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2013: The Year In Google SEO So Far

seo-featured In the first half of this year, there has been a lot of SEO-related news coming out from Google. Google has pushed out many new algorithms, made many changes to the search result interfaces, penalized many websites and tactics, as well as sent out many warnings about upcoming penalties or actions. All of this was covered in depth on our sister site, Search Engine Land, but a recap is in order for our Marketing Land readers. Below, I will summarize the changes in order of Google's Panda algorithm, Penguin algorithm, and other algorithm updates and launches. I will then discuss some of the [...]


Is The Art Of Paid Search Marketing Dead?

If you are a regular reader of this column, then you know I have a tendency to reminisce about the old days of digital marketing and the early days of our old agency. Maybe I am just getting sentimental in my old age, but I found myself reminiscing once again this past week as I looked through an old sales deck. "Search is part science, part art," read the title of a slide that tried to explain this new-fangled thing called paid search. [caption id="attachment_49985" align="alignright" width="257"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] "Part science, part art." There was no better phrase i [...]


Will Hashtags Help Facebook In The Social TV War?

I've written a lot here about the intersection between social platforms and TV, and as these markets continue to evolve, there are still a lot of interesting things happening in both. A couple of things happened recently that probably highlight where social TV is heading, suggesting some of the things that marketers should be thinking about in order to make the best use of both. At the back end of last month, following the NewFronts (where digital media owners look to replicate the scale and success of the TV upfronts), Twitter made two important announcements. The first of these was the ex [...]


Search Remains First, Social Second For How People Find Websites

forrester-search2012-600x505 Each year, Forrester Research publishes a report detailing how consumers find websites. The findings are always fascinating, because they reveal different preferences between generations, and the popularity of different discovery methods changes from year to year, sometimes in surprising ways. For 2012, 54% of respondents found websites through natural search results, up from 50% in 2011. Social networks were the second-most preferred discovery resource, with 32% using them in 2012, up from 25% in 2011 and 18% in 2010. Links were the third important means of website discovery, with 28% say [...]


Studies Show Google Enhanced Campaigns Fuel AdWords CPC Rise

google-g-logo-2012 One of the first reactions many advertisers had to Google's enhanced campaigns announcement in February was that CPCs would rise -- more advertisers would enter mobile auctions, pushing mobile CPCs up, and tablet CPCs would rise as a result of being tethered to desktop bids. Early reports from Adobe and iProspect seem to show the higher CPC theory bearing out. Adobe found CPCs rose 6 percent across devices in the past three months. Based on last quarter's performance, Adobe now predicts Google CPCs will start rising for the first time in two years. iProspect also reported CPC in [...]


Unboxing Google Engage

GoogleEngage-Edited I’ve got big plans for my agency. Apparently, so does Google. While the agency world’s demise has been the subject of quite a bit of opinion over the years, it seems Google is embracing the fact that advertisers often hire professional services firms to help them -- at least for now. Agency “certification” programs are nothing new in search, and the last time I wrote about them back in 2005, they were overwhelmingly engineered to cater to larger advertisers.  The names and target audiences of ambassador programs have changed over the years, but the goal of increasing stable rev [...]


Mad Men’s Joan Harris: The New Face Of Google Now?

joan as google now If Google's predictive search service Google Now needed a catchier name similar to Apple's "Siri," how about "Joan?" As in Joan Harris, who effectively personified herself in the last episode of Mad Men as doing what Google Now does. Joan Harris, junior partner with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Cutler Gleason & Chaough at the start of last Sunday's episode, which becomes just Sterling Cooper & Partners by the end, is out on what she mistakenly thought was a date but turns into a client pitch to Avon. Asked what she does for the agency (good question, I'm not even sure of her [...]


The Changing Definition of Inbound Marketing: Why SEOs & SEMs Should Care

inbound-marketing-600x575 There’s been a lot of talk over the past few days about inbound marketing – see this discussion at Inbound.org in response to Rand Fishkin’s post announcing the rebranding of SEOmoz as just “Moz.” In that post, Rand sets up a distinction between “inbound marketing” and “interruption marketing,” as shown here: [caption id="attachment_46214" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image courtesy of Moz, used with permission[/caption]   A lot of marketers are rolling their eyes and wondering why we need another term – inbound marketing – when SEO, PPC (or SEM), etc., [...]


EU-Google “Rival Links” Antitrust Settlement Provision Creates New Controversy

Google Europe legal The US Federal Trade Commission declined to address the alleged "search bias" (vertical search) claim against Google in its settlement with the company earlier this year. It's a highly problematic issue from a legal standpoint but it's the one Google's critics and rivals care most about. In short they would like to blunt or stop Google's ability to place its own content (e.g., Maps, Travel, Shopping) at or near the top of search results (Universal Search). Google's display of structured content at the top of search results is diverting or siphoning off "their" traffic, they argue. Europe [...]


Local Search On Google Glass: Part 4 Of The Google Glass Diary Series

If (When?) Google Glass becomes popular, local businesses could stand to gain a lot of visibility -- and perhaps new customers -- from wearers looking for information about what's around them or what's in the place where they're going. Local search and navigation should be a pretty common usage of Glass, and it's certainly one of the main uses that Google has had in mind all along. Glass is mobile search, but in a new form: voice-controlled with results coming back to the user in the form of single-business "cards" with business name, address, phone and sometimes the hours that the busin [...]


