Category: Google News

20- Aug2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
379 Views

Google tests showing an overall Health Score for AdWords accounts

The new features includes an overall score for search campaigns and a top-line checklist of opportunities.

Google is testing a new overview in the Opportunities tab in AdWords that gives advertisers an “Account Health Score for Search.”

The feature was spotted and first reported by the team at Receptional, a UK-based digital marketing agency. As Receptional points out, the idea is similar to that of WordStream’s AdWords Grader, showing an overall score and a more detailed assessment.

Image courtesy of Receptional

Image courtesy of Receptional

Clicking on the View Campaigns button brings up campaign overview with Health Scores listed for each and links to recommendations.

Image courtesy of Receptional

Image courtesy of Receptional

After clicking on a specific campaign, Google shows estimated lifts from taking further action at the campaign level. In the example below, that includes fixing a limited budget and opting into search partners, as well as items that have been completed like adding callout extensions, using conversion tracking and using a mobile-friendly site.

Image courtesy of Receptional

Image courtesy of Receptional

Asked about the test, a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land, “We’re pleased with how we’ve been able to help advertisers through the Opportunity Tab and are always testing out new features.”

Source: Google tests showing an overall Health Score for AdWords accounts

05- Aug2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
1044 Views

Link profile analysis: How to prevent penalties by being proactive

Columnist Brian Harnish tackles how to analyze links from a Google Webmaster Guidelines perspective, and how to make sure that your client’s linking activities don’t cause them to lose everything they have gained.

 

business-analysis-charts-data-ss-1920As most SEOs know, links are still extremely important to ranking highly in the Google search results. In fact, a recent study performed by Backlinko showed that “the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor.

Thus, it makes sense for most all large companies with a significant website presence to implement a regular link pruning schedule. At ymarketing, we call our process of link pruning “link remediation.”

The normal way most sites handle a penalty is reactionary in nature. The SEO wakes up one day and finds the scariest of emails an SEO can receive in their inbox: They have been hit with a manual penalty.

Once they notice the manual penalty email, they scramble to analyze their site’s backlink profile. They find they have indulged in one too many link exchanges or article marketing techniques.

Depending on how bad it is, it can take weeks or even months to clean up the link profile before submitting a reconsideration request. At a past employer, I spent almost eight months helping to remove or disavow over 260,000 backlinks to remove a manual penalty. The effort was successful, but it was an astronomical undertaking, and the business lost untold revenue from organic search traffic during those eight months.

Usually, a manual penalty is only reserved for the worst of the worst in violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. A majority of sites affected by ranking issues related to bad links will be faced with an “algorithmic penalty” instead, meaning that the site will lose search visibility as a result of an algorithm update such as Penguin. In these cases, the SEO will not receive a notification from Google.

One way to identify if your site’s been hit with a Penguin penalty is to check your traffic in Google Analytics (or whatever your primary Web analytics platform is). If you see a sharp drop in just organic search traffic one day, it can be cause for alarm. You can use a tool like Panguin to overlay your Google Analytics data with major algorithm updates to see if you’ve been affected.

There are ways to keep issues like this from happening, so let’s take a look at what you can actively do to make sure that your link profile is always in tip-top shape. One of the first steps I recommend is creating a regular link remediation schedule that will help you identify and eliminate problem links before they become an issue.

How to identify bad link profiles

Setting up a regular maintenance schedule for checking your link profile is always a good idea, especially if you are working for a large national brand. When you work on huge sites, it can be a challenge to monitor all the resources in the company, including:

  1. Who is acquiring links?
  2. What links are they acquiring?
  3. When are they acquiring links?
  4. Where are they acquiring links from?
  5. Why are they acquiring these links?
  6. How are they acquiring these links?

All of these can impact how Google perceives your link profile. In order to keep manageability to reasonable levels, I recommend having one person in charge of this process from month to month or quarter to quarter (however you want to do it).

The following is a brief listing of what constitutes a bad link based on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, as well as examples of each:

Guideline violation: “Buying or selling links that pass PageRank”

Buying or selling links for the purpose of impacting search engine rankings is considered a “link scheme,” and Google frowns upon this. The buying and selling of links can take several forms.

“Exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links”

  • These are not always easy to identify, but look for any page on a site that is an obvious “buy a link from me” page.
  • To identify a paid blog post, look for multiple followed links to the same website that have been placed using keyword-rich anchor text.

“Exchanging goods or services for links”

  • This happens a lot in certain industries, such as the health and fitness industry. Free samples will be given in exchange for a link, or other free products will be given in exchange for a link. Alas, it is usually not possible to identify such an affiliation because the blogger doesn’t point out their affiliation with these types of links.

“Sending someone a ‘free’ product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link”

Guideline violation: “Excessive link exchanges”

  • Basically, a link exchange means “link to me and I’ll link to you.” These also include partner pages created exclusively for the sake of cross-linking.
  • A good example of this is any site in any industry that acquires links from partners who also link back to the blog just for the sake of links, and nothing else that may add value from an SEO perspective.

