SEOIntel Weekly News Round-up (4th week of March, 2024)

The month of March is ending and the last week of the month has been rather quiet, when it comes to the current rollout of the March 2024 Core Update. It’s expected to run for a month and this coming week should be its last week of roll out, can we expect more volatility in […]
Marie Aquino
March 29, 2024

The month of March is ending and the last week of the month has been rather quiet, when it comes to the current rollout of the March 2024 Core Update. It’s expected to run for a month and this coming week should be its last week of roll out, can we expect more volatility in it’s final week? We can only wait and see.

Here is this week’s notable news in the SEO space.

Google’s Top Ads, No Longer Just At The “Top”

Google has updated its definition of “top ads” to better reflect where the ads can appear in search. According to Google, top ads are generally above the top organic search results, although they may also show below the top organic search results in certain queries. The placement of top ads is dynamic and may change based on the user’s search.

Ginny Marvin, Google’s Ads Liaison, posted in X that that this is just a definition change and does not affect how performance metrics are calculated.

12.7 Million Ad Accounts and 5.5 Billion Ads, Blocked by Google in 2023

According to Google in their 2023 Ads Safety Report, they have blocked 12.7 Million advertiser accounts and removed 5.5 billion ads for violating their policy. The number of advertisers that were blocked were almost double the numbers from the previous year (2022).

Further details of the report showed:

  • Google blocked or removed 206.5 million advertisements for violating our misrepresentation policy, which includes many scam tactics.
  • Google blocked or removed 273.4 million advertisements for violating our financial services policy.
  • Google blocked or removed over 1 billion advertisements for violating its policy against abusing the ad network, which includes promoting malware.
  • Google blocked or restricted ads from serving on more than 2.1 billion publisher pages.
  • Google took broader site-level enforcement action on more than 395,000 publisher sites, up markedly from 2022.

According to Google, the key trend in 2023 was the impact of Generative AI. It has introduced significant changes in the digital advertising industry – from performance optimization to image editing. However, it also posed new challenges that they are addressing head-on. The introduction of generative AI also presents a unique opportunity to improve their enforcement efforts significantly, including the use LLMs (Large Language Models) to help with larger-scale and more precise enforcement decisions on more complex policies.

The report also included the work that the team has done to prevent scams and frauds across all online platforms – which were on the rise in 2023, their work in ensuring transparency when it came to political and election-related ads, and additional policies and updates. All these to ensure that billions of people could continue to rely on the relevancy and trustworthiness of ads served by Google.

Read more about Google’s 2023 Ads Safety Report here.

The Best Time to Post Content In YouTube?

Youtube’s Liason Officer, Rene Ritchie mentioned on X the best times to post on Youtube. According to him, “If you’re posting news, trends, or content with a shorter shelf-life, post as soon as you can, to maximize that shelf-life. If you’re posting more evergreen content, post whatever time you like. Just be aware that if you’re posting at off hours, initial acceleration will be slower, and adjust your expectations accordingly. Over the course of a couple weeks or a month, though, views will probably end up the same, regardless of what time you initially post If you’re going live, go live when the analytics chart shows most of your audience will be there to watch.”

In addition, he also asked Todd Beaupre, Youtube’s Director of Growth and Discovery about the best time to post. According to Beaupre, the way that they have designed the algorithm is that they want to give the audiences the videos and other content that they’re going to be the most satisfied by. If the audience doesn’t really care whether you uploaded it at three in the morning or seven at night, then the algorithm shouldn’t care either. What he encourage creators to do is when they have some of these questions, and they immediately think about the algorithm, replace the word algorithm in their question with the word ‘audience.’ That’s going to give them a better answer because they’re aiming to serve the audience. The more you focus on understanding what your audience wants and finding the best fit with them, the algorithm is going to match that.

Looks like you can post anytime but best to also check out your YouTube Analytics for more personalized insights.

Mikhail Parakhin, Head of Bing Search and Microsoft Advertising, Steps Down

Microsoft’s Head of Bing Search and Microsoft Advertising, Mikhail Parahkin is stepping down from his role and has decided to explore new roles. This is a week after Microsoft has announced that Mustafa Sulayman, the co-founder of DeepMind, would now be leading up Microsoft’s AI efforts as the CEO of Microsoft AI. Parakhin has been asked to report to him.

Mikhail Parakhin has been the lead in a lot of Microsoft’s latest AI efforts around Bing Chat, now known as Copilot, and its integration into Microsoft products like Bing Search, Office, and other services and devices. It is unclear if he will be leaving Microsoft completely or switching to a new role.