How to remove court records from Google: 3 effective strategies

Legal issues can drag on for ages. That’s the simple, unfortunate truth. 

Worse, once a legal matter is filed in court, the case is highly likely to become visible on the web. Hundreds of websites now aggregate public court records and publish them for the world to see.

The issue I commonly come across for clients is that court records tend to rank highly in Google search results for both individuals and businesses. Lawsuits and various other legal matters attached to your name can cause long-lasting harm to your reputation. 

Regardless of why a lawsuit was filed, being associated with a court case can cause a negative perception and first impression to people searching for you online.

Thankfully, there are several solutions to remove or suppress court records and lawsuits that are displayed in Google search results. 

How do old court records appearing in Google search results affect your online reputation?

We all make mistakes. And we all deal with issues that may be out of our control. 

However, some mistakes or issues are more costly than others and can lead to legal proceedings that drag on for months – or even years.

Should a (possibly minor) court case from five or 10 years ago affect the reputation of your person or business? Should it define you? 

No, it shouldn’t.

As humans, we have the right to move on from our past and strive toward a better future.

Unfortunately, court records from years ago are often available online. It used to be that one would have to visit a local court records office and request that a clerk release court records. This was a long, arduous process that included a lot of back and forth with government office workers. 

That is no longer the case. These days, Google’s algorithm indexes this highly sensitive information and makes it available online. 

That means court records can be found in Google search results in mere milliseconds. And they often appear on the first page of search results.

Various websites, including Leagle, Justia, Casetext, PacerMonitor and many more, contain publicly available court records. 

The presence of this information on these websites can harm you or your business’s reputation. It can specifically harm your ability to get a new job or lead to potential customers doubting your morals and not trusting your business.

All that simply because of some unpaid parking tickets? Or because you committed a “crime” that has since been deemed legal in several states? Or because of a dysfunctional marriage that led to a divorce? 

The good news is that there are ways to combat the issue.

Dig deeper: How to repair your Google search results and reclaim your online reputation

How to remove court records from the web

The three most common ways to remove court records are expungement, link suppression and record removal requests. 

1. Getting a court record sealed or expunged

Several websites that host court records require that the record be expunged or sealed for the content to be removed from their website. Expungement is a legal process in which a court order is issued to remove or seal records of a criminal conviction or arrest.

Sealing a court record typically means that it is not destroyed but hidden from public view. However, it may still be accessible to law enforcement, government agencies and employers conducting background checks.

Before considering getting your record expunged or sealed to have the court record removed from the web, confirm the website’s policies regarding how they process removal requests.

Getting a court record expunged or sealed involves several steps and considerations.

Here’s a simple overview of the process and what you need to know:

  • Eligibility: Not all convictions or arrests can be expunged or sealed. Eligibility criteria typically depend on factors such as the type of offense, the time since the conviction or arrest and whether you have fulfilled all sentencing requirements (like probation or fines).
  • Research your jurisdiction: Laws regarding expungement vary by state or country. Research the specific laws and procedures in your jurisdiction. Many jurisdictions have information available online or through legal aid organizations.
  • Gather the necessary information: You will likely need details about the conviction or arrest, including dates, case numbers and court documents. Make sure you have all relevant information before beginning the process.
  • Petition the court: In most cases, you must file a petition with the court where the conviction or arrest occurred. The petition typically includes your personal information, details of the offense and reasons why you believe your records should be expunged or sealed.
  • Attend a hearing (if required): Depending on your jurisdiction and the specifics of your case, you may need to attend a court hearing where a judge will review your petition and determine whether to grant expungement or sealing of the record. 
  • Follow up: After filing your petition, follow the instructions given by the court. This may include attending hearings, providing additional documentation, or responding to inquiries from the court.
  • Outcome: If your petition is successful, the court will issue an order to expunge or seal your records. Once the order is received, you can submit it to the websites that host the court record to have it removed. 

