Report: Google To Block Paid Search Keyword Data With Not Provided; Like Organic “Not Provided”

keywords-not-provided-featured There are reports we are receiving from a few sources, including AJ Ghergich who posted it on his blog, that Google will soon stop passing keyword data to analytics software, even for AdWords advertisers. We expected changes to not provided in the near future, and based on these reports, the likelihood of advertisers being stripped of keyword data is high. When Google moved to secure search in October 2011, it was a major setback to publishers, who began losing data about the keywords used to reach their sites. That opened up Google to claims of hypocrisy, in that advertisers continued t [...]


Google: News Sites May Have Seen A Decline In GoogleBot Crawling In March

google-news-600 Google's Matt Cutts tweeted that news related sites, such as this one, may have noticed a drop in the crawl statistics within Google Webmaster Tools. If you did notice that drop, Matt says you do not need to worry. Google News added if-modified-since support in March, which would be the reason for the crawl changes. Matt added that "Google News doing smarter crawling now" and thus being more efficient. I've checked the crawl stats for seroundtable.com, a Google News publisher, and indeed, the crawl stats have declined significantly in March 2014: To learn more about how GoogleBot [...]


AdWords Editor Version 10.4 Arrives With Bid Strategies Support

adwords-editor-icon The PPC Twittersphere lit up today with word that Google dropped the latest version of AdWords Editor today. Here's the lowdown on what's new in Version 10.4. Bids and Bid Strategies: Much awaited, AdWords Editor now supports flexible bidding strategies. Users can update bid strategies down to the keyword level, apply flexible bid strategies from the accounts' shared library and copy or move items along with their bid strategies within an account or to a different account. You can also edit bids in ways that fall outside of the campaign bid strategy -- for example adding CPM bids to a CP [...]


Hotel Search Upgrade: Google Licenses Room 77 Platform

Room 77 Despite its controversial $700 million acquisition of travel software company ITA several years ago and the launch of Google's Hotel Finder site, Google has yet to emerge as a force in online travel. That may all be about to change. Bloomberg reported yesterday that Google "is licensing hotel-booking software from Room 77 Inc." The news site also reported that "Room 77 co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Calvin Yang and many of its engineers are joining Google." Room 77 is a travel metasearch site like Kayak, only better in my experience. It only focuses on lodging however. The Bl [...]


Google’s Penguin Algorithm Comes In Different Levels Of Degrees?

google-penguin-featured It may be the case that some sites impacted by Google's Penguin update may not be as impacted as the next. Meaning, Google's algorithms may apply a different degree of the Penguin update (which may feel like a penalty) to one site over another. Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, posted on Twitter a message that implies that Google's Penguin algorithm comes in different levels of degrees. His tweet was related to someone who was impacted by the algorithm and Matt Cutts responded to him saying "you still have a very mild case of Penguin." Here is Matt's tweet: @chipnicodemus I'd re [...]


Google Takes Action On Seven Link Networks In Japan

google-japan-featured Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced on Twitter this morning that Google has "taken action" on seven different link networks in Japan. Over the past several months, Google has not only been manual taking action against link networks or link schemes in the US, but they have been widening their efforts across the world. Google's Cutts said the action they took on the seven Japanese link networks happened over the past "few months." How would you know if your site was impacted? Well, it likely only impacts Japanese related sites that participated in link networks within that [...]


Google Updates Its Privacy Policy

google-locks-privacy-featured You may have noticed Google's Privacy Policy has been updated as of March 31, with a red letter "Updated" call-out the site's home page preceding Google's Privacy & Terms link. This is the first time the company has updated the policy this year, following an update in December of 2013. There were only two updates last year, one occurring on June 24 and the other on December 20. Google posted a "Comparison" page to outline the most recent Privacy Policy updates, along with an archive of updates dating back to June 9, 1999. "As you use our services, we want you to be clear how we're [...]


How Long Can RetailMeNot’s “SEO Empire” Survive?

credit: Priceonomics RetailMeNot is having remarkable SEO success. According to an analysis by Priceonomics, RetailMeNot is first for numerous coupon-related and "promo code" searches -- an amazing 71 percent of the time. This is what the company said based on an analysis of nearly 300 coupon-related keywords: RetailMeNot ranks first in Google search results for an astounding 187 out of the 263 keywords we track. Dealcatcher.com, the next closest company, only ranks first for 7 keywords. Coupons.com, another recent IPO in this space, only has the number one spot in the Google rankings a single time. RetailMeN [...]


Google AdWords Call Conversions To Get More Granular, Enable Target ROAS Bidding

Click to Call google Google is continuing to refine the way advertisers can track and optimize for conversion tracking events in AdWords. Last week, advertisers using call extensions and tracking call conversions were alerted that, at the end of April, they'll be able to split call conversions up based on call length. The new call conversion tracking capabilities will allow advertisers to name specific conversions according to call length and edit call length settings in the Conversions section in AdWords (found under Tools and Analysis). For example, you can create a conversion action named “Product 1″ [...]


Bing Testing New Search Results Design

bing-test-experiment-600 Bing is testing a new search results layout that changes the color of the logo from gray to the yellow/orange, changes the color of the search button and removes the gray background color from the right side rail. Bing has also cleaned up the interface, giving it a tighter but more open look, while keeping most of the existing content and features. @rgomezric notified me of the change and posted a YouTube video. Here is a comparison, showing you both the new and the current design. New Test Bing Layout: Current Bing Layout: [...]


