SMBs think they know their customers; their customers disagree; 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, should Google be the content curator AND creator?

Last week Google unveiled its new interactive, in-SERP periodic table. It got a lot of attention, but if you look at the top search result for the query “periodic table,” you will head to the much more extensive resource, While it’s still showing #1 for now and Google’s resource is further down the page, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the search engine usurps the comprehensive resource with its own version.

Before you email me, I realize that no one owns the content of the periodic table (it’s not like the song lyrics debacle). But it does raise the ever-enduring question: What does it mean for search marketers as Google transitions from a curator to a creator?

We’ve seen the rise of zero-click searches, Google has been involved in many antitrust lawsuits, and it’s held its ground in market share for years. As many people’s main source of information, there’s a chance that Google will overtake these resources built years ago. What does it mean for them if anything at all? Time will tell.

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content

Soon you can adjust conversion values in Google Ads Smart Bidding 

“You can adjust conversion values based on characteristics like location, device, and audience. By applying a rule to these characteristics, you can adjust conversion values to align more closely with your business outcomes,” said Stephen Chang, Product Manager, Google Ads in an announcement. This added feature means that businesses can use their inherent knowledge of what’s working in their industry to improve their conversion rates in Google Ads. 

Why we care. “This is a great feature addition. Love it because it allows businesses to get their intuitive/institutional knowledge into the machine learning to optimize more accurately,” tweeted Robert Brady, PPC expert at Righteous Marketing.

Read more here.

Facebook launches its “Widely Viewed Content Report”

Source: Facebook

Last week, Facebook published the first edition of its “Widely Viewed Content Report,” a quarterly report that provides statistics on the content users are viewing in their News Feeds. The report is seen by many media outlets as a way to counter data from its own CrowdTangle tool that often shows posts from conservative commentators among the 10 top-performing link posts (ranked by total interactions). But, for marketers, the report may also contain useful insights into how users are interacting with content on their News Feeds.

Why we care. There’s a breakdown of News Feed content sources (shown above) and other interesting stats, such as views on posts with links vs. views on posts with no links, the top domains that accounted for News Feed content (YouTube, Amazon and Unicef were among the top three) and more. The “Widely viewed posts” section might also provide social media marketers with a look at the types of content that attract millions of views — there’s no surprise here, the majority of the most-viewed posts contained either a photo or a video.

There is a caveat: The posts that had the most content views during Q2 represented about 0.1% of all content views on Facebook. The company attributes this to personalization: “Given the customized nature of News Feed, most of what people see on Facebook is personalized for them specifically,” Facebook said in the report. Knowing your audience may help you increase the odds that the personalization systems work in your favor.

Small businesses and consumers are on different wavelengths, new survey finds

Source: Constant Contact

Survey data from Constant Contact indicates that “84 percent of small businesses feel confident that they know what their customers are looking for.” But the survey data shows that consumers actually disagree. Some of the top disconnects include the following marketing areas:

  • Small businesses are relying heavily on social media to drive financial results, but consumers say that channel isn’t where they typically buy
  • 47% of small businesses believe emails checking in on a customer’s well-being are the most likely type to lead to a sale
  • But 40% of consumers say emails checking on their well-being don’t influence their purchasing decisions – instead, emails with a clear discount code or coupon are most likely to be opened (77%) and lead to purchase (67%)
  • 35% of consumers say an issue with a small business’s website, or the inability to buy online, would discourage them from shopping with that business

Why we care. If there’s one thing we keep learning from our experts at SMX events, it’s that knowing your audience is critical (and constant testing is mandatory). We always like to claim that we’re data-driven marketers, but, to us, this data indicates that it’s something we need to continue to work on.

Microsoft is making it harder to switch default browsers in Windows 11. In a very Google-esque move, “Microsoft’s upcoming release of Windows 11 will make it even harder to switch default browsers and ignores browser defaults in new areas of the operating system,” wrote Tom Warren for The Verge.

Google’s title tag/H1 adjustment is not exactly intuitive yet. Whatever’s going on with the title tags and headers in Google search is bringing up some really wonky results. Some SEOs are upset about it and others are just not worrying about what they can’t control right now. Google says they’ve heard the feedback and are working on it.

“Making major BMM –> Phrase changes right now!! A little worried about how this would impact volume. Anyone seeing worrying stats with their changes yet??” Let Anu (our SMX Convert PPC cohost) know what you’re seeing on the paid search side.

Quote of the Day

“If you ask the C-Suite, they may likely say, ‘Measure everything’. Dig deeper, there’s almost always a north star goal. Whether it’s more customers, brand awareness, signups, etc.,” tweeted Azeem Ahmad in last week’s #SEOChat all about content ROI.

About The Author

Carolyn Lyden serves as the Director of Search Content for Search Engine Land and SMX. With expertise in SEO, content marketing, local search, and analytics, she focuses on making marketers’ jobs easier with important news and educational content.



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