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RKG Q2 Report: US Search Ad Spend Up 23 Percent YoY, Both Google And Bing Ad Spend Rise

Q2 2014 US Paid Search Trends - RKG After slowing down after the holiday season, U.S. paid search performance metrics are up both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter in Q2 2014 according to RKG's quarterly report. Ad spend rose 23 percent year-over-year among RKG's retail-heavy client base. Both Google and Bing saw spend increases. Non-Brand Search Trends Overall spend on Google rose 24 percent year-over-year. PLAs continued to be a key driver in Google's non-brand performance. CPCs for PLAs jumped nearly 35 percent, compared to 12 percent for non-brand text ads year-over-year. Overall CPCs rose by 29 percent compared to a [...]


Google Adds Zip Code Matches In Knowledge Graph Carousel

Google-Voice-Logo-rm-verge_large_verge_medium_landscape Google has added zip code matches and lookups to the knowledge graph section of the search results. If you search for [new york, ny zip codes] in Google, you will be presented with all of the zip codes in that location. This loads a carousel that lets you slide through the various options: When you search for zip codes in smaller cities, such as [tarrytown, ny zip codes] you simply get a single zip code match in a OneBox style result. Bing also offers the zip code matches for these types of results. If you search on Bing for [new york, ny zip codes you get the following result: [...]


Paid Search Spend Rose 21 Percent YoY In Q2, With Mobile Up 98 Percent [Covario]

Paid Search Grwoth G2 2014 Covario Global paid search investment continued its rise through the first half of 2014, according to Covario's latest quarterly analysis of search spend. Overall spend among the firm's clients rose 21 percent in the second quarter year-over-year, and 2 percent over the first quarter of 2014. Mobile search spend nearly doubled, rising 98 percent year-over-year and 6 percent quarter-over-quarter even as cost-per-click prices fell. Overall impressions dropped off 15 percent year-over-year, which Alex Funk, Covario’s director of global paid media strategy and author of the study, says is largely [...]


Should You Be Bidding On Your Brand Terms For Your Search Ads?

Incrementality of organic and paid clicks While many advertisers have bought into the idea of bidding on search terms that include their brand name, there are still plenty of smart people that question the incrementality of such a practice. We've questioned it ourselves, most recently in a 2012 study. That study looked at incremental clicks in instances where you're already appearing in the organic rankings -- something that probably happens a good deal when you bid on the terms associated with your site and your brand. Whether you're already on the side of bidding on your brand terms or not, odds are that you'll have a discussion [...]


Using Adobe Flash For Your Web Site? Google Mobile Results Will Issue Searchers A Warning.

flash-serp-note-border Flash, Adobe's multimedia based website technology, is not a friend of mobile devices or search spiders and now Google has decided to step up their campaign against such sites using the technology. Google announced that starting today, they will be issuing warnings to searchers when their algorithms detect that the website is not supported on the device they are using. For example, if you are using an Android device or iOS device and the search results show a listing of a site designed fully in Adobe Flash, Google may issue a warning that Flash is not supported with your device and encourag [...]


Google Posts 63 World Cup Logos Since Start Of Tournament – Here Are 10 Worth A Second Look

Google logo world cup 2014 The Google Doodle team outdid itself during this year's World Cup, posting a total of 63 World Cup inspired Google logos from the start of the tournament until yesterday's final game. To kick-off the FIFA 2014 World Cup, Google posted the above image of Rio De Janerio on its global homepage on June 12. The animated illustration included the World Cup host city landscape, along with cable cars traveling up to Sugarloaf Mountain, and Brazil's famous Christ the Redeemer statue. Many of Google's World Cup logos were game-specific like this one posted on June 16 for the United States vers [...]


Google’s Quality Rating Guide Leaked Again; Here Is Version Five

google-quality-spam Google's Quality Rating Guidelines document has been leaked once again! Version 5.0 was leaked a few days ago, where Google has reportedly completely revamped the guidelines. Jennifer Slegg has documented most of the new guidelines on her blog. You can also read the full new 160 page guidelines on scribd.com. I am actually surprised the document has not yet been pulled down yet. Jennifer explained the new guidelines put "a high emphasis on sites that are considered to have a high level of expertise, authoritativeness or trustworthiness." This is known as the acronym, EAT: expertise, [...]


Google Making Maps App More Competitive With Yelp

google-maps-ios-iphone-featured Google Maps has updated its app for iPhone and iPad. The new version adds features and content and even makes the app more visually appealing. The new version includes the following improvements: Search results appear with descriptions on the map Easy switching between map and list view of results Reservations via Gmail indicated on map (and list view) Improved Explore browsing experience (based on nearby locations) This is not mentioned among the official upgrades (maybe I missed it previously) but I just noticed the capacity to filter search results in various categories su [...]


Google Giveth & Google Taketh Away Author Icons

Google Author Icons Gone Google recently announced they'd be removing a major element from their search engine results pages (SERPs) that they've been featuring for the past couple of years: author icons. Since this is something we Local Marketers have enthusiastically encouraged, what does this mean for businesses now? Should you still incorporate authorship markup? Here's the skinny from my POV. Reversals in Google development are nothing new, of course. Google seems to take one or two steps forward and then a step back multiple times in a period of only a few years. Remember Google Labs? Remember Google Hotp [...]


Google Officially Launches Webmaster Tools International Targeting

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google has officially announced the new feature we reported was in beta named International Targeting. The new International Targeting reports within Google Webmaster Tools helps webmasters debug common issues with their implementation of href-lang. The markup enables Google and other search engines to serve the correct language or regional version of pages to searchers. But often, webmasters implement the annotations/markup incorrectly. The new International Targeting reports within Google Webmaster Tools helps webmasters fix those common issues. The report helps webmasters identify two [...]


