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#ThinkSearch February Wrap Up Search Highlights

There have been lots of new and exciting changes across SEO, Content and Paid Media this month. To make sure you’re in the loop, we’ve compiled a list of some of the key highlights from across the industry in this #ThinkSearch February wrap up.

New featured snippets to answer all your questions

Google has said that they are updating their Featured Snippets function to provide multiple answers to queries that have more than one interpretation.

These snippets will feature on “multi-intent” searches where the intent behind the query may be unclear. “Muscle pain after exercise” could be looking for what causes muscle pain, how to alleviate muscle pain or even how long muscle pain after exercise should last.

The results will respond to ambiguous queries by featuring a number of snippets on the SERP, each answering a possible question.

Multi faceted featured snippet

Image credit: Search Engine Land.

Google’s ad blocker has landed in Chrome

We’re happy to report that you can say goodbye to ‘pre-sital ads’ on Chrome. These ads unapologetically take over your screen and blast loud advertising in your face before you’ve even got to your weather page.

On February 15, Google introduced a default ad blocker to the Chrome browser which removes the most intrusive ads from your view.

You might be wondering why Google would make such an altruistic move and remove ads from sites when they gain revenue from advertising itself. While Google are indeed continuing their campaign of improving user experience, implementing their own ad blocker works in their favour.

By offering their own ad blocker, you are less likely to use your own third party tool which may remove Google ads. Google’s Chrome ad blocker removes a select type of ads, which have been deemed as inappropriate by the Coalition for Better Ads.

None of these are Google ads, of course. ‘Inappropriate’ ads usually either disrupt or slow your browsing experience. This includes ads that cover more than a third of the screen on your smartphone, some flashing animations and videos that automatically play with sound.

Google adblocker in chrome

Is AI the future of content marketing?

Last year, Adobe brought out Sensei, the AI layer used across the company’s Marketing, Creative and Document Clouds.

This new technology brought a whole host of new features, such as Automated Insights which analyses whether more of your budget should be put into search or social ads.

Recently, Adobe added some now content-based features to Sensei, such as the ability to automatically add metadata keywords to images. This Smart Tag feature uses AI to recognise logos, patterns or even product models to add appropriate tags to images and improve visibility.

AI and content marketing

Ecosia: The greener way to search

Ecosia is the search engine that invests its profits from advertising into planting trees in areas that desperately need them, with the goal of having enough money to plant one billion trees by 2020.

Founded in 2009 by Christian Kroll, the company has its headquarters in Berlin, Germany. For every click on an advert or sponsored link, Ecosia are paid by their partners at Bing, with about 45 searches funding the planting of one tree.

To maintain transparency, the company publish all of their monthly financial reports. According to the December 2017 report, 55.2% of their €851,734 profit went towards their reforestation efforts, in places such as Tanzania, Indonesia, Brazil, Madagascar and Ghana.

What do you think? Will you be using Ecosia from now on?

Ecosia search engine

Crawl robots didn’t get faster, it was just a bug

If you have been on the ball this month with monitoring the success of your awesome creations, you may have noticed a drop in the ‘time spent downloading’ statistic on Feb 20 and 21.

On these days, there was an uncharacteristic dip in the metric which reports the time that search engine robots have spent crawling your site.

Google reported that this dip was just a reporting glitch. This won’t actually affect your search rankings.

While creating useful, relevant and engaging work for your readers is an important part of the equation, you aren’t doing your work justice if you don’t have a website that is quick to load and easy to navigate. As our SEO team will tell you, monitoring the metrics of your site is essential if you want to improve its performance.

Have you got any other search highlights from February? Leave a comment below or tweet us at @ithinkmedia – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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