Google, the online advertising giant, is taking measures to rid web pages of ads. Well, certain types of ads anyway. We’ll explain this in more detail later on. This week Google has also launched an intelligent new tool for AdWords, provided advice for creating meta descriptions, and updated its search results for artwork aficionados. Bing also made the news this week as it one-upped Google when it comes to image searches.
More details about each of these top stories are included in this week’s SEO & SEM news roundup.
Google Wants to Rid the Web of “Annoying” Ads
It’s no secret that Google thrives on advertising dollars. However, the company has standards. It was recently announced Google has partnered with the Coalition for Better Ads to create what they call the Better Ads Standards. What this boils down to is the company trying to get rid of ads on web pages that can be considered annoying or intrusive.
In early 2018, Google will stop showing ads in its Chrome browser that are not compliant with the Better Ads Standards. This should give publishers plenty of time to clean up the ads on their site before a vast majority of the web browsing population is no longer able to see them.
In an effort to assist publishers Google has developed a tool called the Ad Experience Report, which measures how well a site’s ads comply with the Better Ads Standards. After running a URL through the tool, the Ad Experience Report displays screenshots and videos which specifically identifies ads that are in violation of the Better Ad Standards.
It’s hard to believe after all these years of selling advertising that Google is taking such a strong stance against ads, but here we are and publishers need to take notice before it’s too late. For more information see our explainer article which has everything you need to know about the Better Ads Standards.
Google AdWords Introduces “Smart Bidding”
Google has introduced a new AdWords feature called Smart Bidding that can automatically set the ideal bid for each ad auction. The company says this will help ensure advertisers get the maximum amount of conversions that their daily budget allows for. With the help of Google’s machine learning technology, Smart Bidding can optimize for conversions across every ad auction. In order to set it up for your campaigns, simply go to your campaign’s page, click “Change bid strategy”, and then select “Maximize Conversions.”
New Google AdWords Experience Coming By End of Year
Google is promising an all new AdWords experience will be rolled out to users by the end of the year. It offers a cleaner look with more immediate access to important data. Here’s how Google describes it:
“The new AdWords experience marks the most powerful change we’ve made to how advertisers visualize and manage their campaigns in over 15 years. The redesign makes AdWords significantly easier to use to help you reach your unique marketing goals and get things done.”
There’s a new landing page available where you can preview some screenshots and try out a beta version of the new experience.
Google’s Advice on Writing Meta Descriptions
Google provided some advice this week on writing meta descriptions for search results — but first, do you know how Google generates meta descriptions? It doesn’t always go with the one you write. Google tries to match the meta description to the user’s query, which could mean using alternate sources.
The search engine will first turn to content within the page itself and try to create a relevant meta description. If that fails, then Google will default to using the one written in the meta description tag. Previously, if your website was listed in the directory DMOZ, Google may have used your DMOZ description as the meta description. However, with the directory now closed, Google will no longer be turning to it as a source for information.
In the event that Google doesn’t use your page content as the meta description, it’s important to have a good one written as a backup. Here’s the search giant’s advice on writing meta descriptions:
“Good meta descriptions are short blurbs that describe accurately the content of the page. They are like a pitch that convince the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for.”
Google also points out some common issues to watch out for. The most common problem is site owners neglecting to write them altogether. Another issue is using the same meta description for all pages across the site. Other problems include writing off-topic, spammy, or low quality meta descriptions.
So take the search giant’s advice. Create unique, well-written meta descriptions for all of the key pages on your site. That’s just following common SEO best practices, but sometimes it needs to be reiterated.
Google Updates Search Results for Artwork-related Searches
Amongst all the updates to paid search this week, Google did take the time to release an update to organic search results. When conducting art-related searches, you’ll now get a fully interactive page of search results. On top of that, Google has enhanced Street View to give more informative inside tours of the world’s most famous museums. The company says this is in response to the large volume of art-related searches conducted on Google, with over 500 million performed on a monthly basis.
Bing Introduces An Advanced Form of Image Search
Bing and Google have long offered the ability to search by image, but now Bing has one-upped Google with a more advanced form of image searching. Bing has created a way for people to search for objects within an image. That means if you see a picture of a dining room, and you’re particularly interested in the silverware, you can conduct a reverse image search for just that.
How it works is simple. When you conduct a regular image search on Bing and click on one of the results, you will see a magnifying glass icon in the top left corner. This is called the Visual Search Button. After clicking on the button you can then click and drag to draw a selection around what you happen to be interested in. Bing will then surface images of what you selected. In addition to finding matching images, Bing will also do its best to surface product pages when possible.
Wrapping it Up
Google is championing the cause of creating better ads for the web. AdWords users can now maximize their conversions with smart bidding. A new AdWords experience will be rolled out to everyone by the end of the year. Google reminded everyone how to write good meta descriptions. Art aficionados will now see a more advanced set of search results when conducting art-related searches. Lastly, Bing has introduced an advanced form of image searching that Google will now have to catch up with.