Reassess How You Prioritize Your E-Commerce PPC Campaign Builds

ppc-paid-search-mobile-600 Over the last couple of years, the prioritization of e-commerce PPC campaign builds has shifted dramatically.With the rise of Google Shopping and with dynamic solutions now available to advertisers, standard Search Network text-ad campaign builds fall down the priority list. In today's world of e-commerce PPC, I prioritize my campaigns as follows: Google Shopping (Product Listing Ads or PLAs) Remarketing (All Types) Search Network Text Ads & Ad Extensions Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) Google Display Network Google Shopping According to RKG's Q1 2014 Digital Marketing Report, PL [...]


New Google AdWords PLA Test Groups Products By Price

Google AdWords PLAs pricing groups This could get interesting. Last month, we saw Google running a test that ranked product listing ads (PLAs) by ratings and reviews in search results. Now, a new test groups and ranks products by price. In the screenshot below, provided by CPC Strategy, PLAs are grouped in two pricing stacks -- one  for "Up to $30" and a second for "Over $30." The products in the first group are shown in order by price. Oddly, there is one outlier in the second group -- the $36.95 sandal from Nordstrom is listed after two higher priced shoes from Keen. This test could obviously have a big impact on prici [...]


New AdWords Quality Score Info: What You Need To Know

adwords-quality-score-featured By now, you've probably seen (or at least heard about) Google’s recent video and new white paper about Quality Score in AdWords. In fact, when I first heard about the updated Hal Varian video, I was a bit surprised, given that Google hasn't bothered to update it for about five years! Whenever Google officially communicates information about their various algorithms, for obvious reasons there's often more going on than meets the eye. In my column today, I'll share with you my take on what you really need to know about Google's new Quality Score information. What The Heck Is Going On? [...]


Google Solicits Feedback On Right To Be Forgotten

google-advisory-council Google, which has explained that implementing the EU's new Right To Be Forgotten mandate has been difficult, has opened up a new form allowing the general public to offer it advice. Google's new form invites Google users to submit their thoughts and feedback on the Court of Justice of the European Union mandate for the Right To Be Forgotten. The question posed by Google is: How should one person’s right to be forgotten be balanced with the public’s right to know? Google then explains in more detail: A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union found that European [...]


Searching For Movie Showtimes? Bing Scores 100% In Test, Google Only 70%

google-bing-new-logos Looking for the next showing of "Jersey Boys"? If you're searching for movie times, chances are you'll have better luck finding them on Bing than searching for a movie on Google. After the producers for the documentary "America: Imagine the World Without Her" accused Google of keeping the film's showtimes out of Google's search results, we conducted our own test to see how accurate Google and Bing were when it came to finding movie showtimes. For movie title searches, both Google and Bing aim to display showtimes at the top of their search results, like this when searching "Tammy" on Goo [...]


Leaked Documents Show How Yelp Thinks It’s Not Getting Screwed By Google

yelp-logo-featured Yelp may once again feel Google is robbing it of its fair share of search traffic, with a study that's been leaked to TechCrunch to prove it. A close read of that study actually shows that it proves the opposite -- or at least, that it's certainly not as damning as it sounds. Leaked Documents Show How Yelp Thinks It’s Getting Screwed By Google is the story over at TechCrunch out today with the study. I've taken my own headline from that to do this contrarian view. Let me say from the start that Google does a lot of things that I think puts it in conflict with publishers. How Google We [...]


Looks Like Google Hates “Jersey Boys” Just As Much As The Film “America”

movies-ticket-popcorn-600 Filmmakers behind "America: Imagine the World Without Her" have accused Google of keeping their movie's showtimes and locations from appearing in search results. As it turns out, "America" isn't the only film not getting fair play from the search engine. Based on our research, if there is a conspiracy theory at work -- it's not exclusive to D'Souza's "America." Google doesn't appear to be a fan of The Four Seasons or evil, either. That's because after searching the top ten box office movie titles from last weekend, neither "Jersey Boys" nor "Deliver Us from Evil" returned movie showtim [...]


Yelp Joins Effort To Undo Current Google-EU Antitrust Settlement

yelp-600 Yelp has been an increasingly vocal critic of Google for several years. Now it has joined a group of companies opposing the European Commission's current antitrust settlement proposal with Google. Originally Google and Yelp were partners. Google unsuccessfully tried to buy Yelp for a rumored $500 million a year or so before the company went public. Later Yelp complained that Google was including Yelp reviews in its own local product without permission. According to Yelp, Google said it couldn't remove those reviews without removing Yelp from the index entirely. The dispute was ultimately res [...]


Study: Why, When & How Often Google Indexes Individual Tweets

twitter-gears-machine-600 Figuring out when and why Google indexes a specific Tweet has long been a conundrum and point of angst for many SEOs. Of course Google does index Tweets, but the methodology has seemed like a total crapshoot -- until now. The good folks over at Stone Temple Consulting have attempted to crack the Twitter indexation case with a detailed report chronicling more than 19,000 Tweets and from selection of various sized accounts. The study used the site search operator (site:) combined with the inurl operator (inurl:) to identify the number of status' that were in fact indexed by Google. It [...]


Google Maps Adds Distance Measuring Feature

google-maps-600 Google has quietly announced on Google+ that they have added the distance-measuring feature to the new version of Google Maps. The feature allows you to draw points on Google Maps to see how far in distance (feet/miles/etc.) it is from one point to the next. This feature was available on the old version of Google Maps and is now available on the new version. How does it work? (1) Open the new Google Maps. (2) Right-click on your starting point. (3) Click Measure distance. (4) Click anywhere on the map to create a path you want to measure. Click to add additional measuring points. [...]


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