Google’s Cutts Talks Structured Data Beta, Mobile Site Speed Need, Penalty Notices To Get Example Links & More

matt-cutts-featured Last night at SMX Advanced, Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts was on stage to answer questions about Google search and webmaster topics with Danny Sullivan. We covered the session in live blog format and pulled out several key points. Of all my years watching Matt Cutts talk, I believe it has been over ten years now, I have never seen Matt reveal so much new information and announce so many new things in a single hour at a conference. Here are the highlights from last night, with links to those individual stories: Google Payday Loan Algorithm: Google Search Algorithm Update To [...]


Google: In Future, Pages With Bad Mobile SEO Won’t Rank As Well In Mobile Search

Google mobile app logo Is your site not doing a good job for mobile visitors? Better get that fixed. Sites with mobile experience issues won't rank as highly in Google's mobile or smartphone search results, in the future. Bad Mobile Site? Fewer Smartphone Search Rankings, For You Google's Yoshikiyo Kato and Pierre Far said about the change in a blog post today: To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users. They followed by sharing two common mobile [...]


Google Tests Larger Video Thumbnails In Tablet Search Results

google-tablet-serp-big-video Google Operating System blog has screen shots of Google showing larger thumbnail images for videos that come up in the search results. The larger video thumbnails show up for the first video result on tablet devices. I personally tried to replicate this on my devices, including Chrome and mobile Safari on an iPad and some Android devices, and I only saw the smaller thumbnails. As you can see, the video thumbnail is larger, the +1 button was added, and the snippet (description) in the search results was removed. Google is constantly testing search results user interfaces, so thi [...]


Will Enhanced Campaigns Drive Mobile CPCs Down?

google-adwords-square-logo There are two pieces of conventional wisdom surrounding Google's Enhanced Campaigns that seem to get tossed around a lot without much thought or examination. The first is that this new campaign model will make it easier for small advertisers to get into the mobile advertising game. The second related piece is that Enhanced Campaigns will likely lead to higher mobile CPCs and that this is one of Google's primary motivations for changing its model. I have personally been guilty of echoing both of these sentiments to varying degrees -- but as we get closer to the mandatory transition in Jul [...]


Google Maps Expands European Biking Directions, Adding Hundreds Of Kilometers Worth Of Bike Paths

Google Maps icon Originally launched in beta mode for a number of European countries last year, Google Maps has enabled biking directions for Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. By working with partner organizations, as well as adding hundreds of kilometers of bike paths via Google Map Maker, Google Maps offers European cyclist a number of biking trails, lanes and recommended roads. A simple search for directions in Google Maps provides users with suitable bike routes along with time estimates that account for the type of road, terrain and course turns. Users can also switch over [...]


Report: Google To Bid For Waze — To Shut It Down?

Waze logo According to a just-published Bloomberg report, Google is preparing a bid for Waze. Earlier this month, rumors indicating Facebook was in late-stage acquisition talks with Waze for roughly $1 billion appeared online. Other parties (Apple, Microsoft) may now also be interested in the social mapping service. According to the Bloomberg report: Waze is fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties and is seeking more than $1 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The Palo Alto, California-based startup might also remain independ [...]


Google Testing Ads In New Google Maps, Pushes AdWords Location Extensions

google-adwords-local-map-featured If you needed another reason to get your location extensions set up in AdWords, Google has announced its testing new ads in the new Google Maps. AdWords search ads set with location extensions can appear directly below the search box and on the map itself. Ads without location extensions can appear below the search box only and not on the map. The screenshot below shows a Rent-a-champ Cars ad below the search box and an "ad", or sponsored listing, on the map, indicated by a red icon with a white square in it. Google announced the new version of Google Maps at the company's annua [...]


Google Updates AdWords Express Sign-Up Process, Ad Copy Preview And Dashboard

Google has updated  the interface for AdWords Express, Google's AdWords product designed for small businesses. Among the interface updates are a redesigned dashboard to show an at-a-glance look at ad views (impressions), clicks and calls generated as well as a pie chart that tracks monthly budget expenditures.  A new performance graph allows advertisers to compare results over time. A real-time ad creator tool now lets users see how their ad will look as they write their copy. Hovering over the icons at the bottom of the window allows advertisers to see a preview of the ad in the di [...]


Exploring The New More Dynamic, More Social Google Maps

Google maps icon larger At the Google Developer conference keynote this morning in San Francisco, one of the clear highlights was the introduction of a redesigned Google Maps experience for the PC and mobile. The New Google Maps are available now with an invitation. Already the leading digital and mobile mapping service, the various feature and UI improvements put more distance between Mountain View and its competitors. While Microsoft, Nokia and Apple offer some or even many of the same mapping capabilities, no one offers "the complete package" that Google does. The new Google Maps offer a redesigned UI, though it [...]


Another One Bites the Dust: Google SMS Search Shuts Down Without Warning

Google mobile app logo After trying to perform searches via Google SMS Search last week, many users discovered that the mobile search service had been discontinued. In the Google Web Search Help forum, a Google spokesperson wrote, "Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users. Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people's lives." Google SMS  Search let users send search queries and receive results via a text to Google. Beginning last week, users received the following no [...]