If you are not able to get your court case expunged or sealed (or you don’t want to go through the process), the next best option is to suppress the unwanted court record link(s) deeper in Google search results. There, it will be less visible to the public.

The process of search engine suppression involves creating new positive or neutral content about yourself that ranks above any negative or unwanted content harming your reputation.

Common strategies to consider if you are looking to suppress court record links are:

  • Create and optimize personal websites or blogs.
  • Establish and maintain social media profiles.
  • Publish high-quality content on industry-specific platforms.
  • Utilize online portfolio platforms.
  • Optimize existing content on websites you control.

If you’re seeking professional help, most online reputation management firms specialize in suppressing court record links from the web.

Dig deeper: Online reputation management: Top 10 hurdles and how to overcome them

3. Complete removal of court records (case-specific) 

In certain situations, you can have the court record completely removed from the website. If the website agrees to remove the court record, it will be taken down immediately and the link will be replaced with a “404 error page.” 

Alternatively, some websites will agree to deindex the link from Google search results so it is no longer visible when you search your name. 

To determine if a website that hosts court records has a removal policy, you’ll want to search their terms of service (or FAQ section). 

Doing so will inform you how to submit a request. Once a removal request is submitted, it can take up to 60 days for it to be processed, depending on the website. 

Clearing your digital slate

It’s crucial to manage how court records appear online to protect your personal and/or company reputation.

Even though seeing your court record or lawsuit online can be distressing, there are ways to handle it effectively.

The methods detailed above let you take charge of your online presence, focusing on your current achievements and goals while removing or suppressing court documents that might not reflect who you are now.

Dig deeper: A 3-phased approach to proactive online reputation management

Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

Why Google prefers them and how to adapt

If you own a niche site, there’s a pretty good chance that you saw something like this happen between late 2023 and today.

This is Semrush’s report for one of my own niche sites. 

There’s not much to brag about these days on my site, but in 2022, there was. Google loved it. I ranked in the top 10 on my niche keywords and a wide range of related head terms. 

I was pulling in a few hundred dollars a month in affiliate revenue – not exactly money I could retire with, but certainly enough to incentivize me to continue to work on my site. 

How did I do it? I simply followed all the rules of white-hat SEO.

  • I chose a niche topic that no one else was covering very well.
  • I chose keywords that people were truly interested in.
  • I made sure that my information was original, up-to-date and accurate. I researched every article I wrote for weeks, sometimes months. When I checked the sites ranking alongside me in the top 10 on any topic, my content was always far superior to all of theirs.
  • I published frequently.
  • My users loved my content. My comments sections were active and my site was shared on social media. I received a lot of compliments from people telling me they’ve been looking for a site like mine for years.

And then it all came crashing down.

My niche site still ranks on extreme long-tail terms, but it’s lost just about all visibility for head terms. And my affiliate revenue is down to pennies.

What happened?

The long-tail shift from niche sites to user-generated content sites

You’ll hear a lot of speculation about what happened, but this report from Sistrix tells you all you need to know.

After the November 2023 core update, Reddit’s organic visibility increased by 23%. Quora’s organic visibility increased by 15.9%.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2023, Reddit’s organic traffic increased by a whopping 253.3% between July 2023 and June 2024, according to Semrush.

Similarly, Quora’s organic traffic increased by 133.4%. The number of organic keywords that both sites ranked on increased by a similar margin.

Quora traffic over time

Other sites with user-generated content (UGC) also saw huge increases in the last year or two. YouTube saw an increase of over 450% in organic keywords.

You’ve probably seen for yourself for any kind of “how to” search that YouTube videos occupy an increasing amount of positions in organic search.

Amazon’s Alexa Answers site saw an 813% increase in SEO traffic before someone at Amazon decided to put a robots.txt exclusion, likely to keep their public content from being scraped to train other LLMs like Google Gemini (good luck with that, Amazon).

A typical Google SERP today

Here’s an example of a typical SERP today for a recent search I did. (For context, my 8-year-old daughter has recently gotten me hooked on playing Minecraft with her.)

