Last week was full of exciting reveals in Search and the forging of key partnerships in Social. Google finally revealed the other two of the three top ranking factors, and was spotted working on no less than three top secret projects. Facebook continues to improve on its ad performance insights, and has partnered with Square to provide them to small businesses. All these and more of the big news last week!

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No surprises here. In a live Q&A with WebPromo, Google Ireland Search Quality Senior Strategist Andrey Lipattsev confirmed Google’s top two search ranking factors were (in no order)Content and Links. While Google previously confirmed that RankBrain was the third most important ranking factor, although even this wasn’t news to SEO’s, the first two were unconfirmed until last week.

You can find the exchange at the 30-minute mark of the video.

Last week, AdWords began automatically using the “Recommended bid” to new Dynamic Search Ads. The announcement on Google Plus explains this is to save time when adding several categories. To the more meticulous AdWords users, the recommended bids can serve as a starting point, which can be reviewed and then overridden. Recommendations will only show for accounts with sufficient data.

  • Dynamic Search Ads helps you set more relevant bids

Google has also updated its Webmaster Guidelines, with several significant changes. Some of the changes include new guidelines (ensuring the most important content isn’t hidden in tabs or accordions, using https for all pages) as well as revisions to old ones (the advice to limit the links on a page to a reasonable number now says a few thousand instead of a few hundred). The updated page also includes a video that discusses the guidelines in further detail. Website owners are advised to closely examine the new guidelines for changes that may affect them.

Google has quietly been working on three projects: YouTube Connect, a livestreaming app to compete with Periscope and Facebook Live, an iPhone keyboard app with built-in Google Search functionality, and a voice-command device for home to rival the Amazon Echo.

While YouTube already offers live streaming on a limited basis in the Creator Studio, YouTube Connect will be a standalone app that will widen access to live streaming functionality. It will reportedly have the same features as Periscope and Facebook Live, including direct streaming from mobile phones, chat and tagging features, and a feed that will show videos from friends or subscribed channels.

Google’s iPhone keyboard app will employ gesture-based typing just like its Android counterpart, but will also have a button for one-click access to Google Search along with two other buttons for image and GIF searches. The move is clearly meant to bolster Google Search on iPhones, as Apple’s voice assistant Siri runs on Bing.

Google’s plan to respond to Amazon’s Echo was discovered in a report on subsidiary Nest, whose request to included in the project was turned down. No further details on the product were disclosed in the report.


In keeping with its bid to be local business-friendly, Facebook is integrating its Ads with Square’s “Customer Engagement” CRM suite to help local businesses match online ad targeting with Square’s sales data. The integration promises to provide insight into which Facebook campaigns make an impact on the bottom line.

Facebook also continued to improve on its ad metrics and reporting capabilities with the launch of “Delivery Insights” and an update to video metrics. Delivery Insights is a new set of ad performance data that identifies under-delivered ads and gives recommendations for improvement to make them more competitive at auction. The video metrics update will provide publishers with daily breakdowns for minutes viewed, views, and 10-second views.

Delivery Insights will roll out globally to Ads Manager in a few weeks, while daily breakdowns for videos are available now through Page Insights and the Video Library.

That’s it for last week! Subscribe below, and start your week with a roundup of the biggest industry news.