Google's Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird search algorithms affect around 90% of online searches, according to Search Engine Watch. These algorithms strip out "bad searches" – sites stuffed with keywords, duplicated content and manipulated hyperlinks – and rightly so; the onus for higher search rankings has consequently been placed on the quality, originality and relevance of online content.
While there are hundreds of Google how-to guides online, written both by savvy bloggers and Google itself, the advertising giant has a few skeletons in its closet that are rarely talked about. After all, Google AdWords is the ever popular advertising platform - or is it?
1. Google AdWords is no longer working as it did. Marketers from all over the world have been noticing that conversion tracking on AdWords is becoming increasingly more difficult. The fact that it is a global phenomenon is as unique and significant as the reason why. During the last couple of months, social media has finally interrupted the decision making process and significantly impacted the trackable AdWords conversion rate.
Here's a collection of influential tweeters in the SEO world that you should follow in order to stay on top of the latest news, trends, tips, and tricks that will help you succeed in search marketing.
I've been speaking at search conferences since 2001 and have spent a ton of time getting to know who is who in the industry. In fact, I look forward to seeing some of you at SES Chicago to discuss Buyer Legends. Every day it seems that there are another dozen experts to follow on SEO. But, who should you really be paying attention to in 2014?
SEO is a highly technical, and ever-changing field. Staying across all the key best practices requires time and effort, and locating and actioning all the various potential elements necessitates technical skill.
But that said, the basic pillars of SEO are fairly simple, details and elements that anyone can research and apply.
Keeping up with the ever-evolving SEO industry can seem like a pain, but it’s a requirement for anyone that wants to stay relevant in this digital age.
If you ignore these concepts, you risk finding yourself plagued with penalties and poor rankings. And when your business relies on search traffic, these negative effects can have catastrophic consequences.
Tracking the performance of your social campaigns is critical in maximizing your success. But the fact is that your Google Analytics data and your Facebook data will never match entirely.
Why is this?
The only way to accurately measure your Facebook data is through Facebook reporting itself - here are some key reporting notes on the variations between the two, why they exist, and what you need to watch for.
Alphabet/Google announced first quarter financial results that beat Wall Street analyst estimates. But the jump in revenues hides a large problem.
From Matthew Lynley at Techcrunch
"The Google core business is, as usual, quite boringly efficient. We tend to see the same story every quarter — the value of each ad (cost-per-click) goes down while the number of ad impressions goes up, and Google makes a ton of money in the process."
In the fierce battle for our mobile attention, Facebook has almost no peer.
Google and Facebook have similar total reach among U.S. adults, between 228 and 222 million monthly users. But Facebook stands alone when you combine time spent and total reach, even if you add Google and YouTube together.
There's no good news for media companies in the latest Internet Trends report from VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as Google and Facebook share an astounding 85% of all new Internet advertising.
Last year it was 74% — an acceleration that demonstrates the competitive advantage of scale these companies have in the media sector or as Mary Meeker the report's author succinctly writes: "Big Get Bigger & Go After Other Bigs."
The Rise of Mobile Moment Advertising
Mobile ad campaigns that succeed in reaching consumers at the right moment are the latest push from companies such as Google and The New York Times. Aki Technologies President Alvaro Bravo explores the advantages and drawbacks of this technique that can help advertisers better understand their audiences and approach them at the right time.
The truth didn’t set Anna Stoehr free on Facebook. A lie did. Well, a little white lie.
The 113-year-old Plainview, Minn., resident recently joined Facebook in much the same way countless whippersnappers under the age of 13 do (at least the ones who aren’t already soooo totally over it, that is). Stoehr fudged her age by a few years. Technically, when she activated her account on the world’s largest social network, she was 113 years young, but she said she was 99.
On October 1st, the US is supposed to hand the "keys" of the internet to ICANN, and Congress is not happy about it. The mostly Republican lawmakers, led by Ted Cruz, feel that ceding control will stifle online freedom and give power to authoritarian governments. However, technology companies including Facebook, Google and Twitter penned an open letter to Congress, urging lawmakers to hand internet domain control to the international community as promised.
An unexpected consequence of our love of apps is that now there’s just too damn many of them. The app stores are overcrowded, leaving developers desperate for a way to get their games and utilities discovered. That is why the app install ad has become the lifeblood of the mobile platform business.
Big brands aren’t the only ones to suck up to anymore. No one buys a car or Coca-Cola on their phone, at least not yet, so proving the return on investment of mobile ads to these businesses is tough. There is one thing people will instantly plop down a few bucks for on the small screen, though: Apps.
First, it beat world champion Lee Sedol at Go; now, Google’s DeepMind has learned how to play soccer through a combination of asynchronous, reinforcement-based learning. Although it might sound negligible, the accomplishment is important because the artificially intelligent system learned how to move the digital bug and score a goal without any prior understanding of mechanics.
