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

Goodness, these monthly news articles certainly come around quick! This month, we’re talking about a mobile pop-up penalty, critic reviews displaying in search results, running experiments in the Google Display Network and the new sitelinks data now showing in Analytics.

Google penalty for mobile pop-ups

As part of an ongoing drive for Google to make mobile content more accessible, and improve the user experience for digesting mobile content, Google has confirmed a ranking signal tied to mobile pop-ups. This is big news for businesses! In practice, this means that websites using pop-ups may see declines in rankings, and therefore traffic, sales and more.

If you are putting in place items including; pop-ups, pre-pages that load prior to destination pages, and designs where above the fold content acts like a pop-up, feel free to contact us to discuss the impact this could have.

Here are some examples of pop-ups that will be negatively impacted by the new Google update:

example pop-ups

The Google update can be seen in full here, and a key excerpt from the post is below:

“To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

Critic reviews for business in Google

Rich content, and mark-up can help Google understand and therefore rank content prominently in the search engine results pages. Over the past few days, Google has announced a new opportunity for businesses to include critic content, in the form of critic reviews, that will be included at the top of the search results.

As detailed by Google:

“With your reviews displayed prominently in Google Search results, your readers will be able to easily find your reviews, see helpful snippets from them, and navigate to your website to read the complete reviews. Critic reviews appear in search results with a snippet from the critic, the critic’s name and the publisher icon. You can supply critic reviews for the following content types:

  • Local businesses
  • Movies
  • Books

You can see an example of the new Google critic review rich snippets below:

Critic review example - Google

Google extends drafts and experiments to the Display Network

Drafts and Experiments allow you to essentially create a copy of your existing campaign, make bids, schedule strategy adjustments and compare the performance to the original. This feature is a great way to analyse the adjustments you have made and then decide whether to apply the changes to the original campaign or just end the experiment.

Create a draft

Previously only available to search campaigns, Google has rolled this out to the Display Network which now gives marketers another level of testing to their Display campaigns. The results screen allows you to easily compare the experiment vs. the original campaign and is a great snapshot that you can add to your reports. You can read more about it here.

Sitelinks data now showing in Analytics

Although the link is hidden down the left-hand side of Analytics, the sitelinks data provides a wealth of information to help you optimise your campaigns.

analytics sitelinks

You are able to see post-click performance of your sitelinks, including bounce rate, pages per session and conversions. With this information at your disposal, you can see what types of sitelinks work best for your campaign and make adjustments accordingly.

First ad appears in the local pack for the UK

Google has started testing ads appearing in the local 3-pack of organic results. Although information about future plans is quite limited at the moment, these ads could be good news for advertisers who now have a chance to appear in the local results.

Consumers trust these local listings and with more and more local mobile searches taking place, it’s definitely something to watch out for. You can learn more about it below:

First appearance of ads in Local Pack found in UK mobile search result

Need advice?

If you need advice about anything mentioned above, our search marketing experts are here to help – just call us on 023 9283 0281.

Lee Wilson profile picture
Lee Wilson

Lee has been working in the online arena, leading digital departments since the early 2000s, and oversees all our delivery services at Vertical Leap, having joined back in 2010. Lee joined our company Operations Team in May 2019. Before working at Vertical Leap, Lee completed a degree in Business Management & Communications at Winchester University, headed up the online development and direct marketing department for an international financial services company for ~7 years, and set up/run a limited company providing website design, development and digital marketing solutions. Lee had his first solely authored industry book (Tactical SEO) published in 2016, with 2 further industry books being published in 2019, and can be seen regularly expert contributing to industry websites including State of Digital, Search Engine Journal, The Drum, plus many others. Lee has a passion for management in the digital industry and loves to see the progression of others through personal learning, training and development. Outside the office he looks to help others while challenging himself, having skydived, bungie jumped and abseiled (despite a fear of heights) with many more fundraising and voluntary events completed and on the horizon. As a husband and dad, Lee loves to spend time with his family and friends. His hobbies include exercising, trying new experiences, eating out, playing countless team sports, as well as watching films (Gangster movies in particular – “forget about it”).

More articles by Lee
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