This day in search marketing history: March 27
Google research finds a #1 organic ranking can still benefit from PPC, plus: RIP Blekko, authorship, Google robots.txt generator and more.
Google research: PPC ads drive 50% incremental clicks
In 2012, Google released a study, Impact Of Ranking Of Organic Search Results On The Incrementality Of Search Ads. It looked at whether clicks from organic search results substituted for ad clicks when PPC ads were turned off.
Google found that, on average:
- 81% of ad impressions and 66% of ad clicks occurred in the absence of an associated organic result on the first page of search results.
- 50% of the ad clicks that occurred with a Position 1 organic result were incremental.
- 82% of the ad clicks were incremental when the associated organic search result ranked between Position 2 and 4.
- 96% of the ad clicks were incremental when the advertiser’s organic result ranked in Position 5 or lower.
In short, Google’s research indicated that even a website ranking in Position 1 could benefit from an accompanying PPC ad.
Read more about it in Google Research: Even With A #1 Organic Ranking, Paid Ads Provide 50% Incremental Clicks.
Also on this day
Google pledges $340 million in Google Ads credits for SMBs
2020: The credits would become available for eligible active advertisers “in the coming months.” Google was also expanding ad grants for COVID-19 public service announcements.
Search marketers are volunteering services, support to help small businesses get through COVID-19
2020: Consulting, web hosting, budget coaching – marketers were extending help to ease the strain on businesses.
Will Facebook’s massive usage increases (eventually) turn into revenue?
2020: Facebook was experiencing new records in usage almost every day.
Apple extends Search Ads support to 46 more countries
2019: Apps marketers also got the ability to group multiple regions into one campaign.
Ahrefs, SEO toolset provider, to build their own search engine to compete with Google
2019: “Ahrefs is working on general purpose search engine to compete with Google,” said Dmitry Gerasimenko, the founder of Ahrefs. (Yep launched in 2022.)
Hijacking Google search results for fun, not profit: UK SEO uncovers XML sitemap exploit in Google Search Console
2018: SEO wins bug bounty from Vulnerability Reward Program, Google search team confirms the exploit no longer works
Google Maps adds 39 new languages supporting over 1B people
2018: Google Maps now supported an additional estimated 1.25 billion people worldwide with new languages.
Google Search Analytics bug drops some image search traffic from reports
2017: Google was working on a fix.
Update: Google Says Big AdWords Quality Score Bug Is Fixed
2015: There were widespread reports from Google AdWords users that their keyword quality scores had fallen significantly.
Goodbye Blekko: Search Engine Joins IBM’s Watson Team
2015: Quiet for nearly two years, Blekko’s home page said its team and technology were now part of IBM’s Watson technology.
Search In Pics: Google Cardboard Cubicles, Watch Store & The Founders In 1999
2015: The latest images showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more.
Car Makers Drove 14.4 Million Clicks From Google Ads In 2 Months (And That Doesn’t Include Mobile)
2014: Of those 177 advertisers, the top 20 advertisers (roughly 11%) accounted for 81% of the paid search clicks in the two month period.
Author Rank, Authorship, Search Rankings & That Eric Schmidt Book Quote
2013: Schmidt’s speculative world of some governments requiring verified profiles, if authors wanted to rank well in search engines, wasn’t a reality. Neither was Author Rank at Google. But authorship as a ranking factor seemed likely.
As News Publications Experiment With Sponsored Content, Google Says Keep It Out Of Google News
2013: News publications having “sponsored content” deals were on the rise, so Google issued a reminder/warning that publishers should keep such content out of Google News.
Bing Adds Search Filter To Sort Results By Time Period
2013: You could limit search results by the past 24 hours, week and month.
Search On Smartphones Up 26%, On Tablets Up 19% In 2012 [Study]
2013: Desktop searches, meanwhile, were down 6% between November 2011 and November 2012.
Google Testing Toggle For Search Options & Tools In Search Results
2012: Google search was testing a new user interface feature where they hid the search tools and options from the left side and let you toggle them open and close with a click of a mouse.
App Search Engine Appolicious Introduces “AdWords For Apps”
2012: Appolicious, an independent apps marketplace and search engine, introduced “AdWords for Apps” – a new PPC advertising system for app developers and publishers.
Google Blog Search Fixing Blogroll Indexing Bug
2009: The Google Blog Search team was rolling out fixes to how it separates blogrolls from actual blog posts.
Google Expands AdWords Interface Beta Test
2009: Plus, new features including Performance graphs on every campaign management page.