Google Search App With Google Now Breaks Into iTunes Top 10

Google mobile app logo When Google first released its updated Google Search app last October, it never made the iTunes top ten and, last week, wasn't even in the top 100. But the addition of Google Now helped the app make the top ten in less than a week. Google relaunched its app last October with Siri-like voice recognition and readback, but after peaking at number 16, it started dropping down to around the 150 mark last Sunday. With Google Now being added, the app has risen up to number 10 in the most recently downloaded free apps list. Coincidentally, it also just got named the 10th most downlaoded free app [...]


Relax, The Search Industry Is Doing Just Fine

For enterprise SEM practitioners looking to set budgets or otherwise anticipate their needs in the space for the months and years ahead, it's been a particularly difficult time to get a read on how the industry is really trending. Conflicting data and opinions abound; new threats to the hegemony of search, real or just perceived, continue to spring up; and, there are times when all of us may wonder just how much the numbers are actually changing and whether we should be concerned. Case in point: comScore recently showed U.S. core searches increasing 11% year-over-year to hit an all-time [...]


Potential iOS Market For Google Now Is 2.5X Larger Than Android “Now” Base

Google Now for iOS Image 2 Google Now for iOS and Android are almost identical in their look at feel. And aside from a few "cards," the same is true of their content. But, there are some differences behind the scenes worth noting: one of them is the fact that with its launch on iOS this morning, Google Now is available to roughly 2.5 times more people than it is on Android. Google Now for Android is only available on those devices that feature Jelly Bean 4.1 or 4.2 (4.3 is apparently coming). What that means as a practical matter is that fewer than 200 million people out of more than 750 million Android devices activ [...]


iPhone & iPad Users To Get Google Now, As It Comes To iOS

Google Now for iOS Image 1 Previously Android-only, Google's "predictive search" tool Google Now is now available for the iPhone and iPad. It's part of an updated Google Search App for iOS. Google Now for iOS had been anticipated since March, when Engadget discovered a promotional video suggesting it would make the leap. Until its release this morning, Google Now had been available exclusively on devices running Android 4.1 ("Jelly Bean") or higher. We've written multiple times about Google Now in the past. But, if for some reason you're unfamiliar with it, Google Now is the company's "search assistant," of [...]


Top 5 Mobile SEO Tips For M-commerce & Retail

Clearly I've broken my own resolution when it comes to not talking about responsive Web design, as I've done so for the past two months. This month, I'm taking a break so I can focus on resolution #1: giving more tactical advice on how to do mobile SEO well. Today's column will focus on mobile SEO tips for m-commerce and retail -- the topic of a webinar I’m doing this month for Mobile Commerce Daily. Tip #1: Make Pages Accessible To Mobile Searchers This tip may seem like a no-brainer in a world where at least 25% of all search traffic comes from mobile devices and 90% of consumers use [...]


Google Quick View Badge Field Trial

Google mobile app logo Google announced a new Google field trial experiment for a feature they've been quietly testing named Quick View. The Google Quick View badge is found on a select number of sites when a searcher uses Google Mobile search from their smartphone. The feature is currently working for Wikipedia on searches done in English on Google.com. It basically will give you an almost instant view of the Wikipedia page when clicked on. Google says the Quick View will show you the Wikipedia page "immediately." Here is a picture: To see this yourself, you need to sign up for the field trial over [...]


Searching For Mobile Apps May Be In The Cards

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300"] Twitter Cards Image from Marketing Land[/caption] Mobile Application Search in both Apple's App Store and Google Play is frustratingly similar to general online search in the early 2000s -- and the tactics used to make them visible in search resuls also closely mirror the SEO best practices from that era. Searching for and discovering the right apps is a concern for both developers and mobile users, which may recently have been dealt a helping hand from Twitter with its App Cards. How Do Twitter App Cards Work? Currently, you need special [...]


EU Leans Toward “Labeling” To Resolve Antitrust Claims Against Google

google-eu-featured Those hoping for aggressive regulation or changes in the way Google conducts its search business in Europe will likely be disappointed. A new interview with EU Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia hints at settlement proposals and remedies now being considered in the Google antitrust case. And, they will probably look a lot like what came out of the FTC earlier this year. The interview, published in a New York Times article triggered by the filing of a new antitrust complaint over Android, offers some insights into the state of settlement negotiations between Europe and Google. The [...]


Google’s Mapping Contest In India Creates Uproar

india-flag-map Google has run up against some of India's restrictive laws in the past, most notably in the context of vague and expansive censorship rules for content and search results. A new episode involves a crowdsourced mapping contest run by the company to obtain data for Google Maps. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Google ran a "Mapathon" contest in February and March offering prizes in exchange for information about local places, facilities and businesses: The Internet company invited amateur mappers as well as mapping enthusiasts to add local information through its Google Map Make [...]


Will Mobile Apps Be Google’s Undoing? (Hint: No)

mobile-apps-search-featured The New York Times offers an interesting story about Google and the competitive landscape of mobile. The headline is "As Web Search Goes Mobile, Competitors Chip at Google’s Lead." The central idea of the article is that while Google is used on the PC equally to discover information and to navigate to specific sites, on smartphones people go directly to apps such as Amazon, Kayak or Yelp. As a basic matter, that's accurate. However, quoting Danny Sullivan, the story also acknowledges that there's still a great deal of mobile search activity, which is dominated by Google. Indeed, accordin [...]


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