Google SERPs - how do you defeat the ender dragon

A few years ago, you might have seen at least one or two accounts from independent bloggers.

No more.

Now, YouTube results take up the effective above-the-fold space that the first few organic results used to occupy.

The rest of Page 1 consists of user-generated content on well-established forum sites or well-known media sites.

Independent bloggers are pretty much wiped out, even though their content is arguably more accurate, more detailed and written with more expertise and zeal.

Dig deeper: How to survive and thrive in a Google helpful content world

Why is Google favoring sites like Reddit and Quora?

There’s a lot of speculation as to why Google is suddenly favoring forum sites. Since this is an opinion piece, I’ll share mine:

This is Google crying uncle.

For years, Google claimed that it could distinguish between good content and poor content. Every time there was a core algorithm update, they’d repeat the mantra, “Just produce E-E-A-T, and we’ll figure it out.”

Here’s the problem.

Let’s say I spend 10 hours every day researching a topic, writing and publishing content.

While I’m doing this, hundreds of unscrupulous publishers are scraping my original content, using AI to rewrite it and publishing it as their own – perhaps even using others’ content to improve on it.

They’ll do it all in a way that I can’t issue a DMCA takedown (nor even realize what they’ve done).

We’re entering a world where “expertise” and “experience,” particularly for head terms, will be so commoditized that it’ll be practically impossible for Google to discern them independently. 

We all saw the recent leak of Google’s ranking signals. One thing that immediately struck me when I went through that list was how easily so much could be faked.

This is forcing Google to place greater emphasis on “authority” and “trust,” even at the expense of everything else.

I don’t know any industry expert who would cite sites like Reddit or Quora as authorities on their topics of expertise.

Why is Google favoring them so much?

It all goes down to a new “A” word: authenticity. For all their flaws, when you go to a site like Reddit, you know you’re seeing real conversations from real people. 

Sure, you may need to take the scenic route to get to an answer, but the power of the crowd – along with platforms that foster free and open speech – usually gets you there.

The most powerful LLM won’t be the one with the best technology; it’ll ultimately be the one that is trained on the most useful data. 

That’s why Google paid $60 million for access to Reddit’s data, and assuming Reddit can continue to collect high-quality content, Google probably got a bargain.

How Reddit and Quora have succeeded where others failed

One question I hear often is, why doesn’t Google just build its own forum powered by crowdsourcing?

Well, they tried. Hard.

Do you remember Google Answers (2002), Google Questions and Answers (2007) and Google Question Hub (2019)? Yeah, neither does anyone else. 

These were desperate attempts by Google to use crowdsourcing to build its own library of knowledge. 

The lesson they learned is that people don’t come to Google.com to give answers; they come to get them.

Some old-time SEOs might remember that Yahoo Answers was once a darling of Google organic search, but as Yahoo lost its way, so did Yahoo Answers.

By the time it was dissolved in 2012, it was a cesspool of spam and fake accounts.

Not coincidentally, around this time, sites like Reddit and Quora were taking off. How have these sites succeeded where others failed?

  • They screen for real humans. Sites like Yahoo Answers and Google Question Hub died a slow and painful death because they were unable to keep spam and fake accounts in check, eventually losing all of their trust and credibility. Google essentially ended up outsourcing the task of figuring out how “human” content is to other companies.
  • These humans have real conversations. Users on these sites are encouraged to engage in open and transparent conversation and dialogue. This opens up nuances and details of a topic that might otherwise not be covered on a site with static content. From a search and AI perspective, that opens up the extreme long tail that no one is covering.
  • These conversations use real words. On forum sites, you can always be sure that users are using words that your audience uses because they are the audience.
  • They’re constantly self-moderated. Sites like Quora and Reddit don’t employ hundreds of moderators who constantly monitor every conversation. Instead, they create communities that self-moderate. For example, each subreddit has its own set of rules; if a user breaks a rule, both the moderators and the users themselves will quickly call that user out.

