The major updates from the 8 digital platforms that matter, that's Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter
Scarcely a day goes by without a new announcement from a social network or search engine which could theoretically have some impact on digital marketing. This leads marketers to spend vast amounts of time searching for and checking the latest updates, and then trying to work out if they will mean they need to change how they conduct their marketing.
That is why we've done the hard work of tracking, researching and assessing the marketing implications of the 17 most important updates so far this year from the major platforms that digital marketers use to promote their business. Now you can see at a glance what changes there have been this year, and click through to an article on each change to get analysis of the implications of the change. Well be updating the…
Our summary of the wide number of changes to Google AdWords and Analytics announced at the Google Performance Summit.
Value: [rating=5] (Webmasters, Account Managers, SEM Professionals, PPC Professionals)
Recommended links: Google Analytics blog & Google AdWords Blog
Yesterday (24th May 2016) Google announced a whole host of changes to their AdWords and Analytics platforms, citing the shift in mobile as the reason.
"The shift to mobile is no longer a change on the horizon. It’s here."
During the Google Performance Summit, the likes of Jerry Dischler (VP for Search Ads) & Brad Bender (VP for Display & Video Ads) talk through the steps and the processes involved in the decisions behind the changes. Skip to around the 27 minutes to get into the nitty gritty.
For the sake of not making this article too confusing I'm going to split the changes up into two sections:
A quick briefing on the 6 new Google services announced at Google I/O 2016
It's important to keep up to date with the new spiel and jargon within #martech and media, to identify new marketing opportunities, or even if it's just to avoid any embarrassment in the office when you're asked for your view on the latest. Google and the other platform providers certainly keep us on our toes, especially their latest raft of announcements. You could say that with their new Alphabet parent, it reminded us of Alphabet soup.
Google's annual I/O event certainly had more new platform announcements than most. Here's our look at the 6 new services we counted.
1. Google assistant
This is Google's next step in machine learning and artificial intelligence and is a conversation-based tool designed to control smartphones, smartwatches and other devices. It's not a new product…
You can now evaluate the power of your landing pages for generating leads and sales from organic traffic
Recommended link: Google Analytics article
We're 'quite excited' by this new feature from GA since it gives back some insight which was lost 3+ years ago when Google stopped reporting on keywords from organic search when it blocked reporting of encrypted search terms, labelling them as the opaque 'not provided'.
What marketers need to know about this new feature
1. You can now see not only the volume of traffic generated by organic keywords, but also the visit quality
When integration is configured we have been able to see estimates impressions and clickthrough of search volume for different keywords, which has been helpful since Google blocked reporting secure searches with keywords reported as not provided.
This means that you can now see data on bounce rate and conversions in Google Analytics as shown here. Previously just…
Updated Dynamic search ads now available to all advertisers
Importance: [rating=4] (For PPC Marketers)
Recommended source: Google official blog announcement
Google has announced that its Dynamic Search Ads service has been enhanced and retooled ‘from the ground up’. It offers new functionality in AdWords which was made available to all advertisers around the world yesterday.
What are Dynamic Search Ads?
Instead of you setting up your ads manually to target certain keywords, Dynamic Search Ads are generated automatically when a search is relevant to the content on your website.
But, how does Google know the search is relevant to your website you may be thinking? Google trawls your site in the same way that it does to establish organic web rankings, indexing your site. It creates the ad automatically based on the products/services you offer and on what people are searching for. These targeted ads are useful because they allow you to reach users that…
On 3rd April 2014 Google announced that the clock is ticking until they automatically upgrade all Product Listing Ad campaigns into Google Shopping Campaigns. The timeframe they have outlined is August 2014.
Therefore we recommend that you make this switch manually before the end of July as otherwise Google will take the liberty of doing it for you.
Shopping campaigns were released in beta mode in October 2013 and then fully in February 2014.
There are many aspects to shopping campaigns that are consistent with product listing ads:
The ads are matched to user searches based on your product inventory data feed that you send to the Google Merchant Centre rather than being triggered by keywords that the advertiser sets.
From a shoppers perspective they look identical - the ads show an image of your product, the product name and price and there is the option to add…
Check you’re not making these 5 mobile SEO mistakes to get your SEO right in 2014
Recommended link: Google’s new advice covering mobile SEO mistakes
December 2013 update
We originally alerted readers to Google's new advice on mobile SEO in June 2013. This is a BIG deal since more searchers are performing mobile searches and your mobile SEO traffic may fall if you get the user experience wrong as explained below.
In this update, Google have again highlighted the importance of a seamless mobile experience by releasing a new tool to help site owners review mobile SEO errors. We also advise comparing your mobile/desktop SEO traffic in analytics to see whether you may be missing out on mobile SEO visits. Here is the output from the new Google Webmaster's tool taken from Google's new announcement:
A briefing and ressearch on the impact of Google's new Tabbed Inbox
December 2013 update: Return Path have released a comprehensive study evaluating the impact of Gmail's tabbed inbox. We have added it to the end of Tim's post to enable readers to compare their open and delivery rates in Gmail.
In August 2013, Google made two important changes to the Gmail inbox that all email marketers need to understand.
What has changed?
The two changes that Google have made are distinct, but have been introduced together.
1. Tabs added to the inbox separating promotional, social updates and other email
2. Ads that look like emails may be placed at the top of the promotional tab
These changes are being automatically rolled out to all Gmail users.
As Gmail users access their inbox they will see this popup to inform them about the inbox change:
Then the Gmail web interface looks…
Google Helpouts are the latest in a long line of services from Answers through Knol
From when Google Search launched in 1997, Google has always been trying to find the best answers to its users' queries. Google Helpouts are the latest approach to help answer users queries, but in a quite different way to standard search.
Did you know that Google briefly tried a similar approach before? In order to provide a more dedicated response to users' queries, in Aug 2001 Google decided to launch 'Google Questions and Answers'. This service allowed users to send their questions by email and for a flat fee of US $3 Google staffers would reply to those questions. Unfortunately the Google service ran for only 24 hours, after which it was shut down due to excessive demand!
This was followed by 'Google Answers' in April 2002. This was different in the…
Not a major update likely to impact rankings as the headlines suggest?
Importance: [rating=1] For commercial Purchase Intent Queries
Recommended link: Search Engine Land FAQ by Sullivan
Mainstream media such as the BBC have picked up on what they call a "Major Upgrade to Google’s Search Alogorithm". This sounded like something we should alert readers too particularly since it is said to affect 90% of users. However, it has been in place for one month already, so this suggests it won’t have a significant affect on rankings otherwise the impact would have been seen already.
It was announced in a slightly bizarre way, not through consumer-facing Google’s Inside Search blog which covers big announcements to the interface or consumer algorithm or Webmaster Central which alerts about algorithm changes limiting spam which have a major impact on rankings such as Panda and Penguin.
Instead it was announced at what the BBC called…