SEO & PPC Monthly Roundup – October 2019: Google's BERT Update, Lead Gen Ads, Facebook Search Ads
Google Rolls Out "BERT" Search Algo Update
Google has made the biggest change to its search algorithm since the company introduced the "rankbrain" update about 5 years ago. This latest update (named BERT), stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. What does that mean exactly? Essentially Google can better understand nuances and the context of words being used in searches, more in-line with how humans can understand. All this helps with the search engine results relevancy and helping return results that are more and more helpful to any search that is done. Right now, this is impacting only 1 in 10 queries, but will eventually roll out to all queries in time. It's unlikely there is much change to your SEO strategy other than continuing to write on topics with authority and in context for a human as Google will continue to improve its search algorithm to better understand language.
Read more on Search Engine Land: Welcome BERT
Google Ads Adding Lead Gen Ad Extension
In a potential game changer for lead generation advertisers - typically those in service-based industries - Google has started Beta testing a new ad extension for advertisers looking to capture leads from their search ads campaigns directly from Google. These new "lead form extensions" allow you to add an extension to your search ads where you'll be able to add a lead capture form directly to your ad. You can bypass users going directly to your site and capture lead information directly from within Google search ads. These extensions can also sync with your CRM via a webhook to help you receive leads in real time. This hasn't been rolled out to the general public yet, but should be at some point in the near future.
Read more: Google Lead Gen Extension
Facebook Unlocks Search Ads
In a more recent update, Facebook Ads will give advertisers the ability to show their ads amongst Facebook search results for queries that have commercial intent, such as searches for products connected to eCommerce, retail or the automotive vertical. In a variation to Google Search Ads, you will not be able to choose your keywords to advertise on, Facebook will do that for you based on a number of factors. Advertisers in the retail space will want to start testing these placements.
Read more on Marketing Land: Facebook Opens Search Ads to All Advertisers