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If you can’t beat them… beat them

Reddit and Quora have done many things well, but they aren’t perfect. 

The biggest flaw in both of them is the same as their biggest strength: they’re both targeted toward a mass audience. This results in wildly inconsistent quality from one topic to another and one conversation to another.

Here’s the advice I give to every brand, large and small, that wants to be competitive in five years: Start your own discussion board or forum focused specifically on your industry niche.

Granted, you’ll get a lot of eye-rolling from people saying, “We tried that 10 years ago.” 

But the world – and the cost-benefit equation – is much different today than it was then.

Ten years ago, a well-designed forum might get you some organic rankings on the extreme long tail. However, whatever revenue came out of that traffic couldn’t justify the cost of screening users or moderating and maintaining content.

Today, from a cost perspective, you can bet that forum application developers are working hard to incorporate AI into their software to drive costs down. 

Tasks like screening users and moderating forums have traditionally required cumbersome manual work, but they are well in the wheelhouse of what AI can do.

As for the benefits of maintaining your own forum, there are lots more today than there were then:

  • Google’s sudden predilection toward forum sites isn’t going away. That means that good forums will rank not just in the long tail but at the head as well.
  • Through crowdsourcing, you can generate exponentially more high-quality content than paying an army of freelancers – at a fraction of the price.
  • If you can be the one in your industry generating authoritative content from your most influential and passionate customers, AI LLMs will fall over themselves to learn from the kind of information that your community is creating. 

All of these benefits will happen only if you design and run your forum correctly. 

Follow the best practices above

Have zero tolerance for fake accounts, overt promotional content and spam. 

Follow the “broken windows” theory – if spam is allowed to fester on a given post for more than a few minutes, that’s too long.

Focus on your specific audience

Do what sites like Reddit and Quora can’t do: be laser-focused on your audience.

The more precise, the better. 

“If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply here. You need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask, “What’s in it for me?”

You are asking them to spend their time and effort visiting, reading questions and writing answers. What are the benefits they’re getting in return?

Here’s where you need to be creative. 

  • Do you allow a certain amount of self-promotion for users who consistently provide value to discussions?
  • Do you do partnerships with well-known influencers in your industry? 
  • Will your audience be incentivized by aspirational intangibles such as “your expertise will help others”? 
  • If you operate a marketplace of some kind, can you provide greater visibility for those who contribute content?
  • Can you gamify the experience to make it “fun” to see and be seen? 

Dig deeper: SEO for user activation, retention and community

Provide definitive answers to the most common questions

Your customer service team can rattle off a list of the most common questions people ask, both branded and unbranded. Seed your forum with these questions (and when people ask the same questions, dedupe them).

Encourage open and transparent conversation, even if it’s about a touchy subject. If they aren’t having the conversation on your site, it’s happening somewhere else.

Go deep

Seed your forum with interesting questions you’re seeing on other forums or in search data, especially on hot and trending topics. Have your internal experts engage in the conversation as fellow enthusiasts and helpers.

Create an environment where your community’s conversations are richer and deeper than those at Reddit and Quora – to the point that users on those sites are citing the information they found on yours.

Make it the place the leaders of your industry want to come to be seen

There aren’t many experts who care to “be seen” on Quora or Reddit. If you can attract the top names in your industry (many of whom are probably your existing clients and customers) to view your forum, that makes it a lot more appealing for other influencers to take notice with an acute case of FOMO.

Own conversations about your own brand

If you’re a relatively well-known brand, try this experiment. Google the name of your brand + the word “Reddit.” 

Read the kinds of conversations going on about your brand. Then ask yourself: Why are these conversations going on on Reddit and not your own site? 

The answer is almost certainly that they trust the Reddit community to give answers that are more helpful, transparent and insightful than anything your company provides. Fix that.

HubSpot is a good example of a brand that has successfully built an active community in its niche.