Guideline violation: “Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links”

  • One way to identify these types of links is to look at whether they come from an obvious article marketing site (anything with the word “article” in the main domain is usually a good guess). Guest postings will be a bit less obvious and mostly cannot be identified, unless the guest comes straight out in the post and says, “I am a guest of so-and-so’s blog.” It is impossible to catch everything, but the likely situation is that links like these are so minimal that they may likely never be a problem. But if they are, they will show up and be obvious when you put together your link profile.

Guideline violation: “Using automated programs or services to create links to your site.”

  • This Google Webmaster Guideline includes using anything like ScrapeBox or similar services to create thousands of spammy links (often in a short period of time).
  • Common types of links that are indicative of this kind of violation include forum profile links and blog comment spam. Identifying these should be fairly simple when performing a link analysis on your backlink profile.

Guideline violation: “Text advertisements that pass PageRank”

Guideline violation: “Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank.”

Guideline violation: “Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.”

  • For example (from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines): There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need tobuy flowers and a wedding dress.

Guideline violation: “Low-quality directory or bookmark site links”

  • This includes any link from any directory that was done just for the sake of the link, without adding any value from an SEO perspective. Most all directories created within the past 10 years that feature only links without adding any other value can be considered a violation of this guideline.
  • The major exceptions, however, are local SEO directories. If the link is added to these types of directories as part of a local SEO campaign, this should only affect the local part of the algorithm and should not impact normal algorithmic link acquisition activities, unless something else is seriously wrong with your link profile.

Guideline violation: “Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites.”

  • For example (already available on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines): Visitors to this page: 1,472 car insurance

Guideline violation: “Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites.”

  • The key here is “widely distributed,” meaning that it’s done on such a large scale as to outnumber all other links that have value in that link profile.

Guideline violation: “Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature.”

  • For example (already on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines):
    Thanks, that’s great info!
    – Paul
    paul’s pizza san diego pizza best pizza san diego

Google further advises in their Webmaster Guidelines that PPC (pay-per-click) advertising links that don’t pass PageRank to the buyer of the ad do not violate their guidelines. They recommend using nofollow to prevent PageRank from passing. In addition, they also recommend “redirecting links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file.”

Furthermore, their main recommendation for avoiding bad link profiles that can cause a penalty is to “get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours.” The way they recommend doing this is to “create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the internet community.” Their very definition of this kind of content means that you get links from people who create editorial content “vouching” for your site “by choice.”

Examples of bad link profiles

While there are many ways to gain bad links, it is not always obvious what is a good profile and what is a bad profile. Let’s take a look at the following examples. See if you can identify bad link profiles.

Here is our first example:

Bad Link Profile Example 1It is pretty obvious that the above is a bad link profile. The vast majority of links to this profile are composed of article marketing site links with keyword-rich anchor text pointing back to the website.

This does not bode well for the site. Even if they are not currently under a penalty, chances are high that they will eventually lose rankings in Google, either algorithmically or through a manual penalty if the article marketing sites are far too excessive.

Let’s take a look at the next example:

Bad Link Profile Example 2Now, this is a bit less obvious. Here, we have a site that has a bunch of random links with branded anchor text, and no discernible pattern, comprising about 40 percent of the link profile. In most cases, SEOs would consider this to be a potentially healthy link profile, right?

Wrong. See, we have 10 percent low-quality directories, 10 percent partner sites just for the link, 10 percent article marketing sites and 30 percent excessive link exchanges. This now comprises 60 percent of the entire link profile, compared to 40 percent of all the good links.

It will be necessary to perform link remediation and removal on the bad links just to make sure the 60 percent does not impact the site in a negative way.

Let’s take a look at the next example — it’s a tricky one:

Example of a Bad Link Profile 3This is a bad link profile. It has 50 percent of its links coming from article marketing sites and 50 percent coming from .GOV links and .EDU links. Though links from these sites are often considered to be good, the fact is that even without the questionable links from article marketing sites, this link profile looks completely unnatural. You want to have a good variety of backlinks coming from a variety of different sites.

Setting up a workflow to manage your brand’s linking activities

Ideally, you should be performing regular link remediation in order to find and remove bad links from your site’s link profile. This activity will help you find links that are harmful to your site’s rankings. It’s crucial to find and remove these links to ensure that your site never falls under a penalty. To that end, establishing a workflow structure that works for you will be important to ensure the longevity of your website.

Your workflow should contain the processes and tools that you expect to follow and use on a monthly, quarterly, or even yearly basis for link remediation. If you do not have a process in place, expect to spend some time creating the proper process documents in order to achieve the optimal workflow desired from your ongoing link remediation efforts.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a high-quality link profile. A general rule of thumb is that Google will expect you to spend at least as much time removing the bad links as you spent creating them.

