This week: the page experience update is here, a new privacy-first search engine is here, and a new Search Console feature is here.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Page Experience Now Rolling Out
Here we go!
We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. Some of us have been dreading this day.
And now it’s here.
Google started rolling out the page experience update this week.
But it’s happening slowly. You might not notice how it impacts your site until August.
It’s not likely that the change will impact your site much, if at all, though. Google previously claimed that the new signals have a minor effect on where sites land in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here’s how it’s all going down:
- On June 17, Google started using page experience metrics to determine eligibility for top stories.
- Soon, you’ll see the AMP badge go away.
- Google continues to test the page experience badge but offers no report on when it will formally roll out.
Also: keep in mind that a core update recently rolled out. So if your keywords are already doing the Google Dance, that could be the reason. It might have nothing to do with the page experience update.
Meet Brave: A New Privacy-First Search Engine
Looking for a search engine that respects your privacy? Check out Brave.
Brave isn’t just the name of the search engine. It’s also the name of the company that makes that search engine.
And it’s the name of the browser, too.
As it stands now, Brave doesn’t show ads. The company says it might run ads one day in the future, but not in a way that violates users’ privacy.
“Brave Search does not track you, your searches, or your clicks; it’s impossible for Brave to disclose any information about you to anyone,” the company said in a statement. “Any future ads we may support will be anonymized (like all other Brave ads), and will not influence ranking. In the future, we will also offer paid ad-free search.”
Another Brave feature that publishers will love: the founders promise not to use content from the web without sending traffic to the website hosting the content.
As you may know, Google screen-scrapes content from websites and posts it on google.com. That gives people the ability to get their questions answered without even visiting the site with the answers.
Brave says it won’t do that.
The new software is still in preview mode.
Now All Google Merchants Can Accept Payment With Shopify
Good news if you’re a Google Merchant user: you can now accept payments via Shopify.
Even if you’re not a Shopify user.
More good news: you can use Shopify for checkout if you’re a Facebook or Instagram merchant as well.
The new solution is called Shop Pay. It’s a one-click checkout process offered by Shopify.
Here’s the announcement from the company: ”Each day, more than 1.8 billion people log on to Facebook and a billion shopping sessions take place across Google. By bringing Shop Pay to all merchants regardless of the commerce platform they use, we’re making an industry-leading checkout more accessible to independent brands at a time when finding and converting customers has never been more important.”
According to reports, check out with Shop Pay is 70% faster than an average online checkout. It’s also got a 1.72x higher conversion rate.
The new tool also offers order tracking for consumers.
Shop Pay has already facilitated more than $20 billion in online payments.
Google Rolls out Search Console Insights
Want to know more about what kind of content resonates with your core audience? If so, then check out Google Search Console Insights.
As the name implies, it’s part of Google Search Console. If you head over to Search Console right now, you’ll likely see a banner at the top advertising the new Insights feature.
Click on the link in that banner and Search Console will take you to a new screen where you’ll see site activity for the past 28 days.
For starters, the tool will show you how many clicks you got from Google Search. It will also show you how much that number increased or decreased from the previous month.
Below that, you’ll see your most searched queries that brought people to your site. You’ll also see where those keywords land in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and how many clicks landed visitors to that page during the time period.
You also have the option to view most trending queries. That will show you queries “on the rise” on your website.
Google Updating Top Stories Carousel
It seems like the Top Stories carousel is in the news a lot lately. And here it is again.
This time, it’s because Google announced that it’s changing the carousel.
Here are the changes you can expect to see:
- AMP no longer required for inclusion in Top Stories
- AMP icon will go away
- Google will eliminate swiping on the carousel
It’s not much of a carousel without swiping, but Google says it needs to eliminate that ability.
Why? Because Google can’t guarantee instant loading of pages since AMP is no longer required.
You can expect to see the changes roll out around the same time as the page experience update rolls out.
That is: now.
Google Explains the Difference Between Audience Expansion and Optimized Targeting
Google recently sent out an email to Google Ads users stating that some campaigns using audience expansion would get migrated to optimized targeting.
It left many strategists scratching their heads and wondering: “What’s the difference?”
According to a spokesperson, audience expansion “limited campaigns from benefiting from Google’s auto-targeting systems by expanding only on the user-selected audiences.”
On the other hand: “Optimized targeting is a new paradigm for auto-targeting that can move beyond any selected criteria to optimize into the best performing audiences for a given ad group while meeting the campaign’s objective.”
Bottom line: you’re in better hands with optimized targeting.
Facebook Gets Into Podcast Integration
This past week, Facebook announced that you can connect your podcast’s RSS feed to a Facebook Page. Then, users can enjoy your podcasts without ever leaving the Facebook platform.
Further, all your new podcasts going forward will automagically get integrated into the Facebook feed.
Facebook says that users can listen to podcasts even when the app is running in the background. So they can do other things at the same time.
Additionally, Facebook will enable users to create and share short clips from podcasts on its platform. That’s a great way to give your podcasts more publicity.
Facebook is contacting some Page owners about the new feature right now. No word yet on when it fully rolls out.
Twitter Getting Closer to Emoji Reactions to Tweets
It looks like you’ll soon be able to respond to a tweet with an emoji.
All we know right now about the feature is brought to us by reverse-engineer extraordinaire Jane Manchun Wong.
And from what we can see, it looks like Twitter is implementing something similar to what’s on Facebook. Users will have a limited set of emojis they can use to give their reactions to tweets.
Current emoji reactions include: “Like,” “Cheer,” “Hmm,” “Sad,” and “Haha.”
Before you enjoy the start of summer, consider handling these to-do’s:
- If you’re a podcaster, think about how you can use the upcoming Facebook integration to promote your podcast.
- Take a look at Search Console Insights. See what you can learn about the type of content that best works with your audience. Then, double-down on those subjects and keywords.
- If you’re in the e-commerce space, think about how you can use Shop Pay to streamline the checkout process for your customers.
- Take a look at Brave, the new search engine. It might one day become yet another option for online advertising.
- Keep an eye on your keywords over the next couple of months. See where you’re losing ground and where you’re improving. Look for the common traits that seem to help your keywords move up in the SERPs and apply those principles to all your content.