LAST UPDATED: INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Google AdWords testing images in mobile ads
Google is testing showing image thumbnails in the mobile search results. This is the second time Google have tested this, the first being back in December 2014.
Expanded Text Ads now Available for Pilot to All Bing Ads Customers
Expanded Text Ads is a new mobile-optimised ad format that enables users to craft longer ad copy and optimise their ad text to better engage with searchers before they click on their ads.
After Google announced Expanded Text Ads would be coming to AdWords, Bing stated that it would add support for the new longer text ad format. Instead of a 25 to 71-character format on Bing, ads will expand to a 60-80-character format with two 30-character headlines and 80 characters for ad text.
To sign up for pilot access to Expanded Text Ads, you will need to fill out Bing’s Expanded Text Ads Survey with customer IDs and contact information. You will be placed in a queue and as Bing begins to enable customers with pilot access, an email confirmation will be sent to the address provided so that you can get started.
In the pilot announcement, Jamie Chung, Bing Ads program manager states ‘’ Customers with pilot access will be able to sync AdWords campaigns using Expanded Text Ads to Bing Ads using Google Import in addition to manage Expanded Text Ads using Bing Ads Web UI and Bing Ads Editor and Bing Ads API. ‘’
New Features Added to AdWords Express
AdWords Express is an advertising product that automatically manages online ads, without the need for daily management or tasks. This is a great tool for small businesses that may or may not have their own websites to run an ad campaign on Google.
Three new features are being added to the automated PPC service.
- Verified Calls: This feature offers advertisers more detailed information about the customers that used the click-to-call option. This information includes area code and call duration. Some advertisers have access to this feature but Google plans to make Verified Calls available to all AdWords Express customers soon.
- Set ad run times: With this new feature, Express advertisers can select the days and hours they want their ads to run on. This feature also enables them to link their AdWords Express accounts to their Google My Business, so ads can automatically run during the operating hours.
- Track Foot Traffic: This feature introduces a new Map Actions chart which shows advertisers the number of people who saw an AdWords Express ad then clicked the location extension in the ad to view the business on Google Maps.
Google Removes ‘Mobile-friendly’ Tag from Search Results
Google’s ‘’Mobile friendly’’ tag has been part of the search results since 2014. Google announced they will be removing the ‘’Mobile friendly’ tag in an attempt to simplify the search results.
In a statement, Google said ‘’two years ago, we added a mobile-friendly label to help users find pages where the text and content was readable without zooming and the tap targets were appropriately spaced. Since then, we’ve seen the ecosystem evolve and we recently found that 85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria and show the mobile-friendly label. To keep search results uncluttered, we’ll be removing the label, although the mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be a ranking signal. We’ll continue providing the mobile usability report in Search Console and the mobile friendly test to help webmasters evaluate the effect of the mobile-friendly signal on their pages.’’
Google to Introduce a Penalty System for Intrusive Mobile Interstitials
Google announced that as of January 10th 2017, any websites that have intrusive interstitials that get in the way of users accessing the content on the page will not rank as highly. Google stated this interstitial mobile penalty will be on a page-by-page basis, whole sites will not be affected.
The new search penalty algorithm will target interstitials which make content less accessible to a user. Here are the examples Google provided:
- Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
- Google said the interstitials that would not be affected include:
- Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or age verification.
- Login dialogs on sites where content is publicly indexable. For example, this would include private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall.
- Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space
AMP Pages Starting to Show in Main Search Results
Google announced that its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) will be expanded across the entire search results page and not just the ‘’Top Stories’’ section.
Google has stated that this is not a ranking change for sites. The change means that mobile search users will soon start to see content in search results with the AMP lightning bolt logo, indicating the content is available in the mobile format.
Local Search Pack to Include Critic’s Reviews and ‘’Best of’ Lists
Google’s Local search pack will now include critic’s reviews and best-of lists from reputable publishers. The service is currently only available on mobile search.
The aim of this service is to help users find the best places to eat and drink. They could be away on holidays and looking for some of the country’s tastiest eats. Or they could simply be looking for a new place to try.
