Search marketing news and what it means for marketers – Aug 2016

Nothing major (that we know of) has happened in the world of search over the last month. Small changes on the PPC side include testing Shopping Product Search in Local Knowledge Panel, rolling out price extensions in PPC ads and trialling new carousel card extensions. Oh and Pokémon Go was obviously the talk of the town, which believe it or not, could have search implications in the future.

Check your Google Search Console account

At the beginning of the month, Google Search Console sent tons of notifications saying there have been new property owners. This shouldn’t have been such a big problem if the system only asked current users to verify their accounts. The scary thing was that it brought some from the past. This means that people who are no longer supposed to have access, ended up having it back. As a precautious measure, make sure to go to your Google Search Console (GSC) account, click on the cog icon in the top right, select Users and Property Owners and see if the people having access to your account are still entitled to. GSC is a powerful platform that can remove your entire website from search and you don’t want the wrong people to be able to do that. Get the full story here 

Google tested removing the estimated number of results

At some point last month Google tested removing the estimated number of results from the search results screen on desktop devices. This was done for mobile devices a while ago. There is no confirmation of what the test results showed and whether this change will be implemented. The number of pages returned for a particular search is an indication for marketers of the competitiveness of that search term. If this gets removed, we need to take the data in Google’s Keyword Planner as gospel. It’s not that I’m questioning the data or our top SEO skills, but I find it hard to believe that it will be easy to get on page one out of about 9,730,000,000 results for the word “news”. If you only look at the Keyword Planner data, it all seems possible, as the competition is only low. Read more about it here
News search competition

Pokémon Go – Yes, there is an SEO link… hear us out

The highlight of July, in fact, was the launch of Pokémon Go. Even if this doesn’t sound like it’s in any way related to SEO, studies show that most of the people playing the game are in their 20s. Still, why does it matter for marketing, you ask. Although there is no official way to collaborate with the game – Pokémon can be used to lure customers into your local shop. In the US shop owners have already jumped on the bandwagon and are offering game incentives for their customers.
It’s now official, Pokémon Go has more daily active users than any other social media app. And as SEO is not only GO (excuse the pun), i.e. Google optimisation, Pokémon Go might become yet another search engine to optimise your business presence for. Watch that space! Read more about it 

pokemon v social

A new study revisits the power of links

And while some things change, others don’t really. A new study on an old subject was done by Stone Temple confirming yet again the power of links as a ranking factor in organic search. Over the years links were the thing indicating if you’ll make or break your online presence. It used to be much easier to acquire them and often they were used for manipulating the system. There is no doubt link building should be a part of your online strategy; the important thing is to focus on quality over quantity.

Recommended read: 6 ways your link building strategy could generate more links

Google is testing Shopping Product Search in Local Knowledge Panel

This links directly to a product search, includes a custom product landing page and store map listings. It’s a really exciting development for ecommerce businesses as it provides another opportunity for consumers to find your products and stores easily. Read the full story here

Google officially rolls out price extensions

A new feature that is initially available just for mobiles is price extensions – this additional feature showcases your services, range of products, and how much they cost. Like other ad extensions these can help lead to higher click-through rates which in turn, will lead to lower cost-per-clicks. Read more here

Google testing new sitelinks format

Another test from Google, and this time they are trialling new sitelink extensions that are in the format of carousel cards. Although they will work in the same way as traditional sitelinks, it’s always interesting to see what Google is testing out. Read more here

‘Converted click’ metric will be retired on September 21

Google has confirmed that the conversion column will now be the default way to measure actions after an ad click. The ‘conversions’ metric takes into account different attribution models and cross-device conversions which means you get a full picture on how well your AdWords campaigns are performing. Read more here

Got a question?

If you’d like to talk to us about any of these industry developments, just call our search marketing experts on 0845 123 2753.

Eli Zheleva profile picture
Eli Zheleva

Eli was a SEO Campaign Delivery Manager at Vertical Leap. Eli managed a portfolio of clients, ranging from small businesses to national and international brands.

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