Practical tips to refine your PPC targeting

Recent changes to Google’s AdWords tool allow PPC marketers to set up paid search campaigns without populating long lists of plurals, abbreviations, acronyms, misspellings and stems. In my last post, I mentioned the need to review keyword match types regularly to ensure your paid search campaigns remain profitable. The recent AdWords changes make regular reviewing even more important; especially for small and medium enterprises. Here, ClickThrough Marketing’s Paid Search Manager, Saiqa Bi, looks at the implications of the changes, and the potential pros and cons for internet marketing.

A brief recap on Adwords functionality

Before we delve any deeper into what the recent to AdWords functionality mean for you, it’s probably worth a quick recap of what does what in AdWords: Phrase match keyword targeting allows advertisers to target an ad to any search query that contains…

"The first major update since 2007"

Well, that's what Google say, so it's an indication of how important this could be for digital marketers. It was 2007 when Google launched Universal Search, how time flies. 2012 sees the launch of a new upgrade called Knowledge Graph. In this alert we've summarised what it is and why it matters to marketers. Value/Importance: [rating=5] The feature is rolling out now for some users in the US, it's expected that other countries will get it in a matter of weeks. We'll update when it becomes live elsewhere. It could be a while since Google+ integration in is still a different experience for non US users since several months. Recommended link: Google’s official introduction to the Knowledge Graph

What is Knowledge Graph?

Knowledge Graph is a set of semantic tools which aim to make your search results more relevant and informative - Google sees this as the first step…

A new look and less features for GWT

Importance: [rating=2] Recommended link: Google Webmaster Blog announcing the new design

Our commentary

In the past 3-4 weeks Google have made various changes to the Google Webmaster Tool platform, including, more recently, updates to the design. The new design implementation is focused on bringing the platform into line with other recent design updates for the search giant. During the update Google has also updated the navigation grouping of features: We distinguished the following groups: Configuration, Health, Traffic and Optimization. Each group represents a related set of functionality: Configuration: Things you configure and generally don’t change very often. Health: Where you look to make sure things are OK. Traffic: Where you go to understand how your site is doing in Google search, who’s linking to you; where you can explore…

7 of the best sources for learning about Google SEO algorithm updates. Sites and forums that discuss the latest updates?

I’m often contacted by site managers and marketers who have just experienced a change in their rankings in the natural listings. Often this is because Google has recently made changes to its algorithms that have affected rankings. I’ve been hearing more of these recently (especially from site owners who've received to unnatural link notices), so I thought it would be helpful to create a short reference of the best sources to learn about current updates. These are the sites I monitor to learn about changes - I’ll start with the official Google line which I recommend subscribing to through a feed or Twitter and then look at other sources including forums which are often more useful for understanding the SEO techniques which may have been penalised. 1. Google Webmaster Tools Blog As the…

Google Shares 5 Common SEO Mistakes

This video was recently published on the Google Webmaster Tools blog. It's a great insight for small businesses or those new to SEO about some of the common strategic mistakes made by website owners. The video concludes with 6 tips which I find most useful since they highlight Google's thinking behind their latest ranking approaches. The 6 tips are: Do something cool Include relevant keywords in copy Be smart about site architecture Sign up for email forwarding in webmaster tools Attract buzz and natural links, +1s, follows Stay fresh and relevant (social media sites, accessible on new devices) Points 2, 3 & 4 are generally the easy part these days, they are well document across the web (including on SmartInsights) so easy to learn / follow and most popular content management systems will aid you in this area. Points 1, 5 & 6 however are not so easy…

Google Social Analytics - an in-depth review

Value/Importance: [rating=4] Recommended link: Google Analytics Blog summary

Our review of Google’s new Social Analytics features

Avinash Kaushik, now Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist announced this new Google Analytics feature at his keynote at SES New York in March 2012, showing this is a major update that Google want to promote. August 2012 update At the time it was part of a beta referred to as "Social Analytics", but it is is now available to all Google Analytics users and as is shown in grab of the menu on the right it's The majority of the reviews of Social Analytics so far have simply included the screengrabs available from the Google Analytics blog summary, so I thought I would go into a bit more depth and give my view on what’s helpful and what’s not so…

Not Provided search queries will affect how your report on your search engine marketing

Source : Google Inside Search Blog Importance : [rating=4]

Our Commentary

  A recent announcment on the Google Inside Search blog post confirmed Google's plans to roll out encrypted search across local Google services (, .fr, .de etc). You may recall this change was rolled out across in October last year and you will have undoutedly seen the impact in your own analytics as the amount of keyword data set to "Not Provided" has grown. Consultant and Smart Insights commentator Dan Barker has catalogued the impact of the recent change in the UK and we have seen this also in our analytics. Here he shows the recent change.  Dan refers to this as Google "hiding search data" and that's how we see it - it's…

Our round-up of the best advice on how marketers should respond to the Google Search plus Your World integration

Most are dubbing the latest changes to Google's search engine as some of the largest since its launch. The integration of Google+ with the the new Search plus Your World  certainly has the industry buzzing again. As Google's social network grows beyond 90 million users with 60% engaging daily, its influence on personalised search is growing fast and will bring new dimensions to SEO. Dave Chaffey covered off the initial launch of Google Search plus Your World here if you're looking for an introduction on how it integrates communities, relationships and people into its mainstream search results.

Recommended posts on how to harness Google Search plus Your World

Since its launch, how companies should respond based on the implications for SEO and PPC have been a hot topic. There's been a lot of great advice, so…

Page Layout Algorithm update to affect a small proportion of sites

Value/Importance: [rating=2] Recommended link: Google : Page Layout Algorithm improvement

Our commentary on the Page Layout Update

A minor update compared to the major announcement last week of Google Search Plus Your World update (still only available on This release seeks to penalise sites which have a high proportion of ads above-the-fold, according to Google: “This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page. This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads”. This change is expected to effect…

Currently available on only

Importance: [rating=5] Value: [rating=1] Source: Google Official Blog annoucement

Our commentary on Google's Search Plus Your World (SPYW)

Make no mistake, Google's bold start to 2012, announced this week will have a massive impact on digital marketing in the years ahead if it retains its current form. Although the change has been widely covered, even in the main stream media, you may not have seen it yet since it's not available, in local engines the UK, Europe or elsewhere. We will let you know when it is.

How big a change is this?

If you've seen the site you'll know it's a big change for the user experience and the way companies gain visibility - so it will have big marketing implications we think. But in our discussions at Smart Insights, we've been arguing about how big the impact will be. It does depend on the type of search…