LAST UPDATED: INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Bing’s new System Quality Policy and labels
It’s been a busy month for SEM marketing. It started with a number of changes to Bing Ads, including the company’s new System Quality Policy which aims at clearing out poorly performing keywords.
It will achieve this by removing keywords and ads that haven’t performed over a period of time and limiting the number of keywords that can be uploaded – and the use of keywords in weapons, pharmaceuticals, gambling, adult and trademark categories – for certain users. The company has said that they expect it to have little impact on high-performing campaigns.
Meanwhile, Bing also announced the addition of AdWords-style labels that can be applied at campaign, ad group, ad and keyword levels to make it easier to manage and tag advertisements. The functionality rolled out to users throughout the month and allowed them to add up to 50 labels per account.
Google updates AdWords mobile extensions and Google Shopping
Google announced major upgrades to AdWords mobile extensions that aim to make mobile sitelinks more interactive. The upgrade also gives callouts and structured snippets more space on the results page, ultimately improving user experience for users while helping advertisers to reach them.
Google has also reimagined Google Shopping by testing a variation of mobile product card units, showing stores in a swipeable carousel instead of as a list. You can see a before and after in the image shown below with the new carousel on the right.
The importance of call tracking
If you’re using search engine advertising to drive calls to your business then you need to track those calls. You do it for your ads and for your website, so why not for incoming phone calls? Stephanie White, an account manager at Hanapin Marketing, shared her thoughts on why call tracking is so important – as well as how to get started.
The robot uprising has begun
Well, maybe it’s not that extreme, but they’re certainly taking over from us when it comes to bidding on ad space. Bryan Gaynor took a look at the evolution of the industry and explained why “the evidence is pointing us in this direction of the future being machine learning and automation and forcing the industry to focus on the audience strategy more and more.”
Google releases details of its new beta Search Console reports
Google has confirmed that it’s experimenting with a beta of the new Google Search Console, revealing a sneak peek of two of the new features: an index coverage report and an AMP fixing flow report. The index coverage report highlights indexing issues and explains why pages were unable to be indexed, while the AMP fixing flow report shows issues that impact the ability of sites to show your AMP content in search. You can also verify your fix after you implement it to prompt Google to recrawl the pages.
Google releases details of its new beta Search Console reports
You can now save images, itineraries, places and web pages while using Google on a mobile device. Simply click the save button under the new hamburger icon on the left side of the homepage when you’re using Google on your mobile device or take a look below to see a screenshot of the new menu in action.
New guidelines for Google’s quality raters
Google has updated its quality raters guidelines with some small tweaks around non-English language pages and how quality raters should handle search results that return conspiracy theories. Google’s quality raters don’t have a direct influence on search engine rankings, but their feedback is gathered and used by the search engine company to improve future algorithms. You can view the full list of tweaks right here.
Updated voice search supports 30 new languages and emojis
Google has added support for 30 new languages to its voice search, including popular African languages Swahili and Amharic. 119 languages are now supported by speech recognition, and American users can now search for emojis using voice typing. Daan Van Esch, Google’s technical program manager for speech recognition, said, “You can now say something like ‘winky face emoji’ to express yourself.”
Google emails warnings to webmasters about insecure form pages
Site owners who had forms on web pages using HTTP received email notifications from Google Search Console to let them know that these pages will be marked as not secure as of Chrome 62, which is due for release in October 2017. Google had already warned that the change was coming, and the email also included directions on how to migrate to HTTPS to correct the issue.
Updates to Google My Business (GMB)
Google has updated Google My Business (GMB) with new functionality that’s designed to help restaurant owners to drum up bookings. It does this by allowing them to add quick links to their local results in Google so that searchers can place orders or reserve a table from within the search engine.
Locadium makes it easier to monitor GMB listings changes
The new tool from LocalSEOGuide tracks any changes to local listings on Google My Business and sends alerts whenever there’s any change to a company’s listing in any of its data fields. Pricing for the tool varies, but it starts at just $5 per month – which is a worthwhile investment if you rely on local search for footfall.
Google Maps is updated with reviews and Q&As
August was a busy month for Google Maps. Engineers had to fix a glitch which stopped people from leaving local reviews on the site while simultaneously launching a new Questions & Answers feature which allows business owners to answer questions from prospects and customers directly from their Android device. The answers will be visible to any users who view your Google Maps listing.
