Welcome to our brand new blog feature, Spotlight on search. We’ll be bringing you the latest SEO, PPC, Google and search marketing news on a regular basis. We hope you enjoy it and, as always, feel free to share your thoughts with us using the comments box at the bottom.
Google has updated its algorithm off the back of completing their Caffeine update last year. Google has claimed that this will affect around 35% of search queries (not keywords, queries) and has further updated to state that this will have a visual impact to the average user.
It seems like the majority of search queries it is affecting are celebrity search queries and date-specific search queries, where the most up to date content is probably the most relevant. So this is a welcome change from Google and I believe it will positively impact search result quality. I would recommend that you don’t start creating content every day for the sake of it though. Instead, I would look at the last modified date of your URLs to ensure they are up to date. Creating content that is engaging and updated frequently by users (comments/reviews) will keep the URL fresh.
The image below highlights the way in which Google Freshness delivers search listings, by taking into account how recent and current content is.
Google Prefers GET requests
*Google states that they will not try to perform any unintended user action (e.g look at areas that automatically generate content and therefore do not necessarily need to be crawled), so it may still be applicable to use a POST request in some areas.
AdWords has announced that AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE) is now fully released and supported. ACE allows you to simultaneously A/B test a campaign to test what impact your optimisation changes may have on conversions and ROI.
ACE lets you have variables available for entering an auction, so you may have two different keyword bids for one keyword, an ad group with different keywords, or different versions of ad copy running. Traditionally, making changes in AdWords would mean looking at your statistics and putting theoretical improvements in place in order to improve a campaign, however, improvements in a campaign can be influenced by a variety of factors such as weather, time of day, demand for search term and search trends. Being able to run a campaign that can test your changes, whilst the original campaign is also running, offers a much more accurate picture of what effect your changes have had.
Setting up an experiment is easy, you’ll find it located under the setting tab in AdWords, and you can also set weight to control the campaign, whether you want your changes to appear 50:50 or 60:40 etc.
You can read the full scoop here at Google Ads. It’s interesting that the example they’ve used in the video is to increase a bid not decrease, which does make me think it could just be a money-making tool for Google…
Connecting Google+ Pages to AdWords
Google has announced that AdWords ads now support Google+ Pages (very prompt). This adds to the list of Ad Extensions you can use in Google AdWords (under the Ad Extensions tab). The idea is to make your ads personalised, and Google report that:
“ 71% of shoppers say that recommendations from friends and family impact their purchasing decisions. These additional recommendations may result in more conversions and deeper engagement with your business overall.”
You will be able to monitor the impact of adding Google+ Pages to your ads by filtering ad impressions by personal and basic annotations. Personal shows ad impressions that were delivered when the viewer saw a friend or contact had +1’d your brand and Basic just shows ad impressions with a +1.
AdWords isn’t a bad platform to advertise your social network on and it will be interesting to see how many brands start using Google+ purely for this feature.