Good morning, Marketers, happy Monday.

With so many SMBs pivoting and embracing new levels of digital transformation to survive during the pandemic, Shopify’s profile continues to rise. It’s just one of many options, of course, but Shopify has attracted users to its ecommerce platform because it’s relatively turnkey and has a vibrant app store for customizations and integrations (including last week’s news that it will integrate with the soon-to-be commission-free Buy on Google). 

To help readers evaluate the platform and optimize Shopify stores for discovery in search, our own George Nguyen has continued to dig in and talk to SEOs and managers working on Shopify stores about ways to avoid common Shopify SEO pitfalls and tips to speeding up your Shopify site. 

More businesses going digital means more competition in an already challenging time. We hope these articles and discussions will help make your transition a little easier. 

To go more in-depth, see our Shopify SEO guide and review our Shopify technical SEO guide with your developer. 

If you have e-commerce SEO or Shopify-specific tips, connect with Geroge, he’d love to hear from you: [email protected]

Local businesses, be sure to pay close attention to your Google My Business listing and take advantage of new features and updates designed to help keep customers informed and engaged. 

Ginny Marvin,
Editor-In-Chief

 
 
 
Indicators
 

The COVID effect

Microsoft’s Search and LinkedIn advertising businesses are further bellwethers of the effects the pandemic is having on business, and in turn advertising and hiring. The Search business was hit especially hard last quarter, dropping 18% year-over-year. Microsoft CFO Amy Hood said “rates stabilized through the quarter” but expects revenue “to decline in the low 20% range” in the current quarter.

Last week, Twitter reported ad revenue was off 23% year-over-year. Snap’s revenue was up 17% year-over-year, but down 2% from the previous quarter. Google, Facebook, Amazon and Pinterest report earnings this week.

 

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Search Shorts
 

Google algorithm update, WordPress Sitemaps integration, fact checks and more

Google algorithm update. There may be an unconfirmed Google search ranking update going on. It started around July 23rd and the tools show signs of it and SEO community chatter also seems to be discussing it.

XML Sitemaps in WordPress v5.5.  Version 5.5 of WordPress finally has native XML Sitemaps built into the core of the platform. WordPress announced it and said “in WordPress 5.5, a new feature is being introduced that adds basic, extensible XML sitemaps functionality into WordPress core.”

Migrating a site, split it up.  John Mueller from Google gave advice on what to do when migrating a site. He said on Reddit “I’d try to split it time-wise so that you can recognize any negative effects in each part, and take action to improve them. If you do everything at once, you’ll never know what to fix, and even if things end up “same as before”, you won’t know if one part went down, and was compensated by an improvement on the other part. Keep things controllable & trackable.”

Multiple face check. If you use multiple fact-checking, ClaimReview markup, on a page, Google says it currently might not show any fact check markup for that page. It is working on doing so in the future, but right now, it does not work.

 

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What We're Reading
 

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.

7 Questions to Ask Before Working with an SEO Agency – iPullRank

Alexa will soon be able to launch Android and iOS apps using voice commands – The Verge

Changes in Technical SEO – Searchmetrics

Core Web Vitals – Google’s Benchmark for Page Experience – SISTRIX

EU demands major concessions from Google over Fitbit deal – Ars Technica

Google Search Showing Flight & Hotel COVID-19 Impact – Search Engine Roundtable

Libraries help entrepreneurs write their next chapter – Google Blog

Product Update: New Features for Keywords Management – Adalysis

Social Media SEO: 7 Easy Ways to Use Social Media to Improve Your SEO – SEM Rush

Steve Wozniak sues Google over YouTube bitcoin scam – CNET

The Campaign Comeback: What to Do When Content Fails — Best of Whiteboard Friday – Moz

Why Readability Is Important For Content – Koozai