No Noise Friday 13 June’14

The latest news about web marketing, SEO, PPC & Analytics. But only the stuff that matters from a New Zealand perspective. Less noise, more signal!

If your business has anything to do with the online world you know how much information is out there. It’s overwhelming and constantly changing.  Finding out what’s relevant to your business amongst all the noise is time consuming and can result in information overload.

At SureFire Search we want to help you by sifting through all the noise and highlighting what’s new and noteworthy in SEO, PPC and Web Analytics. But more importantly, answer the question – Why this might matter to YOU and YOUR business here in New Zealand.

Here’s what caught our attention this week…

  1. Google releases “Google My Business”
  2. YouTube Videos as an answer type
  3. Content API for shopping gets a make over
  4. You asked for it, Bing delivers – Auto Tagging for GA
  5. Impact of Social on Search
  6. Is there a new GDN targeting option?
  7. The correct way to move your website

1.Google releases “Google My Business”

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…..

If like many business owners you have been struggling to understand the Google Local landscape (Google +, Google + Local, Google + Local for business, Google Brand Pages,  Google Places and Google Maps) you’re not alone.

Google has decided to try and fix this ‘confusion’ by releasing yet another product – Google My Business.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business Example

Google My Business is Places, Maps and Google + rolled into one with some added features.

  • Update your business info on Maps, Search and Google + from one interface.
  • Add photos.
  • Connect with your customers through your Google + page.
  • Respond to reviews.
  • Understand how people discover and interact with your business.
  • Add a visual tour of your business. Example –

Google My Business Add Virtual Tour Option

Google My Business Add Virtual Tour Example

Why should you care?

The most important thing to note is that if you have previously set up a Google Places or Google + Page for your business it will have automatically been updated to the new interface.

If you try and log in to Google Places you will be redirected to Google My Business. (Google Places has been replaced so don’t panic and think all your hard work has gone.)

If you are thinking of using Google to promote your business or brand start with “Google My Business.”

One of the positives about this new product is that the interface is much more user friendly. The following diagram shows what can be accessed from the My Business Panel.

Google My Business Options


2.YouTube Videos as an answer type

For those of you who don’t know what a Direct Answer Knowledge Graph result is; this is an example taken today for the search term “brazil vs croatia.”

Knowledge Graph Example Football WC

It’s Google returning what it thinks the searcher is looking for. It’s what it deems to be the most relevant information. It also hopes to answer the query without the searcher needing to leave the search engine.

Google mentions “more on Fifa.com” at the bottom of the knowledge graph results. This means that Google has basically taken this information from the Fifa website. (If you were Fifa would you be happy about this?)

Brian Alaway noted for the search term “florida sex crime lawyer” that this YouTube result was returned.

Brian Alaway Knowledge Graph Example

This search result is the number one organic result for that search term. It’s a large video taking up a fair bit of real estate, which will encourage users to click.

Why should you care?

As far as we are aware this isn’t happening in New Zealand and only in limited instances in the US.

However, if Google is going to use video from YouTube (a property they own) to answer queries in the organic results for highly competitive terms – it highlights the importance of getting your video SEO correct on YouTube.

 3.Content API for shopping gets a make over

Google has just released a new version of the Content API for Shopping (US only for now). This new version has been created to give users even more insight into their data.

Here are some of the new features;

  • Get item-level data quality information: This allows you to see the reasons why an item was disapproved. It could be because the landing page URL didn’t work on a mobile device or the unique product identifiers are not correct.
  • Update price and availability for one or more items: This will allow you to quickly update price and availability so that your customers know how much your products cost and whats in stock before they click through to your website.
  • Integrate more easily with Google Shopping: A broader range of programming languages and data is supported meaning it’s easier to integrate with Google Shopping.

Why should you care? 

Right now this doesn’t affect people in New Zealand but it will only be a matter of time before New Zealand businesses can access the Content API for shopping.

In the mean time you can go through the process of setting it up so when it becomes available you can hit the ground running and give your business a leg up over your competition.

4. You asked for it, Bing delivers – Auto Tagging for GA

Tagging Bing Ads so you can track them  through Google Analytic’s has always been a bit of a time consuming nightmare. In fact the ability to auto-tag has been one of the most requested features for this platform.

