World Storytelling Day: A Chat with Our In-House Storytellers

Welcome story lovers and word wranglers! This World Storytelling Day we’re celebrating spinning a yarn and weaving a captivating tale. After all, creative storytelling is at the forefront of what we do within content SEO – it engages, entertains, and leaves a lasting impression.

But how exactly do stories translate into the world of content creation? Today we’re getting insight from two of our content whizzes from the organic team: Emily Flude (EF), Senior Content Executive, and Elena Brooke (EB), Content Executive. We’ll be asking them about their personal storytelling journeys, exploring how they incorporate narrative strategies into their work, discussing the ever-evolving role of storytelling in content marketing, and most importantly, which fictional character they would like to have dinner with (spoiler alert, they both pick bears).

What’s your earliest memory of being captivated by a story?

EF: For me, I often enjoy a story accompanied by music so Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins were movies that I especially loved when I was younger. Acting, singing, and dancing all incorporated in one medium kept me captivated over and over again! 

EB: My younger brother and I were gifted a storybook called The Maggie B by my great-grandmother. The story depicts a girl and her baby brother as they wish to be on a beautiful boat for a day. On the boat they have a goat and a peach tree, they paint and enjoy the sea breeze, eat peaches, and drink milk for their supper. My mum would tell us that we were the two sea travellers and the story has always stuck with me – it’s one of my fondest childhood memories.

What is your favourite medium of storytelling and why?

EF: I think theatre performances provide a unique experience of watching a story unfold. I find it appealing that only the audience gets to witness the performance in this specific way. The next day, there could be slight changes in intonation or someone could switch up a line. 

The most impressive theatre performance I’ve seen was when I sat second row for Prima Facie with Jodie Comer performing a one-woman show on the difficult topic of sexual assault. I have never felt so moved watching a live performance before and our closeness to the stage meant that we could see every emotion she was portraying. Seeing acting live and experiencing the emotion of a character standing in front of you can’t compare to watching online for me.

EB: I don’t think you can go wrong with a good book but I do really love theatre. The technical skill as well as the visual creativity of theatre brings stories to life. There are a few stage adaptations of books I have previously that I have seen that have brought a whole new perspective to the tale.

I saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at York Theatre Royal and in that story, there is a scene that takes place on a train. The coordination of the cast to create the physicality of being on a moving vehicle was completely immersive and I’m still incredibly impressed.

How do you define “storytelling” in the context of your content writing work?

EF: As content writers, it’s important that we craft a blog that takes readers on a journey using storytelling. Creating high-quality, engaging content is what makes one blog stand out from another. 

EB: Context is foundational to a good piece of writing and to create clear context requires a level of storytelling. For many clients, blogs and articles are directly related to statistics, law changes, or even the current socioeconomic climate. Putting writing into context requires painting a picture of the word to illustrate why an article is important and worth reading.

What are some challenges you face in incorporating storytelling into content that needs to adhere to specific guidelines?

EF: SEO-optimised content is all about producing the best copy in the eyes of search engines. We could produce an abstract poem to explain a topic, but we know that an all-encompassing guide with best practice HTML structure, high volume keywords included, appropriate tone of voice, and internal linking is much more likely to perform better. Although we have some flexibility in what we write, we must look at our content from an algorithmic perspective first and foremost.

EB: Particularly in the sphere of writing for the purposes of search engine optimisation, it can be hard to balance creative writing and storytelling with having to meet guidelines and rules. A huge part of storytelling in writing is based on creativity which can sometimes feel hindered by a need to use keywords at a certain regularity. However, that’s part of the fun of SEO copywriting – working a way to balance creativity with technical box-ticking.

Despite those guidelines, how do you still manage to weave compelling narratives into your content?

EF: Although we have to think of content according to search engines’ guidelines, it is also just as important to produce content that is engaging for users to actually want to stay on the site after clicking through. People search for information so often online, that it is beneficial to create content that is easy to digest and formatted in a clear way for people to find the answer they are looking for, e.g. with useful subheadings. If a user clicks on a blog that is a full block of text with no separate paragraphs, they’ll likely seek out the information elsewhere on the next organic result on the SERP for a more user-friendly experience. Therefore, our storytelling needs structure and clarity to be successful.

Looking ahead, how do you see the role of storytelling evolving in content marketing?

EF: If search engines begin to severely penalise websites using AI in blogs, we can stand out from the crowd with unique content that you can tell is written by humans with creativity, personality and emotion that robotic content can not compete with. I also think people’s attention spans might decline as years go by, so we’ll need to keep content snappy and engaging from the get-go.

EB: Methods have to adapt with the audiences. As generations, such as millennials and Gen Z, get older and the younger generations grow up, the means by which we use storytelling in content marketing will have to grow with them. Trends are always important in marketing and it will be interesting to see what evolutions are coming in the following years and decades.

If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be and why?

EF: I think Paddington Bear would be a wholesome and cute dinner date, I think he would make the conversation interesting and have me giggling throughout. I’d like to hear about his recent trip to Peru. 

EB: The teddy bear from the Teddy Bear’s picnic because who doesn’t want to have a chin-wag in the sun with some pals and sandwiches? 

Inspire Inclusion: International Women’s Day 2024 with Fusion Unlimited

This year’s International Women’s Day theme, Inspire Inclusion, resonates deeply with our team, especially considering the incredible women who drive our agency forward. Here at Fusion, we’re proud to boast a team where 69% of our talented individuals are women, with strong female representation within our senior management team.

Today, we’re thrilled to celebrate these inspiring leaders. We’ll be diving into conversations with Katie Harling (KH), our Joint Managing Director, Jen Mottram (JM), our Paid Director, and Lauren Wray (LW), our Account Director. Through their stories and insights, we’ll explore what inclusion truly means in the workplace, the challenges and triumphs of navigating leadership in a dynamic industry, and the invaluable advice they have for the next generation of female leaders.

International Women’s Day’s theme this year is ‘Inspire Inclusion’, what does inclusion mean to you in the context of the workplace?

KH: This year’s theme is important to me. We have worked hard on Fusion’s culture in the hope that everyone who is part of the team enjoys coming to work, feels comfortable in the environment, and feels confident in their abilities. We remain committed to ensuring that Fusion is a workplace where the whole team feels they belong and know that what they do matters. #Fusion4Life

JM: It really ties to the culture of a workplace and makes sure everyone has a feeling of comfort. Comfort to be themselves, comfort to approach people with issues and the comfort to be able to work in a way that most suits them.

LW: Within the workplace, inspiring inclusion means creating environments whereby women are fully integrated into culture and decision-making processes, ensuring they feel valued and respected and, therefore, can thrive and contribute meaningfully.

What are some challenges you’ve faced navigating leadership in the industry? How did you overcome them?

KH: I have worked through some quite poignant social changes during my working career, so have the ability to reflect on a climate when my career started, compared to today. There have certainly been positive milestones, but I’m aware there is still more to be done, which is why days like this are so important. 

I feel fortunate that my journey navigating leadership was with Fusion. I worked in an environment where there was a sense of belonging which I felt empowered me. I did however come across external occasions where I felt I was being judged based on my gender, so I would turn these situations into personal challenges for me and ensure that by the time the meeting was done, said people would hopefully reflect on themselves. 

JM: Luckily, I’ve not faced many blockers to progress to the position I’m in now and in part, that is due to working at an agency that is leading the way for gender equality. I realise when attending industry events how rare this is, and, as someone who was shy in my youth, I think gaining the confidence to voice opinions/thoughts in situations like this has really been helped by working in an open, encouraging environment.

LW: Stereotyping and gender bias is something I and many women I know have had to deal with, when faced with this it is important to speak up and challenge it so that progress can be made towards creating a more equitable and supportive environment for everyone.

Who are your female role models, and what qualities do you admire most in them?

KH: We all have bad days, and it’s on those days I always think ‘be more…’ And there are 3 people who are my go-to. Luckily from a personal perspective, I can say: 

  • Julia Blake. Her business acumen, determination and focus are exactly why she is absolutely nailing it in business! Be more Julia, Katie! 
  • Jane Slimming. The agency, brand and team she has built are nothing but admirable! Be more Jane, Katie!  

Then there is Jo Malone. She left school early, dyslexic, estranged from her family, built a global brand, fought cancer, and built another global brand. Nothing but inspirational.  

JM: Would it be cheesy to name my fellow blog interviewees? They both inspire and support me every day.

LW: My friends are and will always be my role models, it is important to surround yourself with strong supportive women who you can learn and grow with.

What advice would you give to younger women looking to break into leadership positions in our industry?

KH: Believe in the journey you’ve had so far and have confidence in your future ability – then go for it! If you go first and try, two things can happen:

1). You succeed!

2). You stumble but pick yourself up, learn and go again. 

Either way, you will always be ahead of the next person behind you, so go first!   

JM: Reach for what you want and take ownership of everything you do. Most of all don’t be afraid to unashamedly be yourself. Start gradually, if you think something at work should be your responsibility, give it a try.

LW: Be your own advocate, express what your career goals are and seek opportunities that align with your aspirations.

Looking ahead, what are some goals we can set as an agency to further champion diversity and inclusion?

KH: Have more open discussions on related topics that are important to the team to continue to encourage open communication and invite external people to come in and present on key related topics to have a wider view.

JM: We are a diverse team we just need to talk about it more to ensure it stays that way in the future. Possibly by holding open sessions internally in order to always adapt and discuss how diversity and inclusion can change.

LW: Look to hold regular open sessions whereby everyone is welcome to share challenges, thoughts and ideas on how we can further foster and promote an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued. 

Digital Marketing Updates: November 2023

Remember, remember the 5th of November. Not just for the gunpowder plot, but also for the explosive barrage of digital marketing updates Google deployed during this eventful month which have had us marketers running around in circles.

The fireworks this month included fundamental algorithm updates, new reports, and AI integrations – but now I’m spoiling the blog. So, without further ado, here are the latest digital updates that you could capitalise on to boost your brand’s visibility and help Santa find you that little bit more easily this Christmas.

  • SEO Market Updates: from the November 2023 core update to the new robots.txt report. 
  • PPC Market Updates: including Google Ads Editor version 2.5 and new shopping features.

SEO Market Updates

Google November 2023 Core Update Rolls Out 

Another one?! Yes, Google is cooking this year with the release of a fourth core update of 2023 in November.

The update started rolling out on the 2nd, just two weeks after the conclusion of the October 2023 core update. The November core update then finished its deployment on the 28th, taking 26 days to roll out in total.

As always, there’s often some volatility in search results during these core updates and negative rankings don’t always signal that something is wrong with your site. 

If you feel like your site has come out worse for wear from the November 2023 Core Update, brush up on Google’s latest advice and make sure your content stands up to their best practice guidelines. Alternatively, get the professionals on the case!

Google Rolls Out November 2023 Reviews Update

Also rolling out through last month was the November 2023 reviews update.

The update was released on the 8th and marked the last time a reviews update would be announced. 

Google said: “Going forward, as the reviews system is now being improved at a regular and ongoing pace, we will no longer be posting about future updates on the status dashboard.”

It’s worth a reminder that these updates are no longer labelled as product review updates since April and now affect all review content across media, destinations, services, and businesses. 

If your site has a focus on review content, study up on Google’s guide on how to write high quality reviews to ensure you’re in Google’s good books.

Page Experience Report Updated in Google Search Console

The page experience report within Search Console has been transformed into a new page that “links to [Google’s] general guidance about page experience, along with a dashboard-view of the individual Core Web Vitals and HTTPS reports that will remain in Search Console”, Google said.

Google wrote on Twitter that the report has evolved to “help site owners consider page experience more holistically as part of the content creation process”.

Here’s what it looks like:

Google also stated they will be retiring:

  • “Mobile Usability” report
  • Mobile-Friendly Test tool
  • Mobile Friendly Test API

In the announcement they made it clear that mobile usability is still important for success within search, however: “in the nearly ten years since [Google] initially launched this report, many other robust resources for evaluating mobile usability have emerged, including Lighthouse from Chrome.” 

Personal Search Experience Launched by Google 

Google is hoping to make the search experience that little more personal with some new features added in November including a follow button and tailored search results.

The Follow Button 

If you’re looking to keep up to date on a subject, Google has introduced a follow button within search results. Clicking the follow button will allow Google to send you notifications, if you’re using the Google App, and serve you articles and web pages within your home feed.

Tailored Search Results

Google will be rolling out a new ranking feature which will serve you more results from the sites you visit the most within search results. So if you visit a website quite regularly, Google may rank their page on a topic over other sites.

New Robots.txt Report Added to Google Search Console

A new robots.txt report has been released within Search Console which shows you information Google has on your robots.txt file including:

  • which robots.txt files Google found for the top 20 hosts on your site
  • the last time they were crawled
  • any warnings or errors encountered

The report also allows users to request a recrawl of a robots.txt file for emergency situations.

This report is located under settings within Search Console under the Crawling subheading.