In addition, I recommend setting up your link remediation activities to occur in regular intervals. If you find that your link profile is getting massive amounts of links every month, you may want to set it up monthly. If you find that your link profile is not getting that many links, you may want to set it up for quarterly or yearly. It all depends on what you find most effective for you in the long run, and this will require some experimentation on your part.

Tools that will be extremely handy for this process include Link Detox, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Raven Tools and the usual Google Search Console link export feature.

Excel will be an important tool for managing your links and creating client-facing documents they can use to examine your efforts in link analysis and cleanup.

The process of link analysis and cleanup

First, you will want to compile a list of all your links from at least three different tools in order to find and identify all of the links impacting your link profile. Please note that just exporting links from Google Search Console will not identify every possible link that is impacting or will impact your link profile.

Following is the process I use. Yours may look a little different, depending on what tools you use and have access to:

  1. Export links from Google Search Console, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and/or Raven Tools to multiple Excel spreadsheets.
  2. Compile all of these links into one Excel spreadsheet.
  3. Remove duplicates. For sites with thousands upon thousands of backlinks, using the “Remove Duplicates” function in Excel tends to break down. In this situation, I suggest using conditional formatting and filtering as suggested by Marie Haynes in her article, “5 Spreadsheet Tips for Manual Link Audits.”
  4. After compiling the spreadsheet, import it into Cemper’s Link Detox tool. This tool will acquire useful data for each link and compile it into one easy-to-use report. For example, HTTP-Code lets you see the HTTP status code that is being output by the page the link is on. Link Loc (or Link Location) tells you the location of the page it is on (footer, content and so on). This is very useful for quickly identifying bad links without having to visit the site. However, it is always a good idea to visit the site manually.
  5. Using this information from Link Detox, you are now prepared to begin your analysis. It is recommended to perform a manual link review in order to rule out any small errors the tool may have missed or to find problems the tool may not otherwise have identified. Make your audit detailed, and categorize bad links based on spam and other obvious issues, including the way in which they violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
  6. The next phase of link remediation is link removal. Once you have identified all of the bad links in the last step, it will now be necessary to move forward with contacting the webmasters of these links one by one. Remember, Google wants to make sure that you spend as much time removing links as you did acquiring them. Be sure to keep a log of the sites that you contact so that you can show it to Google should they ever request to see the log. As a general rule, you should contact webmasters two or three times per round of link removal. After the third attempt to contact them, if you have received no response, you can then proceed with disavowing that link.
  7. After having contacted all of the webmasters behind your links, it is now time to proceed with disavowing any you could not get removed using Google’s disavow tool. Please note that you should only be disavowing the links that are spammy and considered bad links for your site’s link profile. You should not be disavowing any good links unless you found later that your good link turned out to be spam.

Final thoughts

Identifying and removing bad links can be a time-consuming process. However, through setting up a link remediation process, you can quickly and easily deal with any bad links that may be a part of your link profile. By being vigilant and watching your link profile like a hawk, you can prevent issues that may otherwise wreak havoc on your clients’ search performance.

Source: Link profile analysis: How to prevent penalties by being proactive

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04- Aug2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
412 Views

The continuing rise of voice search and how you can adapt to it | Search Engine Watch

Google’s I/O developer conference brought several huge announcements about Google’s future direction and projects, including two new technologies which demonstrate just how importantvoice search and natural language processing are to the company’s future development.

The first, Google Assistant, is a voice-activated digital assistant which builds on “all [Google’s] years of investment in deeply understanding users’ questions”, as Google’s blog declared. It takes Google’s voice search and natural language capabilities to the next level, while also allowing users to carry out everyday tasks like booking cinema tickets or restaurant reservations.

The second is Google Home, Google’s long-awaited smart home hub to rival the Amazon Echo, which comes with Assistant built in. Google Home – which will be “unmatched in far-field voice recognition”, according to VP of Product Management Mario Quieroz – will give users access to Google’s powerful search capabilities in answering their questions as well as linking together smart devices all over their home.

google assistant

It’s no surprise that Google is focusing heavily on voice search and natural language going forward when you consider that in 2015 alone, voice search rose from “statistical zero” to make up 10% of all searches globally, according to Timothy Tuttle of the voice interface specialist MindMeld. That’s an estimated 50 billion searches per month.

Indeed, Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed in his keynote speech at I/O that 1 in every 5 searches made with the Google Android app in the US is a voice query. Bing produced a similar statistic earlier this month when it announced that a quarter of all searches on the Windows 10 taskbar using Bing are voice searches. And statistics like these are only like to increase further as search engines, apps and developers respond to this trend.

Digital assistants: The agents of voice search

Siri. Cortana. Google Now. Alexa. Google Assistant. These are only the names of the most well-known digital assistants from the major technology companies; a search for “digital assistant” on the iOS or Android app store shows just how many different varieties of these voice-controlled AIs there are.

Digital assistants are overwhelmingly the medium through which we interact with voice search and carry out natural language queries, so it makes sense that they, too, are on the rise as companies compete for the biggest share of this rapidly expanding market.