Back in May, Google and Twitter partnered to bring tweets into mobile search results. It was, and is, a pretty big deal for both companies.
The relationship is apparently going well, as Google announced in a short update on its original blog post that it’d be including tweets within search results on desktop as well:
Update, 8/21/2015: We’ve extended this to desktop now too, and in English everywhere.
Google Classroom is issuing some new features and improvements ahead of the new school year, including a new Chrome extension that lets students and teachers share websites with the whole class.
Google Classroom launched a year ago to give teachers a way to connect with students online and eschew paper assignment sheets in favor of digital homework. It’s since rolled out its Classroom apps on mobile iOS and Android devices.
Google has introduced a new web app for its Hangouts cross-device messaging app, a full two years after the app first launched to the world.
Google has just made a huge move to show it's not going to be out-smarted by Facebook.
Over the next few weeks, Google is bringing cross-device measurement to its DoubleClick advertising platform for the first time, the company announced in a blog post and at its DoubleClick Leadership Summit on Wednesday. DoubleClick is the huge ad server that dominates the online advertising market,with a 69% share of the sector, according to Datanyze and Alexa data.
Google said today it is launching a couple of new types of mobile ad formats for advertisers — a new ad that lets mobile users try out a game, and a new type of HTML5 interactive interstitial ad.
Twitter's falling share prices have, once again, sparked speculation that the time is right for Google to buy Twitter, but what benefits would the buyout really have?
With Twitter shares at an all-time low amidst reports that the social media site has failed to win new users, the Internet is awash once again with speculation that Google may buy Twitter.
Google has announced that they'll be penalizing sites that use an interruptive pop-up, especially those that cover a significant amount of content.
Can I get a Yay?Yay.
Known in the web marketing and SEO worlds as interstitials – collectors of email addresses and more – pop-up messages are often frowned upon by visitors, creating a barrier to content as people enter a website.
Google’s looking to make it easier for businesses to manage their Google listings, with a new option to manage how your company appears in Google search direct from the search results themselves.
As you can see here, new options have been added which enable you to edit your info, add photos and create mini-posts (more on those here) all direct from the search listing.
Online reputation in the form of Twitter followers, web traffic, and YouTube views can mean big bucks.
Modern snake-oil salesmen who want to boast exaggerated popularity on social media or e-commerce websites will happily pay freelancers to inflate their reputation. Google, Twitter, and Facebook, however, make their money based on the reliability of their websites, and so Google has now released findings on how to automatically spot these purveyors of fake reputations, or “crowdturfers.”
Google is reportedly working on a live-streaming app called YouTube Connect that would compete with Periscope and Facebook Live. The app is expected to be released in the coming months.
Google just announced a big restructuring of the company, sending shares up about 6 percent in extended trading. After the announcement, shares of Google rose 5 percent, but have since risen even further.
As part of the restructuring, Larry page is now the new CEO of a parent company called Alphabet, while Sundar Pichai will be CEO of Google. According to a regulatory filing, Google’s business will include “search, ads, maps, apps, YouTube and Android and the related technical infrastructure.”
When searching for names using a localized search engine like Google.es or Google.co.uk, the company displays a notice at the end of the page, saying that some search results "may have been removed."
Google doesn't indicate which individual links have been removed. And the notice is displayed for most names — not just those who have actually made a request "to be forgotten."
Google is having another go at social with Spaces, a social chat app focused on group sharing augmented by Google-owned YouTube, Search and Chrome. The spaces referred to are distinguished by topic rather than people with three posting types that open conveniently in the mobile app: links, photos and text.
Marketers and others will be able to publish directly to Google from search results with a new feature the company has been testing this year. The posts, which may include images and video, can be formatted and uploaded to Google's system through a Web-based interface. Separately, Google introduced Anchor and Vignette mobile ads for all its AdSense publishers.
Google is testing “Listen Now” ads with Spotify, Rhapsody and Apple 's Beats Music, the latest in a string of new ad formats that can simplify purchases for consumers.
Search for the name of a musical artist, from “The Beatles” to “Miley Cyrus” to “Camille Saint-Saens,” and Google displays ads – grouped together under the “Listen Now” label — promoting music services, including its own Google Play.
Thanks to a new deal, Google's meta-network is getting faster and going more places.
2016 was a busy year for Google, particularly as it relates to its algorithm - the formula used to rank the resulting Web pages from a user’s query. With nine updates over the course of twelve months, the push to deliver better search results based on user intent was at the forefront of Google’s efforts. Prioritizing the user and customizing content - from search results to personalized recommendations - goes hand-in-hand with the 2016 push for putting the customer first.
Making sense of what the updates mean for your small business website can be tricky. However, E2M Solutions have pulled together the below infographic which encapsulates each update in layman’s terms. The fully animated infographic is viewable at the bottom of the page, but for those curious to know more about each update, here's a summary of each key element.
Here’s an interesting one – Google has announced a new data visualization tool to help content creators showcase insights in a new way.
