The calendar says that spring has finally sprung – in theory, anyway. Your results may vary. If you’re digging out of a rare April snowfall or bundling up against unseasonable chills, just know that there’s always one place you can go to warm up: the Content Marketing Weekly. Not temperature-wise, mind you, but still.

This week, we tackle the ramifications of expired job postings, brand voice guidelines and the always-topical Bing Ads.

Google to Issue Manual Action Penalties for Expired Job Postings

Job postings don’t usually get a lot of attention when it comes to SEO and site ranking, but you better believe Google’s keeping an eye out for businesses that let outdated postings languish on their sites for too long.

And now the tech giant has an official mechanism for penalizing companies that leave expired job postings up on their sites. As Search Engine Journal explained, Google recently updated its guidelines to alert users that expired postings could be met with “manual action,” which basically means that someone over there in Mountain View reviewed the site and deemed it non-compliant with Google’s rules and best practices.

Search Engine Journal pointed out a few logistical issues with this new policy, as well-meaning as it may be. Take the murky gray area with postings that don’t list an expiration date, for example. How would Google know if that listing is still valid and if that job is still available?

Moreover, penalties go into effect if violators are found to have not removed the posting in question in “a timely manner.” But what constitutes “a timely manner,” and how much wiggle room do companies have?

The guidelines also refer only to listings that have been marked up with structured data specifically related to job postings. That opens a potential loophole for companies to exploit to get around these rules.

Needless to say, there are still a lot of questions to answer, but you’re best bet is to just go ahead and remove any old job listings once they expire.

Read the full story here.

5 Bing Ads Releases You Don’t Want to Miss

Wait … Bing? Yeah, that’s right. Bing. Oh, you didn’t know Bing had its own counterpart to Google AdWords? Well, now you do.

If you want to get the most out of your paid search efforts, you’re going to have to account for Bing Ads, seeing as Microsoft’s search engine accounts for nearly 23 percent of all queries in the United States.

The good news is the folks over Microsoft have come up with a whole slew of new features to improve Bing Ads and build out its capabilities. Search Engine Journal highlighted five updates, in particular, that marketers should take note of:

  • Dynamic search ads that automatically generate based on website content.
  • In-market audience targeting to better reach people who demonstrate intent to purchase.
  • Local inventory ads to support brick-and-mortar shops.
  • Conversion tracking changes for the Safari browser.
  • Bing Ads Fans group, where users can hear about updates and share feedback with engineers.

Search Engine Journal has a full breakdown of these new changes, so be sure to go check it out if you need to get your Bing fix.

5 Steps to Find Your Brand Voice

We all know how important your brand voice is to crafting the right messaging and presentation, but not every organization has the particulars of their brand guidelines completely ironed out. As Content Marketing Institute contributor Erika Heald pointed out, the more your content marketing aspirations grow and the bigger your team gets, the more risk there is that your brand voice will be diluted.

There may even be cases where businesses don’t really have a solid grasp on what their brand voice is or should be. Heald offers a few tips either for those who want to create a comprehensive set of brand guidelines or those who need to discover their brand voice in the first place.

For instance, if you’re having trouble communicating precisely what defines your brand voice, look back on a piece of content you feel perfectly reflects it. What about that content stands out as being uniquely “you”? Is it witty? Educational? Inspirational? Break the style and tone down to its core components, and you’ve got yourself a good starting point.

Heald goes into much more detail, so head on over to Content Marketing Institute for a refresher on designing your brand voice.

Well, that about does it for this round of the Content Marketing Weekly. Stay tuned for next week’s edition, where we’ll have another batch of content marketing goodness to serve up to you.

Stay warm out there, and remember: Spring is just a state of mind, man.

Jeff Keleher is a writer and editor at Brafton. A man of simple tastes, he enjoys playing guitar, playing video games and playing with his dog - sometimes all at once. He still hasn't gotten over Illinois' loss in the 2005 NCAA National Championship game, and he probably never will.