good, old-fashioned keyword research, of course. 

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