Google “TV Ads Online” Dangles Multi-Platform Lure For Brand Advertisers
2009: Google was testing a program that let advertisers make a single buy that ran ads on conventional TV as well as online at YouTube and potentially across the internet on other sites.
The Google Wonder Wheel & Other Search Refinement Features Get Live Test
2009: After Wonder Wheel, Google offered two further refinement options: Timeline and Search Suggestions.
How Google Shot Microsoft After It Took A Knife To A Gunfight
2009: While Google wants to be seen as weak in the search marketplace, that playbook gets tossed aside if you question its technical abilities.
Celebrities, TV, & Taxes: Hottest Search Terms In February
2009: The terms “rihanna” and “chris brown” are Nos. 1 and 3 according to their data, with “irs.gov,” “hulu,” and “american idol” rounding out the top five.
Google Offers Robots.txt Generator
2008: It was designed to allow site owners to easily create a robots.txt file, one of the two main ways (along with the meta robots tag) to prevent search engines from indexing content.
Drilling Into Google’s Decline In Paid Clicks
2008: comScore once again reported a drop in sponsored clicks from January to February, something that also happened in the prior period.
YouTube Insight: View Your YouTube Video Statistics
2008: You could get stats on the number of views per day your video received, where those viewers were in the world, and how popular your video was compared to other videos in a given period of time.
Don’t Expect A Magic Flash Solution For Search Engines
2007: Things weren’t going to change soon.
Google Upgrades Mobile Search With More Content
2007: Google upgraded its WAP-based search to incorporate more data and information into results.
Google’s Orkut Gets Polls; Answers Next?
2007: Google’s social networking site Orkut allowed people to post polls.
Yahoo Launches Mobile Ad Network & Mobile Publisher Services
2007: Yahoo launched a new Yahoo Mobile Publisher Services site designed to offer one-stop shopping for publishers that wanted to get mobile content into Yahoo in various ways.
Yahoo Click Fraud Settlement Approved
2007: A settlement in the Checkmate click fraud action against Yahoo received final approval by the judge overseeing the case.
Mobile News From CTIA And Beyond: InfoSpace, V-Enable, ZenZui
2007: InfoSpace launched a direct-to-consumer version of its mobile local-search application Find It! for Blackberry devices.
Play The Search Engine Smackdown Flash Game
2007: You were asked a series of questions. If you got it wrong – then you got smacked!
From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)
- SMX Overtime: How to use customer segmentation to test new value propositions (2019)
- SMX West 2017: What Google’s exact match changes mean for AdWords advertisers [Podcast]
- SMX West 2017 session: Harnessing the power of online reviews
Past contributions from Search Engine Land’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.
- 2019: 5 additional data blending examples for smarter SEO insights by Hamlet Batista
- 2018: Stop being a link snob and saying no to certain links by Julie Joyce
- 2017: Top 10 insights on local marketing at LSA17 by Wesley Young
- 2017: Preparing for local reach in a ‘post-rank’ world: Get your data in line by Megan Hannay
- 2015: How To Get Your Content In Front Of Millions Of Eyeballs by Stoney deGeyter
- 2015: They Fooled Us All: Why Google May No Longer Announce Major Algorithm Updates by Nate Dame
- 2014: 4 Steps To The Perfect AdWords Audit by Frederick Vallaeys
- 2014: How To Reduce Landing Page Clutter For Optimal AdWords Performance by Mona Elesseily
- 2013: Agile Marketing Is The Perfect Management Framework For Big Testing by Scott Brinker
- 2013: 3 Real-Life ‘Programmatic’ Executions & What They Mean To You by Dax Hamman
- 2013: Survival Tips For Becoming An In-House SEO by Tom Schmitz
- 2013: Need A Google Alerts Replacement? Meet Talkwalker by Gary Price
- 2012: Why A Diverse Link Profile Is More Critical Than Ever by Julie Joyce
- 2012: 10 More Content Ideas To Improve Organic Visibility by George Aspland
- 2012: Tips For Multinational Mobile Site Optimisation by Chris Liversidge
- 2012: The Double-Edged Sword Of Social Media by Karen DeJarnette
- 2009: Can Reading Online Be As Rewarding As Curling Up With A Good Book? by Kim Krause Berg
- 2009: Danny Sullivan’s SEO & SEM Q&A Session Via Twitter by Danny Sullivan
- 2008: We Don’t Need SEO Standards! by Jill Whalen
- 2008: Privacy Policies And Search Engines by Bill Slawski
- 2007: PPC And Your Good Name: Sales From Brand Searches Aren’t Incremental by Alan Rimm-Kaufman
- 2007: How Not To Be Buried On Digg by Neil Patel
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