Google Gets Another Street View Privacy Fine — In Italy

street-view-car-featured It seems like each European country is taking its turn fining Google for some privacy infraction. This time, it's Italy and involves Street View. Google has reportedly paid a roughly $1.4 million (1 million EUR) fine. According a story in Reuters, the issue this time was the failure to clearly mark Street View cars during Italian street photography in 2010: The fine announced on Thursday relates only to vehicles not being labeled clearly enough. The watchdog has also reported to Italy's judicial authorities that Google accidentally captured fragments of electronic communications as part of [...]


Google App Indexing Adds 24 Android Apps & Expands To All English Content Worldwide

google-apps-featured On October 31st, Google announced they are now supporting a new feature named app indexing, which allows publishers to create links from Google's search results directly into the deep content within their Android apps. So if you search for something on your Android device and happen to see a result from a publisher where you also have their app on your device, clicking on that link will open the app and take you right to the content within the app that is related to your query. In December, the first apps started appearing to support app indexing, including the IMDb Android app. Google a [...]


Google Fixing Reverse DNS GoogleBot Verification

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google has confirmed that there are some GoogleBot useragent spiders not properly passing verification protocol. Savvy webmasters noticed that GoogleBot over the .249.70.0 /24 IP range was not returning the proper reverse DNS verification details. The response given was "no such host is known," but the activity webmasters noticed was that it did appear to be a legit Google crawler. Google's John Mueller confirmed on my Google+ post that this was indeed an issue on Google's end. Temporarily they have stopped GoogleBot activity in those IP ranges and will fix the issue before they continue [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: We Can Improve Our Algorithms For Authorities On Topics

Matt Cutts screen shot March 2014 In an interesting video released by Matt Cutts, Google's head of webspam, Matt answers the question on how Google separates the concept of popularity from authority. The truth is, he answered that question quickly by saying popularity and authority are two different things. The example he gave was that porn sites are often way more popular than government or organization sites but government sites are often more authoritative than porn sites. So the two concepts are different. Matt then explained in more detail the concept of being popular within a topic, or maybe being more authoritativ [...]


Part Siri, Part Google Now: Microsoft Announces “Cortana” Virtual Assistant

cortana-600px Rumored for months, Microsoft has formally announced its answer to Apple's Siri and Google's Voice Search/Google Now: Cortana. Danny Sullivan is at the Microsoft Build Conference and live blogging it. Cortana appears to be sassy like Siri and can perform many of the functions that Google Now does (providing reminders and notifications regarding dates, meetings and so on). It appears to have numerous manual personalization capabilities as well. Cortana will also interact with and can launch apps on the device (like Siri or Google). Showing Cortana's smarts, there was apparently an examp [...]


Google Adds Shopping Campaigns Features, Says Regular PLA Campaigns To Sunset In August 2014

google-shopping-products-featured Google introduced Shopping campaigns to all advertisers running Product Listing Ads (PLAs) in February as a way to simplify PLA set up and management. Today, Google announced some new features that have been rolling out in response to advertiser feedback, and they laid out the succession plan for Shopping campaigns to take over legacy PLA campaigns. Probably the most requested change is the addition of multiple ad groups. When Shopping campaigns debuted, campaigns consisted of just one ad group, which many advertisers found limiting. Retailers can now set up multiple ad groups within a Shoppi [...]


Google Tests Product Images Within Organic Listings

google-organic-product-images-1396354303 It seems Google is testing showing product images in the organic, free search result listings, for certain e-commerce sites. This was first spotted in a Moz thread for a site that sells ski equipment named evo.com. Here is a picture of the organic listing that shows not just rich snippet data for pricing and stock but also a product image: I personally cannot reproduce this but some others can. We asked Google for a comment but have not heard back from them about this within 24 hours. We see these product images often in Google Product Listing Ads but never within the free listing [...]


No Joke: Google Maps Brings Back “Search Nearby” Feature

google-maps-600 You're going to hear a lot of rejoicing when this news spreads: Google has returned the "search nearby" feature to Google Maps. #celebrate!!! Amidst all of today's Google April Fools' joke announcements, the company tweeted the feature's resurrection earlier today. After doing a search on Google Maps, you can click again in the search box to get "Search Nearby" to show up as an option. Ever since Google relaunched Google Maps in February, users have been complaining about the disappearance of that particular feature. Here are a few tweets about it from just the past couple days: [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts April Fools Video: No We Won’t Stop Changing; While Shirt Constantly Changes

matt-cutts-shirt-trick If you didn't have enough April Fools day fun today, here is one more for you. In today's video from Matt Cutts, Matt answered a real question from Dave in the UK, who asked, "When will Google stop updating its search results?" The answer was never! And to prove his point, Matt animated his shirt to change different colors and then overlay flowers on top of the shirt. I made an animated GIF image to show the various colors and tricks with the shirt but the video is below. In short, Google won't stop changing, like Matt's shirt that day. [...]


Bing Snapshot Adds 150 Million New Entities & Relationships To Search Engine

bing-satori-knowledge2-featured Dr. Richard Qian from the Bing Index and Knowledge Team announced that they've added an "additional 150 million entities" to power Bing's Snapshot results. This is part of Microsoft Bing's efforts to improve and grow their knowledge engine they named Satori. Most recently, they added tax help and famous people data to the engine. Now, they have grown it by another 150 million entities bring in Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists and Real Estate Properties into the mix. In the post, Bing gives Google a little jab saying, "unlike other search providers, we let you do something with that information [...]


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