Web Search & Marketing Newsletter: June 2011
Welcome to another issue of our regular monthly newsletter, which covers some of the recent news and developments in the field of web search and online marketing.
This month's issue includes a review of the latest quarterly figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) which show that online advertising expenditure in Australia has broken new records for the first quarter of 2011. We also take a look at the Google AdWords Editor tool, which can be an invaluable resource for advertisers and which has recently been updated. Finally, you can find out more about the important guidance notes provided by Google on building high-quality websites, following their recent 'Panda' ranking update.
You can read more below, or you can also browse through previous editions of the newsletter, either by month or by subject. You can also follow our Facebook page for updates during each month, or we will also post news on our Twitter account.
On to this month's edition...
Online advertising expenditure in Australia breaks new records
Recent figures published by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in Australia show that the online advertising sector recorded the largest ever first quarter expenditure levels at the start of 2011. The total spend of $601 million between January and March this year represents a 17% growth over the same period in 2010.
These latest results, from the quarterly Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), show strong growth in the Search & Directories and Classifieds categories, which both achieved record levels for the quarter, with year-on-year growth up by 23% and 19% respectively. In contrast, the General Display market only grew by 3% for this period.
The Search & Directories sector now accounts for 54% of overall online advertising ($326 million), which is mostly comprised of Google AdWords expenditure, but remains an estimate. Google still doesn't release their advertiser expenditure figures and, since most of this spend is hidden within Google's Eire accounts, the estimate is based on the same formula used by PWC in their previous surveys.
The spend on Classifieds now accounts for 24% of the total ($145 million) with a good increase in share over the past few quarters, at the expense of Display Advertising which now accounts for 21% of the market ($129 million). However, there has been strong growth in display advertising in real estate, retail and health, beauty and pharmaceuticals industries. The real estate sector doubled the spend year-on-year to 9% share of the sector, plus the real estate industry also spent the most in Classified advertising.
Email based advertising increased slightly year-on-year, from $7.9 to $8.5million and video based advertising continued its strong growth. This increased from $5.7million in the first quarter of 2010 to $8.4million, which is a significant increase of 47%. The reason that IAB gives for this is "the continued adoption of this format by advertisers looking to enhance or replace their TV schedules".
The IAB says that online advertising is approaching the $3billion mark and this includes a (probably temporary) small shift into search, rather than display advertising. It expects to see a return to double-digit growth for display advertising in the second quarter of 2011 and continued strong growth of search/directories and classifieds, as the first quarter is typically a cautious quarter for media agencies and their clients.
If you'd like to know more about these figures, or how online advertising could improve your business, please contact us now.
Google updates its AdWords Editor tool
Google's AdWords Editor is an essential free application for managing AdWords campaigns. It enables users to download the account, update campaigns offline with powerful editing tools then upload the changes back to AdWords. A recent update to the software has added additional new functionality to this tool.
Anyone using Google AdWords should consider using this tool, although it provides most help for those with large or diverse accounts. Users need to download the software from Google, and the program allows users to make changes offline to the individual keywords, adgroups or campaigns - as well as the adverts - before loading the amendments back into the live account. It's also invaluable for filtering parts of a campaign and making bulk changes, structural changes and edits (such as find & replace).
Another key feature is the ability to edit keywords across multiple campaigns, making it possible to cut or copy them from one to another, which isn't possible to do online. The back-up function is another very useful offline-only feature and is essential when performing multiple amendments. In addition to being able to edit data offline, it allows control over multiple accounts by allowing fast switching between them.
There are many other benefits to using this tool, such as the way in which historical data can be retrieved and assessed. A specific time period can be chosen and data downloaded for numerous statistics. These include the number of impressions and clicks, average cost per click, click through rate, total cost, number of conversions and cost per conversion, which provide a useful insight into the way in which a campaign has performed over that period.
Other useful data that is accessible includes negative keywords, placements in the display network, keyword match types and destination URLs. There are still some functions that are only possible online, but the functionality of this excellent application is regularly improved by Google, through frequent updates.
The latest one, which upgrades AdWords Editor to version 9 was released at the beginning of May. This includes new features designed to help make changes across accounts more efficiently and to manage new ad features, such as Ad Sitelinks and high-end mobile targeting.
It also includes good changes to make it easier to locate and make bulk changes to placements, audiences, or negative keywords. It's now possible to select duplicates for negatives and another useful addition is an enhanced spreadsheet import tool.
If you'd like more information about the Google AdWords Editor and how it can be used to improve the management of your campaigns, contact us for more information.
Google provides guidance on building high-quality websites.
Following on from our article in the April newsletter about Google's changes to its ranking algorithm and how it could affect the ranking of some websites, this month we focus upon on recent blog post by Google, which outlines some of the key elements that they consider as best practice for building high quality web sites.
Google states that the introduction of the so-called 'Panda' algorithm change is only one of approximately 500 search improvements it expects to roll out to search this year and thus shouldn't be the primary consideration when building a quality website. Instead, the main focus should be upon providing users with the best possible experience though quality content, (rather than trying to optimise for any particular Google algorithm), as it's this element that determines the high and low-quality sites and thus the associated rankings.
However, if your website has been impacted by the recent ranking changes, Google provides some useful guidelines about how they identify high-quality content in a recent blog post for webmasters. An important factor is the level of a website's or author's authority and neutrality about a topic or article, which in turn leads to the level of trust that users place in it. Also, the degree of comprehensiveness, depth, helpfulness, originality of an article and how unique it is, can provide some indication of the value it provides compared with other search results.
The quality control of a site's content is another important factor, as content produced with little care would be penalised. Inaccurate editing would be deemed as low-quality, particularly if content contains spelling, grammatical and factual errors. It would meet this factor's criteria if it were of high enough quality that it could be printed in a magazine or book and encourages a user to bookmark it. Content that invokes any complaints from users would be deemed to be low quality, as would sites that users think would be too insecure to feel safe enough to enter their credit card numbers.
If a website's content has been manipulated purely for ranking purposes, such as being replicated across the site with keyword variations, this would actually hinder, rather than improve its ranking. It must be remembered that Google is making these changes automatically, based in signals they have identified from sites they deem high or low quality, and although the system can never be perfect, they hope that the quality of results being presented has improved following these changes.
So with the introduction of the Panda algorithm and the other on-going search improvements, it's clear that Google is tackling the problem of low-quality sites that are built purely to rank well. It wants to promote high-quality sites that have minimal duplicate content, are knowledgeable, accurate, well-written, informative and concise, as this will benefit the user.
You can read more in Google's blog post or if you'd like any more information about best practices for building high-quality websites, or how Google's changes could affect the ranking of your website, contact us now for details.
Follow us on Facebook & Twitter
Readers of our Web Marketing Blog will have seen that after nearly 4 years and over 460 posts, we recently decided to end the blog and provide news and updates on the web marketing sector through the social media channels. This reflects the changing nature of the online market for communication and allows us to be more flexible in updating our clients and followers with the latest developments. Therefore if you use Facebook or Twitter, you can now follow our news and updates using these channels:
Regular updates will continue to be posted through our main Twitter accounts:
- Web Marketing Workshop (latest developments in the web marketing field)
- Web Training Workshop (web search tips & advice, plus training courses).
More detailed information will be posted on our Facebook pages:
- Web Marketing Workshop for news, comment and trends
- Web Search Workshop for search marketing advice and tips
- Web Training Workshop for training course updates.
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.