Search marketing news and what it means for marketers – Feb 17

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In this month’s search marketing news round-up, we’re talking Bing Ad extensions, paid search on Amazon’s Alexa, new ranking signals for videos on Facebook and YouTube images appearing in image results. Read on to get all the latest news.

Ad extensions scheduling (Bing)

Bing recently announced that marketers can now choose when their extensions – such as sitelinks, callouts, app extensions, structured snippets and call extensions – can show. This is a great feature that gives marketers another level of control and can be used to promote a weekend sale or a monthly deal. Read more here

Action: Add schedules to your extensions and start testing their impact

Amazon is looking at the idea of paid search on Alexa

With smart devices and voice assistants becoming more and more prevalent today, Amazon is looking to launch a paid search product that integrates voice search.

Although the details are limited, companies like Amazon, Google and Bing are already thinking about how voice search can be monetised and positioned within the paid search landscape. For example, could you have results sponsored by company x? Or when you are searching for restaurants locally, could companies pay to be read out first? We will have to wait and see. Read more here

Consumer attitude toward voice activated personal assistants, by device ownership groups

Action: Think about the potential effects voice could have on paid search and start having conversations with clients about what is happening now in the digital environment with voice.

Facebook introduces new ranking signal for videos

Facebook has said it will be looking at percentage completion rates of videos when determining rankings of organic videos in the News Feed. It is likely to be rolled out in the upcoming weeks and marketers could see an impact on their existing videos. Read more here

Action: If you’re creating video, make sure you’re capturing the user’s attention straight away and throughout the video to keep them watching as long as possible. 

Google demystified website crawling

Website crawling and indexation can be a complex area of search engine optimisation. At a basic level, crawling and indexing refers to the ability for a website to be seen, accessed, and displayed within a search engine’s index of ranked content.

It is important for businesses to understand, and maximise the website’s ability to be crawled and indexed as a fundamental stage for any entity to be seen online. Google has helped dispel some myths in this area to help more companies remove this barrier towards search success. A few of the areas discussed include:

  • Crawl budget
  • Crawl rate limits
  • Crawl demand

Top questions were also answered, and you can see the full coverage and practical implications of this at Google Webmaster Central blog.

Action: Read through the Google update above and take a look at your Google Search Console account ‘crawl’ section. Let us know if you need help completing this and progressing the next actions.

Seeing YouTube videos in image results?

Some people have been, and there is a good reason for this. Google has been beta testing the inclusion of YouTube videos in this area of rich results – often seen at the top of the search engine results pages.

Google Operating System
Source: Google Operating System

While this is not something that has been finalised, or officially discussed, it does provide a valuable insight into the mindset of the people at Google, and an opportunity to revisit the potential gains that videos can provide for search wins.

Practically, this means that there is added justification (not that most businesses should need more) to progress the value that business can derive from video content. Some of the most successful types of video content include:

  • Explainer videos
  • Expert analysis
  • How to…
  • Event coverage
  • Product reviews

Action: Type into Google some of your most important business search terms. See how frequently video content appears on competing websites. If you have already invested in video creation, consider how it can be optimised for search and user gains.

Previous search marketing news round-ups

Search marketing news and what it means for marketers – Jan 17

Search marketing news and what it means for marketers – Dec 16

Lee Wilson profile picture
Lee Wilson

Lee is Head of Services at Vertical Leap and has led search marketing departments and services in house and agency side since 2003. He is a multiple published author with books including Tactical SEO', 'Data-Driven Marketing Content' and '30 Minute Website Marketing'. He regularly contributes to Search Engine Journal, The Drum, and State of Digital sharing his insights on SEO strategy, content, and eCommerce.

More articles by Lee
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