The figures show just how recent much of this uptake of voice search is. Late last year, MindMeld published a study of smartphone users in the U.S. and their use of voice search and voice commands. It found that 60% of smartphone users who used voice search had begun using it within the past year, with 41% of survey respondents having only begun to use voice search in the past 6 months.

mindmeldImage: MindMeld

With that said, digital assistants are not just confined to smartphones any more, increasingly integrated into devices like smart home hubs and game consoles. And the more that we speak to and interact with assistants, pushing the limits of what they’re capable of, the more sophisticated they become.

The newest generation of digital assistants, including Google Assistant and Viv, a new AI from the creators of Siri, are capable of interpreting and responding to long, multi-part and highly specific queries. For example, during a public demonstration in New York, Viv showed off its ability to accurately respond to queries like, “Was it raining in Seattle three Thursdays ago?” and “Will it be warmer than 70 degrees near the Golden Gate Bridge after 5PM the day after tomorrow?”

At the demonstration of Google Assistant at Google’s I/O conference, Sundar Pichai made much of the fact that you can pose follow-up queries to Assistant without needing to restate context. That is, you can ask a question like, “Who directed the Revenant?” and then follow up by saying, “Show me his awards,” and Assistant will know that you are still referring to director Alejandro Iñárritu in the second query. (It’s worth noting, though, that Bing’s web search has been able to do this for a while).

follow-up
Continuing the conversation: Google’s Assistant can now handle follow-up questions to a previous query without needing to hear the subject again

How voice queries are changing search

So how is this upswing in voice queries and technology’s increasing ability to respond to them changing the way that users search?

We don’t search with voice the same way that we search with a keyboard. Computer users have evolved a specific set of habits and expectations for web search based on its limitations and capabilities. So we would start off by typing a quite generalised, keyword-based search query like “SEO tips”, see what comes back, and progressively narrow down through trial and error with longer search terms like “SEO tips for m-commerce” or “SEO tips for beginners”.

Or if we were looking to buy a pair of red shoes, we might search for “red shoes” and then navigate to a specific website, browse through their shoes and use the site interface to narrow down by style, size and designer.

Whereas now, with the advanced capabilities of search engines to understand longer, more specialised searches and the advent of voice search making natural language queries more common, we might start off by searching, “Quick SEO tips for complete beginners”, or, “Show me wide-fit ladies’ red shoes for under £50.”

voice vs keyword searchWe search differently with a keyboard to the way we search with voice

The increasing rise of voice search brings with it a wealth of new data on user intent, habits and preferences. From the first query about SEO, a site owner can see that the searcher is not just a novice but a complete novice, and is not looking to spend a lot of time researching in-depth SEO guides; they want a list that’s easy to digest and quick to implement.

From the second query, a shop owner can tell exactly what type of shoes the consumer is looking for, down to the fit and colour. The price range indicates a budget and an intent to buy.

When mobile users are conducting voice search with location enabled, site owners and business owners can also gain valuable location data. Often, the voice query will contain the important phrase “near me”, which shows that the searcher is looking for local businesses. Mobile voice searches are three times more likely to be local than text, so optimising for local search and mobile will also help you to rank for many voice searches.

A mobile screenshot of a Google search for "Marks and Spencer near me", showing the three-pack of local results below a small map of the area.

With the growth of voice search, we can expect to see more and more long-tail search keywords and natural language queries, which give increasing amounts of contextual information and useful data about searcher intent. The addition of voice assistants to smart home hubs like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home (Apple is also reported to be developing its own smart hub with Siri built in) will also give the companies behind them access to untold amounts of data on users’ daily life and habits, purchases, interests and more, opening up new avenues for marketing.

How can you capitalise on voice search?

With all of that in mind, what practical things can website owners do to take advantage of this new search frontier?

Look out for natural language queries in your site analytics

At the moment, there’s no way to tell outright which users are reaching your site through voice search, though Google is rumoured to be developing this feature for Google Analytics. But by looking out for natural language queries in your search traffic reports, you can start to get a feel for what users might be asking to find your site, learn from it and use it to inform your SEO strategy.

Think about how people are likely to phrase queries aloud

We need to start moving our approach from thinking of endless variations on different keywords to thinking about different types of questions and phrases that users might search. Ask yourself which questions might bring a user to your site, and how they will speak them aloud. What are the extra words, the ones that wouldn’t appear in a regular keyword search, and what information do they give you about the user’s intent on your site?

Make sure your site is set up to answer searchers’ questions

Once you’ve considered the types of questions a user might be asking, consider whether your site will satisfy those queries. Rob Kerry, in a presentation on the future of search at Ayima Insights, advised website owners to start integrating Q&A-style content into their sites in order to rank better for natural language searches and better satisfy the needs of users who are asking those questions.

Q&A-style content can also be excellent material for featured snippets, which is another great way to gain visibility on the search results page.