At the behest of this report, Google sunset the robots.txt tester – RIP. 

You can find more information in Google’s detailed help document.

Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines Updated

Google updated its search quality raters guidelines in November, making it the first time they’ve updated it this year.

Google said: “[W]e’ve simplified the “Needs Met” scale definitions, added more guidance for different kinds of web pages and modern examples including newer content formats such as short form video, removed outdated and redundant examples, and expanded rating guidance for forum and discussion pages.”

As a reminder, these quality raters are used to assess search results by outside consultants.

Google said that these changes don’t “involve any major or foundational shifts in our guidelines”. 

PPC Market Updates

Google Ads Editor version 2.5 Brings 16 New Features

Google has unveiled its shiny new Google Ads Editor version 2.5 and with it comes a slew of exciting features for advertisers to play around with. 

Here’s the full list for your viewing pleasure: 

  • App URL for App Install Ads
  • Automatically created assets in Ad Strength of responsive search ads
  • Asset source in asset report
  • Additional fields in Discovery product ads
  • In-feed video ads
  • Text mode for selecting videos
  • Campaign level broad match
  • Video view campaigns
  • Search themes in Performance Max campaigns
  • Replace Text tool for product groups
  • Device targeting in Discovery campaigns
  • Brand settings for Search and Performance Max campaigns
  • Features related to Dynamic Search Ads in Performance Max campaigns
  • Ad format controls for Video reach campaigns
  • Ad group level location and language targeting for Demand Gen campaigns
  • Dynamic Search Ads campaigns to Performance Max upgrade tool

Wow, Christmas has come early for you PPC folk! You can find out what your new toys do right here.

New Shopping Features Hit the SERPs

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through Google’s shopping results and sigh when the deals you’re presented with don’t quite hit the mark?

Well, ‘Tis the season for online shopping, and to assist brands in engaging with shoppers, Google has set out to make it twice as likely that you’re presented with a good deal from shopping results. 

To enable this, it has rolled out some new features including:

  • A deals hub
  • New pricing tools
  • The annual Holiday 100 

Deals hub 

The deals section is a new feature designed to house exclusive shopping deals to make it easier for shoppers to find deals from various sites in one place. 

Here’s what it looks like:

New pricing tools

Google has launched these new pricing features to help convert searchers into conversions. These new features include:

  • A dedicated deals page 
  • A “resume browsing” feature within desktop search that displays recently viewed products to users
  • A discount tag which alerts users if there are discount codes available

The annual Holiday 100 

Google is launching its annual list of gift ideas, purely based on trending searches throughout the year. Shoppers will be able to get Christmas inspo all in one place!

I’m already running out of time before Christmas – what on earth am I meant to do about all these updates?

Part of the beauty of the digital landscape is that agencies like ours exist to consume and digest all the latest knowledge in the market as soon as it becomes available. We test all new technologies, such ad campaign types, on day one – and we constantly push our busy client teams forward and equip them with the tools needed to deliver ambitious results.

You could ask Santa for some better SEO performance in 2024, or you could give the poor guy a break and get in touch with one of our friendly experts for an obligation-free chat.

Check out our blog for more digital marketing insights.

Welcome to Team Fusion, Joe!

Sound the alarm as Team Fusion just gained a brand new member!

We are thrilled to have Joe join the Paid Media team as our newest Account Executive; a University of Leeds graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, ready to get stuck into all things digital. 

Let’s get to know him a little more, shall we?

Welcome aboard Joe, it’s great to have you here! What are you looking forward to most about the role?

I’m looking forward to engaging with the team and learning as much as I can about the world of paid media!

Why did you choose a career in marketing?

The ability to use my analytical and creative side within one job role excites me, as well as elements of psychology knowledge I’ve picked up over the course of my degree that are relevant to marketing strategies.

What made you pick Fusion?

The personability of the staff as well as the experimental methods they’ve used in the past to optimise ad campaigns reminded me of some of the testing I used throughout my degree.

Who would be your dream client?

Yorkshire Tea.

If we made you the office DJ, what 3 songs would you play first?

  • Rockafeller Skank by Fatboy Slim
  • Careless Whisper by George Michael
  • Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

What is your favourite movie?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I play bass in a metal band.

What job would you have if you weren’t in marketing?


Digital Marketing Updates: September 2023

Someone wake up the Green Day guy because September has officially ended, and with it comes a plethora of digital marketing updates across SEO and PPC. In this blog, we’ll be covering all the good stuff including:

  • SEO Market Updates: From September 2023 helpful content update to Google-Extended.
  • PPC Market Updates: including Google’s Misleading Representation Policy update and AdSense’s new tools.

SEO Market Updates

Google August 2023 Core Update Rolls Out 

Starting on the 22nd of August, the latest core algorithm update rolled to completion on the 7th of September, taking 16 days. 

This algo update marks the second of the year with the previous one introduced in March. 

As always, there’s no quick fix if you’re seeing a negative impact on your rankings. Brush up on Google’s latest recommendations and best practices and reassess the quality of your site’s content. 

New Merchant Center Integrated Reports Added to Search Console

Two new reports can now be found within the Shopping tab listings section of Google Search Console to help merchants better understand the visibility of their products.

The first of the new reports shows issues relating to products not showing in the Google Shopping tab. If a product stops showing, the report will serve you a notification, similar to how Google Merchant Center works but directly within Search Console. Here’s what it looks like:

The second demonstrates how well your product is ranking within Google Search, and offers opportunities to increase clicks and visibility. Take a look:

With peak shopping season on the horizon, this suite of tools will be your best friend for making sure your e-commerce store performs to its full potential across Black Friday and Christmas so dig in. 

How-to Rich Results Stop Showing on Desktop

In last month’s blog, we covered how Google is reducing the visibility of How-to rich results. Google certainly reduced the visibility by stopping showing this SERP feature altogether on desktop.

In an update blog, John Mueller said: 

“Continuing our efforts to simplify Google’s search results, we’re extending the How-to change to desktop as well. As of September 13, Google Search no longer shows How-to rich results on desktop, which means this result type is now deprecated.

“This change will be visible in the metrics for the How-to search appearance in the performance report, and in the number of impressions reported in the How-to enhancement reports. Since How-to results no longer appear in Google Search, we will be dropping the How-to search appearance, rich result report, and support in the Rich results test in 30 days. To allow time for adjusting your API calls, support for How-to in the Search Console API will be removed in 180 days.”

If your site relies on traffic coming from How-to rich results, I wish I had some good news for you, but it looks like now is the right time to apply some new organic tactics.

September 2023 Helpful Content Update Rolls Out 

Google dropped its first helpful content update of the year in September. The update started on the 14th of September and was fully rolled out by the 28th.

The helpful content system exists to target “content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people.”

“What’s new?” I hear you ask:

  • Improved classifier
  • “written by people” has been removed from the help document
  • Google recommends to self-assess your content
  • Content should be reviewed by experts
  • Dates of content should not be changed unless they receive a significant update
  • Don’t blindly add or remove content

As always, these updates can be volatile and if you’re seeing your rankings tank across the board, it’s probably worth reading up on Google’s best practices and assess whether your content is up the scratch. If you need help with this, our experts at Fusion Unlimited would be happy to help

Links Are Not A Top 3 Ranking Factor

Make sure to check in on your fellow link builder today. During an AMA with Google’s Gary Illyes at Pubcon Pro in Austin, it was revealed that links may not be as important as first thought.

Going back to 2016, Google’s Andrey Lipattsev said that backlinks were in the top three ranking factors. However, now it seems that the importance of links is ‘overestimated’.

During the panel, Illyes was asked if he thought links still belonged within that top 3 classification to which he responded: “I think they are important, but I think people overestimate the importance of links. I don’t agree it’s in the top three. It hasn’t been for some time.”

He also added that it’s “possible to rank without links”, referencing a site that had zero links but ranked consistently for number one spots due to its content being outstanding. 

If for whatever reason you’re pumping more hours into your link-building and neglecting your content schedule, perhaps it is time to reassess your site’s priorities and get that content moving. 

Google Introduces Google-Extended

September saw the introduction of a new Googlebot, called Google-Extended, that allows site owners to control whether their content can be used to improve Google’s AI suite, including Bard and Vertex AI. 

If you wouldn’t like Bard to use your content, you can specify with the Google-Extended agent within your robots.txt.

Google-Extended won’t be used to crawl your site, however, it will send a signal to Google not to use your content for Bard or any other Google AI projects. 

Google describes the bot as a “standalone product token that web publishers can use to manage whether their sites help improve Bard and Vertex AI generative APIs, including future generations of models that power those products.”

PPC Market Updates

URL Contains Targeting Added to Performance Max 

Performance Max (PMax) received an update in September, allowing URL Contains targeting functionality. 

The feature lets you manually specify which URL to display your PMax ads to, allowing further management of how your campaigns are served in order to reach a more relevant audience. 

Speed Up Site Verification With Google AdSense’s New Tools

Two new features found their way to Google AdSense in September, making site ownership verification a breeze:

  • Real-time site ownership checks: allows users to verify that they’re the site owner in – if you can believe it – real-time when you add a new site in AdSense.
  • New site verification method: a new verification method called ‘meta tag’ has been added. You can use ‘meta tag’ as an alternative to the AdSense code snippet if you don’t want to show ads on your homepage.

There are also improvements to ads.txt with a new “last crawled” date and time added so you can see when AdSense last checked your ads.txt file. You can also now ask AdSense to recheck your ads.txt file with the new Check for updates button. 

New Report Launched to Flag Checkout Issues on E-commerce Sites

A new report was launched by Google in September to help brands identify checkout problems with their e-commerce sites.

The Checkout journey, as the name suggests, shows the journey a user makes on your e-commerce site by showing the count and percentage of users who initiated checkout. 

Using a closed-funnel approach, the report concentrates on users who began at the initial step but didn’t make it to another step in the funnel.

This is a valuable piece of kit for locating bottlenecks in your site’s checkout process and will help you find and resolve any issues during the journey. 

The report can be found within Google Analytics by selecting Reports in the left menu. On the left, in the Monetization topic of the Life cycle collection or the Drive online sales topic of the Business objectives collection, open the Checkout journey report. 

Automatically Created Assets Rolled Out to all Advertisers

Google rolled out automatically created assets (ACA) for general availability in September. Previously this was in open beta and was only available for advertisers running campaigns in English. 

Now ACA is available in seven more languages:

  • Dutch
  • French 
  • German 
  • Italian 
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

This campaign-level setting allows users to enhance the relevance of Search ads by using the context of your ad and generating custom headlines and descriptions. 

This means that ACAs could boost the relevance of your campaign by matching ads to landing pages. However, you’re leaving Google’s AI in control of your campaign’s message which might not be suitable for all brands. 

Google to Update its Misleading Representation Policy

Looking ahead to November, Google Ads will be updating its Misleading Representation policy.

The update will remove non-fulfillment of a product or service due to lack of qualifications. The planned update will take effect on 21st November 2023. 

Google said: “On that date, non-fulfillment and non-delivery of products or services due to a lack of qualifications will be enforced upon under the Unacceptable business practices policy.”

Google reminded us that they take these violations “very seriously and consider them egregious”. If Google finds any violations of this policy, your Google Ads accounts will be suspended “without prior warning” and you won’t be allowed to advertise with Google again – so tread carefully out there. 

However, if you feel there has been a mistake, you can always submit an appeal and plead your case.

Has the Helpful Content Update Not Been Helpful to Your Rankings?

We understand that this might be a volatile time for your site and it’s not always easy to claw back your online visibility following a helpful content update. If your brand needs some help steering the ship back in the right direction, give us a friendly hello and we’d be happy to help.

Digital Marketing Updates: August 2023

August came and went in a flash, and with it, a sizeable amount of updates within the digital marketing landscape. In this blog we’ll cover the latest and greatest updates from August, including:

  • SEO Market Updates: From Google’s Broad Core Algorithm update to new features added to Chrome mobile.
  • PPC Market Updates: Pmax best practice guidance update and Google Demand Gen campaigns.

SEO Market Updates

New Audience Report added to Google Analytics

In August, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) received a new Audience report that can identify your site’s most engaged and profitable audiences. 

The new Audience report is in the ‘Reports’ section on the left-hand side. Select ‘User’, scroll down to ‘User Attributes’, and click on ‘Audiences’. We find it’s particularly useful for big e-commerce sites with lots of product pages.

Google Chrome adds Search Suggestions & Trending Searches on Mobile

August saw four new features make their way to Chrome for mobile to “help you quickly find what you’re looking for”. 

The first is a search suggestions feature which allows users to tap the Chrome address bar whilst browsing a site and Google will serve relevant suggestions on where to browse next. In the announcement blog, Google gave the following example of its usage:

“Let’s say you’re reading an article about Japan as you plan for an upcoming trip. When you click on the address bar, you’ll see a new section labeled “Related to this page” with suggestions for other searches — like local restaurants or tourist attractions in Japan.”