Here’s what organic traffic and keywords to their forum look like.

HubSpot organic traffic over time

While the organic search traffic levels are a fraction of their overall traffic, it looks like they’ve been pretty successful in hedging against the loss of traffic to their blog that we’re all experiencing with UGC on their forum, following most of the best practices outlined above. 

Interestingly, HubSpot’s forum looks much the same as it did when it started seven years ago, during the initial forum boom. 

But as the economy soured and companies looked for places to cut, these were often first on the chopping block, citing too much cost for too little benefit. 

American Express and Home Depot used to have popular discussion boards and probably wish they could have some of that long-tail goodness back.

Companies that stuck with their forums and grew them will find themselves in an enviable position as AI becomes thirsty for deep content. 

Your ultimate goal: Make Google look silly

This is my conclusion to everyone who has seen their niche site plummet in the rankings in 2023. Make Google look silly.

If you’re a niche site and you’ve seen your rankings plummet, it’s not time to give up. Instead, double down on establishing yourself as the authority on your topic. 

  • Go onto forums like Reddit and Quora and offer your expertise (keeping it concise, helping their users, but pointing readers back to the most helpful content on your own site). 
  • Start a discussion forum of your own and attract a group of fellow enthusiasts to maintain it. 
  • Cover your topic with more enthusiasm, insights, and accuracy, which will make conversations on Reddit and Quora look like child’s play.

Simply put, everyone who has grown reliant on Google for organic traffic needs to face facts. The gravy train is over. 

Our number one job should be to run our sites in a way that delights users and explores aspects of our topics in new and different ways – which is what we should have been doing all along.

You want your site to become so authoritative for your topic that it’s cited on Reddit, Quora, social media, AI and anywhere else people research your topic. 

If Google figures it out and starts ranking you again, great. If they don’t, you’ll still be fine, but they’re the ones who’ll be in trouble.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

OpenAI is ‘going to build a search product’

OpenAI didn’t launch its heavily rumored search product earlier this year, but it’s coming. This was confirmed in a new interview with The Atlantic’s CEO Nicholas Thompson.

The quote. ChatGPT search could become “an important way that people navigate the internet,” so it would be “better for us to be in it than to not be in it, and also to help shape it than not help shape it,” Thompson told The Verge. He also said:

  • “They have said that they’re going to build a search product. They have not launched the search product, but they have said they would build it. We have allowed them to include The Atlantic in their search product.”

Why we care. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has made clear he wants to disrupt the search paradigm via a new search product that combines web search plus large language models (LLMs). ChatGPT already offers an impressive “browse mode” to search the web that got really good following the arrival of GPT-4o.

Google challenger? ChatGPT “search” remains quite limited for several query types. However, ChatGPT set a new traffic record in June, attracting 2.9 billion visits, according to Similarweb. This was a 96% increase, year-over-year.

Strategic partnerships. If The Atlantic has given OpenAI permission to be included in the ChatGPT search product, I’d bet good money that many of OpenAI’s other partners are doing the same.

  • While this is good news for those large publishers, it could mean that smaller publishers will struggle to earn prominent citations on OpenAI’s search product.

AI search future. Thompson had some interesting things to say about where he sees AI search going. He shared his thoughts on whether OpenAI search could become a reliable traffic referrer:

  • “That’s the bet. There are a lot of people out there who are like, ‘Well, OpenAI’s search doesn’t work.’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, AI search doesn’t work right now. It doesn’t work very well. AI is good for a lot of things. It’s not good for search.’ That means that Google search traffic is not going to go away for a while. Once AI is good at search, that’s when Google regular Ten Blue Link search traffic goes away. … I do think that AI search will start to work.
  • “Over time, the AI companies will put many engineers on this problem, and they will, I think, figure out how to solve search. So when that happens, it’ll be a partial replacement for Google… Do I think that three years from now we will have as much search traffic from Perplexity, OpenAI, all of their competitors as we do right now from Google? Absolutely not. But will we have some? I sure hope so.”

