Web Search & Marketing Newsletter - June 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of our regular newsletter, which covers news, tips and advice on effective website marketing techniques and trends, to help you keep up to date on the latest developments.
In the first article this month we take a look at how the use of Google+ can lead to SEO benefits. Next, we assess Google's recently released Display Benchmarks tool and how that can be used to improve the success of display campaigns. Finally, we report on Yahoo!'s acquisition of the social networking tool, Tumblr, and the implications of this move.
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 us on Twitter for the latest developments during the month, or follow our Facebook page or Google+ page for updates.
On to this month's edition...
The Benefits of Using Google+ For SEO
Although Google+ is still struggling to establish itself as a viable social media alternative to Facebook, the number of users is increasing as Google integrates the tool with other services and starts to create a community around the range of features being offered. There are also some SEO advantages to having a well set up Google+ profile with both personal and business pages.
With any link-building strategy, it's very important to network and build genuine connections and relationships that will help spread your content. Google+ facilitates this by allowing the linking of all of your social media profiles, sites and blogs in an organised manner. It's also possible to link to sites to which you regularly contribute and, importantly, all of these links are "followed", rather than "no follow" links and you're able to select the anchor text (in your bio).
Google will follow the links in your posts and the more people share them, +1 your posts or link to your profile, the more valuable these links become to you. If your post goes viral or is shared by a high authority profile, the value of the links increases more. Content on Google+ is indexed rapidly - some say almost instantly - so it's a great way to get posts by you into Google's index quickly when there is a hot topic.
With many social media sites, you have little to no ability to edit your content once it has been posted. However, Google+ allows you to go back and make edits to posts as you see fit. Furthermore, Google provides the option for you to take ownership of that content and so it's important to set up an author tag (for an individual claiming content on a page) or a publisher tag (for a business to claim ownership of a site).
Both the author and publisher tag can't be used on the same page and if the publisher tag is used, it's only for the homepage, not internal pages. You can use the author tag for internal pages with content. It's still a good idea to use Google's "rel=publisher" tag, but you won't get the image in your SERP listing like you do by using the authorship tag.
It's important to remember that a Google+ profile needs to be set up in order to implement the Authorship Markup and take advantages of its benefits. To set up a personal profile, you can go here. Business profiles can be set up here.
The benefits of doing this are:
- It makes your listing more robust, because it includes a photo, your name and links to more content by you. There are also indicators that your authorship markup may give you a boost in rankings. While some say it doesn't directly help, others have reported an increase in rankings after implementing it.
- Your authorship markup also helps you build trust as it establishes you as a real person in the often-anonymous online world.
- It also allows you to claim your name (you don't want someone trying to steal your name!) and your content (you'll be seen as the original and rightful owner of the content and won't have to worry about a "copy scraper" outranking you).
- You can improve your click-through rate by playing with your profile image that's shown in the SERPs. Images that perform best seem to be close-ups where the eyes are looking to the right towards the listing in the SERPs.
Once you've completed the profile and you start posting, keep in mind that the first sentence of your Google+ post becomes part of the title tag, which impacts rankings and influences click-through rates. A word of warning is that Google doesn't tolerate "spammy" practices, so it's vital not to turn your profile into a link farm!
There are a lot of different ways to connect with influencers in your industry and networking on Google+ with those is one of the core focuses of Google+ users. It's fairly easy to do because there are so many ways to do it, but be sure you don't abuse the privilege, as if you become seen as a spammer, it will be very difficult to grow your presence.
While Google+ numbers aren't as large as Facebook, they are growing and as with most things, it's the early adopters that do well in the long run. So it's worth beginning now to establish your position. Google+ is probably here to stay and also likely to get more important to your rankings and traffic.
If you'd like more information about Google+, or help with setting up a profile, please contact us now.
Google Introduces a Display Benchmarks Tool
During May, Google announced the launch of a new tool called "Display Benchmarks" that provides useful comparisons or reference points aggregated from ad campaigns across the industry. If you are using display ads as part of a marketing campaign, this new tool facilitates an understanding of how your display campaigns compare to the rest of your industry, which helps to better plan and measure the success of those campaigns.
The comparisons can show average expansion rates for automotive creatives, expected Rich Media interaction rates for retail creatives from France, or just the average clickthrough rate for Entertainment ads from the US. So if you're looking for comparisons by country, industry vertical, or how different ad formats and sizes perform compared to each other, the tool offers up-to-date benchmarks across 10 key display metrics, such as interaction rate and time, expansion rate and video completions.
For example, through its own use of the tool, Google has shown that people are increasingly choosing to interact with video ads. They state that video completion rates are the highest ever seen, increasing by approximately 24% since Summer 2012, to a 60% completion rate. This improved interaction rate correlates to larger ad sizes: the bigger the ad, the more frequently people will interact with it. It also found that rich-media-expanding formats are better for getting people to interact frequently, while in-page formats are better for encouraging longer interactions.
So, if this tool is used to its full potential, it can certainly shed some valuable light on the best way to improve display campaigns by reaping the benefits of the industry-wide information it provides. You can learn more about it here.
Contact us now if you'd like more information about how we can help you improve your display advertising with this tool.
Yahoo! Buys Tumblr for US$1.1 Billion
During May, Yahoo! acquired one of the leading blogging services - Tumblr - for US$1.1bn. This is a notable deal, made by Yahoo's chief executive Marissa Mayer who was appointed in July last year, and she has called the move a "unique opportunity". However, it could also be a huge risk for Yahoo!, which now has to generate revenue from the deal without alienating the Tumblr user base.
The plans for the acquisition are for Tumblr to continue operating under its own brand and independently of the new owner, with co-founder David Karp continuing as Chief Executive. Tumblr combines elements of blogging with social networking, and its simple design has attracted millions of users since its launch. According to the site, it now hosts 108 million blogs, with over 50 billion posts. Crucially, it also has a significant presence on mobile devices.
Observers says that the move is partly an attempt by Yahoo! to regain favour with the younger 'hip' market, where Tumblr has proved a great success. Yahoo! has lost favour in recent years, both in terms of search and also as a social site, although the initial reaction from Tumblr users to the takeover has been mostly negative - which would be expected.
However, Yahoo! is hoping that its purchase of Tumblr will boost traffic to its other properties, such as the photo sharing site Flickr, which is being relaunched with new features to compete against Instagram. But the question is really whether the US$1.1bn fee will also help to boost revenue?
Analysts suggest that Yahoo! has significantly overpaid for the deal - Tumblr's 2012 revenue was just $13m, according to a recent report by Forbes magazine, and despite its fast-growing user base, it has struggled to make money and has traditionally resisted advertising. Yahoo! says they will be working with Tumblr to create ads that "are seamless and enhance the user experience". However, there is a danger of alienating users with more advertising - a challenge that faces most social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.
Yahoo! has struggled in recent years, with a lack of direction and innovation, which is the reason why Marissa Mayer was brought in from Google. Despite this, Yahoo! remains a major online property, with around 700 million visitors to its website every month and the majority of its revenues comes from advertising. However, it has limited mobile reach and lags behind Google in the search engine rankings. It also shed more than 1,000 jobs during 2012 and has long been divided over whether it should focus on media content or on tools and technologies.
If you'd like to know more about this deal and the role of Yahoo!, please contact us for details.
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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.