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RKG: Q1 US Paid Search Up 17 Percent, Fueled By PLAs; Smartphones Drove Just 7 Percent Of Spend

RKG Paid Search Spend US Q1 2014 RKG is out with its first quarter Digital Marketing Report today, showing US paid search spend increased 17 percent year-over-year. This echoes positive Q1 global growth trends reported by Covario (25 percent) and IgnitionOne (8 percent). Mobile devices and product listing ads (PLAs) both drove growth. Paid search spend growth slowed slightly after the holiday-fueled Q4, which saw 19 percent year-over-year growth. Clicks rose 11 percent, while CPCs were up 6 percent compared to the previous year. Google's growth trends reflect those of the overall market, with year-over-year growth slowi [...]


Google Teases April 22 AdWords News, More Than 10 Announcements Coming

new-google-adwords-logo On April 22, Jerry Dischler, VP of Product Management for AdWords, will unveil a slew of new features and tools that are coming out of beta during a livestream from an AdWords customer event. Google has given Search Engine Land an exclusive early look at a blog post going up later today (now live here) that gives a few more (albeit subtle) hints of what's in store. The latest tease is short on specifics other than to say Dischler will announce "10+ new AdWords products, features and research studies" developed over the past year. But, with a closer look, there are some hints of what migh [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts Explains How Google Search Handles 404 & 410 Status Codes

matt-cutts-google-404-410 Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted a video today explaining the difference in how Google handles 404 and 410 error status codes. Both 404 and 410s are errors for a web page or document not being available, however a 410 is defined as "gone" forever. So 410s are more of an explicit response from the server telling you a page is really gone. Google handles them slightly differently. With a 404, and some of the other 4xx status codes, Google will "protect" the page and not mark it as removed for about 24 hours. With a 410 status code, Google will mark the page as gone as soon [...]


Videos: Comparing Cortana & Siri & Google Now

cortana-600px Today, Microsoft released the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 and with that, the ability to play with a preview of Cortana, Microsoft's answer to Apple Siri and Google Now. Both Gizmodo and CNet have released video demos comparing Cortana & Siri & Google Now. I like the Gizmodo comparison a little more, so we will post that first followed by the CNet review. Gizmodo has not made their video embeddable, so you need to view it on Gizmodo.com. Here is the CNet video: [...]


Report: Google Now Master Of Lobbying, Backroom Dealing

google-legal-law-featured An article in the Washington Post asserts that Google has now become a master lobbyist and behind-the-scenes manipulator in Washington. It details the company's increase in campaign contributions and outreach efforts to influence legislators. The message of the lengthy article is that Google is now buying influence and policy outcomes that favor the company. Source: Washington Post There are numerous concrete examples cited for the idea that Google has manipulated policy outcomes or bought influence through contributions to individuals, third party groups or academic institutions. [...]


The War On Links

shutterstock_104739881-fear-of-links In case you didn't notice, we are waging a war over links. Some would say that SEOs are at war with search engines, but I disagree. Search engines and SEOs have a symbiotic relationship; and without meaning to, we've killed the value of the link. The link, once a simple connector from one site to another, has become the subject of intense scrutiny by SEOs, Google, and even the US Copyright Office.  Do you remember what it was like to really "surf" the Internet? The way you could bounce from site to site simply by following blogrolls and webrings? The rush of energy and excitement that [...]


5 SEO Tips To Boost Page Speed

Image used with permission of Shutterstock.com Got 10 seconds? Probably. But I bet you won't spend it waiting for a web page to spin, sputter and load. I hate that. You hate that. And search engines hate that, too. But if your site is lightning fast, everyone will love you. Why Page Speed Matters Not too worried about your slow site? Maybe you should be. Sweet Brown (video autoplay) said it best: "Ain't nobody got time for that!" And research findings agree. As SEL news reporter Amy Gesenhues noted in her post last March, average page-load speed for top retail sites was over seven seconds -- well above the ideal load time of thre [...]


Report: Google Running Another Test To Map In-Store Sales To AdWords Ads

Google-Wall When Google introduced Estimated Total Conversions in AdWords last September, the company made clear it was working on ways to measure the impact of online advertising on in-store sales as it outlined the initiative to give advertisers a complete view of the effect their search advertising has on purchases. At the time of the announcement, the company rolled out Estimated Cross-Device Conversions as the first new conversion type and said phone call and in-store conversions would be coming soon. The company has since integrated call conversions, most recently giving advertisers the abili [...]


Google Analytics Adds “Smart Lists” To Automate Remarketing List Optimization

google-analytics-featured Earlier this week, the Google Analytics team announced the release of Smart Lists, a new remarketing list type that automates list creation and management in Google Analytics. Smart Lists are primarily powered by all that anonymized conversion data that comes from the millions of Google Analytics-enabled sites opted-in to share data with the company. Smart Lists make use of signals like visit duration, page depth, location, device, referrer and browser. Applying machine learning to the conversion data, the lists predict which users are most likely to convert when they come back to a site. [...]


A Complete Guide To The Essentials Of Post-Hummingbird SEO

Google-Wall Google has made stark changes over the past couple years in the way it ranks websites. When one of its most recent algorithm incarnations, Hummingbird, was released in August of 2013, it created a whirlwind in the search landscape and has since continued to have far reaching impact. In its wake, businesses have been forced to modify their web marketing strategies and SEO efforts to regain favor with Google to reclaim their former search rankings. Read on for the insights we've gained and what you need to do to thrive in this new environment. What We’ve Learned So Far In keeping pace [...]