Dig deeper. Is ChatGPT the Google Search killer we’ve been expecting?


New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & Search Marketing Expo – SMX since 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

LinkedIn’s AI ad tool to launch globally this fall

LinkedIn is preparing to roll out Accelerate, its AI-driven campaign tool, to all advertisers globally by early fall.

Why we care. By embracing Accelerate, advertisers can potentially improve their LinkedIn campaign performance while reducing time and resource investment, making it a tool worth exploring for B2B marketers.

By the numbers:

  • Cuts campaign creation time from 15 hours to 5 minutes.
  • Advertisers using Accelerate see 15% more efficiency in campaign creation.
  • Drives 52% lower cost per action compared to classic campaigns.

How it works. Advertisers input their product URL, and Accelerate:

  • Analyzes the website, company LinkedIn page, and prior ad accounts.
  • Builds creatives and targets relevant audiences.
  • Integrates Microsoft Designer for further refinement.

Yes, but. Some agencies report limitations in targeting options, particularly for niche B2B audiences.

What they’re saying:

  • “Our customers are seeing great results,” says Lindsey Edwards, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn.
  • Sean Johnston from Closed Loop reports a 3X increase in lead form completion rates and 66% cheaper cost per lead for client Calendly.

Still in beta. Accelerate launched in October 2023 and is available to about 50% advertisers globally.

The report. LinkedIn is officially rolling out its own AI-campaign tool


New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Anu Adegbola

Anu Adegbola has been Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land since 2024. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media, video and more.

In 2008, Anu’s career started with

 delivering digital marketing campaigns (mostly but not exclusively Paid Search) by building strategies, maximising ROI, automating repetitive processes and bringing efficiency from every part of marketing departments through inspiring leadership both on agency, client and marketing tech side.

 

Outside editing Search Engine Land article she is the founder of PPC networking event – PPC Live, host of weekly podcast PPCChat Roundup, and brand evangelist at ClickTech. 

 

She is also an international speaker with some of the stages she has presented on being SMX (US), SMX (Munich), Friends of Search (Amsterdam), brightonSEO, The Marketing Meetup, HeroConf (PPC Hero), SearchLove, BiddableWorld, SESLondon, PPC Chat Live, AdWorld Experience (Bologna) and more.

Amazon’s AI shopping assistant Rufus is live for all U.S. customers

Amazon rolled out its AI-powered shopping assistant, Rufus, to all U.S. customers in its mobile app.

Why it matters. This move signals Amazon’s push into AI-assisted shopping, potentially transforming how consumers interact with ecommerce platforms.

How it works.

  • Rufus uses a specialized large language model (LLM) trained on Amazon’s product catalog, customer reviews and web data.
  • Customers can ask questions about products, comparisons and buying considerations.
  • The AI can provide suggestions for specific tasks or projects.

Why we care. Rufus may change how shoppers discover and research products, potentially altering the customer journey and how it allows advertisers to target customers on Amazon ads.

By the numbers.

  • Tested across “tens of millions of questions” during beta.
  • Available to Amazon’s entire U.S. customer base.

Key features. Rufus offers:

  • Product recommendations and comparisons.
  • Insights from customer reviews and expert analysis.
  • Updates on fashion trends and the latest tech.
  • Assistance with past and current orders.

Yes, but. Early tests show Rufus doesn’t always provide accurate information and its recommendations are limited to Amazon’s catalog.

What’s next. Amazon plans to continue improving Rufus over time.


New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Anu Adegbola

Anu Adegbola has been Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land since 2024. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media, video and more.

In 2008, Anu’s career started with

 delivering digital marketing campaigns (mostly but not exclusively Paid Search) by building strategies, maximising ROI, automating repetitive processes and bringing efficiency from every part of marketing departments through inspiring leadership both on agency, client and marketing tech side.

 

Outside editing Search Engine Land article she is the founder of PPC networking event – PPC Live, host of weekly podcast PPCChat Roundup, and brand evangelist at ClickTech. 

