Good morning, Marketers, and what is “next?”

The semantics have been on my mind as the SMX team has been programming SMX Next, but also as I’m seeing lots of career shifting in the search marketing community. Companies are hiring a ton. Marketers are quitting their jobs, starting new ones, or founding their own businesses. People are saying, “Thank U, next” to in-office work, low salaries, and inflexible schedules.

At the same time, automation is a big “what’s next” for our industry (as well as what’s now). NLP is an existing technology that will take our industry to the “next” level. All of us are learning to do more with less data (a trend that will likely only continue).

And these all play into the career aspect too. We have to learn how to navigate our excelling careers with all these next level technologies. It’s a lot, but search marketers are pros at coping with (and conquering) what’s next.

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content

Algorithm Updates

Google page experience update is now rolled out

Google confirmed that it completed the page experience update rollout yesterday. This includes the updates to the Top Stories carousel on mobile search but the Google News app changes won’t be done for a week.

Google began rolling out the page experience update on June 15th and told us it would be completed by the end of August. It technically was not finished before the end of August and has about a week more to go, but it is essentially done rolling out, say Google reps.

Read more here. »


Why are in-house SEOs looking for new jobs?

Eli Schwartz, author of Product-Led SEO, tweeted about some contacts looking for new in-house SEO jobs. Mark Preston, Head of Digital at The Hakim Group, asked in response, “Why are so many great in-house SEOs looking for a new job?” Here are some of the top reasons Schwartz listed:

  1. In WAY too many companies there are limited vertical opportunities for growth within SEO. For someone that loves SEO the only way to keep doing SEO is to move on.
  2. There is not enough value placed on SEO so therefore salaries are arbitrarily capped. The SEO manager that knows they are contributing significantly to the bottom line will eventually get frustrated at not getting great raises and will move on to a company that is willing to pay $$$ precisely b/c they have to pay to hire.
  3. Companies are making employees go back to the office after a year or more of remote work. Those companies are going to end up losing their highly skilled SEOs and won’t know how hard they will be to replace until it’s too late.

Why we care.  It’s food for thought for in-house marketing departments on how to keep their SEOs feeling heard, fulfilled, and like they’re growing in their roles. Even if your SEO manager doesn’t want to move into a management position, there should be practitioner options for growth within your organization. No one wants to stay stagnant, especially with all the great job opportunities out there in today’s fiery market.


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What to do now that ETAs are going away

What happens when ETAs sunset and those in regulated industries still have to get ad coy and variations approved? “ETAs might be going away, but your ability to control ads is not. All you need to do is use ‘pinning’ at scale and you still have full control over your ad messaging. This is going to be essential for regulated industries and those who see poor RSA performance (*many* people),” tweeted Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of Adalysis. 

Data from our own contributors has found that pinning ad components can hurt performance: “In our analysis, we looked at ads with at least one pinned component and compared them to ads with no pinned components. Ads without pinning did better on CTR, conversion rate, CPC and CPA. But the opposite was true for ROAS where ads with a pinned component did better,” said Frederick Vallaeys, CEO at Optmyzr.

So what happens if you have to pin? “My opinion is that pinning headlines will be necessary for many ad groups.  Yes, it hobbles the algorithm somewhat, but so be it. I doubt Ad Strength measurement has any predictive value for low volume ad groups,” predicted Matt Van Wagner, President of Find Me Faster.

Why we care. While the PPC community knew it was coming, the phase-out of ETAs is making many start brainstorming new strategy ideas. With the advanced notice (ETAs won’t disappear until late June 2022), now’s the time to start testing, adjusting, and migrating your ad strategy to accommodate the changes. Those tests should probably include pinning, just to see how it goes.


On the hunt for something new in 2021? Here are the latest career opportunities in search

SEO Specialist @ EmberTribe (USA, remote)

  • Salary: $55k-70k/yr
  • Audit client and prospect digital portfolios to identify improvement opportunities, and deliver these findings both verbally and in writing in such a way that supports new business acquisition.
  • Track and report on relevant KPIs for organic search, teaching and guiding clients on what metrics are relevant and applicable. Use this performance data to drive strategic updates and iterative tests aimed at increasing overall search performance.

Web Content Manager @ WorkMoney (USA, remote)

  • Salary: $90k/yr
  • Create content that drives traffic to our soon-to-be released website
  • Work within the member value team in close coordination with teams focused on direct member outreach, advocacy and digital engagement to refine our overall tone and offerings

Paid Search Associate @ Velocity Global, LLC (USA, remote)

  • Salary: $55k-65k/yr
  • Assist in creation, launch, and management of paid search campaigns to bring in qualified leads resulting in pipeline growth
  • Monitor, optimize, and report campaign performance on an on-going basis to ensure KPIS are met or exceeded

Demand Generation Manager/Senior Manager @ Clarify Health Solutions (USA, remote)

  • Salary: $120k-132k/yr
  • Lead, design, and execute demand generation strategy and campaigns
  • Own the development of a content strategy and creation of content (white papers, case studies, e-books, webinars, videos, etc) that will drive demand and is aligned to the stages of the buyer’s journey.

Enter a job opening for an opportunity to be featured in this section.


Final deadline: Enter the 2021 Search Engine Land Awards now

The judges are ready to review your application… but they can only do that if you submit it by tonight at 11:59pm PT. Don’t miss your chance to earn new business, boost company morale, showcase your amazing work, and enjoy well-deserved praise from the search marketing community.

Begin your application »

Search Shorts

Google Ads location targeting, Sept. 1 algo update, and post-cookie measurement

Understanding & optimizing Google location targeting settings. If you choose to have your ads showing in the US, why do you see people from Germany, France, and Japan clicking on your ads? If you are only targeting Chicago, why do you have clicks from San Francisco? The real question is: Are those clicks converting, and if not, how can I stop them?

Was there another algo update on September 1? Barry dives into the chatter on SERoundtable: “There are not a huge number of complaints, but the tools are picking up on the fluctuations in the Google search results.”

Google analytics chief addresses critics and plans for measurement in post-cookie world. “With paradigm shifts you end up having a phase of ambiguity, where there’s a lot of education that has to go around before the industry as a whole can coalesce to a solution,” said Vidhya Srinivasan in the interview with AdAge.

Upcoming Events

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