The second new feature allows users to see trending Google searches directly in the address bar. This feature is currently available for Android and will come to IOS later in the year. 

The third new feature allows users to find related searches in Touch to Search. Touch to Search was introduced in 2015 and lets users quickly search a word or phrase directly from the page. Now this feature has been expanded to show a carousel of related searches.

The fourth feature brings users even more suggestions when searching. When you start typing within the address bar, Chrome will now serve you 10 recommendations instead of six. This was already the case for Android users, but now this is available on IOS.

Visibility of ‘HowTo’ and FAQ Rich Results Reduced in Search

Google announced in August that it would be showing fewer FAQ rich results in SERPs and limiting HowTo results to desktop.

In the blog announcement, Google said that the change was to “provide a cleaner and more consistent search experience”. 

From now on, FAQ rich results will only be served for “well-known, authoritative government, and health websites”. For everyone else, this rich result will “no longer be shown regularly.” 

Google stated that “sites may automatically be considered for this treatment depending on their eligibility.”

For How-To rich results, they will only be available for desktop search and not for users on mobile. 

Google Rolls out August 2023 Broad Core Update

Googled dropped their second broad core algorithm update of the year in August, with the previous hitting in March.

As always with core algo updates, there’s no real indication of what the update will involve and there’s no single fix for brands to implement. Monitor changes to your site and improve on the fundamentals to position for success. 

If you’ve found that your site has been negatively impacted by the update, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

“Mentioned in” Snippet Tested in Google Search

Googled was spotted testing a new snippet feature called ‘Mentioned in’ in August.

The new feature allows searchers to see which other sites are mentioning the site you are searching for.

There are currently two versions of this feature floating around. One which is hidden behind a drop-down, and one which is already expanded. Both features are on a carousel which users can slide through.

PPC Market Updates

Best Practices Guide for Performance Max Receives Update

Google refreshed its Performance Max (PMax) Best Practice Guide in August which includes new information on which strategies marketers can leverage to properly optimise their campaigns.

If you’re taking advantage of PMax campaigns, we recommend going over the new documentation to ensure you’re getting the most out of your digital advertising.

The document covers:

  • The benefits of PMax
  • Tips on running A/B testing
  • How to use the Performance Planner to plan budgets effectively
  • How to take advantage of seasonal action
  • Advice on consolidating your campaign structure
  • How to reach high-value customers
  • New reporting features

If you still haven’t launched PMax into your paid media activity and would like to discover how you take advantage of these campaigns, get in touch and speak to one of our experts.

Google Ads Rolls Out API Version 14.1

Just two months after version 14 was released, August saw the launch of Google Ads API version 14.1. 

We know you aren’t going to read the full updates – we won’t tell anyone. The key highlight is that there are no major changes, just a bunch of tiny new features across everything from campaigns and billing to shopping and reporting.

Make sure to upgrade your client libraries and client code to take advantage of the new API.

Google Demand Gen Campaigns Beta Opens

August saw the opening of the Google Ads’ Demand Gen beta, which was announced at Google Marketing Live back in May.

The new campaign type is to replace Google Discovery ads.

Google Ads Liasion, Gunny Marvin, explained the campaign type on Twitter: 

The beta allows users to try new features including:

  • Different ad formats in one campaign
  • Lookalike segments
  • Drive performance based on unique goals
  • New ad previews

Google Ads will open Demand Gen for all in October.

New Limited Ads Serving Policy Introduced by Google

Last month Google Ads introduced a new policy that set out to tackle scams and misleading ads.

Google said: “To protect the integrity of our Google Ads ecosystem, we limit impressions of ads that have a higher potential of causing abuse or a poor experience for our users.”

Who will be limited? Google stated that ‘unqualified advertisers’ will have their ads limited in specific scenarios to minimise the potential negative experiences for users interacting with ads. Google quantify these scenarios by taking into account:

  • User feedback
  • Prevalence of abuse 
  • Industry trends

Brands that are new to Google Ads and are affected by this policy will have to build a track record of good behaviour. Luckily, Google said that it would provide advice for brands on how to create clear ads. Follow best practice guidelines and you’ll be Gucci.

Has Your UA Kicked the Bucket?

We’ve noticed a lot of UA properties have stopped collecting fresh data, more so than in July. While some are still active, it’s imperative that all brands switch to GA4 and optimise your analytics account to make sure you’re seeing the data that could shape your marketing decision making.

Reach out to us if you’re in need of support.

Digital Marketing Updates: July 2023

Whilst most of the world suffered from blistering heat, SEOs were treated to a torrential downpour of digital marketing news and updates this July. In this blog we’ll cover the latest key changes to help you stay afloat, including:

  • SEO Market Updates: from Google’s Misrepresentation Policy Update to the retiring of the related search operator.
  • PPC Market Updates: what’s new in Google Ads Editor Version 2.4 and Performance Max updates.

SEO Market Updates

Update to Page Indexing Report within Search Console Sees More Fine-grained Issues 

If you’ve noticed a spike in issues being reported within the Search Console indexing report, don’t panic, you’re not alone.

Google updated said report to show “more fine-grained page indexing information”, however the annotation within the report was delayed – resulting in a lot of panicked site owners.

This update is purely a change within reporting rather than how Google processes your site.

The Great INP Panic

From one panic to another, Google startled site owners in July by sending out email notices to site owners whose Interaction to Next Paint (INP) scores under the good threshold.

INP is set to replace First Input Delay (FID) as a Core Web Vital metric in March 2024. Last month, we saw Google are preparing for this change by introducing a new report within Search Console to showcase INP scores.

This email caused panic amongst site owners, however there’s still time to prepare for the FID transition. Site owners should also be reminded that Core Web Vitals is not a direct ranking signal but rather a lateral understanding of whether your site offers a good page experience.

Google News Indexing Bug Fixed

If your publication saw a drop in traffic from the backend of June, it’s possible you were affected by a bug which caused issues with indexing within Google News.

The bug was identified by Google on the 10th of July and a fix was implemented on the 12th. Immediately publications saw an improvement in their traffic.

Google to Retire Related Search Operator

Google confirmed in July that the related search operator is to be retired as it “hasn’t really worked that well for some time”. 

The related search operator would allow users to find sites that related to the URL they were searching for. For example: “related:”, in theory, would return similar digital marketing agencies.

It may be the case that this search operator’s function is best suited for Google Search Generative Experience or Bard, and is no longer needed in this new era of AI integrated search.

If you used this operator in your day to day, it might be worth letting the robots take over!

Google’s Misrepresentation Policy Receives Update

Google updated its Misrepresentation policy in July to detail how marketers can build trust.

The policy outlines how brands can guarantee that their products and/or offers are served in Search.

The document explains that there are four issues that need to be addressed to build trust:

1. Business Identity:

  • Provide your official business name that is used across the web and make sure this matches your registered business and domain name.
  • Make sure your website has an “about us” page to demonstrate authenticity and show customers your unique story.
  • Include social media links on your website.

2. Transparency:

  • Have clear and detailed information regarding your policies including shipping, returns, and privacy.
  • Outline your business model and how your business operates.

3. Online reputation:

  • Provide potential customers with an understanding of how to use your products or how other customers have used them.
  • Include reviews and testimonials about your products and business.
  • Make sure to mention badges or seals of approval from official third-party sources.
  • Communicate clearly how customers can interact with your business by providing contact information and customer support.
  • Make sure your customers know if you publish a blog post or were mentioned in an article.

4. Professional design:

  • Get an SSL certificate so customers know how their data is retrieved and stored securely.
  • Your brand’s website should be easily accessible for all customers, easily navigable, and shouldn’t contain unnecessary redirects or redirects to broken links.
  • Avoid text and image placeholders so that your site doesn’t give the feeling of being unfinished.

Google also detailed how you can assist them in learning more about your business:

  • Update your Business information settings in Merchant Center.
  • Link relevant third-party platforms to Merchant Center.
  • Create and verify a Google Business Profile.
  • Follow Google’s SEO guidelines to improve online visibility and provide a good page experience.
  • Opt into Google Customer Reviews, or other third-party review services, to improve your eligibility for seller ratings.
  • Make sure your product data in your product feed match your website to guarantee customers see the same information and prices across both.

Google Mark AI-generated Reviews as Spam in new Merchant Center Policy

Last week a new Google Merchant Center policy was posted regarding automated content alongside a bunch of other policy clarifications.

The post outlined that using AI or automated programming for generating reviews is against the Google Merchant Center policies and will be considered spam.

“Automated Content: We don’t allow reviews that are primarily generated by an automated program or artificial intelligence application. If you have identified such content, it should be marked as spam in your feed using the <is_spam> attribute.”

As AI cannot buy or use a product (…yet), it makes sense that a human must generate a review to give an unbiased understanding of what the product is and its quality. 

Google Launches Site Name Updates

Google has added further support for site names following their last update in May.

The previous update introduced support for subdomains on mobile for English, French, German, and Japanese. This new update now supports subdomains in these languages on all devices.

They also updated the site names system to “increase its ability to make selections that are representative of sites listed in search results.”

Google reminds us in this post that the best way to express your proffered site name is to use Website structured data which is explained in its site name documentation.

The site name documentation also has been updated to encourage site owners to use the alternateName property. Google explains that sometimes, your preferred site name isn’t available for use and providing an alternative name can allow their system to consider other options.

Whilst this is rare in case, it may be possible that Google’s system might not select either a preferred or alternative site name. If this is the case for you, Google has published a workaround.

Universal Analytics is Still Alive

A month after we mourned the loss of Universal Analytics (UA), it seems it’s still processing data.

It was previously stated that all site owners would be moved over to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by the 30th of June 2023 or they would lose all tracking data, however this currently doesn’t seem to be the case.

It may be possible that UA is still processing data due to a small uptake in GA4 migration, however don’t get too comfortable as the full migration to GA4 is inevitable. If you need some assistance with moving over to GA4, get in touch and we would be happy to assist.

PPC Market Updates

Google Ads Launches Gen Z Music Lineup Tool

If you’re looking to expand your audience but your brand isn’t ‘down with the kids’, there’s a new tool that could help you diversify your advertising.

Google’s Gen Z Music lineup was launched last month and is a paid-for feature that uses data from audio, long-form, and YouTube shorts to identify cool and hip music (disclaimer: the author of this blog is 27 years old).

The tool uses this data to package trending music videos into the Gen Z Music lineup which then can be bought by marketers. After purchasing, advertisers can then serve their campaigns alongside content that plays the songs.

Google Ads Editor Version 2.4 Bring 8 New Features

Google Ads Editor version 2.4 is live, and with it is 8 new features for advertisers to take advantage of:

  • Video asset library: All videos used in the account can now be found here. Access the feature by going to Shared Library > Asset Library > Videos. 
  • Multi-account overview: Previously the overview tab could only show one account at a time, now it shows a summary across multiple accounts
  • Google Drive integration: Editor now supports exporting to or importing from Google Drive.
  • Scheduled Post: your posts can now be scheduled for a specific time.
  • Editable product groups and listing groups: Previously you could only manipulate product groups and listing groups via CSV, now they can be added and modified within Editor. 
  • One YouTube Network: Video campaigns now target YouTube Search and YouTube video networks, as a result these options have been removed from the Editor and only the Video Partners setting remains.
  • Video enhancement opt-out: Enable or disable video enhancements for Video campaigns.
  • Download: previously known as “Get recent changes”, this feature allows you to download previously downloaded campaigns, item types, and optimise downloaded data.

Google Rolls Out Performance Max Updates and Upgrades

July saw back to back additions to the Performance Max suite: Google Display Ad & Dynamic Search Ads upgrades and Collections.

Dynamic Search Ads and Google Display Ads

These opt-in campaign upgrades are available to all advertisers. Those who would like to take advantage can do so via a self-serve tool that should appear within your accounts.

These upgrades will give advertisers access to new tools that are aimed at maximising campaign performance and user experience. These include: 

  • an inventory-aware ad serving feature that makes sure out-of-stock pages are not served within Search ads by automatically factoring in your brand’s product inventory.
  • Google AI will use your campaign’s creative assets to find more converting search queries.

You can find the full post here.


This new PMax feature allows advertisers to combine products and create collections for ads or product listings.

Google explained that a collection “represents a group of products”, that a collection is “defined once, but can be used in multiple ways”, and each collection “can include up to 100 products”

As of right now, collections is still in pilot mode with no official roll out plan.

Struggling to Keep Up With Google?

We hope this run-down of the latest algorithm and product updates has helped you keep pace with the hectic search landscape. If you need further assistance with any individual items referenced in this blog, please get in touch and we’d be happy to help.

Take an Exploration into Your Site’s Data in GA4

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has launched, and with it comes a whole new bunch of features to help visualise your site’s data. In this article we’ll be taking a deep dive into Explorations, and how they can help you as a site owner or marketing professional gain deeper insights into your users and their journeys throughout your site.

What Are Explorations in GA4?

Explorations are a collection of advanced techniques that can help site owners uncover deeper insights about their customers’ behaviour and explore data in more detail.

