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Good morning, Marketers, Did you attend SMX Report last week?
Before we get into that, first allow me to introduce myself. I’m Kathy Bushman, Director, Events Content at Third Door Media. That means I work closely with our editorial team to craft the educational programs and seek out skilled and diverse speakers for the SMX series of events. You’ll see me in this newsletter a couple of times a month writing about different topics relating to events.
Last week we produced SMX Report. The first one-day event in a series of SMX events that will take place virtually this year. If you didn’t get a chance to see the event, it’s not too late to register and watch the sessions on demand. This was the first virtual event we created in a learning journey format. We had two tracks, SEO and PPC. Each track had four segments that brought attendees through a journey of reporting and measurement from laying the foundation of a campaign and setting goals to measuring and reporting back to management on how those goals were achieved. Our talented editors guided attendees through each segment.
We hoped this new format would allow for a deeper and more comprehensive look into measurement and reporting. If you attended the event, I’d love to know what you thought of the learning journey format. We’ll be producing at least three more learning journey events this year and we are always looking to improve. Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Director, Events Content
Google will not build or use alternate identifiers to track users across the web
In an announcement yesterday, Google explicitly said that it will not build or use alternate identifiers. In the announcement, it also doubled down on Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) as a way for advertisers to reach their audiences. “Our tests show that advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising,” the company said previously — hopefully, their tests accurately reflect real-world conditions, but either way, advertisers may have to get used to this new targeting method.
Remember, though, that FLoC is Chrome-based and won’t be part of a multi-channel advertising ecosystem. And, if Google’s tech is what’s behind grouping customers into FLoC cohorts, will the individual user data also be available to Google? If you haven’t already, we recommend that you start gathering first-party data, through email signups, rewards programs, etc.; it may prove to be an invaluable tool for helping you learn more about your customers or retargeting them.
Tips for getting your session pitch noticed
Have you been submitting session pitches but haven’t been selected to speak? Or maybe you’re just now considering applying to speak at an industry or local event and don’t know where to start. Here are some tips to consider.
- Start with your own goals. Think about why you want to speak and what types of events are a good fit with your expertise.
- Once you identify those events, learn everything you can about it. Determine if there is a theme, if they are looking for specific types of sessions or topics, look at past programs. Talk to other people who may have spoken at that event. It’s even better if they can make an introduction or recommend you.
- Now it’s time to submit your idea. Succinctly describe what you will talk about, but more importantly focus on what the audience will be able to do as a result of attending your presentation. Be as specific as possible and include any real-life examples and case studies you have to share.
- Be realistic about what you can present in the time allotted. Going in-depth on a narrow topic is often more valuable than going too broad and not providing actionable takeaways.
- When submitting your bio, keep it short and include any relevant work experience that shows your expertise on the topic. If you have spoken at other events or have speaking videos, include them.
- Hit submit and good luck!
We are actually looking for speakers for SMX Advanced, which takes place virtually on June 15-16. Whether in-person or online, SMX Advanced continues to be the premier conference for experienced, senior-level search marketers.
How Gootkit trojan distributes ransomware via Google SERPs
When (bad) hackers inject script into HTML without our knowledge, they can leverage search engine ranking potential for criminal enterprise.
How it works. Generated code detects Googlebot, ordinary users, and especially Google search users. With an advanced idea of a potential victim’s Google search queries, hackers create a forum post thread template with a malware download link that is designed to show up in Google SERPs as the perfect resource answer for those searches.
Why we care. These attacks are only going to get worse and become more frequent. Gootkit goes back to 2014, and we briefly discussed a case from back then in our SMX Workshop: SEO for Developers. Future workshops with more depth on security topics may divulge additional details given the distance in time from that particular incident and because information security is in our wheelhouse. It serves both as a warning and lesson for developers.
If it happens to any sites you’re working on, you’ll have to go to the root to solve it. In our case, it was PHP’s eval() that maliciously published a fake sports memorabilia e-commerce website under a popular Chicago pizza chain restaurant’s domain name. The attack attempted to piggyback on the ranking potential of the popular domain name and the topic relevancy between pizza and sports. We analyzed log files which led to us uncover and remove the malware entry point and install safeguards to try and prevent from such things happening again.
Pagination, fake data and Google Ads API
Google pagination SEO advice. Ever since the fall of rel prev/next, SEOs have been looking for answers around pagination. John Mueller of Google said on Twitter “I wouldn’t assume there’s any special SEO element regarding paginated pages — it’s often more a matter of “if someone only saw this page from my site, would that be ok?” If not, just noindex. Sometimes these are more for UI/UX than for indexing, sometimes they’re both.”
New validation methods for Google Ads API. Beginning in May 2021, the Display Video 360 API will start enforcing new validation when creating or updating line item resources. Once this validation is in effect, you will still be able to retrieve and update unrelated fields of line items that do not comply with this rule.
Google is good at figuring out fake data. Nervous about spammers faking core web vitals metrics? John Mueller of Google said don’t be: “We have a lot of practice with fake traffic, eg, for ad-fraud), getting enough data to skew aggregate metrics is unknown-hard, and persistence costs money. It’s more effective to just put the money time into your own site.”
We’ve curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.
- Google Recommends Pyramid Navigation Structures For Larger Sites – Search Engine Roundtable
- How To Use GSC’s Crawl Stats Reporting To Analyze and Troubleshoot Site Moves (Domain Name Changes and URL Migrations) – GSQI
- Using the TargetText Pseudo-Element for Custom Highlights in Chrome 89 – Brodie Clark Consulting
- Your Answer May Be a Question: Inside Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ – Five Blocks
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