SEO Market Updates: June 2018

Join Fusion’s SEO team as they round up last month’s major industry updates. 

New ‘URL Inspection Tool’ released within Google Search Console

Google confirmed through the official Google Webmasters twitter account in late June that a new URL inspection tool had been released in Google Search Console:

Once provided with a URL that you own, the ‘URL Inspection Tool’ will provide crawl, index and serving information to allow users to check if an URL is being displayed. If errors are found within the URL, the tool will provide an error report detailing what issues it has found.

Google My Business Agency Dashboard

Google has released a new dashboard which allows agencies to access and manage multiple Google My Business listings from a single page.

Using the Google My Business agency dashboard, agencies will now be able to access the following features:

  • Manage all locations under one account: Manage thousands of locations within a single account rather than being limited to 100 locations per account.
  • Send and receive invitations to manage listings: Send, receive and manage invitations within a dedicated section of the agency dashboard.
  • Location groups: All locations within an organisation are required to be held within a location group to simplify location management. Agencies can send/receive invitations to co-manage customer’s locations group listings.
  • User groups: Create and manage groups of users to easily manage access to certain locations groups.
  • Search: Quickly search for locations within the account or specific location group.

Google Search Consoles API now has access to 16 Months of Data

Although Google has provided users with sixteen months of historical data since the release of the new Google Search Console interface, a tweet from the Google Webmasters account confirmed in mid-June that users can now access this volume of data through the Search Console Analytics API. As a consequence, sixteen months of data can now be integrated within CMS and other tools:

Bing Announce Support for JSON-LD within Webmaster Tools

A month after Bing started supporting JSON-LD markup, Bing’s principal program manager, Fabrice Canel, announced extended support for JSON-LD markup within Bing Webmaster Tools during his appearance at SMX Advanced.

Bing Webmaster Tools announcement of JSON-LD support


This will now allow users to enter their JSON-LD code into Bing Webmaster’s markup validator and receive debugging information.

Paid Media News Roundup

AdWords – Notes

Those who have made the switch to the new AdWords interface may have noticed they can now add notes to campaign and ad group-level graphs. If you are yet to make the switch, or see the option, it is revealed when hovering over a point on the graph, as seen below.

Notes offer a centralised place to document any important changes and, through doing so, allow you to build a comprehensive picture of your account over time. Perhaps more important, however, is the much needed respite they offer to those who have grown tired of rifling through external documents, emails, or the change history for the date of a change or perhaps a promotion; wholly unwelcome tasks that I will certainly be glad to see the back of.

AdWords – Parallel Tracking

In a bid to improve landing-page times, and mobile web experiences, Google will, from the end of October this year, require parallel tracking on all accounts.

Parallel tracking seeks to overcome the problem of tracking codes slowing down landing pages, by essentially splitting the landing page and the tracking. Users can then be sent straight to the landing page, whilst the tracking is sent to an ad click measurement server. This stops users waiting for any redirects to load.

While parallel tracking is currently optional, early adoption could allow you to speed up your site’s load time, setting you aside from those who choose not to make the switch. The importance of this is furthered by the fact that from the end of this month, mobile speed will start being factored into your quality score.

DoubleClick – Digital Audio Ad Inventory

As the number of people who use music streaming services continues to grow, it is only to be expected that so too will the ways for advertisers to reach them. The latest platform to support the programmatic buying of audio ads is DoubleClick Bid Manager, whose advertisers can now reach audiences on Google Play Music, Spotify, Soundcloud and TuneIn.

Developments like these offer an exciting opportunity for advertisers to begin building a picture of how to engage with their audience through audio ads. The challenge going forward, and one that will only be compounded as more exchanges begin to offer audio ads and more advertisers begin to experiment with them, will be to engage with users in a relevant, non-intrusive way. As such, early insights will be a valuable way to stay ahead of the competition.

Google Sheets – AdWords Add-On

Google recently launched into beta an AdWords add-on for Google sheets, allowing users to create reports that can be run from, and downloaded to, a Google sheet – similar to the Google Analytics add-on. This allows users to create custom reports that are easy to update and can be easily shared, without writing scripts or investing in third-party software.

Unfortunately, the add-on is still lacking a few reports, such as shopping, and, unlike the Analytics add-on, a script, or many third-party solutions, does not allow you to schedule your reports.

Although it is not currently possible to automate every aspect of reporting through the add-on, it is certainly a step in the right direction and will be a useful tool once the other reports and a scheduling feature have been added.

How will partner categories’ removal affect marketers?

Just over a month ago now, Facebook announced that they’d be removing their third-party partner categories feature from Business Manager. The decision follows recent concerns surrounding Facebook’s handling of user data, and allows the company to demonstrate its commitment to increasing the transparency of their data-related activity.

The timeline

Facebook rolled out the changes over a fourteen day period:

  • From May 11th, marketers in the UK were unable to select partner categories’ data in their campaign creation
  • From May 25th, Facebook no longer delivered partner categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany and France, and disallowed campaigns from serving third party data to UK audiences

Remaining targeting options

We imagine marketers will be beginning to place much more emphasis on first party data and custom audiences will play a much greater role in social targeting strategies, from re-targeting website visitors to uploading CRM.

Creating lookalike audiences from campaigns that are already using third party data remains an option for marketers to consider. This gives companies a chance to identify audiences with similar behaviours and interests to the third party data audiences whose data they’re using currently. The benefit of this is that audiences will be classed as first party and will be available for use in future campaigns.

Of course, there is still the opportunity for marketers to use Facebook’s range of detailed targeting options such as demographic, interest and behaviour targeting.


Though the shutdown of third-party partner categories marks a significant restructuring of the social media marketing landscape, we see it primarily as a positive; it ensures far greater protection of online data, and the remaining targeting options are more than sufficient for generating successful marketing campaigns.

We’re keen to see how marketers continue evolving to these changes as they happen and will be sure to cover any future updates of this kind on the Fusion blog!