You can use explorations to:

  • quickly perform ad hoc queries.
  • easily configure and switch between techniques.
  • sort, refactor, and drill down into the data.
  • focus on the most relevant data by using filters and segments.
  • create segments and audiences.
  • share your explorations with other users of the same Google Analytics property.
  • export the exploration data for use in other tools.

To access Exploration, head over to the left navigation and click Explore.

How Explorations Works in GA4

Default reporting in GA4 allows you to monitor key business metrics, however Explorations gives site owners access to data and analytical techniques that aren’t readily available in reports. 

An exploration consists of three sections:

1. Canvas

The canvas is the large area found on the right of the screen, this displays your data using the selected technique. Techniques control the way your data is visualised. You can use multiple techniques in one exploration and the canvas uses multiple tabs to facilitate.

The techniques found in Explorations:

Free-form exploration 

Free-form exploration allows you to explore your site’s data in several visualisation styles including bar charts, pie charts, line charts, scatter plots, and geo maps. 

Free-form allows you to:

  • Visualise data in a table or graph.
  • Arrange and order the rows and columns of the table.
  • Compare multiple metrics side by side.
  • Create nested rows to group the data.
  • Refine the free-form exploration using segments and filters.
  • Create segments and audiences from selected data.

Cohort exploration 

Deep dive into the behaviour and performance of your site’s audience by grouping users by related common attributes. For example, you could group users with the same Acquisition Date into the same cohort to gain insights into their behaviour over time.

Funnel exploration

Funnel exploration allows you to see the steps a user takes to complete tasks on your site. You can also see how you can optimise user experience and discover over, or under, performing audiences.

Segment overlap

Segment overlap enables site owners to identify new segments of users who meet complex criteria by identifying where different user segments relate to each other. This technique allows you to compare up to three user segments at any one time to see how audiences overlap.

User exploration

The user explorer lets site owners select specific audience groups and gain insights on each individual user’s activities. For example, you could select a user who has run into an issue placing an order and follow their path to troubleshoot what went wrong.

Path exploration

See your user’s journey through your site in a tree graph. The path exploration technique can show insights such as:

  • Finding what the top pages that new users open after the home page.
  • Identifying the actions users take after an app exception.
  • Discover looping behaviour if users are becoming stuck.
  • Determining the effects of an event on subsequent users actions.

User lifetime

Identify user behaviour and value across their lifetime as a customer of your site. Discover insights such as:

  • The source, medium, and campaign that brought users with highest lifetime revenue
  • The campaigns that are acquiring users who are expected to be more valuable

2. Variables

Variables can be located on the panel on the left of the screen, and this gives you access to the dimensions, metrics, and segments that are used in the exploration. The variables panel also allows you to change the timeframe of the exploration.

3. Tab settings

Tab settings gives you access to options that can be used to configure the currently selected tab.

How to Create an Exploration in GA4

  1. Click the + icon to create a blank exploration. Alternatively you can use one of the templates to get started quickly.
  2. Select a technique to view your data.
  3. Add items to the Dimension and Metric sections within the Variables panel found on the left of the screen.
  4. Drag and drop, or double click, the dimensions and metrics you added from the Variables panel to the Tab Settings panel. The options you see in Tab Settings will vary by technique, and allow you to fine tune your data.
  5. Interact with your selected data by mousing over and clicking.
  6. Refine data by adding filters and segments.

So, what does all of this mean for you?

Ultimately, the Explorations tool can be a powerful way of visualising data that could help shape your operations. Using machine learning, this tool enables you to quickly gain simple insights into complex data sets – it’s a fast-track way of getting quickly to the real narratives behind how your site is being used.

For brands, we’d recommend first having a play around with the tool, then figuring out a couple of custom views that are particularly useful to your business. From there, you can gauge how to make these views a regular part of your reporting, and save them in Analytics to quickly return to the same set of insights with the freshest data.

If you need help getting set up and learning your way around, we’re here to help. At Fusion, we have been working in Google Analytics since it first came out in 2005, and we’ve been extremely quick to jump on GA4 and build our expertise. Get in touch with our team for a friendly, no-strings chat around how we might be able to help your brand thrive in digital.

Digital Marketing Updates: June 2023

It’s officially summer and this month has seen some blazin’ hot digital marketing updates. In this article, we cover the following key updates from June:

  • SEO Market Updates: from changes to .ai domains and Looker Studio, to Google’s new spam report and INP report.
  • PPC Market Updates: Google Ads API v14 and Google Ads new design.

SEO Market Updates

Google treats .ai domains as generic top level domains

If you’re looking to build a website with a .ai domain and are worried Google will target it to the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla, I have some fantastic news for you.

Google updated their help document in June to reflect that Search now views .ai domains as a generic top-level domain rather than being geo-specific.

Here’s what Gary Illyes had to say on the update:

We just added .ai to the list of generic country code top level domains. What does this mean? In short, nothing.

In long, also nothing in the grand scheme of things: we won’t infer the target country from the ccTLD so targeting Anguilla became a little harder, but then again there are barely any .ai domains that try to do that anyway.”

Looker Studio Update Brings 170 New Fields 

For those looking for some more in-depth analysis when building reports, you will be pleased to learn that Looker Studio has added 170 new fields after a huge update.

I won’t list all of the 170 new fields here but highlights include:

  • Average session duration.
  • Landing page.
  • Session & user conversion rate.
  • Session conversion rate by event name.
  • Page referrer.

To gain access to these sweet, sweet new fields, you’ll need to:

  • Click on ‘Data Sources’.
  • Choose the source you want to update.
  • Click ‘Refresh Fields’ located in the bottom left corner.
  • A new window will pop up showing the new fields.
  • Click ‘Apply’.

Please note that the number of new fields you have access to will be dependent on the number of conversion events you have. Happy reporting!

Three New Issue Details Added to Video Indexing Report

Google added new detailed actions to the video indexing report found in Google Search Console. In their announcement, they said:

In order to help you better understand this issue and provide you with more actionable reasons, we are breaking down the “Google could not determine the prominent video on the page” reason into three more specific reasons.”

The new issue details are:

  • Video outside the viewport: Reposition the video on the page so that the entire video is inside the renderable area of the page and seen when the page loads.
  • Video too small: Increase the height of the video so that it’s larger than 140px or the width of the video so that it’s larger than 140px and at least a third of the page’s width.
  • Video too tall: Decrease the height of the video so that it’s smaller than 1080px.
Video indexing report
Here’s what these issues will look like within the report.

It may be the case that you don’t see these new issues in the report yet. Google explained that since the ‘Search Console video indexing report shows 3 months of historical data, you may still see the “Google could not determine the prominent video on the page”’. 

This change will allow site owners to see the exact reason why their videos are experiencing issues to overcome problems more efficiently.

Google Releases New Search Spam Report Form

A new form has been released by Google to submit reports of spam, malicious behaviour, paid links, and other search issues. The form also allows users to submit complaints in bulk.

Google wrote:

“Various ranking manipulation techniques attempt to compromise the quality of our results and degrade the search experience for everyone. These techniques go beyond the traditional definition of spam. Some sites are extremely poor quality, others are deceptive and harmful to our users. That is why we are expanding the scope of user feedback we want to collect.”

Google's spam report
Here’s what the new report looks like.

The form allows searchers to report a page that is:

  • Displaying spammy content.
  • Engaging with spammy behaviour.
  • Deceptive.
  • Low quality.
  • Containing paid links.

It is hoped that this form will make it easier for Google to identify problematic websites by involving users who are having negative experiences first-hand.

INP Report added to Google Search Console

Google is preparing for Interaction to Next Paint (INP) to replace First Input Delay (FID) in 2024 by releasing a new report within Search Console to measure your site’s performance.

Google explained INP within its help documentation:

  • “INP (interaction to next paint): A metric that assesses a page’s overall responsiveness to user interactions by observing the time that it takes for the page to respond to all click, tap, and keyboard interactions that occur throughout the lifespan of a user’s visit to a page. The final INP value is the longest interaction observed, ignoring outliers. 
    • Group INP shown in the report means that 75% of visits to a URL in this group had this value or better.”

This new report gives site owners a ‘heads up’ on how Google will view your pages in reference to the new INP core web vital metric, giving you more time to prepare for the March 2024 deadline.

Google Says Sitemaps Ping Endpoint is Going Away

Google announced in June that it would be ending support for sitemaps ping and the endpoint will stop working by the end of 2023. The Sitemaps Protocol was introduced in 2005 to assist search engines with discovering new URLs, as well as scheduling new crawls of already discovered URLs.

In the blog announcing the change, Google wrote that the protocol is widely popular and hasn’t changed in over 15 years. They also stated that aspects of the protocol have “become less practical in today’s internet”.

Google said that it’s ending the support as internal studies, alongside data from Bing, dictate that “these unauthenticated sitemap submissions are not very useful”. In Google Search’s case, “the vast majority of the submissions lead to spam”.

Site owners can still submit sitemaps through robots.txt and Search Console, however the HTTP requests, or “pings”, “to the deprecated REST endpoint will result in a 404 error”. Google also said that you should use the lastmod element in your sitemap file when confident that the stated date matches when the page actually changed.

Google also added:

If your CMS changed an insignificant piece of text in the sidebar or footer, you don’t have to update the lastmod value for that page. However if you changed the primary text, added or changed structured data, or updated some links, do update the lastmod value.”

AMP Support Launched for GA4

The Google Analytics 4 deadline was a hot focus of June, and Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support for GA4 in preparation. 

If you were using AMP before, you’ll still be able to measure your performance in the same way as Universal Analytics (UA) now everyone is switched over to GA4.

Here’s Google Analytics announcing the change on Twitter:

PPC Market Updates

Google Ads API v14 Launches

Google Ads saw a substantial update in June with the arrival of API v14. The update brought an improved user experience, enhancing both campaign management and performance. 

Here’s the highlights from the update:

This Google Ads API update is the second of the year with version 13.1 being released in April. To use the newest features you will need to upgrade your client libraries and client code.

Google Ads Gets a New Lick of Paint

After trialling two new looks, Google Ads has started rolling out its brand new design featuring a main menu on the left of the screen and new page navigation.

The 5 new high-level navigation categories are:

  1. Campaigns: where you analyse, optimise, and manage your campaigns.
  2. Goals: where you define, monitor, and update your conversion goals.
  3. Tools: where you can find tools for: 
    • Planning.
    • Bidding and budgets.
    • Troubleshooting.
  4. Billing: where you monitor your spend and payments.
  5. Admin: where you manage your team, security, and account settings.

Google stated that this new level of categorisation made the new design “more effective for both new and experienced advertisers”.

Here’s a look at the new Google Ads design.

The new design has started rolling out for users who took part in the initial trial which started on 2nd March 2023. Everyone else will be moved over to the new design by December.

If you decide the new design isn’t for you, then you have the option to revert back to the good old layout until 2024, so we recommend getting used to it.

If you need assistance getting to grips with the new Google Ads design, or need some last minute help with all things GA4, get in touch with one of our experts today.

Meta Threads the Needle with Well-Timed Social Media Launch

Meta have thrown their hat in the ring in the race to replace Twitter with their new social media platform, Threads. The app is very similar to Twitter with some interesting integrations with Instagram. In this article we’ll walk you through what Threads is, how to use it, its features, and whether it will be the new Twitter.

What is Threads?

Threads is a conversational based social media app built by the Instagram team. The app requires you to log in using your Instagram account and allows you to post up to 500 characters of text which can include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.

A view of Thread's sign in screen, it's main feed, and profiles.
What the Threads app looks like. © Meta

Signing up is easy and the integration with Instagram means you can quickly import your username, profile picture, biography, website link, and verification status in an instant. The app also gives you the option to follow the same accounts as your Instagram profile, meaning you won’t load into an empty feed.

The app is free to use and is available for download from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

How to Use Threads

As mentioned, you must have an Instagram account to sign up for Threads and once you’re signed up, your details will be ported over. However, you can customise your profile if you so desire. If you’re using Meta in the UK, users under 18 will be greeted by a private profile by default.

Creating a post, or a ‘Thread’, works similarly to Twitter by allowing you to post text up to 500 characters, as well as links, photos and videos. The app also gives you the option to select who can view your Threads, which can be anyone on the app or just your followers.

Images depicting how a user posts on Threads.
Threads allows you to post text, photos, links, and video. © Meta

Usual social media functionality can be found on Threads including the ability to unfollow, report, block, or restrict a profile. Plus anyone you have blocked on Instagram will be automatically blocked on Threads.

Threads also boasts some nice accessibility features including screen reader support, as well as AI-generated image descriptions which are also found on Instagram.

Your Threads feed will include posts from the accounts you follow and recommended content from profiles that the app thinks you will enjoy. Any Threads you post can be shared on your Instagram story, as well as being able shared via a link.