 

She is also an international speaker with some of the stages she has presented on being SMX (US), SMX (Munich), Friends of Search (Amsterdam), brightonSEO, The Marketing Meetup, HeroConf (PPC Hero), SearchLove, BiddableWorld, SESLondon, PPC Chat Live, AdWorld Experience (Bologna) and more.

Alphabet won’t acquire HubSpot after all

Alphabet’s rumored deal to acquire HubSpot is shelved, sources told Bloomberg (subscription required). Alphabet reportedly walked away from the deal weeks ago, according to Reuters.

  • “Parties didn’t get to due-diligence stage in deal talks,” Bloomberg reported.

Early rumors about the talks seemed to solidify at the end of May, when CNBC’s David Faber reported the companies continued to have discussions and an all-stock deal was on the table.

Why we care. Rumors that Alphabet was considering a HubSpot acquisition began in April. Alphabet reportedly made significant strides in discussions to acquire HubSpot by May. But it seems like it’s not going to happen here in July. In the meantime, HubSpot users were either wondering what it would mean for a central part of their marketing stack, or maybe just ignoring it all.

Whatever the truth of any of the rumors, HubSpot’s shares moved up and down like a yo-yo at each twist of the story. Maybe things will settle down now?


New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Kim Davis

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

Hidden Google tool reveals GA4 and Google Ads discrepancies

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) contains a concealed report that allows users to compare conversions exported to Google Ads and explains discrepancies between the platforms.

Why we care. This hidden feature provides advertisers with a valuable tool to reconcile differences in conversion data, potentially improving campaign accuracy and performance.

How to access:

  1. Start with your standard GA4 property URL
  2. Append “/advertising/key-event-differences” to the URL
  3. The full URL should resemble: “https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/#/p153293282/advertising/key-event-differences

First seen. We first came across this from Brais Calvo Vázquez’s LinkedIn who showed us the shortcut that allows us to see this report:

Yes, but. The report isn’t accessible for all GA4 properties.

Between the lines. The renaming of “conversions” to “key events” in GA4 was meant to eliminate discrepancies with Google Ads. The report‘s hidden status may be due to its potential contradiction of this goal.

The big picture. Some users report seeing this feature for over a year, suggesting extended development or testing.

What to watch. Whether Google will officially release this tool or continue to keep it hidden, given its usefulness to marketers in reconciling data inconsistencies.


New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Anu Adegbola

Anu Adegbola has been Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land since 2024. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media, video and more.

In 2008, Anu’s career started with

 delivering digital marketing campaigns (mostly but not exclusively Paid Search) by building strategies, maximising ROI, automating repetitive processes and bringing efficiency from every part of marketing departments through inspiring leadership both on agency, client and marketing tech side.

 

Outside editing Search Engine Land article she is the founder of PPC networking event – PPC Live, host of weekly podcast PPCChat Roundup, and brand evangelist at ClickTech. 

 

She is also an international speaker with some of the stages she has presented on being SMX (US), SMX (Munich), Friends of Search (Amsterdam), brightonSEO, The Marketing Meetup, HeroConf (PPC Hero), SearchLove, BiddableWorld, SESLondon, PPC Chat Live, AdWorld Experience (Bologna) and more.

Target audiences precisely to maximize reach and reduce spend

Imagine a world where your marketing message finds its perfect match. No wasted effort, no aimless casting of a net. Your ideal audience, captivated.

This isn’t a dream. It’s Connected TV (CTV) advertising. Picture television’s massive reach, sharpened to a digital marketing laser.

Join MNTN for Everything You Need to Know About CTV Audience Targeting (in under 60 minutes) as they discuss everything there is to know about Connected TV audience targeting. They’ll explore time-tested targeting strategies and groundbreaking new tools that give you unprecedented control. You’ll learn the art of reaching the right people at the right time, maximizing television’s unmatched power.

