Google’s Plan To Withhold Search Data & Create New Advertisers

Not Provided How do you convince a bunch of publishers to buy ads on your service? If you're Google, how about withholding data from those publishers about how people are finding their sites, as a way to drive them into your ad system? I don't think Google planned for this to happen. But that's the end result, in what could be called the "Not Provided" scheme. "Dark Google" Nearly Two Years Old In October 2011 -- nearly two years ago now -- "Dark Google" was born. Google began holding back information it previously gave to publishers for free, "referrer data" that let publishers understand the exact term [...]


6 SEO Challenges Every Business Owner & Marketer Must Contend With In 2014

seo-featured There isn't much left of this year. Companies that haven't started planning their marketing strategy and budgeting for 2014 must begin soon. When it comes to online marketing, most businesses rely excessively upon Web analytics to decide what was (or wasn't) effective. What they find affects future decisions about where to invest time and money. Even radical decisions like firing internal staff, replacing an SEO consultant/agency, or doing away with SEO altogether are made on the basis of data thrown up by their stats package. SEO consultants like ourselves need to report results and pro [...]


Report: Google’s Not Provided Reached 49% & Much Higher In Technology Industry

Not Provided BrightEdge has released a report showing that for the 8,400 brands they tracked over the last quarter, 49% of the queries collected did not provide (i.e. not provided) search query data due to Google's secure search. 49% was the average, in fact, it is higher for the technology industry. BrightEdge said that "56% of traffic to computer, electronics, software and technology sites is coming from Google secure search." On the low end, such as in the entertainment and consumer services sites, the percentage of secure searches is 46%. Guess what, it is even worse for search sites. For my sear [...]


Rejoice! Safari Is Once Again Providing Google Referral Information In iOS

apple-safari-featured Since last September, people using Safari on iOS devices and searching on Google have appeared to publishers as if they came directly to their sites, not via Google. Now, the problem has ended, with iOS now apparently having been upgraded to support the "meta referrer" tag. No, this doesn't solve the "not provided" issue, where Google itself may strip search terms used to find a site from the referrer passed to publishers. However, at least people should now appear as if they came from Google Search generally, rather than as if they were "direct" visitors. With iOS 7, Apple's new iOS upd [...]


Google Adds Enhanced Campaigns Bid Adjustment Reporting To Google Analytics

google-analytics-square-logo Google announced today that Bid Adjustments reports for AdWords enhanced campaigns are now included in Google Analytics. The reporting, found in the Advertising section under Traffic Sources in Analytics, are designed to help advertisers analyze the performance of each bid adjustment within a campaign -- by device, location and time of day. You'll notice in the Google-provided screenshot example above, there are columns for Revenue and Ecommerce Conversion Rate in the Summary view. These metrics are available when Ecommerce tracking is enabled in Google Analtyics, allowing you to analyze [...]


Finally, Auto-Tag Bing Ads URLs For Google Analytics: Bizible Debuts Free Tool

checkbox The ability to auto-tag destination URLs in Bing Ads has been one of top product requests for the platform for years now. Manual URL tagging is ire-inducing, error-prone and a real impediment to many advertisers even running campaigns on Bing Ads. If you use Google Analytics and don't tag your Bing Ads URLs, that traffic shows up as organic, and you lose insights into how your campaigns are performing post-click. Why Bing Ads hasn't addressed this problem, I honestly don't know -- especially considering the great effort they've put into the "Import from Google AdWords" functionality. Ent [...]


New AdWords Integration For Analytics Changes Campaign Name Reporting

Google has announced a new AdWords integration for Google Analytics that starts rolling out today. The biggest immediate change is that campaign names in Analytics will reflect the lastest naming in AdWords. Currently, if you rename a campaign, the data shows up in Google Analytics separately under each name. Now, campaign data will be reported in aggregate under the latest name in AdWords. This is handy if all you're doing is changing naming conventions -- you'll no longer have to keep tabs on campaign name changes and add up stats from each iteration. However, if your new campaign [...]


Measuring The Effect Of Semantic Markup On Your Search Traffic

There’s a lot of buzz these days around the wonderful world of Schema, semantic markup, and rich snippets -- much of it centered around the increased click-through rates from SERPs and other amazing SEO benefits such markup provides. But, once you've added the markup to your website, how do you measure the results? The ability to do this has been rather limited to date, though annotations make it much easier than it ever was. (If you’re not using annotations on a regular basis, get yourself in the habit -- you'll thank me later.) Before you build any report, think about what informatio [...]


Linking AdWords And Google Analytics Accounts Finally Gets Easier

Linking your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts opens up a whole new world of opportunity for campaign execution, management and analysis. Yet, the linking process has been cumbersome and not particularly intuitive. That is finally changing. In the coming weeks, Google will be rolling out a simpler linking process--down to just three clicks--to all Analytics accounts. The New Process From the Admin section of your Analytics account, you'll click on "AdWords Linking" in the Accounts column and then on "New Link" to follow the linking wizard. You can also access this in AdWords by select [...]


Google Claims Searches & Paid Clicks Can Predict Box Office Success With 92% Accuracy

Google admit A newly released white paper from Google claims the search engine can predict a movie's opening weekend performance within 92 percent accuracy based on search query and paid click volume. After evaluating search and paid click data for 99 top box office films in 2012, Google correlated the data with each film's success by analyzing search and paid click volume during the seven day window prior to the film's release date. According to Google, if 250,000 more search queries happen for one film over a similar film, the film with the most search queries is likely to generate up to $4.3 milli [...]