Facebook bans advertisers, adds real estate retargeting, cleans up its Audience Network and more
Facebook spent the month rolling out a number of updates to its advertising product, including by cleaning up its Audience Network by improving the standard of its click tracking. The company announced that it will stop charging advertisers for clicks if people bounce back to Facebook within less than two seconds.
As if that wasn’t enough, the social networking site also introduced a version of its Dynamic Ads product for realtors that enables them to retarget people who browse listings on their site by serving up adverts on Facebook. The new dynamic format also includes information such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and whether it’s for sale or to rent.
Meanwhile, it’s good news for brands who are working with influencers. They’ll now be able to pay to promote posts by influencers, publishers and other entities directly from their page instead of using the existing clunky workaround. See the difference in the image below.
Not everyone has been playing by the rules, though. The company was also forced to ban advertisers and pages that attempt to disguise links that violate the company’s rules and to penalise fake videos in its latest tweak to its news feed algorithm.
Autoplay video ads on Pinterest
Self-service advertisers on Pinterest will now be able to launch video ads which automatically play with the sound off and appear in both news feeds and search results. The feature had previously been tested but was yet to see general release.
LinkedIn boosts its partner program
LinkedIn has launched API integrations with 19 new partners which aim to make it easier for them to track and manage their LinkedIn campaigns. Integration partners include Bizible, DashThis, Datorama, Hootsuite, Nugit, SocialBakers and Falcon.io. You can find out more over here.
AI in marketing
With AI systems on the rise across all sorts of different industries, it’s no surprise that it’s coming to disrupt life for modern marketers. Here are just eight ways that it’s impacting everything from PPC to content creation.
Ikea, Nandos and more pick up press coverage
Branded3 shared a fantastic piece listing some of their top campaigns in August which included Nandos offering free chicken to A-level students on results day, Heinz bringing food porn to life in an experiential campaign and photographer Sophie Mayannes documenting people’s scars and the stories behind them.
Best of all, it was revealed that the HBO wardrobe department uses Ikea rugs to create capes for Game of Thrones actors. As a response, Ikea shared a post detailing how to turn one of their $79 SKOLD rugs into a Westeros-ready outfit.
It only takes a minute girl…
No, not Take That. We’re talking about the insane amount of activity that takes place every single minute on the internet. We’re talking 900,000 Facebook logins, 342,000 app downloads, 70,000 hours of Netflix watched and 3.5 million search queries. Head through to the post to see the full infographic.
Optimising for the next generation of search
Voice search is becoming more and more important over time, with Search Engine Land referring to it as “the most disruptive opportunity for marketers today”. Digital Marketing Depot released a whitepaper called The Next Generation of Search: Voice to give marketers the lowdown on the latest thinking.
6 tips for using location information to boost conversion
Search Engine Land columnist Wesley Young investigated exactly how far consumers are willing to travel and shared a whole heap of advice for boosting the conversion rates of your marketing campaigns. It’s a must-read for anyone who’s using location-based marketing to bring customers in.
10 tools for creating compelling content for social media
Creating social media content is hard, especially when you’re running short of inspiration and struggling to find something worth saying. Luckily, Marketing Land has come to the rescue by sharing a list of ten great tools you can use to create all sorts of compelling content that will leave your followers hungry for more.
Best practices for building an on-demand content strategy
Two-thirds of buyers complete their decision-making before they contact a sales rep. To help you to deal with this new reality, Mark Bornstein, VP of content marketing at ON24, hosted a webinar that focussed on developing an effective on-demand content strategy. The good news is that the webinar is still available on demand and you can sign up to watch it here.
Digital Marketing Tips and Strategies for SMBs
When: Tuesday, October 17, 2017
About: Learn how to fill your business with ideal clients and find a faster path to more money with content marketing.
Tickets: Free. For more information, click here.
3XE Digital: Search Marketing Conference
When: Thursday, October 19, 2017
About: This action-packed one day conference requires speakers to synthesise their learning into 20-minute sessions to give you quick-fire actionable takeaways for optimising your campaign.
Tickets: €185.10 – €519.10. For more information, click here.