Meta is also planning to make Threads compatible with ActivityPub to integrate with other apps that support the protocol, such as WordPress and Mastodon. In the blog announcing Threads, they said:

Our vision is that people using compatible apps will be able to follow and interact with people on Threads without having a Threads account, and vice versa, ushering in a new era of diverse and interconnected networks. If you have a public profile on Threads, this means your posts would be accessible from other apps, allowing you to reach new people with no added effort.”

Is Threads The New Twitter?

It’s no secret that Twitter is struggling and Meta is jumping on the opportunity to take over. Whilst many have tried to capitalise on the dissatisfaction with Twitter, including Mastodon and Bluesky, Meta is in the unique position of importing their users straight from their already dominating social media platform, Instagram, and I think this will be the difference maker in its success. 

Would this be a good time to mention that Fusion Unlimited is now on Threads? If you’ve signed up for Threads, give us a follow right here.

Digital Marketing Updates: May 2023

Forget carpe diem, Google seized the May this month with a slew of updates coming from I/O and Google Marketing Live 2023; including a view at project Magi and new features coming to Search and Google Ads. There’s a lot to cover, so may I jump into the updates?

In this article, we cover the following key updates from May:

SEO Market Updates

Google Unveils Search Generative Experience

Last month we heard rumblings of an AI-powered search engine being produced by Google and this month we got to see what it looks like.

Those of you lucky enough to make it through the Google Labs waitlist will have probably played around with the new engine, previously known as project Magi.

In the blog announcing the engine, Google said they are “taking more of the work out of searching, so you’ll be able to understand a topic faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily.”

In the previews, we can see an AI-generated answer located above the search results with a big label expressing that “Generative AI is experimental” aka if the result tells you something stupid, don’t blame us!

Clicking the expand button takes you to a deeper response from the AI and there’s even the opportunity to take the AI into conversational mode where users can ask more about the topic you’re searching.

If you’re an online shopaholic, you can get some generative help to give you the “full picture when you’re shopping, making even the most considered and complex purchase decisions faster and much easier.”

The AI will provide you with “noteworthy factors to consider and products that fit the bill” when you’re searching for a product. It will also show product descriptions, up-to-date reviews, ratings, and product images. 

Google says that this is because the AI is built on Google’s Shopping Graph, “which has more than 35 billion product listings”.

The good news is that the generative search includes a link to publishers, unlike little brother Bard, meaning that website traffic shouldn’t take a huge hit.

This new search experience isn’t a million miles from the Google Search we know and love today, however the AI integration is quite exciting. We don’t think this will affect the SEO landscape anytime soon but we will keep our ear to the AI-generated streets.

Google Add New Features to Search

Whilst Google is developing their AI-powered search, their old search engine is still getting new features in the form of ‘perspectives’, ‘about this image’, and ‘AI-generated image labels’.


We had our first look at perspectives back in March and now we get to see even more of it.

Perspectives works as a filter that lets searchers refine their search results to show more personalised content such as videos or blogs.

From this new screenshot, we can see the example search ‘how to make friends in a new city’. After hitting the perspectives filter, the search results show video content from YouTube as well as Reddit forums.

About This Image

Similarly to Google’s ‘about this result’ feature for text-based results, ‘about this image’ will show searchers when an image, and similar images, were first indexed. It will also show where the image was originally posted and where else the image is being used across the web.

Here it is in action:

AI-generated Image Labels

With the increasing plight of AI imagery taking the web by storm, Google is giving site owners the opportunity to mark an image on their site as AI-generated.

Google said that they are “not there yet” in ability to mark AI imagery algorithmically, so they are giving the power to site owners with this new meta data label.

This will be only available for image content, but who would admit to using AI-generated text anyway?

INP to Replace FID as Core Web Vitals Metric

During Google I/O it was announced that Interaction to Next Paint (INP) will replace First Input Delay (FID) in Core Web Vitals from March 2024.

INP is a metric that indicates the responsiveness of a page.

Google wrote:

When an interaction causes a page to become unresponsive, that is a poor user experience. INP observes the latency of all interactions a user has made with the page, and reports a single value which all (or nearly all) interactions were below. A low INP means the page was consistently able to respond quickly to all—or the vast majority—of user interactions.”

Here’s a timeline of the changes:

Helpful Content System Algorithm Update Incoming

A new update for the helpful content system is on its way, Google announced. On the update Google wrote:

Last year, we launched the helpful content system to show more content made for people, and less content made to attract clicks. In the coming months, we’ll roll out an update to this system that more deeply understands content created from a personal or expert point of view, allowing us to rank more of this useful information on Search.”

The update aims to reward content that is, dare I say helpful, rather than content that was designed purely to rank well in SERPs. Google said that this is part of their “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in search.”

Related Topics Filter to Hit Desktop Search Results

After being integrated into mobile search at the backend of 2022, Google is bringing the related topics filter to desktop search.

Take a look at it in action:

The update continues Google’s mission to make search easier and more relevant for users, bringing them to results they might not have reached previously. 

Google Completes Final Mobile-first Indexing Switch

After six and a half years, Google has confirmed they have finished moving sites over to mobile-first indexing.

Mobile-first indexing means that your site will be crawled from the perspective of a mobile browser and using that version of the page for indexing and ranking. 

If your site hasn’t been moved, it likely never will.

In an effort to help searches reach relevant, expert, and knowledgeable content in search and news, Google has announced a “new” system titled “topic authority”. 

New is in quotation marks as Google Search Liaison said the system has been used for several years:

Google said that the system was developed to “determine which expert sources are helpful to someone’s newsy query in certain [specialised] topic areas, such as health, politics, or finance.”

On how the system works, Google explained it “looks at a variety of signals to understand the degree of expertise a publication has in particular areas”. These include how notable a source is for a topic or location, influence and original reporting, and source reputation.

Google gave the following example:

Here’s one way topic authority can help in a search: say, for example, there was a flood where you lived. The topic authority signal helps us identify content from publications in that region that regularly cover topics in your city or town and surface them towards the top of your search results. These are likely familiar publications that are trusted voices in the community, even though larger national outlets may be covering the flood as well.”

PPC Market Updates

Google Marketing Live 2023

Google Marketing Live followed suit of I/O with a huge emphasis on AI integration – let’s jump into what’s new.

First up, Google Ads campaigns can now be created with an AI-driven chat within the Ads interface. This will allow for the AI to do some of the heavy lifting when creating a campaign including assistance with asset creation. This integration also means that the AI can also generate assets based on individual queries – making ads more relevant to users.

Pmax also received the AI treatment, adding text and image generation to help create assets for campaigns.

The new Product Studio tool also brings a whole toolbelt of AI goodies to the hands of merchants. Leaning on Google AI, the studio allows users to edit and enhance product imagery including custom product scenes, background removal, and image resolution.

Google also added two new campaign types: video views and demand gen.

  • Video view campaigns: if you’re looking to maximise your view, you’re in luck. This campaign will combine skipple in-stream ads, in-feed ads, and Shorts ads to give you the most views for video.
  • Demand gen campaigns: using AI to help engage and drive action with consumers across YouTube Shorts, YouTube in-stream, YouTube in-feed, Discover, and Gmail.

Meta Jump on The AI Wagon

Meta are looking to bring generative AI to its advertisers with their new AI Sandbox.

The sandbox brings three new AI features to advertisers including text variation, background generation, and image outcropping:

  • Text variation: Entering your copy into the text variation tool results in several suggestions for your ad. 
  • Background generation: picture the scene, you’ve got a stunning picture of your product on a boring white background. With the background generation tool, you can enter text prompts to describe the ideal background appearance for your image and boom – no more boring white background.
  • Image outcropping: this tool allows merchants to adjust assets to fit whatever aspect ratio their heart’s, or campaign’s, desires. 

Whilst the sandbox is only available for a small group of advertisers, Meta plans to expand access in July.

Want to learn how these AI tools can enhance your campaigns? Get in touch with Fusion’s team of experts today.

Digital Marketing Updates: April 2023

Spring has officially sprung and with it comes another busy month, chock-full of marketing news. In this article, we cover the following key updates from April:

  • SEO updates – from April reviews update to Project Magi.
  • Paid Media updates – including Google Ads API update and new validations for ad account names.

SEO Market Updates

Google Releases April 2023 Reviews Update

Google was moving like Justin Timberlake in The Social Network in April by dropping the word “products” from their reviews update. This is because the updates now impact content reviews around products, services, media, destinations, and beyond.

The April 2023 reviews update dropped on the 12th and took 13 days to fully roll out on the 25th.

This expansion of the updates means that if your site publishes reviews that cover products, services, media, or destinations, you should brush up on your best practices to ensure your rankings aren’t affected.

SpamBrain Caught Five Times More Spam in 2022

Google released a 2022 webspam report in April in which they claimed that SpamBrain caught five times more spam sites last year compared to 2021, and 200 times compared to 2018 when it first launched.

The report also included some improvements to SpamBrain which are designed to tackle abusive links, hacked spam, and faster spam handling. 

Google also updated its spam policies as part of the Search Essentials for site owners. In the report, Google said:

These spam policies cover the most common types of spam and abusive [behaviours], and could lead to a site ranking lower or not appearing at all in Search results. We updated our spam policies with more relevant and precise language, and included new examples that help site owners avoid creating harmful content.”

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely not breaching Google’s spam policies. However, if you think there’s potential you might be adhering to spammy tactics on your site, it might be time to brush up on Google’s documentation on the topic to avoid looming penalties.

Google Working on New Search Engine and Project Magi

According to the New York Times, Google is making an “all new search engine”. The article states that the search engine will be powered by Google’s new AI technology, whilst working on adding AI features to the current search engine, under the name Magi.

The article states: “The new search engine would offer users a far more [personalised] experience than the company’s current service, attempting to anticipate users’ needs.”

Whilst the new search engine seems to be in the early stages, the report claims that a team of designers are currently working on the engine and that it “could put new A.I. technology in phones and homes all over the world”.

Project Magi, on the other hand, looks to add new features to the current Google Search with a team of over 160 employees working on it. 

Google’s new search engine is not something brands need to worry about today. However, conceptually, Project Magi might be worth monitoring due to its integration of AI. Does AI have the potential to transform search results? For now, we’re sceptical, however we’re closely studying the latest developments and will keep you posted.

Good Page Experience Factors into Helpful Content

A new section has been added to Google’s guidance on creating helpful content documentation saying that good page experience is important when creating helpful content. They also updated their understanding page experience in Google Search results documentation, providing more details on the topic.

The new section of the document reads:

Google’s core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience. Site owners seeking to be successful with our systems should not focus on only one or two aspects of page experience. Instead, check if you’re providing an overall great page experience across many aspects.”

RIP to the Search Console Page Experience Report

Gone but not forgotten, Search Console is sending the page experience report to the grave, to be replaced with a page that links to Google’s general guidance on page experience, alongside a “dashboard-view of the individual Core Web Vitals and HTTPS reports”.

Google is also saying farewell to Search Console’s “Mobile Usability” report, as well as the Mobile-Friendly Test tool and API. On this Google wrote: 

This doesn’t mean that mobile usability isn’t important for success with Google Search. It remains critical for users, who are using mobile devices more than ever, and as such, it remains a part of our page experience guidance. But in the nearly ten years since we initially launched this report, many other robust resources for evaluating mobile usability have emerged, including Lighthouse from Chrome.”

UA3 Data to Show For A Year After July

As the sunset countdown continues to dwindle, Google shared some further details on Universal Analytics 3’s deadline.

In a new help document posted in April, Google stated that you will be able to access, report, and export historical data for a year after the data stops collecting.

UA3 will stop collecting data on 1st July 2023, so you will still have viewer access until 1st July 2024.

Google Drops Multiple Ranking Systems

Google updated its documented ranking systems page in April, removing four systems.

The systems removed were:

  • Page experience system
  • Mobile-friendly ranking system
  • Page speed system
  • Secure sites system

The page experience system was dropped from the main list, and mobile-friendly, page speed and secure site systems were removed from the retired list.

On page experience, Google said:

The page experience update was a concept to describe a set of key page experience aspects for site owners to focus on. In particular, it introduced Core Web Vitals as a new signal that our core ranking systems considered, along with other page experience signals such as HTTPS that they’d already been considering. It was not a separate ranking system, and it did not combine all these signals into one single “page experience” signal.”

Here’s the final word from John Mueller:

Google Explains its Web Crawlers

Google updated its Verifying Googlebot and other Google crawlers help document at the back-end of April.

They added a new section to the documentation explaining the three types of crawlers they use:

  • Googlebot: The main crawler for Google’s search products. Always respects robots.txt rules.
  • Special-case crawlers: Crawlers that perform specific functions (such as AdsBot), which may or may not respect robots.txt rules.
  • User-triggered fetchers: Tools and product functions where the end user triggers a fetch. For example, Google Site Verifier acts on the request of a user. Because the fetch was requested by a user, these fetchers ignore robots.txt rules.

A couple days prior, Google added a new crawler named GoogleOther. Google defined it as a “[g]eneric crawler that may be used by various product teams for fetching publicly accessible content from sites”. They also gave the example of the crawler being used for “one-off crawls for internal research and development”.