Develop content with a conversational tone

Because natural language queries reflect the way that people speak, they aren’t just longer but more colloquial. So consider if there are ways that you can create and incorporate content with a more conversational tone, to match this.

Use voice search!

One of the best ways to understand voice search, how it works and what kind of results it returns is to use it yourself. Search the questions you think might bring people to your site and see what currently ranks top, to get a sense of what works for others. Are there questions that aren’t being addressed, or answered very well? You can take this into account when creating content that is geared towards voice search.

Source: The continuing rise of voice search and how you can adapt to it | Search Engine Watch

03- Aug2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
374 Views

7 e-commerce SEO trends we’re seeing in 2016

Few types of online business can benefit from SEO more than e-commerce websites that allow for direct consumer transactions. Not only can you secure more web traffic (and a larger stream of revenue), you can also optimize specific product pages to funnel traffic to your most profitable or popular pages.

But SEO (and e-commerce in general) is always evolving. New technologies, new insights and new best practices emerge on a regular basis, and the best e-commerce webmasters are jumping on these changes to stay ahead of the competition.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of seven important SEO trends in the e-commerce industry you should be paying attention to:

1. Out-of-the-box SEO is better than ever

SEO technology is developing just as quickly as the search engines that have inspired them. What do I mean by “SEO technology”? I mean the third-party apps, widgets and tools webmasters can use to optimize their sites and improve results — with minimal manual input required.

In fact, some “out of the box” solutions have emerged in the template web design industry, enabling webmasters to ensure the on-site optimization of their sites in just a few steps upon launch. WordPress plugins have also been around for a while that handle a good amount of on-site SEO automatically, such as Yoast SEO.

These products and developments are tempting, and in fact useful, but currently, there’s no solution that can automatically perform every on-site function. You’ll still need to customize things like your title tags, navigation, rich snippets and so on, if you want to see the best possible results.

2. Long-form content is crucial

Until recently, product pages on e-commerce sites were places for short-form content: a title, a brief description, a handful of photos and a few customer reviews. However, user demand and search engine favoritism have shifted toward long-form content in almost every niche.

Longer-form content provides more detail, more long-tail and conversational phrases (which lend themselves to more relevant search queries) and more market differentiation from the increased competition that has arisen in recent years.

I strongly encourage you to develop more long-form content on your company blog, describing your products and offering insights on your company, provided your topics support that length without unnecessary fluff.

3. Sharability is key

Social media has been popular for many years, but it’s still somehow escalating in importance. In a recent survey I conducted of 357 online marketers, What Works in Online Marketing, 52 percent of respondents said they are currently seeing a positive ROI from social media marketing, while 65 percent believe it will become even more important over the course of the next five years. Most notably, 96 percent of respondents said they planned to increase their budgets or keep them the same over the next year.

More users are signing up for high-popularity standbys like Facebook, and newer, cutting-edge platforms like Instagram and SnapChat are shaping up to be major hits for younger generations.

One of the best ways to generate more visibility and more primary and secondary ranking signals (like inbound links and social signals, respectively) is to encourage more social sharing throughout the shopping and checkout process.

Have your users share your products. Have them share reviews. Have them share when they check out or when their products arrive. Keep your audience engaged with social opportunities throughout your site, and your visibility across search engines and social media channels will thrive.

4. Video content is outperforming pretty much every other kind of content

As mobile devices, WiFi availability and video sharing capabilities become more advanced and prominent, users are demanding more video content. Video content can show up as rich media in search results (if it’s hosted on YouTube) and has more potential for virality than any other type of content.

In fact, if you aren’t using video content on your product pages and in your company blog, you’re already behind the times. Video content is only going to become more popular, so get moving.

5. Mobile optimization is now absolutely critical

The basics of mobile optimization were already solidified by Google’s Mobilegeddon update, but merely meeting Google’s thresholds for mobile optimization is no longer enough to stand out in the search world.

Mobile optimization is about offering the best possible content and functionality experience to mobile users, who grow in numbers compared to desktop users by the day.

Mobile optimization is also starting to include app optimization, which Google is favoring heavily with developments like app streaming — and one day soon, e-commerce platforms may need to develop their own mobile apps just to survive in terms of visibility.

6. Voice search and digital assistants are gaining popularity and usage

Just a few years ago, digital assistants seemed like useless gimmicks that failed to recognize voices accurately and provided less-than-stellar results even when they did. Now, more people are relying on voice search, and every major tech company seems to have their own digital assistant capable of extraordinary feats, including Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Now.

Savvy e-commerce marketers are beginning to capitalize on this trend, offering more colloquial phrasing, more optimization for long-tail phrases and more “rich answers” that digital assistants can provide directly.

7. Local results are becoming more prominent

Local SEO has undergone a handful of overhauls in the past few years, and it’s likely that new technologies (like wearable tech) will increase the importance of local results even further.

