No Noise Friday 22 August’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. Search now has 51% share of all online spend in NZ
  2. New feature in AdWords – “Website Call Conversions”
  3. Google made 890 changes in the last year 
  4. Promote your App using Google search
  5. No shortcuts to ranking well
  6. Google Knowledge Graph nightmare

1.Search now has 51% share of all online spend in NZ

The recently released IAB / PWC New Zealand Interactive Advertising Spend report revealed some interesting facts. The main one being that search & directory spend has a 51% share of all online spend. It’s the first time a single category within the report has had over 50%. In Q2 of 2014 there was around $72.25 million spent in this space, representing an increase of 38% Year-On-Year.

Total mobile advertising spend also showed growth with $2.62 million spent in Q2 of 2014. This represents an impressive increase of 198% Year-On-Year.

It’s also important to note that IAB released a report on global mobile ad revenue recently. This report stated that global mobile revenue sits around $19.3 billion. It’s estimated that Google controls around 92% of mobile search. Assuming that Google captures around 85% of the mobile revenue spend – Google’s global mobile paid search revenue would have been around $8 billion last year.

Why should you care?

These figures show that online advertising and mobile advertising is increasing. It can be safely assumed that the reason online spend for search and mobile is increasing is because it’s delivering results.

Google is making billions of dollars from mobile advertisements. They want the mobile experience for their users to be enjoyable. As SureFire has stated in the past, if you don’t have a mobile responsive or mobile website then you should get one.

You now have two more reasons to get onto mobile;

  1. NZ mobile advertising spend is increasing, meaning that your competitors are increasingly playing the mobile game.
  2. Google values (to the tune of 8 billion) the mobile search space and will therefore give more value to websites which deliver a good mobile experience.

If you don’t know where to begin with search, mobile advertising of how to get a mobile website – talk to SureFire today.

2.New feature in AdWords – “Website Call Conversions”

Google has released a new feature; “Website Call Conversions“. This feature allows advertisers to track calls that occur after a user arrives on a web site originating from an ad click.

This new feature works when a code snippet dynamically inserts a Google forwarding number on your website after a visitor clicks on one of your AdWords adverts. The conversions are tracked whether a user clicks on the advert from their phone or dials the Google forwarding number.

The reports that are generated will be able to indicate to the advertiser what keywords are driving the most calls.

Why should you care?

Although this feature isn’t yet available in New Zealand if you advertise in the U.S, Australia or U.K then you can take advantage of this.

Businesses that use this feature will be able to track how many phone calls they are receiving from AdWords, what keywords are driving the most calls, how long customers that call from the advert talk for, what those customers are after and other insights.

Another important thing to consider is Google Local. When setting up a Google My Business they ask you not to use a tracking number. However, many businesses use tracking numbers on their websites to monitor call conversions making it difficult to set up Google My Business so that the numbers match. With this new feature you will be able to use code to dynamically insert a Google tracking number when it’s needed but use your local number to set up Google My Business.

3.Google made 890 changes in the past year

One of the biggest challenges in Search is that nothing stays the same. Keeping up with what’s current can be a real challenge – and it’s only getting harder. Google’s Head of Search, Amit Singhal, has revealed that over the past year Google made more than “890 improvements“. In other words, every 2 days five things got changed.

This is a significant increase to the 400 changes they made 2009 & the 550 made in 2010.

Top 10 Biggest Changes since 2004 (according to Amit Singhal)

  1. Autocomplete – Predicts the most likely words or phrases as you type.
  2. Translations – Google is now available in 80 languages and does over 1 billion translations a day.
  3. Directions & Traffic – Search only use to include webpages now you can get directions and time estimates.
  4. Universal Search – Google gives answers to queries from different types of results; video, image and text.
  5. Mobile & New Screens – Search is available no matter what device.
  6. Voice Search – The ability to search by saying “ok Google”.
  7. Actions – Google search App can quickly txt, email or call someone without the user having to actually physically search.
  8. Knowledge Graph – Google shows how connected things really are – you can ask it questions.
  9. Info just for you – Google search app allows you to access private information visible just for you.
  10. Answers before you ask – Google search app can give you automatic help with everyday tasks. ie warnings when traffic is bad or when bills are due.

Why should you care?

It’s important to understand just how much search changes every year. Over 890 changes last year shows that Google is continually changing and updating their search algorithm and the results they deliver to searchers.

Search is not something that you can simply set and forget. There are some set rules which you always need to follow, but because the algorithm and results are constantly changing you can’t afford to rest on you laurels. Things change – you need to be aware of what these are and, if necessary, change too.

4. Promote your App using Google search

Google.com receives over 100 billion searches every month. Previously the content that most users were searching for mainly existed on a website but today much of that content can be found within apps.

Now by following three easy steps you can get your app into an advert that will be displayed on Google. Search ads which have been created using this method will only be displayed to searchers who do not already have your app installed.

This means that every person who clicks on your advert could potentially be a new user.

If your app has a larger user base you can encourage user engagement by signing up for the beta deep link program. 80% of all app downloads are only used once. Deep linking allows you to send searchers from Google to specific pages of your app provided they have already installed it.

Why should you care?

This new update allows searchers to see apps that they don’t have installed. It will also in the future give app creators the ability to send searchers to specific pages within the app. These two updates make app creation even more appealing.

As a business, app creation is a way to differentiate yourself from your competition. If you already have an app, being able to advertise it to people who do not have it already is a great opportunity.

5. There are no shortcuts to ranking well – two link networks targeted in Europe by Google

Google has confirmed that they are taking action against two major European link networks. This means that Google has sent out mass link penalty notifications to websites that have been using these networks to game their system.

Johannes Mehlem tweeted this:

Twitter Johannes Mehlem

Why should you care?

Unless you’ve used these link networks it won’t affect you. It’s more of a warning that there are no short cuts to ranking well. If you are engaged in activities such as using link networks you may see initial results but eventually Google will find out and take action.

Links are still the most dominant ranking signal for Google. If you want to rank well you need to be building links or encouraging sites to link to yours by providing exceptional content.

There are right and wrong ways to acquire links. If you are unsure about your current link building strategy, talk to SureFire.

6. Greggs’ Google Knowledge Graph Nightmare

Greggs is a bakery chain in the U.K. This week Greggs’ logo in Google’s knowledge graph bizarrely got replaced with one featuring an offensive slogan which Google pulled from a satirical website.

Greggs Bakery PR Nightmare Example

Greggs reacted quickly and notified Google via Twitter.

Greggs Google Twitter Conversation Example

By acting quickly Greggs turned, what could have been a PR nightmare, into something positive and received a huge amount of free global media coverage and brand exposure.

Why should you care?

This shows that Google’s knowledge graph can be incorrect. If this incident was to happen to a smaller company that wasn’t as SEO and social media savvy as Greggs, it could have caused lasting damage to the brand.

It’s important that you keep an eye on what Google is serving to searchers who are looking for your company. Google does make mistakes from time to time…….

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

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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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