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Will Google Take a Blow for "Not Provided" Keyword Hypocrisy

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Google sure knows how to make marketers sound alarms when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). The latest controversy stems from the new discovery that Google increasingly will report fewer organic keywords in Google Analytics. Soon, all organic keyword phrases used on Google could be hidden behind the dreaded "Not Provided" label. Search Engine Land has written a comprehensive piece on the topic.

NOTE: The above chart is from our own Content Marketing Institute analytics provided by Google. In 2012, just a small percentage of organic searches were "Not Provided" by Google. As of September 2013, "Not Provided" searches are now 80% of our total organic search results. This is why if you are a website owner, this is of critical concern!

How should marketers react to the latest maneuver by Google? Do you have any options? For some answers and insights, I connected with SEO expert Mike Murray, president of Online Marketing Coach. In his career, Mike has kept a watchful eye on everything related to search engines and worked with brands like Little Tikes, KeyBank, MTD, Bissell and FedEx Custom Critical.

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China's Digital Spend for Video, Search, Mobile Forecast to Grow 44.5%

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Increased investments of up to 50 percent in online video, search, and mobile will help digital media spend in China grow by more than 44.5 percent year-on-year, according to Carat's global ad spend forecast for 2013 and 2014.

Overall media spend for China is forecast to grow by 6.9 percent this year and is expected to increase 7.9 percent in 2014.

China's ad market growth, while more modest compared to previous years, trails only Russia among key advertising markets for 2013. China remains one of the leading markets for ad spend growth in the Asia Pacific region.
Japan is seeing a steady recovery of the ad market, with digital media spend forecast to rise by 7 percent.

In the rest of Asia Pacific, Indonesia (17.1 percent), Philippines (12.3 percent), and Vietnam (29.1 percent) are expected to see the highest ad spend growth rates.

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The Effects of Social Media on How We Speak and Write

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With 80 percent of teen Internet users frequenting social media sites, it's no wonder our real world social lives are seeing some changes. Though some parents worry about a future of poor grammar and verbal textspeak, most signs point to a more promising reality. Social media use requires some unique adaptations, but it also provides us with a whole new way to communicate.

We're Learning a New Language
Social media sites like Twitter that impose a character limit force users to condense their thoughts. For many, this results in excessive use of textspeak. This type of shorthand involves a whole new language of abbreviations.

Some popular terms like LOL (for "laugh out loud") have evolved into unique words that have a meaning greater than their original abbreviation. LOL is now used to add a joking or lighthearted inflection to messages almost like a type of punctuation. It doesn't always indicate literal laughter. This is just one example of how Internet and text shorthand is becoming a language all its own.

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Your Business Isn't On Facebook?

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OK, you've done it. You've started your small business. You have a great product. You're making sales. Things are going well. But you can always use more customers, right? How can you continue to grow your reach? Wait, what? Your business isn't on Facebook. Insert head in sand reference here. But it's OK. We can deal with this.

Increasingly, social media, and Facebook in particular, is becoming a great, low-cost way for businesses to grow and find their next customer. The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their success has increased by 75%. Your business needs to have a presence on Facebook. "Why?" you say. "How?" you say. Just read on, my friend.

Why Facebook?

One of the keys to successful social media marketing—or any type of marketing, really—involves figuring out where your target market is and then going to them. With approximately 1.15 billionactive members, Facebook is the biggest party on the block. Still not convinced? Here are 5 facts that will convince you of the business value of Facebook.

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Dunkin' Donuts is Launching the First TV Ad Made Entirely From Vine

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During this evening's Monday Night Football pregame show on ESPN, Dunkin' Donuts will run what's most certainly the first TV ad made entirely from a single Vine—Twitter's popular six-second social video format.

The fast-food chain will actually peel one second off its Vine clip to fit into the network's five-second billboard ad unit, which appears full-screen between segments during ESPN programs. Dunkin' Donut's animated billboard tonight will feature a latte that flips a coin to signify the start of a football game. It's one of four versions that ESPN Monday Night Countdown viewers will see throughout the 16-game season.

"We think a billboard using Vine is dramatically more engaging than a standard billboard with a corporate logo on it," said Scott Hudler, vp of global consumer engagement, Dunkin' Brands. "Everyone is multitasking while watching TV with their phone, tablet or laptop. A lot of times, the content on their mobile device is not related to their TV shows. We want to make sure we're supporting our TV investment with social media that's [relevant]. It's our job to make sure that it's tied together to drive consumer engagement."

What's more, the ESPN ads will promote a Vine the retailer tweets out in each game's final quarter this year with a #DunkinReplay hashtag. Led by Hill Holliday, the brand's "newsroom" team will select a memorable play from the first half and virtually recreate it with Dunkin' Donut products.

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Pinterest Drives More Traffic, But Facebook is Better for Performance

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Women may not be your target audience, but advertisers from any industry can learn a lot from women's programming verticals such as food and recipes, home and garden, style and health and wellness. A recent study conducted by Yieldbot, which sees over a 1.5 billion page views per month come through its publisher analytics platform, analyzed the impact of social referral traffic from both Facebook and Pinterest on the advertising performance of women's sites. The ad technology firm found that while Pinterest sent a lot of traffic to these publishers, these visitors don't click on ads at the same rate as Facebook referrals.

According to the Yieldbot study, Pinterest sent approximately 85% of traffic to women's verticals in July, compared to only 8.3% from Facebook. (These numbers only reflect traffic sent from desktop. On mobile, Facebook outperformed Pinterest 4.6% to 1.2%, highlighting an interesting and emerging mobile trend.) However, Facebook's click-through rate is significantly higher than Pinterest's, and other social networks barely even register.

If this isn't enough for publishers that monetize on ad clicks to pay attention, it should be. According to the IAB, 66% of digital advertising is sold on a CPC or other performance-based metric, whereas just 32% is sold on an impression basis. This means that while Pinterest drives a lot of volume, Facebook is generating more performance. If advertisers really want to grab hold of the opportunity presented by Yieldbot's study, marketers should look for ways to drive up the volume on Facebook. While there is little room for marketers to leverage Pinterest, marketers can still increase traffic from Facebook, increasing overall performance.

If you're an advertiser working with both Facebook and Pinterest, what trends are you seeing? Are you seeing better performance from Pinterest or Facebook? Share your thoughts in the comments.

(Article and image via HasOffers)

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