E-commerce companies often don’t think about a local strategy, since they operate on a national level and therefore want to target a larger national audience. However, pursuing a local strategy in addition can help e-commerce companies differentiate themselves from the competition and target a smaller, possibly more relevant niche that their competitors are deliberately trying to avoid.

There may be a clustering effect as more e-commerce companies begin to realize the benefits here, which is good motivation to get involved as early as possible.

Final thoughts

Keep an eye on these seven trends to ensure that your campaign remains relevant and visible in the modern era. Depending on your goals and how heavy a role SEO plays in your overall business growth, the suggestions above should take a high priority in your marketing spend.

That being said, these certainly aren’t the only trends I anticipate developing for e-commerce, and it’s hard to predict exactly what’s around the corner — so keep your campaign flexible, and always be on the lookout for the next breakthrough development.

For those managing search engine optimization for e-commerce websites, contributor Jayson DeMers has some advice for what to focus on to stay ahead of the competition.

Source: 7 e-commerce SEO trends we’re seeing in 2016

11- Jul2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
357 Views

Redesigning the Remote: How Online Video Changes the Way Viewers Tune In – Think with Google

Video used to be confined to a TV screen in the living room. If people wanted to watch the game, snuggle up with a romantic comedy, or see what was happening in the world, they picked up a remote and flipped through the channels.

Mobile has changed all of that, allowing viewers to tune in from virtually anywhere and at any time. According to a recent study, one in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video.1

These new viewing habits have changed the nature of in-home viewing. Half of YouTube users who watch YouTube videos on their smartphones watch while at home.2 But just because people can watch on mobile doesn’t mean they’re only watching on mobile. In fact, the time people spend watching YouTube on a TV screen has more than doubled year over year.3

One in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video.

Related Story

Evolution of TV: Reaching Audiences Across Screens

As TV content shifts to internet, audiences fragment, creating complexities for distributors, programmers, and advertisers.

To learn more about the role of online video in people’s lives today—and what that implies for brands—Google partnered with Flamingo and Ipsos Connect to conduct a survey and interview consumers about how they watch and where. We found that people use different screens for different reasons, including the type of content.

Whether people want to master a specific look or to see who won on last night’s awards show, those who watch beauty, fashion,4 entertainment, and pop culture5 YouTube videos prefer to watch on their smartphones. “The day after the Oscars, I watched a ‘top moments from last night’ kind of video on my way to work,” says Jim in New York.

“I like watching beauty videos by bloggers on my phone when I’m putting on my own makeup,” says Veronica in Chicago. “It’s kind of like talking to a friend when I’m getting ready.”

 

Mobile Has Changed The Way We Watch | YouTube Advertisers

For travel6 and food7 videos, people primarily watch on their desktop or laptop. “I watched a video about Patagonia on my computer,” Kylie in New York says. “I was already on my computer going through some emails and stuff, and it came up on my inbox.”

People who watch beauty, fashion, entertainment, and pop culture YouTube videos prefer to watch on their smartphones.

TV is still where people turn most often for news,8 sports,9 and comedy,10though. For some people that were interviewed, group viewing works best with a larger screen. “We cast a lot when we have people over, mostly just funny or entertaining YouTube videos,” says Paul in Chicago. “A big group of our friends will come over and we’ll each go round sharing our favorite videos on the TV screen.”

What this means for your brand

Related Story

How Online Video Influences Your Audience

Understanding how the rise of mobile video can help improve your brand metrics.

The consumer shift to mobile creates significant new opportunities for your brand to connect to your audience. Here are two ways you can plan for this world that’s driven by preferences and online video trends:

  • Follow the video: Your consumers are following their passions with online video, from their smartphones to their computers to their TVs. Ask yourself: Can people watch your videos on all devices? Are you thinking holistically about video on all screens?
  • Understand the context: Think about what’s happening in the moment when consumers are watching your ad. Where are they? What are they doing? What device are they on? Figure out what is likely to be their mindset in that moment, and choose the best ad format, length, and placement accordingly.

Watch this video to learn more about how to adapt your online video content to reach your consumer:

 

The Near Frontier of Mobile Video | YouTube Advertisers

 

Sources
1 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,397, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch online video, Feb. 2016.
2 YouTube Data, 2016.
3 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,091, among adults aged 18–54 who visit YouTube at least monthly, Feb. 2016.
4 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=580, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Beauty & Fashion content at least monthly on YouTube, Feb. 2016.
5 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=569, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Entertainment & Pop Culture content at least monthly on YouTube, Feb. 2016.
6 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=1,984, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Travel content, Feb. 2016.
7 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,171, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Food & Recipes content, Feb. 2016.
8 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,328, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch News content, Feb. 2016.
9 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=1,919, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Sports content, Feb. 2016.
10 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,298, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Comedy content, Feb. 2016.

