SearchCap: Google Maps, ads, AMP & search updates

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.
From Search Engine Land:

Google asking dissatisfied searchers to submit questions manually in the search resultsMay 9, 2018 by Barry Schwartz
If Google doesn’t have content for your query, it may ask you to help content creators to make content that will eventually rank for your query.

Save the date: SMX East returns to New York City in OctoberMay 9, 2018 by Chris Sherman
Search Engine Land’s SMX East search marketing conference is returning to New York City Oct. 23-25. If you’re involved in marketing, PR, social media or any other customer-facing activity, you owe it to yourself (and your company’s or client’s bottom line) to attend the show. SMX East delivers cutting-edge tips and techniques you’ll put to […]

Google updates mobile-friendly test, rich results test tools to better support JavaScript sitesMay 9, 2018 by Barry Schwartz
Is your site heavily built in

Google Assistant takes center stage at I/O, search takes a back seat

Google Assistant has fast become one of Google’s marquee products and a critical component of Google’s competitive strategy versus rivals Apple and Amazon. Today, at Google I/O, the company announced a long list of new features, capabilities and improvements.
First, the obligatory impressive numbers. The Google Assistant is now on 500 million devices globally, including TVs and cars, in 80 countries and 30 languages by the end of 2018. It also works with 5,000 connected home devices. Apple, Microsoft and Amazon all have large numbers they can cite, though other than Apple, not as much distribution.
Here are the highlights of the Assistant-related announcements this morning:
New voices for greater personalization
Google said there will be six new Assistant voices, as well as some limited voice content from musician John Legend. The latter points to more celebrity/character voices and more customization. The company also said that they can create new Assistant personas in a compressed time frame because of AI technology

SearchCap: AdWords interface changing, manual penalties & link building

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.
From Search Engine Land:

Old AdWords interface will be phased out by year-endMay 7, 2018 by Ginny Marvin
Google will notify advertisers ahead of the final switch to the new AdWords experience.

Link building is complicated: A rebuttalMay 7, 2018 by Andrew Dennis
Contributor Andrew Dennis (kinda) disagrees with a previously published SEL article and offers his view on why link building may be difficult.

Act now! SMX Advanced Early Bird rates end Saturday nightMay 7, 2018 by Search Engine Land
Skip the basics and dive into the deep end of search marketing. Attend Search Engine Land’s SMX® Advanced June 11-13 in Seattle. More than 79 percent of available passes have already been sold, and Early Bird rates expire this Saturday night. Book now to secure your seat and get a great deal! Your All Access […]

US Teacher Appreciation Week Google doodle highlights