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Weekly News: Mozilla tests Bing as the default search engine for 1% of users

Mozilla tests Bing as the default search engine for 1% of users

“Mozilla is running an experiment on 1% of the Firefox desktop population currently, which sets the default search engine to Bing in the web browser,” said Martin Brinkmann for ghacks.

The search choice is an ongoing issue. We’ve written about search choice before as it’s been a topic of conversation even beyond the search community.

Google is the usual default. “Like all browsers, Mozilla Firefox automatically configures a browser to a default search engine for performing searches via the address bar,” wrote Lawrence Abrams on BleepingComputer. Chrome obviously defaults to Google, but so do Brave and Firefox.

The new test. “The study started on September 6 and it will run until early 2022, likely January 2022. About 1% of Firefox desktop users may notice that the default search engine is changed when the installation of Firefox is picked for the experiment,” explained Brinkmann. Why are they running this test with Bing? Mozilla hasn’t disclosed the reason, but most of their revenue comes from search engine deals.

Read more: Mozilla tests Bing as the default search engine for 1% of users

Google provides some reasons why it won’t use your HTML title tags

Google said it went from using your HTML title tag 80% of the time to 87% of the time in the past couple of weeks.

Google has confirmed that it not only made a change to what title it shows in the search results but also disclosed how much of a change it actually was. For the past few weeks, Google said it was using your chosen HTML title tag 80% of the time. Now Google said it is using as-is title tags 87% of the time, a seven-point increase: “Title elements are now used around 87% of the time, rather than around 80% before,” Google wrote.

Why the change. “We’ve used text beyond title elements in cases where our systems determine the title element might not describe a page as well as it could. Some pages have empty titles. Some use the same titles on every page regardless of the page’s actual content. Some pages have no title elements at all,” said Google. The company then listed off other reasons why it won’t use your HTML title tag:

  • Half-empty titles (” | Site Name”)
  • Obsolete titles (“2020 admissions criteria – University of Awesome”)
  • Inaccurate titles (“Giant stuffed animals, teddy bears, polar bears – Site Name”)
  • Micro-boilerplate titles (“My so-called amazing TV show,” where the same title is used for multiple pages about different seasons)
  • and more.

Guidance. Google also gave some guidance on how to encourage the search engine to show your HTML titles: “Focus on creating great HTML title elements. Those are by far what we use the most.” Google reshared the help document on titles, that it recommended SEOs read. “Consider the examples in this post to understand if you might have similar patterns that could cause our systems to look beyond your title elements.

Are titles getting better? Time will tell if these changes Google made actually made things better. We saw some SEOs earlier this week saying the titles were starting to look better. Dr. Pete Meyers from Moz recently published a large case study on the title rewrites as well, but it is hard to say when Google made the changes and when the case study data was pulled from.

Read more: Google explains why it made the title change to the search results

What clients need from your marketing agency today

We learned exactly where businesses are looking for agencies to step up to the plate and help. We also discovered that there’s a goldmine of opportunity for agencies who can position themselves as strategic partners and make businesses’ lives easier.

Help set the long-term strategy

SMBs are big believers in the value of a marketing strategy. In fact, 81% say that a marketing strategy was critical to the success of their business during COVID-19, and 71% say they wouldn’t have survived the last 18 months without a marketing strategy.

Still, many businesses scaled down their marketing efforts to survive the widespread economic uncertainty. However, nearly half (43%) say they plan to invest more money into developing marketing strategies over the next year. Yet only 16% of surveyed businesses have a long-term strategy that covers the next year or more. The majority, 81% of companies, only have short-term, three-to-six-month marketing strategies in place.

Expand digital outreach

We heard loud and clear in our survey that businesses want agencies to do more to help them, especially when it comes to expanding their digital reach. From a tactical perspective, improving or building a website, improving lead generation, and expanding outreach was at the top of the list.

Read more: What clients need from your marketing agency today

SEOs experiencing delays in data on Search Console performance reports

“We’re currently experiencing longer than usual delays in the Search Console performance report. This only affects reporting, not crawling, indexing, or ranking of websites,” said the Google Search Central Twitter account on the morning of Tuesday, September 21. “We’ll update here once this issue is resolved. Thanks for your patience!”

Many SEOs have noticed the change in their Search Console reports this morning and have taken to social media to ask if they’re the only ones seeing the issue. “Is there a GSC bug? Apologies if I am late to the party here, but the last day we even have partial data available is the 18th?” asked Tessa Bonacci Nadik, Director of SEO Product at Cox Automotive.

Read more: SEOs experiencing delays in data on Search Console performance reports

How to set up Google Analytics 4 using Google Tag Manager

Google Analytics 4 introduced a new take on the go-to analytics platform for many marketers. Reimagined from the ground up, with a new interface and tweaked primary metrics, GA4 also requires a different setup process to get tracking tags in place.

Google Tag Manager (GTM) provides an easy, templated route to install GA4 on your site as well as create custom events. In this article, I’ll walk through getting GA4 tracking in place via GTM, as well as cover some basic customization options.

Setting up event tracking for GA4 in Google Tag Manager

One of the major improvements that came with GA4 was built-in event tracking. Directly within the Google Analytics interface, you can enable Enhanced Measurement to fire events for actions that previously required manually created events, such as scroll activity, outbound clicks, file downloads, and video views.

Read more: How to set up Google Analytics 4 using Google Tag Manager

More news:

“About this advertiser” initiative now includes Advertisers Pages for Google Ads

Google News app will display non-AMP content

Speed up your site indexing in Bing

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