Google Updates Local Review Guidelines, Disallowing Marking Up 3rd Party Reviews
Google has introduced new guidelines which specifically disallows you from using third-party reviews. The guidelines read:
- Do not include reviews that are duplicate or similar reviews across many businesses or from different sources.
- Only include reviews that have been directly produced by your site, not reviews from third-party sites or syndicated reviews.
This means that you can only mark-up reviews that are left on your site by users and not those that are sourced from third party sites.
Other guidelines state that positive and negative reviews need to be included on the site.
- Reviews must allow for customers to express both positive and negative sentiments. They may not be vetted by the business or restricted by the content provider based on the positive/negative sentiment of the review before submission to Google.
Facebook hits back at Clickbait
Facebook has tweaked its new feed algorithm to reduce the amount of clickbait headlines or link titles that are showing up in the news feed. These are the types of stories that mislead people or leave out information, forcing users to click to find out what’s missing. For example: ‘’she went to bed and you wouldn’t believe what she woke up to!’’
Facebook is addressing this problem to ensure that users are seeing more genuine posts. To do this, they have developed a system that identifies posts that are clickbait and which web domains and Pages these posts come from. Pages that consistently post or share clickbait headlines will appear lower in the News Feed. This a second attempt for Facebook to ensure that users see more of the stories that they want.
Instagram Rolls Out 24-Hour Stories
Instagram has introduced a new feature, Instagram Stories. This feature allows users to share multiple photos and videos which appear together in a slideshow format. The feature includes text and drawing tools which allows users to get creative with their content. The photos and videos which feature in Instagram Stories will disappear after 24 hours and will not appear on the users’ profile or feed.
According to Tech Crunch, Instagram introduced suggested ‘’Stories’’ at the top of some users’ Explore pages. These suggestions are based on who you follow and the topics you care about.
Twitter Introduces Promoted #Stickers
Twitter recently introduced #Stickers. These are searchable emojis that can be placed on top of photos and shared. They’ve taken that to the next step with the introduction of Promoted #Stickers.
According to the announcement, ‘’brands can design four or eight stickers – like accessories and other props – for users to add to their own photos. Photos with a brand’s stickers are shared with all of a user’s followers, allowing brands to be featured by their fans in a truly authentic way.’’
Pepsi will be the exclusive launch partner of Promoted #Stickers, and will share nearly 50 custom stickers across 10 markets for fans to use as part of their global PepsiMoji campaign.
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World Wide Web is 25 Years Old
August 23rd 2016: On this day 25 years ago the world’s first website went live to the public. The site was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and it was a basic text page with hyperlinked words that connected to other pages.
Read the full story below:
World’s Biggest Advertiser, P&G is scaling back on targeted Facebook Ads
Procter & Gamble Co., the biggest advertising spender in the world, has decided to cut back on Facebooks ads that target specific consumers, concluding that the practice has limited effectiveness.
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How to Solve Duplicate Content Local SEO Issues For Multi-location Businesses
Multi-location businesses have a tough job when it comes to content. Crafting unique content for each individual location page is no easy task.
Search Engine Land Columnist, Joy Hawkins explains that many businesses use a template to format the majority of the content that gets filtered. In this article, she gives her advice on what multi-location businesses can do to help improve their location pages and avoid the filter.
Read the full story below
Irish Charity Lab: Digital Democracy Talks & Panel
This event brings together digital campaigning experts to share their experiences and to discuss the state of digital campaigning in 2016.
Amelia Showalter, former Director of Digital Analytics at President Obama’s re-election campaign, will give a talk on Digital Lessons from the Obama Campaign.
Glyn Thomas, a UK-based digital campaigning and communications expert, will give a talk on The Impact of Brexit and Lessons to Learn from the Remain Campaign.
When: Monday 5th September, 6.30-8.30pm
Where: The Liquor Rooms, Wellington Quay, Dublin 1
Price: €12 early bird/ €15 full price – includes free drink