Mystery Solved: Why Mobile Safari Searchers Appear To Come “Direct” To Sites Rather Than Via Google

Mobil Safari Icon Since September, people using Safari in iOS 6 and searching on Google have appeared to publishers as if they've come directly to their sites, as opposed to having been driving by search. At last, the reason behind the Dark Google cut-off of data has been found: mobile Safari doesn't support the "meta referrer" tag. I know. Publishers who have been closely watching this situation are probably thinking that the reason was already known. It was Google Secure Search, and how Google's change to that back in October 2011 to withhold search terms means anything using that system will have sea [...]


Tips for Analyzing The Impact Of Your Marketing Activities In Google Analytics

I work with a wide variety of clients across a wide variety of industries, and one of the most common issues I come across is what I call analytics forgetfulness. What typically happens is that a company will devise a plan to improve their online marketing and will implement various changes as a result -- but then, nobody remembers to measure the impact of these changes or otherwise conduct any sort of followup down the road. Email marketing pieces, AdWords changes, even new landing pages are added to a marketing campaign; yet the "when," "how" and "who" are lost in the ether. Below are [...]


Five Reports For Measuring B2B Marketing Effectiveness

Like many online marketing professionals, B2B marketers are obsessed with data. Technological innovation creates phenomenal opportunities for marketers to "slice and dice" information in an effort to create more meaningful lead acquisition strategies. But, innovation might also act as a deterrent and be considerably overwhelming. A recent article on MarketingSherpa discussed their latest survey report on marketing analytics, which indicates that 42% of marketers surveyed believe the ability to act on data to be the most significant challenge they face. Combining data from multiple sources a [...]


Web Analytics Software Comparison: Identifying The Right Web Analytics Tools For Your Business

If you’re considering using an analytics platform other than, or in addition to, Google Analytics, it can be a bit difficult to determine what the best alternative will be. Search Engine Land compiled a great buyers guide to enterprise web analytics tools, but what if you’re in the market for a free to mid-level tool, or don’t even know yet exactly what type of software you need? Analytics Software Solutions Below is a brief overview of 25 analytics software options (and one add-on) that should give you an idea of what each tool costs and what functionality each offers. Before you chec [...]


Using Advanced Segments & Scroll Depth To Test Content Types In Analytics

sel_advanced_segment_10 Last month, I gave readers some tips on measuring engagement using Google Analytics and WordPress. This month, I want to dig deeper into how you can use content scroll depth to help craft a strategy for your future content curating efforts. Creating a website that attracts visitors via search engine optimization is one part of the equation; engaging the users to read your content, search and come back for more is another facet of online marketing. As I explained last week, I do think how well people engage with your content may be, or may become, a type of ranking factor. It would at least [...]


How “Not Provided” May Make BuzzFeed Think Google’s Search Traffic To News Sites Is Down

not-provided-featured Well look at that! Search traffic to news sites has dropped over the past eight months, according to how BuzzFeed tracks referrals to sites within its network. A change of user behavior? Or perhaps more the result of "Dark Google" and "Not Provided?" Come on, I'll explain how Google may be making itself look like it's in decline. Where Has All The Google Traffic Gone? BuzzFeed said that it looked at traffic to 200 publishers in its network and found a marked decline in Google traffic from September 2012 onward. The network includes sites like Rolling Stone and The Huffington Post. My mind is [...]


Google Analytics Releases “Customer Journey To Online Purchase” Report

google-analytics-square-logo Google is introducing "The Customer Journey to Online Purchase" analytics report today, a new benchmarking tool that provides insight into the various elements impacting a single campaign. You can learn more about it in a short write-up at our sister site, Marketing Land: New Google Analytics Path To Purchase Report Provides Benchmark Data On 11 Different Industries. [...]


From 3rd Party To 1st Party: The Evolution Of The Google Advertising Toolset

A year ago, I was firmly anti-Google. Not in the sense that I disliked Google -- I just felt that Google did not provide the best tools in the business to analyze and make decisions on their own advertising placements. When asked if an advertiser should consider a 3rd party technology to help manage ad spend, I would undoubtedly say "yes" because Google Analytics, AdWords, and Merchant Center were (and remain) imperfectly bound systems requiring a lot of proprietary work to merge and make informed decisions. Much has changed in the last year. Google has made some significant changes (PLA [...]


How To Measure Content Engagement And Effectiveness With Analytics & WordPress

For many of us that own blogs and generate excellent relatable content, engagement seems to linger just beyond our reach. We write well, there's praise, tweets, shares, +1's – but just how much of your content is being read? Going beyond the search and keyword into how those keywords bring the visitor into content they either read or don't read, is the next step beyond basic Google Analytics. Many in the industry believe a fast bounce from your page back to the search results is a negative in Google's eyes. That user is basically voting your content down, saying "this isn't what I wanted [...]


Google’s April Fools’ Day 2013 Joke-A-Thon: YouTube Shutdown, Google Nose & More

google-jokes-funny-april-fools-featured April Fool's Day is pretty much like a national ... err, international holiday for everyone that works for Google. It seems that nobody else on the Web takes the tradition of pranks and jokes as seriously as Google does -- just see our coverage from the last few April Fool's Days for proof: Google's Gags Go Worldwide For April Fool's Day 2012 It's Over: Google Has Already Won April Fools Day 2011 Google Books, Google Maps Get 3D View – But Only For April Fool's Day April Fools' Day 2009: Google CADIE & More From Search Industry It may still be March 31st for me, and maybe [...]


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