Percy Julian Gets Google Logo Marking The Famous Chemist’s 115th Birthday

Percy Julian 115th Birthday Google logo Today's Google logo honors renown chemist Percy Lavon Julian, the first African American scientist to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. During his career, Julian made a number of significant chemical advancements, including the creation of Aero-Foam, a soy-based product widely used to extinguish fires during World War II. Julian discovered how to synthesize the male and female hormones progesterone and testosterone, as well as cortisone, which lead to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Born in Montgomery, Alabama on this date in 1899, Julian rose to acclaim within [...]


10 Surprising Facts About “Keyword (Not Provided)” For Paid Search

referral-url Earlier this week, everyone went bananas over a rumor that paid search query data was disappearing and that third party tools providers would be slammed. In my article, I’ll clarify fact from fiction. Here are ten things you need to know about the Keyword (Not Provided) for paid search issue: 1. Can I Still Access My Paid Search Query Data? Yes! You can access your paid search query data, using the search terms report in AdWords. Just go to your keywords tab, and select the view search terms option. (Try it out yourself!) 2. Is The Search Term Report A New Feature In AdWords? No. [...]


Link Building Fundamentals To Future-Proof Your Online Business

shutterstock_178290377-chain-link-old-text Google launched in 1998 and has grown steadily to become the most popular search engine in the world. Over 2,161 billion searches were run on their engines in 2013, and the company corners a 67% share of the global search market. As it grows and evolves, Google search is well and truly on its way to becoming humanity's most treasured "personal assistant," helping users find answers to their questions, discover solutions to their problems, carry out research and even get feedback, recommendations and suggestions from friends and trusted advisors. As consumers increasingly use search e [...]


The Aftermath: Clarifications & Expert Reactions To Google’s Move To Secure Paid Search Queries

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Yesterday, Google announced it is expanding secure search to clicks on paid ads. The change means that the search query a user typed in before clicking on an ad will be dropped from the referrer string in the URL and won't be passed to analytics or other software other than AdWords. The move is aimed at bringing parity to the treatment of search query referrer data from search ad clicks and organic clicks, which have had search query referrer data stripped from all Google secure search queries since last year. This Not A Huge Disruption As Jeremy Hull, director of bought media at iProspec [...]


Google Tests Video Search Results Without Thumbnail Images

google-homepage-search-600 For the longest time, videos found within Google's search results contained thumbnail images of a frame within the video. That is how Google has displayed richer search results, ever since the days of Universal Search. It seems like Google is testing making those video results a bit less rich by removing the video thumbnail image and replacing it with a small, gray, play button followed by the time of the video. Craig Gilhooly posted a screen shot of the new user interface test on Twitter. Here is a picture: Here is what it currently looks like to the average searcher: [...]


AdWords Scripts Grows Up With MCC Level Scripts

google-adwords-featured1 So far, many have dismissed AdWords scripts as a toy that you can only use for small AdWords account setups. There are some ways to build out larger script frameworks that span multiple accounts, but it is clunky and still requires you to install a snippet of code into each account. Worse yet, if you find a bug in a script that you've copied to 10 or 25 accounts, you'll need to log into each one and update them manually to apply the fix. This breaks one of the fundamental rules of software development: "Don't Repeat Yourself." Welcome to MCC Level Scripts My Client Center (MCC) level sc [...]


Not Provided Comes To Paid Search: What Will The Impact Be?

Not Provided If you're reading this, you probably already know that Google is making changes that will bring the much-maligned "(not provided)" to paid search. The AdWords world has been abuzz about the change for the past few days. The gist of the development is that when people using secure search click on AdWords ads, the user's search query in the referrer string -- the actual words that people entered into the search box -- won't be passed to analytics packages and third-party software. This is an annoyance, but in the great scheme of things, it’s not a major problem. I'll explain more, b [...]


Official: Google Brings “Not Provided” To Ads, Will Withhold Search Query Data From Paid Clicks

not-provided-600 As suspected, Google is moving to secure search for clicks on paid search ads. In an announcement posted by Paul Feng, Product Management Director, AdWords on the Ads Developer Blog, the company states, "Today, we are extending our efforts to keep search secure by removing the query from the referrer on ad clicks originating from SSL searches on Google.com. Advertisers will continue to have access to useful data to optimize and improve their campaigns and landing pages.  For example, you can access detailed information in the AdWords search terms report and the Google Webmaster Tools Search [...]


Marin: If Google Applies “Not Provided” To PPC, Paid Search Management Platforms Will Still Work

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Yesterday, we reported that it seems likely Google will soon stop passing search query data on paid search clicks, as it already has for clicks on organic search results. With the news came questions -- among them whether paid search management platforms such as Marin, Acquisio and Kenshoo would be done in by such a change. In response, Matt Ackley, CMO of Marin Software has issued the following statement clarifying that its capabilities -- and those of most other paid search platforms -- would not be affected if Google does opt to keep search query referrer data from passing through on pa [...]


Strong Start: Paid Search Grew 25 Percent In Q1, Mobile Shot Up 135 Percent YoY [Covario]

Mobile Paid Search Growth Global 2014 Covario released its Global Paid Search Spend Analysis for the first quarter of 2014 today. Its client set -- made up of enterprise technology, consumer electronics, and retail advertisers --increased paid search spend on mobile devices by 135 percent year-over-year and 35 percent over the previous quarter. Mobile now accounts for 25 percent of paid search spending, with 60 percent of that spend going to tablets, 40 percent to smartphones. Cost-per-click (CPC) on smartphones rose 9 percent compared to the previous quarter, while tablet CPCs remained flat. Surprisingly, however, Covario h [...]


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