7 Reasons Why Local Businesses Should Still Buy PPC Ads

Many small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) focus heavily on their organic search rankings. After all, it's "free," and if you enjoy a high ranking, you can derive excellent business from it. But, even if your business ranks well in local search (and especially if you don't), there are great reasons to consider some paid search advertising, aka "PPC." While I have a reputation as a local search optimization specialist, but I consider myself to be broader in that I am a marketer, period. As such, my philosophy is that companies should promote themselves within as many channels as they reasonably [...]


Google Shopping Ads: What We’ve Learned So Far

In October 2012, Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) became Google Shopping. With this, Google removed the Google Shopping listings from the organic side of the equation and made them a purely PPC play. Many people, including Danny Sullivan, have noted that Google has now embraced a paid inclusion model. Things have certainly changed, and advertisers need to stay on top of their game to take advantage of new opportunities. In this article, I’ll share some tips we’ve learned related to Google Shopping ads. Before getting started, a few notes on Google Shopping: It’s a feed-based p [...]


Apple Buys Indoor Location Company, What’s It Up To?

apple-maps-featured This weekend the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had paid roughly $20 million for a company called WifiSLAM. The company was an early stage startup that had raised roughly $1 million in angel investment. It appears to have had some ambitious plans, according to a company description on AngelList: We are building the next generation of location-based mobile apps that, for the first time, engage with users at the scale that personal interaction actually takes place. Applications range from step-by-step indoor navigation, to product-level retail customer engagement, to proximity-based [...]


Google Finally Discontinues The Blocked Sites Feature

google-blocked-sites-1327326754 After over a year of the blocked sites feature not working, Google has officially declared they are discontinuing the feature -- two months after Google promised it would return. Google introduced blocked sites in March 2011 after struggling with various ways to allow searchers to block sites from showing in the search results. Google has tried browser extensions, SearchWiki and several other methods over the year. Now, the only way to block search results is with Google's official Chrome extension, or maybe some unofficial extensions for Firefox or Chrome. Google said: The Blocked S [...]


SMX Advanced Agenda Available – Super Early Bird Rates Expire Friday

smx-advanced-featured Search Engine Land's SMX Advanced agenda is now posted! Check it out and then register before our lowest rates expire this Friday. Fluent in search marketing? SMX Advanced is for you. This year’s agenda is packed with expert-level tips to drive traffic, increase conversions and boost ROI. Session topics include: Managing Search In A Multiscreen World From Microdata & Schema To Rich Snippets: Markup For The Advanced SEO Legit Link Acquisition: Master Class Rocking It With PLAs Maps & Metros: Surviving And Thriving In Local Search New PPC Best Practices In An Enhanc [...]


Facebook Graph Search Now Passing Keyword Data To Webmasters

facebook-graph-search-featured When Facebook launched Graph Search earlier this year, a noticeable element missing to marketers was the lack of keyword data that was passed. Well, this weekend Glenn Gabe of G-Squared Interactive uncovered the fact that Facebook has begun passing keyword data within referral strings. The keyword data is passed from Facebook with a query string [q={keyword}] appended to the end of the referring URL.  Since analytics providers like Google don't view Facebook as a search engine, the data must be parsed as referring traffic, not as a search engine. While the data exists, it takes so [...]


Open Letter To EU Competition Commissioner Exerts Pressure For Tougher “Vertical Search” Settlement With Google

google-eu-featured Late last week, a group of Google critics, rivals and complainants sent an "open letter" to EU competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia asking him to focus on the "vertical search" or "search neutrality" dimensions of the Google antitrust case. The letter says, essentially, that of the "four areas of concern" raised by the EU over Google's business practices, this is the only issue that really matters. The letter asserts that the EU must address "Google’s search manipulation practices" in the form of "the systematic promotion of Google’s own services, and the systematic demotion [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, March 22, 2013

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the Web. From Search Engine Land: Microsoft Shows Off Coming Improvements To Bing App’s Voice Search Microsoft has shared video of what was a confidential, employee-only demonstration of new voice search capabilities in its Bing app for Windows Phones. The demo, reported by MSFTKitchen, shows a substantially faster and more accurate voice search experience that also performs better in noisy situations. In the demo, Bing’s new voice search system appears to [...] Google Pushes Goog [...]


Search In Pics: Google Wonder Girls, Fish, Cylon & Seniors Workshop

In this week's Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the Web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. Google Seniors Workshop: Source: Flickr Google Fish: Source: Google+ Google Wonder Girls Sign: Source: Flickr Games At Google Singapore: Source: Flickr Google Battlestar Galactica Cylon: Source: Google+ [...]


Microsoft Shows Off Coming Improvements To Bing App’s Voice Search

bing-logo-200 Microsoft has shared video of what was a confidential, employee-only demonstration of new voice search capabilities in its Bing app for Windows Phones. The demo, reported by MSFTKitchen, shows a substantially faster and more accurate voice search experience that also performs better in noisy situations. In the demo, Bing's new voice search system appears to respond about twice as fast as the existing system. The speed improvement gives Bing the ability to show search results while the user is still saying the search query. The Microsoft employee giving the demo says that the new s [...]


