This Month in Search: September 2020

Can you believe that we are into the last quarter of the year already? Let’s see what has been happening in the world…of search!

1st September: Google passes on digital tax to advertisers

Not the best way to start the month for PPC specialists! Google announced that a new 2% charge will be applied to paid advertising served in the UK from the 1st November. Let’s just say that the search community are not happy about it:

“Outrageous. Google has joined Amazon as one of the large online businesses that don’t fancy paying the Digital Services Tax introduced in the UK. Passing the tax on to their small business customers, Google will largely avoid paying any of the Digital Services Tax.

Whilst 2% on top of your Google advertising might not sound much, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not. Start adding up what you spent with Google last year, add on what you spent with Amazon, take two per cent and you’re probably in the region of a very nice summer holiday being deducted from the bottom line that’s now going to be re-charged to you so that the Internet Giants don’t have to pay themselves.” – Catherine Durham, Director of Digital Marketing.

2nd September: A new look for Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft has redesigned the Microsoft Advertising tool, and will roll out in just a few weeks! Some of the major changes include:

  • A global menu bar
  • Quick and easy access to campaigns on the left-hand menu
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Access to cross-account insights with Manager Account Overview
Microsoft Advertising update
Image Source: https://about.ads.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/post/september-2020/the-redesigned-microsoft-advertising-web-experience-is-here

Looks impressive, but will it ever compete with the mighty Google Ads?

4th September: Bing Webmaster Tools launches a new robots.txt tester tool

Search engine Bing announced that they have launched a new robots.txt tester tool. All you need to do is submit the URL, and the tool verifies if it has either been blocked or allowed by Bingbot or BingAdsBot.

8th September: Microsoft Advertising adds multi-image extensions

Microsoft added something new to it’s paid adverts, and it’s called Multi-Image Extensions. This is currently just available in the US, but if we hear anything, we’ll keep you updated.

Microsoft Ads: Multi-image extensions
Image Source: https://about.ads.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/post/september-2020/drive-higher-ad-engagement-with-multi-image-extensions

16th September: Google updates it’s shopping search options

Google announced that they have changed the Google Shopping results for “Nearby” queries.

Product Manager Swati Trehan noticed that Google searches for “curbside pickup” and “safe shopping” increased tenfold, and the team have responded by adding the following features:

  • Nearby filter to see what’s locally available
  • Opening & closing hours, location and inventory comparisons for businesses
Google Update: Shopping Ads
Image Source: https://blog.google/products/shopping/shop-safely-and-easily-stores-your-community/

21st September: Bing introduces voice search

Microsoft’s Bing has announced that voice search is now available on its search engine. Bing Voice Search is also available on its app.

27th September: Google celebrates its 22nd Birthday!

Can you believe that Google is 22 years old? In typical style, the tech giant celebrated its birthday with a Google Doodle.

Google Doodle: 22nd Birthday
Image Source: https://www.google.com/doodles/googles-22nd-birthday

Even this doodle had to be socially responsible, by celebrating online via video chat!

30th September: Spike in ‘Move to Canada’ Google searches during the Trump-Biden debate

In other news, many American citizens started to search for how to move to Canada during the chaotic Presidential debate. In the past couple of days, the following search terms spiked in the US:

  • Move to Canada (+300%)
  • How much money do I need to move to Canada (+110%)
  • Google move to Canada (+90%)
  • How to get a work visa in Canada (+80%)
  • Can I just move to Canada (+60%)

Unfortunately, the US / Canada border remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, so it’s unlikely that this will happen soon!