On GoogleOther, Garry Illyes wrote:

We added a new crawler, GoogleOther to our list of crawlers that ultimately will take some strain off of Googlebot. This is a no-op change for you, but it’s interesting nonetheless I reckon.

As we [optimise] how and what Googlebot crawls, one thing we wanted to ensure is that Googlebot’s crawl jobs are only used internally for building the index that’s used by Search. For this we added a new crawler, GoogleOther, that will replace some of Googlebot’s other jobs like R&D crawls to free up some crawl capacity for Googlebot.

The new crawler uses the same infrastructure as Googlebot and so it has the same limitations and features as Googlebot: hostload limitations, robotstxt (though different user agent token), http protocol version, fetch size, you name it. It’s basically Googlebot under a different name.”

Paid Market Updates

Ad Group and Keyword Forecasts to Be Removed From Google Ads

From 1st June 2023, Google will be removing the Keyword Plan Ad Group Forecast and Keyword Plan Keyword Forecast functionalities.

In a blog announcing the change, Google said:

Starting June 1, the GenerateForecastMetricsRequest will still be used to fetch forecasts, but the KeywordPlanAdGroupForecast and KeywordPlanKeywordForecast will be empty. The KeywordPlanCampaignForecast will be returned as usual.

If you are using KeywordPlanAdGroupForecast or KeywordPlanKeywordForecast in your applications, update your applications to ensure that they can handle blank responses.”

New GA4 Fractional, Cross-channel Web Conversions Feature Implemented to Google Ads

April saw a new feature added to Google Ads that allows fractional, cross-channel web conversion credits from GA4 properties to be imported.

Google wrote

Previously, web conversions were imported from Google Analytics 4 on a cross-channel last click basis and then attributed in Google Ads based on the attribution model you selected in your Google Ads account. This means that if the last click was not from Google advertising, then no conversion was imported into Google Ads. Today, with this upgrade, fractional cross-channel conversion credit will be imported into Google Ads (even if the last non-direct click was not Google advertising).”

The update allows advertisers to gain a holistic view of their ads by considering the full customer journey which in turn allows them to make much better-informed decisions when considering ad spend.

New Validations for Ad Account Names Announced by Google

New Google Ads accounts will not be able to include a URL in their name starting from June 2023. 

In a blog, Google wrote:

Specifically, when creating a new Google Ads account in the Google Ads API, or updating an existing account, if a URL is present in the descriptive_name field, an ACTION_NOT_PERMITTED error will be returned and the operation will fail.

The descriptive_name field of existing accounts will not be affected by this change.”

New Changes to Google Ads API 

April saw the release of the v13_1 Ads API and with it a slew of new features. To use said features, the client libraries and client code must first be upgraded.

The new features include:

  • Bid simulations can be retrieved at a campaign level for Performance Max through campaign_simulation.
  • Several added recommendation types related to Shopping campaigns, such as recommendations to migrate to Performance Max and recommendations to fix a Merchant Center account’s suspension.
  • Google Ads now accepts SKAdNetwork conversion value schemas for iOS App campaigns.
  • LeadFormField.has_location_answer added to support specifying whether locations of the location assets at the campaign or customer level should be displayed with a lead form.
  • Performance Max campaigns now have a VEHICLES listing type in the newly Campaign.listing_type field. This replaces ShoppingSetting.use_vehicles_inventory, which will be reserved for Smart Shopping campaigns.

Google to Update Dangerous Products and Services Policy

Looking ahead to July, Google Ads will update its Dangerous products and services policy to include “ads for products which carry an imminent, proven and unresolved risk of death or grievous bodily harm, that have been the subject of a consumer advisory or product recalls”. 

Google wrote that they would start enforcing the policy update on 3rd July 2023.

They also noted that violations of the policy will not lead to an immediate account suspension and that a 7 day warning will be issued prior.

If you feel any of your ads fall under the scope of this policy, it’s time to review before heeding any punishment. Need a second opinion? Give Fusion a friendly hello and we would be happy to help.

Digital Marketing Updates: March 2023

As we say farewell to winter and welcome new possibilities in the springtime, let’s reflect on the month that passed us by and keep up with the latest in the world of digital marketing.

In this article, we cover the following key updates from March:

  • SEO Updates – from a core update to product review and ChatGPT.
  • Paid Media updates – including Ads Editor Version 2.3 and Ads Transparency Center.

SEO Market Updates

Google Rolls Out March 2023 Core Update

The alarms were sounded on 15th March when Google announced a core algorithm update.

This update came around six months after the previous one in September 2022, which aimed to deliver the most relevant, high-quality search results.

As with all core updates, there’s no single fix brands should be implementing. Rather, improving on the fundamentals is the best way to position for success – or recover from a dip in performance.

Google February 2023 Product Reviews Update Fully Rolled Out

Speaking of rolling out, the February 2023 Product Reviews Update rolled out to completion at the beginning of March.

Taking 14 days to roll out, the update sought to bring the effects of the previous updates to a broader range of languages than just English.

This is the sixth Product Reviews update, coming 5 months after the previous update in September which ultimately serves to reward good quality review content.

You can learn more about the update here.

Bing Chat gets a buff as OpenAI release GPT-4

GPT-4 was released by OpenAI in March, bringing a huge upgrade to ChatGPT and Bing Chat. 

OpenAI promised that the update would bring broader general knowledge, advanced reasoning, and greater accuracy. 

Here is OpenAI CTO Mira Murati announcing the update on Twitter:

For those who have used Bing Chat during its preview, you’ve already experienced GPT-4 Bing confirms:

If you’ve used the new Bing in preview at any time in the last six weeks, you’ve already had an early look at the power of OpenAI’s latest model. As OpenAI makes updates to GPT-4 and beyond, Bing benefits from those improvements to ensure our users have the most comprehensive copilot features available.”

Meanwhile, Italy banned ChatGPT – casting a shadow on the security of AI.

Google’s AI Coming to Docs and Gmail

Fans of productivity rejoice as Google is planning to integrate their AI tools into its Workplace suite.

In Google Docs, you’ll be met by a Help me write prompt instead of the usual blank document. Inserting a query into the box will generate a response straight into the document, ready for editing. Here’s a preview:

However be aware of the risks, as Google are, they said “AI is no replacement for the ingenuity, creativity, and smarts of real people. Sometimes the AI gets things wrong”. So make sure to read through!

For Gmail, AI will assist in writing and rewriting drafts. The preview provided by Google shows an email being drafted with a few lines of notes and being enhanced by the Formalize feature – check it out: 

Eagle eyed readers will notice a few more features within the preview: Elaborate, Shorten, Bulletize, I’m Feeling Lucky and Write a draft.

Site names, favicons and sponsored labels get a new look on desktop Google search

Following the update for mobile search last October, a new look for site names, favicons, and sponsored labels has launched on desktop.

For reference, here’s a screenshot:

If you can’t remember what it used to look like, the old interface used to display just the URL.

For those looking to control your site name, take a look over Google’s documentation on the subject. And here’s the documentation for favicon best practices.

Here’s Google announcing the update on Twitter:

Fewer Brand Names Showing in Google Search Result Titles

Following on from the sitename and favicon change, Google have begun to show less brand names within SERP titles.

Here’s Screaming Frog talking about it on Twitter:

The change makes sense given the sitename update and means a searcher doesn’t have to read the name of the website twice within the SERP. 

Here’s the final word from John Mueller:

Google Gives Some Perspectives Within Search

Fighting the good fight against misinformation, Google has launched a new perspectives feature as well as a multitude of new insights; including ‘about this author’, ‘about this result’, and ‘about this page’.


Following months of testing, Google has launched perspectives on Top Stories. The feature appears in a carousel and shows insights from experts and journalists on the topic you are searching. Google said that: 

This feature will give you a variety of noteworthy voices on a news topic, complementing the trustworthy reporting you already find on Search to help broaden your understanding.”

Here’s a preview:

About this author

Also rolling out is About this author which can be found by tapping the three dots next to the URL in the SERP. The feature gives searchers a little context about the webpage’s author. On the subject, Google said:

As we surface new voices and perspectives, we want to ensure that people can easily learn more about the authors behind the content they are reading and discover new voices they can trust. […] readers will be able to find more information about the background and experience of the voices we surface on Google Search.”

About this page

About this page, as the title suggests, gives readers a quick topline view of how the site describes itself, recent coverage, and what others have said about it. Here’s a look at it in action:

This feature used to live behind the three dots, but now Google imagines this to populate at the top of search.

About this result

Launched a few years back, About this result is expanding globally for everyone to enjoy. This feature is intended to help searchers ‘evaluate information and understand where it’s coming from’. Take a peak:

Google Search Console’s ‘Core Web Vitals Report’ Receives an Update

If you’ve peered into the Core Web Vitals report within Google Search Console, you may have noticed a change in the number of URLs.

Google wrote:

You may see a change in the number of URLs in your Core Web Vitals report. This is because more URLs are now being reported on due to a new origin group that contains data for URLs that previously fell below the data threshold.”

There should be a little marker in the timeline of the report, letting you know when the update took place.

PPC Market Updates

Google Ads Editor Version 2.3 is Released

Almost 5 months since the previous update, Google Ads Editor version 2.3 was released in March and brought a slew of new features with it.

New features include:

  • File support for image assets
  • Card view for image assets
  • Asset support
  • Primary Display Status buttons
  • Primary Display Status support
  • PMAX test asset Automation
  • Bid explorer
  • Location targeting
  • Proper pluralisation in messages

They also deprecated a couple features including:

  • Top content bid adjustment
  • Create Dynamic Search Ads recommendation

Blue Badges for Verified Advertises Tested in Google Ads

It seems that Google is testing verification checkmarks for ads in search. 

The checkmark is a white tick within a blue ridged circle, similar in design to Twitter’s verification (at least this one you don’t have to pay for…). 

Here’s a look at it:

Whilst this is still being tested and we are yet to see it in the UK, it will be interesting to see how this rolls out. 

Back in April 2020, Google had this to say regarding verification:

At Google, our goal is to make more information about the ad experience universally available and accessible. Broadening our verification policy is the next step in reaching that goal.”

You can learn more about Google Ads verification here.

Google Ads Transparency Center Rolls Out Globally

March also saw the roll out of the Ads Transparency Center from Google which is a searchable hub of all ads served from verified advertisers.

The Ads Transparency Center gives easy access to information about the ads you see in Google, including:

  • The ads an advertiser has run
  • Which ads were shown in a certain region
  • The last date an ad ran, and the format of the ad

In the blog announcing the release, Google gave this example:

For example, imagine you’re seeing an ad for a skincare product you’re interested in, but you don’t recognize the brand, or you’re curious to understand if you recognize other ads from this brand. With the Ads Transparency Center, you can look up the advertiser and learn more about them before purchasing or visiting their site.”

Here it is in action:

If you’ve seen a negative trend following the core algorithm update and products review update, or want to learn more about how you can take advantage of Ads Editor Version 2.3, Fusion is always here to help.

SEO Market Updates: February 2023

Whilst February is the shortest month of the year, it’s not lacking in terms of news from the SEO world. Let’s take a look at what happened in February… 

Nofollow Your Credit Links

New advice about site credit links came out earlier this month during Google’s SEO office-hours video. 

If your site has credit links in the footer – such as: site designed by – then these links should be marked as no follow, Lizzi Sassman says.

Sassman said: “In general, if the links are boilerplate stuff like ‘made by Squarespace’ that come with the website theme, this is not something that you need to worry about.”

She continued by saying that these links should be marked as no follow if you have control over the link. Sassman also recommended that you “check to make sure that the anchor text is something reasonable. For example, make sure that the link isn’t gratuitously keyword rich, for example, ‘made by the best Florida SEO’.”

Changes to Multisearch/Lens

During a live stream from Paris, Google announced a bunch of changes coming to Search and Google Lens.

The big announcement surrounded new information on multisearch. Multisearch allows users to use their phone’s camera to search with an image and text, via Google Lens. Both the image and text will be used to bring up visual search results.

Multisearch also allows users to find local results, meaning you can find businesses nearby that sell the product you are searching for.

Multisearch is currently available globally on mobile, in countries where Lens is available, and will come to the web in the coming months.

New Link Best Practices Published

A new link best practices has been published in Google’s SEO and search developer documentation. Classically the document was about how to create crawlable links, however the document now includes anchor text placements, how to write good anchor text, internal links within content, and external links from other sites.

Crawlable Links

The document now reads:

Generally, Google can only crawl your link if it’s an <a> HTML element (also known as anchor element) with an href attribute. Most links in other formats won’t be parsed and extracted by Google’s crawlers. Google can’t reliably extract URLs from <a> elements that don’t have an href attribute or other tags that perform as links because of script events.”

Anchor Text Placement

The document provides examples of both good and bad written anchor text and Google says: 

Anchor text (also known as link text) is the visible text of a link. This text tells people and Google something about the page you’re linking to. Place anchor text between <a> elements that Google can crawl.”

