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What does crypto have to do with SEO and PPC?; Thursday’s daily brief

Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential wisdom for today’s search marketers. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily. Good morning, Marketers. We knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean we like it. That’s what I’m seeing from PPC advertisers in response to Google’s announcement that they were eliminating ETAs in 2022. The tone is a sad acceptance that their jobs might get a little harder in a few years: “RSAs underperform ETAs almost universally in my experience,” said Collin Slattery, Founder of Taikun Digital. “RSAs almost always under-perform ETAs, across millions in spend and over a year of testing. It’s not close, either,” agreed Sam Tomlinson of EVP Warschawski.


Is anyone hopeful? “Hoping we’ll get cool customization features, assuming we’ll get cool reporting features,” tweeted Tinuiti’s Head of Paid Search Aaron Levy in response. “I don’t mind losing ETAs as much as I wish there were better reporting on the events of an RSA,” added Menachem Ani, Founder at JXTGroup. The good (?) news is that advertisers have a decent amount of time to test and prepare. And Google has time to hear the feedback and improve its tools for PPC professionals.

How to write ad copy that converts (plus three major mistakes to avoid)

When creating ads that convert searchers into customers, many advertisers dive into the structure, testing, and more and gloss over one of the most important elements of any campaign: copy. Your ad copy is the very basic building block of your advertising. Getting it right can be the difference between a milquetoast conversion rate and driving huge value for your clients and stakeholders. In her session at SMX Convert, Alyssa Altman did a deep dive into writing ad copy that converts, including understanding search engines, funnels, intent, and more. Here are the high points:

  • Search engines are now answer engines. Your ads have to compete with Google’s in-SERP features.
  • Funnels are not linear, and the intent isn’t clear. Awareness and consideration searches happen throughout the funnel. Plus, conversion searches might happen on queries we may not normally consider “bottom-of-the-funnel” type of searches.
  • Test ad copy for both ambiguous and obvious intent. Testing intent vs. winning messaging is two very different paths to go down. Identifying your end goal will help drive your upfront testing strategy.

Search Engines: Decentralized search comes to Android in Europe

Starting yesterday, the private, decentralized search engine Presearch will be listed by Google as a default search engine option on all new and factory-reset Android devices across the U.K. and Europe. One of the latest Google competitors vying for market share, “Presearch is a 2017-founded, pro-privacy blockchain-based startup that’s using cryptocurrency tokens as an incentive to decentralize search — and thereby (it hopes) loosen Google’s grip on what Internet users find and experience,” wrote Natasha Lomas for TechCrunch. In 2018, the European Commission fined Google 4.24 billion euros for unfairly using Android to solidify its search engine dominance. Google agreed to change its default settings and announced it would increase the number of search providers on its default settings page earlier this year. It also stopped requiring competing search engines to pay to be included. Presearch is now one of those options, but it is the only search choice powered by the cryptocurrency market.

Why we care: we’ve covered Google’s troubles with the search choice debate many times before, and a new player on the market probably doesn’t even shake them enough to notice. But Presearch’s advertising model completely differs from what we’re used to. Called keyword staking, “Presearch token holders can ‘stake’ or commit tokens to specific words and phrases. The advertiser that stakes the most tokens to a term then displays its advertisement whenever someone searches for it. As a result, they receive the traffic when users click on that ad link,” wrote Kyt Dotson for Silicon Angle. “Keyword Staking” is another way Presearch transforms the online search paradigm. We are using blockchain to align the interests of advertisers and users while pioneering an entirely new compensation model for advertising,” said Colin Pape, founder and chief executive of Presearch.

Search Shorts: Local keyword research, title rewrites, and new Google Ads annotations

How to conquer local keyword research. Even if you’re familiar with keyword research for standard SEO, there are many things specific to local businesses and SEO that you might not be aware of but can take your localized organic performance to new heights. Check out the latest course from Claire Carlile and BrightLocal.

Want to check quickly if Google has rewritten the titles of a list of pages? But don’t have access to paid tools? Jason M at SEOwl made one for you that’s free.

Google Ads is introducing new annotations highlighting fast shipping, easy returns, and unique holiday business identity attributes. 58% of U.S. holiday shoppers said they would shop online more this season than in previous years, and 59% said they would shop earlier to avoid an item being out of stock. Get ahead of the game now with these new Google annotations.

What We’re Reading: Ask the expert – Your top FLoC questions answered.

In his highly-rated SMX Advanced session, “FLoC and the future of audiences,” Frederick Vallaeys, Co-Founder & CEO at Optmyzr, dug into the technology behind Google’s privacy initiatives FLoC, FLEDGE, and TURTLEDOVE. After the sessions, Vallaeys took questions from attendees who wanted to know more about how FLoC will work for B2B advertisers, how Google is testing FLoC cohorts, and how advertisers can have their voices heard by big tech in these privacy initiatives.

The problem is that a birth cohort is less precise than an individual. The unfortunate answer is, no, we won’t be able to do some of these things. We’re at this juncture where I think we still have the old ways and, as imperfect as they may be, how much can we pull out of it and make that third-party relationship, the first-party relationship because then we can do something meaningful with it.

Google said we’re going to put people in these cohort buckets. In one part of the split test, they used third-party cookie data. So where we know you as an individual, unique user who’s done all these things, in the other, we only see that every browser is part of one cohort. But then there are many cohorts that Google could say they were targeting. In that test, they saw a comparable performance in terms of cost per conversion.

Visit privacysandbox.com. Google is involved in all the W3C standards and goes to meetings related to ads. We, as advertisers, can give feedback in the forums related to that. So, understand what’s happening. Put your point of view in because many people attending these meetings are big players with big vested interests. So the small people amongst them, the small players, we have to put our voice out there too. And we can’t do that unless we understand what’s happening.


I have always enjoyed writing and reading other people's blogs. I started writing a journal as a teenager and have since written numerous books and articles. My blog is a place where I can write freely about my personal interests and those of others.

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