Ready to dive in? Secure your spot!


New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Edna Chavira

Edna Chavira is the Senior Director of Marketing Services at Third Door Media. She has over 20 years of experience helping B2B companies generate leads and acquire customers.

Amazon expands Sponsored TV ads to UK, mirroring U.S. success

Amazon is rolling out its Sponsored TV ads in the UK, currently in beta, following a successful launch in the U.S. market.

Why we care. This move opens new advertising opportunities for brands on popular streaming platforms like Freevee and Twitch, leveraging Amazon’s extensive data for targeted ad delivery.

The details.

  • Available to sellers in the Amazon Brand Registry, vendors, agencies and U.S. brands not selling on Amazon.
  • Some categories, like health and personal care, are ineligible.

Between the lines. Amazon’s first-party shopping and streaming data allows for precise targeting, potentially increasing ad effectiveness.

Exceptions. Brands must review Amazon’s guidelines and acceptance policies before launching campaigns, as certain product categories are restricted.

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The big picture. This expansion reflects Amazon’s growing influence in digital advertising, challenging traditional TV ad models.

What to watch. How UK brands adapt to this new advertising avenue and whether it will impact their overall marketing strategies.


New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Anu Adegbola

Anu Adegbola has been Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land since 2024. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media, video and more.

In 2008, Anu’s career started with

 delivering digital marketing campaigns (mostly but not exclusively Paid Search) by building strategies, maximising ROI, automating repetitive processes and bringing efficiency from every part of marketing departments through inspiring leadership both on agency, client and marketing tech side.

 

Outside editing Search Engine Land article she is the founder of PPC networking event – PPC Live, host of weekly podcast PPCChat Roundup, and brand evangelist at ClickTech. 

 

She is also an international speaker with some of the stages she has presented on being SMX (US), SMX (Munich), Friends of Search (Amsterdam), brightonSEO, The Marketing Meetup, HeroConf (PPC Hero), SearchLove, BiddableWorld, SESLondon, PPC Chat Live, AdWorld Experience (Bologna) and more.

Google Ads makes broad match default for new search campaigns

Google Ads made broad match the default setting when creating new Search campaigns, a departure from its previous default of having broad match turned off.

Why it matters. This change could significantly impact campaign performance and budget spend if advertisers aren’t vigilant.

Key details:

  • Broad match is now enabled by default for new Search campaigns
  • Could lead to increased costs if proper negative keywords aren’t in place

Between the lines. This move aligns with Google’s push towards more automated, AI-driven campaign management, potentially simplifying campaign setup for novice advertisers.

Yes, but. Experienced advertisers may need to be more cautious when setting up new campaigns to avoid unintended broad targeting. With broad being the most inefficient of the match types, this just adds an extra layer of check advertisers will need to take into consideration when setting up their campaigns.

First seen. We first were alerted to this update by Thomas Eccel on LinkedIn

What to watch. How this change affects campaign performance, especially for advertisers who prefer to start with more precise targeting using phrase or exact match.

Bottom line. Advertisers should double-check their match type settings when creating new Search campaigns to ensure they align with their intended strategy.


New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Anu Adegbola

Anu Adegbola has been Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land since 2024. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media, video and more.

In 2008, Anu’s career started with

 delivering digital marketing campaigns (mostly but not exclusively Paid Search) by building strategies, maximising ROI, automating repetitive processes and bringing efficiency from every part of marketing departments through inspiring leadership both on agency, client and marketing tech side.

 

Outside editing Search Engine Land article she is the founder of PPC networking event – PPC Live, host of weekly podcast PPCChat Roundup, and brand evangelist at ClickTech. 

 

She is also an international speaker with some of the stages she has presented on being SMX (US), SMX (Munich), Friends of Search (Amsterdam), brightonSEO, The Marketing Meetup, HeroConf (PPC Hero), SearchLove, BiddableWorld, SESLondon, PPC Chat Live, AdWorld Experience (Bologna) and more.