Bing has added an auto tagging feature right inside their user interface. As shown here on the Bing YouTube channel.

Why should you care?

It makes it easier to tag and track your Bing Adverts which will save you time and give you more accurate data. Win.

5. Impact of Social on Search

Friday 13th Social Like

There has been a lot of noise surrounding the impact of social on search with many commentators saying it has a direct effect on rankings, while others say this isn’t true.

Matt Cutts (Google) and Duane Forrester (Bing) have both come out and stated at the SMX London Conference that social signals like Facebook Likes, Tweets, Google + 1’s and other social indicators do not make up part of their respective algorithms.

Why should you care?

This doesn’t mean that you should do away with social. While the algorithms don’t use social signals to rank websites, they can be used like “smoke signals” to attract the search engine spiders.

There’s an old saying that where there is smoke there is fire. Activity is fire in the eyes of the search engine spiders.

When there is strong social activity from a website it gives off ‘smoke signals‘ that there is activity happening there.

These signals can be seen by the spiders and therefore indicate activity (heat). This can sometimes cause pages to be indexed faster than websites without social activity.

Social signals are also being used to validate links.

SMX explained this as follows:

“The search engines know that a natural outcome of a high volume of social indicators is that a certain percentage of people will also place permanent links to that content on their blogs, websites and other online properties. These people go beyond sharing content. They repurpose the link itself.

In light of Google’s Penguin update, (devaluing poor quality links and even penalizing sites with unnatural links), both Google and Bing are now using the quantity and quality of the social indicators to determine if links to the content are natural and consistent not only with the number of social indicators but the nature of the content being referenced.”

6. Is there a new GDN targeting option

GDN or Google Display Network has a new targeting option available for a small percentage of the US only. It will be released to the rest of the US by the end of July. Other markets are likely to follow.

New Parenting Targeting Option for Parents

Why should you care?

When this option is rolled out you will be able to target people who don’t have kids and therefore theoretically more money.

Or, specifically target the highly profitable new parent market.

Either way we will notify our readers and clients when this option becomes available, as it will give advertisers even more ability to target their specific audience.

7. The correct way to move your website

Google Webmaster Tools has released an in-depth guide about how to handle site moves in a way that is Googlebot friendly. The following is some important points answering what a site move is.

Site Move Basics

There are generally two types of content migrations:

  • Site moves without URL changes: This is when only the underlying infrastructure serving the website is changed. I.e. you might move your website to a different hosting provider while keeping the URL structures unchanged.
  • Site moves with URL changes: This is when the URL on the websites are changed.
  1. The protocol is changed: http://www.example.com to https//www.example.com
  2. The domain name is changed: example.com to example.kiwi
  3. The URL paths are changed: http://example.com/page.php?id to http://example.com/widget

Responsive Webdesign Relocation

  • Moving from separate URLs to same URLs: When your smartphone website is hosted on a separate URL. This is when you want to serve the same content to smartphone users using the same URL as your desktop. There are two methods for this:
  1. Responsive webdesign to serve the same HTML code to all devices.
  2. Dynamic serving to provide different HTML code per device.
  • Moving from same URLs to separate URLs: Google doesn’t recommend doing this. They have options to do this but they recommend serving your content from one URL.

Why should you care?

It’s quite common to want to relocate your website. However it’s extremely important that you do it correctly. Incorrect site relocation may put your businesses website at risk of being returned incorrectly – which could lead to lost customers or clients.

Here are some of the common mistakes that are made:

  1. Blocked Page Assests: Googlebot is unable to crawl these files and therefore serve it correctly to your customers.
  2. Blocked Redirects: If you redirect old pages to new pages, make sure the Googlebot can crawl these redirects.
  3. Faulty Redirects: Remove old obsolete redirects and avoid chaining redirects.

Example of a chaining redirect –
Chaining redirect example

OK, that’s what we think. We’re keen to hear your thoughts on any of the above.


Last week’s web marketing news

About the Author SureFire

These search marketing news updates feature articles of interest picked up through the week by the SureFire team.

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