 

Source: Redesigning the Remote: How Online Video Changes the Way Viewers Tune In – Think with Google

11- Jul2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
403 Views

Redesigning the Remote: How Online Video Changes the Way Viewers Tune In – Think with Google

Thanks to mobile, online video is always on-demand—people can watch virtually anywhere, anytime, and on any screen. That means more opportunities to reach consumers. New research from Flamingo and Ipsos Connect uncovers how new video consumption habits can help you meet your audience.

Video used to be confined to a TV screen in the living room. If people wanted to watch the game, snuggle up with a romantic comedy, or see what was happening in the world, they picked up a remote and flipped through the channels.

Mobile has changed all of that, allowing viewers to tune in from virtually anywhere and at any time. According to a recent study, one in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video.1

These new viewing habits have changed the nature of in-home viewing. Half of YouTube users who watch YouTube videos on their smartphones watch while at home.2 But just because people can watch on mobile doesn’t mean they’re only watching on mobile. In fact, the time people spend watching YouTube on a TV screen has more than doubled year over year.3

One in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video.

Related Story

Evolution of TV: Reaching Audiences Across Screens

As TV content shifts to internet, audiences fragment, creating complexities for distributors, programmers, and advertisers.

To learn more about the role of online video in people’s lives today—and what that implies for brands—Google partnered with Flamingo and Ipsos Connect to conduct a survey and interview consumers about how they watch and where. We found that people use different screens for different reasons, including the type of content.

Whether people want to master a specific look or to see who won on last night’s awards show, those who watch beauty, fashion,4 entertainment, and pop culture5 YouTube videos prefer to watch on their smartphones. “The day after the Oscars, I watched a ‘top moments from last night’ kind of video on my way to work,” says Jim in New York.

“I like watching beauty videos by bloggers on my phone when I’m putting on my own makeup,” says Veronica in Chicago. “It’s kind of like talking to a friend when I’m getting ready.”

 

Mobile Has Changed The Way We Watch | YouTube Advertisers

 

For travel6 and food7 videos, people primarily watch on their desktop or laptop. “I watched a video about Patagonia on my computer,” Kylie in New York says. “I was already on my computer going through some emails and stuff, and it came up on my inbox.”

People who watch beauty, fashion, entertainment, and pop culture YouTube videos prefer to watch on their smartphones.

TV is still where people turn most often for news,8 sports,9 and comedy,10though. For some people that were interviewed, group viewing works best with a larger screen. “We cast a lot when we have people over, mostly just funny or entertaining YouTube videos,” says Paul in Chicago. “A big group of our friends will come over and we’ll each go round sharing our favorite videos on the TV screen.”

What this means for your brand

Related Story

How Online Video Influences Your Audience

Understanding how the rise of mobile video can help improve your brand metrics.

The consumer shift to mobile creates significant new opportunities for your brand to connect to your audience. Here are two ways you can plan for this world that’s driven by preferences and online video trends:

  • Follow the video: Your consumers are following their passions with online video, from their smartphones to their computers to their TVs. Ask yourself: Can people watch your videos on all devices? Are you thinking holistically about video on all screens?
  • Understand the context: Think about what’s happening in the moment when consumers are watching your ad. Where are they? What are they doing? What device are they on? Figure out what is likely to be their mindset in that moment, and choose the best ad format, length, and placement accordingly.

Watch this video to learn more about how to adapt your online video content to reach your consumer:

 

The Near Frontier of Mobile Video | YouTube Advertisers

 

Sources
1 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,397, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch online video, Feb. 2016.
2 YouTube Data, 2016.
3 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,091, among adults aged 18–54 who visit YouTube at least monthly, Feb. 2016.
4 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=580, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Beauty & Fashion content at least monthly on YouTube, Feb. 2016.
5 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=569, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Entertainment & Pop Culture content at least monthly on YouTube, Feb. 2016.
6 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=1,984, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Travel content, Feb. 2016.
7 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,171, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Food & Recipes content, Feb. 2016.
8 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,328, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch News content, Feb. 2016.
9 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=1,919, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Sports content, Feb. 2016.
10 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,298, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Comedy content, Feb. 2016.

ote: How Online Video Changes the Way Viewers Tune In – Think with Google

21- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
382 Views

Google AdWords Switching to 4 Ads on Top, None on Sidebar

It seems that Google is rolling out a change to Google AdWords that sees 4 ads at the top of the search results, none on the sidebar at all, and an additional 3 ads at the bottom of the search results.  This replaces the usual mix of top, bottom and sidebar-heavy AdWords ads, depending on the specific search result.

Many of the ads do have additional features like sitelinks, but it is hard to tell if those have increased or not.

It was huge news in December when Google began testing 4 ads at the top of the search results, and quite a controversial one for many.  While advertisers loved it, regular SEOs weren’t so happy since it pushed the organic search results even further down the page.

AdWords hasn’t confirmed it publicly yet, but multiple advertisers are confirming this is what their AdWords reps are telling them.

Dr. Pete Meyers from Moz is reporting their Mozcast data went from less than 0.1% of their tracked search results having 4 ads above the fold to 19% of them.