The new tool enables you to create a GIF using any data points – Google suggests you can use Google Trends data, but the actual input is manual, so you can use any data you want.
In the court of Internet advertising, sometimes it’s hard to be the king.
Following confirmation of a shakeup at Google+, Sundar Pichai said today the company was also splitting the social networking service into two pieces.
In an interview on stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Pichai, senior vice president for products at Google, said the company had viewed Google+ as having two main components: a stream of activity and a social layer.
Google appears to be testing a feature in mobile search that displays the most popular search topics of the moment in a drop-down box when a letter is typed into the search bar. The company has not yet commented on the feature.
Google just rocked the world with some light news on a Monday. It has restructured the company and everything will now report up to “Alphabet Inc.” a new corporate name. That includes Google, which will now be CEO’d by Sundar Pichai (one less Twitter CEO candidate).
Google and Apple have both updated their browsers to enable mobile video ads to autoplay with the sound off. "This could be a big deal for web video," JW Player's Jeroen Wijering said.
Will anyone else admit they’re paying? Groups with words like “transparency” in their name are typically very open about how they operate. That’s why the “Campaign for Accountability,” a non-profit hatched in Washington this spring, is such a mystery: the group refuses to say who pays for its activities.
Starting and successfully growing a business today requires a strong online presence, most importantly a website that attracts new customers and keeps existing ones coming back. But if Google doesn’t find value in your website or discovers a violation of its Webmaster Guidelines, your website can be removed from the view of customers by the dreaded Google penalty.
Manual action penalties can be found by visiting Google Webmaster Tools. Any violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines must be corrected, followed by a request for reconsideration.
Students, edit your resumes and type up your cover letters — it's internship time.
But the competition will be stiff, especially if you're applying to Facebook, whose internships are rated the highest for the second year in a row, according to careers website Glassdoor. (What's the secret, Zuckerberg?)
And though I could be in a much better habit of checking GA often, I am grateful to know that all the stats are there for me, whenever I choose to look.
Getting a penalty from Google can mean lower search engine rankings, your site's removal from its search index--even the death of your business. As Google continues to step up its war on spammy, over-optimized links, businesses must be more vigilant than ever in protecting their link profiles.
The search giant readily admits links will become devalued over time as Google finds other ways of gauging the relevance and popularity of a webpage. However, links are still very much an indicator of how high a page should rank today. Google has its hands full trying to sort out the good links from the bad and some webmasters will inevitably be caught in the crossfire.
This week, Twitter went to the U.S. Open, unveiled McDonald's latest plan for serving breakfast, and hosted big sales for the Star Wars franchise.
Twitter had a packed social calendar this week: it started with conversations around the 2015 U.S. Open Tennis Championships, it then rolled into chatter about McDonald's #AllDayBreakfast plan, and ended with lots of tweeting around the eagerly awaited movie Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.
Will Ello's closed, data-protected model mean changes for the social advertising landscape?
Here's the great question among marketers these days: What happens when paid social media is the only way to reliably reach your prospects? What does this mean for consumers, and what does this mean for advertisers?
On April 21, Google unleashed its mobile-friendly update on the online world. However, most businesses and entrepreneurs were in the loop and had sufficient time to react and take appropriate measures.
More recently, there have been rumors flying about a new "phantom" algorithm update, which was presumably applied towards the end of April or the beginning of May. As it turns out, if you've been noticing changes to your -- or anyone else's -- search rankings as of late, you aren't out to lunch.
Today at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, Googlers said nothing about its social network, Google+. There are no conference sessions about Google+, either. The same thing happened at last year’s Google I/O.
The social network has undergone a few changes in the past few months. Google quietly removed the Google+ Shared Collections feature, and Google+ has essentially been divided into separate products, Photos and Streams. But you can still access it, of course.
WhatsApp didn’t get to be the world’s biggest mobile messaging app by following the crowd, but once in a while it has to mirror some of the features of its rivals. The Facebook-owned company announced today that it was bringing its service to web browsers with a plugin for Google’s popular Chrome browser. It means WhatsApp users can carry on chats seamlessly from their phones or their desktops for the very first time.
Since the introduction of the Google Hummingbird Algorithm, I am not surprised to hear that Google has combined Google Places with Google+ Local and rebranded it as “Google My Business”.
This new upgrade, introduced to localised businesses using both Google+ local and Google Places, offers a more streamlined approach with a new dashboard. This significant change from Google shows that they understand the importance for businesses with a high street store or office to be found online. Their play on words, taking the common phrase “lets Google that” and creating a new term for their dashboard makes it even more specific for small businesses when using Google My Business.
Google's planning to build its own ad blocker for their popular web browser Chrome. Google has confirmed that this feature will be available in Chrome as a built-in feature from next year onwards.
The news seems controversial - a leader in the online ad space making their own tool to block adverts - but the reality is that there are many reasons why Google would want to create their own ad blocking tool.