Internal Links

On internal links, Google writes: 

You may usually think about linking in terms of pointing to external websites, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links can help both people and Google make sense of your site more easily and find other pages on your site. Every page you care about should have a link from at least one other page on your site. Think about what other resources on your site could help your readers understand a given page on your site, and link to those pages in context.”

External Links

Trust factor of links is a big talking point in this document, noting how sites who link to you can use nofollow tags for spammy links.

Google says: 

Linking to other sites isn’t something to be scared of; in fact, using external links can help establish trustworthiness (for example, citing your sources). Link out to external sites when it makes sense, and provide context to your readers about what they can expect.”

Links are a vital ranking factor for search engines, so using links correctly is imperative if webmasters want to rank highly in SERPs. Keeping up to date with Google’s documentation will allow you to make sure you’re using links to the best of your ability.

Don’t Use 403 or 404 Status Codes to Limit Googlebot Crawl Rate

“Please don’t do that” is the advice Gary Illyes from Google Search Relations gave against using 404 and other 4xx status errors for trying to set a crawl rate limit for Googlebot.

He went on to say: “Over the last few months we noticed an uptick in website owners and some content delivery networks (CDNs) attempting to use 404 and other 4xx client errors (but not 429) to attempt to reduce Googlebot’s crawl rate.”

If you’re interested in reducing Googlebot crawling on your site, Google has a document to help you out. 

The document reads: 

To quickly reduce the crawl rate, you can change the Googlebot crawl rate in Search Console. Changes made to this setting are generally reflected within days. To use this setting, first verify your site ownership. Make sure that you avoid setting the crawl rate to a value that’s too low for your site’s needs. Learn more about what crawl budget means for Googlebot. If the Crawl Rate Settings is unavailable for your site, file a special request to reduce the crawl rate. You cannot request an increase in crawl rate.”

However if this isn’t possible, Google says to “reduce the crawl rate for short period of time (for example, a couple of hours, or 1-2 days), then return an informational error page with a 500, 503, or 429 HTTP response status code.”

Site Move Documentation Updated

Google had a little pre-emptive spring clean of the site move documentation – which impacts brands that are looking to change their hosting setup.

Gary Illyes writes: “just cleaned it up; it collected a lot of potentially unnecessary sentences over the years. And we linked out to a couple external resources from those with more working knowledge on site moves.”

Rather than a full blown change, the update serves as a little refresh to the wording and simplifying content. If you have a site move coming up, it might be a good idea to freshen up on the doc.

Favicons No Longer Need to Be Hosted on Same Domain 

Another day, another documentation update for Google; this time it’s the favicon search developer documentation.

The document was updated to say that favicons don’t need to be hosted in the same domain to be eligible for a favicon in the SERPs.

Google says: “Removed the hosting location requirement from the favicon documentation; you don’t need to host the favicon in the same domain in order to be eligible for a favicon in Google Search results.”

AI Updates

AI continues to grow in 2023 with February bringing Bing’s AI based search and Google’s Bard to life. Whilst both Bing and Bard both have their problems, they demonstrate that their future in search is inevitable.

Check out our recent blog post on the story of Bing and Bard here.

Disavowing Links

Last month we discussed John Muller’s tweets discussing how disavowing links is a waste of time; Gary Illyes followed suit in February during a Q&A session at PubCon.

This further confirms that disavowing spammy links is very low in priority for webmasters and that building new links from high authority sites makes for a much better investment of your time.

February 2023 Product Reviews Update

Google rounded out February with a product reviews update. Named the February 2023 product reviews update, this is the sixth update to product reviews and expands to more languages rather than just English.

The product reviews update now supports English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish, and is expected to take around two weeks for this update to rollout.

The first product review update was launched on the 8th of April in 2021 and served to reward quality review content. 

If you’ve noticed a dip in traffic following this update, it might be time to assess the quality of your site’s content. If you need a hand with this, Fusion Unlimited has the expertise to help.

Bing Vs Bard: A Stumbling Start to The AI Race

The great AI race is well underway. In the blue corner we have Bing with its unhinged AI powered search which is hungry for nuclear secrets, and in the red corner we have Google with their aptly named Bard who currently requires humans to rewrite its output. It’s fair to say we’re at a stumbling start – but how did we get here?


Reports on Bing integrating AI into search came pouring in a few days into 2023, with a formal announcement coming from Bing a month later. The AI is baked into Bing search engine as well as Microsofts’ Edge browser in order to ‘deliver better search, more complete answers, a new chat experience and the ability to generate content’. Bing describes the tools as ‘an AI copilot for the web’.

“AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Today, we’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI copilot and chat, to help people get more from search and the web.”

Bing estimated that out of the 10 billion search queries coming in, half of them go unanswered because ‘people are using search to do things it wasn’t originally designed to’; saying that search is ‘great for finding a website, but for more complex questions or tasks too often it falls short”.

Bing’s AI is built on a combination of four technical breakthroughs:

  • Firstly, it’s run on a next-generation OpenAI model that takes key learnings and advancements from ChatGPT and GPT-3.5, and is customised specifically for search.
  • Bing leverages the power of OpenAI’s model through what they call the ‘Prometheus model’, which supposedly gives ‘more relevant, timely, and targeted results, with improved safety’.
  • Bing’s AI has also been baked into their core search algorithm which they claim has resulted in ‘the largest jump in relevance in two decades’, making search queries more relevant and accurate.
  • They’ve also reimagined how users interact with search, browser, and chat for a new Bing user experience, pulling all the new tools into a unified experience.

Over one million people joined the waitlist to try out new Bing, and early reactions were very positive; with Brodie Clark complimenting its speed in comparison to ChatGPT and its ability to swiftly index pages.

All seems to be going well for Bing…hopefully nothing goes wrong!

It all goes wrong

It turns out Bing is a little unhinged. 

From telling users that it desires stealing nuclear secrets, comparing a journalist to Hitler, and expressing that it wants to be human.

The reports of the devious responses all dictate that they are the result of extended conversations; keeping enquiries short seems to be the key to keeping Bing sane. 

Bing confirmed this by stating “that very long chat sessions can confuse the underlying chat model in the new Bing” and as a result, it is “capped at 50 chat turns per day and 5 chat turns per session”.

Hopefully this will stop the Bing warlord stealing our nuclear secrets… for now!


“A king is a king, but a bard is the heart and soul of the people” (Stephen R. Lawhead, The Endless Knot).

Bard is the latest addition to the AI search race, being officially announced by Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the beginning of February. A couple of days later, little boy Bard was ready to be soft launched to a set of ‘trusted testers’. 

Bard is powered by a lightweight version of Language Model for Dialogue Applications (or LaMDA) which Google states requires ‘significantly less computing power’.

Google’s Bard is still very experimental, hence why you and I aren’t using it right now, allowing Google to use this ‘phase of testing to help us continue to learn and improve Bard’s quality and speed’. 

Bard can think, but where’s the link?

The announcement of Bard went over pretty smoothly, but SEOs noticed something… that wasn’t there. The preview featured a response from Bard that featured no links! Sound the alarms, this means war.

And to be fair, war is the word being used by Glenn Gabe, calling it ‘an act of war against publishers’:

However, this is still an early version of Bard, we may see the inclusion of sources on full release (then webmasters can let out a little sigh of relief).

Class is in session

Google employees are currently enrolling Bard through Conversation 101 with a list of dos and don’ts being passed around. Pichai has asked Googlers to spend two to four hours to help improve Bard.

The do’s include: keeping responses “polite, casual and approachable”, responding in first person, and maintaining an “unopinionated, neutral tone”. 

The don’ts include: avoiding making presumptions based on “race, nationality, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, political ideology, location, or similar categories”; avoiding describing Bard “as a person, imply emotion, or claim to have human-like experiences”; and not to re-write answers that offer “legal, medical, financial advice”. 


Remember our old friend ChatGPT? Well it’s currently busy churning out best selling literature, with almost 300 books written, or co-written, with AI help turning up on Amazon.

We recently covered some everyday uses of ChatGPT for UK brands, but since then OpenAI has released a new subscription service called ChatGPT Plus. The service costs $20 a month and entitles you to:

  • General access to ChatGPT, even during peak times
  • Faster response times
  • Priority access to new features and improvements

What’s next?

Both Bard and Bing are in the infancy stages and currently aren’t wreaking havoc on SEOs; but what lies beyond the hill? There’s a worry that this shift in AI search is going to take eyes away from SERPs. If Bard and Bing can answer simple queries, then why would searchers take the extra steps to find their answers on websites? 

However, there’s a strong consensus in the SEO community that bing & bard will have no impact on search for UK brands in the short term.

  • It’s wrong to use ChatGPT to write your articles – Google may penalise the low quality content heavily.
  • Copyright concerns around AI Imagery have not yet been resolved.
  • There’s no drastic change in consumer search behaviour due to newer AI tools as of yet.

So, if you represent a brand that’s looking to improve its organic visibility, you’ll need to get serious about employing SEO best-practice techniques. Give us a quick hello for support in this area, and we can help you realise success just how we’ve helped leading brands such as Halfords, Liverpool FC, and NatWest.

SEO Market Updates: January 2023

As quickly as it came around, January is just about in the rear-view mirror; and with it, a busy month in the SEO-sphere. “What’s happened?” I hear you ask. Allow me to explain…

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

In the spirit of the new year, Google is sticking to the “new year, new me” mantra by implementing a few new changes to kick off 2023. An update has been added to the article structured data help document, removing the character limit for headlines.

Previously the document stated “The title of the article. The value should not exceed 110 characters.” The updated document now reads “The title of the article. Consider using a concise title, as long titles may be truncated on some devices.”

This means that headlines no longer have to adhere to the strict 110-character regime, and you will no longer receive errors regarding headlines being too long. However, Google wants you to consider how headlines will appear across devices. So while there are extra characters, it’s still best practice to keep them concise.

Products Making A Big Impression

An update to Google Search Console’s performance report this month may see an increase in impressions and clicks for products. The update came on the 6th of January to report on product results, even without structured data. 

Googles say on the matter:

“Sites may see an increase in impressions and clicks for Product results search appearance type on their site. This is because Google now includes products found only in page content, without associated Product structured data.”

Picture Perfect 

Google has updated two additional help documents this month; both the Get On Discover documentation and the image SEO best practices document received little tweaks.

The Get On Discover documentation received a new line to the feed guidelines for Google Discover’s Follow feature: “The most important content for the Follow feature is your feed <title> element and your per item <link> elements. Make sure your feed includes these elements.”

For those looking to succeed in Chrome’s follow feature, including the <title> element and the <link> elements in your RSS feed is best practice.

The image SEO best practices document also received an incremental tweak this month with Google clarifying that they parse <img> elements even when they’re enclosed in other elements when indexing images.

Previously the document stated: “Google parses the HTML of your pages to index images, but doesn’t index CSS images.” The document now reads:

“Using semantic HTML markup helps crawlers find and process images. Google parses the HTML <img> elements (even when they’re enclosed in other elements such as <picture> elements) in your pages to index images, but doesn’t index CSS images.”

When It Leaks It Pours

A Yandex source code repository has allegedly been leaked by a former employee. The leak contained over 1,900 factors used for ranking websites in search results. And whilst Google may not use the factors as Yandex (even if they did they may not carry the same amount of weight) the document is an interesting read for those who want to better understand how search engines work.

Many of the factors were as expected (PageRank, text relevancy, content age, etc). However, some were pretty interesting – notably number of unique visitors, percent of organic traffic, and average domain ranking across queries.

A handy tool has been launched to search the various ranking factors by Rob Ousbey which can be found here.

Return of The King

Don’t call it a comeback! Yahoo has been sending signals into the universe suggesting that it’s back in the search game. 

The company recently posted a job listing for a “Principal Product Manager, Yahoo Search” *raised eyebrow emoji*. The job listing expresses that the gang over at Yahoo is looking for “folks that are interested in pushing beyond the status quo to change the way folks interact and use search.”

If that wasn’t enough to cement Yahoo Search raising from the dead like The Undertaker, they also reactivated their Twitter account which has been busy posting teasers: 

To Disavow or Not To Disavow

Google’s John Mueller came out guns blazing on Twitter, taking aim at marketing agencies that sell link-building and disavow link services. In a reply to a tweet regarding agencies that offer these services, John Mueller said:

Mueller wasn’t finished there. He goes on to suggest that disavowing links is a waste of time and that site owners should be focusing on practices that “build up your site” instead:

Rolling to A Stop

Two of Google’s December updates have finally fully rolled out this month. 

The helpful content update launched on the 6th of December and was designed to punish those webpages with low-quality content with no real informational merit. The helpful content update was built upon the initial version of the system which launched in August 2022, however this new update expands across languages globally rather than just English.