Which equals a 19,000% increase.

From AdWords:

And then they seemed to be taking a joke in stride while #ppcchat’ers were waiting for the official announcement (even though all evidence points to the change being made).

 

This isn’t a huge surprise when you really think of it.  Google has been bringing their search results closer to the mobile experience over the past year, and this definitely qualifies for it.

It also leaves more room for Google’s Product Listing Ads to show in the sidebar – they are still being run in the sidebar even with 4 ads above the fold. And it shows more PLAs since Google often shows two rows of PLAs in the sidebar while only one row at the top of the search results.  PLAs can still appear above the search results though.

Google Adwords switches to 4 ads top with pla

And also makes it available for other features such as the knowledge panel.

Some are saying the rollout is expected to complete by February 22nd, which is a few days from now.

We will update if/when AdWords confirms the changes.  But all evidence from what people are seeing in the search results currently is that most people worldwide are seeing this change to 4 ads on top, 3 on bottom but none at all on the sidebar.

Update from Google: A Google spokesperson reached out to The SEM Post with the following.

“We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.”

Update from Google #2: this change is global and impacts all languages. I asked for clarification on the commercial queries, and they are queries where people express a deep intention to buy.

Source: Google AdWords Switching to 4 Ads on Top, None on Sidebar

16- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
534 Views

Guardian Owl D I G I T A L (@guardian_owl) • Instagram photos and videos

[G o o d] Morning #digital friends! Not sure where we’d be without ☕️????.#didyouknow Neurofuse, one of the most popular nootropic formulations out there, was originally developed by Harvard students looking to gain an academic edge but not interested in the risks associated with prescription products. They built a safe and effective formula and recently released it publicly. Read the full article —>http://nextshark.com/9-reasons-elite-entrepreneurs-are-using-study-pills-to-crush-work-1/ #google #instadaily#instapic #instagood #guardianowldigital #louisville #coffee #coffeeaddicts#me #love #energy #awake #business #women #girlboss #marketing#professional #life #goodmorning #googlepartners #louisvilledigital #tech #technology #entrepreneur #seo #sem

[G o o d] Morning #digital friends! Not sure where we'd be without ☕️?. #didyouknow Neurofuse, one of the most popular nootropic formulations out there, was originally developed by Harvard students looking to gain an academic edge but not interested in the risks associated with prescription products. They built a safe and effective formula and recently released it publicly. Read the full article —>http://nextshark.com/9-reasons-elite-entrepreneurs-are-using-study-pills-to-crush-work-1/ #google #instadaily #instapic #instagood #guardianowldigital #louisville #coffee #coffeeaddicts #me #love #energy #awake #business #women #girlboss #marketing #professional #life #goodmorning #googlepartners #louisvilledigital #tech #technology #entrepreneur #seo #sem #keurig

A photo posted by Guardian Owl D I G I T A L (@guardian_owl) on

16- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
298 Views

Special Edition Batman v Superman Galaxy S7 Edge Coming? | Digital Trends

 

The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel will finally do battle on March 25, with Samsung possibly cooking up a special-edition Galaxy S7 Edge to commemorate the occasion, reports South Korean outlet Naver.

According to the publication, Samsung will launch a Batman v Superman edition of the Galaxy S7 Edge, which will reportedly be decked out with wallpaper, ringtone, and a design based on the movie. However, Samsung allegedly won’t stop there, as the South Korean outfit will also release other special variants of the Galaxy S7 and its curved-edge equal. They include one inspired by the 2016 Winter Olympics, while another will reportedly be done in collaboration with a popular South Korean singer.

Related: Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge rumors and news

Samsung has yet to confirm or deny the existence of any of these special-edition smartphones, let alone the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge themselves. However, it wouldn’t be the first time Samsung ventured into the world of special-edition handsets, as the company released the Iron Man limited edition Galaxy S6 Edge last May.
If the three aforementioned limited editions are anything like the Iron Man smartphone, however, they will be pricey and they will be available in very limited quantities. Not only were there only 1,000 Iron Man Galaxy S6 Edge units made, but they were so expensive that one Amazon reviewer wrote he sold his genitalia, left foot, and wife on the black market just to get one. Grim stuff.

Regardless, this makes us wonder what the Batman v Superman Galaxy S7 Edge would even look like. Even though The Avengers: Age of Ultron contained multiple superheroes, Samsung and Marvel opted to go with Iron Man, so it will be interesting to see who Samsung and DC Comics roll with. Our money’s on Batman, since Samsung isn’t exactly known for releasing smartphones with outlandish colors, such as a Superman edition would require, but my personal pick is Wonder Woman, who also has a starring role in the movie.

Also watch: Samsung Galaxy S7 could get upstaged by 360-degree VR cam
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g reportedly looks to continue its release of limited edition smartphones by releasing a special edition Batman v. Superman Galaxy S7.

Source: Special Edition Batman v Superman Galaxy S7 Edge Coming? | Digital Trends