Web Search & Marketing Newsletter - July 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of our monthly newsletter, which covers news, tips and advice on effective website marketing, with a particular focus on search marketing techniques and trends.
In the first article this month, we take a look at Google's recent updates to its search algorithm and the impact this may have on businesses' search results. We also examine the imminent update to the Panda algorithm and what impact that's likely to have on the results.
In our second article this month, we provide a reminder for AdWords advertisers that Google's support for Adwords Editor v.10.6 ends on July 1st and scrutinise the benefits for AdWords managers of upgrading to the latest v.11.1. Finally this month, we discuss how Google has enhanced the localised "Near Me" search results and what can be done to increase a business's conversions through the correct use of advert extensions, particularly in mobile ads.
On to this month's edition...
Google Updates its Search Algorithm
In mid-June, Google confirmed another core search algorithm update which is likely to have an effect on the search ranking results. This is therefore an important issue for any website business to consider and whether these changes may have an impact on their organic rankings and website visits coming from Google.
This latest update by Google was a core ranking change, which is something the search engine does throughout the year. Google stated that it was not related to the previous, significant, Panda or Penguin updates, or related to it's aim to have more sites secured (using the https protocol) by promoting those in the rankings. (Some sources have in fact reported that the rankings of https domains have actually been adversely effected by the recent changes).
Google's Panda Update is a search filter introduced in February 2011, designed to stop sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google's top search results. Panda is updated from time-to-time. Google also launched the Penguin Update in April 2012 to better catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings.
In May, Google said they are still working on making these two algorithms refresh faster, but more recently said, "this is not a Panda update. As you know, we're always making improvements to our search algorithms and the web is constantly evolving. We're going to continue to work on improvements across the board". Google has remained quite cagey about the recent change, with Gary Illyes recently saying, "I can't comment more on this, though. We make hundreds of changes every year".
So initially, the consensus was that it was simply a normal Google core search update for which they won't provide further details. But upon further scrutiny, this update may have been related to news content, as data analysis showed that "new newsworthy content" received a boost in the rankings with the update.
The SEO community is expecting to see more updates very soon, as the Panda algorithm is due to be refreshed again. Google has told the community to expect core search algorithm updates in the future, as they continue to work on making search quality better. Gary Illyes announced that the next Panda update will happen in the upcoming weeks and he referred to it multiple times as a data refresh, not an algorithmic change. It's intended to further refine the accuracy of the targeting of sites with poor quality content. So the 'shake up' in the rankings isn't expected to be quite as dramatic as it would be for the introduction of a complete change to a search results algorithm.
If you would like more information on how the Google algorithm changes could impact the rankings of your business, contact us now for more details.
Google's Support for AdWords Editor 10.6 Ends July 1st
AdWords Editor was designed with the most sophisticated advertisers in mind, as it helps to reduce the time spent on managing large campaigns by simplifying workflow, but for anyone managing an AdWords campaign, it can be a great time-saver. In February this year, we published the article 'Google AdWords Editor is Updated' which described what Google are calling 'the biggest update to AdWords Editor since its release in 2006'. In this follow-up piece, we take a look at the support for AdWords Editor v.10.6 ending on July 1st and the benefits of upgrading to AE v.11.1.
There are numerous changes made to the latest version, including full support for labels, upgraded URLs, call-only ads and ads in mobile apps. There are also improvements to the search bar, more localisation support and enhancements to overall User Interface navigation, which provides a sleek, fresh new layout that makes viewing data, accounts and edits easier than ever.
More details about 10 new features can be found here. The upgrade symbolises how seriously Google is about catering to advertisers who manage multiple or large accounts. One of the key benefits is the ability to quickly download multiple accounts at once and view them side-by-side. Also, viewing different parts of an account at the same time on multiple screens is a massive change that allows you to view everything at once, making it easier to gain insights into the data.
Two other important benefits are the option to save popular searches, and the function of being able to view the history of recent changes. It's now possible to undo or redo changes immediately, which is critical when making thousands of changes and can prevent any hard work being lost. Another important addition is the function to create and manage call-only ads in AdWords Editor, as they represent an easy and efficient way for mobile consumers to connect over the phone with businesses.
The updated version of the popular offline Editor has been well received by the AdWords community. The benefits of it certainly outweigh the limitations, so remember to upgrade to it now as support for the older version has now ended and this is not likely to work from this month.
If you would like more information about how the use of AdWords Editor can improve the AdWords management for your business, contact us now.
Google Enhances Localised "Near Me" Search Results
According to Google, 4 out of 5 consumers say they want search ads to be customised to their city, post code or immediate surroundings and that now more than ever, people search online to find things nearby. Interest in "near me" searches on Google has doubled since last year, with 80% coming from mobiles. So it has continued to develop richer local ad formats that deliver more relevant localised information based on what someone searches for.
Last year Google enhanced location extensions to show up to three different locations for a business in a single ad unit. From the end of May the search results were enhanced to show three or four different businesses for location-related searches, such as "nearby restaurants." Each ad features click-to-call and directions. This new format organises the information that on-the-go consumers need, so they can easily compare options and take action, like calling the business or visiting the store.
In addition to location extensions, there are many types of other extensions in AdWords that can make ads more useful and engaging. These include Sitelinks, Callouts and Reviews. The correct use of the right extensions help businesses reach their goals of driving online and offline conversions, giving customers the information they were seeking "near me", and reinforcing customer trust. This in turn can lead to significant rises in incremental conversions and so, are critical to get right in the increasingly mobile-centric online world.
If you want to know how the correct use of extensions can help your business benefit from Google's enhanced localised search results, contact us now.
We hope you've found this month's newsletter useful. Please contact us if you need any more information on the items covered, or our advice on any aspect of your website's performance. Also, if there are any issues you would like to see in future editions of this newsletter, please submit your suggestions to us.
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