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Google search results spam for ‘Bill Slawski obituary’ shows the dark side of SEO

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We reported yesterday the sad news that Bill Slawski has died . It’s less than 24 hours later and no actual obituary has been published (either by a news site or funeral home). Yet, Google’s search results are littered with spammy results. Look at what is ranking on a Google search right now for [bill slawski obituary]: This is a horror, especially for anybody seeking trustworthy information on Slawski. To me, this SERP looks like Google, before the Panda Update , for certain queries where content farms reigned. That’s the easiest way to describe it.  A ton of low-quality websites have created thin content with the sole purpose of optimizing it to rank whenever someone searches for an obituary for Bill Slawski. And they are monetizing whatever traffic they get through display ads. What’s worse – there are many of these types of sites. And these sites have one thing in common: the content reads like it was either automatically generated or written (poorly) by people whose first l

10 reasons to enter the Search Engine Land Awards

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The global events of the past two years have made it more important than ever for brands and agencies to  stand out against the competition . Being able to call your company “award-winning” is one of the most powerful differentiators you can have. That’s just one amazing reason to enter the  2022 Search Engine Land Awards . Keep reading for more. Deadline alert: Super Early Bird rates expire at the end of this month! Submit your entry by Friday, May 27 for just $395 — $200 off last chance rates! Showcase exceptional work.  The campaigns and initiatives you feature in your application will demonstrate to the judges, the community, and the industry at large just how talented you and your team are. Generate new business.  Customers and clients want to work with the best in the biz. And when you take home a Search Engine Land Award, that’s exactly what you’ll be. Dazzle existing clients and customers.  New work aside, your existing contacts will be thrilled to tell their circle t

New mobile Google ad experiment puts favicon in-line with display URL

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Google has confirmed that the search company is experimenting with a new Google Ads label display, this was after this has been spotted in the wild by some in the industry. The test includes different verbiage like “advertisement” and “sponsored” above mobile search ads, instead of just saying “Ads.” In many cases, the site’s favicon is featured directly to the left of the ad domain & display URL. What it looks like. Here is a screenshot from Brodie Clark of a few variations: Here's an interesting test. Google is currently showing new ad label variations on mobile, now with the words 'advertisement' and 'sponsored'. This is matched with another URL + favicon test from March – lots going on here. More info: https://t.co/j6IUtkSa1z pic.twitter.com/FLSnZcmzWc — Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) May 17, 2022 Courtesy of @brodieclark Google confirmed. A Google spokesperson confirmed the test saying “This is part of a series of experiments to help users more easi

Google launches video health tools to help publisher monetization

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Maximizing the return on video inventory is a problem likely to be found at the top of most publishers’ lists. Help is on the way for those using Ad Manager thanks to new video specific tools from Google. The new features are part of the Programmatic Video Health Tools and real-time video reporting, both with goals of using automation to surface insights and information quickly. Programmatic video signals This card will create views that show performance across the various video platforms being used. Some elements that are automatically reported on include: app/web domain, viewability and audience information. Users will also be able to see the impact of each on revenue. According to Google “publishers with high programmatic inventory signal coverage see an average 25% revenue uplift compared to inventory with low programmatic inventory signal coverage.” VAST errors The Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) errors insight cart will help with error reporting on lost ad requests. Thi

SEO pioneer and expert Bill Slawski passes away

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We have just learned the shocking news that Bill Slawski, an SEO expert and pioneer, has died. Slawski was the Director of SEO Research at Go Fish Digital, a digital marketing agency. His company just shared the news of his passing on Twitter, moments ago. We're devastated to share that our colleague and dear friend, @bill_slawski has passed away. Words simply cannot express our sadness. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Bill. We’ll share much more info and arrangements as it comes available to us. pic.twitter.com/5mD6jqw7XR — Go Fish Digital (@GoFishDigital) May 19, 2022 SEO by the Sea For many in our industry, Slawski was probably best-known for his blogging about Google patents and algorithms at SEO by the Sea . He started the SEO by the Sea blog in June 2005. Contributions to the search community Aside from writing on his own blog, Slawski contributed articles at many search publications. He was a contributing author here at Search Eng

New Yelp feature: Request a Call

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Yelp has added a new Request a Call feature to help service businesses more easily connect with potential clients. Users can specify a preferred call-back time. It’s then up to businesses to either confirm or ask for a different time. How Request a Call works. People who land on your Yelp business page can click on a Request a call button. They must then select a service they want from you, then enter their phone number and preferred call time. This time could be super specific or a larger time window.  When someone requests a call from your business, you will get a message in your Yelp for Business inbox, asking them to call the potential customer at the requested time window. Businesses then have three response options: Confirm call time. You will be prompted to specify a date and time you will call the customer (e.g., “I will call you this Friday at 1:30 p.m.”) Reschedule/unavailable. You can suggest a different call time to the customer. Need more information. You can as

Google Ads issue with access to video pages frontend

Google is current having access issues with video pages in Google Ads. If you currently try to access video pages in Google Ads you will likely be presented with a red banner about an error message. Notice. Google posted this issue over here saying: We’re aware of a problem with Google Ads affecting a majority of users. We will provide an update by May 19, 2022, 6:00 PM UTC detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change. The affected users are able to access Google Ads, but are seeing error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behavior.Users trying to access Video pages in Google Ads Frontend will see an error message with the red banner.No workarounds are available at this time. Fix coming. Google is clearly aware of the issue and working on a fix, but there is currently not estimated time on when this will be fixed. If you notice this issue, try it again later in a few hours and move on to other