Google Pushes Google Search App With Commercials

google search app ad The commercial in the middle of an episode of "Worst Cooks In America" this weekend caught me off-guard. Was that an ad for the Google Search App? It sure was, and the restart of Google's campaign to push its cross-platform search tool. It was the first time I spotted this particular campaign on TV, though Google tells me they've been running since the fall. That's true, but those seemed to have stopped soon after the New Year, and now the campaign has begun again, it looks like. Of course, Google's no stranger to TV ads these days, such as Google Now recently getting a commercial during [...]


How To Determine Your Mobile & Geo Bid Multipliers For Enhanced Campaigns

As every search marketer should be aware by now, AdWords enhanced campaigns now allow you to set campaign-level bid multipliers for your mobile impressions, and also by geo. While mobile bid multipliers seem to be more of a step backward compared to mobile targeted campaigns, geo bid multipliers are actually a nice feature and definitely a step forward in terms of control and transparency. Anyway, this post is about helping search marketers determine those mobile and geo bid multipliers based on historical data. 1. Pulling The Data From AdWords In AdWords, first go to the ‘Dimensions [...]


Google Says No To Phone Numbers In PPC Ads, Forcing The Use Of Call Extensions

Google logo You may have missed Google’s quiet and brief announcement that starting in April, AdWords ads with phone numbers in the text will be disapproved. Advertisers who want to display phone numbers will have to use the call extensions feature instead. Google states in the announcement, “We are making this change to foster a safer, more consistent user experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.” As others have stated, what this change really does is allow Google to charge for mobile ad engagements as part of its transition to enhanced campaigns. With call extensions, advertise [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Improves Verification Reporting & Process

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google announced they have added three improvements to the Google Webmaster Tools verification system. View Verification Methods Now, you can not only see who the verified users on your sites are, but the verification method they used to achieve that status. Where appropriate, the verification details will have links to the correct URL on your site where the verification can be found. Here is a screen shot: Removing Verifications Method Prior To Un-verifying Users You simply cannot just delete a verified user without deleting or removing their verification method first. You now need [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, March 21, 2013

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the Web. From Search Engine Land: A Primer On How To Get The Most Out Of Sitemaps Search crawlers are becoming more and more effective every day in discovering new content pages on websites. But, that process of organic discovery can be slow and spotty, so it’s hardly any solace to sites that publish hundreds of new pages a day, or publish extremely time-sensitive content such as news articles, or publish a [...] Workarounds To Make Enhanced Campaigns More Flexible Last week at SMX [...]


A Primer On How To Get The Most Out Of Sitemaps

Search crawlers are becoming more and more effective every day in discovering new content pages on websites. But, that process of organic discovery can be slow and spotty, so it’s hardly any solace to sites that publish hundreds of new pages a day, or publish extremely time-sensitive content such as news articles, or publish a huge amount of specialized digital media content such as video. Even with the continuing improvements in organic search for discovering your content, it still takes time for search to find it all. It takes patience on your part, and in many cases, the content found [...]


SPONSOR MESSAGE: The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas

In this guide you will learn about 30 proven lead generation strategies such as: What makes the best lead-generating content, how to create offers that are impossible to ignore, what drives killer landing page performance, what website optimization drives results and much more. Download Now! [...]


Workarounds To Make Enhanced Campaigns More Flexible

Enhanced Campaigns Bid Strategies Last week at SMX West, I was on the "SEM Best Practices Debate" panel. Several of the topics we debated were related to Enhanced Campaigns, clearly something on the minds of search marketers these days. This month, I’ll recap a few take-aways from the event and share some ideas for workarounds and automation that may make your transition to Enhanced Campaigns a bit easier. Does It Make Sense To Target Tablets & Desktops In The Same Campaign? This debate topic was a tongue-in-cheek jab at Enhanced Campaigns which make the answer largely irrelevant since splitting out desktops and tablet [...]


Bing Snapshot Grows To Understand People, Places & Things With “Satori” Expansion

bing-snapshot-featured Over the past year, Bing's been steadily growing the "Snapshots" it shows on the right-hand side of its pages. Now, Bing says those are taking another leap to better understand relationships between people, places and things, using an expansion of what it calls its "Satori" technology. Bing writes on its blog today saying: Today, we are inviting people to check out Snapshot to experience our expansion of Satori. Since its introduction in June, we have expanded Satori to include a significantly larger number of entities from more domains with a deeper level of understanding about them. T [...]


Google Alerts: Still Broken

Google logo Last month, I wrote my Dear Google Alerts: Why Aren’t You Working? story. Soon after, Google told me things were improved. That's not been the case for me; and now, another open letter about how poorly the service is working has appeared. The latest letter is from The Financial Brand, a website for financial marketers. It writes, in part: The Financial Brand has frequently encouraged bank and credit union marketing executives around the world to use Google Alerts. This advice is now fully retracted.Google Alerts was once a very important and efficient tool to monitor mentions of you [...]


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