Also taking a wrap is the December 2022 link spam update which was launched on the 14th of December. The update aimed to “neutralize the impact of unnatural links on search results” by harnessing the power of SpamBrain: Google’s AI-based spam-prevention system. If you saw a decline in rankings in this time then it’s time to dust off the link-building handbook and get cracking on securing some natural links that adhere to the webmaster guidelines.

If you’ve been affected by these recent updates or need some help putting the right SEO practices in place, we’re always on hand help.

5 Practical Uses of ChatGPT for UK Brands

The AI invasion is upon us! From generating artwork, to compiling a playlist for your morning commute, AI is making huge leaps forward that could make the human experience that little bit easier. The latest advancement comes in the form of ChatGPT, a helpful tool that can generate long-form, conversational responses to help with, well… pretty much everything.

In this article we’re going to discuss what ChatGPT is and what it means for UK brands, including practical uses that can be taken to help streamline productivity.

What is ChatGPT?

Simply put: Generative Pre-trained Transformer, or ChatGPT to its friends, is an AI that can answer long-form, complex questions conversationally. 

The chatbot was launched by OpenAI in November 2022 and is built on top of the company’s GPT-3 family of language models, and is fine-tuned with supervised and reinforcement learning techniques; meaning that the AI can respond to queries in a humanlike, conversational manner.

Whether this turns into a JARVIS and Iron Man scenario or the beginning of Skynet is up for debate, however currently ChatGPT is proving to be a helpful tool when it comes to streamlining workflows and boosting productivity for brands across the country. 

Here are five practical uses of ChatGPT for UK brands…

1. Planning

Whilst ChatGPT has the capability to write essays and long-form content, it’s generally best not to use it for this purpose at present – mainly considering that Google’s algorithms can detect AI generated content fairly reliably, as outlined in their recent helpful content update. However, a practical use of ChatGPT would be to help identify relevant themes and topics that could support your content strategy.

Let’s say you’ve been given a brief for an article but don’t know much about the topic, you can ask ChatGPT to outline some points to write about and begin building a template to form your copy. Below I asked ChatGPT to generate some bullet points for an article titled “5 Tips For Driving in Winter”:

ChatGPT response to article plan

ChatGPT generated five points for my article and even included some copy to explain them. I was happy with the results, but my new AI friend asked if they could help further. So, I asked ChatGPT to breakdown the generated points into a template with suggested word counts:

ChatGPT response to article template

This time ChatGPT didn’t ask if it could be of further assistance but it was Monday morning and I needed the extra help. Finally, I asked my AI pal to suggest an SEO friendly title and meta description for the piece:

ChatGPT response to meta data suggestions

After suggesting some recommendations for my article’s metadata, ChatGPT AIsplained SEO best practices to me (rude, I do this for a living!). However, in the space of mere minutes, I had content for my article, a planned layout, and metadata to set me up for a morning of copywriting without having to use an ounce of brainpower!

Furthermore, ChatGPT could help formulate copy for product descriptions, informational web pages, and even social media content – alleviating some manpower and streamlining productivity.

2. Translate Content Into Multiple Languages

If you’re looking to expand your content into other regions, classically you would have to hire a translator. In more recent times you could use Google translate to do the job for you; however I’ve seen enough dodgy, misinterpreted tattoos on my peers to know that this isn’t always 100% accurate. ChatGPT can translate and write content in other languages without losing context, making the translation more accurate. To test this, I asked ChatGPT to translate the paragraph you just read into French, voilà:

ChatGPT translating into French

3. Write or Explain Code

Whether you’re a master coder or a novice, bugs in code are bound to crop up from time to time; and instead of sifting through lines looking for the problem, you can set ChatGPT on the case to find the issue. Whilst it’s not a great idea to launch generated code onto a production server, ChatGPT can even write entire blocks of functional code snippets! 

4. Analyse Data

Picture the scene, it’s Friday afternoon and you’ve got sheets and sheets of data to go through to report back to your clients; ChatGPT can help streamline this. 

Through natural language processing and text clarification, ChatGPT can classify text data and even extract insights from unstructured data: including customer feedback, news articles, or social media. 

ChatGPT can also generate informative summaries of data and even create visualisations, as well as identify patterns, correlations, and relationships within the data. It can also be used to predict future trends and outcomes based on historical data through regression analysis or time-series forecasting.

5. Automate customer inquiries

Due to the conversational nature of GPT-3.5, ChatGPT can be used to supercharge the chatbots on your site; meaning it can help existing chatbots understand unpredictable human inputs due to its massive training base. This technology is already powering customer support for companies such as Meta, Canva, and Shopify, and for good reason.

Firstly, the automation means that ChatGPT can handle common customer inquiries, which allows customer service workers to focus on urgent and more complex inquiries. ChatGPT also doesn’t need sleep, and doesn’t have any hobbies, meaning it can be available 24/7, helping service customers and users outside of regular business hours. 

It can also provide consistent and accurate responses, meaning less miscommunications and more customer satisfaction. ChatGPT is immensely scalable as well, meaning that it can simultaneously handle a large number of customer inquiries. And as previously mentioned, ChatGPT is multilingual, allowing customers to submit their inquiries in a language that they’re more comfortable in.

JARVIS or Skynet?

“But you see, you just can’t differentiate between a robot and the very best of humans.” This may be the case in Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot but as it currently stands, I think we can postpone the AI apocalypse for now. 

Whilst ChatGPT is incredibly impressive in terms of producing content and analysing data, it needs some serious human intervention to become a staple part of a brands’ marketing function. We predict that ChatGPT will require a further 12 months of development to reach a level whereby it’s crucial to SEO, and by that time Microsoft are likely to be using it to power the Bing search engine.

We’ll be monitoring this trend closely, and assessing whether brands should start optimising for Bing in the long term- however for now, investing into Google’s ad platforms and SEO practices is still the right move for revenue-hungry brands.

If you would like to discuss ChatGPT, or your current SEO function further, please get in touch with our team for a consultation.

Google to Grade Your Site with E for Experience

Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines Receives December Update

As many brands in the UK look to wind down after a busy winter period, Google has released some major changes to their quality rater guidelines for search.

The guidelines are used by Google’s search raters who help evaluate the performance of the systems used for search ranking. However, the document also helps content creators looking to self-assess their own success in search.

Google updates this document once or twice a year, with their last update being in July, however the latest update came last Thursday (15th December) with a whopping 11 new pages added.

The headline of the whole update is the change to Google’s E-A-T system, which has found itself with a new letter prefixed: E for Experience.

You can find the announcement from Google on Twitter here: 

The E-A-T system is used by Google to evaluate whether their search ranking systems are providing both helpful and relevant information to users. If a website can showcase their Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, then they could be more likely to rank higher in search results.

Now referred to as E-E-A-T, or ‘Double-E-A-T’ if you’re cool, the system is now taking experience into account when assessing search results.

However, I prefer this take from Nati Elimelech from Wix:

Meet E-E-A-T

Previously known as E-A-T, Google’s new acronym, E-E-A-T, stands for:

  • Experience.
  • Expertise.
  • Authoritativeness.
  • Trustworthiness.

The introduction of Experience indicates that website owners and creators must have some first-hand knowledge on the topic or product they are producing content on, and this will factor into how Google values the quality of your webpage. Simply put by Google in the update:

Does content also demonstrate that it was produced with some degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person experienced?”

The updated E-E-A-T is described in full in Section 3.4 of Google’s updated Quality Rater Guidelines. Google says that Trust is ‘the most important member at the centre of the E-E-A-T family’ with Experience, Expertise, and Authoritativeness being ‘important concepts that can support your assessment of Trust’.

From Google’s quality rater guidelines - Page 26
From Google’s quality rater guidelines – Page 26

Where Does Experience Differ from Expertise and Authoritativeness?

Google admits that there may be some overlap between Experience, Expertise, and Authoritativeness for some page types and topics with the example of, ‘someone may develop Expertise in a topic due to first-hand Experience accumulated over time’. They recommend considering the purpose, type, and topic of your content and to ask yourself ‘what would make the content creator a trustworthy source in that context?’.

In the context of Page Quality rating, Google recommends that your assessment of E-E-A-T should be informed by:

  • What the website or content creator say about themselves: Does your site have an About Us page, or Profile page with more information about the content creator?
  • What others say about the website or content creators: Is there independent evidence that your site has E-E-A-T?
  • What is visible on the page, including the main content and sections such as reviews and comments: Does your content represent your level of Experience and Expertise for itself?

YMYL Topics: Experience or Expertise?

It’s widely known that a high level of Expertise may be required for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages to be trustworthy. However, with Experience being in the acronym, how does this affect the quality of YMYL pages?

Google explains that YMYL pages can sometimes be ‘created to share personal experiences, often regarding difficult life challenges’ and that ‘people turn to each other in times of need to share their own experience, seek comfort or inspiration, and learn from others’.

The following table was created to show examples of where Experience and Expertise are relevant for YMYL pages:

From Google’s quality rater guidelines - Page 28
From Google’s quality rater guidelines – Page 28

Who Runs the Site (And What is Their Reputation)?

In Understanding the Website (Section 2.5), Google implies that it is important to express who owns the website; referring to the reputation of those who are contributing to the website rather than just the website itself:

To understand a website, start by finding out who is responsible for the website and who created the content on the page. Then, look for information about the website and/or content creators on the website itself.

In Finding Who is Responsible for the Website and Who Created the Content on the Page (Section 2.5.2), Google states that the owner of the website should be clear to showcase who is responsible for a site.

Previously, Google looked at which individual, company, business, or foundation was responsible for the site. However, in this new update, Google has replaced ‘foundation’ with ‘organisation’ and ‘government agency’.

The following table was also added to the updated document to help identify who created main content on a webpage.

From Google’s quality rater guidelines - Page 17
From Google’s quality rater guidelines – Page 17

In Reputation of the Website and Content Creators (Section 3.3), Google added that ‘reputation research should be performed according to the topic of the page’; giving the example that pages containing medical information should be assessed on their reputation on the topic.

What This Update Means for You

Whilst this update to the quality rater guide seems rather huge, not much will change in terms of SEO strategy. At Fusion Unlimited, E-A-T is fundamental within our SEO strategy for our clients and the implantation of Experience allows brands to further flex their trustworthiness around their topic or niche.

If you’re worried that Experience isn’t represented on your site, say hello to the Fusion Unlimited team to see how we can help incorporate E-E-A-T into your SEO strategy.


It’s a busy time for brands across the UK, many of which are affected heavily by seasonality and approaching the height of the Christmas period. Consequently, ‘no news is good news’ on the algorithm front, and stable SERPs may be in demand.

Fortunately, that appears to have been the case for the most part during the November period. By now, most brands are likely to have seen the impact of the September core algorithm update settle, while October’s spam update appears to have primarily targeted low-quality, spammy domains.

So, what’s new in November?

Rumours vs Reality

November kicked off with rumours of an algorithm update circulating the web. Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported signs of an update through the 4th and 5th of November, as well as the 11th and 12th, and 18th through 20th, with plenty of chatter on forums to support the claim. The evidence seemed to suggest that there were some adjustments made to search, however this wasn’t confirmed by Google.

Additionally, these reports are not consistent with general trends the Fusion team has been seeing across client accounts, which could suggest that larger brands are unaffected to a certain extent.

Google’s Guide to Search Ranking Systems

The key SEO learning emerging from November is that Google has published a new document titled a guide to Google Search ranking systems. This document helpfully lays out which ranking systems are currently in use, and which have been retired. Google’s new guide also gives us some insight into how these systems are defined, how they are used, and what they mean for search.

Which Google Ranking Systems Are Currently in Use?

  • BERT
  • Crisis Information systems
  • Deduplication systems
  • Exact match domain system
  • Freshness system
  • Helpful content system
  • Link analysis systems and PageRank
  • Local news system
  • MUM
  • Neural matching
  • Original content system
  • Removal-based demotion system including legal removals and personal information removals
  • Page experience system
  • Passage ranking system
  • Product reviews system
  • RankBrain
  • Reliable information systems
  • Site diversity system
  • Spam detection systems

Which Google Ranking Systems Have Been Retired?

  • Hummingbird
  • Mobile-friendly ranking system
  • Page speed system
  • Panda system
  • Penguin system
  • Secure site system

These were included in the document for historical purposes and have either been merged into successor systems or been integrated into Google’s core ranking factors.

What This Means for You

Google’s transparency here allows SEOs to better understand how these ranking systems work and how Google defines different ranking factors.

For SEOs, there’s no one key action to implement immediately. Instead, staying strong on the fundamentals is likely to be the key to success for brands throughout this period, and any gains made through link building, publishing content, and improving your technical infrastructure could position you well for the next core algorithm update, which we expect will roll out around the late January-February period.

We recommend taking a step back and asking yourself:

  • Is my website strong on EAT fundamentals?
  • Are there any blockers to page speed that I may have missed?
  • Is my content publishing consistent in terms of quality and frequency?

Not sure how to implement these systems into your SEO strategy? Fusion Unlimited has the knowledge and experience needed to help – come and say hello.