Official: Google Confirms “Conversational Search” Is Live In Chrome

Now, you can speak your queries to Google on the desktop in the way you can on mobile devices and get responses spoken back. It's pretty impressive, but more impressive is the way this new "conversational search" takes what you've previously said and "remembers" that as you continue to search. Google hasn't done an official blog post about the new feature, which works for its Google Chrome browser, but it confirmed to us officially that it's live, saying: Conversational search has started rolling out in the latest version of Chrome. You can just click the mic in the search box, ask your [...]


Searching On Google Glass? See How In Glass Diary Part 3

google-glass-logo-200px Search may become a common activity for Google Glass owners, but it's a different kind of search to anything I've done before. Since Glass is a mobile device and has no Web browser, it's currently built for informational searches. Transactional queries (like [buy seattle mariners tickets]) and navigational queries (like [facebook]) don't work well because Glass doesn't have a Web browser. It'll show you webpages that match those search terms, but you can't visit them. In other words: Search on Google Glass is about finding information, not webpages. And, for the most part, Glass seems to [...]


Google Now Arrives For iOS, Expands “Predictive Search” To iPhone & iPad Users

Google Now for iOS Google's "predictive search" service Google Now has finally arrived for iOS users, after being Android-only since it launched last June. Ironically, the ground-breaking service is now available to more iPhone and iPad users than Android ones, because on Android, only the minority with Android 4.1 or higher can access Google Now. We have full coverage of the roll-out on our sister-site Search Engine Land: iPhone & iPad Users To Get Google Now, As It Comes To iOS: News about the launch & how Google Now is part of the Google Search App The Amazing “Google Now” — When Google [...]


Microsoft Continues Rebranding Efforts With New Looks For Bing, Skype & Xbox

bing After launching new looks for Windows and Office last year, Microsoft is working toward rebranding additional products, including Bing, Skype and Xbox. During a presentation at the Norwegian Design Council Design Day event on April 17, creative directors from Wolff Olins played a video that revealed what appears to be a new Bing logo. "Other brands are coming along too," said Wolff Olins creative director Todd Simmons during his joint presentation on re-imagining Microsoft's brands with fellow creative director Albert Shum, "Bing, Skype, Yammer, Xbox...everything is under development as wel [...]


The Mindset that Makes Online Marketing Work

When I started publishing online back in 1998, I didn't have a shred of traditional marketing experience. It may sound counter-intuitive, but that ended up giving me a huge advantage. The first marketing book I read was Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing in 1999, which sparked my "aha" moment regarding how the Internet worked from a marketing standpoint. Godin made it clear that the Internet was a direct-response environment that required an evolved form of direct marketing. You didn't buy mailing lists. You built audiences. Likewise, my company, Copyblogger Media, began a [...]


Enhanced: Today’s Pain, Tomorrow’s Love

Google Enhanced is the online marketing advice-giver's gift that keeps on giving for 2013. By now, everyone touching search has been in several hours of meetings discussing these changes and where they will take us (mostly in the short-term), and has probably written or consumed at least one FAQ, eBook or White Paper on the subject. Feature roll-outs with APIs and a little bit of insanity in trying to get your numbers to match up are all necessary bumps on the road to truly optimizing. This yields the way for Google (and subsequently, every publisher) to ultimately optimize on a person-by-p [...]


It’s Gettin’ Real: Google Glass Ready For Shipping, API Live & Specs Revealed

google-glass-featured What seemed like some crazy, farfetched idea when it was announced more than a year ago is now reality. In a series of moves late Monday, Google: notified its first batch of "Explorers" (the ones who pre-ordered at Google I/O last year, not the #ifihadglass contest winners) that the first Google Glass devices are rolling off the production line now and are ready to be delivered revealed detailed specs of the device shared the Glass API documentation for developers released a MyGlass companion app in the Google Play store to allow owners to setup their Glass device Here's a clos [...]


Key Learnings On The PLA Marketplace

Google's switch to an all-paid shopping search experience, featuring Product Listing Ads (PLAs), was the single largest change to the retail paid search landscape last year, and the offering continues to evolve as the official release of PLAs on smartphones was announced last month. PLAs are not only a new ad format but also a new marketplace, with auctions running independently of traditional text ads although they're often being served alongside them on search result pages. Now that the new market has had time to mature, we can take the opportunity to step back and review what we have lea [...]


Update To Google Search App For iOS Fixes Bugs, But That’s About It

The Google Search app for iOS  has been updated with bug fixes and an improved voice search, but there's no mention of Google Now included in the latest version of the app. Last month, the leaked video posted below suggested that Google Now would soon be available for iPhones and iPads via the Google Search app, but there has been no official comment from Google besides a remark Chairman Eric Schmidt made at the Google Big Tent Summit in India. In response to a direct question about the availability of Google Now for iOS, Schmidt said, "You’ll need to discuss that with Apple," inferring [...]


Yahoo Confidential: The Real Story

In case you hadn’t noticed, Yahoo ranks number one for “Yahoo sucks.” Everyone in the digital marketing business knows it sucks, and efforts to turn the place into Google have yet to achieve fruition. Sure, the stock got a bump when Marissa came in, but that’s largely due to her status as one of the original Googlers. Home page redesign and human resource parlor tricks like that free lunch thing aside, Yahoo’s corporate culture is akin to the Balboa camp right after Mr. T pounded the stallion into submission in Rocky 3. Nothing To See Here They need to turn this ship around a [...]


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